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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter III
My husband's temper was getting out of all bounds and I lived in a constant terror that the members of the congregation would discover it, and that he would lose his post. As a clergyman, he was greatly liked and was an impressive figure in his surplice and stole. He was a very good preacher. I honestly do not think I was too much to blame. I still ran my life on the aphorism "What would Jesus have me do?" I was not a cross person or quick on the trigger but I expect my silence and attempted patience was aggravating. Nothing, however, that I could manage to do would please him and after destroying all photographs and books which he thought I might value, he had taken to knocking me about, though he never touched Dorothy. He was always lovely to children.

My daughter Mildred was born in August 1912 and it was then I really woke up to the astounding fact that it was not the people of the place who were wrong but that it was I. I had been so occupied with the problems of Alice La Trobe-Bateman, who had made what seemed to be an unfortunate marriage, that I had forgotten to be Alice Evans, a human being. When Mildred was born I was very ill and it was then that I discovered the people of this little town. Mildred was ten days overdue; the temperature was 112 degrees on my porch; the twelve children next door were terribly noisy; I had been very ill for days; and then the cesspool fell in. I pictured Dorothy, who was then two and a half, trotting about and falling into the cesspool. Walter was no help. He just disappeared about his parochial duties. I had a good little Jewish nurse who was getting frightened about me and kept phoning [113] for the doctor who delayed coming. The door suddenly opened and, without knocking, the saloon keeper's wife walked in. She gave me one look and then strode over to the telephone and from house to house chased the doctor until she caught him and ordered him to come at once. She then tucked Dorothy under her arm, nodded to me, assured me that Dorothy would be quite all right with her and disappeared. I did not see Dorothy for three days. I did not much care; I was far too ill. Mildred was an instrument baby and I had two serious hemorrhages. Thanks to good nursing I pulled through. Word had gone around as to my predicament and so many good things were sent in and so many kind things were done that I remain eternally grateful. Custards, pie, port wine, fresh fruit poured in. Women turned up in the morning to do my washing, to dust, to sweep, to sit with me and to sew and mend. They relieved the nurse in looking after me. They invited my husband to their homes so he was not under foot, and I suddenly woke up to the fact that the world was full of lovely people and that I had been blind all my life. I had moved further into the house of humanity.

It was at this time, however, that the real trouble started. People began to find out what Walter Evans really was. I was up on the ninth day after Mildred's birth, without any nurse or help of any kind. The church warden's wife discovered me that day, to her horror, doing the washing, and knowing that I had nearly died ten days before, she sought out Walter Evans and read him the riot act. It did not do any good but it made her suspicious and she began to watch me more closely and to befriend me still more. His tempers were assuming serious proportions but the curious thing about him was that (beyond a savage, ungovernable temper) he had no vices of any kind whatsoever. He never drank; he never swore; he never gambled. [114] I was the only woman in whom he was ever interested and the only woman he had ever kissed, and I believe this held true until he died a few years ago. In spite of all this, he was quite impossible to live with and eventually it became dangerous to be in the same house with him. The church warden's wife came in one day and found my face badly bruised. I was so ill and tired and she was so kind and good that I admitted to her that my husband had thrown a pound of cheese at me and that it had hit me full in the face. She went back home and shortly the Bishop came down. I wish I could convey in these pages the kindness, goodness and understanding of Bishop Sanford. The first time I had met him he had come down for a confirmation. I had served supper and was in the kitchen washing dishes afterwards. Suddenly, I heard someone drying the dishes behind me and for a moment I did not turn around, thinking that it was just one of the church women. To my amazement I discovered it was the Bishop and this act was just like him. Much discussion and talk followed and eventually Walter was offered another opportunity to make good. We moved immediately to another parish. This greatly pleased me because the rectory was much nicer. It was a larger community and I was closer to Ellison Sanford, one of the loveliest people and truest friends I have ever had.

My general health got better and, in spite of the constant outbursts of fury, life was beginning to take on a little bit more color. I was closer to the city in which the Bishop and his wife lived and saw more of them. I found more people in the parish who talked my language, but it was a bad time in many ways and in the late fall I began to be ill again. My youngest girl, Ellison, was due in January and in one of his fits of temper my husband threw me down the stairs with, it turned out, a bad effect upon the child. She was very delicate after birth, being what is [115] colloquially called "a blue baby" with a leaking heart valve, and for years it was never believed that I could raise her. But I did and she is now quite the strongest of the three girls.

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