By Thoms Demijohn (Thomas Disch and John Sladek)
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Extra info for Black Alice
When Miss Godwin placed the order, Alice studied her admiringly, as she might have gone through the pages of a fashion magazine. It seemed incredible that anyone so chic would bother to spend her summers tutoring one seventh-grade girl. One eighth-grade girl, that is. Why, Miss Godwin had even been a model in Paris for one of the most famous designers! That was a secret between Miss Godwin and Alice and Uncle Jason. Miss Godwin didn't want Alice's parents to know about that, since Mrs. Raleigh had definite ideas about Negro servants and their 'place'.
After Miss Godwin's summer tutoring, she would go straight from sixth grade to eighth grade. From the academic point of view, of course, she had nothing to worry about. She was better in arithmetic and reading and even in art than most of this year's eighth graders. But the idea that she would be an eighth grader herself—a creature of such flawless elegance, of such maturity—that was a really overwhelming idea. It was like finding yourself suddenly twelve years old instead of eleven. While she waited, Alice had studied the older girls carefully, noting especially the way they climbed into a car.
Beyond that, in the northeast corner, was a face that could be a man's or a woman's, depending on Delphinia's mood and the events of the day. Once, unwisely, she had complained to Jason about the cracks in the ceiling (hoping he would relent and let them have the house on Boston Street for themselves), and he had sent plasterers in to repair the cracks. Delphinia had had some difficulty explaining why she'd sent the plasterers away. Such a day: Delphinia's back hurt! The canaries were starving!