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#15: Mark on the Mirror > Chapter 11: The Mark on the Mirror - Summary

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message 1: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 967 comments Mod
Chapter 11: Little Eavesdroppers

Horace calls after the children who are running away. Among them is Rosalie Brady who can’t keep up with the rest. Judy calls her back and Rosalie says that her mother sent her to borrow a cup of flour. This arouses Judy’s suspicions although it wouldn’t normally have done so. Rosalie assures Judy that her mother really did send her. She confesses that she and her friends heard the discussion about Ella and were eavesdropping. She states that she didn’t know Ella was adopted. Judy makes her promise not to tell anyone and to make sure the other kids don’t either. There were only 3 others, Carol and the Dakin twins. Rosalie asks again for the flour and Judy tells her that Ella borrowed the last of it.

Rosalie leaves and Judy notes that she’s going to Ella’s to try to get some. As she’s about to ring the bell, Mr. Ritter pulls up in a car and asks Rosalie whether Mrs. Ritter lives upstairs or down. Rosalie tells him it’s upstairs and that she’s going there. Judy is sure there’s going to be an explosion when Mr. Ritter sees Ella’s bandages. However, she hears nothing.

Half an hour later, Mr. Ritter brings Rosalie to Dr. Bolton for an examination, just as Judy had hoped. Following the examination, Dr. Bolton tells Judy and Horace that Ella admitted that her mother had punished her, but that she had fallen or been pushed down the stairs. Dr. Bolton believes from the appearance of the bruises that she really did fall. The bruise on her hand, however, is the result of her having been hit with a ruler. Judy says that she must have wanted her father to know about it. She leaps to the conclusion that Ella must have developed some sort of code with her father and that the picture on the mirror must have been part of it. Dr. Bolton doesn’t believe it, but Judy says it’s logical because of the note which said, “Marked especially for me.” She’s sure that Mr. Ritter is the one who broke the mirror and replaced it as a gift at the shower. Horace is now convinced, but Judy admits there are some flaws in her theory. The mirror was delivered yesterday and Mr. Ritter didn’t know of her existence until today.

Dr. Bolton remarks on Judy’s excellent powers of deduction and that she’s going to be an invaluable aide to Peter in this case. Judy says that her powers of deduction aren’t deducting anything right now, that there’s much work to do. There are so many threads to connect up and the bird is mixed up in it. Horace starts to say something, “That bird and Ella—“, but Judy interrupts and runs to the dictionary. She finds the name Birdella in there. Now she’s sure that Mr. Ritter wrote the note. She impulsively runs out to tell Lorraine that Arthur is not involved at all.

(It still bothers me, as it did in previous books, that Judy discusses Peter’s clients and cases with others. Granted that here she believes that she’s only telling her family, but nonetheless 4 children were eavesdropping and heard that Ella was adopted. (Now, the text says adopted, whereas previously she was referred to as a foster child.) It strains credibility to think that those children will be able to keep such a secret.)

message 2: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 473 comments I agree that Judy shouldn't have been talking about Ella being possibly abused and also adopted. Not to mention the divorce of her parents and the custody issue. That is a lot of explosive material. When she found out all the children were eavesdropping that was a major disaster with the potential to hurt a lot of people including Peter. Although it probably wouldn't have done any good she should have gone after all those children herself and have a heart to heart with them, rather than using little Rosalie to deliver a message. She also should have gone to the Ritters and let them know that the children in the neighborhood now know that Ella is adopted. AND confess to Peter that she had been overheard. This really would have been a huge mess in real life.

message 3: by William (new)

William Land (williamland) | 967 comments Mod
This situation would have definitely exploded if it had occurred in real life.

Sometimes the authors of series fiction exaggerate how a situation turns out in the plot of a novel; two of the moral lessons of the genre are 1) keep secrets; and, 2) don't tell anything to anyone that is not their business.

The genre suggests to the reader (age appropriate children) the tenets of proper behaviour for young ladies and gentlemen; acceptable behaviour vs. unacceptable behaviour.

This is one of the reasons why I love the genre; the good win and the bad do not.

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