Study Guide

Valentin in Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories

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Compared to open-faced little Billy, Valentin is dark and independent, the quiet son of Ferris's nightclub singer girlfriend. He seems satisfied with drawing, home alone, when desperate Ferris returns to Paris and promises to take the boy on all sorts of father-son adventures. We'll go to the guignol (puppet show) Ferris says.

"Monsieur Jean," Valentin says breezily, "The guignol is now closed" (Sojourner.93). But still he allows Ferris to hug him, and accepts it sweetly.

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