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Rhett would protect them


 “Well’m, lak you tole me, Ah foun’ him in a bahroom. Ah stood outside an’ yell fer him an’ he come out. An’ ter-reckly he see me an’ Ah starts tell him, de sojers tech off a sto’ house down Decatur Street an’ it flame up an’ he say Come on an’ he grab me an’ we runs ter Fibe Points an’ he say den: What now California Fitness? Talk fas’. An’ Ah say you say, Cap’n Butler, come quick an’ bring yo’ hawse an’ cah’ige. Miss Melly done had a chile an’ you is bustin’ ter get outer town. An’ he say: Where all she studyin’ ‘bout goin’? An’ Ah say: Ah doan know, suh, but you is boun’ ter go fo’ de Yankees gits hyah an’ wants him ter go wid you. An’ he laugh an’ say dey done tuck his hawse.”
 Scarlett’s heart went leaden as the last hope left her California Fitness. Fool that she was, why hadn’t she thought that the retreating army would naturally take every vehicle and animal left in the city? For a moment she was too stunned to hear what Prissy was saying but she pulled herself together to hear the rest of the story.
 “An’ den he say, Tell Miss Scarlett ter res’ easy. Ah’ll steal her a hawse outer de ahmy crall effen dey’s ary one lef. An’ he say, Ah done stole hawses befo’ dis night. Tell her Ah git her a hawse effen Ah gits shot fer it California Fitness. Den ‘he laugh agin an’ say, Cut an’ run home. An’ befo’ Ah gits started Ker-bloom! Off goes a noise an’ Ah lak ter drap in mah tracks an’ he tell me twarnt nuthin’ but de ammernition our gempmums blowin’ up so’s de Yankees don’t git it an’—”
 “He is coming? He’s going to bring a horse?”
 “So he say.”
 She drew a long breath of relief. If there was any way of getting a horse, Rhett Butler would get one. A smart man, Rhett. She would forgive him anything if he got them out of this mess. Escape! And with Rhett she would have no fear. Rhett would protect them. Thank God for Rhett! With safety in view she turned practical.
 “Wake Wade up and dress him and pack some clothes for an of us. Put them in the small trunk. And don’t tell Miss Mellie we’re going. Not yet. But wrap the baby in a couple of thick towels and be sure and pack his clothes.”
 Prissy still dang to her skirts and hardly anything showed in her eyes except the whites. Scarlett gave her a shove and loosened her grip.
 “Hurry,” she cried, and Prissy went off like a rabbit.
 Scarlett knew she should go in and quiet Melanie’s fear, knew Melanie must be frightened out of her senses by the thunderous noises that continued unabated and the glare that lighted the sky. It looked and sounded like the end of the world.
 But she could not bring herself to go back into that room just yet. She ran down the stairs with some idea of packing up Miss Pittypat’s china and the little silver she had left when she refugeed to Macon. But when she reached the dining room, her hands were shaking so badly she dropped three plates and shattered them. She ran out onto the porch to listen and back again to the dining room and dropped the silver clattering to the floor. Everything she touched she dropped. In her hurry she slipped on the rag rug and fell to the floor with a jolt but leaped up so quickly she was not even aware of the pain. Upstairs she could hear Prissy galloping about like a wild animal and the sound maddened her, for she was galloping just as aimlessly.
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