None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. When she opened the package at home there was written on the box, under the skull and bones: "For rats." IV So THE NEXT day we all said, "She will kill herself"; and we said it would be the best thing.We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door. When she had first begun to be seen with Homer Barron, we had said, "She will marry him." Then we said, "She will persuade him yet," because Homer himself had remarked--he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club--that he was not a marrying man.When the Negro opened the blinds of one window, they could see that the leather was cracked; and when they sat down, a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs, spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray.On a tarnished gilt easel before the fireplace stood a crayon portrait of Miss Emily's father. I have no taxes in Jefferson." "But there is nothing on the books to show that, you see We must go by the--" "See Colonel Sartoris. "Show these gentlemen out." II So SHE vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores.And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson.
Up to the day of her death at seventy-four it was still that vigorous iron-gray, like the hair of an active man.When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction.