This was a short story written about 1952 about a houseful of women and a boy literally locked away from the world. I have reread this story at least 4 times and I just don't get the ending. Can someone shed some light on this for me, please?
This story sounds a bit like "Jack-In-The-Box"; although the 'several women' you refer to turn out to be - well, I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it...
I've never seen "Jack-in-the-Box" under any other title. Can you describe the ending of the story you remember?
Ive read a story about a boy locked away from the world but it was called "The Shadow Children" and it was because of a two child limit.
I just read "The Island" from The Cats Pajamas. I too am confused about the ending of this story.
If Alice was the only person to escape from the library, then the mother, maid, sister, and boy were all dead. It appears that the intruder entered and left the home. She comments that the footsteps in the snow were small, like a little man. Was the murderer a midget? The ending is confusing and not clear to me.
My impression was Alice was the only survivor. Everyone else was murdered, committed suicide to escape being attacked, or simply died of fright. The remark about the footsteps being small was her stunned reaction, questioning how could such a seemingly insignificant individual commit such a huge and devastating act? Pretty much like when Lee Harvey Oswald was taken into custody for assassinating President John F. Kennedy and everyone said, "What, that little runt? There's gotta be more to it than THAT!" And are still saying this to this day.
Thanks dandelion. At first I was thinking that the boy might have done the killings, then I read that section again and it appears that he died of some sort of heart attack/pain in his chest and fell to the floor. Anyway, I really enjoyed this story.
I vaguely remember this story, and I remember thinking that it didn't make any sense. There doesn't appear to be any reason for the murders. They seemed totally unmotivated. It has the hallmarks of a resurrected trunk story.
A lot of the stories in that collection and possibly the one next to it were rejected for various reasons when written and were revised and published decades later. One of the collections is dedicated to Donn Albright for having discovered most or all of the stories in it.
"To Donn Albright, My Golden Retriever, with Love"
- The dedication from Quicker Than the Eye (1996)
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