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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sample Sunday: At the Sign of the Jack O' Lantern

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In this sharply funny tale from the bestselling author of Lavender and Old Lace, newlyweds Harlan and Dorothy Carr have no idea what they're getting into when they inherit an old house from a distant relative and decide to spend a summer there to escape the city life, because it turns out that even though Uncle Ebeneezer is dead and gone, he still has plans for his house! And one by one, Uncle Ebeneezer's other relatives start showing up until the house is filled with colorful characters and ulterior motives.

So rather than post a chapter excerpt today, we thought we'd do things a bit differently and share some words of wisdom from one of our favorite characters, the oft-married Mrs. Dodd:

Mrs. Dodd on psychology:

(Mr. Perkins) “They are doing wonderful things now in the psychological laboratories. They have a system of tubes so finely constructed that by breathing into one of them a person’s mental state is actually expressed. An angry person, breathing into one of these finely organized tubes, makes a decided change in the color of the vapor.”

“Humph!” snorted Mrs. Dodd, pushing back her chair briskly. “I’ve been married seven times, an’ I never had to breathe into no tube to let any of my husbands know when I was mad!”

Mrs. Dodd on ghosts:

(Mrs. Holmes) “Do you believe spirits can walk?”

“I ain’t never seen no spirits walk, but I’ve seen folks try to walk that was full of spirits, and there warn’t no visible improvement in their steppin’.”

Mrs. Dodd on marriage:

“You may think men folks is all different, but there’s a dreadful sameness to ’em after they’ve been through a marriage ceremony . . . I’ve had seven of ’em,” she continued, “an’ I know.”


“After we was married, we took a honeymoon to his folks, an’ I’ll tell you right now, my dear, that if there was more honeymoons took beforehand to each other’s folks, there’d be less marryin’ done than what there is.”


“There’s nothin’ that makes a man so uneasy as a woman that don’t say nothin’, my dear, so you just write that down in your little book, an’ remember it. It’ll come in handy long before you’re through with your first marriage an’ have begun on your second.”


“When you’ve learned to enjoy seein’ your husband make a fool of himself an’ have got enough self-control not to tell him he’s doin’ it, nor to let him see where your pleasure lies, you’ve got marryin’ down to a fine point.”


“I found out by accident years afterward that my fourth weddin’ ring come out of a pawn-shop, an’ I never took much joy out of wearin’ it. Bein’ just alike, I wore another one mostly, even when Samuel was alive, but he never noticed. Besides, I reckon ’twouldn’t make no difference, for a man that’ll go to a pawn-shop for a weddin’ ring ain’t one to make a row about his wife changin’ it. When I spoke sharp to him about it, he snickered, an’ said it was appropriate enough, though to this day I’ve never figured out precisely what the old serpent meant by it.”

Isn't she fun?
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