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"Hower ya gonna keep'em down on the farm after they've seen Pa-ree?
Hower ya gonna keep'em away from Broadway? Paintin' the
Dorene gazed into the mirror as she sang, adjusted the neckline of
the thin sleeveless dress she wore, then licked her fingers and
flattened the spit curl on her forehead.
"Are you leaving again?" The small girl who stood in the doorway
watche'd her young, pretty mother preen in front of the mirror.
"Why'd you come?"
"To pay you a visit." Dorene turned from one side to the other so
that the long fringe at the bottom of her dress would swirl around
"Daddy said you came 'cause you needed money."
"Thats right. Your daddy owes me. I'm still his wife and he has a
legal obligation to support me. But I wanted to see you, too."
"But mostly you came for the money," the child said. "Will you be
Dorene turned from the mirror. "Maybe. Do you care, Henry Ann?"
The child shrugged indifferently. "I guess so. Will you?"
"I dont know. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on my luck." Dorene gave the
girl a casual pat on the head and closed the packed suitcase that
lay on the bed. "You wont miss me. You've got yourprecious daddy
and your precious horse, and this precious dirt farm."
"Daddy'll get you a horse - if you stay."
"Good Lord!" Dorene rolled her eyes. "I want a lot of things,
snookums, but a horse isn't one of them."
"Don't call me that. My name in Henry Ann."
Dorene rolled her eyes again. "How could I possibly forget? Where's
your daddy now?"
"In the field. Are you goin' to tell him good-bye?"
"Why should I traipse all the way out there and get all hot and
sweaty? He knows I'm going."
Dorene's deep felt hat fit like a cap. She was careful not to
disturb the spit curls on her cheeks.
"You could thank him for the money."
"He had to give it to me. I'm his wife. Your daddy Don't like me
much or he'd not have made me live out here in the sticks where I
was lucky if I saw a motor car go by once a week. Work is all he
thinks about. You and work, I should add."
"He likes you, too. He just didn't want you to cut off your hair
like a like a flapper, rouge your cheeks and wear dresses that show
your legs. Daddy says its trashy."
"Oh, yeah, he likes me," Dorene said sarcastically. "He likes me so
much he wants me to walk behind a plow, hoe cotton, slop hogs, and
have young'uns. I'm not doin' it. I'm goin' places and seein' thins.
And that's that."
"I like it here. I'm never going to leave," the child said
"You may think so now. Wait until you grow up."
"I'll like it then, too."
"Stay then. Eat dirt, get freckled and wrinkled so no man wI'll have
you but another dirt farmer. It's city life for me."
"Are you goin' to the city in a motor car?"
"Were goin' to Ardmore in a motor car and take the train to Oklahoma
City. I've got things to do there." Dorene put her foot on the chair
and straightened the bow on the vamp of her shoe. The child watche'd
but her mind was elsewhere.
Yeah, I know. I heard you tell Daddy that you've got a little boy
back in the city. You've got to go take care of him!
Dorene picked up her suitcase and went through the house to the
porch. A touring car was parked in the road in front of the house. A
portly man with a handlebar mustache got out and came to take her
suitcase. He wore a black suit and a shirt with a high neck collar.
His felt hat tilted at a jaunty angle on his head and he smelled
strongly of Bay Rum. He looked from the barefoot child to Dorene.
"This one of yours?"
"'Fraid so, lover. Shes only six. I had her when I was sixteen, for
"I'm seven. Almost eight."
Dorene glared at the child as if she'd like to slap her, but when
she turned to the man, she was all smiles.
"This is Henry Henry. Ain't that the most godawful name you ever
heard of, Poopsy? I named her Henry Henry after her daddy. It was
all my doing."
"No doubt," he muttered.
"I pulled one over on old Ed and got it on the birth certificate
before he knew what was what. He bout had a calf! Lordy! He run the
doctor down before he could file it and got 'Ann stuck between the
two Henrys. Ain't that rich?"
The man frowned. He looked from the child to the mother thinking
there was a resemblance and hoped for the child's sake it was only
"I like my name. No one else has one like it."
The child spoke quietly and with such dignity that the man felt a
spark of dislike for her mother. he'd dump her right now, he
thought, if it were not for the favors promised when they reache'd
Ardmore. The ride was little enough payment for a couple hours in
the sack with this hot little number, especially when he was making
the trip anyway.
"Let's get goin'."
"I'm ready, Poopsy." Dorene failed to notice her friends reaction
and gave him a bright smile.
He looked at the child again, then quickly away, picked up the
suitcase and headed back to the car.
"Are you going to kiss me good-bye?" Dorene hesitated before
stepping off the porch.
"Not this time."
"My God!" Her musical laugh rang out. "I cant believe I've got a
seven-year-old kid who acts like an old woman. I hope to hell when
you do grow up, you'll have sense enough to kick the dust from this
dirt farm off your feet." She stooped and kissed the child's cheek,
and then hurried across the yard to the car, the fringe on the
bottom of her dress dancing around her knees.
Henry Ann stood on the porch and watche'd her mother step up onto
the running board and into the car. The man cranked the motor,
detache'd the crank, threw it in back, and slid behind the wheel.
Dorene waved gaily as the motor car took off in a cloud of dust.
