Saturday, April 30, 2016

Abbe, George. Voices in the Square (New York: Coward-McCann, 1938) 333 p.
A boy comes of age in a small town. Sometimes he hangs out at the library.

Miss Bunce's eyes were the first thing anyone saw on entering the library. She stood behind a semi-circular arrangement of perpendicular wooden bars through which the books were passed. She was a huge, imposing woman with a heavy, red, disagreeable face, hairs on chin and upper lip. Her eyes, fierce and always penetrating, lifted from whatever she was doing and knifed the person entering. Chuck never remembered a single time that he a swung open the library door without encountering that deadly glance, that lowered head, those beetling brows, focused on him from beyond those bars, waiting there, inspecting him tautly, like an animal inside its cage. For a long time he had dreaded the moment of entrance into the library because of that baleful stare, that brooding malevolence that more than once had reminded him of the Harpies settling on their meat. She might be stamping a book when he entered but she would pause, clutching the handle of the stamp, her melon-like breasts standing out vengefully; she stood there scowling, the rubber stamp lifted, like a judge ready to strike the death sentence on a criminal's indictment, like Rhadamanthus or a dark goddess of the lower world, watching him, every step, until he had opened the gate and gone past her. (p. 70).

Miss Bunce catches Chuck drawing obscene pictures in a book and he is banned from the library.

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