INT. MELANIE'S BEDROOM Melanie is lying very still on the bed. Her closed eyes are sunken in twin purple circles. Her face is a waxy yellow. Scarlett tiptoes across the room to the quiet figure and stands over her. SCARLETT It's me, Melly. The eyes open, then close again. MELANIE Promise me? SCARLETT Anything! MELANIE Look after my little boy! I gave him to you once before, remember? The day he was born? SCARLETT Oh, Melly, don't talk this way! I know you'll get well! MELANIE Promise me... College? SCARLETT Yes! Yes! And Europe, and a pony. Whatever he wants, but - Melly! do try... MELANIE Ashley... Scarlett's eyes go wide but Melanie continues MELANIE (CONT'D) Ashley and you... SCARLETT (almost voiceless) What about - Ashley, Melly? MELANIE Look after him for me... just as you looked - looked after me for him. SCARLETT I will, Melly. MELANIE Look after him. But never let him know. Scarlett is almost on the point of breaking. She rises, abruptly sinking her teeth into the thumb to regain control. The door opens slightly. Dr. Meade stands in the threshold beckoning imperiously. She bends over the bed, takes Melanie's hand and lays it against her cheek. SCARLETT Good night. MELANIE (very faint) Promise? SCARLETT What else, Melly? MELANIE Captain Butler. Be kind to him... SCARLETT Rhett? MELANIE He loves you so. SCARLETT Yes, Melly. MELANIE Good-bye. SCARLETT Good-bye. She bends over and kisses Melanie's forehead, then draws back. The eyes are closed again. A last look at Melanie then Scarlett goes. Dr. Meade follows her to the door. INT. PARLOR Scarlett and Dr. Meade enter. India and Aunt Pittypat are standing now. Ashley sits at the table. Rhett looks on from the hall. DR. MEADE (to the others) You ladies may come in now. They go in. The women hold their skirts close to their sides to keep them from rustling. SCARLETT (calls to Ashley) Oh, Ashley! Ashley! Ashley displays a worn glove. ASHLEY I don't know where the mate to this is. She must have put it away. SCARLETT (crying) Oh, stop it. (drops to her knees beside him) Hold me - I'm so frightened! I'm so frightened! Ashley clutches Scarlett, pressing his head against her heart. CLOSE SHOT - RHETT He looks at Scarlett's arms. Then, with an expression of mixed distaste and resignation, picks up his hat and coat and leaves. TWO SHOT - ASHLEY AND SCARLETT ASHLEY (breaking their embrace) Oh, Scarlett! What can I do? I can't live without her! I can't! Everything I ever had is - is going with her. She looks at him, then the truth of things as they are comes clear to her. SCARLETT Oh, Ashley! You really love her, don't you? ASHLEY She's the only dream I ever had that didn't die in the face of reality. SCARLETT (with a flash of her usual spirit) Dreams! Always dreams with you! Never common sense. ASHLEY Oh, Scarlett, if you knew what I've gone through - SCARLETT Oh, Ashley, you should have told me years ago that you loved her, not me, and not left me dangling with your talk of honor. But you had to wait till now - now when Melly's dying to show me I could never mean anything more to you than... than this Watling woman does to Rhett! "Ashley winces at her words, but his eyes still meet hers, imploring silence, comfort. Every line of his face admitted the truth of her words. The very droop of his shoulders showed that his own self-castigation was more cruel than any she could give. He stood silent before her, clutching the glove as though it were an understanding hand and, in the stillness that followed her words, her indignation fell away and pity, tinged with contempt, took its place." SCARLETT (CONT'D) And I've loved something that - that doesn't really exist. Somehow I don't care. Somehow it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter one bit. Ashley bends his head, sobbing. She takes him in her arms and smoothes the back of his hair. SCARLETT Oh, Ashley, Ashley, forgive me! Don't cry. She mustn't see you've been crying! Dr. Meade enters. DR. MEADE Ashley! Ashley starts up. Dr. Meade only snaps his fingers. Ashley goes in quickly. The door is left open. Scarlett stands listening. A cry of real anguish: ASHLEY (O.S.) Melly! Melly!