Passage seven

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Bill Fuller, the postman, whistled cheerfully as he pushed his bicycle up the hill towards old Mrs. Dunley's house. His work for the day was almost finished; his bag, usually quite heavy when he set out on his round, was empty now except for the letter that he had to deliver to Mrs. Dunley. She lived over a mile from the village so that, when Bill had a letter for her, he always finished his day's work much later. He did not mind this, however, because she never failed to ask him in for a cup of tea.
When Bill entered the gate of Mrs. Dunley's house, he was surprised not to find her working in her garden. She usually spent most afternoons there when the weather was fine. Bill went straight round to the back of the house, thinking that she might be in the kitchen. The door was locked and the curtains were drawn. Puzzled, he returned to the front of the house and knocked hard on the door. There was no answer. Bill thought that this was very strange because he knew that Mrs. Dunley rarely left the house.
Just then he noticed that her bottle of milk, which was delivered early in the morning, was still on the doorstep. This worried him. If Mrs. Dunley had not taken in her milk, perhaps she was ill. Bill walked round the house until he found an open window. It was small, but he just managed to squeeze through. He went into the hall. There he almost fell over Mrs. Dunley, who was lying at the foot of the stairs, unconscious. Realizing that there was little he could do for her, Bill rushed out of the house, stopped a passing car and told the driver to telephone for an ambulance as soon as he got to the village.

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