How did Susan Kidwell react after going to see Nancy at the funeral home?
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The four coffins, which quite filled the small, flower-crowded parlor, were to be sealed at the funeral services - very understandably, for despite the care taken with the appearance of the victims, the effect achieved was disquieting. Nancy wore her dress of cherry-red velvet, her brother a bright plaid shirt; the parents were more sedately attired, Mr. Clutter in navy-blue flannel, his wife in navy-blue crepe; and - and it was this, especially, that lent the scene an awful aura - the head of each was completely encased in cotton, a swollen cocoon twice the size of an ordinary blown-up balloon, and the cotton, because it had been sprayed with a glossy substance, twinkled like Christmastree snow.
Susan at once retreated. "I went outside and waited in the car," she recalled. "Across the street a man was raking leaves. I kept looking at him. Because I didn't want to close my eyes. I thought, if I do I'll faint. So I watched him rake leaves and burn them. Watched, without really seeing him. Because all I could see was the dress. I knew it so well. I helped her pick the material. It was her own design, and she sewed it herself. I remember how excited she was the first time she wore it. At a party. All I could see was Nancy's red velvet. And Nancy in it. Dancing."
In Cold Blood