Cover

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p. 1

Title, Copyright,

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pp. 3-10

Table of Contents

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pp. 11-12

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Introduction

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pp. 13-32

As a young boy in Wiarton, Ontario I knew only vaguely, from my older brothers having proudly pointed it out to me, that what our family called the "green book" (Knister's Canadian Short Stories} contained a story written by my father. In high school, I became slightly more aware of how my father regarded the green book, for he spoke then a little less reservedly of his early work. Of his endeavours...

Published Stories

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Susie and Perce

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pp. 33-42

Susie went across the five-foot square hall into the front room of the attic-flat, and lit the gas under the kettle. The gas-plate stood upon a cupboard alongside a neat stack of tin-ware. The tube carrying the gas was arched up the wall to a socket. Susie had tacked a square of white oil-cloth on the papered wall behind the plate to keep it from getting splashed with grease. She laid two places on the table ...

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The Little Jew Card Player

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pp. 43-46

The four men played Five Hundred, and the stout proprietor of the hotel dozed by the humming stove, and made efforts to follow the game whenever the players talked loudly or laughed. It was very dark outside the windows and snowing hard and blowing. The players had been at the table since suppertime, and there was much smoke. There had been only the cards and the sleepy proprietor and the blizzard all evening. A little fat Jew held the most comfortable chair at the game, a chair backed into one corner where...

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Story from a Millyard

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pp. 47-54

At half-past five in the morning he was washing his face and hands outside the kitchen door. The sun was up, and the air was fresh and very quiet. He wore stiffened work-clothes, and his beard was heavy since it was midweek, and he shaved only on Saturdays. His wife called him in to breakfast while he was going through the vegetable garden; it was a very fine garden and he usually walked through it while drying himself after the wash. His wife was a very fat woman, and she had a queer look of earnestness. She said, "I got nine more last...

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Smart Work

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pp. 55-66

He was on hands and knees, in the darkness of the old kitchen. Behind him the window made a luminous space, with a chair-corner visible against it. The draught was cold. He was waiting for ten minutes, till the possible noise of his entry had died away. And he could only peer into blackness in that time. He didn't know what might be in his way; he had never come through to this room from the barber shop. He felt a gas-stove beside him. It was greasy to the touch. Now he would have dirty hands from being...

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A Friend of the Family

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pp. 67-84

Bill Elliot had a tailor-shop in a three-storied white brick building around the corner from Main Street. It was very narrow shop, and dark because its one window was narrow; the place had been the parlour of an apartment, and the owner of the building, Andy Blair, who as everybody said, was tight, would not put in a larger window. There were two young maples in front of the door, and the window was filled with fashion plates. But the dark place ...

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Crossed with Glory

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pp. 85-94

In the long hallway of the small town hotel the proprietor read a paper at the desk, and an old man stood watching out the door at a row of parked cars loaded with tourist equipment. A terrier dog dozed on the steps outside the door. The hall resounded with dining-room noises. A big tourist in plus-fours and a brilliantly coloured sweater came from the dining-room and stood at the desk. "Well, prop, what's the damages? Wifie and I ...

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Man's Mate

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pp. 95-104

"It's a rotten day for rabbit-hunting." Ivan said to the broad mackinaw-covered back ahead of him in the trail. "Yeh," Jim called back. "Guess you wish you were home, for more reasons than one." Jim did not answer that, and Ivan continued. "Let's get our wind. I'm about done." He snow-shoed to the top of a mound and halted, his knees sagging through weariness, his arms aching from carrying the shot-gun...

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A Present for the Woman

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pp. 105-116

If you were lucky you had a house and garden on the edge of the town, a horse, a responsible job of some sort, and a wife with whom you could say you had rarely quarrelled, that is, really quarrelled. The edge of the town up over the hill, where the streets ran into the bush, was a good place for a home because it was fairly sheltered, and it had fine rich soil for a swamp had once lain there. Then too it was not far to the stores; all one had to do was to go...

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Sharp Awakening

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pp. 117-122

He came back to the boarding-house that Saturday evening just as the cop was ringing the six-o'clock bell. "Four miles to the hour in from the corner; not bad," he thought satisfied. "Mr. Fisher! You've been out enjoying the fresh air and having your Saturday afternoon walk again. What a wonderful colour!" "It does good after a week in school." His landlady's rippling chins made him just a little weary. "I'm sure you must be glad to finish a week." And again the rippling. "I intended to stay in and get some...

Unpublished Stories

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The Last Evening

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pp. 123-134

Marion leaned on the show-case in Michaelson's Furnishing Store, and watched the quiet street corner. It was noon hour, and Herman the boss was out; if he had been in she would have been dusting shelves or boxes: she would have been busy at something, but in his absence she was taking a recess to day-dream as usual, wishing it were Thursday instead of Wednesday for then Stan would be driving out from the city for the evening. Abstractedly she went over her...

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The Reward

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pp. 135-146

The man cowering in mid-swamp had broken the law seriously. Supporting himself by clinging to a young cedar he stood as still as he could and listened. Swamp-growth cut off his vision at thirty or forty feet, and the obstruction made him anxious. He listened. Water flowed with a gurgle past his sodden pulpy boots and trailing pantlegs. His toes squelched in their places in a way that made him recall his walking barefooted in muddy roads when...

