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Former Classmates Rediscover Early Works By Truman Capote

January 19, 1986 GMT

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) _ Two stories penned by Truman Capote when he was a student at Greenwich High School have been found in back issues of the school’s literary magazine, but they probably won’t be published, an expert says.

Capote, who went on to write ″Breakfast at Tiffany’s″ and ″In Cold Blood,″ died Aug. 25, 1984, at the age of 59.

″The estate will take great care not to publish any early works that would detract from the writings of the mature author,″ said Andreas Brown, owner of Gotham Book Mart in New York City.

″We have 15 to 20 examples of juvenilia from Capote’s Greenwich days, and they are mainly of interest as curiosities or biographical material,″ said Brown, who is compiling a complete list of Capote works for the estate.

Capote attended Greenwich High School from 1939 to 1942.

The newly found stories were published in ″The Green Witch,″ for which Capote wrote about a dozen stories and poems while he was in high school.

Janet Bermingham, a librarian at the school, found the back copies Friday after contacting Capote’s former classmates. Brown had sought her help in finding the issues.

″Uncle Cabas,″ published in November 1939, is about an old black man who is made to believe God has absolved him of his sins. ″Parting of the Way,″ which appeared in January 1940, is the story of a quarrel over money between a man and a boy camping out overnight.

″Parting of the Way″ begins:

″Twilight had come; the lights from the distant town were beginning to flash on; up the hot and dusty road leading from the town came two figures, one, a large and powerful man, the other, young and delicate.

″Jake’s flaming red hair framed his head, his eyebrows looked like horns, his muscles bulged and were threatening; his overalls were faded and ragged, and his toes stuck out through pieces of shoes. He turned to the young boy walking beside him and said, ’Guess this is just about time to make camp for tonight.‴

Dorothy Doyle Gavan, a 1943 graduate, saved her November 1939 ″Green Witch″ because she was a frequent contributor to the literary magazine. She recalled Capote.

″He did not go to many classes,″ Gavan said, ″and when he did he always brought a long legal pad and did nothing but write stories, dropping the pages he did not think were good on the floor behind him.″