Friday, April 2, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter 15--I try to warn another girl about the molester and Mother gets pregnant again


Chapter fifteen

After Bill quit working for Daddy I did not pay attention to what he was doing until Mother or somebody noted that he was 'courting' the widow Baker. I was horrified, but it was true. Bill was driving to Boulder in his old vehicle and stopping to visit Maggie. Now he had somehow got into her good graces enough to be allowed in the house among her whole flock of tasty children, three little girls, under ten, and three boys, older. If he should get a chance I thought he would mess with either girls or boys, but who I figured attracted him the most was not Maggie, with her long stringy hair and her careworn face, but Cleo, her ten year old daughter who looked exactly like Shirley Temple!
I had not even warned anyone what a bad character he was. If anything happened to one of those children it would surely be partly my fault. Cleo was best friends at school with Marilyn who lived in Salt Gulch. Marilyn even stayed there occasionally when there was some reason she wanted to stay all night in Boulder. Since I had also made friends with Marilyn and even gone to visit her a time or two, since she lived just beyond the Coleman place, I decided I would try to talk to Marilyn and tell her what danger was lurking in Cleo's mother allowing Bill even close to her children.

I got Marilyn's attention at school at recess and then realized I would need to tell her what Bill had done to me in order to get her to believe she must warn Cleo. I started to tell her about the molesting but at the last minute I just could not bring myself to say what Bill had done to me. It was just too big a thing for me to do, too full of the possibilities of dire consequences. So instead I found myself telling her that Bill had molested Cleo! She looked at me startled but didn't say a word while I described everything Bill had done to me, only I said he did it to Cleo! Marilyn never did say a word. She just turned and left.
I was horrified at myself for telling such lies. As if Marilyn was going to believe me. She knew very well that Cleo never talked to me. She was picky about her friends and I was not one of them, since I was only eight. While I was pondering the possible consequences of these lies I had told for a few days, Marilyn apparently got a chance to tell Cleo what I said. One day Mother and Dad went to Boulder for the mail and some other business. They left us older children home in Salt Gulch. Cleo must have seen them pass the Baker place and she got on the phone and kept ringing until I answered.
When she got me on the phone she started screaming at me that she would tell my mother and dad and have me arrested for slander if I did not stop telling these horrible lies about her. I apologized and said, “I am sorry. I will never do it again.”
She hung up, and I wondered how I would ever face her again in school. I just did not know what to do next. I was still thinking about it when I realized that Bill was no longer stopping to her place, in fact he did not even seem to be still in town. It was true! I made a few careful inquiries, but nobody confessed to knowing anything. Still Bill had disappeared as though off the face of the earth!
Naturally I had to conclude his leaving town had something to do with what I told Marilyn he had done to Cleo. I waited for Mother and Dad to say something to me, but they did not act like they knew anything about my horrible lies. I thought and thought and decided Cleo in her great indignation surely said something to her family, and her oldest brother who was around 20 or so and I believe worked for Grandpa King probably put two and two together and decided if I was talking about Bill and molesting, something was not right. Hayward could have been the one who said something to Bill to cause him to high tail it out of town.
I never heard another thing about Bill until I was a lot older. Probably sixty years later a man told one of my sisters that shortly before Bill disappeared he tried to come into a drinking party one of his relatives was throwing and he said somebody took a shot at Bill! I thought for sure that person must have heard what I was telling. Who shot at him? I did not know. My dad? He could well have been to that drinking party. Did Bill ever get to leave town or was he killed and thrown into a canyon somewhere he would not be found?
I could not worry now about what punishment Bill had finally gotten for his acts of sexual aggression with a five year old. I just felt relieved that I did not have to worry about him catching me alone any more or about what he was doing to some other child in Boulder.
Not too many months after this happened the widow Maggie felt galvanized to move to Richfield, a town that fit her family and their talents much better than Boulder did. They did well in Richfield. Sometimes Margie and I would ask Mother to take us to see her younger girls who were more our age, May and Nell. We kept contact with them for years, but naturally Cleo never spoke to me again.
As for Marilyn, I am sure she felt traumatized by the part she played in the drama. She told me several times that as soon as she reached the 8th grade and had to go away to school she would go back to Salt Lake and live with her Aunt Lillian and would never return to Boulder again!
Her stepfather Morias was a rough old country bumpkin, and I think she was horrified by her mother staying pregnant for years by him until she finally had a child with severe muscular dystrophy who never made it out of his wheelchair before he died. Her mother moved her and the children by Morias to Escalante and at one point, Morais was not even allowed to visit. When he got old and his health broke down, the younger children persuaded her to let him stay there until his death.
Marie said Marilyn only came back once to see her in Escalante. I don't think she ever had any children. Well, I understood because I was pretty traumatized by my mother's inability to keep from getting pregnant either. I found out another baby was coming soon when Ann only turned one year old! I knew Mother did not want or need another child at this point. Daddy always cussed when she got pregnant as though it was all her fault. I remember Mother saying something about her diaphragm breaking! It certainly could not have been a very reliable means of birth control.
I did not want another baby brother or sister to tend. I might go mad myself. You could put a molester in jail but a husband like Daddy who got drunk and demanded sex you could do nothing about. I had heard him. Well, Mother had the baby, another girl of course, but this time she went to Salt Lake because her very life was at risk. I found out that Ann had to be delivered with forceps and Grandpa told Mother her child bearing days had better come to an end if she was going to stay in the country to try to have these children.
He could not even tell her what to do to stop having children. Everybody in the country must have told her what to do to prevent pregnancy, but I guess the main thing that caused it she could not end, the sexual intercourse, or the marriage itself might have come undone leaving her with five children to raise. Well, she would have to work, and guess who would be tending the kids? It was already very hard to keep track of Mother. She would take the youngest one with her, but I always felt in charge of the ones at home. It was going to be a contest as to who had the nervous breakdown first, Mother or me.
I came home from school one day when we were living in Salt Gulch, the fall after Linda was born in June, and I couldn't find Mother. I finally found her crying out in back of the house. She said she was pregnant again and was having a miscarriage!
Well, somebody took her to Richfield. I guess it was Daddy since he helped cause it. I don't know where we five children were deposited, probably with Grandma King. They had to do a D and C and Mother persuaded the doctor to tie her tubes. He agreed, finally, even though she was only 29 years old. It was obvious she could not control her child bearing situation.
Mother came home looking considerably happier. And at last we could turn our attention to spoiling this baby sister. I doubt if I even noticed her up to then, we had so much work to do. Like gardening, bottling, washing the clothes with water heated outside in a big tub, making soap, cooking meals, making bread, washing dishes--all had to go on no matter whether there was fifteen babies or not.
I know Mother had a lot of migraine headaches, and she complained about being tired all the time. When I started getting chronic fatigue, how could I expect her to be concerned? She had a worse case than I did. In the meantime, Mother hired Leah and Fern Coleman at times to come and help us. They were god sends. But they grew up and left home, got married, and somebody still had to do the work. And many men came and went working for Daddy, after Bill, as he labored from the crack of dawn until it was dark to keep up with his growing crops and expanding herd of cattle.
Oh did I remember to tell you, Grandpa paid for him to have the Kiely Cure for drinking at the state mental where he was even able to see and visit Uncle Reed. Daddy stayed there a month being cured before the spring work started, and Linda would be born, and two months after he came home he started drinking again!

Both graphics made my Connie


Connie said...

God,it's little wonder why you got chronic fatigue !!!

Missie said...

Have a good Easter holiday.


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