Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница

“And as for India, the vile thing! Darling, I couldn’t help noticing from the first time I saw you two together that she was jealous of you and hated you, because you were so much prettier and had so many beaux. And she hated you especially about Stuart Tarleton. And she’s brooded about Stuart so much that-well, I hate to say it about Ashley’s sister but I think her mind has broken with thinking so much! There’s no other explanation for her action… I told her never to put foot in this house again Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница and that if I heard her breathe so vile an insinuation I would-I would call her a liar in public!”

Melanie stopped speaking and abruptly the anger left her face and sorrow swamped it. Melanie had all that passionate clan loyalty peculiar to Georgians and the thought of a family quarrel tore her heart. She faltered for a moment. But Scarlett was dearest, Scarlett came first in her heart, and she went on loyally:

“She’s always been jealous because I loved you best, dear. She’ll never come in this house again and I’ll never put foot under any Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница roof that receives her. Ashley agrees with me, but it’s just about broken his heart that his own sister should tell such a-”

At the mention of Ashley’s name, Scarlett’s overwrought nerves gave way and she burst into tears. Would she never stop stabbing him to the heart? Her only thought had been to make him happy and safe but at every turn she seemed to hurt him. She had wrecked his life, broken his pride and self-respect, shattered that inner peace, that calm based on integrity. And now she had alienated him Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница from the sister he loved so dearly. To save her own reputation and his wife’s happiness, India had to be sacrificed, forced into the light of a lying, half-crazed, jealous old maid-India who was absolutely justified in every suspicion she had ever harbored and every accusing word she had uttered. Whenever Ashley looked into India’s eyes, he would see the truth shining there, truth and reproach and the cold contempt of which the Wilkeses were masters.

Knowing how Ashley valued honor above his life, Scarlett knew he must be writhing. He, like Scarlett, was forced to Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница shelter behind Melanie’s skirts. While Scarlett realized the necessity for this and knew that the blame for his false position lay mostly at her own door, still-still-Womanlike she would have respected Ashley more, had he shot Archie and admitted everything to Melanie and the world. She knew she was being unfair but she was too miserable to care for such fine points. Some of Rhett’s taunting words of contempt came back to her and she wondered if indeed Ashley had played the manly part in this mess. And, for the first time, some of the Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница bright glow which had enveloped him since the first day she fell in love with him began to fade imperceptibly. The tarnish of shame and guilt that enveloped her spread to him as well. Resolutely she tried to fight off this thought but it only made her cry harder.

“Don’t! Don’t!” cried Melanie, dropping her tatting and flinging herself onto the sofa and drawing Scarlett’s head down onto her shoulder. “I shouldn’t have talked about it all and distressed you so. I know how dreadfully you must feel and we’ll never mention it Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница again. No, not to each other or to anybody. It’ll be as though it never happened. But,” she added with quiet venom, “I’m going to show India and Mrs. Elsing what’s what. They needn’t think they can spread lies about my husband and my sister-in-law. I’m going to fix it so neither of them can hold up their heads in Atlanta. And anybody who believes them or receives them is my enemy.”

Scarlett, looking sorrowfully down the long vista of years to come, knew that she was the cause of a feud that Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница would split the town and the family for generations.

Melanie was as good as her word. She never again mentioned the subject to Scarlett or to Ashley. Nor, for that matter, would she discuss it with anyone. She maintained an air of cool indifference that could speedily change to icy formality if anyone even dared hint about the matter. During the weeks that followed her surprise party, while Rhett was mysteriously absent and the town in a frenzied state of gossip, excitement and partisanship, she gave no quarter to Scarlett’s detractors, whether they were her old Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница friends or her blood kin. She did not speak, she acted.



She stuck by Scarlett’s side like a cocklebur. She made Scarlett go to the store and the lumber yard, as usual, every morning and she went with her. She insisted that Scarlett go driving in the afternoons, little though Scarlett wished to expose herself to the eager curious gaze of her fellow townspeople. And Melanie sat in the carriage beside her. Melanie took her calling with her on formal afternoons, gently forcing her into parlors in which Scarlett had not sat for more than two years. And Melanie, with a Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница fierce “love-me-love-my-dog” look on her face, made converse with astounded hostesses.

