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Molly Make-Believe

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 Molly Make-Believe.  Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

"The morning was as dark and cold as city snow could make it--a dingy
whirl at the window; a smoky gust through the fireplace; a shadow
black as a bear's cave under the table. Nothing in all the cavernous
room, loomed really warm or familiar except a glass of stale water,
and a vapid, half-eaten grape-fruit.

Packed into his pudgy pillows like a fragile piece of china instead of
a human being Carl Stanton lay and cursed the brutal Northern winter.

Between his sturdy, restive shoulders the rheumatism snarled and
clawed like some utterly frenzied animal trying to gnaw-gnaw-gnaw its
way out. Along the tortured hollow of his back a red-hot plaster fumed
and mulled and sucked at the pain like a hideously poisoned fang
trying to gnaw-gnaw-gnaw its way in. Worse than this; every four or
five minutes an agony as miserably comic as a crashing blow on one's
crazy bone went jarring and shuddering through his whole abnormally
vibrant system."


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