Class Read The Short Story Beginning On Page Fifty-Two Tonight The Diamond Caddo Estates

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The Diamond Caddo Estates

The Diamond Caddo Estates

[A Tragedy]

Meeting of the Movie Stars

It is a typical summer in San Francisco, Jessie and Johnny, a married couple, –Jessie a writer, prize wining poet, comedy writer and novelist, have become somewhat known in those fields, in essence, to some extent, celebrated/famous in later life [at age 50 Jessie, and Johnny, is now 40]. They are at a talk show, and meet Russell and Tammy, both movie stars.

During the waiting period [that is, waiting to be called out on stage by the host] Russell and Tammy talk with Jessie and Johnny quite a lot, and a friendship seems to prevail in the atmosphere, and before any of the four go out on stage Russell invites the couple to go swimming at a private beach with them this coming weekend. Not realizing at first it is Friday today, he quickly adjusts his thinking, and mentions the swimming would take place tomorrow, I guess. The invitation is accepted.


Jessie and Johnny go to the location given them by their new esteemed friends Russell and Tammy at the private lake area, outside of San Francisco. The area is serene and most pleasing to both Jessie and Johnny. The two hosts are swimming, and coming into greet their guests. There is no one else along the beach: –a little house to the right of them and some trees and shrubbery.

Both Russell and Tammy call as they run up to greet them, with excitement and positive gestures.

Everyone seemed to be in their Saturday best humor, with smiles and kind gestures; and for all honesty, there was no deception.

Tammy grabs Johnny’s hand, all in their bathing suits now, and takes her out in the water swimming with her, while Russell asked the laureate to write him a poem, as they lazily sit watching the girls swim. He does, and when the poet has finished with the poem, and Russell reads it, a tear emerges from his eye. At that moment, he is distracted by his girlfriend [both in their late 30’s] who had run up out of the water, grabbed a towel, and happened to see the tear on Russell’s cheek.

Tammy: “What’s the matter honey?” He doesn’t say a word; she is unspoken for a moment, feeling for some reason, and who knows why, but men seem to shut down when they are emotionally tied in knots, she conjures up in her thinking. Unyielding and still, she puts her hand on his shoulder, as she scans his face, arms and ends up at the poem, and reads it as he is holding it.

There is much truth in the poem, as she reads it, and her mind and face tell her that, “…it is a good poem,” she says. Russell has truthfully swayed away from his faith, by the looks of things, the poem is calling him back, or so it seems as the poem is being read. He is quite impressed with Jessie as now Tammy seems to be also [he lets Jessie know this with expressions]; Tammy kisses Russell on the forehead.


[In-between time] Everyone is standing around after the reading of the poem; Jessie not used to famous people, takes pictures of Russell, and has them taken of him with Russell, by asking Johnny to assist. Tammy is also a movie star in her own right, but not as famous as Russell, –nevertheless, within a matter of minutes, they all end up taking pictures of one another. There seems to be a mystic-commonage here.

The Diamond Caddo Estates

Russell and Tammy call Jessie and Johnny up to meet their rich and most famous friend [something similar to the Great Gatsby, as far as richness goes, and mansion] two weeks later; it is a weekend, again Saturday evening. It is simply a get together of the rich and famous. Everyone has agreed to meet at Russell and Tammy’s house.

When they arrive they take Jessie and Johnny by the hand in their car, and their driver takes them to the Diamond Caddo Estates. Upon arrival, they escort them into the great halls of the Diamond Caddo Estates [Russell knowing Jessie would feel a little uneven going in alone].

Harry Goldsmith, the owner of the estates and his wife Juliet sit at the end of this long mahogany French made table, where is seating 25-people. The maids have started to serve the drinks and food.

Harry finds himself staring at Jessie for some odd reason, and Jessie is not looking back, matter of fact, he is to the contrary, avoiding eye contact with the owner, and talking to his wife Johnny.

Harry: [asking Jessie a question] “It would be grand, haw, is it Jessie [a rhetorical question] if you could do a poem of for me, I’d be most appreciative…”

Jessie would prefer not to have made a nod, or for that matter, any gesture, but moved his shoulders in a funny way and continues to eat. A few of the guests started to laugh [although it was not meant as a slight or joke].

