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Page 143 text:
THE BITTER ROOT 125
MRs. THoMPsON: Come, child, I'l1 be able to help you so much. I lost my
daughter when she was just a little baby. I need you.
CLARA: You say you need me? You lost your child, you are tryin' to
rob poor ma of me.
Mus. THOMPSON: No! No!
MRS. IVEST: It only fer yer own good, Clara, ainlt it, Mrs. Thompson?
Mics. THoMPsoN: Yes. of course.
IVAN: You can bet I'd go!
CLARA: I'm not a-goinl It wouldn't be playin' the game. and it ain't
only yer that needs me, but it 's me needin' you. Oh, ma, don 't send me away,
don 't make 1ne go! Ivan, who 'll work with you like I do? You don't want
me to go away do yer?
IVAN: Of course not, but-
CLARA: Ma, you want me to stay home and help yer and loVe yer. Yer
don 't want me ter go off where I ainlt a knowin' no one and where Ilin lone-
some. XO one will be there fer me to go ter and get comforted, and when yer
sick, whO'll clean the house 4? Who 'll give yer water and love yer? Who? I
ask you, who?
IVAN: I'll loVe he1'.
CLARA: Yes, dear, but sometimes it takes more than just love.
MRs. lVEs'1': Clara, we'll manage ter get along some how, yer best ter go.
CLARA: No. I don't want to. Pa, who 'll care fer the crops when yer get
sick like yer did last summer? Who 'll help yer? No, I best stay ter home.
MRs. THOMPSON! VVell, child, you know best, I suppose, but I do wish
you would go home with me. Are you sure you won't be sorry?
CLARA: I'm sure. KMR. and MRs. XVEST cryj
MRS. VVEsT: Oh, Clara. I'n1 so glad, and yet so sad!
IVAN: Yer can still be the Sunday school angel.
Mies. THOMPSON: NVell, child, I suppose you know best, but I do wish you
would come home with me.
CLARA: No, I canlt go with you. But I do want the rest of you to go to
the gate with her.
KTIIRU all leave except CLARA. She goes over aozvcl kneels by the trunkj
Dear God. I planned and did so want to go, but they needed me!
ZW' I X ff f
Page 142 text:
124 THE B1frT1sR Roor g
CLARA: I ain't a-goin', I tell yer! fS0bs.j
IVAN: But Why not? Ain't yer packed?
CLARA: I don 't care! I hain't agoin'!
MRS. XVEST: But think how much you would be pleasin' me.
CLARA: I have. Oh, I hate to think!
IVAN: But yer got that there new gingham dress.
MR. VVEST: But think, yer can learn to read and write.
IVAN: Yer could come home and read to me.
MRS. THOMPSON: But, my dear child. You can come back often and you
can soon become Well and strong.
IVAN: I'll take care of yer spotted calf so yer can go.
CLARA: But ma is sickly and pa can't afford ter hire anyone ter help
him. The crop will spoil. Someone's got ter make our clothin' and ma 's sight
is mighty poor.
MRS. VVEST: But I can get someone to run in an' help me.
CLARA: VVho'll yer get ter help yer?
MRS. IVEST: VVhy, there is a-um-um-
CLARA: No, ma, it won't do: no one will help yer and who'll pa get ter
MR.. WEs'1': XVhy, I'1l get Tom Jones.
CLARA: IVho'll feed him?
MR. VVEST: Why, yer ma, course.
CLARA: She a.in't Well, she should be in bed this here very minute: look
MRS. THOMPSON: Yes, but, dear, she will be able to come and live with
CLARA: Mrs. Thompson, yer mean good. but don 't yer see I ean't leaVe
MRS. THOMPSON: Yes, but think, Clara! The thought of you learning
to be someone, to have better things than these, to be cultured, will help your
MRS. VVEST: Yes, Clara, don't you see?
IVAN: Yes, and, Clara, if yer don't go. Illl not get to come ter see yer.
CLARA: I'm sorry, but I'm not goin'.
MR. WEs'r: Come, now, Mrs. Thompson here 's planned on yer goin '. So
hurry and get ready.
CLARA: No, pa, I'n1 not goin', ma needs me: you and Ivan needs me.
No, I'll stay home.
MRS. WEsT: It's true, but no. Go! Go now, or else l'll want yer ter
stay. It's jest 1ny old selfish body that cries out to you. Go! Fulfill my
dreams. Plans I wanted to do and had planned on carrying out, but I failed,
miserably failed. Go, it 's your chance. You must go!
CLARA: No, ma, I can't.
MRS. XVEST: Oh, Clara, please!
Page 144 text:
9 Tum BITTER ROOT
WVhen evening pulls her mantle close,
And winks her starry eyes,
The silvery queen of night mounts high
Her throne up in the skies.
O'er all the dewy. sleeping world
Her crystal light she sends.
And to the witching twilight hour
Her sweet enchantment lends.
XVhen slowly from the sky descends
This Empress of the night.
Then, glorious. mounts the mighty sun
VVith crown of radiant light.
DIARY XVILBINEON 30
The Birch Tree
In the neighhor's yard the birch tree,
Frosty. heavy-laden birch tree,
Glistens like the fairy crystal,
Sparkling, glittering. shining crystal.
Branches thick with frost are droopingg
Branches in the ai1' are waving,
Shaking off the icy frost-flakes,
Like a million precious jewels.
Out against the darker background
Stands the birch tree 's grey-white coyeung
Birch bark differing from all others,
Birch bark long since famed in story!
Deep within the drooping branches,
Is a bird 's nest hidden safely,
Last year's bird 's nest neatly builded-
Up among the frosty branches.
ELEANOR I SMITH, 30
?' f X aWjj4
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