The story "The Twins” by Muriel Spark begins with an unknown narrator describing Jennie, a former colleague. The narrator focuses on a visit she paid to Jennie and her family: her husband Simon and their twins, Marjie and Jeff.

During the visit, the narrator admires the twins and their intelligence. One day, Marjie mysteriously demands from the narrator a half-a-crown. She is reluctant to give Marjie the money, as she believes the girl wants it for herself. When Jennie reveals that she has sent Marjie to ask for change, the narrator is quite taken aback by the child’s mysterious behaviour.

Later on, Simon brings home two spinning-tops for the children. At some point, the child’s father tries to set the red top – Jeffs’s – but he realises that he cannot make i...

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