Chapter 33

Jeb had written a small note. It was dictated by him and written by one of the Anderson boys in an elegant hand. When Scarlett glanced across the lines expressing gratitude and sincere appreciation for her efforts in placing him with the family, Scarlett felt very pleased. It was the first time in a long time when somebody in the world appreciated her for something and everyone knew that praise from an age old house servant can never be flattery or fake.

Now with very few people to turn to, Scarlett felt she owed it to herself to keep the note and help other former house servants in similar predicaments. She felt she deserved it. She needed to hear kind words. She needed to be appreciated and praised. She found it brought her happiness and a sense of belonging to the world.

She couldn't turn to beaus to satisfy this need for she was still in love with Rhett. Somehow he occupied all her thoughts whenever she was tired or upset. So, she felt it would be disloyal to approach any other man as during her flirtatious days.

She couldn't turn to her family for she was ashamed of appearing needy and vulnerable.

She didn't have many girl friends at all after Melanie's death. So, she gladly turned to the black house servants. They were a trustworthy, reliable lot. And with her success in placing Jeb, she wanted to try her hand again.

This time with Hanna, the little black lady's maid.

After talking to Hanna and letting her fix her hair, Scarlett decided that the best place to take her would be to her Aunt Pauline's house. She would exhibit her there and get some names of worthy families from her Aunt who almost knew every family in Charleston. Scarlett announced her two week trip to Charleston the next morning and the family at Tara looked surprised and even amused. But Scarlett looked so firm and impersonal that no one pried further into her affairs. And yet Mammy pushed out her lower lip in disapproval and vowed to have a talk with Hanna herself.

When Scarlett descended down the stairs in her travelling clothes with Ella by her side, she found Mammy scowling and talking rather heatedly with Hanna.

"Mammy, what do you mean by yelling at Hanna?" asked Scarlett, annoyed.

"I wasn't yelling at her, Miss Scarlett. But I was right about one thing-"

"What's that?"

"This girl is only the first one from a long line of her type, waiting for you to put them in families.. she's got two sisters in row. She'll spring them on you when you find her a job in Charleston-"

"Is that true, Hanna?" asked Scarlett, surprised.

"I have two sisters, Miss and they need jobs too cause we're all poor and confused about just where we belong in this new world. But I wasn't gonna spring them on you like how Mammy said-"

"Never mind what Mammy says. Now we better get going or we'll be late!"

Hanna bowed and ran to add her small trunk to the coach while Scarlett bid her good-byes. Mammy looked sullen and disapproving. "Just like your Ma. Tramping all over God's blessed land, doing things for people that cared nothing for her- wearing herself out, not eating right-"

Scarlett turned back in shock. She blinked in surprise and pleasure at this unexpected, rather outrageous compliment. "Mammy, you aren't comparing me with Mother are you?"

"Well, you're Miss. Ellen's daughter, ain't you? It's bound to be in your blood. I'm only sorry I can't come with you, honey. But you know your Mammy is getting too old for travel-"

"But Mammy, Mother was so unselfish and kind. How could you possibly compare me to-"

"I don't know what all that is. But I sure remember Miss. Ellen started out like you. First she helped one servant..then another and another and she just got so good at it.. And it took away all her time and health. "

"Well, that won't happen to me, Mammy. Don't you worry about that!" said Scarlett, her eyes snapping happily as she clambered into the coach and waved good bye to the family.