The Bloody Thumb
I met the old man at a cafe. I was a stranger in the town.
"Did you hear the radio news yesterday?" he asked me.
"I didn't," I said."Was there anything exciting?"
"Exciting, no! It was important to me-and very, very sad.pack of hungry dogs killed and ate my best friend. "
"Oh dear ! " I cried. "I am sorry. How did it happen?"
"He was working in his olive grove on the hilisides. The pack attacked him there. we'll never know all the facts , of curse. When he didn't return, I went to the grove and-"
"You found the body?" I asked.
The old fellow drank half his coffee. "The body?" he repeated."No, no. .I said they were hungry dogs, didn't I? The g bones were lying here and there in the grove. But I found this-" He pushed open a matchbox which he was holding in his
The box contained a man's thumb. It was lying on some hite, bloody material. There was a cut-an old cut-on the mmb nail.
"See that cut," the man said. "I recognised it. This is my fiend's right thumb. The dogs ate the rest of him! "
The old man began to cry then. He finished his coffee quick. ly and left the cafe. I drank mine and called the waiter.
"I'll pay the gentleman's bill," I said. "Please don't trou. ble him with it. His poor friend-how awful! You've heard the news?"
The waiter laughed . "Yes. There's a hole in the bottom of the matchbox. He puts his own thumb through the hole. The 'blood' is red ink, I believe. Is the story worth a cup of coffee, sir?"
Claire Walton is working at home on a Sunday afternoor. The phone rings. It is an old friend. ClAiRE: Hello.
MICK: Hello, Claire. This is Mick.
CLAIRE: Mick! Nice to hear from you again. How are you?
MtcK: Fine, thanks. And you?
CLAIRE: Oh , not so bad. I've been very busy , but I'm going
away on holiday soon.
MICK: Good. Listen. I'm phoning because I want to invite you to a party. At our new
house. And. . .
CLAIRE: New house? Really?
MIcK: Yes. We've moved. That's why we're giving the pa ty. Can you come?
CLAIRE: Well, that depends. When is it?
MIcK: This Saturday evening.
CLAIRE: Well. . . I'm going away on Sunday morning. Very ear ly. Will the party go on
MICK: Until two in the morning. But you don't have to si that long.Well? What about it?
CLAIRE: All right. I'll come. But I'd like to bring a present Something for your new house.
What would you like?
MICK: Nothing. I mean, don't bring anything. It isn't necesary.
CLAIRE: But I'd still like...
MICK: Just bring yourself! I'm looking forward to seeing
you again. It's been a long time !
CLAIRE: Yes, it has. I'm looking forward to seeing you. too. and your new house. Uh. . .
when does the party start?
MlcK: Come any time after eight. All right? .
CLAIRE: Yes. Oh. by the W..
MICK: Bye! See you on Saturday evening.
CLAIRE: Wait a moment , Mick. You haven't. . . Mick? Are you still there? You haven't
given me your new address. Hello? Mick? Hello?
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