A Fog in Santone Page: 659
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A Fog in Santone
By O. Henry
.-l t or I/" Ths:' / wi: .1///1 n : /ri / I I.: /Iu 1 l:,,., " I i i i tl le in 1 1,th ~, :l',i'" ,i ..
Illustrated Iw lhn Alonzo \\illiains
This O. -enry story i, a " tnd." 11r. Steeor, O. 14cnrc', literary executor, mn:u'hed it
:unLong ,oIeu of tlhe aulth r's effects :u his old home() in A l til I;, Tea ; : l an s Mr. Steer's arI:h.
wats pretty thorough, it i ulndoubtedl\ tihe only (). 1-cury store whichii ha:, not hitlherto beb
publi-hcd. It i, douly interesting becaUC it shav- the real . lenri iltn years' a, before
hi, wcork b(c :u to be knoN.l. And it i, cpecially things that the >tor slto ld he gicen 1<,
U siopolitan readers, 'inct r I o \ll . tIln r rot til t al: l t . tore th l llt c:in " fro lll , I
IIE drug-clerk looks sharlie at the
white iace half concealed byl the
U high upiturncd overcoat collar.
" I would rather not supply y ou,"
hle saes doultfullx. "I sold[ you a (dozen
morphia tablets less tlhan an hour ago."'
The customer smiles wanl. "The fault
is in \our crooked streets. I didn't intend
to call on VOu twice, but I guess 1got tangledl
iup. Exc se me."
He di'aws his collar higher, antl moues
out, slowly. He stops unler aan electric
light at the corner, and juggles albsorhedll
with three ur four little Ipastelhoard boxes.
"Thirt--six," he announCes to hinimelf.
l"More than plentyy"
For a gray mist had swooped upon San-
tone that night, an upatlue terror that laid
a hand to the throat of each of the cit\'s
glcests. It was computed that three thou-
sand invalids -were hilbernatilng in the town.
The- had come from by aind wide, for here,
among these contracted, river-sliced streets,
the Goddess Ozone has elected to linger.
Pu'rest atmosphere, sir, on heart h: You
might think from the rive-r winding through
our town that we are malarial, but no, sir!
Repeated explerimients made b v both
government and local experts shilw that
our air contains nothing deleterious-noth-
ing ibut ozone, sir, pure ozone. Litimus-
paper tets made all along the river show--
but xun can read it in all the lprosIpectuses:
or the Santonian will recite it for v-ou, word
Wc mna\ achieve climate, but weather
is thrust upon us. Santone, then, cannot
be blamed for this cold, gray fog that came
and kissed the lips Iof the three thousand,
and then delivered them to the cross.
l'hat night the tulircles, \housc ra\u ,cs
hope holds in check, multiplied. The
writhing lingers of the pale mist did Inot go
thence bloodless. aiiny of thle \loers iof
ozone capitulated with the enemy that
night, turning their faces ti the wall in tlhat
(lumbl , isolated lalpthy that so territiec their
\\attchers. Oi lthe redl strelam of Ileior-
rhagia a few souls dritlid away, leading
behind pathetic healps, white ainl chill ias
the fog itself. Two or thrc aim it) 'itew\
this atmospliheric wraith as the ghliost fli
impossible joys, sent to whisper to them
of the egregious folly it is to inhale bre-ath
into the ltuilg, Onilyu o exhale it again,
anlld these used whatever icaie hand t)
their reli-ef I>istol, g as, (r tilhe henlcllicc nt
The purcllhaser of the Iu rphia wnt Iels
into the Iolg, and, at lngtlh, tiih s him elf
upon a little iron bridge, o o(f the screw
i morei in the heart Iof the city undeiilr which
the small, t lortuousl ri-cr lws. II e llans
on tihe rail and gasps, for here the niilt h.s
cotncenlratdi , lyi n like :, footpla to gar-
rite such of the "Three ''hou;and ais creepy
that wax. The iron brildg c us rattle to
thile strain f his cough, a in aking, phthis-
ical rattle, seeming to say to him: "('lak-
etv-clackl! just a little rusty coll, sir. but
not from our river. Litmuus palper all along
lithe banks and noilthing but ozone. ('lack-
The Memphis man at last rec mcrs suf-
ficiently to be aware of another OVe(rcoalted
man ten feet away, leaning on thie rail, indi
just coming out of a parox-ysm. There is a
freemasonry among the Three TIhousandl
that does away with formalities and intro-
ductions. A cough is your card; a hem-
' I' 9 B- II -
Here’s what’s next.
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Reference the current page of this Prose (Fiction).
Henry, O., 1862-1910. A Fog in Santone, prose (fiction), October 1912; New York. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth139413/m1/4/: accessed September 30, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.