next thing I remember — it must have been
half to three quarters of an hour later — the fire engines came up
our driveway, turned around and went home
again. What was the reason for all this?
Little George Washington told his father everything and was warned
that if it ever happened again Ross Parker, the fire chief, and Pat
McAuliffe, the police chief, would come up and give me a
On the ground floor of the old
town hall there were several offices and a small auditorium for special
meetings, and it was here that the Catholic Church
held its weekly masses. Once my mother was helping set up a booth for a
fair in the upper hall and a screen
was needed to hide some props. She looked around the lower reaches of
the building and finally found something
she thought would do and carried it upstairs.
"Put that back quick," said one of the committee members,
horrified, "that's the confessional screen."
It looked like any other screen except that it had a hole in it.
This, of course, stimulated my childish imagination and a few
days later I told one of our maids that I had been very bad. "I
think I ought to confess my sins," I added. She agreed it would
be a good idea.
"Do you ever confess yours?" I asked, and she said that she
"When I do it," I continued brashly, "we have a screen with
a hole in it and Mr. Perkins [the Unitarian minister] sits on one
side and I sit on the other. Is that how you do it?"
She said that it was.
"And then I tell him all the bad things I've done and he tells