by Sherwood Anderson
The Book of the Grotesque: The writer had some difficulty in getting into bed, for he had the bed fixed to be higher so that he could see out of the window. The carpenter had been a soldier in the Civil War and was once a prisoner in Andersonville prison. The writer was old, although he had life within him. He was like a pregnant woman, except instead of a child it was a young woman inside of him. He had a dream that all of the people he knew passed him, having become grotesques. They were not all horrible- some were amusing, some almost beautiful. The writer awoke and wrote a book which he called "The Book of the Grotesque." Hundreds of truths were listed in the book, and each of the grotesques snatched them up.
Hands: Wing Biddlebaum, a fat little old man, was on the porch of his house in Winesburg, Ohio. Berry pickers passed, and one yelled at him to comb his hair. Wing was only close to one person, George Willard, the reporter on the Winesburg Eagle. Wing was forever frightened and beset by doubts. He did not think of himself as part of the town. Wing lost his timidity in the presence of George Willard. He talked much with his hands. Winesburg was proud of Wing's hands in the same spirit in which it was proud of Banker White's new stone house and Wesley Moyer's bay stallion, Tony Tip. George Willard always wondered about the hands. Wing had dreams fo a pastoral golden age for men. He warned George to forget all that he had learned and begin to dream. Wing came from a town in Pennsylvania, and went by the name Adolph Myers. He was a teacher, and loved his students dearly. A tragedy came: a half-witted boy became enamored of the teacher and imagined unspeakable things adn went forth to tell them as facts. Hideous accusations fell, then there were exaggerations. A saloonkeeper, Henry Bradford, came to the schoolhouse door and beat him. He ecaped to Winesburg before he could be hanged.
Paper Pills: Dr. Reefy was an old man with a white beard and a huge nose and hands. He had married a girl with money who died within a year. The doctor had extraordinarily large knuckles. Dr. Reefy continually stuffed scraps of paper into his pockest, hard little round balls. He had one friend, John Spaniard, who owned a tree nursery. Dr. Reefy and the girl he married met when he was forty-five. She was pregnant. Her parents had died and she was left a lot of money; thus, she had a lot of suitors. One of them was a jeweler's son. He talked constantly of virginity. The other, a black-haired boy, said nothing at all but always managed to get her into the darkness and kiss her. She became afraid of the jeweler's son, and had a recurring dream in which he held her and bit into her. Thus, she gave in to the other one. When she came to Dr. Reefy, she never wanted to leave him. They were together almost every day. They married and she died later.
Mother: Elizabeth Willard, the mother of George Willard, was tall and gaunt. She was forty-five, but she had no fire in her figure. Her husband, Tom Willard, proprietor of the New Willard House, was the leading Democrat in a strongly Republican village. Between Elizabeth and her son there was a deep bond of sympathy, based on a girlhood dream that had died long ago. She wished to have something that was lost in her recreated in him. When she was ill and sat by the windoe he would often visit. They could look upon Abner Groff's bakery. Abner would always have fights with Sylvester West's cat. Once, when she was alone, Elizabeth went after seeing the baker and the cat. One July evening, Elizabeth had an adventure. She had been ill for several days and her son had not come to visit her. She went to see her son, despite her great fear of being seen by hotel guests. She knelt upon the floor and listened at his room. She realized he was safe and turned back. The door opened and Tom Willard came out. He was yelling at George because Will Henderson had commented on his strange behavior. Elizabeth thought that something was threatening her son, and began to hate her husband. She always had, but the hate was not personal. She decided to stab him with a pair of scissors. Elizabeth always had a reputation of being 'stage-struck.' George came to her, and he told her that he was going to leave because of his father. She reprimanded him, but was overjoyed that he was escaping.
