As it turned out, I had several months to implement my plan. I decided to pick the night of Halloween itself for the climax; I am aware that it is simply a date, but all dates are simply dates in the end and the thought of using that particular one amused me. Besides, even if my preparations were noticed, most of them could be explained easily by the holiday. As it happened, no-one noticed at all. This is fortunately an age where the uncanny is rarely noticed, and difficult to understand.
This is, however, also an age when parents are extremely wary of anything that might appear to be a threat to their progeny, so it was vitally important that I not appear threatening in that fashion as I carefully encouraged the neighborhood children to not avoid the house. I managed this partially through my public relationship with Betty, which suggested that I ultimately was a man of conventional tastes; and partially by being very careful to never, ever be alone with any of the children, or to invite one of them into the house, or to insinuate anything. It helped, of course, that I have absolutely no interest in children in that particular way, and never have. My tastes express themselves differently.