By the time Scarlett had undressed and blown out the candle, her
plan for tomorrow had worked itself out in every detail. It was a
simple plan, for, with Gerald's single mindedness of purpose, her
eyes were centered on the goal and she thought only of the most direct
steps by which to reach it.
Scarlett obeyed, bracing herself and catching firm hold of one of the
bedposts. Mammy pulled and jerked vigorously and, as the tiny circumference
of whalebone girdled waist grew smaller, a proud, fond look came into her eyes.
There was no one to tell Scarlett that her own personality, frighteningly
vital though it was, was more attractive than any masquerade she might adopt.
Had she been told, she would have been pleased but unbelieving. And the
civilization of which she was a part would have been unbelieving too, for
at no time, before or since, had so low a premium been placed on feminine naturalness.
As they neared the intersecting road that came down the thickly wooded
hill from Mimosa and Fairhill, the sound of hooves and carriage wheels became
plainer and clamorous feminine voices raised in pleasant dispute sounded from
behind the screen of trees. Gerald, riding ahead, pulled up his horse and signed
to Toby to stop the carriage where the two roads met.