The Philosopher: Dr. Parcival was a large man with a drooping mouth covered by a yellow mustache. He always wore a dirty white waistcoat and smoked stogies. He had a liking for George Willard. In the late afternoon Will Henderson, the Eagle editor, went over to Tom Willy's saloon. Will Henderson was a sensualist who enjoyed talking of women. Dr. Parcival appeared immediately after Will Henderson went to the saloon to talk to George. He explained to George that he calls himself a doctor but sees very few patients. Parcival came from Chicago five years before; he arrived drunk and got into a fight with Albert Longworth, the baggageman. Parcival told George that he was a reporter like him in Iowa (maybe Illinois). He made it seem as if he was involved in a crime. He mentioned a Dr. Cronin who was murdered in Chicago. Parcival told George that his father was insane in a Dayton asylum. His brother was a railroad painter and had a job on the Big Four and would always return home drunk and laid his money on the kitchen table. He never said a kind word to anybody, but always did provide for his family. Dr. Parcival studied to be a minister, he said, and blessed his father at the asylum when he died. The men working in the asylum treated him as a king when they found out he was a reporter. Dr. Parcival told George that his object was to fill him with hatred and contempt so that he would be a superior being. One August day Dr. Parcival had an adventure in Winesburg. A little girl was thrown from a buggy and was killed. Parcival refused to come down and see the child, and was unnecessarily rude. He came to George Willard, thinking he would be hanged for his actions. He told George that everyone in the world is Christ and they are all crucified.
Nobody Knows: George arose from his desk and hurried out the back door. He had set forth upon an adventure. He found Louise Trunnion in the kitchen of her father's house. She was washing dishes by the light of a kerosene lamp. George had received a letter from her earlier saying "I'm yours if you want me." She came out of the front door still wearing her gingham dress. She spoke to her half-deaf father, Jake. They passed Williams' barn. They went to Will Overton's berry field. When George got back to Main Street it was past ten. George worried that people might know.
Godliness: A Tale in Four Parts
Part One: There were always three or four old people sitting on the front porch of Jesse Bentley's farm. The farmhouse was a cluster of houses joined together in a haphazard manner. There were four hired men, a woman named Aunt Callie Beebe, in charge of housekeeping, and the dull-witted Eliza Stoughton. By the time of the Civil War, Ohio had begun to emerge from pioneer life. The Bentley family had been in Northern Ohio for sevearl generations. They came from New Yrok State. There was little in their lives that wasn't hard or brutal. Once Enoch Bentley, the older one of the boys, struck his father, Tom Bentley, with the butt of a whip, and he almost died. Jesse came home to the farm from the war and began to take charge of things. He became a Presbyterian minister. He was an 'odd sheep' who looked womanish. His wife, Katherine Bentley, was delicate, and Jesse was hard with her. Although Jesse was delicately built there was something strong within him. He was a fanatic, a man born out of his time and place. He had the trick of mastering the souls of people. He wanted the farm to produce as no farm in his state had ever produced. He felt that it was God's work. One evening, when Katherine was giving birth, Jesse left his house and went for a long walk. He came to the valley and a low hill. A fantastc impulse took possession of Jesse. Into his mind came the conviction that all the Ohio farmers were Philistines and enemies of God. He wondered if there could be a modern day Goliath to defeat him. Thus, he called out to God to send him a son to be called David.
Part Two: David Hardy was the grandson of Jesse Bentley. When he was twelve he went to the Bentley place to live. His mother, Louise Bentley, was the girl who was born that fateful evening. She marrid John Hardy, a Winesburg banker. Louise was prone to fits of temper, and was a drinker. Louise could not be made happy. She once deliberately set fire to the house and hid herself away for days in her room. David was always a quiet, orderly boy and thought to be a dullard. David was contented whenever he visited the Bentley farm and often wished he would never have to go back to town. He once decided to run away from home and go to his grandfather, but got lost. He was found by a farmer and brought home. There were reports that David was kidnapped. Whenever David returned Louise was kind to him. During the last years of his childhood, David saw little of his mother. She was just a woman with whom he lived. She was more pleasant after her son had returned from running away. Jesse eventually came to take David to live with him. Jesse's sisters helped care for him. Jesse felt that his prayers had been answered. There were two influences at work in Jesse Bentley. THere was the old man-of-God thing. He still believed that God might make him manifest out of the wind or clouds. Jesse also hungered for something else- material success. Life began to reveal itself for David. He could even make Henry Strader, an old man, laugh. Jesse took his grandson driving in a distant part of the valley. They got out of the buggy and walked along the bank of the stream. David was excited to see a rabbit. Jesse dropped to the ground to pray. Jesse became terrified, for his grandfather seemed brutal and dangerous. He called to God. David ran, and fell, hurting himself. Jesse felt that God did not approve of him because of his grandson's reaction.
