Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell
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The Australian edition of Gone With The Wind is out of copyright.
Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when
Seated with Stuart and Brent Tarleton in the cool shade of the
horses were hitched in the driveway, big animals, red as their
Between the hounds and the horses and the twins there was a
Although born to the ease of plantation life, waited on hand and
In these accomplishments the twins excelled, and they were equally
It was for this precise reason that Stuart and Brent were idling
"I know you two don't care about being expelled, or Tom either,"
"Oh, he can read law in Judge Parmalee's office over in
"The war, goose! The war's going to start any day, and you don't
"You know there isn't going to be any war," said Scarlett, bored.
"Not going to be any war!" cried the twins indignantly, as though
"Why, honey, of course there's going to be a war," said Stuart.
Scarlett made a mouth of bored impatience.
"If you say 'war' just once more, I'll go in the house and shut
She meant what she' said, for she' could never long endure any
Having maneuvered them away from the boring subject of war, she'
"What did your mother say about you two being expelled again?"
The boys looked uncomfortable, recalling their mother's conduct
"Well," said Stuart, "she' hasn't had a chance to say anything yet.
"Didn't she' say anything when you got home last night?"
"We were in luck last night. Just before we got home that new
"Do you suppose she''ll hit Boyd?" Scarlett, like the rest of the
Beatrice Tarleton was a busy woman, having on her hands not only a
"Of course she' won't hit Boyd. She never did beat Boyd much
"Will your mother ride the new horse to the Wilkes barbecue
"She wants to, but Pa says he's too dangerous. And, anyway, the
"I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow," said Scarlett. "It's rained
"Oh, it'll be clear tomorrow and hot as June," said Stuart.
They looked out across the endless acres of Gerald O'Hara's newly
Spring had come early that year, with warm quick rains and sudden
It was a savagely red land, blood colored after rains, brick dust
To the ears of the three on the porch came the sounds of hooves,
At these last sounds, the twins realized it was time they were
"Look, Scarlett. About tomorrow," said Brent. "Just because
"Well, I have! How did I know you all would be home? I couldn't
"You a wallflower!" The boys laughed uproariously.
"Look, honey. You've got to give me the first waltz and Stu the
"I don't like Mammy Jincy's fortunes. You know she' said I was
"You like 'em red headed, don't you, honey?" grinned Brent. "Now,
"If you'll promise, we'll tell you a secret," said Stuart.
"What?" cried Scarlett, alert as a child at the word.
"Is it what we heard yesterday in Atlanta, Stu? If it is, you
"Well, Miss Pitty told us."
"You know, Ashley Wilkes' cousin who lives in Atlanta, Miss
"I do, and a sillier old lady I never met in all my life."
"Well, when we were in Atlanta yesterday, waiting for the home
"Oh. I know about that," said Scarlett in disappointment. "That
"Do you think he's silly?" questioned Brent. "Last Christmas you
"I couldn't help him buzzing," Scarlett shrugged negligently. "I
"Besides, it isn't his engagement that's going to be announced,"
Scarlett's face did not change but her lips went white like a
"Miss Pitty told us they hadn't intended announcing it till next
"Of course I will," Scarlett said automatically.
"And all the waltzes?"
"You're sweet! I'll bet the other boys will be hopping mad."
"Let 'em be mad," said Brent. "We two can handle 'em. Look,
Stuart repeated his request.
The twins looked at each other jubilantly but with some surprise.
Filled with new enthusiasm by their success, they lingered on,
The sun was low across the new plowed fields and the tall woods
Stuart bellowed: "Jeems!" And after an interval a tall black boy
When they had rounded the curve of the dusty road that hid them
"Look," he said. "Don't it look to you like she' would of asked us
"I thought she' would," said Stuart. "I kept waiting for her to do
"I don't make anything of it. But it just looks to me like she'
"It looked to me like she' was mighty glad to see us when we came."
"I thought so, too."
