“I was fumbling under the doormat for the key, which Bartleby was to have left there for me, when accidentally my knee knocked against a panel, producing a summoning sound, and in response a voice came to me from within—“Not yet; I am occupied.”
It was Bartleby.
I was thunderstruck. For an instant I stood like the man who, pipe in mouth, was killed one cloudless afternoon long ago in Virginia, by summer lightning; at his own warm, open window he was killed, and remained leaning out there upon the dreamy afternoon, till someone touched him, when he fell.
“Not gone!” I murmured at last.