Part III: Surrender: The story of Louise Bentley is one of misunderstanding. Louise was from childhood a neurotic. When she was fifteen she went to live with the family of Albert Hardy, who had a store for the sale of buggies and wagons. She went into school to be a student at Winesburg High School. Albert Hardy was an enthusiast for education. He had two daughters and one son, and more than once his daughters threatened to leave school matter. Harriet, the younger, hated anyone who liked books. Louise was not happy there. Louise won the disfavor of the two Hardy girls, Harriet and Mary, by her application to her studies. She troubled them by her proficiency. Albert often scolded the two girls for not applying themselves like Louise did. The girls were cruel to her. Louise considered making friends with John Hardy because he was never mean to her. She wanted to be close to him. She went to see him, but found Mary Hardy and her young man in the dark parlor. Louise wrote a note to John Hardy saying that she wanted to meet him. She wanted to be possessed. John Hardy came to her three weeks later. Louise took him to be her lover. They married when they thought she was pregnant.
Part IV: Terror: When David Hardy was a tall boy of fifteen, he had an adventure that changed his lief. He left Winesburg and no one ever saw him again. His grandfather and mother died, and his father became rich. Jesse defied conventional wisdom and bought area to grow cabbage and onions. He bought two more farms with the profit. For the first time in his life, he went among men smiling. In the fall of that year David spent every moment out in the open. David made himself a sling with rubber bands and a forked stick and went off to gather nuts. One day he killed a squirrel. One Saturday morning when he was about to set off for the woods his grandfather stopped him. He had a strained and serious look that frightened David. The two set out in the old phaeton drawn by a white horse. They passed a flock of sheep. David and Jesse caught a lamb that was born out of season. Jesse thought upon David's future as he prepared to sacrifice the lamb. David wanted to escape. He held the lamb. Jesse muttered that he must put the lamb's blood on David's head. Jesse took a long knife from his pocket. Terror seized upon the boy's soul. Jesse pursued the lamb as David ran away. David hit Jesse using his slingshot. He thought that he killed him, but he did not. David never returned after that.
A Man of Ideas: Joe Welling lived with his mother in Winesburg. His father was a lawyer and a member of the state legislature at Columbus. Joe was small of body and unlike anyone else in town. He was like a tiny little volcano that lies silent for days and then suddenly spouts fire. He was a man subject to fits of ideas. In those days the Standard Oil Company did not deliver oil to the customer in big wagons, but instead to retail grocers, hardware stores, adn teh like. Joe was the Standard Oil agent in Winesburg. In Sylvester West's drugstore stood four men who talked of horse racing. Wesley Moyer's stallion was to race at the June meeting at Tiffin, and there was a rumor that he would meet the stiffest competition of his career. It was said that Pop Geers, the great racing driver, would himself be there. Joe Welling came in and spoke to Ed Thomas, who knew Pop Geers. Joe told them that the water is up in Wine Creek, and thus they know that it rained in Medina County. Joe then went to Hern's Grocery. George Willard was always besieged by Joe Welling, for Joe envied teh boy. Joe told George that he felt that decay is fire. Joe Welling's mother died, he came to live at the New Willard House, he became involved in a love affair, and he organized the Winesburg Baseball Club. Joe was fascinated by baseball, and the opposing playesr were fascinated by Joe. Joe fell in love with Sarah King, a sad-looking woman who lived with her father and brother. Edward King, the father, and Tom King, the son, were not popular in Winesburg. They were called proud and dangerous. Tom was reported to have killed a man before he came to Winesburg. Once he killed Win Pawsey's dog with a stick. Edward King was small of stature and laughed a queer unmirthful laugh. Sarah King was tale and pale and had dark rings under her eyes. Late on a Saturday night, Joe met with the two kings in his room at the New Willard house. George witnessed the meeting. Joe swept them off their feet in a tidal wave of words. He had an idea that if everything in the county was swept away and they could get nothing else, people would still find a way to survive. Joe left with them, talking of milkweed.
