• THE LAST LEAF

  • Narrator

    In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called “places.”

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  • These “places” make strange angles and curves.

  • One street crosses itself a time or two.

  • An artist once discovered a valuable possibility in this street.

  • Suppose a collector with a bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in traversing this route, suddenly meet himself coming back, without a cent having been paid on account!

  • Narrator

    So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art people soon came prowling, hunting for north windows and eighteenth-century gables and Dutch attics and low rents.

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  • Then they imported some pewter mugs and a chafing dish or two from Sixth avenue, and became a “colony.”

  • Narrator

    At the top of a squatty, three-story brick Sue and Johnsy had their studio.

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  • “Johnsy” was familiar for Joanna.

  • One was from Maine;

  • the other from California.

  • They had met at the table d'hote of an Eighth street “Delmonico's,” and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so congenial that the joint studio resulted.

  • Narrator

    That was in May.

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  • In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers.

  • Over on the east side this ravager strode boldly, smiting his victims by scores, but his feet trod slowly through the maze of the narrow and moss-grown “places.”

  • Narrator

    Mr. Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old gentleman.

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  • A mite of a little woman with blood thinned by California zephyrs was hardly fair game for the red-fisted, short-breathed old duffer.

  • But Johnsy he smote;

  • and she lay, scarcely moving, on her painted iron bedstead, looking through the small Dutch window-panes at the blank side of the next brick house.