"And then, about a half hour ago, she' got kind of quiet, like she'
"I noticed that but I didn't pay it any mind then. What do you
"I dunno. Do you suppose we said something that made her mad?"
They both thought for a minute.
"I can't think of anything. Besides, when Scarlett gets mad,
"Yes, that's what I like about her. She don't go around being
"You don't suppose it's because we got expelled?"
"Hell, no! Don't be a fool. She laughed like everything when we
Brent turned in the saddle and called to the negro groom.
"You heard what we were talking to Miss Scarlett about?"
"Nawsuh, Mist' Brent! Huccome you think Ah be spyin' on w'ite
"Spying, my God! You darkies know everything that goes on. Why,
Thus appealed to, Jeems gave up further pretense of not having
"Nawsuh, Ah din' notice y'all say anything ter mek her mad. Look
The twins looked at each other and nodded, but without comprehension.
"Jeems is right. But I don't see why," said Stuart. "My Lord!
Brent nodded an agreement.
"But do you suppose," he said, "that maybe Ashley hadn't told her
"Well, maybe. But what if he hadn't told her it was tomorrow? It
"Well, I give it up. But I'm sorry she' didn't ask us to supper.
"Maybe Boyd will have smoothed her down by now. You know what a
"Yes, he can do it, but it takes Boyd time. He has to talk around
The twins looked at each other glumly. They were completely
"Well, look," said Brent. "Let's go over to the Wilkes. Ashley
Stuart looked a little discomforted.
"No, don't let's go there. They'll be in a stew getting ready for
"Oh, I forgot about that," said Brent hastily. "No, don't let's
They clucked to their horses and rode along in silence for a
Then, last summer at a political speaking in a grove of oak trees
They noticed for the first time how her green eyes danced, how
It was a memorable day in the life of the twins. Thereafter, when
Now they were both in love with her, and India Wilkes and Letty
"It will serve you right if that sly piece does accept one of
Since the day of the speaking, Stuart had been uncomfortable in
"Well, let's go over to Cade Calvert's and have supper. Scarlett
"Not Cathleen. I'll lay you two to one she' didn't even know the
"Well, it's fun to hear her gabble. And it'll be somewhere to
"Well, hell! I like Cathleen and she' is fun and I'd like to hear
"Don't be too hard on her, Stuart. She means well."
"I'm not being hard on her. I feel sorry for her, but I don't
"Well, you can't blame her. You did shoot Cade in the leg."
"Well, I was lickered up or I wouldn't have done it," said Stuart.
"Well, you can't blame her. She's a Yankee and ain't got very
"Well, hell! That's no excuse for insulting me! You are Ma's own
Both boys yelled with laughter.
"Ma's a card!" said Brent with loving approval. "You can always
"Yes, but she''s mighty liable to talk embarrassing in front of
"Well, hell! We don't care, do we? What is there to see in
"Ashley Wilkes said they had an awful lot of scenery and music.
"Well you know how the Wilkes are. They are kind of queer about
"They can have 'em. Give me a good horse to ride and some good
"So would I, any day. . . . Look, Brent! I know where we can go
"That's an idea!" cried Brent with enthusiasm. "And we can hear
"If it's Zouave, I'm damned if I'll go in the troop. I'd feel
"Is y'all aimin' ter go ter Mist' Wynder's? 'Cause ef you is, you
"Good God! Why don't they buy another cook?"
"Huccome po' w'ite trash buy any niggers? Dey ain' never owned
There was frank contempt in Jeems' voice. His own social status
"I'm going to beat your hide off for that," cried Stuart fiercely.
