For the next couple days, Rich instructed Ramona more about sailing. She moved about The Odyssey as if she were there from the beginning. Rich was proud of her willingness to learn and how she handled her tasks with joy and skill.
It was evening and the cabin being pleasantly lit by a cabin light. They were over with the meal. Rich sat at the chart table pouring over charts and a reference book.
Ramona reached above the bench where Rich slept and retrieved a couple books. She thumbed through them, read a passage from each, and placed them back in their slot.
“Nearly all my books are written for men,” Rich said. “I had no idea of taking on a female passenger, but I do have To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“What is it about?” Ramona said.
“It is about a young girl in the south of the United States,” Rich said. “It has to do with racial injustice. It is a good book, but can leave one depressed.”
“What do you mean racial injustice,” Ramona said.
“A hundred years ago most blacks were slaves in the Southern States,” Rich said. “When they were freed that caused a civil war. The Southern States wanted to keep slavery and the Northern States thought slavery and for one man to own another was morally wrong. Although slavery was abolished, blacks were still regarded as second-class citizens. They were discriminated against in nearly every aspect of life. To Kill a Mockingbird is about how racial injustice was carried on well after blacks were freed. It is written from the standpoint of a woman who remembers an event from the time when she was a little girl.”
“Did you like it?” Ramona said.
“I couldn’t put it down,” Rich said.
“So reading this will help me understand Americans?” Ramona said.
“Good and bad,” Rich said.
“Have you ever read Gigi?” Ramona said.
“No,” Rich said, “but I saw the movie.”
“What did you think of it?” Ramona said.
“What did you think of it?” Rich said.
“I hated it,” Ramona said.
“It was disturbing,” Rich said and paused. “The two stories have similarities; each about slavery.”
“My mother made me read it,” Ramona said. “She said I was to become Gigi.”
Ramona spoke at length about the great pain of living with her mother. Tiki groomed her to be nothing more than a courtesan. However, over the years she managed a close enough relationship with her Uncle Tim and his family to long for a life not offered by her mother.