She made Scarlett arrive early on these afternoons and remain until the last callers had gone, thereby depriving the ladies of the opportunity for enjoyable group discussion and speculation, a matter which caused some mild indignation. These calls were an especial torment to Scarlett but she dared not refuse to go with Melanie. She hated to sit amid crowds of women who were secretly wondering if she had been actually taken in adultery. She hated the knowledge that these women would not Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница have spoken to her, had it not been that they loved Melanie and did not want to lose her friendship. But Scarlett knew that, having once received her, they could not cut her thereafter.

It was characteristic of the regard in which Scarlett was held that few people based their defense or their criticism of her on her personal integrity. “I wouldn’t put much beyond her,” was the universal attitude. Scarlett had made too many enemies to have many champions now. Her words and her actions rankled in too many hearts for many people to care whether this scandal hurt Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница her or not. But everyone cared violently about hurting Melanie or India and the storm revolved around them, rather than Scarlett, centering upon the one question-“Did India lie?”

Those who espoused Melanie’s side pointed triumphantly to the fact that Melanie was constantly with Scarlett these days. Would a woman of Melanie’s high principles champion the cause of a guilty woman, especially a woman guilty with her own husband? No, indeed! India was just a cracked old maid who hated Scarlett and lied about her and induced Archie and Mrs. Elsing to believe her Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница lies.

But, questioned India’s adherents, if Scarlett isn’t guilty, where is Captain Butler? Why isn’t he here at his wife’s side, lending her the strength of his countenance? That was an unanswerable question and, as the weeks went by and the rumor spread that Scarlett was pregnant, the pro-India group nodded with satisfaction. It couldn’t be Captain Butler’s baby, they said. For too long the fact of their estrangement had been public property. For too long the town had been scandalized by the separate bedrooms.

So the gossip ran, tearing the town Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница apart, tearing apart, too, the close-knit clan of Hamiltons, Wilkeses, Burrs, Whitemans and Winfields. Everyone in the family connection was forced to take sides. There was no neutral ground. Melanie with cool dignity and India with acid bitterness saw to that. But no matter which side the relatives took, they all were resentful that Scarlett should have been the cause of the family breach. None of them thought her worth it. And no matter which side they took, the relatives heartily deplored the fact that India had taken it upon herself to wash the family dirty linen so publicly and involve Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница Ashley in so degrading a scandal. But now that she had spoken, many rushed to her defense and took her side against Scarlett, even as others, loving Melanie, stood by her and Scarlett.

Half of Atlanta was kin to or claimed kin with Melanie and India. The ramifications of cousins, double cousins, cousins-in-law and kissing cousins were so intricate and involved that no one but a born Georgian could ever unravel them. They had always been a clannish tribe, presenting an unbroken phalanx of overlapping shields to the world in time of stress, no matter what their Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница private opinions of the conduct of individual kinsmen might be. With the exception of the guerrilla warfare carried on by Aunt Pitty against Uncle Henry, which had been a matter for hilarious laughter within the family for years, there had never been an open breach in the pleasant relations. They were gentle, quiet spoken, reserved people and not given to even the amiable bickering that characterized most Atlanta families.

But now they were split in twain and the town was privileged to witness cousins of the fifth and sixth degree taking sides in the most shattering Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница scandal Atlanta had ever seen. This worked great hardship and strained the tact and forbearance of the unrelated half of the town, for the India-Melanie feud made a rupture in practically every social organization. The Thalians, the Sewing Circle for the Widows and Orphans of the Confederacy, the Association for the Beautification of the Graves of Our Glorious Dead, the Saturday Night Musical Circle, the Ladies’ Evening Cotillion Society, the Young Men’s Library were all involved. So were four churches with their Ladies’ Aid and Missionary societies. Great care had to be taken to avoid putting members Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница of warring factions on the same committees.

On their regular afternoons at home, Atlanta matrons were in anguish from four to six o’clock for fear Melanie and Scarlett would call at the same time India and her loyal kin were in their parlors.

Of all the family, poor Aunt Pitty suffered the most. Pitty, who desired nothing except to live comfortably amid the love of her relatives, would have been very pleased, in this matter, to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. But neither the hares nor the hounds would permit this.

