The Party Line: M.L. Motley Ten-year-old Gerty spends a week every summer with her grandmother, and 1971 is no different. Well, except for one thing, her Aunt Bessie got a new telephone—no ordinary telephone—a party line. Gerty decides she will eavesdrop on the neighbors' telephone conversation, just to figure out how the party line works. From the first telephone conversation she eavesdropped on, she was addicted. But listening isn't enough for her; she has to repeat what she hears!