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datatime: 2022-09-29 03:25:53 Author:QirEgxBD

I shall die if Aunt Pitty finds out You know she'll cry and tell everybody in town and I'll be disgraced, sobbed Melanie. "And it wasn't my fault. I-I couldn't run away from her. It would have been so rude. Scarlett, I-I felt sorry for her. Do you think I'm bad for feeling that way?"

You flatter yourself, Captain Butler. I haven't done anything so scandalous and I'd have done everything you mentioned without your aid anyway.

What did she want? What does she talk like?

Why, Melly cried Scarlett, so shocked she could only stare.

I doubt that, he said and his face went suddenly quiet and somber. "You'd still be the broken-hearted widow of Charles Hamilton and famed for your good deeds among the wounded. Eventually, however-"

Oh, she used awful grammar but I could see she was trying so hard to be elegant, poor thing. I came out of the hospital and Uncle Peter and the carriage weren't waiting, so I thought I'd walk home. And when I went by the Emersons' yard, there she was hiding behind the hedge And she said, 'Please, Mrs. Wilkes, do speak a minute with me.' I don't know how she knew my name. I knew I ought to run as hard as I could but-well, Scarlett, she looked so sad and-well, sort of pleading. And she had on a black dress and black bonnet and no paint and really looked decent but for that red hair. And before I could answer she said, 'I know I shouldn't speak to you but I tried to talk to that old peahen, Mrs. Elsing, and she ran me away from the hospital.'

The next day, Scarlett was standing in front of the mirror with a comb in her hand and her mouth full of hairpins, attempting a new coiffure which Maybelle, fresh from a visit to her husband in Richmond, had said was the rage at the Capital. It was called "Cats, Rats and Mice" and presented many difficulties. The hair was parted in the middle and arranged in three rolls of graduating size on each side of the head, the largest, nearest the part, being the "cat." The "cat" and the "rat" were easy to fix but the "mice" kept slipping out of her hairpins in an exasperating manner. However, she was determined to accomplish it, for Rhett was coming to supper and he always noticed and commented upon any innovation of dress or hair.

Oh, don't laugh. It isn't funny. It seems that Miss-this woman, wanted to do something for the hospital-can you imagine it? She offered to nurse every morning and, of course, Mrs. Elsing must have nearly died at the idea and ordered her out of the hospital. And then she said, 'I want to do something, too. Ain't I a Confedrut, good as you?' And, Scarlett, I was right touched at her wanting to help. You know, she can't be all bad if she wants to help the Cause. Do you think I'm bad to feel that way?

As she struggled with her bushy, obstinate locks, perspiration beading her forehead, she heard light running feet in the downstairs hall and knew that Melanie was home from the hospital. As she heard her fly up the stairs, two at a time, she paused, hairpin in mid-air, realizing that something must be wrong, for Melanie always moved as decorously as a dowager. She went to the door and threw it open, and Melanie ran in, her face flushed and frightened, looking like a guilty child.

That there was truth in his last words did not occur to her. She did not see that Rhett had pried open the prison of her widowhood and set her free to queen it over unmarried girls when her days as a belle should have been long past. Nor did she see that under his influence she had come a long way from Ellen's teachings. The change had been so gradual, the flouting of one small convention seeming to have no connection with the flouting of another, and none of them any connection with Rhett. She did not realize that, with his encouragement, she had disregarded many of the sternest injunctions of her mother concerning the proprieties, forgotten the difficult lessons in being a lady.

She untied the knot and a handful of gold coins rolled out on the bed.

Oh, she used awful grammar but I could see she was trying so hard to be elegant, poor thing. I came out of the hospital and Uncle Peter and the carriage weren't waiting, so I thought I'd walk home. And when I went by the Emersons' yard, there she was hiding behind the hedge And she said, 'Please, Mrs. Wilkes, do speak a minute with me.' I don't know how she knew my name. I knew I ought to run as hard as I could but-well, Scarlett, she looked so sad and-well, sort of pleading. And she had on a black dress and black bonnet and no paint and really looked decent but for that red hair. And before I could answer she said, 'I know I shouldn't speak to you but I tried to talk to that old peahen, Mrs. Elsing, and she ran me away from the hospital.'

