THIS GIRL, this Susan Reed, was an orphan. She lived with
a family named Burchett, that had some more children, two
or three more. Some said that Susan was a niece or a cousin
or something; others cast the usual aspersions on the char-
acter of Burchett and even of Mrs. Burchett: you know.
Women mostly, these were.
She was about five when Hawkshaw first came to town.
It was his first summer behind that chair in Maxey's barber
shop that Mrs Burchett brought Susan in for the first time.
Maxey told me about how him and the other barbers watched
Mrs Burchett trying for three days to get Susan (she was
a thin little girl then, with big scared eyes and this straight,
soft hair not blonde and not brunette) into the shop. And
Maxey told how at last it was Hawkshaw that went out
into the street and worked with the girl for about fifteen
minutes until he got her into the shop and into his chair
him that hadn't never said more than Yes or No to any man
or woman in the town that anybody ever saw. "Be durn if
it didn't look like Hawkshaw had been waiting for her to
come along," Maxey told me.
That was her first haircut. Hawkshaw gave it to her, and
her sitting there under the cloth like a little scared rabbit.
But six months after that she was coming to the shop by
herself and letting Hawkshaw cut her hair, still looking like
a little old rabbit, with her scared face and those big eyes
and that hair without any special name showing above the
cloth. If Hawkshaw was busy, Maxey said she would come
in and sit on the waiting bench close to his chair with her
legs sticking straight out in front of her until Hawkshaw
got done. Maxey says they considered her Hawkshaw's client
the same as if she had been a Saturday night shaving cus-
tomer. He says that one time the other barber, Matt Fox,
offered to wait on her, Hawkshaw being busy, and that
Hawkshaw looked up like a flash. "I'll be done in a minute,"
he says. "Pll tend to her." Maxey told me that Hawkshaw
had been working for him for almost a year then, but that
was the first time he ever heard him speak positive about
那是她第一次理发。霍肖给她理的发； 她在那块布下面简直像个惊魂未定的小兔子。可是六个月以后她自己来让霍肖给她理发了。她那若惊的表情和那双大眼睛，还有围裙上露着的无可名状的头发，使他还是看起来像只小兔子，只是大了点。马克西说要是霍肖正忙着，她就近来在里霍肖最近的凳子上坐着，两条腿直挺挺地向前甚者，等着霍肖干完活。马克西说他们认为她是霍肖的主顾， 就像她是一个星期六晚上来刮脸的顾客一样。他说有一次霍肖忙着的时候，另外一个理发匠，马特-福克斯，提出要给她理发。霍肖立马瞪起眼睛说：“我就好了。我给她理。”马克西告诉我说，那个时候霍肖已经给他干了快有一年了，可那是他第一次听见霍肖说话那么斩钉截铁。
That fall the girl started to school. She would pass the
barber shop each morning and afternoon. She was still shy,
walking fast like little girls do, with that yellow-brown head
of hers passing the window level and fast like she was on
skates. She was always by herself at first, but pretty soon
her head would be one of a clump of other heads, all talking,
not looking toward the window at all, and Hawkshaw stand-
ing there in the window, looking out. Maxey said him and
Matt would not have to look at the clock at all to tell when
five minutes to eight and to three o'clock came, because they
could tell by Hawkshaw. It was like he would kind of drift
up to the window without watching himself do it, and be
looking out about the time for the school children to begin
to pass. When she would come to the shop for a haircut,
Hawkshaw would give her two or three of those pepper-
mints where he would give the other children just one,
Maxey told me.
