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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Miss Foley is considering the mirrors placed throughout her house. She believes she can feel them waiting for her in each room. She compares the feeling to the way one might have knowledge of freshly fallen snow without ever glancing out the window. Foley noticed the extensive network of mirrors in her house some years ago. She believes that noticing the mirrors or paying close attention to them will cause them to metaphorically crack, leaving the mirror-gazer to drown in the depths of time. When the boys run away, though, she feels the need to check each mirror in the house. She is, though, afraid that the network of mirrors will multiply into armies of herself, causing complete suffocation. She tries to consider what she should do about Will, Jim, and the nephew.
She then considers what a strange phrase “the nephew” is. She wonders why she doesn’t use more possessive terms to describe the boy. When he came to her door days ago, he didn’t belong. She was waiting for some unexplainable proof. While they had been at the carnival during the evening, the nephew had insisted on seeing and doing everything. She glances out toward the lawn where the jewelry is still lying in the grass. Foley supposes the nephew placed it there so there would be no possible way for Jim and Will to get in the way of her ride on the carousel to which he has left her a ticket. She believes she must act quickly, and that no one must stop her from riding the carousel. As a result, she phones the library and tells Charles to meet her at the police station in ten minutes.
Foley uses winter imagery to symbolize the mirrors and summer images to symbolize the carousel. The cold of the reflection symbolizes a lack of hope. Summer’s warmth symbolizes happiness, something Foley feels she cannot achieve with in her current state. Foley obviously believes that what she is, as reflected, is simply not good enough. She hates her reflection. As a result, she feels she must change that quickly. She thinks anything is better than what she is. She knows the boys are the only people who can stop her. She must stop them first, and she believes taking legal action, following the nephew’s lead, will stop them, thereby helping her.