Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Moon Over Willow Run" Chapter 2 Summary: Various Appetites

Chapter 1 wrapup: Missionary gal Trilla returns to the States via California and is picked up by Bob, who is to drive her somewhere.

Bob and Trilla are speeding among the redwoods when their hunger catches up to them. Excerpt follows.

"I have an appetite proportionate in size to one of these redwoods!" he exclaimed, wheeling the roadster up to a wayside refreshment stand bearing the caption 'The Red "Cedar Lodge'. "This place doesn't look like the Waldorf Astoria, I'll admit, but Mother MacDay knows how to work wonders in vanquishing that demon hunger that persistently pursues the California traveler."

Dusty D likes the naturalistic dialogue.

"I have been debating the question for an hour, hating to admit it," Trilla replied. "The truth is: I have been trying to make myself believe that it was merely a hold-over from my ocean voyage. I am really famished, yet ashamed to claim ownership to such a craving for something to eat."

"Let's tackle the job then with the mutual satisfaction that we have nothing for which we need apologize. The bigger the steak the better; although I know that it is a dangerous policy to eat heavily at the noon hour when traveling," Bob explained, "I find that I often get sleepy when driving, after a big meal. I'll get around that today, however, by taking a nap. I'll curl up in the car for twenty minutes following lunch, while you look around in the curio ship; then I'll be all set. Come on, let's celebrate your first attempt at sampling American cooking!"

With all due respect, what kind of hopeless dork discusses his nap strategy with a pretty young woman with whom he's traveling alone? (sigh)

The two enter the restaurant and meet its proprietress, Mother MacDay, who, against all odds, has a missionary daughter overseas whom Trilla knows intimately. It also turns out that both Trilla and Mother MacDay are of Scottish extraction. Mother MacDay and Trilla hug and wipe their eyes. "Whe-e-e-e!" whistled Bob, "now try and tell me that the Scotch don't stick together."

Dusty D is skeptical that one can whistle a 'w' consonant sound. Informal experimentation proves that the consonant in question is the labiodental fricative 'f,' not the labiovelar approximant 'w'. But we'll let that pass.

Mother Macday takes the pair to the special guest room for their steak feast. Trilla and Mother MacDay offer grace for the meal while "a stoical expression" flits across Bob's face. Later when Trilla tells Mother MacDay that it is God's purpose that Trilla met Mother Macday's daughter, "the faint trace of a frown" crosses Bob's face, which does not keep him from "helping Trilla to a choice selection of relishes from a dainty centerpiece" as he "feigned a congenial attitude in helping Trilla to a second piece of steak."

"'Here, I must insist that you share a portion of this last T-bone with me,' he said. . . 'There's nothing like one of Mrs. MacDay's steaks to help you enjoy the scenery. Talking from experience, I can guarantee the fact. Is there any question of my being an authority in that respect?' he interjected, with a sly wink of amusement meant to express appreciation to his hostess."


The two are about to depart when Mother Macday vetoes that idea and offers to put them up for the night, not without alluding to Bob's masculine, er, nature:

"'May I insist that you remain here as my guests where you are sure of safe quarters? An early start in the morning will prove far more satisfactory and permit a view of all the scenery. I am sure that Bob will approve of the wisdom of my choice; casting no reflections upon his honor'."

"A flush of color rose to Bob's temples. 'I have guaranteed Miss MacIntyre's safe arrival in Seattle and every courtesy that could be accorded a sister en route,' he replied, with a slight touch of resentment.

We'll see how long that lasts--I mean, good on ya, my fine young Bob. And that's about as much "Moon over Willow Run" as I can absorb in one day--tune in for a Chapter 3 summary once I regather my strength, perhaps with one of Mother MacDay's T-bones.

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