Harry takes offence to it, and looks at Russell [who shakes his shoulders, likewise, but in a way of expressing, saying in essence, ‘I don’t know’]; then Russell looks over to Jessie …

Russell: “Why not…” he says with a smile.

You now see a smile on Harry emerging; he has gotten his friend’s support. The whole life-size room is silent and still, until Jessie agrees, and then a sigh of relief is given, from several of the guests at the table, even one maid, and practically Russell [Russell knows Harry has a lot of pull in Hollywood, matter of fact he owns a good portion of it: –and would prefer to stay on the good side of him, as Jessie must have figured out.]

Throwing the Pearls to the Swine

Harry now is reading his poem by himself in his chair as the clean up people are picking up this and that off the long table. Jessie is at the end of the table getting up walking over to the huge bay-windows looking out onto the grounds, his wife Johnny remains seated for the moment.

Russell comes up and thanks Jessie on the sly, letting him know, it’s harmless, plus it was a good party gesture to entertain by creating a poem for the host.

Jessie: “I’ve wasted my pearls Russell…” Russell looks odd at him, and pats him on the back, walking away.

Harry reads the poem, it tells him who he really is, as disturbing as it seems to be he reads on, it implies he is: slimy with his schemes, cheating, double-crossing, and doing any and everything to get ahead. The poem points out he needs to put his cards on the table with people, be up front.

Juliet sees the poem then tells Jessie to do a poem of her [Juliet and Harry are at one end of the table, where they were before, reminiscent of a king and queen, they will not move; and Johnny and Jessie are sitting down by at the other end of the table; Russell is now on his way to stand by the other two].

Russell implies [rather informs as he is walking away from Johnny and Jessie, saying to Juliet in so many words] that the poet in Jessie must be tired, inferring to let it be, meaning, not to insist on acquiring a poem, but she insists non-the-less. And to accommodate Russell and Juliet, and possibly himself, Jessie agrees to do one more.

“It’s not worth it, not here, you’re wasting your pearls,” Johnny, says with a concerned tone in her voice.

The few standing is Russell, Harry and Juliet [the poet still sitting down with his wife at the end of the table, somewhat out of the picture for the moment]. Yet, the only ones that seem to know what Jessie is saying, is Jessie and Juliet [along with Johnny of course].

Jessie makes another poem, the guests are gone now, only Russell and his girlfriend Tammy, along with the Goldsmith’s and Jessie and Johnny. She reads the poem, it tells her about getting old before her time [she is in her mid early 40’s], also, too much ahead of herself, that she is getting too far over her head in everything she is doing; in effect, ruining their future, hers and Harry’s business, per se. It ends [the poem that is], implying she’s going to end up being a beggar on the streets, consequently losing it all; with a will to kill.

Juliet [becoming unraveled], showing twitching in her face, holding back her emotions, her repugnant remarks that want to escape her, cannot hold them back any longer, she scolds Jessie for being so self-righteous, for being a dooms- day-prophet. Yet she will not show her poem to anyone [least she be exposed more]. Harry tries to get the poem from her but she refuses, tugging and pushing him away like a mad child; —

now Juliet, [with the people wanting to leave, getting their coats on] runs to Jessie apologizing but wanting a new poem, one of/for the whole group.

Russell: “Juliet, I thank you very much, but you’re abusing my guests,” with a tone of contention, [along with defiance and protection for his two friends] Russell, takes in a deep breath, not sure where this is all leading to.

Juliet: “Your guests,” she implies, “They are at my house.” Russell shakes his head.

Russell: “Why now, why not another time, it’s 2:00 AM?”

Juliet: “Because once Jessie goes he is never coming back.”

Russell: “Oh that’s nonsense.”

Juliet: “Ask him Russell.” Russell turns to Jessie and asks if he is coming back. Jessie hesitates with eye contact as he looks at Johnny…

Jessie: “I’ve wasted enough pearls here, it’s time to go.” Russell not knowing what to say simply lifts his eyebrows, in a dumbfounded manner.

Russell: “Well, I’m going.”

Jessie sits down right along side of the door, leading to the outside area and starts writing, everyone now is waiting, even Russell and Tammy. He writes for about 20-minutes about the group, and then hands the poem to Russell to read at his will. Russell looks at Juliet, and starts to read it right there, knowing Juliet would be offended had he not.