No; it was Matt Fox, the other barber, told me that. He
was the one who told me about the doll Hawkshaw gave her
on Christmas. I don't know how he found it out. Hawkshaw
never told him. But he knew some way; he knew more about
Hawkshaw than Maxey did. He was a married man himself,
Matt was. A kind of fat, flabby fellow, with a pasty face
and eyes that looked tired or sad something. A funny
fellow, and almost as good a barber as Hawkshaw. He never
talked much either, and I don't know how he could have
known so much about Hawkshaw when a talking man
couldn't get much out of him. I guess maybe a talking man
hasn't got the time to ever learn much about anything except
对了，送糖的事是另外一个理发员马特-福克斯告诉我的。他也告诉过我霍肖圣诞节给那个女孩送娃娃的事。我不知道他是怎么知道的。霍肖从来没有告诉过他。可是他不知怎么就知道了。霍肖的事，他比马克西知道得多。马特本人是有家室的。他是个胖家伙，浑身赘肉，长着一张白脸，眼神总是疲惫不堪或者忧愁伤感的样子。他是个挺好玩的家伙，理发的手艺不比霍肖差。他也是个话不多的人。 我不懂：就连能说会道的人都从霍肖那里套不出什么来，他怎么能知道霍肖那么多事？ 我猜大概是因为能说会道的人除了词儿以外就没有什么时间对别的事情知道更多了。
Anyway, Matt told me about how Hawkshaw gave her
a present every Christmas, even after she got to be a big girl.
She still came to him, to his chair, and him watching her
every morning and afternoon when she passed to and from
school. A big girl, and she wasn't shy any more.
You wouldn't have thought she was the same girl. She
got grown fast. Too fast. That was the trouble. Some said it
was being an orphan and all. But it wasn't that. Girls are
different from boys. Girls are born weaned and boys don't
ever get weaned. You see one sixty years old, and be damned
if he won't go back to the perambulator at the bat of an eye.
It's not that she was bad. There's not any such thing as a
woman born bad, because they are all born bad, born with
the badness in them. The thing is, to get them married before
the badness comes to a natural head. But we try to make
them conform to a system that says a woman can't be mar-
ried until she reaches a certain age. And nature don't pay
any attention to systems, let alone women paying any atten-
tion to them, or to anything. She just grew up too fast. She
reached the point where the badness came to a head before
the system said it was time for her to. I think they can't help
it. I have a daughter of my own, and I say that.
So there she was. Matt told me they figured up and she
couldn't have been more than thirteen when Mrs Burchett
whipped her one day for using rouge and paint, and during
that year, he said, they would see her with two or three
other girls giggling and laughing on the street at all hours
when they should have been in school; still thin, with that
hair still not blonde and not brunette, with her face caked
with paint until you would have thought it would crack
like dried mud when she laughed, with the regular simple
gingham and such dresses that a thirteen-year-old child
ought to wear pulled and dragged to show off what she
never had yet to show off, like the older girls did with their
silk and crepe and such.
Matt said he watched her pass one day, when all of a
sudden he realized she never had any stockings on. He said
he thought about it and he said he could not remember that
she ever did wear stockings in the summer, until he realized
that what he had noticed was not the lack of stockings, but
that her legs were like a woman's legs: female. And her only
I say she couldn't help herself. It wasn't her fault. And
it wasn't Burchett's fault, either. Why, nobody can be as
gentle with them, the bad ones, the ones that are unlucky
enough to come to a head too soon, as men. Look at the
way they all the men in town treated Hawkshaw. Even
after folks knew, after all the talk began, there wasn't a man
of them talked before Hawkshaw. I reckon they thought
he knew too, had heard some of the talk, but whenever they
talked about her in the shop, it was while Hawkshaw was
not there. And I reckon the other men were the same, be-
cause there was not a one of them that hadn't seen Hawk-
shaw at the window, looking at her when she passed, or
looking at her on the street; happening to kind of be passing
the picture show when it let out and she would come out
with some fellow, having begun to go with them before she
was fourteen. Folks said how she would have to slip out and
meet them and slip back into the house again with Mrs
Burchett thinking she was at the home of a girl friend.
