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#15: Mark on the Mirror > Chapter 8: The Mark on the Mirror - Summary

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message 1: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 969 comments Mod
Chapter 8: Mr. Ritter’s Story

Peter has not yet returned and Judy recognizes Mr. Ritter from Peter’s description. She asks Mr. Ritter to wait and suggests that he tell her some of what’s on his mind to save time. As Mr. Ritter tries to win Judy’s sympathy, he reveals where the little girl he calls “Ella” is living and Judy realizes that it’s the new little girl she had met who lives right across the street. She doesn’t tell Mr. Ritter that. He claims that Ella is being abused, that she’s delicate and forced to do household chores that are too much for her. When Peter arrives, he discusses how children are the victims when the parents get out of an unhappy situation via divorce. Mr. Ritter says that he lives with his mother who is a very suitable person to bring up the little girl. Peter points out that it is not his mother who is seeking custody and that he is the one that will have to prove that he will be a better parent for the child. The secret letters that he has from his daughter indicating how unhappy she is will not be sufficient evidence in court. He also tells Mr. Ritter that in order to prove that he’s more fit than his ex-wife, he will have to accuse her of cruelty, which could be even more damaging to the child. In Peter’s opinion, an eleven year old girl should be able to make the decision herself, but it’s a hard thing to ask a child to do. Mr. Ritter also reveals that Ella is a foster child and that she came from an orphanage. (I wonder if Margaret really intended to describe Ella as a “foster” child. There is a big difference between the rights of foster parents and those of adoptive parents. The state is responsible for the welfare of a foster child and I would think that the custody issue here would have been decided by the state agency, not the courts if she had not been legally adopted by the Ritters.)

Peter tells Mr. Ritter to hold off until he sees his little girl and talks things over with her. Mr. Ritter appears less certain of himself when he leaves the office.

Peter asks Judy’s opinion and she says she really hasn’t been able to form one yet. She wants to talk with Ella herself.

message 2: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 475 comments Peter says in chapter 7 that he got Mr. Ritter his divorce. Yet in this chapter, Judy introduces them to each other for the first time. Margaret's editor should have caught that goof.

I like that Peter wouldn't take the case unless he thought that Ella would really be better off with Mr. Ritter. I like the way he handles himself with Mr. Ritter. He seems very no nonsense.

message 3: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 969 comments Mod
Sometimes mistakes occur in the series books as Rebekah pointed out the one in this story.

As an example, Nancy Drew and her chums, on a trip to Scotland (#41: The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes), the girls stop for luncheon twice in one day!

In the revision of the Hardy Boys novel, #30: The Wailing Siren Mystery, Joe makes a remark which he shouldn't have made because he had been kidnapped and wasn't even on the scene! The text should have read that Frank made the comment!

Such errors in both children's and adult novels really bother me. Some of the worst offenders are online books. I recently read the e-book version of Mary Jane Clark novel that had so many grammar and typographical errors, it was off-putting. I didn't enjoy the story as much as I might have because of the errors. The proofreader must have been asleep!

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