Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Surrender the Wind Outtake ~ Mrs. Pepperdine and her daughter Henrietta meet Juleah on the road home.

Just for fun, here is a scene that was cut from Surrender the Wind. The reason being it stalled the story. It is a fact aspiring writers must know, that once your book is accepted it will go through several rounds of edits. You may not want anyone to touch your writing, but you have to. You must trust your editor. So, save your outtakes. You may use them in another book later.

* * * *

Her mother gathered her younger children to the carriage door.
“I shall walk home,” Juleah told her. “It is a fine day.”
She brought her wide-brimmed hat down closer to shade her eyes from the brilliant sunlight and strolled down the tree-lined lane. Oh, no. Now, I will have to speak to them.
Geraldine Pepperdine and her daughter, Henrietta, met Juleah along the road. A basket swung from Henrietta’s arm. In it lay golden onions. Mrs. Pepperdine carried an ebony walking cane.
“Good day, Juleah.” Mrs. Pepperdine offered a broad smile. Her Pomeranian yapped and leapt at Juleah’s dress. “I have not seen you in a long while. We just saw Sir Henry’s carriage pass by. How is your family?”
          “They are well, thank you.” Juleah gave the dog a gentle push away.
          “Henrietta, doesn’t Juleah have the loveliest hat?”
Henrietta nodded. “It must have been expensive.”
“You should wear a shawl, Juleah,” said Mrs. Pepperdine. “Your skin is exposed to the sunshine.”
          Juleah hoisted the edges of her dress higher on her shoulders.
          “That’s better, dear.” Mrs. Pepperdine looked pleased with a bobble of her head.
Henrietta lifted her chin. “Mother’s advice is always correct. Young ladies of breeding and good taste often seek her opinion.”
Losing her smile, Mrs. Pepperdine’s eyes darted around. “You are out walking alone, Juleah? That is not wise.”
          “I thank you for your concern, but I am safe.”
“It is a matter of propriety. Our manservant stands but a few yards away to attend us if we should need him. I’ve just had a thought. You and your mother should join our ladies club. We eat cakes and exchange the latest news every Thursday afternoon.”
Gossip you mean. “I shall tell my mother.” Juleah went to leave, but Mrs. Pepperdine stepped alongside her.
“What has your mother been doing these days? Did she have the sitting room at Henry Chase painted? The last time I was there she said she would.”
“Yes, it is yellow now. When the sun comes through the windows, it makes the prettiest. .  .”
          “Did not I say a long time ago, that your mother should have the color changed?” Mrs. Pepperdine wiggled her head.
“You did—.”
          “I suppose yellow is a proper color for a sitting room.” She had a contemplative look on her face, as if she were staring at something far in the distance. “However, it depends on the shade. I must come and see it for myself.”
          Juleah shook her head. “I do not think that is necessary.”
          Mrs. Pepperdine wagged her gloved finger at Juleah. “Oh, but it is. Your mother values my opinion.”
          “My mother is capable on her own.”
           Mrs. Pepperdine shot her a condescending smile. “You should see the color of my sitting room. It is a lovely shade of green. Everyone comments on it. You shall see it when you and Lady Anna visit.”
          Juleah strove to maintain her composer and be polite. “I cannot say when that may be. My mother is busy these days.”
“No excuse, Juleah. Come next Thursday. I shall tell the ladies you and Lady Anna will be there. Oh, you will enjoy it.”
“Have you been ill, Juleah?” Henrietta stood by with her hands relaxed through the basket handle, her face absent of a smile, plain and lacking emotion. “You look peaked to me. Doesn’t she look peaked, Mother?”
          Mrs. Pepperdine stepped forward. “And so thin? Are you not eating and getting enough country air, dear?”
“I walk every day, Mrs. Pepperdine. I’m hardly as thin as you say.”
“It could be that Henry Chase is drafty,” Henrietta said.
Mrs. Pepperdine threw up her hands. “Indeed, Henrietta, you may be right. Drafty houses can cause ailments in the evening hours. My house, for example, is as tight as a clam. I am apt to illness, you see, and my bones ache if it is raining.”
          “I am sorry to hear it,” Juleah said. “Perhaps a soothing liniment of eucalyptus might help. My mother grows the herb and she would be happy to send you some if you would wish it.”
Mrs. Pepperdine cocked her head. “That would be generous of her. I’d love it if she sent me some, ah, . . .whatever it is called.”
Henrietta tossed in another dry remark. “We heard the new squire has paid you a call, and has an eye for you.”
