A Dram of Poison by Charlotte Armstrong

By Charlotte Armstrong

Booklet by means of Charlotte Armstrong

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Take your time," said Mr. Gibson, who was older, in no hurry whatever, and who liked to browse. " "Ah . " Paul Townsend found the letter. "Got it That? " "What have you done? " Mr. Gibson peered at a double rank of little square-bottomed bottles aligned to the fraction of an inch, neatly labeled, behind the glass doors of a cupboard. "Lot of the stuff we use seems to be poisonous," Paul Townsend told him. " He came, dangling his letter between two fingers, and peered, too. "Sure is quite a collection," he said innocently.

Mr. Gibson was so very sorry for the girl. Poor, unattractive, tired, beaten creature—terrible ordeal shouldn't have been there all alone! The Jameses lived on the first floor of an old house near the campus. The moment Mr. Gibson entered the hall, he received the news of poverty and deeay and a sense of darkness. If this place had ever had any colors, they had now all faded down into a uniform muddiness that defeated light. Everything, although quite clean, was somehow stained. Everything was old.

And he knew better. Nobody knew better than he that he ought to withdraw gracefully. She was no burden of his. He could withdraw. In modem days, in the United States of America, no corpse lies on the street slain by destitution. There were charities and public institutions. There was social succor. Nor would Rosemary blame him if he slipped out of her affairs. She would only continue to be grateful for all he had done or tried to do so far. But he was incapable of this kind of common sense. By now, he knew exactly how to make her smile.

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