An hour later when the Backup and Recoveryconversation began to lag, Gerald, with a guile that belied the wideinnocence of his bright blue eyes, proposed a game. As the night wore on and the drinks wentround, there came a time when all the others in the game laid down their hands and Gerald and thestranger were battling alone. The stranger shoved in all his chips and followed with the deed to hisplantation. Gerald shoved in all his chips and laid on top of them his wallet. If the money itcontained happened to belong to the firm of O’Hara Brothers, Gerald’s conscience was notsufficiently troubled to confess it before Mass the following morning. He knew what he wanted,and when Gerald wanted something he gained it by taking the most direct route. Moreover, suchwas his faith in his destiny and four deuces that he never for a moment wondered just how themoney would be paid back should a higher hand be laid down across the table.
“It’s no bargain you’re getting and I am glad not to have to pay PolyU Twitter more taxes on the place,” sighedthe possessor of an “ace full,” as he called for pen and ink. “The big house burned a year ago andthe fields are growing up in brush and seedling pine. But it’s yours.”
“Never mix cards and whisky unless you were weaned on Irish poteen,” Gerald told Porkgravely the same evening, as Pork assisted him to bed. And the valet, who had begun to attempt abrogue out of admiration for his new master, made requisite answer in a combination of Geecheeand County Meath that would have puzzled anyone except those two alone.
The muddy Flint River, running silently between walls of pine and water oak covered withtangled vines, wrapped about Gerald’s new land like a curving arm and embraced it on two sides.
To Gerald, standing on the small knoll where the house had been, this tall barrier of green was asvisible and pleasing an evidence of ownership as though it were had built tomark his own. He stood on the blackened foundation stones of the burned building, looked downthe long avenue of trees leading toward the road and swore lustily, with a joy too deep for thankfulprayer. These twin lines of somber trees were his, his the abandoned lawn, waist high in weeds underwhite-starred young magnolia trees. The uncultivated fields, studded with tiny pines andunderbrush, that stretched their rolling red-clay surface away into the distance on four sidesbelonged to Gerald O’Hara—were all his because he had an unbefuddled Irish head and thecourage to stake everything on a hand of cards.
Gerald closed his eyes and, in the stillness Package to Hong Kong of the unworked acres, he felt that he had comehome. Here under his feet would rise a house of whitewashed brick. Across the road would be newrail fences, inclosing fat cattle and blooded horses, and the red earth that rolled down the hillside tothe rich river bottom land would gleam white as eiderdown in the sun—cotton; acres and acres ofcotton! The fortunes of the O’Haras would rise again.