I'm supposed to be doing a Hallowe'en challenge story -- I wasn't going to go for the challenge since "Hallowe'en" really doesn't feature either in my life or in the sort of fiction I read. But I acquired a copy of "Gone With the Wind" (a 50th Anniversary Edition, which dates it; we're rather closer to a hundredth anniversary nowadays!) and while re-reading the opening scenes I suddenly got the image of poor young Charles Hamilton coming back to Scarlett on the day when the dead walk, with Tara in ruins and the war lost... and somehow she has to get him back into the grave before he can realise what has happened. Her speciality, after all, managing husbands and covering up poverty and distress :-p
It's a long time since I read the novel: I found a great sympathy for Charles this time round. (I seem to be acquiring a weakness for Fictional Sweet Boys!) And I always did sympathise with Ashley Wilkes, having a much greater value for honour and loyalty than Scarlett ever did: she's a fascinating fictional creation, since the author makes absolutely no bones from the start about stating that her chief protagonist is a shallow, selfish and thoroughly dislikeable character, yet manages to get the readership to care what happens to her all the same. It's interesting to note on a re-read that Rhett Butler actually has a lot more respect and understanding for Ashley than one would think, save where Scarlett's actions towards him are concerned: I think both he and Ashley point out at one time or another in the novel that the two of them in fact have a good deal in common (and even self-centered Scarlett recognises that they are the only two 'adult' men she knows, whereas the others, even the greybeards, she can all handle as 'boys')
I'm not sure how much sympathy for Charles Hamilton I'm going to be able to express in this little scene, though, because it's more or less got to be written from Scarlett's point of view, and her reaction to unwanted dead husbands turning up is going to be "just one more unfair burden to be dealt with" :-(
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