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inea hens,” said Archie suddenly and his voice was contemptuous. Before anyone couldrebuke him, his grizzled head went up sharply and he rose swiftly. “Somebody comin’ up the walk.
‘Tain’t Mr. Wilkes neither. Cease your cackle.”
There was male authority in his voice and the women stood suddenly silent anger fading swiftlyfrom their faces as he stumped across the room to the door.
“Who’s thar?” he questioned before the caller even knocked.
“Captain Butler. Let me in.”
Melanie was across the floor so swiftly that her hoops swayed u jimmy choo handbags p violently, revealing herpantalets to the knees, and before Archie could put his hand on the knob she flung the door open.
Rhett Butler stood in the doorway, his black slouch hat low over his eyes, the wild wind jimmy choo whippinghis cape about him in snapping folds. For once his good manners had deserted him. He neithertook off his hat nor spoke to the others in the room. He had eyes for no one but Melanie and hespoke abruptly without greeting.
“Where have they gone? Tell me quickly. It’s life or death.”
Scarlett and Pitty, startled and bewildered, looked at each other in wonderment and, like a leanold cat, India streaked across the room to Melanie’s side.
“Don’t tell him anything,” she cried swiftly. “He’s a spy, a Scalawag!”
Rhett did not even favor her with a glance.
“Quickly, Mrs. Wilkes! There may still be time.”
Melanie seemed in a paralysis of terror and o cheap jimmy choo nly stared into his face.
“What on earth—” began Scarlett.
“Shet yore mouth,” directed Archie briefly. “You too, Miss Melly. Git the hell out of here, youdamned Scalawag.”
“No, Archie, no!” cried Melanie and she put a shaking hand on Rhett’s arm as though to protecthim from Archie. “What has happened? How did—how did you know?”
On Rhett’s d jimmy choo wedding shoes ark face impatience fought with courtesy.
“Good God, Mrs. Wilkes, they’ve all been under suspicion since the beginning—only they’vebeen too clever—until tonight! How do I know? I was playing poker tonight with two drunkenYankee captains and they let it out. The Yankees knew there’d be trouble tonight and they’ve prepared for it. The fools have walked into a tr cheap jimmy choo uk ap.”
For a moment it was as though Melanie swayed under the impact of a heavy blow and Rhett’sarm went around her waist to steady her.
“Don’t tell him! He’s tryin jimmy choo outlet g to trap you!” cried India, glaring at Rhett. “Didn’t you hear him sayhe’d been with Yankee officers tonight?”
Still Rhett did not look at her. His eyes were bent insistently on Melanie’s white face.
“Tell me. Where did they go? Have they a meeting place?”
Despite her fear and incomprehension, Scarlett thought she had never seen a blanker, moreexpressionless face than Rhett’s but evidently Melanie saw something else, something that madeher give her trust. She straightened her small body away from the steadying arm and said quietlybut with a voice tha jimmy choo uk t shook:
“Out the Decatur road near Shantytown. They meet in the cellar of the old Sullivan plantation—the one that’s half-burned.”
“Thank you. I’ll ride fast. When the Yankees come here, none of you know anything.”
He was gone so swiftly, his black cape melting into the night, that they could hardly realize hehad been there at all until they heard the spattering of gravel and the mad pounding of a horsegoing off at full gallop.
“The Yankees coming here?” cried Pitty and, her small feet turning under her, she collapsed onthe sofa, too frightened for tears.
“What’s it all about? What did he mean? If you don’t jimmy choo h&m tell me I’ll go crazy!” Scarlett laid handson Melanie and shook her violently as if by force she could shake an answer from her.
“Mean? It means you’ve probably been the cause of Ashley’s and Mr. Kennedy’s death!” Inspite of the agony of fear there was a note of triumph in India’s voice. “Stop shaking Melly. She’sgoing to faint.”
“No, I’m not,” whispered Melanie, clutching the back of a chair.
“My God, my jimmy choo bridal God! I don’t understand! Kill Ashley? Please, somebody tell me—”
Archie’s voice, like a rusty hinge, cut through Scarlett’s words.
“Set down,” he ordered briefly. “Pick up yore sewin’. Sew like nothin’ had happened. For all weknow, the Yankees might have been spyin’ on this house since sundown. Set down, I say, and sew.”
Trembling they obeyed, even Pitty picking up a sock and holding it in shaking fingers while hereyes, wide as a frightened child’s went around the circle for an explanation.
“Where is Ashley? What has happened to him, Melly?” cried Scarlett.
“Where’s your husband? Aren’t you interested in him?” India’s pale eyes blazed with insanemalice as she crumpled and straightened the torn towel she had been mending.
“India, please!” Melanie had mastered her voice but her white, shaken face and tortured eye jimmy choo sale sshowed the strain under which she was laboring. “Scarlett, perhaps we should have told you but— but—you had been through so much this afternoon that we—that Frank didn’t think—and youwere always so outspoken against the Klan—”
“The Klan—”
At first, Scarlett spoke the word as if she had never heard it before and had no comprehension ofits meaning and then:
“The Klan!” she almost screamed it. “Ashley isn’t in the Klan! Frank can’t be! Oh, he promisedme!”
“Of course, Mr. Kennedy is in the Klan and Ashley, too, and all the men we know,” cried India.
“They are men, aren’t they? And white men and Southerners. You should have been proud of himinstead of making him sneak out as though it were something shameful and—”
“You all have known all along and I didn’t—”
“We were afraid it would upset you,” said Melanie sorro jimmy choo shoes h&m wfully.
“Then that’s where they go when they’re supposed to be at the political meetings? Oh, hepromised me! Now, the Yankees will come and take my mills and the store and put him in jail—oh,what did Rhett Butler mean?”
India’s eyes met Melanie’s in wild fear. Scarlett rose, flinging her sewing down.
“If you don’t tell me, I’m going downtown and find out. I’ll ask everybody I see until I find—”
“Set,” said Archie, fixing her with his eye. “I’ll tell you. Because you went gallivantin’ thisafternoon and got yore-self into trouble through yore own fault, Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Kennedy andthe other men are out tonight to kill that thar nigger and that thar white man, if they can catchthem, and wipe out that whole Shantytown settlement. And if what that Scalawag said is true, theYankees suspected sumpin’ or got wind somehow christian louboutin and they’ve sont out troops to lay for them. Andour men have walked into a trap. And if what Butler said warn’t true, then he’s a spy and he isgoin’ to turn them up to the Yankees and they’ll git kilt just the same. And if he does turn them up,then I’ll kill him, if it’s the last deed of m’ life. And if they ain’t kilt, then they’ll all have to lightout of here for Texas and lay low and maybe never come back. It’s all yore fault and thar’s bloodon yore hands.”
Anger wiped out the fear from Melanie’s face as she saw comprehension come slowly acrossScarlett’s face and then horror follow swiftly. She rose and put her hand on Scarlett’s shoulder.
“Another such word and you go out of this house, Archie,” she said sternly. “It’s not her faultShe only did—did what she felt she had to do. And our men did what they felt they h cheap jimmy choo ad to do.
People must do what they must do. We don’t all think alike or act alike and it’s wrong to—to judgeothers by ourselves. How can you and India say such cruel things when her husband as well asmine may be—may be—”
“Hark!” interrupted Archie softly. “Set, Ma’m. Thar’s horses.”

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