Works by Richard Wright

Works by Richard Wright

Author:Richard Wright [Wright, Richard]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Literary Collections, American, General
ISBN: 9780940450660
Google: 9toOAQAAMAAJ
Amazon: 0940450666
Barnesnoble: 0940450666
Goodreads: 15620
Publisher: Library of America
Published: 1991-08-15T19:09:36+00:00

He left the room and went down to a window on the first floor and looked out. The street was quiet and no cars were running. The tracks were buried under snow. No doubt the blizzard had tied up traffic all over the city.

He saw a little girl pick her way through the snow and stop at a corner newsstand; a man hurried out of a drug store and sold the girl a paper. Could he snatch a paper while the man was inside? The snow was so soft and deep he might get caught trying to get away. Could he find an empty building in which to hide after he had snatched the paper? Yes; that was just the thing. He looked carefully up and down the street; no one was in sight. He went through the door and the wind was like a branding-iron on his face. The sun came out, suddenly, so strong and full that it made him dodge as from a blow; a million bits of sparkle pained his eyes. He went to the newsstand and saw a tall black headline. HUNT BLACK IN GIRL’S DEATH. Yes; they had the story. He walked on and looked for a place to hide after he had snatched the paper. At the corner of an alley he saw an empty building with a gaping window on the first floor. Yes; this was a good place. He mapped out a careful plan of action; he did not want it said that he had done all the things he had and then had got caught stealing a three-cent newspaper.

He went to the drug store and looked inside at the man leaning against a wall, smoking. Yes. Like this! He reached out and grabbed a paper and in the act of grabbing it he turned and looked at the man who was looking at him, a cigarette slanting whitely across his black chin. Even before he moved from his tracks, he ran; he felt his legs turn, start, then slip in snow. Goddamn! The white world tilted at a sharp angle and the icy wind shot past his face. He fell flat and the crumbs of snow ate coldly at his fingers. He got up, on one knee, then on both; when he was on his feet he turned toward the drug store, still clutching the paper, amazed and angry with himself for having been so clumsy. The drug store door opened. He ran.


As he ducked down the alley he saw the man standing in the snow looking at him and he knew that the man would not follow.

“Hey, you!”

He scrambled to the window, pitched the paper in before him, caught hold and heaved himself upward onto the ledge and then inside. He landed on his feet and stood peering through the window into the alley; all was white and quiet. He picked up the paper and walked down the hallway to the steps and up to the third floor, using the flashlight and hearing his footsteps echo faintly in the empty building.


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