فصل 04

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فصل 04

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Chapter four

Another Plan

It was raining when she started to walk back to Aunt Pitty’s house. Her clothes were soon wet, but she didn’t care. ‘How can I go back to Tara and tell them they must all go - somewhere?’ she thought. ‘Oh, I hope they hang Rhett Butler!’

She heard the sound of a carriage and turned to look.

The driver saw her. ‘Is it - Miss Scarlett?’ he said.

‘Oh, Mr Kennedy!’ said Scarlett.

‘I’m so glad to see you!’ Frank Kennedy smiled and looked pleased as he stopped and helped her into the carriage. ‘What are you doing in this part of the town?’ he said. ‘Don’t you know it’s dangerous?’

Scarlett noticed how well-dressed he was. The carriage was new, too. ‘I didn’t know you were here in Atlanta,’ she said.

‘Didn’t Miss Suellen tell you about my shop?’ said Frank.

‘No,’ she replied, although she remembered Suellen did say something about it. ‘A shop? How clever you must be.’

‘I came to Atlanta at the end of the war,’ he explained, ‘and there were beds and blankets on the train which nobody seemed to want. The Yankees were going to burn them but I got them first. I had ten dollars, and used it to put a roof on an old shop near Five Points, and I moved the beds and blankets in and started selling them. I sold them cheap, then bought other things and sold those, too.’ He looked proud. ‘I made a thousand dollars this year, Miss Scarlett. Five hundred went to buy more things, but I’ll probably make two thousand next year, and I’ve already got an idea for another business.’

Scarlett quickly became interested. ‘You have?’ she said.

He laughed and hurried the horse along. ‘A pretty little woman like you doesn’t want to hear anything about business.’

‘The old fool!’ she thought, but she said, ‘Oh, but I do,’ and smiled sweetly. ‘What other business?’

‘A sawmill,’ he said. ‘I haven’t bought it yet, but I will. Any-body who owns a sawmill can make money. The Yankees burned so many houses, and people have gone crazy building new ones. They can’t get enough wood, and they can’t get it fast enough. I’m going to buy this sawmill as soon as people pay me some of the money they owe me.’ His face went red again. ‘You know why I want to make money quickly, don’t you?’

Scarlett knew he was thinking of Suellen. For a moment, she wondered about asking him to lend her three hundred dollars. ‘But he won’t,’ she thought. ‘He wants to marry Suellen in the spring, and if he lends me the money the wedding will have to wait. Oh, why does this old fool want to marry her? Once she gets her hands on his money, she won’t care whether Tara is sold for taxes or burned to the ground!’ Suddenly, an idea came into her head. ‘Can I make him forget Suellen and ask me to marry him instead? He’s old enough to be my father. But he’s a gentleman, and now isn’t the time for me to be fussy.’

He saw her staring at him and she looked away quickly.

‘Are you cold?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ she said, in a small voice. ‘May I put my hand in your coat pocket? I forgot to bring my gloves.’

‘Oh - of course!’ he said, delighted. ‘But why did you come to this part of town?’

‘I - I went to see if the soldiers would buy some clothes I had made to send home to their wives,’ she lied.

‘You went to the Yankees?’ he said, shocked. ‘Miss Scarlett! Does Miss Pittypat know that you-?’

‘Oh, I shall die if you tell Aunt Pitty!’ said Scarlett, and began to cry. It was easy to cry because she was so cold.

Frank became embarrassed. He wanted to put her head on his shoulder, but didn’t know what to do.

‘I came to Atlanta to try to make a little money for myself and my son,’ said Scarlett, tears running down her cheeks.

And then Frank saw that her head was on his shoulder, although he didn’t know how it had got there.

‘I won’t tell Miss Pittypat,’ he said, ‘but you must promise not to do anything like this again.’

Her green eyes looked up at him. ‘But I must do something. There’s nobody to look after me or my poor little boy now.’

‘There will always be a home for you and Wade with us when Miss Suellen and I are married,’ he said.

Scarlett tried to look embarrassed.

‘Is something wrong?’ said Frank.

‘I - I thought she wrote to you,’ said Scarlett. ‘Oh, she should be ashamed! Oh, what an unkind sister I have!’

Frank stared at her, his face grey. ‘What-?’

‘She’s going to marry Tony Fontaine next month,’ lied Scarlett. ‘She got tired of waiting for you.’


During the next two weeks, Scarlett made him feel like a strong, warm-hearted man who was lucky enough to catch a charming but helpless little woman. And when they stood together to be married, he still did not know how it had all happened. And so quickly too! He only knew that for the first time in his life he had done something wonderful and exciting.

No friends or relations came to the wedding. That was how Scarlett wanted it. ‘Just us two, Frank,’ she said. ‘I always wanted to run away and be married. Please, dear, just for me!’

And before he knew it, he was married!

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