Spring 1984 • Vol. VI No. 2 FictionApril 1, 1984 |

Dwyer’s Girl

One summer, the summer of 1922, Dwyer's Hotel came into brief prominence. It was Dwyer himself, only 20 at the time, who found the body of the woman in the lake. Gasping with distaste for her drowned corpse and with terror at the importance of his own mission, he ran back to the hotel, which in those days was always full of guests, even during the off-season. His father, John Dwyer, was in the kitchen, as usual; so were his two uncles, Charles and Henry, while their wives were in the dining room with Dwyer's mother, setting up the tables for lunch. It was a family business then, and the whole family had come with young Dwyer to the edge of the lake to in- spect the unpleasant carcass of the girl, before any of them had thought to tell the police. The case had become quite famous. It had been written up in the New York papers, and Dwyer later heard that Theodore Dreiser had used it in An American Tragedy. Dwyer himself, who seldom read fiction and suspected tragedy of being un-Am

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