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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 119, No. 1 (July, 1931)

Addington, Sarah
Food for the tabloids,   pp. 10-11 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 10

The snickers of those bad
boys had something to
do with papa. But what?
BNNIE was coming home from school. She was
so happy she couldn't just walk, she had to skip
every step or two.
She was thinking about the teacher. The
teacher was so nice to her now. All year, ever
since last September when Bonnie had first started to
school, she had sat at her desk thinking how beautiful,
how wonderful, Miss Adams was, and trying to make
Miss Adams notice her. Then last week it had happened
suddenly. It was the day after all the men had come to
the house; policemen, and men with big cameras, the
doctor-for mama suddenly got sick, and was shut up in
her room. Aunt Nellie had come too, from New York;
she took care of mama -and did the cooking and put
Bonnie to bed that night.
Well, it was the next day that Miss Adams had begun
being so perfectly lovely to Bonnie. She kept coming
back to Bonnie's desk and putting a hand on her shoulder
and smiling at her, and when Bonnie read from the primer
and made some awful mistakes, Miss Adams only said,
"That's fine, Bonnie."
And that afternoon, and ever since, it had been the
same. Bonnie couldn't understand it but she was warm
with happiness every minute she was in school.
At home things had changed. Mama was still sick,
Aunt Nellie was still there, strange men kept coming to
the house, the telephone rang all the time, men and wo-
men and boys and girls hung around just looking at the
windows of the house and nudging each other, until Mr.
O'Connell, the policeman, came and shooed them away.
And papa hadn't been home for days and days. But that
wasn't strange, lots of times he was away. "My papa
is a traveling man," Bonnie always said proudly when
the children at school were boasting about parents.
But this time he hadn't sent postal cards and mama
wasn't talking about his coming home, as she always had
before. Bonnie missed the postal cards.
"I like papa," thought Bonnie now. "I wish he'd
hurry up, the old rascal."
Then she laughed, because papa always laughed when
she called him that.
She came to the gray-painted house that was home,
hesitated a moment, then went up the steps. She hoped
mama wouldn't be shut up in her room still. She opened
the door.
The house was deadly quiet. Aunt Nellie's big, round
( io)
faceappearedat theheadof the stairs. "That you, Bonnie?"
"Well, I'll be down in a minute. Hang your hat up,
dear, and wash the little paddies. And there are some
cookies in the kitchen."
Oo-oo, they were good cookies. She munched appre-
ciatively, walking around the kitchen. She wondered if
Tony, the next-door cat, were out and went to the win-
dow. There he was, prowling around the new little May
tulips at Mrs. Anable's back door. "I wish I had a kitty,
a little fuzzy one." If she had a kitten, she could hold it
hard and love it and talk to it.
Suddenly she drew back from the window. There was
that sharp face again, its eyes all squeezed up, looking
hungry and mean and, yes, pleased too-Mrs. Anable
at her kitchen window. Lately, Bonnie had become more
and more conscious that people looked at her like that, as
if there were something about her, Bonnie Kirk
Then she would forget it.
She forgot it now. A cookie in hand, she wandered
into the living-room. It was so still and orderly. She felt
dimly that life had gone out of this room. Before last
week, before that day, mama had always been here sew-
ing or reading or listening to the radio, and sometimes
papa was here, too, and the room had been so alive then.
She wasn't allowed to play the radio any more. Aunt
Nellie said it disturbed mama.
"Oh, what," she thought now, "is the matter with
T IHE telephone rang. Aunt Nellie came bustling down.
"Hello, dearic," she said and went to the telephone.
Bonnie listened intently. Aunt Nellie sometimes said
the strangest things over the telephone.
"Hello . . . Yes . . . No, I'm sorry . . . No, Mrs. Kirk
can't see any reporters whatever . . . No . . . I say no"
Very red and angry-looking, Aunt Nellie slammed up
the receiver.
"Aunt Nellie, can I-may I go out and play?"
"I wouldn't, dearie." Aunt Nellie looked at her kindly,
and Bonnie thought, sadly, too.
"Why? I always used to."
"I know. But mama doesn't want you to, Bonnie.
She wants us all just to stay quietly in the house now.
Later, sometime, we're going away. But you-you'll be

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