要我说她是不由自主。出什么事也怪不着她。 也不能怪布尔切特太太。不是吗，对于那些坏女人，那些不幸提前冒坏水的女人们，男人比谁都更容忍。看看镇上的男人们都是怎么对待霍肖的吧。甚至人们都知道了以后，到处都议论纷纷以后，也没有一个人在霍肖跟前提起过。我想他们觉得霍肖不是不知情,也许他已经听到点风声了，可是他们在店里说起那个女孩的时候，都是霍肖不在场的时候。我觉得别的男人们也一样，因为他们没有人没见过霍肖站在窗户那看着女孩从街上经过或者在街上盯着女孩看，装作在电影散场的时候正好在那里，看着她跟某个人一块出来。那时候她还不到十四岁，就跟人上街了。人都说她怎么从加里溜出来又溜回去， 而布尔切特太太则以为她去了某个女伴家里。
They never talked about her before Hawkshaw. They
would wait until he was gone, to dinner, or on one of those
two- weeks' vacations of his in April that never anybody
could find out about; where he went or anything. But he
would be gone, and they would watch the girl slipping
around, skirting trouble, bound to get into it sooner or later,
even if Burchett didn't hear something first. She had quit
school a year ago. For a year Burchett and Mrs Burchett
thought that she was going to school every day, when she
hadn't been inside the building even. Somebody one of the
high-school boys maybe, but she never drew any lines:
schoolboys, married men, anybody would get her a report
card every month and she would fill it out herself and take
it home for Mrs Burchett to sign. It beats the devil how the
folks that love a woman will let her fool them.
So she quit school and went to work in the ten-cent store.
She would come to the shop for a haircut, all painted up,
in some kind of little flimsy off-color clothes that showed
her off, with her face watchful and bold and discreet all at
once, and her hair gummed and twisted about her face. But
even the stuff she put on it couldn't change that brown-
yellow color. Her hair hadn't changed at all. She wouldn't
always go to Hawkshaw's chair. Even when his chair was
empty, she would sometimes take one of the others, talking
to the barbers, filling the whole shop with noise and perfume
and her legs sticking out from under the cloth. Hawkshaw
wouldn't look at her then. Even when he wasn't busy, he
had a way of looking the same: intent and down-looking
like he was making out to be busy, hiding behind the mak-
That was how it was when he left two weeks ago on that April vacation of his, that secret trip that folks had given up trying to find where he went ten years ago. I made Jefferson a couple of days after he left, and I was in the shop. They were talking about him and her.
"Is he still giving her Christmas presents?" I said.
"He bought her a wrist watch two years ago," Matt Fox
said. "Paid sixty dollars for it."
Maxey was shaving a customer. He stopped, the razor in
his hand, the blade loaded with lather. "Well, I'll be durned,"
he said. "Then he must You reckon he was the first one,
the one that "
Matt hadn't looked around. "He aint give it to her yet,"
"Well, durn his tight-fisted time," Maxey said. "Any old
man that will fool with a young girl, he's pretty bad. But a
fellow that will trick one and then not even pay her noth-
Matt looked around now; he was shaving a customer too.
"What would you say if you heard that the reason he aint
give it to her is that he thinks she is too young to receive
jewelry from anybody that aint kin to her?"
"You mean, he dont know? He dont know what every-
body else in this town except maybe Mr and Mrs Burchett
has knowed for three years?"
Matt went back to work again, his elbow moving steady,
the razor moving in little jerks. "How would he know?
Aint anybody but a woman going to tell him. And he dont
know any women except Mrs Cowan. And I reckon she
thinks he's done heard."
"That's a fact," Maxey says.
That was how things were when he went off on his vaca-
tion two weeks ago. I worked Jefferson in a day and a half,
and went on. In the middle of the next week I reached
Division. I didn't hurry. I wanted to give him time. It was
on a Wednesday morning I got there.
IF THERE HAD BEEN love once, a man would have said that
Hawkshaw had forgotten her. Meaning love, of course.
When I first saw him thirteen years ago (I had just gone on
the road then, making North Mississippi and Alabama with
a line of work shirts and overalls) behind a chair in the
barber shop in Porterfield, I said, "Here is a bachelor born.
Here is a man who was born single and forty years old."
A little, sandy-complected man with a face you would
not remember and would not recognize again ten minutes
later, in a blue serge suit and a black bow tie, the kind that
snaps together in the back, that you buy already tied in the
store. Maxey told me he was still wearing that serge suit and
tie when he got off the south-bound train in Jefferson a
year later, carrying one of these imitation leather suitcases.