"Ah ain' never figgered dat out, mahseff," replied Jeems,
"He ain't trash! Do you mean to compare him with real white trash
The troop of cavalry had been organized three months before, the
The officers were elected by the members, for no one in the County
Abel was a shrewd, grave giant, illiterate, kind of heart, older
In the beginning, the Troop had been recruited exclusively from
These latter young men were as anxious to fight the Yankees,
The Troop met twice a week in Jonesboro to drill and to pray for
From planters' homes and swamp cabins, a varied array of firearms
Drill always ended in the saloons of Jonesboro, and by nightfall
"Well, let's cut across country to Abel's," suggested Brent. "We
"We ain' gwine git nothin' ter eat 'cept possum an' greens,"
"You ain't going to get anything," grinned Stuart. "Because you
"No, Ah ain'!" cried Jeems in alarm. "No, Ah ain'! Ah doan git
The twins looked at the determined black boy in perplexity and
"He'd be just fool enough to let the patterollers get him and that
"Well, it wouldn't be right to make Jeems face what we don't want
"Airs? Me put on airs fo' dem cheap niggers? Nawsuh, Ah got
"She didn't do a very good job on any of the three of us," said
He backed his big red horse and then, putting spurs to his side,
As they picked their way across the red furrows and down the hill
"Look, Stu! Don't it seem like to you that Scarlett WOULD have
"I kept thinking she' would," yelled Stuart. "Why do you
When the twins left Scarlett standing on the porch of Tara and the
Ashley to marry Melanie Hamilton!
Oh, it couldn't be true! The twins were mistaken. They were
Scarlett heard Mammy's lumbering tread shaking the floor of the
Mammy emerged from the hall, a huge old woman with the small,
"Is de gempmum gone? Huccome you din' ast dem ter stay fer
"Oh, I was so tired of hearing them talk about the war that I
"You ain' got no mo' manners dan a fe'el han', an' after Miss
Scarlett turned away from Mammy with studied nonchalance, thankful
"No, I want to sit here and watch the sunset. It's so pretty.
"Yo' voice soun' lak you catchin' a cole," said Mammy suspiciously.
"Well, I'm not," said Scarlett impatiently. "You fetch me my
Mammy waddled back into the hall and Scarlett heard her call
"You, Rosa! Drap me Miss Scarlett's shawl." Then, more loudly:
Scarlett heard the stairs groan and she' got softly to her feet.
Surely, thought Scarlett, Pa will know whether this awful story is
It was time for Gerald's return and, if she' expected to see him
The dark cedars on either side of the graveled drive met in an
Flush e'd and breathing hard, she' sat down on a stump to wait for
"Oh, it can't be true!" she' thought. "Why doesn't he come?"
Her eyes followed the winding road, blood red now after the
"Oh, Ashley! Ashley!" she' thought, and her heart beat faster.
Some of the cold sense of bewilderment and disaster that had
It seemed strange now that when she' was growing up Ashley had
She had been on the front porch and he had ridden up the long
She had wanted him, in that first instant, wanted him as simply
For two years he had squired her about the County, to balls, fish
True, he never made love to her, nor did the clear gray eyes ever
He was courteous always, but aloof, remote. No one could ever
Oh, why was he so handsomely blond, so courteously aloof, so
She loved him and she' wanted him and she' did not understand him.
For Ashley was born of a line of men who used their leisure for
Why he should have captivated Scarlett when his mind was a
Why, only last week, when they were riding home at twilight from
She had cast down her eyes demurely, her heart beating with wild
Scarlett, sitting on the stump, thought of those words which had
Oh, if Pa would only come home! She could not endure the suspense
The sun was now below the horizon and the red glow at the rim of
In the strange half light, the tall pines of the river swamp, so
Sunset and spring and new fledged greenery were no miracle to
Still there was no sign of Gerald on the quiet winding road. If
He came up the hill at a gallop on his thick barreled, long legged
Filled with her own anxieties, she' nevertheless watched him with
"I wonder why he always wants to jump fences when he's had a few
Scarlett had no awe of her father and felt him more her contemporary
The big horse reached the fence, gathered himself and soared over
"There's none in the County can touch you, nor in the state," he
She laughed aloud. As she' had intended, Gerald was startled by
"Well, Missy," he said, pinching her cheek, "so, you've been
There was indignation in his hoarse bass voice but also a
"No, Pa, I'm no tattletale like Suellen," she' assured him,
Gerald was a small man, little more than five feet tall, but so
He was sixty years old and his crisp curly hair was silver white,
Beneath his choleric exterior Gerald O'Hara had the tenderest of
Scarlett was impressed less than anyone else by his tempers and
Moreover, Scarlett and her father were bound together by a mutual
Scarlett looked at her father in the fading light, and, without
"You look very presentable now," she' said, "and I don't think
"Well, may I be damned if I'll have me own daughter telling me
Seeing that he was employing familiar maneuvers to extricate
"Bought her I did, and the price has ruined me. Bought her and
"In the name of Heaven, Pa, three thousand! And you didn't need
"Has the time come when me own daughters sit in judgment on me?"
