The second thing I noticed was this pretty, polished wood box, and right away I thought of a coffin. It was too small to be coffin, though, except for a midget or a kid, so I asked what it was. “Oh, that’s my cedar chest,” she said and then explained that when she turned eighteen her mother’d given her that. In it she was to keep nice things for when she got married: fancy towels and napkins and bed sheets and nightgowns and things like that. Some girls call them hope chests, she said, and her face just then looked about as hopeful as a prisoner’s when they lead him down the hall to get gassed or electrocuted.