The story opens with Ruby Turpin entering a doctor's waiting room with her husband Claud who has been kicked by a cow. As she and Claud wait, she takes hard stock of the other people in the room. There was some white-trash, a "red- headed youngish woman" who was not white-trash, just common, a well-dressed, pleasant looking lady, and her daughter, an ill-mannered ugly girl in Girl Scout shoes with heavy socks who was reading
showed first 75 words of 855 total
showed last 75 words of 855 total
her white cotton gloves and pins "a purple spray of cloth violets containing a sachet to her neckline"; as her interior monologue tells us, "In case of an accident anyone seeing her dead on the highway would know at once that she was a lady." And the thought is grimly prophetic. Badgered into traveling down a rutted dirt road that the grandmother mistakenly thinks will lead to an old plantation, they do have an accident.