The Secret Life of Walter Mitty CONTINUED


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Then, with that faint, fleeting smile playing about his lips, he faced the firing squad; erect and motionless, proud and disdainful, Walter Mitty the Undefeated, inscrutable to the last...

"Walter! What in the world are doing standing in the rain like that?" exclaimed Mrs. Mitty from the drugstore, a small package in her arms. "You'll catch your death of cold!"

Walter stared at her a moment and realized he was soaking wet, several steps away from the protection of the drugstore. 

"I'm going to call Dr. Renshaw to have an appointment made. You can't go on with this thinking business any longer." Mrs. Mitty walked to their car, Walter following close behind. As he got behind the wheel, Mrs. Walter pulled a small looking-glass out of her bag and studied her face in its reflection.

"I think I'll need to stop by that new cosmetic store again. Do you remember where it is?" she said.

"Yes," replied Walter, halfheartedly, leaning over to switch on the new radio. 

     The last last few notes of Beethoven's Partita in B sharp rang through the crowded concert hall with the same majestic confidence of the first note. The sophisticated audience screamed  wild adulation, tossing their expensive hats high into the air and roaring for an encore. Walter gave a small, humble smile, as though he was used to the attention. He walked off stage with his violin tucked neatly under his arm, the accompanying pianist still gaping in astonishment.  In the stage's right wing, Mr. Moore, The owner of the Concert hall ran up to Walter and wrung his hand, beaming.

"Astounding performance, Mr. Mitty!" He cried.

"It was all right," said Walter, coolly. "I don't deserve the honor of being able to preform in your wonderful hall."

"On the contrary! I couldn't be more pleased. You've sold us out of seats for the next week and people are still begging to come hear you!"

A high-pitched scream came from Walter's left, and he found himself being embraced by Mrs. Mitty, gazing adoringly up at him.

"Oh, Walter!" she breathed. "That was simply the best preformance I've ever heard. In fact, I would go as far as to say..."

"Walter! Look out!"

Walter jerked, finding himself staring into the oncoming car's headlights. He slammed on his brakes as car horns and the sound of screeching tires filled his ears. He caught a glance of the other driver's terrified face, just as it swerved sharply to the left. The cars collided solidly, the front of Walter's pounding into the side of the other. Walter was pitched forward violently, Mrs. Mitty's scream cutting off short.

Walter leaned back easily, keeping himself perfectly balanced as the horse underneath him attempted to throw him off. He aimed his rifle and shot, bringing down another red-skinned Indian from the savage Black River tribe. The second loud blast of the gun echoed around the blood red rocks surrounding the canyon. The tribe screamed and shot several volleys of poisoned arrows at him, but he dodged them easily and aimed again, this time bringing down the chief. The rest of the tribe turned and fled, desperate to get out of range of Walter's deadly wrath. The "Raging Storm", they called him. One of the departing red skins shot a last arrow, hoping blindly that it would reach its target. Walter knocked it away easily, but felt a sickining pain in his arm...

He was slumping over the steering wheel, dazed and confused. His right arm was torn and shredded from shards of glass, and he felt a trickle of blood run down his cheek. Mrs. Mitty sat beside him, sobbing loudly and moaning. As the wails of the ambulance approached, Walter felt his head start to clear and he sank into the worst dream he had ever known.