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Titel: Mohawk
Autoren: Richard Russo
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say hi to Dan. He heard the car pull up, and he’ll think you’re ignoring him.”
    “Do you really suppose men suffer such insecurities?”
    Di smiled sadly, and Anne felt the same twinge of intimacy again. “They claim to.”
    “I thought maybe it was just us.”

    Dan Wood was on the far side of the pool skimming leaves when he heard the sliding patio door and looked up. It did not look to Anne like he was making much progress. The wind was up and the brittle autumn leaves seemed attracted to the placid surface of the water. Even with the long-handled skimmer, the middle of the pool was well beyond Dan’s reach from the wheelchair, and the multicolored leaves lay there several layers thick, like a bright counterpane on a rippling waterbed. “Judging from the look on your face,” Dan said, smiling, “you’re about to tell me that I’m losing this particular battle with nature.”
    “Why do you bother?”
    “The goddamn filter will croak,” he said. It was a matter of intimacy between them that Dan swore. Diana did not appreciate profanity, and such language confirmed for old Milly the many doubts about her son-in-law that she had freely voiced during the last twenty-or-so years, the majority of them under his roof. Dan’s oaths were always quiet and reverent, though, and he never swore when he was genuinely angry, at which times he became peculiarly restrained.
    He offered no objection when Anne relieved him of the skimmer and began working on the carpet inthe center of the pool, which she herself was barely able to reach by leaning. For a while he would be content to watch her work. “If I had my way, I’d just fill the bastard with cement and be done with it. Who needs the aggravation?”
    “Di never uses the pool?”
    “Occasionally,” he said, as if this concession did not exactly invalidate his point. “I should’ve drained it in September. I must’ve been thinking about Indian summer.” Wheeling over to do the deep end, he extracted a plastic lawn bag from a box sitting on the diving board. “The two of them going at it in there?”
    “Nose to nose.”
    “They’ll be good for the afternoon. How’s Mather?”
    “Anxious to be released.”
    “Legend has it you acted heroically.”
    Anne banged some clinging leaves off the skimmer and onto the deck. “Talk to my mother if you’d like a balancing view.”
    She had come home from work and found her father half dead. Though it was the second week in October, it was so hot the tar glistened on the roads the way it did in July and August. Mather Grouse had collapsed over his chair, the one he leaned forward onto when he needed to catch his breath, and then slumped to the floor where he lay precariously balanced against the wall, one leg beneath him, the other straight out as if in a cast. He was shirtless in the heat, the skin along his shoulders pale and translucent. When Anne came in, he was staring at nothing in particular, his eyes wide with fear, an expression his daughter had never seen in them before and that made him look like someone she didn’t know. His inhaler lay a few inches from where his hand twitched, and he pulled at the air inshort, quick gasps, the oxygen stopping far short of his straining lungs. He might as well have been under water.
    Mrs. Grouse had been there in the living room, too, standing stiff with fright, several feet from where her husband lay. When Anne came in, she merely nodded toward Mather Grouse. The only thing that needed saying she said several times. “The ambulance is on its way. Everything’s going to be
fine … 
fine. The ambulance.…”
    Kneeling beside her father, Anne tried to get his attention. Mather Grouse’s eyes refused to focus behind their fluttering lids, and his chest leapt under the force of each convulsive breath. His mouth opened wide, then snapped shut again, like a child’s toy, against his rising chest. When Anne picked up the inhaler and inserted it into her father’s mouth, Mrs. Grouse recoiled in horror. “No!” she cried. “You’ll burn his lungs. The men … they’ll be
    “He can’t breathe, Mother. He’s dying.” Her father’s chest heaved angrily, as if in response to the word.
    “The men.…”
    Ignoring her mother, Anne timed Mather Grouse’s gasps, which were growing more and more feeble. She depressed the inhaler twice, just a few seconds apart. At first her father showed no sign, but then his eyes, which had
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