Behind the shabby doors of the old houses, poverty and hunger lived—all the more bitter for the brave gentility with which they were borne, all the more pinching for the outward show of proud indifference to material wants. Dr. Meade could tell unlovely stories of those families who had been driven from mansions to boarding houses and from boarding houses to dingy rooms on back streets. He had too many lady patients who were suffering from “weak hearts” and “declines.” He knew, and they knew he knew, that slow starvation was the trouble. He could tell of consumption making inroads on entire families and of pellagra, once found only among poor whites, which was now appearing in Atlanta’s best families. And there were babies with thin rickety legs and mothers who could not nurse them. Once the old doctor had been wont to thank God reverently for each child he brought into the world. Now he did not think life was such a boon. It was a hard world for little babies and so many died in their first few months of life.

 Bright lights and wine, fiddles and dancing, brocade and broadcloth in the showy big houses and, just around the corners, slow starvation and cold. Arrogance and callousness for the conquerors, bitter endurance and hatred for the conquered. “Pride! Pride tastes awfully good, especially when the crust is flaky and you put meringue on it,” said Scarlett tartly.

 The two men laughed, a bit unwillingly, and it seemed to Scarlett that they drew together in united masculine disapproval of her. What Tommy said was true, she thought, running over in her mind the men she had approached and the ones she intended to approach. They were all busy, busy at something, working hard, working harder than they would have dreamed possible in the days before the war. They weren’t doing what they wanted to do perhaps, or what was easiest to do, or what they had been reared to do, but they were doing something. Times were too hard for men to be choosy. And if they were sorrowing for lost hopes, longing for lost ways of living, no one knew it but they. They were fighting a new war, a harder war than the one before. And they were caring about life again, caring with the same urgency and the same violence that animated them before the war had cut their lives in two.