for it might fail or the Yankees

IT ALL, lived with it by day, took it to bed with her at night, dreading alwayswhat might happen next. She knew that she and Frank were already in the Yankees’ black books,because of Tony, and disaster might descend on them at any hour. But, now of all times, she couldnot afford to be pushed back to her beginnings—not now with a baby cheap ghd straighteners next day delivery coming, the mill justcommencing topay and Tara depending on her for money until the cotton came in in the fall. Oh,suppose she should lose everything! Suppose she should have to start all over again with only herpuny weapons against this mad world! To have to pit her red lips and green eyes and her shrewdshallow brain against the Yankees and everything the Yankees stood for. Weary with dread, she feltthat she would rather kill herself than try to make a new beginning.
In the ruin and chaos of that spring of 1866, she single mindedly turned her energies to makingthe mill pay. There was money in Atlanta. The wave of rebuilding was giving her the opportunityshe wanted and she knew she could make money if only she could stay out of jail. But, she toldherself time and again, she would have to walk easily, gingerly, be meek under insults, yielding toinjustices, never giving offense to anyone, black or white, who might do her harm. She hated theimpudent free negroes as much as anyone and her flesh crawled with fury every time she h ghd outlet eardtheir insulting remarks and high-pitched laughter as she went by. But she never even gave them aglance of contempt. She hated the Carpetbaggers and Scalawags who were getting rich with easewhile she struggled, but she said nothing in condemnation of them. No one in Atlanta could haveloathed the Yankees more than she, for the very sight of a blue uniform made her sick with rage,but even in the privacy of her f heap ghd hair straighteners uk amily she kept silent about them.
I won’t be a big-mouthed fool, she thought grimly. Let others break their hearts over the olddays and the men who’ll never come back. Let others burn with fury over the Yankee rule andlosing the ballot. Let others go to jail for speaking their minds and get themselves hanged for beingin the Ku Klux Klan. (Oh, what a dreaded name that was, almost as terrifying to Scarlett as to thenegroes.) Let other women be proud that their husbands belonged. Thank God, Frank had neverbeen mixed up in it! Let others stew and fume and plot and plan about things they could not help.
What did the past matter compared with the tense present and the dubious future? What did the ballot matter when bread, a roof and staying out of jail were the real problems? And, please God,just let me stay out of trouble u cheap ghd wide plate straighteners ntil June!
Only till June! By that month Scarlett knew she would be forced to retire into Aunt Pitty’s houseand remain secluded there until after her child was born. Already people were criticizing her forappearing in public when she was in such a condition. No lady ever showed herself when she waspregnant. Already Frank and Pitty were begging her not to expose herself—and them—toembarrassment and she had promised them to stop work in June.
Only till June! By June she must have the mill well enough established for her to leave it. ByJune she must have money enough to give her at least some little protection against misfortune. Somuch to do and so little time to do it! She wished for more hours of the day and counted theminutes, as she strained forward feverishly in her pursuit of money and still more money.
Because s ghd straighteners he nagged the timid Frank, the store was doing better now and he was even collectingsome of the old bills. But it was the sawmill on which her hopes were pinned. Atlanta these dayswas like a giant plant which had been cut to the ground but now was springing up again withsturdier shoots, thicker foliage, more numerous branches. The demand for building materials wasfar greater than could be supplied. Prices of lumber, brick and stone soared and Scarlett kept themill running from dawn until lantern light.
A part of every day she spent at the mill, prying into everything, doing her best to check thethievery she felt sure was going on. But most of the time she was riding about the town, makingthe rounds of builders, contractors and carpenters, even calling on strangers she had heard mightbuild at future dates, cajoling them i Cheap ghds nto promises of buying from her and her only.
Soon she was a familiar sight on Atlanta’s streets, sitting in her buggy beside the dignified,disapproving old darky driver, a lap robe pulled high about her, her little mittened hands clasped inher lap. Aunt Pitty had made her a pretty green mantelet which hid her figure and a green pancakehat which matched her eyes, and she always wore these becoming garments on her business calls.
