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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 11

J U L Y,1 9 3 1
dear and good, won't you? You've been the best little
girl in the whole world and mama and I are so glad be-
cause-well, because things are a little hard for mama
now."
"Aunt Nellie!" Bonnie ran over, seized her aunt's hand.
"Aunt Nellie, when is mama going to get well?"
"Soon, I hope, dearie," said Aunt Nellie soberly, and
took her heavy body up the stairs.  The living-room was
silent again.
Bonnie rambled aimlessly around. Then she had a
great inspiration: she would dust. Papa used to pre-
tend she was going to dust him out of the house, which
was a great joke. She loved to dust. She couldn't find
the cloth at first, but she finally hunted it out and very
painstakingly she set to dusting the living-room.
It was in the bookcase that she found the newspaper.
It was stuffed behind the books, almost hidden. A small
newspaper it was, not big like the one that used to come
to the door every morning, and this one, she discovered,
was just like a picture-book, it was all pictures.
S HE settled down on the floor . . . Why, there was a
picture of papa! She looked more closely, spelled out
the name underneath, H-a-r-l-a-n K-i-r-k. It delighted
her to see papa's picture. Lovingly she studied every bit
of the photograph, the curly hair, the horn-rimmed eyes,
the dimple in the chin, all so familiar. But papa looked
unhappy, she thought. Perhaps he was lonesome for her
and mama. Poor papa.
And there was a picture of their house. It was, it was!
Oh, she would have to take this paper to school tomorrow
and show Miss Adams and the children-her father and
her house here in this picture-paper.
She tried to read what the words said under the photo-
graphs: Harlan Kirk, L-o-v-e-C-r-a-z-e-d K-i-l-l-e-r
W-h-o C-o-n-f-e-s-s-e-d Y-e-s-t-e-r-d-a-y- No, the
words were too hard, they were not like the words in the
primer at all.
She wondered who the woman was whose picture was
next to papa's. She had such bee-yootiful light curly
hair. K-a-t-e S-m-y-t-h-e, Kirk's F-1-a-m-e-W-o-m-a-n
and V-i-c-t-i-m- Oh, well. She turned the page.
Oh, there was a lovely dog . . . and a kitten beside him ...
She jumped as Aunt Nellie suddenly appeared above her.
"Bonnie!"
"Aunt Nellie, look!" She scrambled up. "Papa's
picture!"
"Yes, Bonnie," said Aunt Nellie, not looking at the
paper at all. "Give it to me and go up and see mama."
But why did Aunt Nellie's face look so scared?
Mama was sitting in a big armchair by the window,
wrapped in a blanket. Bonnie ran to her.
"Sit down, darling. There's your little stool."
Bonnie dragged over the stool and squatted down on
it.
"Mama, I saw papa's picture in the paper! Isn't he an
old rascal-" she turned up a laughing face-"not to
come home?"
Mama's face screwed up suddenly. She sat very still
trying to make her face smooth again and then finally
she said, "Bonnie, I want to tell you something."
"Yes'm." But she didn't want to hear.
"Bonnie, papa isn't coming home for a long time. He's
away and he won't come back to us for years, maybe
never. I don't want you to talk about it, or about him,
to anybody outside of this house. You hear me, Bonnie?
Not to anybody."
"Yes'm," said Bonnie very low. She felt ashamed of
something. "Where-where is he, mama?"
"He's in New York and he can't come back. He would
if he could but he's in trouble. But if he doesn't come
back, you must always remember how much he loved
you-oh, he did, he did!" She cried out now. "He loved
us both but that wom-" She pulled herself up and
went on. "You must remember how good he was to
you. You mustn't ever be bitter. You must feel sorry
that he got in trouble." She stopped. "That's all. And
don't think about this again. When you're grown up
there's time enough. Just go ahead and be happy .
Aunt Nellie came to the door.
"Mr. Jason is on the telephone, Rina. He wants to
come out this evening. I told him all right."
Mama nodded. "All right."
"Who's Mr. Jason, mama?"
"He's a lawyer, dearie. He's helping me-and you."
"Is he the one with the funny whiskers?"
"Yes."
"I like him," said Bonnie. "He's like an old dog."
Mama smiled. "Now run downstairs and help Aunt
( I I   )
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,'41
I,      e
f7
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A
B right sunlight, clicking
cameras, and Bonnie's
mother shielding her face
Nellie get supper. She says you're a fine little helper."
"Can I-may I bring up the tray, if it's the little one
and I'm ver-ry careful?"
"Yes."
"Oh, goody!" Bonnie jumped up from the stool and
went tumbling down the stairs. "Aunt Nellie! Mama
says I can bring up the tray all by myself!"
M AMA got up the next morning and came down to
breakfast. Bonnie jumped up and (own when she
saw her slowly making her way down the stairs.
"1Oh, it's nice for everybody to come to breakfast!"
she cried.
Mama smiled and hurried a little, very little, though.
She walked as if she were very old, Bonnie thought.
Mrs. Diffendorfer came in at the back door with a
covered plate. Mrs. Diffendorfer lived across the street.
"Ach!" cried she, beaming, when she saw mama.
"Dot's de vay. Dot's gude."
"I had to begin sometime," said mama.
"Ya," said Mrs. Diffendorfer, "and you got to go on.
You got a leedle girl."
"Yes," said mama, looking at Bonnie.
"Mrs. Diffendorfer," spoke up Bonnie, "are they crul-
lers?"
"Ach!" said Mrs. Diffendorfer, with a start. Laughing,
she uncovered the plate. It was stacked with white
sugary crullers, warm and fragrant.
"Mama, can't I have one?" begged Bonnie.
"Yes," said mama. "Eat it very slowly."
"Dot's right," said Mrs. Diffendorfer. "Eat and keep
on eating, all of you, dot helps." She paused, her cheeks
getting red. "Could I do anyt'ing, Meesis Kirk? Gus or
me? We-" her eyes looked gently at mama- "we veel
so sorry, Meesis Kirk."
Mama's eyes were full of tears, Bonnie noticed, but she
replied to Mrs. Diffendorfer, "You've done so much al-
ready, Mrs. Diffendorfer. You've been such a good
neighbor-" Then suddenly she ran from the room.
"Ach," clucked Mrs. Diffendorfer miserably. "I (lone
the wrong t'ing. You go to her, Miss Nellie. Goo' bye,"
and she lumbered into the kitchen and away.
Bonnie got up from the table. She didn't know why,
but she was sick, and she wondered what to do. Mama
was sick and Aunt Nellie had to be with mama and there
was nobody else to help her. Why had papa gone and
gotten into trouble? She was angry with papa now.
He should be here when she was sick.
But she wasn't sick, after all. In a few minutes she
was off to school, all comfortable again.
At the school corner, the queerest thing happened. A
group of older children seemed to be waiting for her and
when she came up to them, they all looked at each other
and laughed. The cold feeling came over her again, and
she passed them with her eyes down. She knew that
their laughter had something to do with papa, but her
brow was scowling when she went into her classroom, be-
cause she was trying to think why.  Then Miss Adams
came in, called out, "Good morning, Bonnie dear," and
Bonnie was happy again.            (Turn to page 78)
"Love Killer Gets Chair!" shrieked the
headlines of the tabloid newspapers.
But this is the story behind the head-
lines-the story of the little daughter
who could not understand what it was
all about.      Here   is one    of the   most
powerful stories we have ever published


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