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As I Lay Dying In Reno

“She’s dying! We can’t be disturbing her,” Myrtle told Patrick, the boy who’d been cutting Mrs. Jones’ grass every three weeks for several years. Jocelyn Jones was a transplanted Englishwoman who’d been living in Nevada longer than anyone could figure out with any degree of accuracy. “Still, someone has to cut the grass. It ain’t dying, it’s growing!” Patrick said in a low voice. “Please, go ask her. I need the bucks. I got a girl.” Against her better judgment, Myrtle knocked gently on the bedroom door “Yes, Myrtle? said Jocelyn Jones. “It’s me, Mrs. Jones, now don’t you worry,” Myrtle said as she closed the door behind her. “I just have a little question for you. It’s Patrick. He’s in the kitchen.” “Patrick? Who’s Patrick?” “Patrick, who cuts the grass. He wants to cut the grass,” Myrtle said. “I told him you were indisposed at the moment, but…you know boys. Says he’s got a girlfriend these days.” “Oh, that Patrick. Such a charming boy, I always thought. How old is he these days?” “I’ll tell him it’s okay,” Myrtle said.  “Can I bring you anything, Mrs. Jones?” “I don’t know. Did I take lunch, Myrtle?” “Yes, Mrs. Jones. You had a nice lunch and ate everything,” Myrtle said. “What was it, Myrtle?” “It was rice, broccoli, and chicken in mushroom gravy, Mrs. Jones,” Myrtle said. “Oh yes, I remember. Then I think I shall wait. I’ll wait for dinnertime.” Myrtle left the room to go tell Patrick he could cut the grass. After talking to Patrick a moment, she answered her phone. “Just a moment, Mr. Smithson, I’ll ask her,” Myrtle said. Reggie Smithson was Jocelyn’s stockbroker.  Again she knocked gently on the bedroom door.  “Yes, is that you Myrtle?” “It’s me again, Mrs. Jones. I do apologize. It’s Reggie Smithson on the phone.” “Well finally,” said Jocelyn. “Tell him to sell something. We’ll need twenty thousand shortly.” Myrtle spoke briefly with Mr. Smithson “Mrs. Jones,” Myrtle said, “he says are you sure you need that much? He thinks it’s a lot.” Jocelyn closed her eyes a minute then looked at Myrtle “Whose money is it?” she asked. “Tell Reggie that if he wants to buy my coffin, pay the florist and half of the funeral home expenses out of his own pocket, then I suppose I can do with less!” Myrtle again spoke briefly with Mr. Smithson. “He says consider it done, Mrs. Jones,” Myrtle said.  “That’s fine, Myrtle,” Jocelyn said. “You’d think one needed the permission of the whole world just to die!” “I know exactly what you mean, Mrs. Jones,” Myrtle said. She left the bedroom while answering the phone again.
Let me do
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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