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MIRIAM: Miss Miller, a governess who has spent her life in fashionable New York households, is rejected as nurse by a former charge who is expecting a baby of her own. At the movies that evening, she meets Miriam, a strange little girl who reminds Miss Miller of herself when she was young. Later that night, Miriam visits Miss Miller in her apartment, and the next day she is seen at a cafeteria. She appears at the apartment again, this time plundering Miss Miller's jewelry box; and a few days later, she arrives and announces her intention to stay. In horror, Miss Miller enlists the help of a neighbor, who searches the apartment for the little girl and finds no one. Miss Miller returns, however, to find Miriam sitting demurely in the living room. She reproves Miss Miller for the emptiness of her life--the ungrateful children she has cared for and the illusion that has sustained her. Miss Miller struggles with Miriam and pushes her out of the window, but upon returning to the bedroom, she finds Miriam there waiting. AMONG THE PATHS TO EDEN: In a Queens (New York) cemetery, middle-aged Ivor Belli visits his wife's grave. Mary O'Meaghan, a spinster who often walks in the cemetery, approaches Ivor in the hope of beginning a relationship based on their mutual loneliness. They discuss her dead father and his late wife, their shattered illusions, and their appreciation of singer Helen Morgan. Mary steps onto the grave of Ivor's wife and sings a torch song, imitating Helen Morgan. She sees that he is touched by the performance and invites him to dinner. Already involved with his secretary, he declines the invitation. Still hopeful, however, Mary walks him to the gate, explaining that she has a friend who met two husbands in a cemetery. Suddenly, she spots another man carrying flowers and begins to follow him. A CHRISTMAS MEMORY: Buddy is a young boy who lives in the South with his two aunts and an aging spinster cousin. The cousin is Buddy's best friend, and together they lovingly prepare Christmas fruitcakes to send to everyone they admire. They drink the leftover cooking whisky, chop down a Christmas tree, and wrap and mail their presents. On Christmas morning, they suddenly realize that Buddy is about to go away to military school and that she is becoming old and frail. They open their gifts cheerlessly and run to a pasture to fly the kites they gave each other. Exhausted from the activity, they fall into the grass and soak up the sun. After Buddy goes away, the two best friends never see each other again.