“You in the army? What was your company—your regiment?”
Rhett gave them.
“Oh, the artillery! Everyone I knew was either in the cavalry or the infantry. Then, that explains—” She broke off, disconcerted, expecting to see his eyes snap with that ice. But he only lookeddown and toyed with his watch chain.
“I would have liked the infantry,” he said, passing completely over her insinuation, “but whenthey found that I was a West Pointer—though I did not graduate, Mrs. Elsing, due to a boyishprank—they put me in the artillery, the regular artillery, not the militia. They needed men withspecialized knowledge in that last campaign. You know how heavy the losses had been, so manyartillerymen killed. It was pretty lonely in the artillery. I didn’t see a soul I knew. I don’t believe Isaw a single man from Atlanta during my whole service.”
“Well!” said Mrs. Elsing, confused. If he had been in the army then she was wrong. She hadmade many sharp remarks about his cowardice and the memory of them made her feel guilty.
“Well! And why haven’t you ever told anybody about your service? You act as though you wereashamed of it.”
Rhett looked her squarely in the eyes, his face blank.
“Mrs. Elsing,” he said earnestly, “believe me when I say that I am prouder of my services to theConfederacy than of anything I have ever done or will do. I feel—I feel—”
“Well, why did you keep it hidden?”
“I was ashamed to speak of it, in the light of—of some of my former actions.”
Mrs. Elsing reported the contribution and the conversation in detail to Mrs. Merriwether.
“And, Dolly, I give you my word that when he said that about being ashamed, tears came into his eyes! Yes, tears! I nearly cried myself.”
“Stuff and nonsense!” cried Mrs. Merriwether in disbelief. “I don’t believe tears came into hiseyes any more than I believe he was in the army. And I can find out mighty quick. If he was in thatartillery outfit, I can get at the truth, for Colonel Carleton who commanded it married the daughterof one of my grandfather’s sisters and I’ll write him.”
She wrote Colonel Carlton and to her consternation received a reply praising Rhett’s services inno uncertain terms. A born artilleryman, a brave soldier and an uncomplaining gentleman, amodest man who wouldn’t even take a commission when it was offered him.
“Well!” said Mrs. Merriwether showing the letter to Mrs. Elsing. “You can knock me down witha feather! Maybe we did misjudge the scamp about not be http://www.gilbertsbigandtall.ca/free.htm ing a soldier. Maybe we should havebelieved what Scarlett and Melanie said about him enlisting the day the town fell. But, just thesame, he’s a Scalawag and a rascal and I don’t like him!”
“Somehow,” said Mrs. Elsing uncertainly, “somehow, I don’t think he’s so bad. A man whofought for the Confederacy can’t be all bad. It’s Scarlett who is the bad one. Do you know, Dolly, Ireally believe that he—well, he’s ashamed of Scarlett but is too much of a gentleman to let on.”
“Ashamed! Pooh! They’re both cut out of the same piece of cloth. Where did you ever get sucha silly notion?”
“It isn’t silly,” said Mrs. Elsing indignantly. “Yesterday, in the pouring rain, he had those threechildren, even the baby, mind you, out in his carriage riding them up and down Peachtree Streetand he gave me a lift home. And when I said: ‘Captain Butler, have you lost your mind keepingthese children out in the damp? Why don’t you take them home?’And he didn’t say a word but justlooked embarrassed. But Mammy spoke up and said: ‘De house full of w’ite trash an’ it healthie nike free run 2 review rfer de chillun in de rain dan at home!’ ”
“What did he say?”
“What could he say? He just scowled at Mammy and passed it over. You know Scarlett wasgiving a big whist party yesterday afternoon with all those common ordinary women there. I guesshe didn’t want them kissing his baby.”
“Well!” said Mrs. Merriwether, wavering but still obstinate. But the next week she, too,capitulated.
Rhett now had a desk in the bank. What he did at this desk the bewildered officials of the bankdid not know, but he owned too large a block of the stock for them to protest his presence there.
After a while they forgot that they had objected to him for he was quiet and well mannered andactually knew something about banking and investments. At any rate he sat at his desk all day,giving every appearance of industry, for he wished to be on equal terms with his respectable fellowtownsmen who worked and worked hard.
Mrs. Merriwether, wishing to expand her growing bakery, had tried to borrow two thousanddollars from the bank with her house as security. She had been refused because there were alreadytwo mortgages on the house. The stout old lady was storming out of the bank when Rhett stoppedher, learned the trouble and said, worriedly: “But there must be some mistake, Mrs. Merriwether.
Some dreadful mistake. You of all people shouldn’t have to bother about collate nike free review ral. Why, I’d lendyou money just on your word! Any lady who could build up the business you’ve built up is the bestrisk in the world. The bank wants to lend money to people like you. Now, do sit down right here inmy chair and I will attend to it for you.”
When he came back he was smiling blandly, saying that there had been a mistake, just as he hadthought. The two thousand dollars was right there waiting for her whenever she cared to drawagainst it. Now, about her house—would she just sign right here?
