They broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings.
As they recrossed the lawn, a window that had been dark was lighted and Miss Emily sat in it, the light behind her, and her upright torso motionless as that of an idol.
They crept quietly across the lawn and into the shadow of the locusts that lined the street. That was when people had begun to feel really sorry for her. But what you want--" "I want arsenic." The druggist looked down at her. But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for." Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up.
She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves." "But we have. Didn't you get a notice from the sheriff, signed by him? A few of the ladies had the temerity to call, but were not received, and the only sign of life about the place was the Negro man--a young man then--going in and out with a market basket. " "I'm sure that won't be necessary," Judge Stevens said.
Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another while the visitors stated their errand. She just stood in the door and listened quietly until the spokesman came to a stumbling halt. "Just as if a man--any man--could keep a kitchen properly, "the ladies said; so they were not surprised when the smell developed. "It's probably just a snake or a rat that nigger of hers killed in the yard. Give her a certain time to do it in, and if she don't.
A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out at all. They called a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
A deputation waited upon her, knocked at the door through which no visitor had passed since she ceased giving china-painting lessons eight or ten years earlier.
But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores.
And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson.They were admitted by the old Negro into a dim hall from which a stairway mounted into still more shadow.It smelled of dust and disuse--a close, dank smell. It was furnished in heavy, leather-covered furniture.Now she too would know the old thrill and the old despair of a penny more or less. The men did not want to interfere, but at last the ladies forced the Baptist minister--Miss Emily's people were Episcopal-- to call upon her.The day after his death all the ladies prepared to call at the house and offer condolence and aid, as is our custom Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will. When we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows--sort of tragic and serene. He would never divulge what happened during that interview, but he refused to go back again. Two days later we learned that she had bought a complete outfit of men's clothing, including a nightshirt, and we said, "They are married." We were really glad.Then they could hear the invisible watch ticking at the end of the gold chain. It was another link between the gross, teeming world and the high and mighty Griersons. I'll speak to him about it." The next day he received two more complaints, one from a man who came in diffident deprecation. I'd be the last one in the world to bother Miss Emily, but we've got to do something." That night the Board of Aldermen met--three graybeards and one younger man, a member of the rising generation. .." "Dammit, sir," Judge Stevens said, "will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?