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The town is unable to collect taxes from Miss Emily. They try for years, they send people to talk to her, all to no avail. She ignores them and keeps referring to Colonel Sartoris, who told her years ago that "she owes no taxes in Jefferson."
When Miss Emily's father dies, the townspeople are unable to convince her to bury him. She is in denial and refuses to believe he is dead. It isn't until three days later that she agrees to let the townspeople remove his body.
Miss Emily goes to the hardware store to buy poison. She is supposed to tell what it is for, but the clerk cannot convince her to reveal her purpose. He finally gives up and sells her the poison.
The townspeople begin to detect a smell coming from Miss Emily's house. The mayor is unwilling to do anything about it, and the townspeople are afraid of really finding out what it is, so they sneak around her house at night and sprinkle lime to kill the smell.
She also refuses to let the town put numbers on her house.
THE TAX NOTICE. When a delegation of townspeople visited Emily to advise her that she owed property taxes, she told them that the taxes had been perpetually eliminated by a previous mayor (who was long dead). After she told her servant, Tobe, to show them the way out of the house, they continued to send her a tax statement. Emily, however, refused to pay, and the town never collected.
THE SMELL. The terrible and mysterious smell that permeated the house and surrounding property became too much for some of the townspeople. Several of them met to discuss what could be done. When one of them decided that they could not approach her about such a thing, the men took action on their own. One night they spread lime around the perimeter of the house, and soon the smell disappeared.
THE PREACHER'S VISIT. Many of the townspeople thought it was improper of Emily to be seen cavorting around unescorted with Homer Barron on Sundays. When a local minister visited her to discuss her relationship with Homer, he left her house with ears burning, and he refused to return.
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