Most of the girls had to go home before nightfall which was still fairly late then in Ontario in August. But for those who could stay the whirly ride was wonderful with its arm of strung lights in bright colors. The music from the record player seemed both distant and near in the summer night, like a dream and a memory at once.
The girls who remained rode dreamily, taking interest in the ride again under these new circumstances. Delores' father adjusted the rheostat which controlled the speed of the cars so that they circled lazily and the hum of the wheels softened to a low buzz like locusts. The ice in the washtub had melted to a dark pool and white moths caught themselves on its surface struggling against wet wings.
As the parents of Delores' friends came to pick up their girls, they would mostly stand there for awhile watching the spider arms of light go round and flash against the chestnut tree, the barn, and their own faces. Her father nodded silently from where he stood by the upright brake, forgoing his seat at the folding stool, keeping watch over the ride in the night. He waved to the girls and their parents as they left.
Finally when everyone was gone, he invited Delores and her mother to ride again at three o'clock and nine. This time they seemed to spin like people holding hands, not chasing each other at all.
Her mother did not know what eventually happened to the ride. She seemed to think that Delores Peters' father had rented it out once or twice to a church fair or a volunteer firemen's picnic over the years. She also felt certain that he pulled it out from the barn and set it up near the chestnut tree from time to time again, one time even when they were teens and rode the whirly wheel ironically with their boyfriends, cramped one to a car. Her mother also wasn't sure what had happened to Delores Peters exactly. She knew Delores had married unhappily but then remarried happily. She also knew Delores' father died before her mother, who in fact she thought might be living still in Ontario since farm wives tended to be hardy.