In this celebrated short story, actually the title story of a collection, a family on vacation has an argument about their destination. The grandmother, in a fit of pique, releases the family cat, causing the driver to veer off the road. The party is then accosted by three escaped convicts. They lead the family members, one by one, into the woods to be shot. The grandmother tries to reason with the killer, telling him, ". . . you wouldn't shoot a lady. I know you come from nice people." The ploy doesn't work, and the grandmother is executed, too. What is the name of the story and who is its author?
All entries (one per person) must be clearly written on postcards and mailed to: Book Bag, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, and must include complete return address and competition number. The winning entry will be the first correct answer drawn at random. Employees of The Washington Post Company and their families are not eligible to enter. Entries must be received no later than August 9. The winner's name and city of residence will be announced in the August 12 issue. A Washington Post Book World book bag will be sent to the winner.
Answer to Book Bag #583: The foreign correspondent who wrote the runaway bestseller was John Gunther. His Inside Europe went through several revisions and editions.
Gus Wiemann, Tamarac, Fla.