Spring 1969 • Vol. XXXI No. 2 Fiction |

A Ball of Malt and Madame Butterfly

On a warm but not sunny June afternoon on a crowded Dublin street, by no means one of the city's most elegant, a small hotel, a sort of bed-and-breakfast place, went on fire. There was pandemonium at first, more panic than curiosity in the crowd. It was a street of decayed Georgian houses, high and narrow, with steep wooden staircases, and cluttered small shops on the ground floors: all great nourishment for flames. The fire, though, didn't tum out to be serious. The brigade easily contained and controlled it. The panic passed, gave way to curiosity, then to indignation, and finally, alas, to laughter about the odd thing that had happened when the alarm was at its worst. This was it. From a window on the topmost floor a woman, scantily clad, puts her head out and waves a patchwork bed-coverlet, and screams for help. The stairway, she cries, is thick with smoke; herself and her husband are afraid to face it. On what would seem to be prompting from inside the room, she calls d

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Ireland

By Benedict Kiely

On a warm but not sunny June afternoon on a crowded Dublin street, by no means one of the city's most elegant, a small hotel, a sort of bed-and-breakfast place, […]

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