The Last Leaf

In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called "places." These "places" make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two. An artist once discovered a valuable possibility in this street. (suppose a collector with a bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in traversing this route, suddenly meet himself coming back, without a cent having been paid on account!)

I don't get its meaning clearly and also about the term "should" at the end of the sentence!

Is collector someone who collect money for somethings done that people should pay for them?

Could you write it in the other words to make it clearer?

Sorry my english is not so good. If I made some mistakes please correct me. Thanks in advance.


The clause begins with suppose and therefore we find should...suddenly meet himself. The modal should indicates that we're referring to a hypothetical event, not an actual one.

The modal, should, and the infinitive it belongs with, meet, are separated by in traversing this route.

Suppose...something should happen to change your mind.

Suppose...something should, over the course of the week, happen to change your mind.

  • Thank you. But could you explain more about the sentence? Am I right in defining "collector"? Is writer exaggerating in describing those streets and want to say the collector become confused in such street and without finding any home to collect money suddenly meet himself where he was first. – Viser Hashemi Apr 11 '18 at 18:42

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