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HE IS TALL and lean, withered to the bone with long repeated fever, like a dead tree unable to draw a single drop of sap from anywhere.

        In despairing patience, his mother carries him like a child into the sun, where he sits by the roadside in the shortening shadows of each forenoon.

        The world passes by-a woman to fetch water, a herd-boy with cattle to pasture, a laden cart to the distant market-and the mother hopes that some least stir of life may touch the awful torpor of her dying son.