A faint dab of rouge on her cheeks and a fainter fragrance of cologne made her a charming picture,as long as she did not alight from the buggy and show her figure. And there was seldom any needfor this, for she smiled and beckoned and the men came quickly to the buggy and frequently stoodbareheaded in the rain to talk business with her.
She was not the only one who had seen the opportunities cheap ghd straighteners £50 for making money out of lumber, butshe did not fear her competitors. She knew with conscious pride in her own smartness that she wasthe equal of any of them. She was Gerald’s own daughter and the shrewd trading instinct she hadinherited was now sharpened by her needs.
At first the other dealers had laughed at her, laughed with good-natured contempt at the veryidea of a woman in business. But now they did not laugh. They swore silently as they saw her rideby. The fact that she was a woman frequently worked in her favor, for she could upon occasionlook so helpless and appealing that she melted hearts. With no difficulty whatever she couldmutely convey the impression of a brave but timid lady, forced by brutal circumstance into adistasteful position, a helpless little lady who would probably starve if customers didn’t buy h cheap ghd straighteners erlumber. But when ladylike airs failed to get results she was coldly businesslike and willinglyundersold her competitors at a loss to herself if it would bring her a new customer. She was not above selling a poor grade of lumber for the price of good lumber if she thought she would not bedetected, and she had no scruples about blackguarding the other lumber dealers. With everyappearance of reluctance at disclosing the unpleasant truth, she would sigh and tell prospectivecustomers that her competitors’ lumber was far too high in price, rotten, full of knot holes and ingeneral of deplorably poor quality.
The first time Scarlett lied in this fashion she felt disconcerted and guilty—disconcerted becausethe lie sprang so easily and naturally to her lips, guilty because the thought flashed into her mind:
What would Mother s Cheap GHD Straighteners – Cheap ghds UK Sale ay?
There was no doubt what Ellen would say to a daughter who told lies and engaged in sharppractices. She would be stunned and incredulous and would speak gentle words that stung despitetheir gentleness, would talk of honor and honesty and truth and duty to one’s neighbor. Momentarily,Scarlett cringed as she pictured the look on her mother’s face. And then the picturefaded, blotted out by an impulse, hard, unscrupulous and greedy, which had been born in the leandays at Tara and was now strengthened by the present uncertainty of life. So she passed thismilestone as she had passed others before it—with a sigh that she was not as Ellen would like herto be, a shrug and the repetition of her unfailing charm: “I’ll think of all this later.”
But she never again thought of Ellen in connection with her business practices, never againregretted any means she used to take trade away from other lumber dealers. She knew she wasperfectly safe in lying about them. Southern chivalry protected her. A Southern lady could lie abouta gentleman but a Southern gentleman could not lie about a lady or, worse still, call the lady a liar.
Other lumbermen could only fume inwardly and state heatedly, in the bosoms of their families, thatthey wished to God Mrs. Kennedy was a man for just about five minutes.
One poor white who operated a mill on the Decatur road did try to fight Scarlett with her ownweapons, saying openly that she was a liar and a swindler. But it hurt him rather than helped, foreveryone was appalled that even a poor white should say such shocking things about a lady ofgood family, even when the lady was conducting herself in such an unwomanly way. Scarlett borehis remarks with silent dignity and, as time went by, she turned all her attention to him and hiscustomers. She undersold him so relentlessly and delivered, with secret groans, such an excellentquality of lumber to prove her probity that he was soon bankrupt. Then, to Frank’s horror, shetriumphantly bought his mill at her own price.
Once in her possession there arose the perplexing problem of finding a trustworthy man to put incharge of it. She did not want another man like Mr. Johnson. She knew that despite all herwatchfulness he was still selling her lumber behind her back, but she thought it would be easy tofind the right sort of man. Wasn’t everybody as poor as Job’s turkey, and weren’t the streets full ofmen, some of them formerly rich, who were without work? The day never went by that Frank didnot give money to some hungry ex-soldier or that Pitty and Cookie did not wrap up food for gauntbeggars.
