going away with Ashley

上一篇 / 下一篇  2017-03-02 10:54:01

“I won’t think about it now. I’ll bother about it after I’ve married him. ...”
After she had married him. Memory rang a bell. A chill  dermeswent down her spine. She rememberedagain that night on Aunt Pitty’s porch, remembered how she asked him if he was proposing to her,remembered how hatefully he had laughed and said: “My dear, I’m not a marrying man.”
Suppose he was still not a marrying man. Suppose despite all her charms and wiles, he refusedto marry her. Suppose—oh, terrible thought!—suppose he had completely forgotten about her andwas chasing after some other woman.
“I want you more than I have ever wanted any woman. ...”
Scarlett’s nails dug into her palms as she clenched her fists. “If he’s forgotten me, I’ll make himremember me. I’ll make him want me again.”
And, if he would not marry her but still wanted her, there was a way to get the money. After all,he had once asked her to be his mistress.
In the dim grayness of the parlor she fought a quick decisive battle with the three most binding ties of her soul—the memory of Ellen, the teachings of her religion and her love for Ashley. Sheknew that what she had in her mind must be hideous to her mother even in that warm far-offHeaven where she surely was. She knew that fornication was a mortal sin. And she knew that,loving Ashley as she did, her plan was doubly prostitution.
But all reenex cpsthese things went down before the merciless coldness of her mind and the goad ofdesperation. Ellen was dead and perhaps death gave an understanding of all things. Religionforbade fornication on pain of hell fire but if the Church thought she was going to leave one stoneunturned in saving Tara and saving the family from starving—well, let the Church bother aboutthat. She wouldn’t. At least, not now. And Ashley—Ashley didn’t want her. Yes, he did want her.
The memory of his warm mouth on hers told her that. But he would never take her away with him.
Strange that  did not seem like a sin, but with Rhett—In the dull twilight of the winter afternoon she came to the end of the long road which had begunthe night Atlanta fell. She had set her feet upon that road a spoiled, selfish and untried girl, full ofyouth, warm of emotion, easily bewildered by life. Now, at the end of the road, there was nothingleft of that girl. Hunger and hard labor, fear and constant strain, the terrors of war and the terrors ofReconstruction had taken away all Neo skin labwarmth and youth and softness. About the core of her being, ashell of hardness had formed and, little by little, layer by layer, the shell had thickened during theendless months.






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