Hammett’s first published story

“The Parthian Shot”

When the boy was six months old Paulette Key acknowledged that her
hopes and efforts had been futile, that the baby was indubitably and
irredeemably a replica of its father. She could have endured the
physical resemblance, but the duplication of Harold Key’s stupid
obstinacy–unmistakable in the fixity of the child’s inarticulate
demands for its food, its toys–was too much for Paulette. She knew
she could not go on living with two such natures!  A year and a half
of Harold’s domination had not subdued her entirely.  She took the
little boy to church, had him christened Don, sent him home by his
nurse, and boarded a train for the West.

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