Concerns a personable young traveling salesman, Tom, who picks up two drifters and drives them to Dulcie, Mississippi. While he is calling on a customer the men fight, resulting in a serious injury which brings on an arrest, and the need for Tom to stay in town until the authorities dispose of the case. As it happens, Sobby, the tramp who struck his companion, was trying to prevent his theft of Tom's car, but no one believes him, and he is chained to a bed in the local hotel, facing a murder charge if the other man dies. In counterpoint to Sobby's story, the action then focuses on Tom's activities; his touching concern for the ailing old man who runs the hotel; his reacquaintance with a former flame, Ruth, who invites him to a party; and his encounter with Carol, a young carhop who surprises Tom by telling him that she has loved him from afar for years. These relationships seem delicate and tenuous at first but, as the fate of Sobby's victim is awaited, they begin to interact and strengthen. In the end, as typified in the best of Miss Welty's writing, all these seemingly insignificant strands come together, forming a subtle yet eloquent whole which illuminates the way in which separate lives, while ostensibly independent, are really connected in ways not readily apparent even to those involved.
A sensitive and finely wrought adaptation which captures the subtle mood and style of Miss Welty's memorable prose. Produced with great success by Off-Broadway's noted WPA Theatre. "The tale's events are casual and often oblique—but, like a welter of tiny roots digging into the soil, they connect below the surface to form a dense and violently twisted pattern of life…" —NY Times. "The short stories of Eudora Welty are like dappled sunshine shimmering on a stagnant pool. On the surface all is bright. Underneath lies mystery, a certain sinister stillness." —NY Post.