Speaking Frankly with Rhett Buttler

L: “Good afternoon Captain Butler, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.”

RB: “The pleasure is mine madam.”

L: “You really need no introduction. Does it bother you that your reputation precedes you?”

RB: “Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.” 

L: “And yet a women’s reputation is everything in these times.”

RB: “With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.”

L: “You have amassed quite a fortune in your lifetime.  You’ve been a professional gambler, you were involved in the California Gold Rush, you’ve been a blockade runner. What business advise would you give to a young person today.”

RB: “There were two times for making big money, one in the up-building of a country and the other in its destruction. Slow money on the up-building, fast money in the crack-up. Remember my words. Perhaps they may be of use to you some day.”

L: “I wonder why you decided to join in the Confederate Army only after its defeat at Atlanta, when the cause was clearly lost?”

RB: “I’ve always had a weakness for lost causes once they’re really lost.” 

L: “Like most families, yours has had its share of dysfunction. You love your mother and sister Rosemary. You have a younger brother who owns a rice plantation whom you are not close to. You were disowned by your family (mainly by your father).  

RB: “Hardships make or break people.”

L: “Your father threw you out into the world with no training whatsoever to be anything but a Charleston gentleman, a good pistol shot and an excellent poker player. Why did he disown you?”

RB: “He said I was too much like my grandfather. He did not approve of my gambling.”

L: “You were expelled from West Point, and yet you are very well-educated, referencing everything from Shakespeare to classical history to German philosophy. 

RB: “Frankly Miss Lydia, I never pass up new experiences. They enrich the mind.”

L: “Why were you expelled?”

RB: “Well my dear, one day I took a girl out on a buggy ride in the late afternoon, and we stayed out nearly all night and walked home, because the horse had run away and smashed the buggy and we got lost in the woods. Of course, the girl was compromised so a gentleman would marry her. But I am no gentleman. I didn’t do anything to her and I didn’t see why I should marry her. So, the girl’s brother called me out for a duel and I shot the girl’s brother. He died.”

L: “You are considered a black sheep. There was a time when you were not received by any family with reputation in the whole of Charleston, and perhaps all of South Carolina. It seems you have never concerned yourself with polite society. Was that a conscious choice?”

RB: “That is the one unforgivable sin in any society. Be different and be damned! Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.”

L: “I am terribly sorry about your daughter Bonnie’s accident. I know you were a doting father to her, and to your step children.”

RB: “As long as there was Bonnie, there was a chance that we might be happy. But when she went, she took everything.” 

L: “You have a keen understanding of human nature, and yet your relationship with Scarlet has been tempestuous from the start. Is it really over?”

RB: “I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken–and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. Perhaps, if I were younger– But I’m too old to believe in such sentimentalities as clean slates and starting all over. I’m too old to shoulder the burden of constant lies that go with living in polite disillusionment. I couldn’t live with her and lie to her and I certainly couldn’t lie to myself. I can’t even lie to you now. 

L: “What will Scarlet do?”

RB: “I wish I could care what she does or where she goes, but I can’t. My dear, I don’t give a damn.”

L: “Thank you for your honesty Captain Butler. It has been wonderful to meet you. Did I mention that I’m single?”

RB: “Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.” 


The Daily Post, April 10, 2015, Daily Prompt: The Interview~ Interview your favorite fictional character.<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-interview/”>The Interview</a><a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-interview/”>The Interview</a>

4 thoughts on “Speaking Frankly with Rhett Buttler

  1. Have you ever reaf sequel “Scarlett”?? Can’t recall author – don’t believe it was Margaret Mitchell tho (think the sequel was also made into a movie or mini-series).

    Liked by 1 person

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