Spring 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 2 FictionApril 1, 1954 |

A Circle in the Fire

Sometimes the last line of trees was a solid grey blue wall a little darker than the sky but this afternoon it was almost black and behind it the sky was a livid glaring white. "You know that woman that had that baby in that iron lung?" Mrs. Pritchard said. She and the child's mother were underneath the window the child was looking down from. Mrs. Pritchard was leaning against the chimney, her arms folded on a shelf of stomach, one foot crossed and the toe pointed into the ground. She was a large woman with a small pointed face and steady ferreting eyes. Mrs. Cope was the opposite, very small and trim, with a large round face and black eyes that seemed to be enlarging all the time behind her thick glasses as if she were continually being astonished. She was squatting down pulling grass out of the border beds around the house. Both of them had on sunhats that had once been identical but Mrs. Pritchard's was faded and out of shape while Mrs. Cope's was still stiff and bright green.

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