Pages 45-47 Summary

In a small house in Minneapolis, a young woman nervously scans the newspaper advertisements; her husband, Martin, sits across the room from her, their son in his arms. She explains to Martin that she is perusing the ads because kidnapping is a crime. Martin just looks down at the contented, sleeping baby. Catherine Miller finally puts the paper down and also watches her son. She named him Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, and remembers the night “their other son, the one who had only lived three days, was buried.”

Catherine tries not think about that time, but tonight she remembers how still the world had been then and how her mind was frozen with loss. Despite the numbness, she could not sleep and refused anything to help her dull the pain or help her sleep. On that night, Martin was gone and she suddenly felt she needed something to ease her pain. Standing in her nightgown, she drank several large tumblers of bootleg whiskey; she slept dully and heavily.

In her exhaustion, she did hear the child’s cries but assumed it was some kind of “terrible hallucination” and retreated from the sound. She vaguely felt Martin unwrapping her breasts and tried to brush him away; soon Martin put the baby to her breast and she fed him both from her breast and her heart.

Now Martin sees the joy on Catherine’s face. Catherine reads the advertisement, placed by the Kozka family of Argus, offering a reward for any information regarding a one month old baby boy or his erratically behaving mother. Catherine places the newspaper page in a drawer, along with a tiny blue cap, a fabric-scrap blanket, and the odd, green plaid gown her second son had been wearing the night he came to save her.