Another pigtail prattler (ride Saroyan) tells the story of her Mama, her sister Jean (""cursed with truthfulness"") and their plight -- because Mama's dead husband has been disinherited by the wealthy Barth family and her stage history is a stigma. Until Mr. Walker Fairchild, who has quarreled with Miss Matilda Barth over Sylvia and her daughters and the question of child labor in the Barth Mills gives them refuge in his house, but then Miss Matilda kidnaps the little girls, sends them to the school where earlier they have been unaccepted and introduces them to their relatives where they find an ally in Aunt Essie. When Mr. Walker's insane wife dies, Miss Matilda sets her cap for him but he elopes with Sylvia and fights Miss Matilda's attempts to wreck his campaign for congressman is in spite of the further snubs Sylvia endures. It takes a mill disaster and the possibility that Sylvia might run away from Mr. Walker to establish the family as a whole. Eager avcadropping hints at the influence of Mrs. Grundy in a southern town, reveals the social proprieties Jean and Kathlinda (the narrator) have never known and spies on the incomprehensible ways of adults in a world of yesterday where little girls, hungry for aurity, security, keep a flighty, loving mother in line. Pleasant past-timing.