India lived with Aunt Pitty and Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница, if Pitty sided with Melanie, as she wished to do, India would leave. And if India left her, what would poor Pitty do then? She could not live alone. She would have to get a stranger to live with her or she would have to close up her house and go and live with Scarlett. Aunt Pitty felt vaguely that Captain Butler would not care for this, or she would have to go and live with Melanie and sleep in the little cubbyhole that was Beau’s nursery.

Pitty was not overly fond of India, for India Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница intimidated her with her dry, stiff-necked ways and her passionate convictions. But she made it possible for Pitty to keep her own comfortable establishment and Pitty was always swayed more by considerations of personal comfort than by moral issues. And so India remained.

But her presence in the house made Aunt Pitty a storm center, for both Scarlett and Melanie took that to mean that she sided with India. Scarlett curtly refused to contribute more money to Pitty’s establishment as long as India was under the same roof. Ashley sent India money every week and every week India Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница proudly and silently returned it, much to the old lady’s alarm and regret. Finances at the red-brick house would have been in a deplorable state, but for Uncle Henry’s intervention, and it humiliated Pitty to take money from him.

Pitty loved Melanie better than anyone in the world, except herself, and now Melly acted like a cool, polite stranger. Though she practically lived in Pitty’s back yard, she never once came through the hedge and she used to run in and out a dozen times a day. Pitty called on her and wept and Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница protested her love and devotion, but Melanie always refused to discuss matters and never returned the calls.

Pitty knew very well what she owed Scarlett-almost her very existence. Certainly in those black days after the war when Pitty was faced with the alternative of Brother Henry or starvation, Scarlett had kept her home for her, fed her, clothed her and enabled her to hold up her head in Atlanta society. And since Scarlett had married and moved into her own home, she had been generosity itself. And that frightening fascinating Captain Butler-frequently after he called with Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница Scarlett, Pitty found brand-new purses stuffed with bills on her console table or lace handkerchiefs knotted about gold pieces which had been slyly slipped into her sewing box. Rhett always vowed he knew nothing about them and accused her, in a very unrefined way, of having a secret admirer, usually the be-whiskered Grandpa Merriwether.

Yes, Pitty owed love to Melanie, security to Scarlett, and what did she owe India? Nothing, except that India’s presence kept her from having to break up her pleasant life and make decisions for herself. It was all most distressing and too Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница, too vulgar and Pitty, who had never made a decision for herself in her whole life, simply let matters go on as they were and as a result spent much time in uncomforted tears.

In the end, some people believed whole-heartedly in Scarlett’s innocence, not because of her own personal virtue but because Melanie believed in it. Some had mental reservations but they were courteous to Scarlett and called on her because they loved Melanie and wished to keep her love. India’s adherents bowed coldly and some few cut her openly. These last were embarrassing, infuriating Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница, but Scarlett realized that, except for Melanie’s championship and her quick action, the face of the whole town would have been set against her and she would have been an outcast.

Chapter LVI

Rhett was gone for three months and during that time Scarlett had no word from him. She did not know where he was or how long he would be gone. Indeed, she had no idea if he would ever return. During this time, she went about her business with her head high and her heart sick. She did not feel well physically but, forced by Melanie, she went Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница to the store every day and tried to keep up a superficial interest in the mills. But the store palled on her for the first time and, although the business was treble what it had been the year before and the money rolling in, she could take no interest in it and was sharp and cross with the clerks. Johnnie Gallegher’s mill was thriving and the lumber yard selling all his supply easily, but nothing Johnnie did or said pleased her. Johnnie, as Irish as she, finally erupted into rage at her naggings and threatened to quit Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница, after a long tirade which ended with “and the back of both me hands to you, Ma’m, and the curse of Cromwell on you.” She had to appease him with the most abject of apologies.

She never went to Ashley’s mill. Nor did she go to the lumber-yard office when she thought he would be there. She knew he was avoiding her, knew that her constant presence in his house, at Melanie’s inescapable invitations, was a torment to him. They never spoke alone and she was desperate to question him. She wanted to know Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница whether he now hated her and exactly what he had told Melanie, but he held her at arm’s length and silently pleaded with her not to speak. The sight of his face, old, haggard with remorse, added to her load, and the fact that his mill lost money every week was an extra irritant which she could not voice.

