Tracy Park, 9/11

April 5, 2007

Just after Jerrie discovers the bag and the diamonds, Harold comes along on the way to the train station. She shows him the diamonds.

Harold: Mrs. Tracy’s diamonds!

Jerrie: Yes, Mrs. Tracy’s diamonds.

Just then, Tom rides up on horseback, and Jerrie hands the diamonds — in their tortoiseshell case — to Harold, who puts them in his pocket and then borrows Tom’s horse in order to make it to the station on time. Jerrie goes home, hides the bag in her room, crawls into bed with all her clothes on, and succumbs to a stress-induced fever that’s been coming on for days. When Mrs. Crawford finds her, she’s raving about the Tramp House and Peterkin and a blow being struck. Jerrie’s got a lump on her forehead — I forget what from — so Mrs. Crawford assumes that someone hit her, and asks who struck the blow. Jerrie, who is a little bit crazy just now, understands the question but not the context and answers, “Peterkin.”

The doctor says that Jerrie’s pretty sick, but she’ll be okay. When Tom comes by to see Jerrie, Mrs. Crawford tells him that Peterkin hit her. Tom is furious, He tells his father about it, and Frank comes to visit Jerrie. They talk about how fond they are of each other, and then Jerrie’s like, “That letter Arthur wrote to Wiesbaden never got sent, did it?” and Frank agrees that it didn’t. Jerrie tells him that he and Maude have been kind to her and she won’t forget it, and then she asks him to kiss her. Frank is surprised, but does so. And then:

” ‘Thanks,’ Jerrie said, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. ‘I think you have been chewing tobacco, haven’t you?’ ”

I find this hilarious.

Peterkin discovers that Harold has the diamonds shortly before the trial starts, but doesn’t say anything yet. Then Harold’s testimony clearly reveals that the plaintiff is in the right, and after that, Peterkin starts accusing him of stealing the diamonds at the top of his lungs right there in the courtroom. Harold looks like he’s about to faint, so Billy leads him out of the courtroom, Judge St. Claire tries to explain the statute of limitations to Peterkin, who may or may not understand. Harold hands the diamonds over to Judge St. Claire, but refuses to tell him where he got them.

The next day Frank and Tom Tracy and Dick St. Claire come by train from Shannondale to give Harold their support. After a while, Tom takes Harold aside and tells him that Jerrie is sick and raving, but that she hasn’t said anything about the diamonds — he knows it was Jerrie that gave the diamonds to Harold, he explains, because he saw her do it when he lent Harold his horse outside the Tramp House, but he’s not going to tell anyone. He also tells Harold that Peterkin hit Jerrie, and that maybe he had the diamonds and Jerrie got them from him. Harold disagrees — he thinks Arthur stole the diamonds. Tom admits that this might be true, and they part, agreeing to work together in Jerrie’s interests and to go back to hating each other as usual when the matter has been dealt with.

When Harold gets home, he immediately goes to see Jerrie, who asks after the diamonds. Harold says that Mrs. Tracy probably has them now, and Jerrie’s like, “what have they got to do with her? They’re mine!” At this point she starts raving again, which should probably be a tip-off that she’s not completely compos mentis, but Harold decides that now is the best time to ask her if she loves him. She says she does, but then she starts raving again, and finally he gets that she’s not in the right frame of mind for that particular talk.

He meets up with Tom at the Tramp House. Tom has spoken with Peterkin, who promises that he didn’t hit Jerrie. He and Harold decide that probably Arthur stole the diamonds, and Jerrie knew, but didn’t know where they were. Harold has been offered a job on the west coast by Billy, who thinks it would be best for Harold to leave town until all of this blows over. When he’s gone, though, people start saying that he was running from public opinion, and Mrs. Tracy and Peterkin do their best to further the rumor.

Eventually Jerrie gets better. She’s still convalescing when she finds out what people have been saying about Harold, but she immediately gets up and goes to Tracy Park.


  1. I must say I’m actually enjoying this.

  2. I’m glad, because so am I.

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