Katherine Anne Porter (1890–1980) was an American short story writer, essayist, novelist, and journalist. Her short story collections include Flowering Judas (1930), Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), and The Leaning Tower and Other Stories (1944); her novel Ship of Fools was published in 1962. (March 2020)

NYR DAILY

‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’: A Story of the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Albert Pinkham Ryder: The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse), 1900

Miss Hobbe had passed through, carrying a tray. “My dear child,” she said sharply, with a glance at Miranda’s attire, “what is the matter?”  Miranda, with the receiver to her ear, said, “Influenza, I think.”  “Horrors,” said Miss Hobbe, in a whisper, and the tray wavered in her hands. “Go back to bed at once… go at once.”  “I must talk to Bill first,” Miranda had told her, and Miss Hobbe had hurried on and had not returned. Bill had shouted directions at her, promising everything, doctor, nurse, ambulance, hospital, her check every week as usual, everything, but she was to get back to bed and stay there.