FROM HIS SEAT on a box in the rough board shed that stuck like a burr on the rear of Cowley & Son's store in Winesburg, Elmer Cowley, the junior member of the firm, could see through a dirty window into the printshop of the Winesburg Eagle.
A flush crept into Elmer Cowley's face and his hands began to tremble.
In the store on the morning when Elmer Cowley saw George Willard standing and apparently lis- tening at the back door of the Eagle printshop, a situation had arisen that always stirred the son's wrath.
Still holding the shoe in his hand Elmer Cow- ley went through the store, past the two absorbed men, to a glass showcase near the front door.
In the store Elmer Cowley and his father stared at each other.
Elmer Cowley could not have believed that George Willard had also his days of unhappiness, that vague hungers and secret unnam- able desires visited also his mind.
Elmer had lived in Wines- burg for a year and had made no friends.
When the half-witted old man left his husking of corn and came into the wood to meet Elmer Cowley, he was neither surprised nor especially interested in the sudden appearance of the young man.
Maddened by the dull face of the man on the log by the fire, Elmer turned and glared at him as he had glared back along the road at the town of Winesburg.
At eight o'clock that evening Elmer Cowley put his head in at the front door of the office of the Winesburg Eagle where George Willard sat writing.
George Willard and Elmer Cowley walked through the main street of Winesburg.
Webster stepped on one of mine yesterday when I accidentally had it out in the aisle, and when he apologized after class, he said he wasn't so much to blame, for the foot was so little he really couldn't see it