School, where Edgar does well both socially and in his work, is a kind of flowering. Portents drift in. A runaway car smashes a pedestrian through the school fence, killing her. One afternoon, the German zeppelin Hindenburg passes overhead, a ship of dreams and, as the pride of Nazi Germany, of menace. An hour or two later, it will explode and burn in Lakeville, N. J.
Each of these things engages Edgar's sensibility, luring it gradually out of fortified childhood. He makes friends with Meg, whose mother, a burlesque dancer, is everything that Edgar's family detests. She and Meg, whom Edgar is half in love with, make something approaching a second home for him.