And when I saw him again in Jefferson in the next year,
behind a chair in Maxey 's shop, if it had not been for the
chair I wouldn't have recognized him at all. Same face, same
tie; be damned if it wasn't like they had picked him up,
chair, customer and all, and set him down sixty miles away
without him missing a lick. I had to look back out the win-
dow at the square to be sure I wasn't in Porterfield myself
any time a year ago. And that was the first time I realized
that when I had made Porterfield about six weeks back, he
had not been there.
It was three years after that before I found out about him.
I would make Division about five times a year a store and
four or five houses and a sawmill on the State line between
Mississippi and Alabama. I had noticed a house there. It was
a good house, one of the best there, and it was always closed.
138 The Village
When I would make Division in the late spring or the early
summer there would always be signs of work around the
house. The yard would be cleaned up of weeds, and the
flower beds tended to and the fences and roof fixed. Then
when I would get back to Division along in the fall or the
winter, the yard would be grown up in weeds again, and
maybe some of the pickets gone off the fence where folks
had pulled them off to mend their own fences or maybe for
firewood; I dont know. And the house would be always
closed; never any smoke at the kitchen chimney. So one day
I asked the storekeeper about it and he told me.
It had belonged to a man named Starnes, but the family
was all dead. They were considered the best folks, because
they owned some land, mortgaged. Starnes was one of these
lazy men that was satisfied to be a landowner as long as he
had enough to eat and a little tobacco. They had one daugh-
ter that went and got herself engaged to a young fellow,
son of a tenant farmer. The mother didn't like the idea, but
Starnes didn't seem to object. Maybe because the young
fellow (his name was Stribling) was a hard worker; maybe
because Starnes was just too lazy to object. Anyway, they
were engaged and Stribling saved his money and went to
Birmingham to learn barbering. Rode part of the way in
wagons and walked the rest, coming back each summer to
see the girl.
Then one day Starnes died, sitting in his chair on the
porch; they said that he was too lazy to keep on breathing,
and they sent for Stribling. I heard he had built up a good
trade of his own in the Birmingham shop, saving his money;
they told me he had done picked out the apartment and
paid down on the furniture and all, and that they were to be
married that summer. He came back. All Starnes had ever
raised was a mortgage, so Stribling paid for the burial. It
cost a right smart, more than Starnes was worth, but Mrs
Starnes had to be suited. So Stribling had to start saving
But he had already leased the apartment and paid down
on the furniture and the ring and he had bought the wedding
license when they sent for him again in a hurry. It was the
girl this time. She had some kind of fever. These backwoods
folks: you know how it is. No doctors, or veterinaries, if
they are. Cut them and shoot them: that's all right. But let
them get a bad cold and maybe they'll get well or maybe
they'll die two days later of cholera. She was delirious when
Stribling got there. They had to cut all her hair off. Strib-
ling did that, being an expert you might say; a professional
in the family. They told me she was one of these thin, un-
healthy girls anyway, with a lot of straight hair not brown
and not yellow.
She never knew him, never knew who cut off her hair.
She died so, without knowing anything about it, without
knowing even that she died, maybe. She just kept on saying,
"Take care of maw. The mortgage. Paw wont like it to be
left so. Send for Henry (That was him: Henry Stribling;
Hawkshaw: I saw him the next year in Jefferson. "So you're
Henry Stribling," I said). The mortgage. Take care of maw.
Send for Henry. The mortgage. Send for Henry." Then
she died. There was a picture of her, the only one they had.
Hawkshaw sent it, with a lock of the hair he had cut off, to
an address in a farm magazine, to have the hair made into
a frame for the picture. But they both got lost, the hair and
the picture, in the mail somehow. Anyway he never got
either of them back.
He buried the girl too, and the next year (he had to go
back to Birmingham and get shut of the apartment which he
had engaged and let the furniture go so he could save again)
he put a headstone over her grave. Then he went away
again and they heard how he had quit the Birmingham shop.
140 The Village
He just quit and disappeared, and they all saying how in
time he would have owned the shop. But he quit, and next
April, just before the anniversary of the girl's death, he
showed up again. He came to see Mrs Starnes and went
away again in two weeks.
After he was gone they found out how he had stopped
at the bank at the county seat and paid the interest on the
mortgage. He did that every year until Mrs Starnes died.
