Billy was seventeen years old. He was wearing a new navy-blue overcoat, and a new brown suit, and he was feeling fine. He walked briskly down the street.
He pressed the bell. Far away in a back room he heard it ringing, and then at once (it must have been at once because he hadn’t even had time to take his finger from the bell-button) the door swung open and a woman was standing there.
The landlady was half-way up the stairs, and she paused with one hand on the stair-rail, turning her head and smiling down at him with pale lips. “Like you,” she said