I think this story arose from my wondering what becomes, afterwards, of children who are for a short time in the limelight in some "ugly" case. The completely normal child would, no doubt, throw the thing off; but on the narcissistic or at all exhibitionistic child, I imagine that some unfortunate imprint might be left. The little girl in this story stands for the latter case. I have treated--I must confess--as comedy a tale which might have tragic implications. I cannot help seeing funniness in the total inadequacy of Eunice and Isabelle Evers. Kindliness, idealism and "clean fun" are excellent things--but not, alas, the antidote to all human ills.
THEIR OBJECT was to restore her childhood to her. They were simple and zealous women, of an integrity rooted in flawless sentiment; they bowed to nothing but their own noble ideas and flinched from nothing but abandoning these. They issued the invitation on an impulse but awaited the answer with no drop in morale. They did not shrink from facts, for they attended committees for the good of the world--most facts, however, got to West Wallows a little bit watered down: such things did happen, but not to people one knew. So that when their eye was drawn--they were unmarried sisters, with everything in common, and had, in regard to some things, one eye between them--when their eye was drawn by a once-quitefamiliar name to an obscure paragraph in their daily paper, their hearts (or their heart) stopped. The case was given in outline, with unusual reticence. When they saw what had either happened or nearly happened--they were not quite clear which--to the little girl of a friend they had known as a little girl, shyness and horror drove a wedge between them; they became two people whose looks
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Publication information: Book title: 105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry. Contributors: Whit Burnett - Editor. Publisher: Dial Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1950. Page number: 623.
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