"You wanted him the whole time, didn't you!" Melanie's eyes blazed with fury. "All that time I thought you really cared for us, Beau and me, when all you really wanted was to get your hands on my husband! And Charlie...my poor, dear, departed brother Charlie...you never cared for him at all, did you? You only married him out of spite because Ashley was marrying me!"

"Melanie, please, you don't understand..."

"Oh, I understand, all right! Perfectly! No wonder you were so willing to donate your wedding ring to the Confederate cause!"

"When I was giving birth to Beau while the Yankees were burning Atlanta down, I thought that you were taking care of us because you really loved us, but it was really all just for Ashley, wasn't it? I'll bet you were secretly hoping I'd die in childbirth so you could have him for yourself, weren't you!"

For that of a dying woman, Melanie's voice was quite shrill.

"Those stories about Rhett visiting that harlot Belle Whatley are true, aren't they! You won't perform your wifely duties for him, and I know why! It's because every time you lie next to him in bed, you wish it were Ashley there instead! Every time you look into his eyes, you wish it were Ashley's eyes you were looking into!"

"Please, Melanie, let me explain..."

"Oh, go tell it to Rhett. Maybe he'll give a damn." With that, Melanie turned her face to the wall and breathed her last.

Scarlett hung her head in shame. Every word Melanie had said was true. With a heavy heart, she arose from her chair beside the bed and walked out of the room.