"Mr. O'Connor," Mr. Guthrie said, "I didn't want to ask in front of the young lady, but I'm a bit concerned as to whether she is... 'slow.' I ask because it is somewhat unusual for a child of her age not to know her own last name, or indeed that of her father."
"Oh, no," I said. "She's far from slow. She's just been feral for a while. You may find her a bit of a handful, especially with her language."
He shook his head. "That's not unusual these days. I've learned some words this semester that I never heard before in my life, and I served in the Navy."
"Also, Mr. Guthrie, to be clear, we don't want you to try to civilize her or clean her up. Just educate her."
"Mr. O'Connor, I would count even that accomplishment as a tremendous achievement."
Strolling back toward the hotel, I wondered how the experiment of sending Ron to school was going to work out. Jan had thought that Ron might simply refuse to go, but I had known this was very unlikely. Ron had selected us to be her parents, after all, and there had been no compulsion on her to have parents at all. So, she had wanted something she didn't have, something she'd thought we could provide.
It was clear that she idolized my employer. I had chuckled at Jan's frustration that I wouldn't tell her how I had persuaded Ron to enroll in school. She thought I was keeping it a secret to get back at her for all the times she had withheld information from me. But it was really because the answer would have fed her ego, which I felt was quite well fed enough as it was.