Pages 141-143 Summary

Mary hangs up the telephone after Celestine tells her that Karl is gone (which is not a surprise to Mary) and that she is pregnant (which is a huge surprise to Mary). She grabs a crowbar and opens the crate which arrived for her a month ago. She sees that it is a heavy black sewing machine and contemplates it for some time before going back to the telephone and calling Sita.

Neither woman is happy to speak with the other, but Mary tells Sita that her aunt (Adelaide, Mary’s mother) has sent her a sewing machine. Sita remembers how much Adelaide liked to rework out-of-style garments into fashionable clothing and says she will send Louis to pick up the machine.

Mary has always believed she has some psychic abilities, and she feels that tonight is “ripe with significance” and “full of hidden signs.” Neither her tarot cards nor her Ouija board appeal to her, for neither of them can replicate the glorious day when she smashed her face into the ice and saw her brother’s face as if in a “magic mirror.” Now she stands in the dark and wills a sign to appear.

After a moment, Mary walks outside and thinks about Karl. She can see the “delicate greed” on his face, the same visage he had as he tore the branch with its white blooms from the tree so many years ago. Then she sees Celestine, “her arms spread and grasping,” before Mary continues walking. She finally lies in the damp grass, as if in a trance, and dreams about Celestine’s daughter, a big girl with “blazing dark red curls.” Before she finally sleeps, Mary sees her own stubbornness in the child’s eyes.