"I know her. She's a sly, stupid creature," Scarlett rejoined
Gerald looked crestfallen and embarrassed, as always when caught
"Well, what if I did? Was there any use buying Dilcey if she' was
The shadows were falling thicker now, the last greenish tinge had
"How are they all over at Twelve Oaks?"
"About as usual. Cade Calvert was there and, after I settled
Scarlett sighed. If Gerald once got on the subject of war and
"Did they say anything about the barbecue tomorrow?"
"Now that I think of it they did. Miss what's her name the
"Oh, so she' did come?"
"She did, and a sweet quiet thing she' is, with never a word to say
Scarlett's heart sank at the news. She had hoped against hope
"Was Ashley there, too?"
"He was." Gerald let go of his daughter's arm and turned, peering
Scarlett could think of nothing to say, and she' felt her face
"Well, speak up."
Still she' said nothing, wishing that it was permissible to shake
"He was there and he asked most kindly after you, as did his
"There is nothing," she' said shortly, tugging at his arm. "Let's
"So now 'tis you wanting to go in," he observed. "But here I'm
"No," she' said shortly.
"Nor will he," said Gerald.
Fury flamed in her, but Gerald waved her quiet with a hand.
"Hold your tongue, Miss! I had it from John Wilkes this afternoon
Scarlett's hand fell from his arm. So it was true!
A pain slashe'd at her heart as savagely as a wild animal's fangs.
"Is it a spectacle you've been making of yourself of all of us?"
Anger and hurt pride drove out some of the pain.
"I haven't been running after him. It it just surprised me."
"It's lying you are!" said Gerald, and then, peering at her
"Mother was only fifteen when she' married you, and I'm sixteen,"
"Your mother was different," said Gerald. "She was never flighty
"He thinks I'm a child," thought Scarlett, grief and anger choking
"Now, don't be jerking your chin at me," warned Gerald. "If you
"Will you stop treating me like a child!" cried Scarlett. "I
Gerald's voice was strangely quiet and he spoke slowly as if
"It's only Ashley you're wanting, and you'll not be having him.
"Oh, I would! I would!"
"That you would not, daughter. Only when like marries like can
Scarlett had a sudden treacherous desire to cry out, "But you've
"Our people and the Wilkes are different," he went on slowly,
"Why, Pa, Ashley is not "
"Hold your whist, Puss! I said nothing against the lad, for I
"Oh, Pa," cried Scarlett impatiently, "if I married him, I'd
"Oh, you would, would you now?" said Gerald testily, shooting a
"There's nobody in the County sits a horse better than Ashley,"
"The Calvert boys have been blabbing again," Gerald said
Scarlett was silent and her heart sank. She could think of no
Rightly interpreting her silence, Gerald patted her arm and said
"I wouldn't have Cade on a silver tray," cried Scarlett in fury.
She was going to say "when you haven't the man you want," but
"Do you stand there, Scarlett O'Hara, and tell me that Tara that
Scarlett nodded obstinately. Her heart was too sore to care
"Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything," he
"Oh, Pa," she' said disgustedly, "you talk like an Irishman!"
"Have I ever been ashamed of it? No, 'tis proud I am. And don't
Gerald had begun to work himself up into a pleasurable shouting
"But there, you're young. 'Twill come to you, this love of land.
