" Around the Corner From Where I Used to Live There
                                    Was a Little Store Run By a Family Named Lintz"

On May 21, 1966, publication of "Fatimas and Kisses." The New Yorker. Waiting for Winter. Gibbsville, PA.

So opens the first sentence of this Gibbsville-in-the-twenties-Jim Malloy story, written over thirty years after "The Doctor's Son" and "It Must Have Been Spring."

"If you wanted ice cream, by the quart or by the cone, you could get it at Lintzie's; you could buy cigarettes and the less expensive cigars, a loaf of bread, canned goods, meats that did not require the services of a butcher, penny candy and boxed bon-bons, writing tablets and pencils, and literally hundreds of articles on display-cards that novelty salesmen had persuaded Lintzie to put on his shelves, and which he never seemed to reorder. I doubt if there are any stores like Lintzie's around any more ...."

Lintzie's wife has been quietly putting out for the salesmen. She gives Jim Malloy Fatimas cigarettes to keep him quiet after he accidentally discovers her adulteries. Lintzie eventually does find out. He goes insane and shoots his wife and their two children.

Jim Malloy explains how he had take a job as a cub reporter after Dr. Malloy's death. At the end of the story he talks with the police chief:

    We walked in silence halfway to Lintzie's, then the chief spoke. "I thought a great deal of your father. What's a young fellow with your education throwing it all away when you could be doing some good in the world?"
   "What education? I had four years of high school," I said.
   "You were away to college," he said.
   "Away, but not to college."
   "Oh, than you're not much better than the rest of us," he said.
   "I never said I was, Chief."
   "You never said it, but you act it. Your father was better than most of us, but he didn't act it."
   "No, he didn't have to," I said.

There is an excellent discussion and analysis of "Fatimas and Kisses" in Steven Goldleaf's John O'Hara - A Study of the Short Fiction, pages 58-60, 62-64.

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