.RU
Карта сайта

will be over soon, and then I can go home to Tara.O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler stood alone, a few steps away from the other mourners at Melanie Wilkes’ burial. It was raining, and the black-clad men and women held black umbrellas over their heads. They leaned on one another, the women weeping, sha - 11


“What’s Charleston like, Miss Scarlett?” Pansy asked for the hundredth time just as the light was beginning to fade outside the window.
“Very pretty, you’ll like it fine,” Scarlett answered for the hundredth time. “There!” She pointed at the landscape. “See that tree with the stuff hanging off it? That’s the Spanish moss I told you about.”pressed her nose to the sooty pane. “Oooh,” she whimpered. “It looks like ghosts moving. I’m scared of ghosts, Miss Scarlett.”
“Don’t be a ninny!” But Scarlett shivered. The long, swaying, gray wisps of moss were eerie in the gray light, and she didn’t like the way it looked either. It meant that they were moving into the low-country, though, close to the sea and to Charleston. Scarlett peered at her lapel watch. Five-thirty. The train was over two hours late. Her aunts would have waited, she was sure. But even so, she wished she wouldn’t be arriving after dark. There was something so unfriendly about the dark.cavernous station in Charleston was poorly lit. Scarlett craned her neck, searching for her aunts or for a coachman who might be their servant, looking for her. What she saw instead were a half dozen more soldiers in blue uniform, carrying guns slung over their shoulders.
“Miss Scarlett—” Pansy tugged on her sleeve. “There’s soldiers everywhere.” The young maid’s voice was quavering.fear forced Scarlett to appear brave. “Just act like they’re not here at all, Pansy. They can’t hurt you, the War’s been over for practically ten years. Come on.” She gestured to the porter who was pushing the cart with her luggage. “Where would I find the carriage that’s meeting me?” she asked haughtily.led the way outside, but the only vehicle there was a ramshackle buggy with a swaybacked horse and a dishevelled black driver. Scarlett’s heart sank. Suppose her aunts were out of town? They went to Savannah to visit their father, she knew. Suppose her telegram was just sitting on the front stoop of a dark, empty house?drew in a long breath. She didn’t care what the story was, she had to get away from the station and the Yankee soldiers. I’ll break a window to get into the house if I have to. Why shouldn’t I? I’ll just pay to get it fixed the same way I paid to fix the roof for them and everything else. She’d been sending her aunts money to live on ever since they lost all of theirs during the War.
“Put my things in that hack,” she ordered the porter, “and tell the driver to get down and help you. I’m going to the Battery.”magic word “Battery” had exactly the effect she hoped for. Both driver and porter became respectful and eager to be of service. So it’s still the most fashionable address in Charleston, Scarlett thought with relief. Thank goodness. It would be too awful if Rhett heard I was living in a slum.and Eulalie threw open the door of their house the moment the buggy stopped. Golden light streamed out onto the path from the sidewalk, and Scarlett ran through it to the sanctuary it promised.they looked so old! she thought when she was close to her aunts. I don’t remember Aunt Pauline being skinny as a stick and all wrinkled like that. And when did Aunt Eulalie get so fat? She looks like a balloon with gray hair on top.
“Look at you!” Eulalie exclaimed. “You’ve changed so, Scarlett, why I’d hardly know you.”quailed. Surely she hadn’t got old, too, had she? She accepted her aunts’ embraces and forced a smile.
“Look at Scarlett, Sister,” Eulalie burbled. “She’s grown up to be the image of Ellen.”sniffed. “Ellen was never this thin, Sister, you know that.” She took Scarlett’s arm and pulled her away from Eulalie. “There is a clear resemblance, though, I will say that.”smiled, this time happily. There was no greater compliment in the world that anyone could pay her.aunts fluttered and argued about the business of settling Pansy in the servants’ quarters and getting the trunks and valises carried upstairs to Scarlett’s bedroom. “Don’t you lift a finger, honey,” Eulalie said to Scarlett. “You must be worn out after that long trip.” Scarlett settled herself gratefully on a settee in the drawing room, away from the fuss. Now that she was finally here, the feverish energy that had gotten her through the preparations seemed to have evaporated, and she realized that her aunt was right. She was worn out.all but dozed off during supper. Both her aunts had soft voices, with the characteristic low-country accent that elongated vowels and blurred consonants. Even though their conversation consisted largely of politely expressed disagreement on everything, the sound of it was lulling. Also, they weren’t saying anything that interested her at all. She’d learned what she wanted to know almost as soon as she stepped across the threshold. Rhett was living at his mother’s house, but he was out of town.
“Gone North,” Pauline said, with a sour expression.