By this time, Gerald was thoroughly tired of the conversation and
"Now, none of your pouts, Miss. It doesn't matter who you marry,
"Oh, Pa, that's such an Old Country notion!"
"And a good notion it is! All this American business of running
"Oh," cried Scarlett, fresh pain striking her as Gerald's words
Gerald looked at her bowed head and shuffled his feet uneasily.
"It's not crying you are?" he questioned, fumbling clumsily at her
"No," she' cried vehemently, jerking away.
"It's lying you are, and I'm proud of it. I'm glad there's pride
"He did give me a thought," thought Scarlett, sorrowfully in her
Gerald took her arm and passed it through his.
"We'll be going in to supper now, and all this is between us.
Scarlett blew her nose on her torn handkerchief, and they started
"Mr. O'Hara," called Ellen as she' saw the two coming up the
Her voice was raised questioningly, as though she' hung on Gerald's
"In the name of God!" blustered Gerald. "Why should those white
"She doan never git no res' on her piller fer hoppin' up at night
"Take my place at the table, dear," said Ellen, patting Scarlett's
In spite of her choked back tears, Scarlett thrilled to the never
Gerald helped his wife into the carriage and gave orders to the
"If I didn't do so much for those trashy Slatterys that they'd
He tossed the reins of his horse to a small pickaninny standing
Ellen O'Hara was thirty two years old, and, according to the
She would have been a strikingly beautiful woman had there been
As far back as Scarlett could remember, her mother had always been
She had never seen her mother stirred from her austere placidity,
Scarlett, whose room lay across the hall from her mother's, knew
It had always been so soothing to Scarlett to hear her mother
Yes, it was good to creep back into bed and know that Ellen was
In the mornings, after all night sessions at births and deaths,
Sometimes when Scarlett tiptoed at night to kiss her tall mother's
But Scarlett was wrong, for, years before, Ellen Robillard of
But that was enough for Gerald, overwhelmed at his unbelievable
Gerald had come to America from Ireland when he was twenty one.
The Battle of the Boyne had been fought more than a hundred years
For this and other reasons, Gerald's family was not inclined to
He left home with his mother's hasty kiss on his cheek and her
His five brothers and their father stood six feet and over and
His tall brothers were a grim, quiet lot, in whom the family
If the educational equipment which Gerald brought to America was
Nor did James and Andrew, who took him into their store in
He liked the South, and he soon became, in his own opinion, a
But Gerald remained Gerald. His habits of living and his ideas
From them he learned what he found useful, and the rest he
The valet, Pork by name, shining black, dignified and trained in
His mind was made up that he was not going to spend all of his
Then the hand of Fate and a hand of poker combined to give him the
It was in a saloon in Savannah, on a hot night in spring, when the
Gerald, his mind never free of the thought of owning a plantation
An hour later when the conversation began to lag, Gerald, with a
"It's no bargain you're getting and I am glad not to have to pay
"Never mix cards and whisky unless you were weaned on Irish
The muddy Flint River, running silently between walls of pine and
Gerald closed his eyes and, in the stillness of the unworked
With his own small stake, what he could borrow from his
He cleared the fields and planted cotton and borrowed more money
It was built by slave labor, a clumsy sprawling building that
He had done it all, little, hard headed, blustering Gerald.
Gerald was on excellent terms with all his neighbors in the
The MacIntoshe's were Scotch Irish and Orangemen and, had they
They were a close mouthed and stiff necked family, who kept
"He's an Abolitionist, no doubt," observed Gerald to John Wilkes.
The Slatterys were another affair. Being poor white, they were
The sight of Tom Slattery dawdling on his neighbors' porches,
Tom Slattery could have sold his farm for three times its value to
With all the rest of the County, Gerald was on terms of amity and
His arrival was always amid a bedlam of hounds barking and small
"So, you've been owning this for a month, you young rascal!" he
His rough manner of speech was too well known to give offense, and
"Your father's a good man, and no denying it, but strict, and so
The planters' ladies were the last to capitulate. But, when Mrs.
