Ellen was in her late thirties, plump, her face unblemished still. It was as though whatever marks being in the world had left upon it up to the time the aunt vanished had been removed from between the skeleton and the skin, between the sum of experience and the envelope in which it resides, by intervening years of annealing and untroubled flesh.
He is thinking quietly: I should not have got out of the habit of prayer.
He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear. Cash.
Fiction is often the best fact.
Needings, she said. It ain't Bory's needings and it ain't Her needings. It's dead folks' needings. Old Marse ]ohn's and Cunnel's and Mister]ohn's and Bayard's that's dead and can't do nothing about it. That's where the needings is. That's what I'm talking about.
Because always,' he thinks, ‘when anything gets to be a habit, it also manages to get a right good distance away from truth and fact.