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Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Sibert Cather
page 3 of 219 (01%)

Don Hedger had lived for four years on the top floor of an old house on
the south side of Washington Square, and nobody had ever disturbed him.
He occupied one big room with no outside exposure except on the north,
where he had built in a many-paned studio window that looked upon a court
and upon the roofs and walls of other buildings. His room was very
cheerless, since he never got a ray of direct sunlight; the south corners
were always in shadow. In one of the corners was a clothes closet, built
against the partition, in another a wide divan, serving as a seat by day
and a bed by night. In the front corner, the one farther from the window,
was a sink, and a table with two gas burners where he sometimes cooked
his food. There, too, in the perpetual dusk, was the dog's bed, and often
a bone or two for his comfort.

The dog was a Boston bull terrier, and Hedger explained his surly
disposition by the fact that he had been bred to the point where it told
on his nerves. His name was Caesar III, and he had taken prizes at very
exclusive dog shows. When he and his master went out to prowl about
University Place or to promenade along West Street, Caesar III was
invariably fresh and shining. His pink skin showed through his mottled
coat, which glistened as if it had just been rubbed with olive oil, and
he wore a brass-studded collar, bought at the smartest saddler's. Hedger,
as often as not, was hunched up in an old striped blanket coat, with a
shapeless felt hat pulled over his bushy hair, wearing black shoes that
had become grey, or brown ones that had become black, and he never put on
gloves unless the day was biting cold.

Early in May, Hedger learned that he was to have a new neighbour in the
rear apartment--two rooms, one large and one small, that faced the west.
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