But Scarlett, for some reason she could not understand, did not want any of these. “I don’t wantmen who haven’t found something to do after a year,” she thought. “If they haven’t adjusted topeace yet, they couldn’t adjust to me. And they all look so hangdog and licked. I don’t want a manwho’s licked. I want somebody who’s smart and energetic like Renny or Tommy Wellburn or Kells Whiting or one of the Simmons boys or—or any of that tribe. They haven’t got that I-don’t-careabout-anything look the soldiers had right after the surrender. They look like they cared a heapabout a heap of things.”
But to her surprise the Simmons boys, who had started a brick kiln, and Kells Whiting, who wasselling a preparation made up in his mother’s kitchen, that was guaranteed to straighten the lankiestnegro hair in six applications, smiled politely, thanked her and refused. It was the same with thedozen others she approached. In desperation she raised the wage she was offering but she was stillrefused. One of Mrs. Merriwether’s nephews observed impertinently that while he didn’tespecially enjoy driving a dray, it was his own dray and he would rather get somewhere under hisown steam than Scarlett’s.
One afternoon, Scarlett pulled up her buggy beside René Picard’s pie wagon and hailed Renéand the crippled Tommy Wellburn, who was catching a ride home with his friend.
“Look here, Renny, why don’t you come and work for me? Managing a mill is a sight morerespectable than driving a pie wagon. I’d think, you’d be ashamed.”
“Me, I am dead to shame,” grinned René. “Who would be respectable? All of my days I wasrespectable until ze war set me free lak ze darkies. Nevaire again must I be deegneefied and full ofennui. Free lak ze bird! I lak my pie wagon. I lak my mule. I lak ze dear Yankees who so kindlybuy ze pie of Madame Belle Mère. No, my Scarlett, I must be ze King of ze Pies. Eet ees my destiny!
Lak Napoleon, I follow my star.” He flourished his whip dramatically.
“But you weren’t raised to sell pies any more than Tommy was raised to wrastle with a bunch ofwild Irish masons. My kind of work is more—”
“And I suppose you were raised to run a lumber mill,” said Tommy, the corners of his mouthtwitching. “Yes, I can just see little Scarlett at her mother’s knee, lisping her lesson, ‘Never sellgood lumber if you can get a better price for bad.’ ”
René roared at this, his small monkey eyes dancing with glee as he whacked Tommy on histwisted back.
“Don’t be impudent,” said Scarlett coldly, for she saw little humor in Tommy’s remark. “Ofcourse, I wasn’t raised to run a sawmill.”
“I didn’t mean to be impudent. But you are running a sawmill, whether you were raised to it ornot. And running it very well, too. Well, none of us, as far as I can see, are doing what we intendedto do right now, but I think well make out just the same. It’s a poor person and a poor nation thatsits down and cries because life isn’t precisely what they expected it to be. Why don’t you pick upsome enterprising Carpetbagger to work for you, Scarlett? The woods are full of them, Godknows.”
“I don’t want a Carpetbagger. Carpetbaggers will steal anything that isn’t red hot or naileddown. If they amounted to anything they’d have stayed where they were, instead of coming downhere to pick our bones. I want a nice man, from nice folks, who is smart and honest and energeticand—”
“You don’t want much. And you won’t get it for the wage you’re offering. All the men of that description, barring the badly maimed ones, have already got something to do. They may be roundpegs in square holes but they’ve all got something to do. Something of their own that they’d ratherdo than work for a woman.”
“Men haven’t got much sense, have they, when you get down to rock bottom?”
“Maybe not but they’ve got a heap of pride,” said Tommy soberly.
“Pride! Pride tastes awfully good, especially when the crust is flaky and you put meringue onit,” said Scarlett tartly.
The two men laughed, a bit unwillingly, and it seemed to Scarlett that they drew together inunited masculine disapproval of her. What Tommy said was true, she thought, running over in hermind the men she had approached and the ones she intended to approach. They were all busy, busyat something, working hard, working harder than they would have dreamed possible in the daysbefore the war. They weren’t doing what they wanted to do perhaps, or what was easiest to do, orwhat they had been reared to do, but they were doing something. Times were too hard for men tobe choosy. And if they were sorrowing for lost hopes, longing for lost ways of living, no one knewit but they. They were fighting a new war, a harder war than the one before. And they were caringabout life again, caring with the same urgency and the same violence that animated them beforethe war had cut their lives in two.
