36. THE TALKING MACHINE
January 14, 1976
Jason, a handsome young man, is very interested in new technologies, and in electricity, and Laura often helps him with his inventions. He flies kites with keys. Laura and Nellie are both infatuated with him and are trying to get his attention. Laura is jealous of Nellie because she feels Nellie can get anything she wants with her money. (Except friends, as Nels points out.) Nellie is furious because Jason accepted an invitation from Laura to have dinner with them. Nellie decides to get even, and uses a talking machine which records peoples voices. She gets Laura to her room and makes her talk about Jason, about how they are going to become scientists together and such, while Willie is secretly recording. Laura tells Nellie that she’s in love with Jason and is even thinking about marriage. Nellie lets the whole class listen to the recording and Laura, ashamed, runs to her hiding place. She doesn’t dare face Jason anymore. When she finally does, in school, she realizes that Jason feels the same for her.