Maycomb was a tired, old town,
even when I first knew it.
Somehow it was hotter then.
Men’s stiff collars wilted by 9:00 in the morning.
Ladies bathed before noon, after their 3:00 naps…
and by nightfall were like soft tea cakes…
with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.
The day was 24 hours long, but it seemed longer.
There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go…
and nothing to buy; no money to buy it with.
but had you been lucky, you would be given a husband like mine
and all these worries of being poor were easily forgotten.
Atticus and I lived in a small street home. The large oak was our reason for buying it. I believe it was because I said I liked oaks that Atticus was so drawn to this house. I liked it cause he did. He liked it cause I did. And so our days went as so.
Our clothes were well pressed as were everyone else’s on our lane. And our gardens were well kept even though seeds cost to much and tending to the lawn on a hot summer day was not worth the beauty that a few tulips brought to dying grass. But man does what man can to live simply and live happily.
In our house we had four rooms. One that was given to Calpurnia the day she came in . Calpurnia was my only good friend here in Maycomb. When I was pregnant she brought me ginger cookies , though women in this town believed it caused your baby to have rashes on their skin. Calpurnia knew I couldn’t sleep without them. The day I realized that I wouldn’t be much longer , I was glad Atticus had Calpurnia. I even wished he could marry her and give Jem and Scout a life they needed. But that was not how life worked here in Maycomb county. Not how life worked anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line.
The two other rooms were for Jem and Scout, when they did soon come along. And the last of the four was mine and Atticus’. We had a bed , a lamp, a cupboard of clothes and my favorite of all things a window that looked out to our front lawn. Some days when Atticus would come home from the office he would sit with me on the bed and tell me stories of the idling figures, that by chance walked by.
There was the story of Maude and her husband being happily married and fighting over bent carnations.
The story of the Littleton’s whose son grew tall enough to finally reach their top shelf.
The story of the Williams’ whose third daughter would marry a prince someday, since she always walked around like she was holding a stack of books on her head.
The Williams were the only black family living in the area of Maycomb. Mr.William walked down this street to go to the auctioning house where he worked as an assistant to Mr.Toole. Some days he would bring his daughter , Ella with him . His wife passed during childbirth , and some days’ Callie would look after the little girl. Atticus and Mr.William were good friends . Atticus had helped Mr.William with some house troubles. To pay Atticus back Mr.William hadn’t much money. He did however have a way with wood. He built the cupboard that held our clothes
From there on they were good friends . I would be lying if I said I don’t care much for the young girl Ella. In fact, Calpurnia often brought her to the house and she played and slept in Scouts room, which was hers first.
Atticus liked her as well. He laughed at her smart mouth and brought her chocolates form the sweet shop up the road. I knew from there that Atticus wanted children, far more than I had realized.
Mr.William was a good man. He did his best to take care of Ella. But here in Maycomb he wasn’t seen so lovingly. He was seen as thief .
The summer, the year I learned that black folk went to a separate county jail, Mr. William was charged for a crime. Ms.Toole had said she’d seen him steal fourteen dollars from Mr.Tooles desk .
We knew her confession was a lie, since Mr.William hadn’t a penny to spare for weeks. He was an honest good man.
Atticus offered to take the case but before he could do anything Mr.William was thrown in Etson county jail in Virginia miles form here. And Ella well she stayed with us , with Calpurinia.
Then a man form the bank came and took her to go live with Mr.Williams’ sister in New Port County. We never saw her again.
Atticus took trip to go see Mr.Williams but by the year 1922 Mr.William was no more. He was killed in an accident with another inmate. Atticus was told when he got their with flowers, to tell Mr.William that Ella had a suitor.
Later that day we tried to find Ella, but hadn’t heard a word of her whereabouts for years. We called her aunt.Atticus even drove down to meet her in person. But she no longer lived there.
Years later in a paper we saw that a young black lady was left murdered on a front lawn in New Port. The picture of the woman in the paper left us all a little struck . She was tall and was wearing a beautiful white dress. It was Ella. The last photo they had of her was of her on her wedding day.
Now I can say that Atticus and I lived normally after . But that would be a lie. Because neither Atticus nor I ever. forgot Mr.Williams and his beautiful daughter, Our little girl Ella.