She happened to die while he was there. He would spend
about two weeks cleaning up the place and fixing it so she
would be comfortable for another year, and she letting him,
being as she was better born than him; being as he was one
of these parveynoos. Then she died too. "You know what
Sophie said to do," she says. "That mortgage. Mr Starnes
will be worried when I see him."
So he buried her too. He bought another headstone, to
suit her. Then he begun to pay the principal on the mort-
gage. Starnes had some kin in Alabama. The folks in Divi-
sion expected the kin to come and claim the place. But maybe
the kin were waiting until Hawkshaw had got the mortgage
cleared. He made the payment each year, coming back and
cleaning up the place. They said he would clean up that
house inside like a woman, washing and scrubbing it. It
would take him two weeks each April. Then he would go
away again, nobody knew where, returning each April to
make the payment at the bank and clean up that empty
house that never belonged to him.
He had been doing that for about five years when I saw
him in Maxey's shop in Jefferson, the year after I saw him
in a shop in Porterfield, in that serge suit and that black
bow tie. Maxey said he had them on when he got off the
south-bound train that day in Jefferson, carrying that paper
suitcase. Maxey said they watched him for two days about
the square, him not seeming to know anybody or to have
any business or to be in any hurry; just walking about the
square like he was just looking around.
It was the young fellows, the loafers that pitch dollars all
day long in the clubhouse yard, waiting for the young girls
to come giggling down to the post office and the soda foun-
tain in the late afternoon, working their hips under their
dresses, leaving the smell of perfume when they pass, that
gave him his name. They said he was a detective, maybe
because that was the last thing in the world anybody would
suspect him to be. So they named him Hawkshaw, and
Hawkshaw he remained for the twelve years he stayed in
Jefferson, behind that chair in Maxey's shop. He told Maxey
he was from Alabama.
"What part?" Maxey said. "Alabama's a big place.
Birmingham?" Maxey said, because Hawkshaw looked like
he might have come from almost anywhere in Alabama
"Yes," Hawkshaw said. "Birmingham."
And that was all they ever got out of him until I hap-
pened to notice him behind the chair and to remember him
back in Porterfield.
"Porterfield?" Maxey said. "My brother-in-law owns that
shop. You mean you worked in Porterfield last year?"
"Yes," Hawkshaw said. "I was there."
Maxey told me about the vacation business. How Hawk-
shaw wouldn't take his summer vacation; said he wanted
two weeks in April instead. He wouldn't tell why. Maxey
said April was too busy for vacations, and Hawkshaw
offered to work until then, and quit. "Do you want to quit
then?" Maxey said that was in the summer, after Mrs
Burchett had brought Susan Reed to the shop for the first
"No," Hawkshaw said. "I like it here. I just want two
weeks off in April."
142 The Village
"On business?" Maxey said.
"On business," Hawkshaw said.
When Maxey took his vacation, he went to Porterfield to
visit his brother-in-law; maybe shaving his brother-in-law's
customers, like a sailor will spend his vacation in a rowboat
on an artificial lake. The brother-in-law told him Hawkshaw
had worked in his shop, would not take a vacation until
April, went off and never came back. "He'll quit you the
same way," the brother-in-law said. "He worked in a shop
in Bolivar, Tennessee, and in one in Florence, Alabama, for
a year and quit the same way. He wont come back. You
watch and see."
Maxey said he came back home and he finally got it out
of Hawkshaw how he had worked for a year each in six or
eight different towns in Alabama and Tennessee and Missis-
sippi. "Why did you quit them?" Maxey said. "You are a
good barber; one of the best children's barbers I ever saw.
Why did you quit?"
"I was just looking around," Hawkshaw said.
Then April came, and he took his two weeks. He shaved
himself and packed up that paper suitcase and took the
"Going on a visit, I reckon," Maxey said.
"Up the road a piece," Hawkshaw said.
So he went away, in that serge suit and black bow tie.
