They rose when she entered--a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt, leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head. I have no taxes in Jefferson." "But, Miss Emily--" "See Colonel Sartoris." (Colonel Sartoris had been dead almost ten years.) "I have no taxes in Jefferson. That was two years after her father's death and a short time after her sweetheart--the one we believed would marry her --had deserted her.
Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her. After her father's death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.
The little boys would follow in groups to hear him cuss the niggers, and the niggers singing in time to the rise and fall of picks. Whenever you heard a lot of laughing anywhere about the square, Homer Barron would be in the center of the group. We were a little disappointed that there was not a public blowing-off, but we believed that he had gone on to prepare for Miss Emily's coming, or to give her a chance to get rid of the cousins.
Presently we began to see him and Miss Emily on Sunday afternoons driving in the yellow-wheeled buggy and the matched team of bays from the livery stable. (By that time it was a cabal, and we were all Miss Emily's allies to help circumvent the cousins.) Sure enough, after another week they departed.
They crept quietly across the lawn and into the shadow of the locusts that lined the street. That was when people had begun to feel really sorry for her. But what you want--" "I want arsenic." The druggist looked down at her. But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for." Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up.