“But for good reason, Sister,” Eulalie reminded her. “He’s in Philadelphia buying back some of the family silver that the Yankees stole.”relented. “It’s a joy to see how devoted he is to his mother’s happiness, finding all the things that she lost.”time Eulalie was the critic. “He could have shown some of that devotion a lot sooner, if you ask me.”didn’t ask. She was busy with her own thoughts, which were concentrated on wondering how soon she could go up to bed. No sleeplessness would plague her tonight, she was sure of it.she was right. Now that she’d taken her life in her own hands and was on her way to getting what she wanted, she could sleep like a baby. She woke in the morning with a sense of wellbeing that she hadn’t felt for years. She was welcome at her aunts’, not shunned and lonely like in Atlanta, and she didn’t even have to think yet about what she’d say to Rhett when she saw him. She could relax and be spoiled a little while she waited for him to get back from Philadelphia.aunt Eulalie punctured Scarlett’s bubble before she’d finished her first cup of breakfast coffee. “I know how anxious you must be to see Carreen, honey, but she only has visitors on Tuesdays and Saturdays, so we’ve planned something else for today.”! Scarlett’s lips tightened. She didn’t want to see her at all, the traitor. Giving her share of Tara away as if it meant nothing at all . . . But what was she going to say to the aunts? They’d never understand that a sister wouldn’t be just dying to see another sister. Why, they even live together, they’re so close. I’ll have to pretend I want to see Carreen more than anything in the world and get a headache when it’s time to go.she realized what Pauline was saying, and her head did begin to throb painfully at the temples.
“. . . so we sent our maid Susie with a note to Eleanor Butler. We’ll call on her this morning.” She reached for the bowl of butter. “Would you please pass the syrup, Scarlett?”’s hand reached out automatically, but she knocked over the pitcher, spilling the syrup. Rhett’s mother. She wasn’t ready to see Rhett’s mother yet. She’d only met Eleanor Butler once, at Bonnie’s funeral, and she had almost no memory of her, except that Mrs. Butler was very tall and dignified and imposingly silent. I know I’ll have to see her, Scarlett thought, but not now, not yet. I’m not ready. Her heart pounded and she dabbed clumsily with her napkin at the spreading stickiness on the tablecloth.
“Scarlett, dear, don’t rub the stain into the cloth like that.” Pauline put her hand on Scarlett’s wrist. Scarlett jerked her hand away. How could anyone worry about some silly old tablecloth at a time like this?
“I’m sorry, Auntie,” she managed to say.
“That’s all right, dear. It’s just that you’re practically putting a hole through it, and we have so few of our nice things left . . .” Eulalie’s voice faded mournfully.clenched her teeth. She wanted to scream. What did a tablecloth matter when she had to face the mother Rhett practically worshipped? Suppose he’d told her the truth about why he’d left Atlanta, that he had walked out on the marriage? “I’d better go look at my clothes,” Scarlett said through the constriction in her throat. “Pansy’ll have to press the wrinkles out of whatever I’m going to wear.” She had to get away from Pauline and Eulalie, she had to pull herself together.
“I’ll tell Susie to start heating the irons,” Eulalie offered. She rang the silver bell near her plate.
“She’d better wash out this cloth before she starts on anything else,” Pauline said. “Once a stain sets—”
“You might observe, Sister, that I have not yet finished my breakfast. Surely you don’t expect me to let it get cold while Susie clears everything off the table.”fled to her room.
“You won’t need that heavy fur cape, Scarlett,” said Pauline.
“Indeed not,” said Eulalie. “We have a typical Charleston winter day today. Why, I wouldn’t even wear this shawl if I didn’t have a cold.”unhooked the cape and handed it to Pansy. If Eulalie wanted everyone else to have a cold, too, she’d be glad to oblige her. Her aunts must take her for a fool. She knew why they didn’t want her to wear her cape. They were just like the Old Guard in Atlanta. A person had to be shabby like them to be respectable. She noticed Eulalie eyeing the fashionable feather-trimmed hat she was wearing, and her jaw hardened belligerently. If she had to face Rhett’s mother, at least she would do it in style.
“Let’s be off, then,” said Eulalie, capitulating. Susie pulled the big door open, and Scarlett followed her aunts out into the bright day. She gasped when she stepped down from the entrance. It was like May, not November. Sun reflected warmth from the white crushed shell of the path and settled on her shoulders like a weightless blanket. She tilted her chin up to feel it on her face and her eyes closed in sensuous pleasure. “Oh, Aunties, this feels wonderful,” she said. “I hope your carriage has a fold-down top.”aunts laughed. “Dear child,” Eulalie said, “there’s not a living soul in Charleston with a carriage any more, except for Sally Brewton. We’ll walk. Everyone does.”
“There are carriages, Sister,” Pauline corrected. “The carpetbaggers have them.”
“You could hardly call the carpetbaggers ‘living souls,’ Sister. Soulless is what they are, else they couldn’t be carpetbaggers.”
“Vultures,” Pauline agreed with a sniff.
