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February 10, 1962. Publication of the short story The Women of Madison Avenue. The New Yorker. The Cape Cod Lighter and to be included in Steven Goldleaf's John O'Hara's New York Stories due out later this year.

One weekday afternoon Mrs. Ethel Dabner - "nice looking, well-dressed, late thirtyish, early fortyish" - let herself into her lover's 64th Street ground-floor apartment in anticipation of a rendezvous. There's a surprise ending.

Here are two excerpts:

There were always so many attractive women on Madison Avenue after lunch. They would come in pairs from the restaurants in the upper Fifties and the Sixties, say a few words of farewell at the Madison Avenue corner, and go their separate ways, the one on her way to the hairdresser or to finish her shopping, the other deciding to walk home. So many of them were so attractive, and Ethel Dabner liked to look at them from her seat in the bus. But today she was walking, and inside one of those buses, looking at her, possibly thinking how attractive she was, might be the one woman in New York who had good reason to hate her. Ethel Dabner did not like people to hate her, and if she could ever sit down and have a sensible talk with Laura Howell she could make Laura realize that she really had no reason to hate her.

In the bus she got a seat next to the window and at Sixtieth or maybe it was Sixty-first Street an attractive, nice-looking woman walking up Madison happened to look in the window and catch her eye. Ethel Dabner smiled and bowed, and the nice-looking woman smiled back.

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