by Barton Paul Levenson
London, 1847. A tall, thin young man came into a shop and nervously removed his top hat. Snow fell silently in the streets as the sun went down. The cobbled street held no carriages or other pedestrians.
The proprietor stood behind the counter. He was taller and fatter than the young man. He had jowls, and hair that was black on top and white in the sideburns. “And what may I do for you today, sir?”
The young man gulped and fidgeted with his hat for a moment. Then he seemed to grow calm. “I am here to see about a closet,” he said firmly.