Mrs. Merriwether, torn with indignation and insult, furious that she had to take this favor from aman she disliked and distrusted, was hardly gracious in her thanks.
But he failed to notice it As he escorted her to the door, he said: “Mrs. Merriwether, I havealways had a great regard for your knowledge and I wonder if you could tell me something?”
The plumes on her bonnet barely moved as she nodded.
“What did you do when your Maybelle was little and she sucked her thumb cheap nike free run ?”
“My Bonnie sucks her thumb. I can’t make her stop it.”
“You should make her stop it,” said Mrs. Merriwether vigorously. “It will ruin the shape of hermouth.”
“I know! I know! And she has a beautiful mouth. But I don’t know what to do.”
“Well, Scarlett ought to know,” said Mrs. Merriwether shortly. “She’s had two other children.”
Rhett looked down at his shoes and sighed.
“I’ve tried putting soap under her finger nails,” he said, passing over her remark about Scarlett.
“Soap! Bah! Soap is no good at all. I put quinine on Maybelle’s thumb and let me tell you,Captain Butler, she stopped sucking that thumb mighty quick.”
“Quinine! I would never have thought of it! I can’t thank you enough, Mrs. Merriwether. It wasworrying me.”
He gave her a smile, so pleasant, so grateful that Mrs. Merriwether stood uncertainly for amoment. But as she told him good-by she was smiling too. She hated to admit to Mrs. Elsing thatshe had misjudged the man but she was an honest person and she said there had to be somethinggood about a man who loved his child. What a pity Scarlett took no interest in so pretty a creatureas Bonn nike free trainers uk ie! There was something pathetic about a man trying to raise a little girl all by himself!
Rhett knew very well the pathos of the spectacle, and if it blackened Scarlett’s reputation he didnot care.
From the time the child could walk he took her about with him constantly, in the carriage or infront of his saddle. When he came home from the bank in the afternoon, he took her walking downPeachtree Street, holding her hand, slowing his long strides to her toddling steps, patientlyanswering her thousand questions. People were always in their front yards or on their porches atsunset and, as Bonnie was such a friendly, p nike free run 3.0 retty child, with her tangle of black curls and her bright blue eyes, few could resist talking to her. Rhett never presumed on these conversations but stoodby, exuding fatherly pride and gratification at the notice taken of his daughter.
Atlanta had a long memory and was suspicious and slow to change. Times were hard and feelingwas bitter against anyone who had had anything to do with Bullock and his crowd. But nike free 5.0 v4 Bonnie hadthe combined charm of Scarlett and Rhett at their best and she was the small opening wedge Rhettdrove into the wall of Atlanta’s coldness.
Bonnie grew rapidly and every day it became more evident that Gerald O’Hara had been hergrandfather. She had short sturdy legs and wide eyes of Irish blue and a small square jaw that wentwith a determination to have her own way. She had Gerald’s sudden temper to which she gave ventin screaming tantrums that were forgotten as soon as her wishes were gratified. And as long as herfather was near her, they were always gratified hastily. He spoiled her despite all the efforts ofMammy and Scarlett, for in all things she pleased him, except one. And that was her fear of thedark.
Until she was two years old she went to sleep readily in the nursery she shared with Wade andElla. Then nike free 3.0 sale , for no apparent reason, she began to sob whenever Mammy waddled out of the room,carrying the lamp. From this she progressed to wakening in the late night hours, screaming withterror, frightening the other two children and alarming the house. Once Dr. Meade had to be calledand Rhett was short with him when he diagnosed only bad dreams. All anyone could get from herwas one word, “Dark.”
Scarlett was inclined to be irritated with the child and favored a spanking. She would not humorher by leaving a lamp burning in the nursery, for then Wade and Ella would be unable to sleep.
Rhett, worried but gentle, attempting to extract further information from his daughter, said coldlythat if any spanking were done, he would do it personally and to Scarlett.
The upshot of the situation was that Bonnie was removed from the nursery t cheap nike free run 2 o the room Rhettnow occupied alone. Her small bed was placed beside his large one and a shaded lamp burned onthe table all night long. The town buzzed when this story got about. Somehow, there wassomething indelicate about a girl child sleeping in her father’s room, even though the girl was onlytwo years old. Scarlett suffered from this gossip in two ways. First, it proved indubitably that sheand her husband occupied separate rooms, in itself a shocking enough state of affairs. Second,everyone thought that if the child was afraid to sleep alone, her place was with her mother. AndScarlett did not feel equal to explaining that she could not sleep in a lighted room nor would Rhettpermit the child to sleep with her.
“You’d never wake up unless she screamed and then you’d probably slap her,” he said shortly.
Scarlett was ann nike free oyed at the weight he attached to Bonnie’s night terrors but she thought shecould eventually remedy the state of affairs and transfer the child back to the nursery. All childrenwere afraid of the dark and the only cure was firmness. Rhett was just being perverse in the matter,making her appear a poor mother, just to pay her back for banishing him from her room.
