Dr. Graves, Charles’s colleague, recommended Ellen be admitted to the sanitarium in Dallas for rest. Surprisingly, Ellen welcomed the idea. She was familiar with the sanitarium. It was more resort than hospital. She had no qualms at leaving her infant, especially after Reverend Graves visited assured her the christening could easily be put off till the baby was six months old. She packed her address books and made arrangements for the stationer to visit her at the resort with samples of birth announcements and christening invitations. She didn’t want to overlook any detail in planning celebration of her “first” daughter’s birth.
She procured her mother’s promise to come to Dallas to shop for her own dress and a christening gown for the baby. Now the reason for her unexplained weight gain was resolved, she looked forward to dazzling her friends on her return to society. “Mama, do you remember when Lessie caught her husband with the maid? It was such a scandal. She went to Dallas for a couple of months and David was begging her to come home. She must have lost twenty pounds while she was there. Don’t say where you heard it, but she said she met someone and was tempted to stay. She came home looking years younger. She went to the spa every day…………” She nattered on an on about shopping for a whole new wardrobe while she was in Dallas. She’d be swimming, playing tennis, and dressing for dinner every night. She’d not had a chance to shop in Dallas in several years. She might even get her hair lightened or maybe even tinted red if she could get the nerve. She’d been a cotton-top as a child. It would be good to relax, socialize, and only have herself to attend to for a while. These last days had been stressful.
Charles and her mother both looked worried as they dropped her off at the “resort.” Charles offered to stay to help her settle in and have dinner with her, but she was anxious to have them off. If they left now, she’d have time to swim and get her hair done before dinner. Geneva got on her nerves with her fussing and she’d put up with far too much of Charles lately.