STEVE FISHER “You’ll Always Remember Me.” Short story. First published in Black Mask, March 1938. Reprinted in Best American Noir of the Century, edited by James Ellroy & Otto Penzler (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010).

   When you think of “juvenile delinquents,” what probably comes to your mind first (well, it does mine) are the gangs of young hoodlums who obsessed the country everywhere in the 1950s, largely in big cities but small towns in the middle of nowhere as well.

   Well, what this this story does is to remind you that kids could be bad in earlier time periods as well, but maybe only without the accompanying gangs. The young 14-year-old narrator of “You’ll Always Remember Me” is, for example,  as bad as they come.

   It seems that the older brother of the girl that Martin Thorpe is seeing is about to be hanged for the killing of their father, and he’s run out of appeals. It won’t matter if I tell you that it won’t long for you to decide who really did it. The only question is, is he going to get away with it?

   You’d think that another mysterious, unexplained death would be enough for one story that’s only 18 pages long (in the hardcover reprint anthology), but what I found really chilling was the death of a very sick kitten. I guess it’s all in perspective. One thing’s for sure. The title is absolutely right on.