His helplessness in the face of the present situation irked her. She did not know what he could do to better matters but she felt that he should do something. Rhett would have done something. Rhett always did something, even if Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница it was the wrong thing, and she unwillingly respected him for it.

Now that her first rage at Rhett and his insults had passed, she began to miss him and she missed him more and more as days went by without news of him. Out of the welter of rapture and anger and heartbreak and hurt pride that he had left, depression emerged to sit upon her shoulder like a carrion crow. She missed him, missed his light flippant touch in anecdotes that made her shout with laughter, his sardonic grin that reduced troubles to their proper Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница proportions, missed even his jeers that stung her to angry retort. Most of all she missed having him to tell things to. Rhett was so satisfactory in that respect. She could recount shamelessly and with pride how she had skinned people out of their eyeteeth and he would applaud. And if she even mentioned such things to other people they were shocked.

She was lonely without him and Bonnie. She missed the child more than she had thought possible. Remembering the last harsh words Rhett had hurled at her about Wade and Ella, she tried to fill in some of her empty Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница hours with them. But it was no use. Rhett’s words and the children’s reactions opened her eyes to a startling, a galling truth. During the babyhood of each child she had been too busy, too worried with money matters, too sharp and easily vexed, to win their confidence or affection. And now, it was either too late or she did not have the patience or the wisdom to penetrate their small secretive hearts.

Ella! It annoyed Scarlett to realize that Ella was a silly child but she undoubtedly was. She couldn’t keep her little mind Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница on one subject any longer than a bird could stay on one twig and even when Scarlett tried to tell her stories, Ella went off at childish tangents, interrupting with questions about matters that had nothing to do with the story and forgetting what she had asked long before Scarlett could get the explanation out of her mouth. And as for Wade-perhaps Rhett was right. Perhaps he was afraid of her. That was odd and it hurt her. Why should her own boy, her only boy, be afraid of her? When she tried to draw him out in Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница talk, he looked at her with Charles’ soft brown eyes and squirmed and twisted his feet in embarrassment. But with Melanie, he bubbled over with talk and brought from his pocket everything from fishing worms to old strings to show her.

Melanie had a way with brats. There was no getting around it. Her own little Beau was the best behaved and most lovable child in Atlanta. Scarlett got on better with him than she did with her own son because little Beau had no self-consciousness where grown people were concerned and climbed on her knee, uninvited, whenever Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница he saw her. What a beautiful blond boy he was, just like Ashley! Now if only Wade were like Beau-Of course, the reason Melanie could do so much with him was that she had only one child and she hadn’t had to worry and work as Scarlett had. At least, Scarlett tried to excuse herself that way but honesty forced her to admit that Melanie loved children and would have welcomed a dozen. And the over-brimming affection she had was poured out on Wade and the neighbors’ broods.

Scarlett would never forget the shock of the Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница day she drove by Melanie’s house to pick up Wade and heard, as she came up the front walk, the sound of her son’s voice raised in a very fair imitation of the Rebel Yell-Wade who was always as still as a mouse at home. And manfully seconding Wade’s yell was the shrill piping of Beau. When she had walked into the sitting room she had found the two charging at the sofa with wooden swords. They had hushed abashed as she entered and Melanie had arisen, laughing and clutching at hairpins and flying Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница curls from where she was crouching behind the sofa.

“It’s Gettysburg,” she explained. “And I’m the Yankees and I’ve gotten the worst of it. This is General Lee,” pointing to Beau, “and this is General Pickett,” putting an arm about Wade’s shoulder.

Yes, Melanie had a way with children that Scarlett could never fathom.

“At least,” she thought, “Bonnie loves me and likes to play with me.” But honesty forced her to admit that Bonnie infinitely preferred Rhett to her. And perhaps she would never see Bonnie again. For all she knew, Rhett might be in Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница Perisa or Egypt and intending to stay there forever.

When Dr. Meade told her she was pregnant, she was astounded, for she had been expecting a diagnosis of biliousness and over-wrought nerves. Then her mind fled back to that wild night and her face went crimson at the memory. So a child was coming from those moments of high rapture-even if the memory of the rapture was dimmed by what followed. And for the first time she was glad that she was going to have a child. If it were only a boy! A fine boy, not a Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница spiritless little creature like Wade. How she would care for him! Now that she had the leisure to devote to a baby and the money to smooth his path, how happy she would be! She had an impulse to write to Rhett in care of his mother in Charleston and tell him. Good Heavens, he must come home now! Suppose he stayed away till after the baby was born! She could never explain that! But if she wrote him he’d think she wanted him to come home and he would be amused. And he mustn’t ever think Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница she wanted him or needed him.

