As he climbed the worn, elaborate stairs, Tim was dreaming again about the wonderful box down the street in the window of Rain’s Paints and Hardware. It was a small oblong of a box, shiny black on the outside, white inside, with a brush and six of the brightest colors of the rainbow packed in a row of little cups. There were three shallow scoops in the lid. Tim knew you were supposed to mix the colors in those scoops, using the brush and lots of water.
This week Tim’s dream of bliss was to mix all those rainbow colors together and make a painting of a rocket ship in flight. There was a cup of just the right vivid red to do the streaks of fire, to show the rocket jets roaring out into space.
Only one thing stood between Tim’s dream and its fulfillment: a ticket on the box that said $1. Tim didn’t have one dollar. And he must never, never ask for money.
At the top of the old converted house, Tim rapped gently on the door of 4B. He went in and held the knob to keep the door from slamming. Tim couldn’t see much of him because most of Mr. Burford was behind the large…