THE next morning in Key West Richard Gordon was
on his way home from a visit to Freddy's Bar where
he had gone to ask about the bank robbery. Riding
his bicycle, he passed a heavy-set, big, blue-eyed
woman, with bleached-blonde hair showing under
her old man's felt hat, hurrying across the road,
her eyes red from crying, Look at that big ox, he
thought. What do you suppose a woman like that
thinks about? What do you suppose she does in bed?
How does her husband feel about her when she gets
that size* Who do you suppose he runs around with
in this town? Wasn't she an appalling looking
woman? Like a battleship. Terrific.
He was almost home now. He left his bicycle on
the front porch and went in the hallway, closing the
front door the termites had tunnelled and riddled.
'What did you find out, Dick?' his wife called
from the kitchen,
4Don't talk to me/ he said, Tm going to work*
I have it all in my head/
That's fine/ she said. Til leave you alone/
He sat down at the big table in the front room.
He was writing a novel about a strike in a textile
factory. In to-day's chapter he was going to use the
big woman with the tear-reddened eyes he had just
seen on the way home. Her husband when he came