فصل 02

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فصل 02

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter two

Return to Atlanta

Scarlett heard the sound of a horse and saw a shiny new carriage stop by the house. Jonas Wilkerson got out.

Scarlett was surprised to see the man who was once her father’s plantation manager. Will had said that Jonas had made a lot of money - mostly by cheating negroes or the government - and here he was, stepping out of a fine carriage with a woman who was dressed in fashionable clothes. The woman looked towards the house, and Scarlett recognized her immediately.

‘Emmie Slattery!’ she said before she could stop herself.

‘Yes, it’s me,’ said Emmie, holding her head proudly.

Emmie Slattery! That dirty, cheap female whose fatherless baby Scarlett’s mother had helped to deliver! Emmie, who gave typhoid to Scarlett’s mother and killed her. That overdressed, nasty piece of white trash was coming up the steps of Tara - smiling, and looking as if she belonged there!

‘Get off those steps!’ cried Scarlett. ‘Get off this land!’

Jonas tried to control his anger. ‘You mustn’t speak like that to my wife,’ he said.

‘Wife?’ said Scarlett. ‘So you’ve made her your wife at last, have you?’

‘We came to talk business with old friends-‘ began Jonas.

‘Friends?’ said Scarlett. ‘My father threw you off this plantation after you fathered Emmie’s baby. And the Slatterys took our help and paid us back by killing my mother. Get off this land before I call Mr Benteen and Mr Wilkes!’

Emmie ran back to the carriage, but Jonas did not move. ‘Still the proud lady!’ he shouted at Scarlett. ‘Well, I know your father’s gone crazy! And I know you can’t pay your taxes. I came here to offer to buy this place, but I won’t give you a dollar now! I’ll buy it cheap when it’s sold for taxes!’

‘I’ll pull this house down and plant every field with salt before either of you put a foot in it!’ shouted Scarlett.

Jonas turned and walked angrily to the carriage. He climbed in next to his wife, who was crying, and they drove off.

Scarlett was so frightened that she found it difficult to breathe. Jonas Wilkerson at Tara? Never, never, never!

‘I’ll get money from Rhett!’ she thought. ‘I’ll sell him the Yankee’s jewellery, then I’ll pay the taxes and laugh in Jonas Wilkerson’s face!’ Another thought came to her. ‘But I’ll need money for taxes every year.’

What had Rhett said?

‘I want you more than I’ve ever wanted any woman.’

‘I’ll marry him,’ she thought coolly, ‘then I’ll never have to worry about money again. But he mustn’t suspect that we’re poor or he’ll know it’s his money I want and not him.’


Scarlett and Mammy stepped from the train at Atlanta. Scarlett had wanted to come alone, but Mammy wouldn’t let her. And because Mammy had helped Scarlett make a new dress from some curtains, Scarlett felt unable to stop her coming.

Mammy knew about the taxes, and that they were in Atlanta to get the money to pay them. ‘Why ain’t you saying where the money is coming from?’ she asked, suspecting something. ‘And why do you need a new dress to borrow it?’

Scarlett didn’t answer. They walked to Aunt Pitty’s house, saddened by the city’s burned and blackened buildings. The streets were full of Yankee soldiers, or negroes, who stared at Scarlett in an insulting way as she walked past.

A closed carriage came along Peachtree Street and a woman’s head appeared at a window. It was Belle Watling.

‘Who was that?’ asked Mammy. ‘I ain’t never seen hair that colour in my life!’

‘She’s the town’s bad woman,’ said Scarlett.

And Mammy’s mouth fell open.


‘My dear, did I tell you that Rhett Butler was in prison?’ Aunt Pitty said at supper that evening.

For a moment, Scarlett was so shocked she could only stare. ‘Yes!’ went on Aunt Pitty. ‘He’s in prison for killing a negro who insulted a white woman, and they may hang him!’

‘How - how long will he be in prison?’ asked Scarlett.

‘Nobody knows,’ said Aunt Pitty. ‘And the Yankees don’t care whether people are guilty or not, they’re so worried about the Ku-Klux-Klan. Do you have a Klan near Tara? I’m sure you do, and Ashley doesn’t tell you about it. Klansmen aren’t supposed to tell. They ride out at night, dressed like ghosts, and call on Carpetbaggers who steal and negroes who are rude or insulting. Sometimes they frighten them and make them leave. Sometimes they kill them and leave them with the Ku-Klux card on them. The Yankees are very angry about it, but I don’t believe they’ll hang Captain Butler because they think he knows where the money is. Everybody believes he’s got millions of dollars in gold, belonging to the Confederacy. Somebody got it, and we think it was the blockaders.’

Millions - in gold! Scarlett imagined it. She could repair Tara, and plant miles and miles of cotton. She could have pretty clothes, and a good doctor to look after Pa. And Ashley - oh, she could do so much for Ashley!

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