What did she want? What does she talk like?

That there was truth in his last words did not occur to her. She did not see that Rhett had pried open the prison of her widowhood and set her free to queen it over unmarried girls when her days as a belle should have been long past. Nor did she see that under his influence she had come a long way from Ellen's teachings. The change had been so gradual, the flouting of one small convention seeming to have no connection with the flouting of another, and none of them any connection with Rhett. She did not realize that, with his encouragement, she had disregarded many of the sternest injunctions of her mother concerning the proprieties, forgotten the difficult lessons in being a lady.

Did she really call her a peahen? said Scarlett pleasedly and laughed.

Scarlett, there's fifty dollars here cried Melanie, awed, as she counted the bright pieces. "Tell me, do you think it's all right to use this kind-well, money made-er-this way for the boys? Don't you think that maybe God will understand that she wanted to help and won't care if it is tainted? When I think of how many things the hospital needs-"

For Heaven's sake, Melly, who cares if you're bad? What else did she say?

For Heaven's sake, Melly, who cares if you're bad? What else did she say?

The next day, Scarlett was standing in front of the mirror with a comb in her hand and her mouth full of hairpins, attempting a new coiffure which Maybelle, fresh from a visit to her husband in Richmond, had said was the rage at the Capital. It was called "Cats, Rats and Mice" and presented many difficulties. The hair was parted in the middle and arranged in three rolls of graduating size on each side of the head, the largest, nearest the part, being the "cat." The "cat" and the "rat" were easy to fix but the "mice" kept slipping out of her hairpins in an exasperating manner. However, she was determined to accomplish it, for Rhett was coming to supper and he always noticed and commented upon any innovation of dress or hair.

Oh, don't laugh. It isn't funny. It seems that Miss-this woman, wanted to do something for the hospital-can you imagine it? She offered to nurse every morning and, of course, Mrs. Elsing must have nearly died at the idea and ordered her out of the hospital. And then she said, 'I want to do something, too. Ain't I a Confedrut, good as you?' And, Scarlett, I was right touched at her wanting to help. You know, she can't be all bad if she wants to help the Cause. Do you think I'm bad to feel that way?

Oh, Scarlett Scarlett, I'm so mortified I could die"

She said she'd been watching the ladies go by to the hospital and thought I had-a-a kind face and so she stopped me. She had some money and she wanted me to take it and use it for the hospital -and not tell a soul where it came from. She said Mrs. Elsing wouldn't let it be used if she knew what kind of money it was. What kind of money And I was so upset and anxious to get away, I just said: 'Oh, yes, indeed, how sweet of you' or something idiotic, and she smiled and said: That's right Christian of you' and shoved this duty handkerchief into my hand. Ugh, can you smell the perfume?

Oh, she used awful grammar but I could see she was trying so hard to be elegant, poor thing. I came out of the hospital and Uncle Peter and the carriage weren't waiting, so I thought I'd walk home. And when I went by the Emersons' yard, there she was hiding behind the hedge And she said, 'Please, Mrs. Wilkes, do speak a minute with me.' I don't know how she knew my name. I knew I ought to run as hard as I could but-well, Scarlett, she looked so sad and-well, sort of pleading. And she had on a black dress and black bonnet and no paint and really looked decent but for that red hair. And before I could answer she said, 'I know I shouldn't speak to you but I tried to talk to that old peahen, Mrs. Elsing, and she ran me away from the hospital.'

She only saw that the bonnet was the most becoming one she ever had, that it had not cost her a penny and that Rhett must be in love with her, whether he admitted it or not. And she certainly intended to find a way to make him admit it.

That I was talking to that-to Miss-Mrs.- Melanie fanned her hot face with her handkerchief. "That woman with red hair, named Belle Watling"

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