Munro's descriptions might suggest
certain characters' innocence or adultness (and by "adultness" we mean the bad
kind of adultness, the crushed and boring kind that draws someone to wear
sandals to swim). Contrast Mr. Travers' cautious shoe wearing with Grace's
bare feet that she slices on the shell. Would Neil have died had she been a bit
more responsible and worn a pair of shoes around the yard?