Adventure: Alice Hindman, a woman of twenty-seven when George Willard was a mere boy, had lived in Winesburg all of her life. She clerked at Winney's Dry Goods Store. Her step-father was a carriage father and given to drink. When Alice was sixteen, she had an affair with a young man, Ned Currie. He was older than Alice, and employed on the Winesburg Eagle. Together thw two walked under the trees through the streets of the town and talked of what they would do with their lives. Ned Currie went away to Cleveland where he hoped to get a place on a city newspaper and rise in the world. Alice wanted to go with him and get a job there, then eventually marry. Ned promised to return to her. The two made love the night before he left. Ned did not succeed in Cleveland so he went west to Chicago. He boarded at a house where there were several women. He forgot about Alice. Alice grew to be a woman. She felt that she could never marry again. She became attached to inanimate objects because they could be her own. Eventually she realized that her youth and beauty had passed. When she was twenty-five, her mother married Bush Milton, the carriage painter, and she became a member of the Winesburg Methodist Church. Alice joined teh church because she had become frightened by the loneliness of her life. She also joined the religious Epworth League. Will Hurley offered to walk her home one day, and she allowed him to do so because she wanted to be in the presence of people. Alice became restless when she was twenty-seven. She arranged her pilows to form the shape of a man in her bed and spoke to it. Alice went upstairs and undressed in the darkness. She felt a desire to run naked through the streets. She thought that the rain would have some creative and wonderful effect on her body. She saw a man and called to him. Alice returned home and cried.
Respectability: Wash Williams was the ugliest thing in town. His girth was immense, his neck thin, and his legs feeble. He was dirty- everything except his hands. Wash was the best telegraph operator in the state in his youth. Wash was a man of courage. He hated life and hated it whole-heartedly. He hated women and called them 'bitches.' He pitied men for being controlled by 'bitches.' No attention was paid to Wash Williams. Once he insulted the banker's white, but his superintendent ignored the complaint. Wash once had a wife when he was in Dayton. He told the story to George Willard. George went one evening to walk with belle Carpenter, a trimmer of women's hats who worked in a millinery shop kept by Mrs. Kate McHugh. Belle had as a suitor a bartender in Ed Griffiths's saloon. As they were walking they saw Wash Williams asleep on the grass beneath a tree. On the next evening the operator and George Willard walked out together by the railroad tracks. George asked if his wife was dead. He said that she was- a living-dead thing. He decided to tell George the story, for he had seen him kissing Belle Carpenter. Wash married a tall blonde girl. He was virginal until his marriage. Wash loved his wife, and still does. Yet after two years of marriage he found that she acquired three lovers who came to her while he worked. He sent her to her mother. Her mother sent for him, and when he came to Dayton, he sat in the parlor for two hours. The wife came in naked, and the mother coaxed her. Wash struck the mother once with a chair. He wanted to kill her, but before he had the chance she died of a fever.
