The Hired Girl Part 6 Summary

Janet spends her evenings waiting for David to return to the library; she has developed a crush on him. Most nights he does not visit her, but one night he slips a drawing of her under the library door, for her approval. The reason David has slipped the drawing under the door was because he thought she was in her night clothes. She tells him to enter the library, since she is appropriately attired. As she is praising his drawing of her, she hears Malka's cat outside the window. The cat had left several days ago and was thought to be dead, which caused Malka much grief. After luring the cat back inside the house, Janet felt she should deliver it to Malka's room, but the cat scratched her as she tried to pick it up. David took the opportunity to kiss Janet after he put peroxide on her scratches. He did apologized for his actions, but Janet did not want an apology, she wanted him to keep on kissing her.

After this incident, Janet convinced herself she was in love with David. She thought that the two of them were practically engaged; in her mind kissing a man was the equivalent of being engaged to him. She knew there were problems because of their religious differences, but she felt they could work the problems out.

On September 20, 1911, the family celebrated Rosh Hashanah. In the spirit of atonement, Solomon apologized to Janet for the way he acted on the day she gave his sonnet to Nora Himmelrich. He said that even though he was angry at the time, it all worked out for the best. Ruth had agreed to marry him and his father was sending him to yeshiva to study the writings of the Torah. Janet and Mimi also made up and became friends once again.

David returned from New York, where he had submitted his paintings to Madame Marechaux. She, unfortunately, chose someone else to paint Joan of Arc for her. She told David because he was a Jew, she felt he would not be able to paint the subject as well as a Christian could. Janet was very upset for him and she encouraged him to tell his father his dream of living in Paris to study art.

David and his father have an argument, because one of Mr. Rosenbach's friends saw David and Janet at the opera. Mr. Rosenbach is appalled that David would take the servant girl to the opera. David defends Janet to his father by telling him how much Janet enjoyed the opera and how much she wants to learn. Even though David does not call her by name, his defense of her only convinces Janet of David's love for her.

Janet is being sent to Anna's apartment to help her with Oskar for a few days. Anna's picky mother-in-law and her mother-in-law's sister are coming to visit. They do not approve of how Anna's children behave and of Anna's housekeeping skills. Since Janet and Oskar seem to get along well, the family thought she would be just the person to keep the little boy occupied during the visit. Janet is not happy, because it would mean she would not see David for about a week, but she knows she has to go. While there she learns David will be leaving soon to study art in Paris. Janet is beside herself with grief, she is afraid she will not be able to say good-bye to David.

On Yom Kippur, Janet is in the apartment by herself, she decides this is her chance to sneak out to see David. She leaves to walk to the Rosenbach house just as a rainstorm starts. She arrives wet and disheveled at the house, but she straightens herself as best as she can and proceeds up to David's room. She professes her undying love to him, telling him she will go to Paris and live with him without the benefit of marriage. He tries to tell her he does not want to be married, nor will he use her in the way she is suggesting. They are talking loudly and Malka hears them. Soon the whole family is in the room; they are all thinking the worst of David and Janet. It is Mimi who comes to the rescue, because she reveals the truth about Janet, she tells them Janet is 14 and her real name is Joan Skraggs. Mrs. Rosenbach wants to send Joan back home at once; actually she just wants her out of her house once and for all. But, after learning the truth everyone seems to calm down. Malka takes Joan to Joan's room to have a bath and to try to get some sleep.

In the middle of the night, Joan decides it would be best if she just went quietly away. Luckily, Malka was waiting for her and talks to her. Joan is informed that the Rosenbachs have made some decisions regarding Joan's future. First, Joan would stay with Anna during the week, coming to work at the Rosenbachs only on the Shabbos. Second, Mr. Rosenbach would ensure that Joan received a scholarship to the school he is building, it would be a year before it was completed, but she would receive her education. At first Joan did not want accept the arrangement, but Malka convinced her it was best for Joan if she accepted the terms.

Janet, now Joan, has learned a lesson about love. She has also learned a great deal about forgiveness and compassion. Joan has been given the greatest gift anyone can be given-- a second chance. It is up to her to embrace the opportunity the Rosenbachs have extended towards her.

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