New York, 1910. In a poor neighborhood, a heat wave is making everyone weary and truculent. Meanwhile, Mr. Birch is renting a basement flat for his fiancée, Edwina. She was his sweetheart twenty years ago; now, thanks to a newspaper advertisement she placed, the two have found each other again. He wants everything to be perfect for her arrival, which means, among other things, a dozen roses. She loved roses. It strikes him as a bad sign when he breaks the vase the roses were to go in. The first real sign of trouble is seeing Edwina herself. She's still a beautiful woman and every bit the lady she always was. But she doesn't come alone. She arrives with a bundle in a baby blanket. This first shock gives way to more unpleasant surprises and mysterious behavior from the woman he hopes, at long last, to marry. Written by
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So, well, then he says he wants new dishes in the cupboards. "New dishes," I says. "Mr. Birch, look, I don't put new dishes in my furnished flats." But no, he insists, "She's got to have new dishes when she moves in."