Juleah lifted her brows. “Where did you hear that?”
“Oh, here and there,” Henrietta answered.
“Being a squire is an enormous responsibility,” said Mrs. Pepperdine with a drawl. “I suppose it is hard for him, seeing he is not English.”
She pulled out her hanky, wiped her nose, shoved it back into her sleeve. “I am not prejudice that he is a colonial. I hope to have him come dine at our house one evening. He must meet Henrietta, and eat from my best china. It is identical to the china at Ripley Castle in North Yorkshire. Have you been to Ripley Castle, Juleah?”
“I have not, Mrs. Pepperdine.” She took a step ahead, but Mrs. Pepperdine, Henrietta, and their pup walked alongside her.
“I have been there on several occasions,” Mrs. Pepperdine said. “That is how I know my china is practically identical to their own.”
Juleah gave her a quick smile. “I see.”
“I imagine Mr. Braxton has never dined off anything fine. More than likely wooden bowls and pewter were all he had in Virginia.” She let out a jolly giggle.
“I cannot say.”  Desperate to leave, Juleah quickened her stride.
Mrs. Pepperdine put out her hand. “I do not wish to change the subject, Juleah, but I heard Thomas threw mud on one of your neighbor’s windows. Your mother comes to his rescue too much. She has spoiled the child and he will grow up wild.”
          Juleah pressed her lips together. “I assure you, Thomas was punished.” 
“Indeed a flexible willow branch gets the point across. One mustn’t let a child sink into moral turpitude, Juleah. Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
“My mother holds to those scriptures that we are to guide children with love and understanding, and use discipline wisely.”
“She has not turned into a Methodist has she? I never bothered to ask, but I imagine her being Church of England like any good English woman should be.”
“She is. Yet, we discourse over Mr. Wesley’s sermons often.”
Mrs. Pepperdine eyes shot wide opened. “Mr. Wesley? I hope your mother realizes he has caused confusion among churchmen. What religion Mr. Braxton is I can only imagine.”
“He is devoted in his faith, ma’am.” A twig caught the edge of Juleah’s dress and snagged it. She reached down and yanked it free.
Mrs. Pepperdine shrugged. “Well, they can be whatever they please in America. Perhaps he believes nothing at all, or as the Indians do. I tell you, their new constitution with religious liberty will cause nothing but trouble. People will run amuck and there shall be heretics a plenty running about their country. People will be led astray by strange doctrines. You watch and see.”
Juleah did not like the way Mrs. Pepperdine talked about Seth. How could she assume anything, not knowing him? Irritated, she twisted one of the ribbons on her bodice so hard it reddened her finger. “You seem to know a lot about Mr. Braxton.”
“I wish I could say I have officially met him. We did see him out riding once. He’s handsome, a fine figure on a horse. I want him to meet Henrietta.”
“Yes, you told me.” Juleah glanced down the road in the hopes someone would rescue her.
Mrs. Pepperdine folded her hands together. “She’d make him a perfect wife.”
Juleah glanced at the pale reed of a girl standing beside Mrs. Pepperdine. Let her try.
“If you will excuse me, I must go on,” Juleah said, stepping away. “Good day.”
Relief seized her to be free of them.
Why do people like Mrs. Pepperdine, fail to speak a kind word? She seems to enjoy being judge and jury, analyzing, prying, making assumptions based on nothing but her own imagination.
When Juleah turned at the bend leading home, she ruminated over the potency of the words spoken to her. She paused, glanced up at the streams of sunlight pouring through the trees. Her heart repented, for she too had past judgment when she had no right. Still, she did not have to subject herself to the likes of the Pepperdines. If an invitation were forthcoming, she’d ignore it.
Juleah shook her head. “Every family has their failings, even mine . . . I shall not think of Mrs. Pepperdine and Henrietta any more today.”


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Out takes on book scenes - interesting concept. And here I was ready to chuck older versions of my manuscripts. :)


Rita Gerlach said...

Oh, no, Susan. Don't do that. Throw nothing in the way of scenes away. You never know when you might be able to use them.

Jan Cline said...

What great writing. Was it very painful to slash it? As an unpublished author, I look forward to the day when and editor wants me to modify my MS. Yet I know it will be tough to do. At least I will learn more of the craft in the process. Thanks for sharing.