This chapter is called "A Taste of Heaven." And that's all I have to say about that. Make your own jokes about heaven.
Cathy & Chris climb down the rope ladder. It's night, the moon is out. It takes less than ten minutes for her to climb down. She gets down and he hugs her close. Boundaries, Chris.
All the rooms of Foxworth Hall are dark, but the "servant's quarters" are bright yellow. I have written several snarky paragraphs about this but they might be taken wrong. Regardless, we have enough staff that lives on site that there are dedicated "quarters" for the "servants." (Seriously, though, is this a former plantation or just a rich person's mansion? I don't know enough about southeast USA and will rectify that soon.)
Lead on, MacDuff, to the swimming hole.
Wooo Reference that I don't get at all! Is it The Simpsons? (no, because this book was published in 1979, and The Simpsons didn't come out until the late 80s early 90s, I still remember it being "controversial") Is it a reference to a certain Scottish Tragedy? I don't know.
Chris knows the way to the swimming hole because Momma had told them about it once, several years ago.
They cross over a bridge, holding hands, and they find the water at 10:30. This is NOT safe. I am 100% pro open water swimming, I think all kids should be exposed to swimming early, and I think it's a wonderful tool, especially in states with massive amounts of water, like anything on a coast, or Minnesota, or anything bordering a Great Lake, or ... well, people need water to survive so almost all cities are on some sort of river, lake, or coast. Its a method of transportation and fresh water is crucial to survival.
Fun Historical Fact: The Aleuts came from the Aleutian Islands, which is a chain of islands that stretch from the Alaskan Peninsula to Russia. They are windy, cold, and it rains all the time. Some of them have no fresh water. I can't imagine living in the "traditional" way of several families per subterranean home. Anyway, so first the Russians invaded and made them all be Russian Orthodox, then the US came and was like "we need this land" and then the Japanese came and took some as POWs in WWII. Others were "relocated" to a cannery in Southeast Alaska, 30 miles from where we held our Nazi POWs. Guess who was treated nicer?
Back on topic!
Cathy says they have to swim in their underwear, but she doesn't own a bra. They dive in (in the DARK, which is dangerous, nor do they know anything about this body of water never having swam in it before). Chris jumps off some rocks and hits his head, is knocked unconscious and drowns. Oh, nope, he dives in, pretends to drown, swims under the water and pulls Cathy under. NO HORSEPLAY. STOP IT. DON'T MAKE ME USE MY WHISTLE.
They splash around and sing at each other. Suddenly Cathy is tired and Chris has to help her out of the water, delicate flower that she is. They look at the stars and the fireflies. Cathy asks him questions about the fireflies and is astounded that he doesn't know everything. GAG.
Soft southern breezes came and played in my hair and dried the wisps about my face. I felt them tickling like small kisses, and again I wanted to cry, for no reason at all, except the night was so sweet, so lovely, and I was at the age for high romantic yearning. And the breeze whispered loving words in my ears... words I was so afraid no one was ever going to say. Still, the night was so lovely under the trees, near the shimmering moonlit water, and I sighed. I felt that I'd been here before, on this grass near the lake. Oh, the strange thoughts I had as the night-flyers hummed and whirred, and the mosquitoes buzzed and somewhere, far off an owl hooted, taking me quickly back to the night when we first came to live as fugitives, hidden from a world that didn't want us.
C&C realize that they are the same age as their parents when their parents met and fell in love. Chris's voice is hoarse. He tells Cathy that he used to see pretty girls at school and "fall in love" with her, but then realize that they were often stupid. Did they then dump you for a "chad?"
Cathy asks him if SHE is stupid and he *shudder* touches her hair and tells her no. He also tells her she's great, and then calls her "silly girl." They discuss their mother, while looking at "Polaris, the north star." He becomes irritable at Cathy's incessant questioning about his feelings toward his mother. Yeah, Cathy, you are his little sister and you are together 24-7. Not that it's any excuse for him to be mean to you. She starts to question him about dating and claims that a girl of her age (14) is actually one year older than him (17). She also calls him "Mr Big Brain" which I don't think is normally how siblings communicate but I don't know for sure. He finally admits that he's mad as hell at his mother, and he misses having "a man" to talk about having feelings or whatever with. It's OK, Chris, you can miss your father. You can even say "I miss dad." Because it doesn't seem like anyone really cares about the death of their father anymore. He's also upset that Cathy's hair is taking so long to grow back, for some (pervy) reason.
Cathy's white PJ pants are clinging to her and Chris's white jockey shorts are clinging to him. Seriously. We went from "i miss my dad" (without saying it) to "I miss your hair" to "our wet clothes are white and clinging to us." I think VC Andrews could have done quite well churning out romance novels.
They head back to Foxworth, and Cathy suggests making slings to carry the twins (who have to be almost 8 by now) and running away. Only, OH NO. Cathy slips on her way up. She's having a lot harder of a time going up than going down. I occasionally dabble in rock climbing and I think I have the opposite problem. Downclimbing is harder for me. But I also have not been starved. Nor have I ever started at the top, down climbed, and then climbed back up. I imagine the second leg would be much more difficult that way. Couldn't they sneak into the house through the door? Disable the lock? Overpower Ole Cement Boobs, grab the kids and flee? Or, you know, leave them there. Maybe since they are smaller, Momma can write it off as "oh, look at my twins, just one pregnancy, not even Christopher Sr's kids, I sinned, sorry!" Or make up something? I mean, if Momma really cared, she would have concocted some story where she found out that Christopher the Elder Brother/Uncle was sterile but she wanted kids so she cheated or they adopted or something. Anything other than "let's lock em in the attic!" PARTY. Maybe what's her name in Florida was inspired by this book.
Sorry, that was dark.
Anyway, so Cathy is swinging free "held only by weak hands" because she's a ballerina and therefore petite and weak except ballerinas have to be STRONG so why is she floundering around like a wet noodle? She screams, and I'm picturing Lois Lane in Superman. Chris yells down to her. HOW HAS NO ONE WOKEN UP YET? I understand that this is an older house and it's much larger than the Jonbenet Ramsey home in Colorado but COME ON.
She's crying and climbing and shockingly the narrator of this book doesn't fall off of her homemade sheet rope. Chris grabs her in "a tight embrace" and she's actually happy to be back inside.
End of Act 1
I have no idea what is going on there, but it didn't happen in the book.