THE RATTLE AND rumble of the rain conjured, sometime around quarter to six, the false phantom sense that the kitten must be purring somewhere in the bedroom, shut away from the catbox. In the true morning, the true kitten bounded in, to climb on the air conditioner and stare out the window at a scene of breaking clouds, then to attack the cord on the blinds. A soggy religious tract about angels lay in among the moldering leaves, a short way up the block from a trampled nine of diamonds. The lingering dampness from the storm made the Halloween air smell like spring. It was warm enough for kids to be out in just their costumes, with no coats in the way. Water seeped down the rock face on the edge of Central Park. The fallen oak leaves had managed to keep or recover some of their loft. The stench of a ginkgo, from the solid carpet of crushed fruit and leaves it had left on the pathway, carried a good 20 yards. Here and there the sun raised brilliant whites among the clouds, while the trails stayed lost in gloom. Then at last the sun got fully out from under under the western cloud mass and lit up the half-changed leaves, the pale stripped branches of a plane tree, and the massed red-orange berries of a hawthorn.