NEW ZEALAND: The Collaborators

As schoolmates in Christchurch, Juliet Hulme, 15, and Pauline Parker, 16, often collaborated in the writing and production of amateur plays—plays which, according to equally amateur critics, were "not bad at all." They both liked detective stories, and as if to strengthen their status as best friends, both had been visited by similar misfortune: each had missed long periods at school through illness. They also both wanted to go to America "to have novels published and filmed," but their parents would not let them.

One day three weeks ago, Pauline and Juliet, like many other fashionable New Zealanders, sat taking tea...

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