found it difficult to be polite

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Though she recovered physically from Wade’s birth in a disgracefully short timeinternational school in hong kong, mentally shewas dazed and sick. Her spirits drooped, despite the efforts of the whole plantation to revive them.
Ellen went about with a puckered, worried forehead and Gerald swore more frequently than usualand brought her useless gifts from Jonesboro. Even old Dr. Fontaine admitted that he was puzzled,after his tonic of sulphur, molasses and herbs failed to perk her up. He told Ellen privately that itwas a broken heart that made Scarlett so irritable and listless by turns. But Scarlett, had she wished to speak, could have told them that it was a far different and more complex trouble. She did not tellthem that it was utter boredom, bewilderment at actually being a mother and, most of all, theabsence of Ashley studio for rentthat made her look so woebegone.
Her boredom was acute and ever present. The County had been devoid of any entertainment orsocial life ever since the Troop had gone away to war. All of the interesting young men were gone—the four Tarletons, the two Calverts, the Fontaines, the Munroes and everyone from Jonesboro,Fayetteville and Lovejoy who was young and attractive. Only the older men, the cripples and thewomen were left, and they spent their time knitting and sewing, growing more cotton and corn,raising more hogs and sheep and cows for the army. There was never a sight of a real man exceptwhen the commissary troop under Suellen’s middle-aged beau, Frank Kennedy, rode by everymonth to collect supplies. The men in the commissary were not very exciting, and the sight ofFrank’s timid courting annoyed her until she  to him. If he and Suellenwould only get it over with!
Even if the commissary troop had been more interesting, it would not have helped her situationany. She was a widow and her heart was in the grave. At least, everyone thought it was in the graveand expected her to act accordingly. This irritated her for, try as she would, she could recallnothing about Charles except the dying-calf look on his face when she told him she would marryhim. And even that picture was fading. But she was a widow and she had to watch her behavior.
Not for her the pleasures of unmarried girls. She had to be grave and aloof. Ellen had stressed thisat great length after catching Frank’s lieutenant swinging Scarlett in the garden swing and makingher squeal with laughter. Deeply distressed, Ellen had told her how easily a widow might getherself talked about . The conduct of a widow must be twice as circumspect as that of a matron.


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