“Buzzards,” said Eulalie. The sisters laughed again. Scarlett laughed with them. The beautiful day was making her feel almost giddy with delight. Nothing could possibly go wrong on a day like this. Suddenly she felt a great fondness for her aunts, even for their harmless quarreling. She followed them across the wide empty street in front of the house and up the short stairway on the other side of it. As she reached the top of it, a breeze fluttered the feathers on her hat and touched her lips with a taste of salt.
“Oh my goodness,” she said. On the far side of the elevated promenade, the green-brown waters of Charleston’s harbor stretched before her to the horizon. To her left, flags fluttered on the tall masts of ships along the wharves. To her right the trees of a long low island glowed a bright green. The sunlight glittered on the tips of tiny pointed wavelets, like diamonds scattered across the water. A trio of brilliantly white birds soared in the cloudless blue sky then swooped down to skim the tops of the waves. They looked as if they were playing a game, a weightless, carefree kind of follow-the-leader. The salt-sweet light breeze caressed her neck.’d been right to come, she was sure of it now. She turned to her aunts. “It’s a wonderful day,” Scarlett said.promenade was so wide, they walked three abreast along it. Twice they met other people, first an elderly gentleman in an oldfashioned frock coat and beaver hat, then a lady accompanied by a thin boy who blushed when he was spoken to. Each time, they stopped, and the aunts introduced Scarlett. “. . . our niece from Atlanta. Her mother was our sister Ellen, and she’s married to Eleanor Butler’s boy, Rhett.” The old gentleman bowed and kissed Scarlett’s hand, the lady introduced her grandson, who gazed at Scarlett as if he had been struck by lightning. For Scarlett the day was getting better with every passing minute. Then she saw that the next walkers approaching them were men in blue uniforms.step faltered, she grabbed Pauline’s arm.
“Auntie,” she whispered, “there are Yankee soldiers coming at us.”
“Keep walking,” said Pauline clearly. “They’ll have to get out of our way.”looked at Pauline with shock. Who would have thought that her skinny old aunt could be so brave? Her own heart was thumping so loud that she was sure the Yankee soldiers would hear it, but she willed her feet to move.only three paces separated them, the soldiers drew aside, pressing their bodies against the railings of metal pipe that lined the edge of the walkway along the water. Pauline and Eulalie sailed past them as if they were not there. Scarlett lifted her chin to equal the tilt of her aunts’ and kept pace.ahead of them a band began to play “Oh! Susanna.” The rollicking, merry tune was as bright and sunny as the day. Eulalie and Pauline walked more quickly, keeping time with the music, but Scarlett’s feet felt like lead. Coward! she berated herself. But inside she couldn’t stop trembling.
“Why are there so many damned Yankees in Charleston?” she asked angrily. “I saw some at the depot, too.”
“My goodness, Scarlett,” said Eulalie, “didn’t you know? Charleston is still under military occupation. They’ll likely never leave us alone. They hate us because we threw them out of Fort Sumter and then held it against their whole fleet.”
“And heaven only knows how many regiments,” Pauline added. The sisters’ faces were glowing with pride.
“Mother of God,” Scarlett whispered. What had she done? Walked right into the arms of the enemy. She knew what military government meant: the helplessness and the rage, the constant fear that they’d confiscate your house or put you in jail or shoot you if you broke one of their laws. Military government was all-powerful. She had lived under its capricious rule for five harsh years. How could she have been such a fool as to stumble back into it again?
“They do have a pleasant band,” said Pauline. “Come along, Scarlett, we cross here. The Butler house is the one with the fresh paint.”
“Lucky Eleanor,” said Eulalie, “to have such a devoted son. Rhett positively worships his mother.”stared at the house. Not a house, a mansion. Shining white columns soared a hundred feet to support the roof overhang above the deep porches along the side of the tall, imposing brick house. Scarlett’s knees felt weak. She couldn’t go in, she couldn’t. She’d never seen any place as grand, as impressive. How would she ever find anything to say to the woman who lived in such magnificence? Who could destroy all her hopes with one word to Rhett.had her by the arm, hurrying her across the street. “ ‘. . . with a banjo on my knee,” she was singing in a low off-key murmur. Scarlett allowed herself to be led like a sleepwalker. In time, she found herself standing inside a door, looking at a tall elegant woman with shining white hair crowning a lined lovely face.
“Dear Eleanor,” said Eulalie.
“You’ve brought Scarlett,” said Mrs. Butler. “My dear child,” she said to Scarlett, “you look so pale.” She put her hands lightly on Scarlett’s shoulders and bent to kiss her cheek.closed her eyes. The faint scent of lemon verbena surrounded her, floating gently from Eleanor Butler’s silk gown and silken hair. It was the fragrance that had always been part of Ellen O’Hara, the scent for Scarlett of comfort, of safety, of love, of life before the War.felt her eyes spilling uncontrollable tears.
