After shoveling the walk and the front stairs, the old man went inside and took off his boots and set them by the dying fire. He knelt at the hearth and used to hatchet to split some of the larger logs.

The telephone didn’t ring.

Tomorrow he’d have to remember to get more wood. Years ago, he would have spent a week in August felling and cording his own, but that was too much trouble now. Besides he had the electric heat. The fireplace was just character.

The telephone didn’t ring.

He started the kettle for coffee. But wanted whiskey.


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