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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Gallery, by Roger Phillips Graham This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Gallery Author: Roger Phillips Graham Illustrator: Llewellyn Release Date: October 16, 2008 [EBook #26936] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GALLERY *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Stephen Blundell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net THE GALLERY By ROG PHILLIPS ILLUSTRATOR LLEWELLYN _Aunt Matilda needed him desperately, but when he arrived she did not want him and neither did anyone else in his home town._ I was in the midst of the fourth draft of my doctorate thesis when Aunt Matilda's telegram came. It could not have come at a worse time. The deadline for my thesis was four days away and there was a minimum of five days of hard work to do on it yet. I was working around the clock. If it had been a telegram informing me of her death I could not have taken time out to attend the funeral. If it had been a telegram saying she was at death's door I'm very much afraid I would have had to call the hospital and order them to keep her alive a few days longer. Instead, it was a tersely worded appeal. ARTHUR STOP COME AT ONCE STOP AM IN TERRIBLE TROUBLE STOP DO NOT PHONE STOP AUNT MATILDA. So there was nothing else for me to do. I laid the telegram aside and kept on working on my thesis. That is not as heartless as it might seem. I simply could not imagine Aunt Matilda in terrible trouble. The end of the world I could imagine, but not Aunt Matilda in trouble. [Illustration: Wherever he went Arthur felt the power behind the lens.] She was the classic flat-chested ageless spinster living alone in the midst of her dustless bric-a-brac and Spode in a frame house of the same vintage as herself at the edge of the classic small town of Sumac, near the southwest corner of Wisconsin. I had visited her for two days over a year ago, and she had looked exactly the same as she had when I stayed with her when I was six all summer, and there was no question but what she would some day attend my funeral when I died of old age, and she would still look th
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