“There, there,” Rhett’s mother said. “It’s all right, my dear. Whatever it is, it’s all right now. You’ve come home at last. I’ve been longing for you to come.” She put her arms around her daughter-in-law and held her close.
Butler was a Southern lady. Her slow, soft voice and indolent, graceful movements disguised a formidable energy and efficiency. Ladies were trained from birth to be decorative, to be sympathetic and fascinated listeners, to be appealingly helpless and empty-headed and admiring. They were also trained to manage the intricate and demanding responsibilities of huge houses and large, often warring, staffs of servants—while always making it seem that the house, the garden, the kitchen, the servants ran themselves flawlessly while the lady of the house concentrated on matching colors of silk for her delicate embroidery.the deprivations of war reduced the staffs of thirty or forty to one or two, the demands on women increased exponentially, but the expectations remained the same. The battered houses must continue to welcome guests, shelter families, sparkle with clean windows and shining brass, and have a well-groomed, imperturbable, accomplished mistress at leisure in the drawing room. Somehow the ladies of the South did it.soothed Scarlett with gentle words and fragrant tea, flattered Pauline by asking her opinion of the desk recently installed in the drawing room, diverted Eulalie with a plea to taste the pound cake and judge if the extract of vanilla bean was strong enough. She also murmured to Manigo, her manservant, that her maid Celie would help him and Scarlett’s maid transfer Scarlett’s things from her aunts’ house to the big bedroom overlooking the garden where Mr. Rhett slept.under ten minutes, everything had been accomplished to move Scarlett without opposition, or injured feelings, or interruption to the even rhythm of the tranquil life under Eleanor Butler’s roof. Scarlett felt like a girl again, safe from all harm, sheltered by a mother’s all-powerful love.gazed at Eleanor through misted, admiring eyes. This was what she wanted to be, had always meant to be, a lady like her mother, like Eleanor Butler. Ellen O’Hara had instructed her to be a lady, had planned for it and wanted it. I can do it now, Scarlett told herself. I can make up for all the mistakes I made. I can make Mother proud of me.she was a child, Mammy had described heaven to her as a land of clouds like big feather mattresses where angels rested, amusing themselves by looking down at the goings-on below through cracks in the sky. Ever since her mother died, Scarlett had had an uncomfortable childish conviction that Ellen was watching her with unhappy concern.’ll make it all better now, she promised her mother. Eleanor’s affectionate welcome had, for the moment, erased all the fears and memories that filled her heart and mind when she saw the Yankee soldiers. It had even wiped out Scarlett’s unacknowledged anxiety about her decision to follow Rhett to Charleston. She felt safe and loved and invincible. She could do anything, everything. And she would. She would win Rhett’s love again. She would be the lady Ellen always meant for her to be. She would be admired and respected and adored by everyone. And she would never, ever, be lonely again.Pauline closed the last tiny, ivory-inlaid drawer of the rosewood desk and Eulalie hurriedly swallowed the last slice of cake, Eleanor Butler stood, pulling Scarlett up with her. “I have to pick up my boots from the cobbler this morning,” she said, “so I’ll take Scarlett along and introduce her to King Street. No woman can possibly feel at home until she knows where the shops are. Will you all join us?”Scarlett’s immense relief, her aunts declined. She wanted Mrs. Butler all to herself.walk to Charleston’s shops was pure pleasure in the warm bright winter sunlight. King Street was a revelation and a delight. Stores lined it for block after block; dry goods, hardware, boots, tobacco and cigars, hats, jewelry, china, seeds, medicines, wines, books, gloves, candies—it seemed that everything and anything could be bought on King Street. There were crowds of shoppers, too, and dozens of smart buggies and open carriages, with liveried drivers and fashionably dressed occupants. Charleston was nowhere near as dreary as she had remembered it and feared it to be. It was much bigger and busier than Atlanta. And no sign of the Panic at all., Rhett’s mother behaved as if none of the color and excitement and busyness existed. She walked past windows full of ostrich plumes and painted fans without looking at them, crossed the street without so much as a thank you to the women in the buggy that had stopped to avoid hitting her. Scarlett remembered what her aunts had told her: there wasn’t a carriage to he had in Charleston except those owned by Yankees, carpetbaggers and scallywags. She felt a rush of white-hot rage at the vultures that were fattening on the defeated South. When she followed Mrs. Butler into one of the boot shops it did her heart good to see the proprietor turn over his richly dressed customer to a young assistant so that he could hurry forward to Rhett’s mother. It was a pleasure to be with a member of the Old Guard in Charleston. She wished fervently that Mrs. Merriwether or Mrs. Elsing were there to see her. 1 ... 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ... 77 2014-07-19 18:44
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • Контрольная работа
  • © sanaalar.ru
    Образовательные документы для студентов.