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By Burnett James

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Calverson had sent word that he had a buyer who wanted to move in within the month. Claire would receive two hundred dollars as her part of the sale, but that would quickly be gone, because the funeral expenses had to be paid out of it. She had tried to find clientele for her motorcar enterprise, but as John Hawthorn had predicted, businessmen didn't flock to her door to become clients. In fact, she was brushed off unceremoniously. She did back the motorcar out of the drive and run it around the block, dressed in the long white driving coat and goggles and cap her uncle had always worn.

But he would be thinking of Diane, wanting Diane. How could she bear his kisses and his embraces when she knew he wanted someone else, even if the someone else didn't want him back? The answer was, of course, that she couldn't. She had to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and become independent. There would surely be a way. If her uncle's beloved motorcar wasn't the answer she would think of something else. Then let Mr. High-and-Mighty Hawthorn come calling with his infamous proposals! For two weeks after the funeral Claire only went through the motions of living.

He'd expected her to fold up after her uncle's death. In fact, he'd had every reason to believe that she'd approach him for help. She hadn't. In fact, she hadn't approached anyone with her hand out. The extent of her pride surprised him, when very few things did anymore. Past experience had made him far too cynical about human nature. He remembered the very moment in Cuba when all his illusions vanished forever. The sight of human beings rounded up like cattle in the Spanish general's concentration camps had sickened every man in his company.

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Bix Biederbecke by Burnett James

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