When an airplane flies overhead at noon, Edie and Dr. and Mrs. Peebles run outside, afraid it will crash near their house. But, no, the pilot was landing the plane in the fairgrounds across the street. Loretta Bird, the noisy and nosy neighbor, stops by to gossip about the event, for in this area, about five miles outside the city, not much happens, and a plane landing across the street is worth talking about. The next day, Mrs. Peebles takes her children into town to get haircuts, and while she is gone, Edie, after cleaning the kitchen so that it is sparkling clean, goes into Mrs. Peebles’s bedroom just to look around and snoops into her closet as well. She sees a beautiful satin gown hanging in the back that she cannot resist trying on. It fits beautifully, so Edie puts on a bit of makeup too. While she is in the kitchen getting a glass of ginger ale, a man appears at the door and introduces himself as Chris Watters, the pilot of the plane that landed the day before. He asks if he could use the pump for water. He at first mistakes her for the lady of the house, but he remains friendly after she tells him she is merely “the hired girl.” Regardless, he tells her she looks beautiful. Although alarmed that someone caught her in Mrs. Peebles’s dress, Edie is nevertheless flattered by his compliments.
Edie tells Dr. and Mrs. Peebles about Chris Watters later that day, but she realizes that if he were to visit and mention the satin dress, she would be embarrassed and perhaps in trouble with her employers. After the children are in bed, she runs over to ask Chris to please say nothing about the dress. He is quick to agree and puts her at ease; even more, he gives her a cigarette, lights it, and talks with her. Edie is again flattered because, after all, this is an older man and she is but fifteen. Remembering the children in bed, she runs back home.
Chris had landed his plane at the fairgrounds to start a business selling rides for a dollar. He is moderately...
(The entire section is 813 words.)