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Lavinia is Aunt Maria's live-in companion in Black Maria. When Mig arrives, Lavinia is gone, but Mig remembers her from previous visits, and since Mig and her mother stay in Lavinia's room, they are surrounded by reminders of her -- clothes and slippers and silver-backed brushes and a photograph in which Lavinia and her mother, who look just alike, both appear. Even Chris finds Lavinia's nightdress under his pillow.

Lavinia is also the name which the visitors bestow on a stray gray Persian cat, since Betty insists that it looks like Lavinia the companion. Betty adopts the cat instantly, feeding it and patting it and planning to take it back to London, despite the children's insistence that it has no more personality than a cushion. They care for Lavinia in secret, since the mere sight of her makes Aunt Maria furious. Indeed, Lavinia is frightened of Aunt Maria, and also of Elaine.

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Edited June 11, 2005 3:15 am by cpe-024-025-019-099.nc.res.rr.com (diff)
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