Chapter 7 Summary
Scripps has finished his first day at the pump factory. It is the beginning of a long succession of days of piston collaring. He retreats to the beanery once again to eat. During the day, Scripps kept his bird with him; he cut a small slit in his shirt so the bird could peek out.
Although Scripps finds the work at the pump factory dull, he is glad he can do work with his hands. He is looking forward to seeing the waitress at the beanery again. He wonders what happened to her in Paris. Yogi Johnson had been in Paris, so Scripps decides he will get him to talk about it. Scripps is adept at getting people to talk about themselves. He would like to have asked Yogi to go with him to the beanery, but he did not dare as yet. He decides it is not good to rush things with someone like Yogi. He wonders if he had really been in the war and what it had meant to him. He is not sure Yogi is being truthful about being the first man to enlist from Cadillac (nor does he even know where that is).
As Scripps enters the beanery, the waitress puts down the newspaper she has been reading and welcomes him back. He feels something strange inside and tells her that he has been working hard all day for her. The waitress smiles and says that she has been working all day for him as well. This causes Scripps’s eyes to tear up. He takes her hand and tells her that she is his woman. The woman begins to cry and tells him that he is her man. Scripps finds it hard to keep from crying. The waitress declares that this is their wedding ceremony. All Scripps can do is repeat that she is his woman. She replies that he is her man and more; he is all of America to her.
Scripps suggests that they leave. The waitress asks if he still has his bird, and he does. She says that she will bring the newspaper with her if he does not mind. When Scripps learns that it is a British newspaper, he tells her that his family has taken it since he can remember. The waitress says that her father went to Eton with the British Prime Minister Gladstone. They leave, and Scripps promises to buy her a hat as a wedding gift because she does not have one. As they depart, the cook shakes his head, a little bit impressed.