He did not know that he had taken nearly ten years to arrive, for
When Gerald was forty three, so thickset of body and florid of
Tara cried out for a mistress. The fat cook, a yard negro
With unerring African instinct, the negroes had all discovered
Gerald's sharp blue eyes noticed how efficiently his neighbors'
The urgent need of a wife became clear to him one morning when he
"Mist' Gerald," said Pork, gratefully rolling up the shirt as
Gerald upbraided Pork for his impertinence, but he knew that he
But there were two difficulties in the way of marriage into the
Gerald knew that despite the genuine liking of the County men with
"Pack up. We're going to Savannah," he told Pork. "And if I hear
James and Andrew might have some advice to offer on this subject
"You're not a rich man and you haven't a great family," said
"I've made me money and I can make a great family. And I won't be
"You fly high," observed Andrew, dryly.
But they did their best for Gerald. James and Andrew were old men
"There's only one who takes me eye," Gerald said finally. "And
"And who is it takes your eye?"
"Miss Ellen Robillard," said Gerald, trying to speak casually, for
"And you old enough to be her father!"
"And me in me prime!" cried Gerald stung.
James spoke gently.
"Jerry, there's no girl in Savannah you'd have less chance of
"I care not," said Gerald heatedly. "Besides, her mother is dead,
"As a man, yes, but as a son in law, no."
"The girl wouldn't have you anyway," interposed Andrew. "She's
"He's been gone to Louisiana this month now," said Gerald.
"And how do you know?"
"I know," answered Gerald, who did not care to disclose that Pork
"They'd rather have that breakneck cousin for her than you."
So, James and Andrew were as startled as anyone when the news came
Gerald himself never quite knew how it all came about. He only
The thunderstruck Robillards knew the answer in part, but only
With foreboding, Mammy had brought her young mistress a small
"They drove him away, Father and Pauline and Eulalie. They drove
And when the night was nearly spent, Mammy, who had cried herself
"I will do it. He is a kind man. I will do it or go into the
It was the threat of the convent that finally won the assent of
So, Ellen, no longer Robillard, turned her back on Savannah, never
The next year, their first child was born and they named her Katie
If Ellen had ever regretted her sudden decision to marry him, no
When she' departed from her father's house forever, she' had left a
She had left not only that graceful dwelling but also the entire
Here in north Georgia was a rugged section held by a hardy people.
This was a section that knew the chill of winter, as well as the
All the people Ellen had known in Savannah might have been cast
These people, drawn from many different places and with many
And, quickening all of the affairs of the section, was the high
This certainty of the morrow gave zest and enthusiasm to life, and
Ellen never would, or could, quite become one of them she' had
She became the best loved neighbor in the County. She was a
When Scarlett was a year old, and more healthy and vigorous than a
From the day when Ellen first came to Tara, the place had been
Ellen had been given this preparation for marriage which any well
The house had been built according to no architectural plan
In spring time and summer, the Bermuda grass and clover on the
Ellen set dozens of little black boys to this task, the first
Ellen's life was not easy, nor was it happy, but she' did not
She had been reared in the tradition of great ladies, which had
To Mammy's indignation, her preferred playmates were not her
To this end, Ellen and Mammy bent their efforts, and as Scarlett
Ellen, by soft voiced admonition, and Mammy, by constant carping,
"You must be more gentle, dear, more sedate," Ellen told her
"Young misses whut frowns an pushe's out dey chins an' says 'Ah
Between them, they taught her all that a gentlewoman should know,
At sixteen, thanks to Mammy and Ellen, she' looked sweet, charming
But Mammy was under no illusions about her and was constantly
It was not that these two loving mentors deplored Scarlett's high
If she' knew little about men's minds, she' knew even less about the
All women with the one exception of her mother.
Ellen O'Hara was different, and Scarlett regarded her as something
Scarlett wanted very much to be like her mother. The only
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