On a September evening, Abby Brewster is entertaining her neighbor, Reverend Harper, while her sister Martha is delivering soup to a sick neighbor. With her is one of her nephews, Teddy (who believes that he is former president Theodore Roosevelt). They muse on the war in Europe, and how it can be so peaceful in Brooklyn when atrocities are happening overseas. The subject changes to Mortimer Brewster, Abby and Martha’s other nephew and romantic interest of Rev. Harper’s daughter, Elaine. Harper admits to some trepidation regarding the relationship: Mortimer is a theatre critic, and so takes Elaine with him to shows, and Harper disapproves of the theatre in general. Abby assures him that Mortimer actually hates the theatre, and his negative reviews are proof.
Two local police officers, Brophy and Klein, arrive. They are collecting toys for the Children’s Christmas Fund, and as always, the Brewster sisters are charitable. When Teddy goes upstairs to collect the toys, he draws
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