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They miss the meaning of the preserves. When Mr. Peters says, "Well, can you beat the women! Held for murder, and worrying about her preserves!" he shows he doesn't understand the major role that household details will play.
They miss the uneven block of sewing in the quilt, about which is said:
"The sewing," said Mrs. Peters, in a troubled way, "All the rest of them have been so nice and even--but--this one. Why, it looks as if she didn't know what she was about!"
They miss the bird cage, and the damage done to it; they miss the dead bird. They miss the changes in the women's faces and voices, which should have signaled them by themselves.
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