Opening Line: The spirit of the Barber family has been subdued
at their great loss. Joan has had pneumonia, and recovered almost before anyone knew what happened in the face of the other tragedy. Ma Barber has taken the blow especially hard. What does Father have to say about the hiring of a downstairs maid, and a practical nurse to come in to help in the house? How in the world will the family break the news about her mom to Joan? Mrs Wilder, the practical nurse is a woman who seems to be full of labels. A widow woman who isn’t a well woman herself, sent to take care of poor Mrs Barber. It sounds like she needs as much attention as Ma does. Has Paul made the right decision?
Margret helps Father
Barber in the garden. He tells her how the month of November has been dedicated to the awareness of planting, and conserving food. In her own way, she helps the old man overcome a part of his grief.
Cliff joins Pa Barber as Margret runs off to play with Hank and Pinky. They discuss the trouble that the doc says that Mother has. There’s nothing physically wrong, but her spirit has been broken. Will cheerful attitudes bring her out of it, or finding a way for her to feel useful? Cliff wasn’t allowed to visit Joan in the hospital, but Father says the doc will let Paul visit for a short visit.
In the hospital, Paul talks to the weakened Joan. He recounts a moment when he was shot down in the war, and spent time in a hospital. Joan shares a secret, that she isn’t mad at the Barbers, and she’s sorry she ran away. She has also been having bad dreams, and wants Paul to stay with her to talk her to sleep. His friendly words seem to do the trick. His word picture certainly paints a comforting look at November.
Back home, Cliff, and Betty, talk about the rickety old widow, and her first impressions on the family. Paul enters to share Joans apology. Ma comes downstairs to complain about the sickly nursmaid who was sent to take care of her. I think Ma might be back on her feet.