Spring 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 2 FictionApril 1, 1986 |

The Uncle

How much revolver would you need to kill a man? The question, accordding to the uncle, a former agent, had been studied, with insignificant results. A blighter dark against a window at night could, excepting sudden illumination by torch or thunderbolt, hardly be killed at all, so porous with shadow was he. The boy sat on a stool at the uncle's feet. Sometimes he made pictures in his mind of the alleys and corridors of moon, of the flash and roar of midnight chase. Sometimes he merely let the words ring and settle, one by one, knowing without fear that he would not lose them, that at school or on the edge of sleep they would float up, dislodged from the deep anchorages of his brain. His mind, he knew, was miles deep, despite the fact that his father, smiling a mild reproval, still could join thumbs and middle fingers in a ring around his head. "Are you paying attention at school, boy? Your cranium is not expanding at a very rapid rate." "I'm paying attention." Attention, a

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