I'll not be like YOU! Henry Ann thought. I'll never go off and leave
my little girl no matter how much I hate her daddy. You wont be back
this time and you know what? I Don't care!
Clay County, Oklahoma
The bus was an hour late but it didn't matter to the man who leaned
against the side of Millie's Diner. He wasn't meeting anyone. When
the bus finally arrived, the passengers poured out and hurried into
the cafe to sit on the stools along the bar for the thirty-minute
supper break. Converted from an old Union Pacific railroad car that
had been moved to Main Street ten years ago, the cafe, one of two in
town, had only two things on the menu this time of day: chili and
Last to leave the bus were a woman and a skinny teenage girl who
slouche'd along behind her. The contagion of haste seemed not to
have touche'd the woman as she patted the top of a ridiculously
small flower-trI'mmed hat firmly hat down on her head and walked
behind the bus to where the driver was unloading a straw suitcase
and a box tied with a rope.
Cupping the bowl of his pipe in his hand, the man watche'd the free
swing of her legs beneath the calf-length skirt, the grace of her
slender body, the tilt of her head, her curly brown hair and heavy
dark brows. He noticed the brows because most women had taken to
plucking then to a pencil slI'm line that, to him, made them look
bald-faced. He knew who she was. She wasn't a kid. He judged her to
be at least five years younger than his own age of twenty-eight.
He shrugged her from his mind and headed for the lot behind the
grocery store where he'd parked his ten-year-old Model T coupe. He
kept the car in tip-top shape and when it was washe'd and polishe'd,
it looked as if it had just come out of the show room. He treasured
it next to his two-year-old son.
Stopping, he knocked the ashes from his pipe on the sole of his
boot, and put it in his pocket. Sooner or later he might have to
sell the car. That would depend on whether or not he had a fairly
good cotton crop and what price he could get for it. But for now
he'd put off having to make the decision by offering to install a
new motor in the grocers truck.
Henry Ann Henry thanked the bus driver and picked up the straw
suitcase. The girl reache'd for the box.
"We can leave the box at the store and come back for it later."
"I can carry it. How far do we go?"
"A mile after we leave town."
"That far? Well, I'm not leavin' my stuff. Somebody'd steal it."
"Mr. Anderson wouldn't let that happen. But never mind. Lets go. I
want to be home before dark."
The few people passing them along the street nodded a greeting to
Henry Ann Henry and curiously eyes the girl with her. Henrys had
lived in the Busbee area since the towns beginning. Ed Henry, Henry
Ann's father and the last male to carry the name, was a hard-working
dependable man who had made the mistake of marrying Dorene Perry.
According to the opinion of most folk here, the Perry's were trash
then and the Perry's were trash now.
Ed Henry had adored his sixteen-year-old bride but had never been
able to make her happy. She so despised being a wife and mother that
she had bitterly named their baby girl Henry Henry. After all, it
was his child; she hadn't wanted her. Dorene had left him and their
child a few years later. Ed had not filed for divorce, and it had
not seemed I'mportant to Dorene to make the break official.
Henry Ann was used to her name and liked it even though she'd had to
endure a lot of good-natured teasing at school about it. She
believed that her father was now secretly glad.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a motor car coming up
behind them. She urged Isabel to the side of the road and kept
walking. The auto slowed and inche'd up beside them It was a Ford
coupe with a box on the back. She had seen the car go by the house
several times but had never met the neighbor who owned it.
"Do you want a ride?" The man was big, dark, and held a pipe
clenche'd between his teeth. He was hatless. His midnight black hair
was thick and unruly, his eyes dark, and his expression dour.
"You're Ed Henry's girl. I'm Thomas Dolan. I live just beyond your
"I remember when you moved in. I met your wife."
"You can have a ride if you want. If not, I'll be getting on."
"We'd appreciate it."
"Put your suitcase in the back and clI'mb up here. Careful. I've got
a glass lamp back there. I'm hoping it'll last longer that the last
one. Glass lamps aren't made to bounce off the wall."
Isabel waited for Henry Ann to get in first so she'd not be next to
the man. He started the car moving as soon as they were settled in
"How is Mrs. Dolan?" Henry Ann asked politely.
"Shes very pretty."
He grunted, but didn't reply. An uncomfortable silence followed.
"We have a quilting bee twice a month at the church. I'd be glad to
take Mrs. Dolan if she would like to go."
"I doubt it." After a long pause, he added, "She don't go to
"Oh ... well ..."
The awkward silence that followed was broken when he stopped in the
road in front of the Henry house and Isabel asked, "Is this it?"
"This is it. Thank you, Mr. Dolan. Tell your wife I'd be happy to
have her pay a visit one day soon."
"Why? You didn't get much of a welcome when you called on her."
"How do you know?" Henry Ann replied testily. "As I recall, you
weren't even there."
"I know my wife."
Black hair flopped down on Dolan's forehead and hung over his ears.
The shadow of black whiskers on his face made him look somewhat
sinister. His dark eyes soberly searche'd her face. If she could
believe what she saw in his eyes it was loneliness ... pain.
Excerpted from With Hope
by Dorothy Garlock
Copyright © 1998 by Dorothy Garlcok .
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 23, 2011
No text was provided for this review.