“When the Fleet was in at Mobile”*

Graham Greene, in his foreword to Patricia Highsmith’s first collection of short stories, Eleven, published in 1970 by Heinemann in the UK:

“Miss Highsmith is the poet of apprehension rather than fear. Fear after a time, as we all learned in the blitz, is narcotic, it can lull one by fatigue into sleep, but apprehension nags at the nerves gently and inescapably. We have to learn to live with it. Miss Highsmith’s finest novel to my mind is The Tremor of Forgery, and if I were to be asked what it is about I would reply, “Apprehension.””

*Short story collected in Patricia Highsmith’s Eleven (1970):

* “… ‘You were in a little town above New Orleans, weren’t you,
Geraldine?’
He’d even taken the trouble to ask her mother about her! ‘Why, yes,’ she said. She glanced up at a man in a dark suit standing by her elbow. There was another man on her right, between her and the porch rail. She looked at Franky with a bewildered smile.
Franky said, ‘These are my friends, Geraldine. You’ll come with us, won’t you?’ He stood up.

‘But I didn’t finish my…’ The man on her left took her arm. She looked at Franky and saw his mouth close in a straight line she didn’t know at all. The other man took her other arm. Franky wasn’t making a move to help her, wasn’t even looking! ‘You’re not – you’re not Franky!’
Franky pulled something from his inside coat pocket and held it
toward her.
LOUISIANA STATE POLICE, Geraldine read on a card in the
billfold. She wanted to scream, but her mouth only hung open, limp.
The man who looked like Franky stood there staring at her, pocketing his billfold. ‘It’s all right,’ he said so softly she could hardly hear. ‘Your husband isn’t dead. He just asked us to find you.’
Then her scream came as if it had been waiting just for that. She heard it reach the farthest corners of the park, and though they yanked her with them around the table, she took another breath and let it go again, let it shatter all the leaves and shatter her body, while she stared at the man in the gray suit simply because he wasn’t Franky. Then his face and the lights and the park went out, though she knew as well as she knew she still screamed that her eyes were open under her hands.”

Richard Johnson wrote in Law and Order Volume: 50 Issue: 4 (April 2002):

Abstract: In the past, the American criminal justice system did not perceive domestic violence as a crime, not even a problem. Even with the women’s rights movement in the late 1800’s, women continued to be abused by their husbands, fathers, and boyfriends, however it became socially unacceptable. In later years, society began to view domestic violence as a problem. After World War II, studies linked growing up in an abusive home with the likelihood of criminal behavior later in life. Most domestic batterers showed a consistent pattern of violence and manipulation for the purpose of power and control. During most of the 1900’s, domestic violence was acknowledged, but treated as a private family matter. Family violence became an issue with the influence of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s. As the years progressed, domestic violence in American society began to be seen as a violent criminal act. As the attitude toward family violence began changing so did the criminal justice system. Two major events identified as bringing about this change included the development of professional police standards and the implementation of the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP). Today domestic violence is acknowledged as a serious, violent crime and part of society that harms women, increases child abuse, reduces medical resources, and endangers the lives and welfare of officers. The pursuit of methods in treating and reducing violent behavior by abusers has stretched from counseling agencies, to law enforcement, to the courts, and to corrections agencies.”

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