In 1923 Barbara’s goal was to finish her long story, The Adventures of Eepersip, by her ninth birthday, on March 4; she wanted it as a reverse birthday present for her mother. (She fell ill in February and also fell short of her goal, finishing her story a few days late.) Her father had the idea of teaching Barbara about printing, so he advised Barbara to carefully revise her story during her summer at Sunapee in preparation for printing up a few copies and binding them for friends. This she did, but the day after the family returned to New Haven, on October 6, the kitchen stove exploded, destroying the house and its contents, including Eepersip.
On November 12 Barbara wrote to Mr. Oberg:
After my books had arrived at the house that we were taken into through kindness we discovered that Eepersip, my long story, had been destroyed in the fire. For many days I tried to rewrite it and could not, but after a while I got a sudden inspiration, and I am now working on it like fire. Every little while I think of rewriting all those exciting adventures, seventy-two pages of them, and when I think of that I almost give it up again.… Read more