The tale is well told, with deep pathos blending with humour. Purists may possibly object to its morality or lack of morality but no one can say that it is not a truthful picture of the seamy side of life.
ngers he unfastened the shawl she had placed on his shoulders, and then, planting his elbows on his knees, with a fixed head and elevated shoulders, he gave himself up to the struggle of taking breath.... At that moment she would have laid down her life to save him from the least of his pains, but she could only sit by him watching the struggle, knowing that nothing could be done to relieve him. She had seen the same scene repeated a hundred times before, but it never seemed to lose any of its terror. In the first month of their marriage she had been frightened by one of these asthmatic attacks. It had come on in the middle of the night, and she remembered well how she had prayed to God that it should not be her fate to see her husband die before her eyes. She knew now that death was not to be apprehended--the paroxysm would wear itself out--but she knew also of the horrors that would have to be endured before the time of relief came. She could count them upon her fingers--she could see it all as in a vision-