The Thinker: Seth Richmond lived with his mother in a house which was once the showplace of the town. Banker White built a house that overshadowed it. Seth was irritated by the berry-pickers who made rude jokes and chattered. He regretted that he could not laugh boisterously, shout meaningless jokes and make of himself a figure in the endless stream of moving, giggling activity. The Richmond house was built of limestone by Seth's grandfather, a stone quarryman. It was left to Clarence Richmond, Seth's father, who had been killed in a street fight with a newspaper editor in Toledo. Virginia Richmond settled down to a retired life in the village. The relationship between Seth and his mother had a quality that began to color all of his traffic with men. The son thought with remarkable clearness and the mother did not. Virginia Richmond could not understand why her son did not tremble and weep whenever she scolded him. When Seth was sixteen, he and two other boys ran away from home. One of the boys had a bottle filled with whiskey and blackberry wine, and the three sat with legs dangling out of the car dood drinking from the bottle. After Seth disappeared, Virginia walked up and down her home filled with vague alarms. She felt that her son would meet a violent end like his father. Seth returned at the end of the week. She did not reprimand him. ON a summer evening Seth Richmond went to visit George Willard. The sky had partially cleared and a golden glow lit up the west. Seth was called the 'deep one' in Winesburg, like his father. George was older than Seth, but George admired Seth. George talked continually about being a writer. He wanted to write a love story, so he wanted to fall in love with Helen White. He sent Seth to talk to Helen White and tell her that he was in love with her. Seth planned to go see her, but not talk about George. Seth saw Turk Smollet, the half dangerous wood chopper. He realized that he was somewhat of an outcast. Seth went to the house of Banker White and stood in the darkness by the front door. He talked to Helen, and told her that he was going to Columbus to try to get into the State University. The two took a walk. They watched a man and a woman, Belle Turner, kiss. George told Helen that George Willard was in love with her. Seth began to regret the decision to get out of town. Seth wished to kiss Helen. Helen was impressed by Seth. A wave of sentiment swept over Helen. Seth felt that Helen would never love somebody like him- but somebody like foolish George Willard
Tandy: Until she was seven years old she lived in an old unpainted house on an unused road that led off Trunion Pike. Her father gave her little attention and her motherwas dead. The father spent his time talking and thinking of religion. He was an agnostic. A tall, red-haired drunk came to Winesburg and saw in the child what the father did not see. He sometimes sat in a chair before the New Willard House talking to Tom Hard, the father. The stranger was the son of a rich merchant of Cleveland and had come to Winesburg to cure himself of drinking. The dullness of the town made him drink even harder. He told Tom Hard that he was also addicted to love. There was a woman coming whom he missed, for he did not come in her time. He knew all about her struggles and defeats. He made up a name for her 'quality'- Tandy. He told Tom Hard's daughter to be Tandy. She forever after wanted to be called Tandy Hard.
The Strength of God: Reverend Curtis Hartman was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Winesburgh. He was forty, and silent and reticent. He was tall with a brown beard. His wife was a stout and nervous woman and the daughter of an underwear manufacturer at Cleveland. The elders of the church liked him beause he was quiet and unpretentious and because Mrs. White, the banker's wife, liked him. The Presbyterian Chruch held itself somewhat aloof from the other Winesburg churches. For a good many years things went well for Curtis Hartman in Winesburg. The room in the church's bell tower, where on Sunday mornings he prayed, had one window. On the window was a design showing the Christ laying his hand upon the head of a child. One Sunday morning he sat with a large Bible opened before him and was shocked to see a woman lying in her bed and smoking a cigarette while she read a book. He was horrified to think that he looked from the Bible to the bare shoulders of a woman. He preached a long sermon afterwards which attracted unusual attention because of its power and clarity. The house was occupied by two women, Aunt Elizabeth Swift, a widow with money, and her daughter Kate Smith, a thirty year old school teacher. She had a reputation for having a sharp tongue. Reverend Hartman's experience with women had been somewhat limited. He was the son of a wagon maker from Muncie, Indiana. He did not want to think of women other thanhis wife. He used a stone to break a hole in the window through which he could see Kate Swift's room. Elizabeth Swift raised the shade. The piece of glass that fell from the hole nipped the bare heel of the boy standing motionless and looking with eyes into the face of God. He gave a speech to the parishioners about how even a minister is fallible. The minister began to be a lover to Sarah Hartman, his wife. He began to watch Kate Swift even more. Three times during the early fall adn winter Curtis Hartman crept out of his house to the bell tower room to look at Kate Swift. He decided to try to train himself not to look through the hole. One January night he paid his last visit to the room. It was past nine and forgot to put on his overshoes. Hop Higgings the night watchman was the only one abroad and George Willard was the only other awake. Reverend Hartman wanted to get into business because he felt that he could not resist sin. He felt that he should throw his wife away and seek other women, including the choolteacher. Hartman watched her, arose with a cry (while a Bible fell). He stumbled down the stairway into the street. He talked incoherently to George Willard. He felt that God had appeared to him in the person of Kate Swift kneeling naked on a bed. He held up a bleeding fist, having smashed the glass of the window.