He had never put foot in her room or even rattled the door knob since the night she told him shedid not want any more children. Thereafter and until he began staying at home on account of Bonnie’s fears, he had been absent from the supper table more often than he had been present.
Sometimes he had stayed out all night and Scarlett, lying awake behind her locked door, hearingthe clock count off the early morning hours, wondered where he was. She remembered: “There nike free 3.0 review areother beds, my dear!” Though the thought made her writhe, there was nothing she could do aboutit. There was nothing she could say that would not precipitate a scene in which he would be sure toremark upon her locked door and the probable connection Ashley had with it. Yes, his foolishnessabout Bonnie sleeping in a lighted room—in his lighted room—was just a mean way of paying herback.
She did not realize the importance he attached to Bonnie’s foolishness nor the completeness ofhis devotion to the child until one dreadful night. The family never forgot that night.
That day Rhett had met an ex-blockade runner and they had had much to say to each other.
Where they had gone to talk and drink, Scarlett did not know but she suspected, of course, BelleWatling’s house. He did not come home in the afternoon to take Bonnie nike free running shoes walking nor did he comehome to supper. Bonnie, who had watched from the window impatiently all afternoon, anxious todisplay a mangled collection of beetles and roaches to her father, had finally been put to bed byLou, amid wails and protests.
Either Lou had forgotten to light the lamp or it had burned out. No one ever knew exactly whathappened but when Rhett finally came home, somewhat the worse for drink, the house was in anuproar and Bonnie’s screams reached him even in the stables. She had waked in darkness andcalled for him and he had not been there. All the nameless horrors that peopled her small imaginationclutched her. All the soothing and bright lights brought by Scarlett and the servants could notquiet her and Rhett, coming up the stairs three at a jump, looked like a man who has seen Death.
When he finally had nike free run plus her in his arms and from her sobbing gasps had recognized only one word,“Dark,” he turned on Scarlett and the negroes in fury.
“Who put out the light? Who left her alone in the dark? Prissy, I’ll skin you for this, you—”
“Gawdlmighty, Mist’ Rhett! ‘Twarn’t me! ‘Twuz Lou!”
“Fo’ Gawd, Mist’ Rhett, Ah—”
“Shut up. You know my orders. By God, I’ll—get out. Don’t come back. Scarlett, give her somemoney and see that she’s gone before I come down stairs. Now, everybody get out, everybody!”
The negroes fled, the luckless Lou wailing into her apron. But Scarlett remained. It was hard tosee her favorite child quieting in Rhett’s arms when she had screamed so pitifully in her own. Itwas hard to see the small arms going around his neck and hear the choking voice relate what hadfrightened her, when she, Scarlett, had gotten nothing coherent out of her.
“So it sat on your chest,” said Rhett softly. “Was it a big one?”
“Oh, yes! Dretfull big. And claws.”
“Ah, claws, too. Well, now. I shall certainly sit up all night and shoot him if he comes back.”
Rhett’s voice was interested and soothing and Bonnie’s sobs died away. Her voice became lesschoked as she went into detailed description of her monster guest in a language which only hecould understand. Irritation stirred in Scarlett as Rhett discussed the matter as if it had been something real.
“For Heaven’s sake, Rhett—”
But he made a sign for silence. When Bonnie was at last asleep, he laid her in her bed and pulledup the sheet.
“I’m going to skin that nigger alive,” he said quietly. It’s your fault too. Why didn’t you comeup here to see if the light was burning?”
“Don’t be a fool, Rhett,” she whispered. “She gets this way because you humor her. Lots ofchildren are afraid of the dark but they get over it. Wade was afraid but I didn’t pamper him. Ifyou’d just let her scream for a night or two—”
“Let her scream!” For a moment Scarlett thought he would hit her. “Either you are a fool or themost inhuman woman I’ve ever seen.”
“I don’t want her to grow up nervous and cowardly.”
“Cowardly? Hell’s afire! There isn’t a cowardly bone in her body! But you haven’t anyimagination and, of course, you can’t appreciate the tortures of people who have one—especially achild. If something with claws and horns came and sat on your chest, you’d tell it to get the hell offyou, wouldn’t you? Like hell you would. Kindly remember, Madam, that I’ve seen you wake upsqualling like a scalded cat simply because you dreamed of running in a fog. And that’s not been solong ago either!”
Scarlett was taken aback, for she never liked to think of that dream. Moreover, it embarrassedher to remember that Rhett had comforted her in much the same manner he comforted Bonnie. Soshe swung rapidly to a different attack.
“You are just humoring her and—”
“And I intend to keep on humoring her. If I do, she’ll outgrow it and forget about it.”
“Then,” said Scarlett acidly, “if you intend to play nursemaid, you might try coming homenights and sober too, for a change.”
“I shall come home early but drunk as a fiddler’s bitch if I please.”
http://www.gilbertsbigandtall.ca/ And I intend to keep on humoring her
“You in the army? What was your company—your regiment?”