"Oh heavenly powers restore him!" (Hamlet III.i). Many times in a lifetime, one begs and beseeches the heavenly powers to change, restore or reinstitute an event before its catastrophic ending. It was a cold night, icy winds were blowing along 23rd Street, strollers were few; only a few drunkards and vagabonds who had found comfort in the canner of a doorway; their long, ragged coats wrapped around them because it had no buttons; holding themselves by the shoulders, they rocked while they chatted. A few found refuge in the remnants of a demolished building and had built a fire to warm themselves. They were standing with their hands extended on the fire; letting the flames lick their fingers, one of them was taking gulps out
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I felt the cold winds penetrate the very marrow of my bones; although I was prepare& for the cold. I had beside my usual clothing a thick sweater, a scarf covering my nose, a heavy woolen coat, a pair of warm gloves and a pair of earmuffs. I was bundled so that the only unobstructed parts were my eyes. They were tearing from the intensity of the wind. As I walked, I noticed the huddled bodies on the stoops; but I was walking past in quick paces, approaching llth Avenue and I was happy that so far I hadn't slipped or fallen on the treacherous sidewalk; when out of the darkness came a form, I did not pay attention to it and thought to myself, "He will probably ask me for coffee money, just ignore him, after all I not going to take my gloves off, open my coat, take out my wallet, all that for a dime; I might catch a cold or even pneumonia, anyway he's a bum and he probably wants to buy himself some more whiskey, somebody else will surely give him something."
The form stood at the corner. It had seen me coming and was waiting for me. I lowered my head and walked straight, I was coming closer. A small shrill voice in a heavy accent said: "They, mister, you got a dime for a cup of coffee?" I raised my eyes. The form was clear. it was not a man, but a lady; not too old, maybe in her early forties. The coat I had mistaken was her dress, and in her arms a baby, so young, enveloped in a little blanket. Mechanically, and without stopping or slowing my