The Auctioneer is the first almost-might-be-true horror story of the season--grounded only too firmly in the rural life of a small New Hampshire village where things are just like they used to be until the arrival of Perly Dunsmore. As slick as hair oil and with all the fervor and magnetism many men have hidden under the big tent and the larger canopy of the sky, Dunsmore comes visiting from house to house, pestering natives like the Moores (John, a farmer; Mim, his wife; Hildie, their one chick; and John's wise old Ma) for wheels in the woodshed or quilts in the attic. Belongin' by belongin', they're stripped to an empty house while auctions are held in the presumptive interests of policeman Gore who needs a lot of deputies with guns and of Dunsmore's new development, Perly Acres, made all the easier when many of the villagers just up and leave. But not John--even after the sale of a new kind of livestock: the children (this may remind you of The Lottery). Miss Samson has a way to go to resolve this with as much sustained surprise but you'll be there at the final town meeting waiting for the gavel of justice. . . . Success seems easy to anticipate--this should be going, going, gone to a wide readership.