Nellie Plans to Leave
Tales of Mom 9
Nellie Plans to Leave
The depression deepens, leaving Nellie wondering about Terry.
“Pa, I got to finds ‘em,” she says. “It be two years since I sees ‘em.”
The few years they are together before the country sinks into a deep depression, Terry does as he says he will: He teaches Nellie Mae to speak. He said, “All she needs is self-confidence, instruction, and practice, lots of practice.”
Although Nellie practices both day and night, she never meets Terry’s perfective expectation.
Nevertheless, the doctor says, “It is a miracle. I did not expect her to perform as well as she does. Terry has truly done wonders with her.”
Now looking at Pa, Nellie feels he is about to mention Terry is not bothering to write. It does not matter to Pa that he writes his mother, telling her he is ashamed to write Nellie because he feels he cannot provide for her, as he should.
Pa says,”A man’s primary duty is to care for his wife. When you marry, you become as one.” Then he gives me this silly grin and adds, “Would you cut off your right arm and leave it at home while you explore the universe?”
Well, when Pa puts it that way, Nellie has to contemplate what is going on here? But right now, she is not in a mood for a lecture, so she spurts out quickly before he has a chance to say a word, “I know ya don’ts wants me followin’ after ‘em, buts I got to.”
Trying hard to prevent her Pa from starting one of his lectures, she answers his questions before he gets a chance to voice them. “Peg (Terry’s sister) says I cans go wit’ ‘er. ‘Er hubby sent fer ‘er. He tells ‘er, ‘Terry is ‘ere at da C.C.C. (Cylde Citizen’s Training Corp School).’”
Before Nellie gets a chance to catch her breath and continue, Pa asks, “Why doesn’t he send for you himself?”
“Ya knows how proud ‘em is!” She exclaims, attempting to provide an honorable explanation for his neglect in face of her uneasiness with the circumstances herself.
(The C.C.C. uniforms the students wear)
“Women should not be traipsing around the countryside by themselves”, Pa begins to lecture with his remark.
“Peg got a car,” Nellies quickly replies. “Her daddy teaches her how to fix da car if dar be trouble,” she explains.
Pa already knew of Peg’s ability; she helped him fix his car when he broke down in town just last week.
(Pa’s car is next to the station with its hood up)
So at this point, Pa keeps his silence even though Nellie pauses for a moment giving him a chance to speak.
“’Besides, I needs be wit ‘em,” she says. Deciding to change her tactic somewhat, she quotes, “’For bett’r or worse,’” and then asks“, ain’t dat wats ya tells someone when ya marries dem, Pa?” Not waiting for an answer, she immediately initiates another quote, “’Lets no man . . .”
Interrupting her before she has a chance to finish, he says, “You made your point”. Being a preacher and believing a man should be with his wife, he feels he has no alternative but to say, “Better pack, young lady”.
“I already packed—never unpacked, ‘cept my clothes,” she says excitedly as she moves around the room.