oisonously interesting tale deals with an underpaid, harassed, model husband and writer for Catholic periodicals who has lost faith in all his gifts, including the gift of faith. The writer's readers drive him insane with their belief in his private saintliness. The Church hovers over him like a shrike and ert has pretty well been bled dry. He develops a case of writer's block heavier than a lead typewriter in a Waugh-Greene hell, and tries to trace the cracks in spirt backward in time. His terror spells itself out against the American Christmas season in a small New Jersey town (and what a jolly place that is) while ert worries about supporting his hypersensitive, non-Catholic wife and five children. On Christmas Eve, he studies the bills; on Christmas Day the living room is flooded with presents and jewelry he has bought- but Bert has disappeared. He is discovered in a friend's apartment, staring mindlessly in catatonia and leafing through tacks of Reader's Digest... A classic short story lost, but effective.