Neighbors by Thomas Berger

By Thomas Berger

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By Thomas Berger

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Forty-nine) to hear as ominous all summonses for which he had not been furnished with advance warning, and he was especially dubious about any that came in those few hours which constituted dinnertime for persons of his sort. He went apprehensively to the door, opened it partially, and exposed to the caller a diagonal view of the entrance hall of his home as well as about four-fifths of himself, keeping a forearm and a calf concealed and readied for leverage if needed. For a very brief instant, looking headwards as he was, he could not identify the person by sex, for he saw a turban and under it a face which though not that of an East Indian was colored almost olive.

Ramona had departed — if indeed she had ever been there. Had his old trick-of-the-eye now moved towards the command of all his faculties? He went quickly to the dining room and looked out the window that gave onto the narrowest portion of his own yard and, beyond, the widest segment of the lawn of the house next door. He saw nothing animate for a moment, and then the ubiquitous wolfhound came into view again. The dog seemed to be grazing, like a herbivore. Ramona was nowhere in evidence. Crazy little bitch!

Kennels have a terrible reputation. " Enid persisted in completing her sentence: "— to go to a kennel. " "Uh-huh," said Keese. "Well, I think I'll go and change my clothes. You don't mind? " He caught sight of the newspaper on the coffee table: it was one of those scandalmongering, UFO-reporting tabloids sold near the check-out in supermarkets. " asked Enid. " He drew in a sufficiently large breath with which to protest ardently, but released it without a sound. Undoubtedly this was more work of their new neighbors, though he had seen neither Ramona nor Harry with the paper.

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