Who is Mrs. Partridge?
Mrs. Partridge is the mother of Margaret Cadaver (Sal’s next-door neighbor). They have lived in their house only for about a month. She has been blind for some time, though not from birth. She likes to dress in colorful clothing and wears a feather boa when Phoebe and Sal first go to her house. Though she is blind, she has an uncanny ability of guessing accurately such details as faces and ages. She knew Phoebe’s age, which does not strike Phoebe as so very unusual, not knowing that she is blind. She also tells Phoebe that she met her brother, but it is the strange boy that Phoebe calls a “lunatic.”
Mrs. Partridge likes to read mysteries in Braille, which convinces Phoebe that Mrs. Partridge is a suspect in the disappearance of her mother. However, Mrs. Partridge seems to enjoy her life and likes talking to the girls, even when they break into her house one night because Phoebe wants to look for clues. She has strength of spirit, as does her daughter Margaret. Sal begins to appreciate this, far more than Phoebe does. Sal marvels that, even though she is blind, she has more insight into people than she or Phoebe do.