Love Vignette 2

Poetic Justice in Prose

By Marie Elise Robinson


Midsummer treasure hunts though up by committees hell-bent on whimsy, are apt to be like auctioneer's nightmares, and the annual one at the Gosnold Inn on Martha's Vineyard ran true to form. Old fashioned night shirts, ivory combs, leather spankers, all loaned from attics under window's walks, had been found and turned in by the panting young guests. The contest was narrowed down two brothers, Van and Perry Scully.

There was one more item on the list, "an original returned short story." Van and Perry had the same idea at the same time--little Janet Pearce who had been writing for as many summers as they had been coming back to the Vineyard. Janet's stories, too, all came back.

Van hurried, his long legs taking him down the narrow streets to the Cape Cod cottage where Janet lived with her lobster fisherman father. Van rang the bell as if he would shatter the house. After a few minutes, a light went on in Janet's room. She came down, opened the door, her trim figure lost in a big bathrobe, looking like a child awakened from sound sleep.

Van did not go in for subtleties: "Look Janet. For the treasure hunt I need a short story kicked back by an editor. Old Van knew where to come all right. Bet you have a raft of them, sweetheart?"

Janet nodded without smiling, her brown braids bobbing up and down. "Just a minute, Van, I'll get you something." She brought from her desk an envelope full of typewritten pages. He didn't stop to thank her but bolted for the Inn nearly knocking Perry over as went.

Perry hesitated. Maybe Jane would be sensitive about her writing--her unsold manuscripts. After some more indecision he rang her bell in an apologetic kind of way, and his voice, when she answered the bell, was almost a whisper.

"Janet", he began, "There's a fool treasure hunt and I..."

"I know, Perry," she interrupted him. "Here's my latest story back yesterday." She put a bulky envelope in his hands.

He shifted his weight, "It's swell of you. Thank you. I guess Van got here first."

Janet smiled, a dimple coming in her sun-browned cheek. "He did. I gave him a copy of Edgar Allen Poe's 'Gold Bug' that I had used as a typewriting exercise."

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