Death of a Travelling Salesman

After a little interval they both rose and looking at him gravely went into the other room. He lay stretched by the fire until it grew low and dying. He watched every tongue of blaze lick out and vanish.

How many noises the night had! He heard the stream running, the fire dying, and he was sure now that he heard his heart beating too, the sound it made under his ribs. He heard breathing, round and deep, of the man and his wife across the passage. And that was all. But emotion swelled patiently within him, and he wished that the child were his. 

He must get back to where he had been before. He stood weakly before the red coals and put on his overcoat. It felt too heavy on his shoulders. As he started out he looked and saw that the woman had never got through with cleaning the lamp. On some impulse he put all the money from his wallet under its glass base.

Ashamed, shrugging a little, and then shivering, he took his bags and went out. The cold of the air seemed to lift him bodily. The moon was in the sky. On the slope he began to run, he could not help it. Just as he reached the road, where his car seemed to sit in the moonlight like a boat, his heart began to give off tremendous explosions like a rifle.

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