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#15: Mark on the Mirror > Chapter 7: The Mark on the Mirror - Summary

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message 1: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 968 comments Mod
Chapter 7: A Startling Telephone Call

Peter asks Judy how the shower went. She replies that he should have been there and adds that perhaps he was, wearing a mask. Peter is perplexed and Judy is convinced that he is not the guilty party. On the way to Roulsville, she tells him all about the happenings of the day before. Peter rather patronizingly tells Judy that he’s surprised she can’t see that someone is trying to mystify her on purpose. Judy says she can’t help continually puzzling over things and she will continue to do so about this matter until something better turns up. Peter says he hopes something will.

When they arrive at Peter’s law office, the mail contains letters of people who want divorces. Peter says they shouldn’t have married in the first place. Again, Judy feels uneasy, saying that maybe they didn’t know that beforehand. Peter now explains about Mr. Ritter for whom he had gotten a divorce. Now Mr. Ritter wants custody of the child in the case. Peter points out that generally the mother is given custody regardless of which parent is more fit to raise the child. (The issue of child custody again dates this book. Today, either parent may be given custody of a child and often joint custody is awarded. I have known of several cases of joint custody where the child or children spend half the week with one parent and the other half with the other parent. Personally, I think that it’s not the best arrangement. Children need a sense of permanence and living in two different places disrupts that security.)

In this case, though, he’s not sure of whether Mr. Ritter might be the better parent. He feels sorry for the child because neither parent appears really to be a good one. He announces that Mr. Ritter is coming to see him and that he has to go out for awhile. He asks Judy to try and get Mr. Ritter to confide in her and for her to form an opinion about his fitness to be a parent. He says he values Judy’s judgment of people even more than he does the judges who hear and decide these cases. (I find Peter’s attitude here quite contradictory. On the one hand he disparages Judy’s concern over the mystery of who delivered the mirror and then redeems himself by saying how much he relies on Judy’s judgment.)

After Peter leaves, Judy thumbs through the law books reading about custody cases and finds one that holds that the child should not be given to the mother if the divorce is granted to the father. Judy marks it for Peter and then turns her attention to the correspondence she must do for him. Just as she finishes, the phone rings. A woman asks for Peter and says it’s very important. She breaks off in the middle of a sentence and shrieks, “Birdie.” Judy hears a crash before the connection is interrupted. Judy is puzzled by hearing “Birdie” and tries to trace the call, but it’s too late. The door buzzer rings and Mr. Ritter walks in.


message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie C | 14 comments Something that has been puzzling me and maybe someone can clarify: Peter said helped Mr. Ritter obtain a divorce. How quickly does that happen? Because Peter had met Mrs. Ritter in the judges chamber for the divorce and so it must mean that the divorce took place in Roulsville or Farringdon. But Mrs. Ritter was new to Farringdon (and Mr. Ritter seemed to barely know the area). Did divorces happen quickly back then? In CA, it takes a good 6 months or so for it to be complete so this is foreign to me!


message 3: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 473 comments Stephanie wrote: "Something that has been puzzling me and maybe someone can clarify: Peter said helped Mr. Ritter obtain a divorce. How quickly does that happen? Because Peter had met Mrs. Ritter in the judges chamb..."
It doesn't mean he had to live in either of those towns during the whole process.


message 4: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 473 comments I disagree that peter was being patronizing. Judy needed a reality check, in my opinion.


message 5: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 968 comments Mod
Rebekah wrote: "I disagree that peter was being patronizing. Judy needed a reality check, in my opinion."

Peter may have been patronizing, as mentioned in the comments, but Rebekah is also correct because Judy needed a reality check. Can one imagine how difficult it might be sometimes to love and live with a girl detective who is always looking for mystery and adventure at every turn? :-)


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