And so I arose with the aid of my cane and, resting a goodly portion of my weight on the duck’s head, limped—there is no other word for it—back to the chest of drawers. Opening it, I withdrew a change of underwear (a ribbed top, a pair of boxer shorts) and a set of athletic socks adorned by the Nike swish, and laid them neatly upon the bed.
Author’s note to the reader:
I sense your impatience. I can only assure you that all these descriptions are necessary to the story. This book is a mystery. (There will be a body. Maybe as many as three or four! But there won’t be a massacre.) There are clues scattered throughout these pages. See if you can spot them.
Next I gazed out the window and observed that it was snowing, a fact from which I was able to infer that it was winter.
Author’s note to the reader, beginning with a brief catechism and ending with a warning:
Q. In the finer class of literature, winter is often taken to be a symbol of what?
See how easy it is when you pay attention?
Warning: Don’t overdo it. The boxer shorts, for example. They don’t mean a thing. The athletic socks? They may or may not be significant. (If you believe they are, the Nike swish could be a splendid subject for a discussion in a graduate school seminar on the dependence of the contemporary novel on Greek mythology.)
But on with the old man’s story.