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Manhattan Transfer

hand walked down the street. The sun was still warm although there was a tang of fall in the wind. She gave a penny to a blind man cranking the Merry Widow waltz out of a grindorgan. Still she'd better bawl him out a little when he came home, might get to doing it often. She turned into 200th Street. People were looking out of windows, there was a crowd gathering. It was a fire. She sniffed the singed air. It gave her gooseflesh; she loved seeing fires. She hurried. Why it's outside our building. Outside our apartmenthouse. Smoke dense as gunnysacks rolled out of the fifthstory window. She suddenly found herself all atremble. The colored elevatorboy ran up to her. His face was green. "Oh it's in our apartment" she shrieked, "and the furniture just came a week ago. Let me get by." The packages fell from her, a bottle of cream broke on the sidewalk. A policeman stood in her way, she threw herself at him and pounded on the broad blue chest. She couldnt stop shrieking. "That's all right little lady, that's all right," he kept booming in a deep voice. As she beat her head against it she could feel his voice rumbling in his chest. "They're bringing him down, just overcome by smoke that's all, just overcome by smoke."

"O Stanwood my husband," she shrieked. Everything was blacking out. She grabbed at two bright buttons on the policeman's coat and fainted.