She was very glad she had stifled this impulse when her first news of Rhett came in a letter from Aunt Pauline in Charleston where, it seemed, Rhett was visiting his mother. What a relief to know he was still in the United States, even if Aunt Pauline’s letter was infuriating. Rhett had brought Bonnie to see her and Aunt Eulalie and the letter was full of praise.

“Such a little beauty! When she grows up she will certainly be a belle. But I suppose you know that any man who courts Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница her will have a tussle with Captain Butler, for I never saw such a devoted father. Now, my dear, I wish to confess something. Until I met Captain Butler, I felt that your marriage with him had been a dreadful mesalliance for, of course, no one in Charleston hears anything good about him and everyone is so sorry for his family. In fact, Eulalie and I were uncertain as to whether or not we should receive him-but, after all, the dear child is our greatniece. When he came, we were pleasantly surprised, most pleasantly, and Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница realized how un-Christian it is to credit idle gossip. For he is most charming. Quite handsome, too, we thought, and so very grave and courteous. And so devoted to you and the child.

“And now, my dear, I must write you of something that has come to our ears-something Eulalie and I were loath to believe at first. We had heard, of course, that you sometimes did help out at the store that Mr. Kennedy had left you. We had heard rumors but, of course, we denied them. We realized that in those first dreadful days after the war Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница, it was perhaps necessary, conditions being what they were. But there is no necessity now for such conduct on your part, as I know Captain Butler is in quite comfortable circumstances and is, moreover, fully capable of managing for you any business and property you may own. We had to know the truth of these rumors and were forced to ask Captain Butler point-blank questions which was most distressing to all of us.

“With reluctance he told us that you spent your mornings at the store and would permit no one else to do the bookkeeping. He Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница also admitted that you had some interest in a mill or mills (we did not press him on this, being most upset at this information which was news to us) that necessitated your riding about alone, or attended by a ruffian who, Captain Butler assures us, is a murderer. We could see how this wrung his heart and think he must be a most indulgent-in fact, a far too indulgent husband. Scarlett, this must stop. Your mother is not here to command you and I must do it in her place. Think how your little children will feel Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница when they grow older and realize that you were in trade! How mortified they will be to know that you exposed yourself to the insults of rude men and the dangers of careless gossip in attending to mills. Such unwomanly-”

Scarlett flung down the letter unfinished, with an oath. She could just see Aunt Pauline and Aunt Eulalie sitting in judgment on her in the crumbling house on the Battery with little between them and starvation except what she, Scarlett, sent them every month. Unwomanly? By God, if she hadn’t been unwomanly Aunt Pauline and Aunt Eulalie probably wouldn’t Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница have a roof over their heads this very moment. And damn Rhett for telling them about the store and the bookkeeping and the mills! Reluctant, was he? She knew very well the joy he took in palming himself off on the old ladies as grave, courteous and charming, the devoted husband and father. How he must have loved harrowing them with descriptions of her activities with the store, the mills, the saloon. What a devil he was. Why did such perverse things give him such pleasure?

But soon, even this rage passed into apathy. So much of the Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница keen zest had gone out of life recently. If only she could recapture the thrill and the glow of Ashley-if only Rhett would come home and make her laugh.

They were home again, without warning. The first intimation of their return was the sound of luggage being thumped on the fronthall floor and Bonnie’s voice crying, “Mother!”

Scarlett hurried from her room to the top of the stairs and saw her daughter stretching her short plump legs in an effort to climb the steps. A resigned striped kitten was clutched to her breast.

“Gran’ma gave him Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница to me,” she cried excitedly, holding the kitten out by the scruff.

Scarlett swept her up into her arms and kissed her, thankful that the child’s presence spared her her first meeting alone with Rhett. Looking over Bonnie’s head, she saw him in the hall below, paying the cab driver. He looked up, saw her and swept off his hat in a wide gesture, bowing as he did. When she met his dark eyes, her heart leaped. No matter what he was, no matter what he had done, he was home and she was glad.

