Man Drowning by Henry (also wrote as Lewis Padgett) Kuttner

By Henry (also wrote as Lewis Padgett) Kuttner

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I kicked Gavotte gently in the chest. He didn't move. I went over behind the bar, saw a familiar label among the bottles lined up under the mirror, and drank whisky without bothering about a glass. First it wasn't so good, then it helped. I figured the worst was over. I went back to Gavotte. The broken fifth was on the floor beside him, and I kicked it away. I crouched down and put my thumb in his eye socket and pushed. He didn't even groan. And when the nerve that runs up under the socket is pushed, only a dead man doesn't move.

No, guess not. " I asked. " "Well, I'll do it this morning. " "Used to be two, now one. I run three miles on flat. The tire . . " Benita put a plate of eggs and ham in front of me, and a slip of paper with a short grocery list. " I asked her. She nodded, already back at the stove. " She nodded again. "Servidor," I said, and Rafael giggled. " he asked. "Oh, around. " " 'Bout like my English, I guess," he said. I began on the eggs. "Mrs. De Anza wants me to write some letters for her," I told him.

Somebody fix me a drink. And after that, just let me alone for a while, will you? Pretend I'm not here. I want to relax. I want to pretend I'm all alone. In a wasteland, where no one comes or hath come, since the making of the world. " She looked blankly at us, dismissed us both with a blink, and went back to her crossword, scratching away noisily and muttering to herself in an angry voice. De Anza got up, took his glass, and wandered over to the bar. He got busy. Presently there was a tall glass pitcher on the bar, with ice in it, and what smelled like gin.

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