Laurett was perfect in every way according to Mary. She talked nonstop about the little girl until you wanted to strangle her. (Yes, both of them!)
The other little girls no doubt felt bad because they were not the center of attention. Mary would arrive and the first words out of her mouth were,
Where is that adorable little niece of mine?
Out Laurett would run and Mary would smother her with hugs and kisses. The other girls would just watch with envy and wonder what they could do to earn such adoration.
Mary never learned how inappropriate her behavior was and was never stopped by Laurett’s parents for showing such preferential treatment. I guess they either basked in the glory or were too lazy to do anything about it.
Or maybe they were afraid of Mary, having witnessed her bizarre behavior on several occasions.