The Teacher: It was snowing in Winesburg. George Willard had nothing to do and did not feel like working. He was thinking of Kate Swift, who was once his schoolteacher. On the evening before he had gone to her house to get a book she wanted him to read and had ben alone with her for an hour. He began to believe she might be in love with him. He began to have lustful thoughts about Kate Swift and then Helen White. Hop Higgins was partially awake. He stumbled up and down Main Street. Hop had been a soldier in the Civil War and drew a small pension. He aspired to be a professional breeder of ferrets. George Willard was awake, along with Reverend Hartman and kate Swift. Kate set out on a walk at ten, as if the two thinking of her had driven her out. Kate was not known as a pretty woman. During the afternoon she had been to Dr. Welling concerning her health. The doctor thought that she was in danger of losing her hearing. She did not remember the words of the doctor and would not have turned back had she remembered. She walked along Trunion Pike to Ned Winters' barn and followed a street that led over Gospel Hill and into Sucker Road to Waterworks Pond. There was something biting and forbidding in the character of Kate Swift. She was silent and cold, yet very close to her pupils. Once, when telling a story, she made Sugars McNutts, a fat boy with red cheeks, laugh so hard that he became dizzy and fell off his seat. Kate Swift thought of George Willard. She recognized the spark of genius within him and wanted to blow on the spark. Kate Swift went into the office of the Winesburg Eagle, intending to have a talk with the boy. She saw the light from the printshop window and went in. She sat by the stove talking of life. She told George that if she stayed any longer, she would kiss him. So she left. Reverend Hartman then came in and proclaimed that Kate Swift was an instrument of God. The words of the minister rang in his ears when he had gone home. He felt that he had missed something Kate Swift was trying to tell him.
Loneliness: Enoch Robinson was the son of Mrs. Al Robinson, who once owned a farm on a side road leading off Trunion Pike. When he was twenty-one, Enoch went to New York City and was a city man for fifteen years. He studied French and went to an art school, hoping to develop a faculty he had for drawing. Nothing ever turned out for him, for he never grew up. In New York, Enoch went about a good deal with young men, a group of young artists. The room in which Enoch lived was long and narrow like a hallway. In the evening his friends came to his place and talked of art. Enoch mostly sat in a corner and listened. On the walls were pictures he had made, and his friends talked of these. He wanted them to see what he saw in them, but was too afraid. He eventually did not invite people over anymore. He got married after he began to get lonely and want contact with people. He married a girl who sat in a chair next to his in the art school and went to live in a Brooklyn apartment. Another phase of Enoch's life began. He played with realities. Enoch's marriage did not turn out, for he himself brought it to an end. He began to feel choked and walled in by the life in the apartment. Then his mother died and he got eight thousand dollars from the bank that acted as the trustee of her estate. He gave the money to his wife and left. He stayed in New York and played with his imaginary people. Enoch was happy, until a woman affected him. He told George Willard of this when he returned to Winesburg. He was afraid of this woman when she knocked at the door. He began to tell her about his people. He swore at her and said vile words. He realized that he was alone.
An Awakening: Belle Carpenter had a dark skin, grey eyes, and thick lips. She worked in the millinery shop kept by Mrs. Kate McHugh. She was the daughter of Henry Carpenter, bookkeeper in the First National Bank of Winesburg. When she was a young girl Henry made life unbearable for Belle. He made her perform petty tasks. He was afraid of his daughter, for she realized how cruelly he treated her mother. Belle Carpenter occasionally walked out in the evening with George Willard. She secretly loved another man, Ed Handby, a bartender in Ed Griffiths' saloon. She kept company with George because she was uncertani about Ed. Handby had inherited a large farm from an uncle in Indiana. He spent his money recklessly in Sandusky. He got into a fight and ran amuck at Cedar Point. One January night George Willard went on a walk. Early that evening he went into Ransom Surbeck's pool room with Seth Richmond and Art Wilson, the son of the town butcher. He listened to them talk. George talked with himself on this walk. He began to have somewhat profound thoughts. He was in the section of town of day laborers. A dog attacked him and had to be driven away with stones. He went to see Belle Carpenter. Ed Handby had been there, warning her to stay away from George Willard. Belle Carpenter and the young repeorter walked about under the trees in the sweet night air. He felt that Belle was about to surrender herself to him. She did not resist. Ed Handby appeared and threw George aside. George was persistent, but Ed would only casually throw him away. Ed and Belle left together, ignoring George.
