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Titel: Mohawk
Autoren: Richard Russo
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would’ve been like had she and Dan married. There were any number of believable scenarios—some happy, others tragic—and the sheer variety probably meant they didn’t amount to much. The only unthinkable scenario was Diana gone.
    By the funeral, Anne had begun to regain marginal control of pain and rage, but at the cemetery things began to come apart again. It was another gray day, with winter heavy in the air, and nothing made much sense. The leaves gusted to life in half a dozen different directions at once. For a while they danced furiously, tiny little cyclones, then came to rest, quivering, rippling.
    A great many mourners had followed to the grave, but to Anne it seemed that about a hundred peoplewere inexplicably absent, though she couldn’t think who they might be. A lot of Dan’s people came in from out of town, and there were others who looked like they might be family. Dallas was there, a harlequin of mismatched clothing. He’d been the one who broke the news, Dallas-style, over the telephone. “You hear about Diana? She’s dead.” Somehow he had found out even before Dan. Anne hadn’t believed him, assuming that as usual he was confused, that it must be Milly. In fact she almost convinced Dallas, who knew better, since he was almost never right where Anne was concerned and easily bullied. He admitted he could be wrong, or the guy who told him might be, even though he was a good guy and you could usually take what he said to the bank. “Goodbye, Dallas,” she had told him.
    But he was right after all, and he felt so bad about it, even after so many years of being wrong, that he called back later to apologize. “You figure Dan needs some help,” he asked. “All kinds,” she told him, so Dallas told Benny D. he wouldn’t be working for a while and went over to the house on Kings Road and helped Dan drink. He stood now, alert behind the wheelchair as if he suspected it might have a life of its own and, if he weren’t vigilant, would race off with its occupant. He’d spent too much of his life screwing up without knowing why not to have a healthy respect for the unexpected. Dan on the other hand knew all about the chair, and the way he sat in it showed more clearly than ever before how he had become an extension of it. The vague sense of his not belonging in it, so powerful sometimes, had vanished. He seemed to have shrunken inside the black armrests.
    Next to Dallas and Dan, the two old sisters leanedinto each other, looking as precarious as ever to anybody who didn’t know better. Mrs. Grouse said nothing, but Milly’s voice could occasionally be heard above the minister’s. On the fringes of the crowd, Anne recognized Dallas’s sister-in-law Loraine. She was at the church, too, though Anne couldn’t imagine why, since as far as she knew the two women had never met.
    After the service, since no one seemed particularly solicitous of her, Anne slipped away among the gray trees. Only from a safe distance did she look back and see the procession of black cars curling out the main gate. She found her father’s grave, which she hadn’t visited in the nearly six years since his death, but quickly hurried away again, sure that to open a conversation there would be a mistake. At Diana’s grave several men were working beneath the canopy that covered the open hole.
    “She was very kind,” said a voice at her elbow, causing her to start. It was Dallas’s sister-in-law, and apparently she had been standing there for some time, waiting for the opportunity to speak.
    “Yes,” Anne said. “I wasn’t aware that you knew each other.”
    “Only recently,” she said. “She introduced herself one night. It was at the hospital. She told me things were going to work out for my little girl. I remember she said it almost like she had some inside knowledge or something. I even started to hope again.”
    I wish she were here, Anne thought. Maybe she’d say something to me.
    “All the doctors said leukemia.”
    “I’m sorry,” Anne said.
    “That’s just it,” the other woman said. “They werewrong. It turned out to be something else. The same symptoms and really rare. It was like she knew. I don’t suppose she could’ve though.”
    “No. She was just an optimist.”
    “I wish I could be like that. Maybe I can, now. Lately, the whole world has seemed so … right.”
    “I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help it. So many wonderful things have happened. Like Dallas
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