"He was born when I was six and was, from the outset, a disappointment. He seemed all head, with a tiny body which was red and shriveled like an old man's. Everybody thought he was gonna die.."
"But he learned to crawl (it was his third winter), and we brought him out of the front bedroom, putting him on the rug before the fireplace. For the first time he became one of us."
"Doodle studied the mahogany box for a long time, then said, "It's not mine." "It is," I said. "And before I'll help you down from the loft, you're going to have to touch it." "I won't touch it," he said sullenly. "Then I'll leave you here by yourself," I threatened, and made as if I were going down"
"I helped Doodle up, and when he was standing alone I let them look. There wasn't a sound as Doodle walked slowly across the room and sat down at his place at the table. Then Mama began to cry and ran over to him, hugging him and kissing him. Daddy hugged him too."
"After we had drifted a long way, I put the oars in place and made Doodle row back against the tide. Black clouds began to gather in the southwest, and he kept watching them, trying to pull the oars a little faster."
"He had been bleeding from the mouth, and his and the front of his shirt were stained a brilliant red. "Doodle! Doodle!" I cried, shaking him, but there was no answer but the ropy rain" "I began to weep, and the tear-blurred vision in red before me looked familiar. "Doodle! I screamed..."