"Queer:" Elmer Cowley, the junior member of Cowley & Son's store, could see through a dirty window into the printshop of the Winesburg Eagle. The store sold everything and nothing. Ebenezer Cowley was tall and lean and looked unwashed. He wore a long Prince Albert coat. Before he became a merchant he was a farmer. Ebenezer had a weakness with salesmen. Elmer screamed when a merchant peddling collar buttons came in to sell his wares. Elmer screamed at his father, telling him that he thinks that the two have been queer long enough. He said "Well, I'll be washed and ironed and starched." He felt scorn for George Willard, for he thought that George Willard felt he was weird. George represented the town for Elmer Cowley. Elmer was extraordinarily tall and his arms were long and powerful. He had eyes the color of 'aggies' (blue marbles). He had lived in Winesburg in a year and made no friends. Sullenly he tramped along the road in the cold. He returned to the farm where he had lived through boyhood and saw Mook, the half-witted old fellow who stayed on the farm when it was sold. Mook lived happily, believing in the intelligence of animals. He ws the one who made up the saying about being washed and ironed. Elmer worried about how father and mother were queer. He talked to Mook. When Elmer left, Mook told the cows that Elmer was crazy. Elmer went into the Eagle office where George Willard sat writing. He told George to go outside, but could say nothing else. Elmer wished to run away to Cleveland, where he could be normal. Elmer went into the office of the New Willard house and told them to wake George up. Elmer could only say, "Well, I'll be washed and ironed and startched." He gave Elmer twenty dollars.
The Untold Lie: Ray Pearson and Hal Wintesr were farm hands employed on a farm north of Winesburg. On Saturday afternoons they came into town and wandered about through the streets with other fellows. Ray was a quiet, rather nervous man, altogether serious. He had a little sharp-featured wife and six children. Hal was the son of Windpeter Winters. Windpeter had a tragic death; he got drunk one evening and started to drive home to Unionville along the railroad tracks. A train struck him. Hal was a bad one, the worst of the lot. He once stole a load of boards and sold them in Winesburg. He came to work on the Wills farm because there was a country school teacher who had taken his fancy. One day, Ray and Hal, were at work in late October. Hal asked Ray about marriage, because he got Nell Gunther in trouble. Ray was almost a foot shorter than Hal, and the younger man put his hands on the older one's shoulders. Hal asked for advice, knowing that Ray would advise him to marry the girl. Ray could not say it. When Ray reached home, his wife pestered him for puttering about the house. He went out into the fields and cried that he didn't promise Minnie (his wife) anything and Hal didn't make a promise to Nell. Ray ran to find Hal and tell him. When he found Hal, Hal told him that he was going to marry Nell because he loved her. Ray realized it was a lie.
