'He's a drunk.'
*He drinks. But so did my father. And my father
wore wool socks and put his feet in them up on a
chair and read the paper in the evening. And when
we had croup he took care of us. He was a boiler
maker and his hands were all broken and he liked to
fight when he drank, and he could fight when he was
sober. He went to mass because my mother wanted
him to and he did his Easter duty for her and for
Our Lord, but mostly for her, and he was a good
union man and if he ever went with another woman
she never knew it.3
Til bet he went with plenty.'
'Maybe he did, but if he did he told the priest,
not her, and if he did it was because he couldn't help
it and he was sorry and repented of it. He didn't do
it out of curiosity, or from barnyard pride, or to tell
his wife what a great man he was. If he did it was
because my mother was away with us kids for the
summer, and he was out with the boys and got
drunk. He was a man/
*You ought to be a writer and write about him.'
Td be a better writer than you. And John Mac-
Walsey is a good man. That's what you're not. You
couldn't be. No matter what your politics or your
*I haven't any religion.'
'Neither have I. But I had one once and I'm
going to have one again. And you won't be there to
' take it away. Like you've taken away everything else.'