Maxey told me how, two days later, it got out how Hawk-
shaw had drawn from the bank his year's savings. He
boarded at Mrs Cowan's and he had joined the church and
he spent no money at all. He didn't even smoke. So Maxey
and Matt and I reckon everybody else in Jefferson thought
that he had saved up steam for a year and was now bound
on one of these private sabbaticals among the fleshpots of
Memphis. Mitch Ewing, the depot freight agent, lived at
Mrs Cowan's too. He told how Hawkshaw had bought his
ticket only to the junction-point. "From there he can go to
either Memphis or Birmingham or New Orleans," Mitch
"Well, he's gone, anyway," Maxey said. "And mark my
words, that's the last you'll see of that fellow in this town."
And that's what everybody thought until two weeks later.
On the fifteenth day Hawkshaw came walking into the shop
at his regular time, like he hadn't even been out of town,
and took off his coat and begun to hone his razors. He never
told anybody where he had been. Just up the road a piece.
Sometimes I thought I would tell them. I would make
Jefferson and find him there behind that chair. He didn't
change, grow any older in the face, any more than that Reed
girl's hair changed, for all the gum and dye she put on it.
But there he would be, back from his vacation "up the road
a piece," saving his money for another year, going to church
on Sunday, keeping that sack of peppermints for the children
that came to him to be barbered, until it was time to take
that paper suitcase and his year's savings and go back to
Division to pay on the mortgage and clean up the house.
Sometimes he would be gone when I got to Jefferson, and
Maxey would tell me about him cutting that Reed girl's
hair, snipping and snipping it and holding the mirror up for
her to see like she was an actress. "He dont charge her,"
Matt Fox said. "He pays the quarter into the register out of
his own pocket."
"Well, that's his business," Maxey said. "All I want is the
quarter. I dont care where it comes from."
Five years later maybe I would have said, "Maybe that's
her price." Because she got in trouble at last. Or so they
said. I dont know, except that most of the talk about girls,
women, is envy or retaliation by the ones that dont dare to
and the ones that failed to. But while he was gone one April
144 The Village
they were whispering how she had got in trouble at last
and had tried to doctor herself with turpentine and was bad
Anyhow, she was off the streets for about three months;
some said in a hospital in Memphis, and when she came into
the shop again she took Matt's chair, though Hawkshaw's
was empty at the time, like she had already done before to
devil him, maybe. Maxey said she looked like a painted
ghost, gaunt and hard, for all her bright dress and such,
sitting there in Matt's chair, filling the whole shop with her
talking and her laughing and her perfume and her long,
naked-looking legs, and Hawkshaw making out he was busy
at his empty chair.
Sometimes I thought I would tell them. But I never told
anybody except Gavin Stevens. He is the district attorney,
a smart man: not like the usual pedagogue lawyer and office
holder. He went to Harvard, and when my health broke
down (I used to be a bookkeeper in a Gordonville bank and
my health broke down and I met Stevens on a Memphis
train when I was coming home from the hospital) it was
him that suggested I try the road and got me my position
with this company. I told him about it two years ago. "And
now the girl has gone bad on him, and he's too old to hunt
up another one and raise her," I said. "And some day he'll
have the place paid out and those Alabama Starnes can come
and take it, and he'll be through. Then what do you think
he will do?"
"I dont know," Stevens said.
"Maybe he'll just go off and die," I said.
"Maybe he will," Stevens said.
"Well," I said, "he wont be the first man to tilt at wind-
"He wont be the first man to die, either," Stevens said.
So LAST WEEK I went on to Division. I got there on a
Wednesday. When I saw the house, it had just been painted.
The storekeeper told me that the payment Hawkshaw had
made was the last one; that Starnes' mortgage was clear.
"Them Alabama Starnes can come and take it now," he said.
"Anyway, Hawkshaw did what he promised her, prom-
ised Mrs Starnes," I said.
"Hawkshaw?" he said. "Is that what they call him? Well,
I'll be durned. Hawkshaw. Well, I'll be durned."
It was three months before I made Jefferson again. When
I passed the barber shop I looked in without stopping. And
there was another fellow behind Hawkshaw's chair, a young
fellow. "I wonder if Hawk left his sack of peppermints," I
said to myself. But I didn't stop. I just thought, 'Well, he's
gone at last/ wondering just where he would be when old
age got him and he couldn't move again; if he would prob-
ably die behind a chair somewhere in a little three-chair
country shop, in his shirt sleeves and that black tie and those
I went on and saw my customers and had dinner, and in
the afternoon I went to Stevens' office. "I see you've got a
new barber in town," I said.
