I am not a marrying man

IT WAS ONE of those rare December days when the sun was almost as warm as Indian summer.
Dry red leaves still clung to the oak in Aunt Pitty’s yard and a faint yellow green still persisted inthe dying grass. Scarlett, with the baby in her arms, stepped out onto the side porch and sat downin a rocking chair in a patch of sunshine. She was wearing a new green challis dress trimmed withyards and yards of black rickrack braid and a new lace house cap which Aunt Pitty had made forher. Both were very becoming to her and she knew it and took great pleasure in them. How good itwas to look pretty again after the long months of looking so dreadful!
As she sat rocking nike air max 1 ebay the baby and humming to herself, she heard the sound of hooves coming upthe side street and, peering curiously through the tangle of dead vines on the porch, she saw RhettButler riding toward the house.
He had been away from Atlanta for months, since just after Gerald died, since long before Ella Lorena was born. She had missed him but she now wished ardently that there was some way toavoid seeing him. In fact, the sight of his dark face brought a feeling of guilty panic to her breast. Amatter in which Ashley was concerned lay on her conscience and she did not wish to discuss itwith Rhett, but she knew he would force the discussion, no matter how disinclined she might be.
He drew up at the gate and swung lightly to the ground and she thought, staring nervously athim, that he looked just like an illustration in a book W cheap nike air max 1/90 premium/fb/black/nd/og/black smoke/leopard/premium black ade was always pestering her to read aloud.
“All he needs is earrings and a cutlass between his teeth,” she thought. “Well, pirate or no, he’snot going to cut my throat today if I can help it.”
As he came up the walk she called a greeting to him, summoning her sweetest smile. How luckythat she had on her new dress and the becoming cap and looked so pretty! As his eyes went swiftlyover her, she knew he thought her pretty, too.
“A new baby! Why, Scarlett, this is a surprise!” he laughed, leaning down to push the blanketaway from Ella Lorena’s small ugly face.
“Don’t be silly,” she said, blushing. “How are you, Rhett? You’ve been away a long time.”
“So I have. Let me hold the baby, Scarlett. Oh, I know how to hold babies. I have many strangeaccomplishments. Well, he certainly looks like Frank. All except the whisker cheap nike air max 1 s, but give him time.”
“I hope not. It’s a girl.”
“A girl? That’s better still. Boys are such nuisances. Don’t ever have any more boys, Scarlett.”
It was on the tip of her tongue to reply tartly that she never intended to have any more babies,boys or girls, nike air max 1 grey but she caught herself in time and smiled, casting about quickly in her mind for sometopic of conversation that would put off the bad moment when the subject she feared would comeup for discussion.
“Did you have a nice trip, Rhett? Where did you go this time?”
“Oh—Cuba—New Orleans—other places. Here, Scarlett, take the baby. She’s beginning toslobber and I can’t get to my handkerchief. She’s a fine baby, I’m sure, but she’s wetting my shirtbosom.”
She took the child back into her lap and Rhett settled himself lazily on the banister and took acigar from a silver case.
“You are always going to New Orleans,” she said and pouted a little. “And you never will tellme what you do there.”
“I am a hard-working man, Scarlett, and perhaps my business takes me there.”
“Hard-working! You!” she laugh nike air max 1 black ed impertinently. “You never worked in your life. You’re toolazy. All you ever do is finance Carpetbaggers in their thieving and take half the profits and bribeYankee officials to let you in on schemes to rob us taxpayers.”
He threw back his head and laughed.
“And how you would love to have money enough to bribe officials, so you could do likewise!”
“The very idea—” She began to ruffle.
“But perhaps you will make enough money to get into bribery on a large scale some day. Maybeyou’ll get rich off those convicts you leased.”
“Oh,” she said, a little disconcerted, “how did you f nike air max 1 ind out about my gang so soon?”
“I arrived last night and spent the evening in the Girl of the Period Saloon, where one hears allthe news of the town. It’s a clearing house for gossip. Bet nike air max 1 leopard ter than a ladies’ sewing circle. Everyonetold me that you’d leased a gang and put that little plug-ugly, Gallegher, in charge to work them todeath.”
“That’s a lie,” she said angrily. “He won’t work them to death. I’ll see to that”
“Will you?”
“Of course I will! How can you even insinuate such things?”
“Oh, I do beg your pardon, Mrs. Kennedy! I know your motives are always above reproach.
However, Johnnie Gallegher is a cold little bully if I ever saw one. Better watch him or you’ll behaving trouble when the inspector comes around.”
“You tend to your business and I’ll tend to mine,” she said indignantly. “And I don’t want t nike air max 1 sale o talkabout convicts any more. Everybody’s been hateful about them. My gang is my own b nike air max 1 premium usiness—And you haven’t told me yet what you do in New Orleans. You go there so often that everybodysays—” She paused. She had not intended to say so much.
“What do they say?”
“Well—that you have a sweetheart there. That you are going to get married. Are you, Rhett?”
She had been curious about this for so long that she could not refrain from asking the point-blank question. A queer little pang of jealousy jabbed at her at the thought of Rhett getting married,although why that should be she did not know.
His bland eyes grew suddenly alert and he caught her gaze and held it until a little blush crept upinto her c nike air max 1 heeks.
“Would it matter much to you?”
“Well, I should hate to lose your friendship,” she said primly and, with an a ttempt atdisinterestedness, bent down to pull the blanket closer about Ella Lorena’s head.
He laughed suddenly, shortly, and said: “Look at me, Scarlett.”
She looked up unwillingly, her blush deepening.
“You can tell your curious friends that when I marry it will be because I couldn’t get th cheap air max 1 e womanI wanted in any other way. And I’ve never yet wanted a woman bad enough to marry her.”
Now she was indeed confused and embarrassed, for she remembered the night on this veryporch during the siege when he had said: “I am not a marrying man” and casually suggested thatshe become his mistress—remembered, too, the terrible day when he was in jail and was shamedby the memory. A slow malicious smile went over his face as he read her eyes.
“But I will satisfy your vulgar curiosity since you ask such pointed questions. It isn’t asweetheart that takes me to New Orleans. It’s a child, a little boy.”
“A little boy!” The shock of this unexpected information wiped out her confusion.
“Yes, he is my legal ward and I am responsible for him. He’s in school in New Orleans. I gothere frequently to see him.”
“And take him pres nike air max 1 red ents?” So, she thought, that’s how he always knows what kind of presentsWade likes!
“Yes,” he said shortly, unwillingly.
“Well, I never! Is he handsome?”

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