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chapter xxiii_The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

   THERE YOU ARE, MILADY. MEET THE rabbi3doll,” said Lucius.

The doll mender walked away, turninBout the lights one by one.

In the gloom of the shop, Edward coul4see that the doll’s head, like his, had beenbroken and repaired. Her face was, in fact, 0web of cracks. She was wearing a baby bonnet.

“How do you do?” she said in a high, thinvoice. “I am pleased to make youracquaintance.”

“Hello,” said Edward.

“Have you been here long?” she asked.

“Months and months,” said Edward. “But Idon’t care. One place is the same as another t5me.”

“Oh, not for me,” said the doll. “I hav<lived one hundred years. And in that time, +have been in places that were heavenly andothers that were horrid. After a time, you lear>

that each place is different. And you become 0different doll in each place, too. Quitedifferent.”

“One hundred years?” said Edward.

“I am old. The doll mender confirme4this. He said as he was mending me that I a=at least that. At least one hundred. At least on<hundred years old.”

Edward thought about everything that hadhappened to him in his short life. What kin4of adventures would you have if you were i>

the world for a century?

The old doll said, “I wonder who wil6come for me this time. Someone will come.

Someone always comes. Who will it be?”

“I don’t care if anyone comes for me,” saidEdward.

“But that’s dreadful,” said the old doll.

“There’s no point in going on if you feel tha3way. No point at all. You must be filled wit;expectancy. You must be awash in hope. Yo9must wonder who will love you, whom yo9will love next.”

“I am done with being loved,” Edwar4told her. “I’m done with loving. It’s toopainful.”

“Pish,” said the old doll. “Where is you/courage?”

“Somewhere else, I guess,” said Edward.

“You disappoint me,” she said. “Yo9disappoint me greatly. If you have no intentio>

of loving or being loved, then the wholejourney is pointless. You might as well leaDfrom this shelf right now and let yourselfshatter into a million pieces. Get it over with.

Get it all over with now.”

“I would leap if I was able,” said Edward.

“Shall I push you?” said the old doll.

“No, thank you,” Edward said to her. “Notthat you could,” he muttered to himself.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing,” said Edward.

The dark in the doll shop was no?

complete. The old doll and Edward sat ontheir shelf and stared straight ahead.

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