"Yes," Stevens said. He looked at me a while, then he said,
"You haven't heard?"
"Heard what?" I said. Then he quit looking at me.
"I got your letter," he said, "that Hawkshaw had paid off
the mortgage and painted the house. Tell me about it."
So I told him how I got to Division the day after Hawk-
shaw had left. They were talking about him on the porch
of the store, wondering just when those Alabama Starnes
would come in. He had painted the house himself, and he
had cleaned up the two graves; I dont reckon he wanted to
146 The Village
disturb Starnes by cleaning his. I went up to see them. He
had even scrubbed the headstones, and he had set out an
apple shoot over the girl's grave. It was in bloom, and what
with the folks all talking about him, I got curious too, to
see the inside of that house. The storekeeper had the key,
and he said he reckoned it would be all right with Hawk-
It was clean inside as a hospital. The stove was polished
and the woodbox filled. The storekeeper told me Hawkshaw
did that every year, filled the woodbox before he left.
"Those Alabama kinsfolk will appreciate that," I said. We
went on back to the parlor. There was a melodeon in the
corner, and a lamp and a Bible on the table. The lamp was
clean, the bowl empty and clean too; you couldn't even
smell oil on it. That wedding license was framed, hanging
above the mantel like a picture. It was dated April 4, 1905.
"Here's where he keeps that mortgage record," the store-
keeper (his name is Bidwell) said. He went to the table and
opened the Bible. The front page was the births and deaths,
two columns. The girl's name was Sophie. I found her name
in the birth column, and on the death side it was next to the
last one. Mrs Starnes had written it. It looked like it might
have taken her ten minutes to write it down. It looked like
Sofy starnes Dide april 16 th 1905
Hawkshaw wrote the last one himself; it was neat and
well written, like a bookkeeper's hand:
Mrs Will Starnes. April 23, 1916.
"The record will be in the back," Bidwell said.
We turned to the back. It was there, in a neat column, in
Hawkshaw's hand. It began with April 16, 1917, $200.00.
The next one was when he made the next payment at the
bank: April 16, 1918, $200.00; and April 16, 1919, $200.00;
and April 16, 1920, $200.00; and on to the last one: April
1 6, 1930, $200.00. Then he had totaled the column and
written under it:
"Paid in full. April 16, 1930."
It looked like a sentence written in a copy book in the old-
time business colleges, like it had flourished, the pen had, in
spite of him. It didn't look like it was written boastful; it
just flourished somehow, the end of it, like it had run out
of the pen somehow before he could stop it.
"So he did what he promised her he would," Stevens said.
"That's what I told Bidwell," I said.
Stevens went on like he wasn't listening to me much.
"So the old lady could rest quiet. I guess that's what the
pen was trying to say when it ran away from him: that
now she could lie quiet. And he's not much over forty-five.
Not so much anyway. Not so much but what, when he wrote
'Paid in full' under that column, time and despair rushed as
slow and dark under him as under any garlanded boy or
crownless and crestless girl."
"Only the girl went bad on him," I said. "Forty-five's
pretty late to set out to find another. He'll be fifty-five at
least by then."
Stevens looked at me then. "I didn't think you had heard,"
"Yes," I said. "That is, I looked in the barber shop when
I passed. But I knew he would be gone. I knew all the time
he would move on, once he had that mortgage cleared.
Maybe he never knew about the girl, anyway. Or likely he
knew and didn't care."
"You think he didn't know about her?"
"I dont see how he could have helped it. But I dont know.
What do you think?"
148 The Village
"I dont know. I dont think I want to know. I know some-
thing so much better than that."
"What's that?" I said. He was looking at me. "You keep
on telling me I haven't heard the news. What is it I haven't
"About the girl," Stevens said. He looked at me.
"On the night Hawkshaw came back from his last vaca-
tion, they were married. He took her with him this time."
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- Re: 福克纳的另一篇爱情小说《头发》Faulkner: Hairposted on 08/30/2009
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