"Across these nine acres trespassed a teenage boy. I was downstairs in the convent kitchen, which had a walk-in refrigerator and twenty-two gas jets, and I was shocked to see the trespasser. I ran out yelling, "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" The boy turned out, in time, to be my inspirational homunculus for John Conlan. He had problems with his family; he was on probation from the courts for a minor offense (of which he was innocent); and he had weekly required sessions with a court psychologist who would ask him things like, "John, when you're watching a television sit-com and the audience laughs, do you think the audience is laughing at you?"

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