The poem reads they [the group of 25-guests] will not stop at fame or fortune no matter what. Some are good; some are bad [the chasing after the fame is the theme]. But the poem implies the fame has them by the throat, which is strangling them. It has ceased to produce happiness, rather immediate gratification; in addition, it has for many of the folk given way to power which is not under control, but rather out of control. They have their own world it implies. And if anything, he [Jessie] was the intruder and a distraction at best. And yet, he being the intruder with no power bothers Juliet. The poem goes on to explain that it has moved Juliet to the degree of pain [and as Russell reads on, one can see the pain, anger, and hate reeking out of her pours on her face]. It gives her pain that someone else can see her soul, and how black it is. Juliet is furious now, but holds back to hear the rest. The end of his poem indicates someone will try to kill him: Johnny grabs Jessie’s hand and pulls him out of the house; Russell’s eyes open up wide, turns away from the poem, drops it on the floor, and walks out, as Juliet picks it up.

The end of the poem reads:

“Let nothing–no, not even death itself, no matter of whom, take your revenge and you will win.” It was what Juliet was thinking, in her ill-stricken mind.

The Kill

Two weeks had gone by before Juliet showed up at Jessie’s apartment door; Johnny is out for the moment, doing some household tasks, outside of the house. Jessie let her in their small, comfortable, and modest one bedroom apartment and asks her to sit down on the small sofa by the window, as she could watch and see his return, and she waited.

Upon arrival Jessie asks, walking through the door: “And just what is on you mind, what we can do for you Juliet?”

With a strange look on her face, as if to say, ‘…you forgot what the poem said already,’ a longer pause occurs as she stands up, now a deep stare at Jessie, she pulls out a gun and shoots him in the chest, as if she was searching for the keys to her car, next to one of the main arteries of the heart the bullet is lodged.

Juliet: “I don’t need to know my sins, keep them to yourself; yes, you should have saved your advice for those who most need it, not want it.” At that moment, Johnny heard a shot; she was outside of the apartment: –Jessie was now on the floor.

Juliet [peering down to Jessie as he is dying]: “Funny, you forgot what you wrote, haw…” [Jessie often did forget what he wrote, having Multiple Sclerosis].

When Johnny showed up, hearing the shot, running up the stairs, seeing Juliet leaving, running past her, her first view was seeing Jessie laying there dying on the shinny wooden floor.

Moments later Russell and Tammy show up, as Johnny is calling for the ambulance and police. Everyone knew it was Juliet, they all have seen her quickly walking down the few flights of stairs from the apartment, gun hanging loose from her hand, a smirk on her face.

Johnny: “Jessie, ohooo, Jessie, I knew I shouldn’t have left you I told you so many times, so very many times, people just don’t want to know, they just want to walk around blind, they really do, it is like throwing pearls into the swine pit, I told you and told you, you got to tell them something nice, not the truth, it is not what they are seeking.” She is hugging the dead corpse now, not letting go, making moaning sounds, grieving, she adds,

“They only want to know what you know, to see if you really know it. That’s all. They don’t want the truth.” But it is too late for advice, dead is dead, and all the advice in the world will do no good now, yet she rambles on and on.

Now Russell and Tammy knew what was meant by the usage of the word, ‘pearl’. It had made a better man out of him in only two short weeks, he was taking his own inventory; –and the relationship with his father had even gotten better. For Harry, he was thinking twice about his dealings with people, it also was starting to show; he and Juliet were becoming more resistant to one another, someone was wising up; she was no longer getting her way, how could she, she was in prison, and money did not buy her way out, for her husband did not purchase the best lawyer in town: matter of fact, he left town during the trial.

Juliet, infuriated, thought she had hid it from the world, all her insecurities, her secrets, and here besides God himself, another man could see her soul, her real character, it was all too much. Yet now in prison, behind bars, she need not hide her other side, and she screamed, and bellowed, and yelled at the guards; fought with the other prisoners. In time she became madder at God than at Jessie, for God had given him the gift in the first place. And for the rest her short lived life in prison, she was a panther waiting to attack, and one day, went to the bathroom and could not stop the waste that came out of her, she sat for four hours on the toilet, until all her liquids were dispersed out of her, and keeled over dead.

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