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The Duck Hunt

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pp. 147-152

In the early part of the afternoon paddle to the rice-beds Bruce could be only glum with thinking about Lorna getting married that day, of Lorna, who had been his girl friend for two years almost, suddenly picking up with another and getting married within a month. No matter how his father from the bow of the canoe tried to get a talk going, he could not do his part to keep it going. He could think only, "I don't want to talk," and he would settle morosely...

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Barber Shop Monarch

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pp. 153-162

Charlie Sarino parked his big green sedan in front of Dutchy's and the three of us peeped out at him, — the two customers in the chairs were under hot towels and couldn't stir. But Dutchy then Ernie his partner and I looked. Funny enough in itself to see Dutchy quit stropping a razor and his face go into a mixture of straight-faced curiosity and good-feeling, and then see him stretch his stout bod...

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On the Detour

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pp. 163-174

The windshield-wiper of the coupe kept on labouring, squeaking, flipping back the flood that washed across the glass. The headlights, dimmed by the storm, put a strain on the eyes. The boy driver and the girl passenger were very much in love, very sure of themselves, and very very happy. "Don't you just love being out in a storm like this, Ron?" She crowded closer. "Swell, as long as the highway holds out. Wow! Look at that lightning. You could fry eggs on that ...

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A Problem in Honour

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pp. 175-184

The alarm-clock on the chair pointed to seven, and Mr. Sylvester O'Brien swung easily from bed, with care not to awaken his wife. He squirmed his feet as they touched the cold linoleum, put them into slippers, and tensing his muscles to try to rid himself of chills and gooseflesh, strode to the window. The curtain was blowing in the breeze; it was a chilly morning. He tensed his muscles tremendously...

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The Riddle

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pp. 185-190

He walked homeward, trying to ignore the scattering crowd from the street-car, and trying to convince himself as well. He walked as he had seen some of his favourite actors walk, erect, solidly, with hands in overcoat pockets, head immovably turned towards the front, collar up at the back, and with dead pipe clenched in his teeth. And he was repeating, "I'm an adult. I've a mind. I'll be stern and business-like. I'll be business-like, I'll speak to the landlady...

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She Was Their Sister

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pp. 191-200

Marie and Katie felt as though they had been blushing the whole morning, and they were so fluttery that all they could do was chatter and leave things to Olive. For Olive was the capable one. All through the big farmhouse they were being caught and queried breathlessly by visitors. Nobody talked for long. Invariably it was a snatch of talk. It was hubbub everywhere. And everybody was laughing, and talking hurriedly, and calling. At least everybody except Pap...

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Fifteen Cent Keyhole

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pp. 201-218

That night he sat across the table in his father's kitchen making coffee and toasting cheese sandwiches that beat any we ever got in the restaurant. He had closed all the doors; "The old housekeeper is sound asleep ages ago," he said, "And if dad were here he'd eat with us." His father was certain to be working late in his office down-town; the whole town knew that its best lawyer slept till about twelve or at least very late in the morning when not in court, and...

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November

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pp. 219-222

He was all set, snug in his natural shelter behind the rocks, his jacket blending with the surroundings, yet he was disappointed because he no longer felt the old gladness. Down to within the previous year he used to balance the highly-polished streamlined rifle, glance over the sights at something or other through his bedroom window, and say between his teeth, "I wish to God —". His body was cramped from inactivity. He had been sitting there since a little after noon. His ...

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Edna

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pp. 223-240

Edna and Bert were living as Mr. and Mrs. Ball. They were in a flat belonging to a very stout, easy-going woman called Mrs. Carroll, who had the embarrassing habit of introducing them as "My nice young married couple." Edna was tall, with a pleasant face, and black hair cut short and smoothed down. Bert was tall, with a moustache, thin reddish hair, and a cast in one eye. He had steady work as a...

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The Amateurs

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pp. 241-250

When they had finished crossing pastures from the tracks and had reached the pavement Mel stopped to comb his hair and pick the burrs from his trousers. Afterwards he patted what dust he could from his clothes and wondered the while if he would ever again be able to get thoroughly clean, or even be through with this hoboing. Archie, chewing a grass stem, looked down at him. "Always the same old Mel! Always particular." "I'd give anything to get cleaned...

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lola Writes

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pp. 251-260

Bobbie Glendenning quit work in the office of the furniture factory at six o'clock and walked quickly down the main street of the village to the hotel where he roomed, thinking as he went along of what he would like for supper. He found a letter for him in the mail-rack at the hall desk and he recognised the handwriting. "lola's gone and wrote me another letter and I haven't answered any of hers for a long time. Gawd." He ran up the narrow and steep ...

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Unrest

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pp. 261-272

At six o'clock it was cold and he walked swiftly down Main Street to the Hotel. He met half-a-dozen people, unrecognizable in the dark. There was a horse and buggy, the horse's clap-clop-clap on the pavement audible for a long time. The sky was clear; it was going to be a moonlit night. it was cold at the end of the block of stores where an east wind cut in from the bay and he turned sideways and ran to the hotel. There was a letter for him in ...

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The Descendants

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pp. 273-276

The sun was hot. The new large red-brick house looked hot. It was on a low hill, and there was a big barn to the back. The fields about were bare of trees, and the lane by the house was rough, and yellow clay showed along it. Heat waves were over the grain fields, and the metal roof on the barn shone. Children moved in the yard before the house. They wore clean clothes, Sunday clothes, and all wore long black stockings. One of the children kept crying, and one kept calling, "Cry-baby". And one kept saying...

Criticism

An Experiment: Review of the Sound and the Fury (April 5, 1930)

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pp. 277-278

Bibliography

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p. 279