“Scarlett,” said Tommy awkwardly, “I do hate to ask a favor of you, after being impudent toyou, but I’m going to ask it just the same. Maybe it would help you anyway. My brother-in-law,Hugh Elsing, isn’t doing any too well peddling kindling wood. Everybody except the Yankees goesout and collects his own kindling wood. And I know things are mighty hard with the whole Elsingfamily. I—I do what I can, but you see I’ve got Fanny to support, and then, too, I’ve got mymother and two widowed sisters down in Sparta to look after. Hugh is nice, and you wanted a niceman, and he’s from nice folks, as you know, and he’s honest.”
“But—well, Hugh hasn’t got much gumption or else he’d make a success of his kindling.”
Tommy shrugged.
“You’ve got a hard way of looking at things, Scarlett,” he said. “But you think Hugh over. Youcould go far and do worse. I think his honesty and his willingness will outweigh his lack ofgumption.”
Scarlett did not answer, for she did not want to be too rude. But to her mind there were few, ifany, qualities that out-weighed gump cheap ghds tion.
After she had unsuccessfully canvassed the town and refused the importuning of many eagerCarpetbaggers, she finally decided to take Tommy’s suggestion and ask Hugh Elsing. He had beena dashing and resourceful officer during the war, but two severe wounds and four years of fightingseemed to have drained him of all his resourcefulness, leaving him to face the rigors of peace asbewildered as a child. There was a lost-dog look in his eyes these days as he went about peddlinghis firewood, and he was not at all the kind of man she had hoped to get.
“He’s stupid,” she thought. “He doesn’t know a thing about business and I’ll bet he can’t addtwo and two. And I doubt if he’ll ever learn. But, at least, he’s honest and won’t swindle me.”
Scarlett had little use these days for honesty in herself, but the less she valued it in herself themore she was beginning to value it in others.
“It’s a pity Johnnie Gallegher is tied up with Tommy Wellburn on that construction work,” shethought. “He’s just the kind of man I want He’s hard as nails and slick as a snake, but he’d behonest if it paid him to be honest I understand him and he understands me and we could dobusiness together very well. Maybe I can get Cheap GHD Straighteners him when the hotel is finished and till then I’ll haveto make out on Hugh and Mr. Johnson. If I put Hugh in charge of the new mill and leave Mr.
Johnson at the old one, I can stay in town and see to the selling while they handle the milling andhauling. Until I can get Johnnie I’ll have to risk Mr. Johnson robbing me if I stay in town all thetime. If only he wasn’t a thief! I believe I’ll build a lumber yard on half that lot Charles left me. Ifonly Frank didn’t holler so loud about me building a saloon on the other half! Well, I shall buildthe saloon just as soon as I get enough money ahead, no matter how he takes on. If only Frankwasn’t so thin skinned. Oh, God, if only I wasn’t going to have a baby at this of all times! In a littlewhile I’ll be so big I can’t go out. Oh, God, if only I wasn’t going to have a baby! And oh, God, ifthe damned Yankees will only let me alone! If—”
If! If! If! There were so many ifs in life, never any certainty of anything, never any sense ofsecurity, always the dread of losing everything and being cold and hungry again. cheap ghd flat iron Of course, Frankwas making a little more money now, but Frank was always ailing with colds and frequently forcedto stay in bed for days. Suppose he should become an invalid. No, she could not afford to count onFrank for much. She must not count on anything or anybody but herself. And what she could earnseemed so pitiably small. Oh, what would she do if the Yankees came and took it all away fromher? If! If! If!
Half of what she made every month went to Will at Tar cheap ghd air a, part to Rhett to repay his loan and therest she hoarded. No miser ever counted his gold oftener than she and no miser ever had greaterfear of losing it. She would not put the money in the bank, for it might fail or the Yankees mightconfiscate it. So she carried what she could with her, tucked into her corset, and hid small wads ofbills about the house, under loose bricks on the hearth, in her scrap bag, between the pages of theBible. And her temper grew shorter and shorter as the weeks went by, for every dollar she savedwould be just one more dollar to lose if disaster descended.
Frank, Pi

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