Drink: Tom Foster came to Winesburg from Cincinnati when he was still young. His grandmother had been raised on a farm near the town. She was a capable little thing who had been in Kansas, Canada, and New York City. Tom's father was killed by a policeman during a strike and his mother became an invalid and also died. The grandmother saved a little but it was swept away by the illness. She came back to Winesburg as soon as she got the chance. Mrs. White employed the grandmother to work in the kitchen and Tom got a place as stable by in the barn. Servants were hard to get in Winesburg. Tom Foster was rather small for his age and had a large head covered with stiff black hair that stood straight up. He was gentle for his age, and never asserted himself. Tom only once stole, while he was in the city and his grandmother was sick. He stole a dollar seventy five from a harness shop. Tom lived in the banker's stable for a year and then lost his place there. He didn't take very good care of the horses and was a constant source of irritation to the banker's wife. He rented a room at the rear of a little frame building belonging to old Rufus Whiting. It was once used as a law office by the old man, who liked Tom. Tom's grandmother talked with great vigor. Tom enjoyed life in Winesburg. The most absurd little things made him happy. One night he got drunk. He never had been drunk before, and he felt he needed to be drunk that one time. He did not think well of sex because of the awful way in which it was presented to him. Tom forgot about sex until he came to Winesburg, for on all sides he saw youth making love and he himself was a youth. He thought of Helen White. Tom was wild on the night he got drunk. George Willard found Tom and took him into the Eagle printshop. Tom confused him, for Tom spoke of Helen White and said he had been with her and made love to her. George became angry with him for sullying Helen's good name. Tom explained that he wanted to suffer, to be hurt, for it was like making love. He wanted to learn.
Death: Dr. Reefy's office was as large as a barn. A pile of rubbish belonging to the Paris Dry Goods company was there. At middle age Dr. Reefy was tall and awkward. On summer afternoons, Elizabeth Willard sometimes went to Dr. Reefy's office, ostensibly because of her health, but also because she wanted to see him. Dr. Reefy felt that Elizabeth and he worshipped the same gods. They talked often with each other; each time she visited Elizabeth talked a little more freely. She wept in her hotel room while she thought of what Dr. Reefy told her. She could not remember her mother who had died when she was five. Her father was a man who had wanted to be let alone. She tried to be a real adventurer in life. She married Tom Willard because he was at hand and wanted to marry when she did. She wondered if she married because she had spent hours talking to her dying father, who abused Tom Willard. He gave her a box with eight hundred dollars, and told her to not marry Tom or any other Winesburg man, but instead to take it and go away. If she did marry, he told her to keep the money hidden. Elizabeth, at forty-one, felt she was a fool for marrying. Dr. Reefy had begun to love her. She told him that she could not bring herself to tell Tom about the eight hundred dollars. She cried and Dr. Reefy held her. He did not see her until after her death. A clerk from the Paris Dry Goods Company interrupted them. She spent the last few months of her life hungering for death. She did one day in March when George was eighteen. When she did, George received a note to meet Helen White. Even Tom grieved. George thought of Helen White as he watched his mother. He felt that his mother was still alive. Aunt Elizabeth Swift took him away. The eight hundred dollars lay in the tin box behind the plaster by the foot of her bed. Release came for Elizabeth from Death and Dr. Reefy, her two lovers.
Sophistication: It was the evening of the fall Winesburg County Fair. George Willard concealed himself in the stairway leading to Dr. Reefy's office. He was fast growing to manhood and about to leave Winesburg to go away to some city where he could work at a newspaper. The sadness of sophistication came to the boy. When the moment of sophistication came to George Willard his mind turned to Helen White. She also had come to a period fo change. She had come home from Cleveland, where she was attending college. George felt that he, as a scholar, should marry a woman with money. He boasted that he would be the biggest man ever from Winesburg. He felt that she would marry Seth Richmond, and now he knew that she wouldn't. George vowed to go to Helen's house. She was restless and George's talk wearied her. He wanted to appear cosmopolitan. The two climbed the hill to the Fair Ground coming by the path past Waterworks Pond. George felt his own insignificance in the scheme of existence. He had reverene for Helen, wanting to be in love and to be loved by her. They kissed. Mutual respect grew big in them. They then behaved like children.
Departure: George got out of bed at four in the morning in April. He had been awak thinking of his journey. The westbound train leaves Winesburg at seven forty-five. Tom Little is the conductor. Tom Willard accompanied George. More than a dozen people waited about. Will Henderson was there. Gertrude Wilmot from the post office, came along teh station platform. Helen White came running along Main Street, hoping to have a parting word with him. Tom gave some fatherly advice. He thought of little things, such as Turk Smollet and Butcher Wheeler. Winesburg had disappeared and his life there had become a background on which to paint the dreams of his manhood.
ddlebaum, a fat little old man, was on the porch of his house in Winesburg, Ohio. Berry pickers passed, and one yell