Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again

Time and Time Again

Excerpt

TOWARD MIDNIGHT CHARLES ANDERSON FINISHED SOME notes on a talk he had had with a newspaper editor at lunch -- nothing very important, but he thought he ought to keep Bingay decently informed. The hour and the completion of the task seemed to call for a drink, so he went to the bathroom for some water and then to his suitcase for the silver flask that he always carried on these junkets and tried to keep replenished. He was not much of a whisky drinker (so he would say of himself when he ordered wine), but he liked a nightcap either in bed before turning out the light or during that last half hour of dressinggowned pottering when he would tidy up the affairs of the day both in his mind and on his desk. He was tidy by nature, and years of experience had made him save, whenever possible, some small but relaxing job for a final one, even if it were only an entry in his diary or a jotting for the book he was one day going to write.

Tonight, however, there was no doubt as to what the job should be. He had been thinking of it, off and on and with increasing satisfaction, all day; it had been a sort of protective armor at moments when he had needed it. And now, with the drink at his elbow and the sounds of the city pleasantly audible from beyond the closed and curtained windows, he took a sheet of hotel notepaper and wrote:

MY DEAR GERALD,

As you may have seen from the very small print in the . . .

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