“Where’s Mammy Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница?” asked Bonnie, wriggling in Scarlett’s grasp and she reluctantly set the child on her feet.

It was going to be more difficult than she anticipated, greeting Rhett with just the proper degree of casualness and, as for telling him about the new baby! She looked at his face as he came up the steps, that dark nonchalant face, so impervious, so blank. No, she’d wait to tell him. She couldn’t tell him right away. And yet, such tidings as these belonged first to a husband, for a husband was always happy to hear them. But she Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница did not think he would be happy about it.

She stood on the landing, leaning against the banisters and wondered if he would kiss her. But he did not. He said only: “You are looking pale, Mrs. Butler. Is there a rouge shortage?”

No word of missing her, even if he didn’t mean it. And he might have at least kissed her in front of Mammy who, after bobbing a curtsy, was leading Bonnie away down the hall to the nursery. He stood beside her on the landing, his eyes appraising her carelessly.

“Can this Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница wanness mean that you’ve been missing me?” he questioned and though his lips smiled, his eyes did not.

So that was going to be his attitude. He was going to be as hateful as ever. Suddenly the child she was carrying became a nauseating burden instead of something she had gladly carried, and this man before her, standing carelessly with his wide Panama hat upon his hip, her bitterest foe, the cause of all her troubles. There was venom in her eyes as she answered, venom that was too unmistakable to be missed, and the smile went from Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница his face.

“If I’m pale it’s your fault and not because I’ve missed you, you conceited thing. It’s because-” Oh, she hadn’t intended to tell him like this but the hot words rushed to her lips and she flung them at him, careless of the servants who might hear. “It’s because I’m going to have a baby!”

He sucked in his breath suddenly and his eyes went rapidly over her. He took a quick step toward her as though to put a hand on her arm but she twisted away from him, and before the Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница hate in her eyes his face hardened.

“Indeed!” he said coolly. “Well, who’s the happy father? Ashley?”

She clutched the newel post until the ears of the carved lion dug with sudden pain into her palm. Even she who knew him so well had not anticipated this insult. Of course, he was joking but there were some jokes too monstrous to be borne. She wanted to rake her sharp nails across his eyes and blot out that queer light in them.

“Damn you!” she began, her voice shaking with sick rage. “You-you know it’s yours Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница. And I don’t want it any more than you do. No-no woman would want the children of a cad like you. I wish-Oh, God, I wish it was anybody’s baby but yours!”

She saw his swarthy face change suddenly, anger and something she could not analyze making it twitch as though stung.

“There!” she thought in a hot rage of pleasure. “There! I’ve hurt him now!”

But the old impassive mask was back across his face and he stroked one side of his mustache.

“Cheer up,” he said, turning from her and starting up Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница the stairs, “maybe you’ll have a miscarriage.”

For a dizzy moment she thought what childbearing meant, the nausea that tore her, the tedious waiting, the thickening of her figure, the hours of pain. Things no man could ever realize. And he dared to joke. She would claw him. Nothing but the sight of blood upon his dark face would ease this pain in her heart. She lunged for him, swift as a cat, but with a light startled movement, he sidestepped, throwing up his arm to ward her off. She was standing on the edge of Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница the freshly waxed top step, and as her arm with the whole weight of her body behind it, struck his out-thrust arm, she lost her balance. She made a wild clutch for the newel post and missed it. She went down the stairs backwards, feeling a sickening dart of pain in her ribs as she landed. And, too dazed to catch herself, she rolled over and over to the bottom of the flight.

It was the first time Scarlett had ever been ill, except when she had her babies, and somehow those times did not count. She had not Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница been forlorn and frightened then, as she was now, weak and pain racked and bewildered. She knew she was sicker than they dared tell her, feebly realized that she might die. The broken rib stabbed when she breathed, her bruised face and head ached and her whole body was given over to demons who plucked at her with hot pinchers and sawed on her with dull knives and left her, for short intervals, so drained of strength that she could not regain grip on herself before they returned. No, childbirth had not been like this. She had been able to eat Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница hearty meals two hours after Wade and Ella and Bonnie had been born, but now the thought of anything but cool water brought on feeble nausea.

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Документ Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast 73 страница