Chapter V: Lambs
After Helen’s suicide, Lily falls into a serious crisis. She holds her students’ parents responsible for Helen’s death and thus, she decides to leave Red Lake. She thinks about her sister’s suicide and the fact that Helen also killed her unborn child, finally deciding that she wants to have children of her own and that Jim Smith should be their father.
Lily asks for his consent but sets various conditions: she wants them to be platonic partners and she does not want the Mormon to have other wives than her. Jim agrees and a little later, they marry in the schoolhouse.
They leave Red Lake and open a garage in Ash Fork, Arizona
close to Route 66. They are successful and thus able to build a luxurious house with a chain flush toilet and running water. Lily is very proud of those facilities. They represent her ascent from a poor ranch girl that was born in an earth hole to a woman who has experienced a lot of downfalls as well as rises in her life.
, when 29-year-old Lily is eight months pregnant, Jim does not want her to work at the garage anymore because he considers it too dangerous. He wants her to stay at home and Lily accepts reluctantly although she feels caged in. After an argument with a Jehova’s Witness, she asks Jim to let her sit at the counter at least. Again, she feels completely useless being on her own and she feels the want of being needed.
Two weeks afterwards, Jim’s and Lily’s daughter Rosemary
is born. In January 1934
, their second child, Jim (whom they call “Little Jim”) is born – and the family is complete now.
In the 1930’s
, Lily and Jim have to face the consequences of the Great Depression
. Many of their former costumers are not able to afford petrol anymore not to mention repairs. Lily and her husband have difficulties maintaining the garage when Mr. Lee
, a Chinese who sells alcohol illegally, comes to see Lily. He wants her and Jim to hide his alcohol in order to evade tax investigation. Lily and Jim agree and Lily has an idea now: she wants to sell hooch7
to make some extra money. Her husband is not happy about the idea at first, but Lily quickly convinces him. By selling three bottles a day, Lily balances the books from now on.
When Rosemary is three years old, Lily Casey Smith and her children watch the Camel brothers
, the owners of a big ranch west of Ash Fork in Yavapai County, drive their sheep to the loading station. The ewes are seperated from their babies and chaos follows. Lily suggests asking Jim for help and with his assistance, the Camel brothers are able to gather their sheep. Only one of the baby sheep has not been recognized by its mother. Jim gives Rosemary the sheep as a present and they call it Mei-Mei (which is Chinese and means “little sister”).
A few days later, an acquaintance of Rooster's
wants to buy alcohol, but since he is already drunk, Lily refuses to sell him any. He gets aggressive, calling Lily the sister of a whore who has hanged herself. She in turn threatens him with her gun and he finally leaves.
Two days later
, two policemen
show up at Lily's house. They accuse her of selling alcohol illegally and want to gain access to her house with a search warrant. But before they can find the hidden boxes of alcohol under Little Jim’s crib, Rosemary comes in. The sight of the men wearing uniforms seems to shock Lily’s daughter and she starts to cry. Mei-Mei bleats and Little Jim, who wakes up from the terrible noise, begins to cry. Thus, Lily is able to convince the officers that she is a former schoolteacher and a harmless mother. The two policemen leave.
Although Jim laughs about that story, he advises Lily to stop selling alcohol. Six months later
, the Smiths are bankrupt and are forced to close their garage.
They think about selling the inventory of the garage and start looking for a job in California.
But Blackie Camel, one of the Camel brothers
, offers Jim the management of his former ranch, who agrees. A group of English investors bought the ranch named “Arizona Incorporated Cattle Ranch”
, which is only called AIC or “the ranch” by the Smiths, and Jim gets to be the ranch’s caretaker.
, the Smiths travel Route 66 to Seligman/Arizona
where they are welcomed by Old Jake
on the ranch. He shows them the buildings, which are in a rather good condition. However, the ranch is not as luxurious in comparison to where they used to live before and Lily quickly misses her toilet. Yet, she finds out that she needs to distinguish the difference between things that she really needs and things that she only wants.
The next day, they take a look at the ranch, which is 40.000 hectare big. Within ten days, they get an idea of what the ranch is like and they notice it lacks a natural water source. Lily has an idea: she wants to build a dam with bulldozers. The investors agree because Lily proves that they will be able to increase sales when the dam is being built. The biggest dam is called “Big Jim”.
Lily’s husband buys cattle and hires cowboys, who are unexpensive because of the Great Depression. Lily arranges meals for the cowboys, but she does not want her daughter to be around them since she does not really trust them.
The investors are pleased with the Smiths’ work and give them a pure-blooded Guernsey cow: the Smiths call it “Bossie”
. One day, however, somebody leaves the door of the barn open. Bossie walks into the granary, eats too much and dies despite the rescue attempts of Jim and Old Jake.
Lily accuses her daughter of having left the door open on purpose, since Rosemary always wanted animals to be free, but Rosemary tells her mother that it was Jim who left the door open. Lily decides to instruct her daughter instead of beating her, which was her first impulse: discaged animals can die because they do not know what to do with their freedom.
Rosemary and her father are very close to each other. This is why Jim decides to take his daughter with him when he repairs the fences on the huge ranch for four weeks. Rosemary enjoys spending time with her father. Since there is a lot of work to do on the ranch as well, Lily decides not to clean the house and their clothes that often. She also does not cook fancy meals like other women at that time. But one day, she decides to make cottage cheese, food that reminds her of her childhoof. Although it takes her a lot of time to prepare it, Rosemary, Little Jim and her husband eat it within a minute whereupon Lily decides to never make something that elaborate again.
Although her daughter is still very young, Lily thinks that Rosemary is completely different from her. She starts to teach her at the age of three in order to prepare Rosemary for life, but Rosemary reacts confused. Jim tries to calm down his wife by saying that Rosemary is far too young to comprehend the complex issue, but Lily replies that she herself already had a lot of responsibility when she was four.
In order to spend a nice Halloween, Lily and Jim buy a pumpkin for Halloween and make a lantern. Rosemary stands too close to the lantern, and her dress catches fire. Jim is able to put out the fire, but his daughter suffers burns on her stomach. Lily, however, refuses to comfort Rosemary, because she does not want to spoil her.
Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler has assumed power in Germany and in Spain, civil war has broken out.
The Smiths buy a radio in order to keep up with the weather. While European affairs is nothing that catches their interest, they know that knowledge of the current weather conditions is essential for the survival of the ranch. The Smiths love storms and after heavy thunderstorms, Rosemary and Little Jim go swimming in the nearby pond.
The Smiths rely heavily on rain and those thunderstorms since without them, droughts are threatening to destroy their farm. Soon, their dam does not hold water anymore. Thus, Lily and Jim decide to reduce the number of animals in their herd and fetch water from Pica
, a small city, which is 20 miles from the ranch. By doing so for a few weeks, they can save their cattle from dying of thirst.
Later that year (in August)
, heavy rains come down but the Smiths are able to prevent the dam from breaking. After the heavy downpour, the landscape is immersed in the most beautiful colors and paints a picture of tranquility.
7illegal hergestellter Alkohol