The Breaking Point (Chapter 10, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 10

At half past five that afternoon David had let himself into the house
with his latch key, hung up his overcoat on the old walnut hat rack, and
went into his office. The strain of the days before had told on him, and
he felt weary and not entirely well. He had fallen asleep in his buggy,
and had wakened to find old Nettie drawing him slowly down the main
street of the town, pursuing an erratic but homeward course, while the
people on the pavements watched and smiled.

He went into his office, closed the door, and then, on the old leather
couch with its sagging springs he stretched himself out to finish his
nap.

Almost immediately, however, the doorbell rang, and a moment later
Minnie opened his door.

"Gentleman to see you, Doctor David."

He got up clumsily and settled his collar. Then he opened the door into
his waiting-room.

"Come in," he said resignedly.

A small, dapper man, in precisely the type of clothes David most
abominated, and wearing light-colored spats, rose from his chair and
looked at him with evident surprise.

"I'm afraid I've made a mistake. A Doctor Livingstone left his seat
number for calls at the box office of the Annex Theater last night--the
Happy Valley company--but he was a younger man. I--"

David stiffened, but he surveyed his visitor impassively from under his
shaggy white eyebrows.

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