Paul’s face was still and his gaze flickered coldly to Angel when Michael went out the door. Paul asks Angel if she had planned this little time together while Michael hitched up the horses?
“No! but I think he hopes we will work out our differences”
As Paul sat silent as Angel offered him breakfast. He refused but said,
“I thought you’d be gone again by now” with hope in his voice.
Angel offered him coffee and could see clearly that would be his wish as he continued to look down on her. He’s not going to ever see her without remembering what he did. She was determined to be nice to Paul for Michaels sake. She didn’t want to hurt him anymore.
Later at the Altman’s Miriam asked questions about Angels trip to the West coast on the ship. Asked about her work when she go to San Francisco. Questions, questions. I know how Angel felt. How much do you tell? Will she be able to handle the truth about the obscene things Angel had to do as an 8 year old child in Dukes home?
“Is that what it was like?” Miriam’s face was ashen. “Worse” Angel said.
Miriam changed the subject to Paul, Paul did this, Paul did that. She was very much admiring Paul, in every way. But Paul never gave her so much as a smile.
Elizabeth was very large with baby by Thanksgiving time. Miriam had all but given up hope that Paul and her might ever be together. He avoided her like the virgin she was and he wanted no part of that. He wanted Miriam for Michael whenever Angel would run again. He could have loved Miriam but his penance for what he did to Michael was to stay clear of Miriam and push Michael to her.
Angel looked down at her own flat stomach and tears came quickly. Miriam saw her looking at Elizabeth with longing eyes and agreed how it would be like to be with child.
“It’s a woman’s reason for being, isn’t it? Our divine privilege: to bring new life in the world and nurture it. Sometimes I think I can hardly wait.”
In that moment they both were without hope, a virgin girl with no man for a husband and a barren women.