Part Ten of LZB Synopsis

Part Ten, Scene One, Pg. 159, February 9th, a Sunday, 1890

Part Ten begins the novel’s ending and climax. It consists of a day by day accounting of events.

Mr. Mendes, Lailah, Sandy, and the boys have an outing at Lailah’s Montecito land. Again, Lailah mentions that SB’s young men have changed their opinion of her. She’s not impressed. Charles takes this opportunity to say goodbye – he is to travel east on Monday. He declares his love for Lailah, and she is quietly receptive.

Back in town Danny stops at the post office where he finds a note from Mason requesting him to visit Clara asap. He goes to the house they’ve rented and the Clara he met two years, is at the moment acting like the excitable little girl he met on the beach two years ago. She declares her love for him, but he’s a bit confused and mystified by her frantic behavior. Still he is intoxicated by her beauty and her flirtatiousness.


Part Ten, Scene Two, Pg. 163, February 11th, a Tuesday, 1890

Danny’s second visit to CR. Lailah follows him and then, feeling down, goes to her grandfather’s house where she now works as his personal secretary. Sarah is there and notes that she’s in a peculiar mood and that on Sunday Danny returned starry eyed. Mr. Mendes relates what he knows of Rebecca Ruban’s mysterious death in NYC.


Part Ten, Scene Three, Pg. 165, February 12th, a Wednesday, 1890

Danny goes to Clara’s house to invite her and Mason to the rancho. A note instructs him to go to the Lobero Theater. There he finds David on stage with Miss Ruban, the melancholic and emotionless version of Clara Ruban. They are performing a scene from “As You Like It” and she is very good. She’s also contemptuous of Mason who is a bit drunk. She barely recognizes Danny leaving him even more confused about Clara Ruban. Danny delivers the invitation to Mason.


Part Ten, Scene Four, Pg. 167, February 13th, a Thursday, 1890

In this scene we see both versions of CR. When Mason and CR arrive at the rancho she is in her melancholic Miss Ruban mood and communicates with one word or very short sentences. She seems barely aware of her surroundings. Miss Louie and Sarah notice this and the fact that MR seems to not know that she was present at her mother’s leap off the balcony. But after dinner, MR asks Danny to show her around the farm. He does so and begins to befriend this melancholic version of her. But in the stable MR becomes the silly little girl Clara and hugs and kisses Danny. Lailah sees them. After Mason and MR depart, Sarah and Miss Louie confer on what they’d just witnessed and decide that something is terribly wrong and that Danny should be careful and not see the girl unless he accompanied by someone else.


Part Ten, Scene Five, Pg. 174, February 14th, a Friday, 1890

After school Danny finds at the post office a note from Clara requesting him to visit her. He goes to Mr. Mendes’ home to ask Lailah to accompany him. She is reluctant so Miss Louie volunteers. They go there and ML witnesses Clara’s manic behavior. Clara insists that they come to the Lobero tomorrow morning to see a play she admits Clara Ruban wrote.

Danny and Tobias have a father-son talk. Danny divines what his father is getting at and he tells him that he’d never take advantage of a girl in Clara’s mental condition.

Later that night, Danny and Lailah go to Zepeda Beach to check on the boat. On the walk back, they kiss for the first time. They’re very relaxed and content with each other though they each know they will never be lovers.


Part Ten, Scene Six, February 15th, Saturday morning, 1890

Arrived at the theater are Danny, Lailah, Miss Louie, Sandy, David, and Jane. Mason stumbles in, followed by Deputy Silkiset who’d observed Mason looking too drunk to be seen in public. Miss Ruban is on stage with an actor and an actress she’d hired for the day. She presents the last scene of her play which is a melodramatic account of how Rebecca Ruban died. MR has depicted the death as a tragic accident and that no one pushed her: Rebecca just accidently fell over the railing. While contemplating her mother’s death, MR freezes on stage. The Clara personality emerges frantically claiming that it’s all wrong. She has the actors do it over, but she substitutes her own lines one of which clearly states that “Uncle Billy”, Mason, has been sexually molesting her. Furthermore, her version of RR’s death has RR standing dangerously perched on a chair next to the railing where the woman is only melodramatically threatening to jump, but Clara rushes over to beg forgiveness, hugs her mother by the legs causing her to fall over the railing. The audience is stunned. Clara breaks down in hysterical sobs. Miss Louie administers potassium bromide to calm her.


Part Ten, Scene Seven, Pg. 181, February 15th, Saturday afternoon, 1890

They take her to Mr. Mendes’ house, and the deputy takes Mason to jail for public intoxication. While Clara sleeps, they discuss what is to be done with her. California’s two mental institutes are mentioned which causes Danny distress.


Part Ten, Scene Eight, Pg. 182, February 15th, Saturday evening, 1890

Deputy Silkiset drops by the rancho to announce that they’d released Mason from jail but didn’t tell him where Clara had been taken. Judge Miller will decide what’s to be done with Clara on Monday. Again, the possibility of committing Clara to an asylum is mentioned, and again Danny objects, he wants to bring Clara to the rancho but Sarah is dead set against that.


Part Ten, Scene Nine, February 16th, Sunday afternoon, 1890

Mason sober for the whole day, talks himself into a state of righteous indignation. He demands to see the judge in order to prove he is the lawful guardian of Clara and should have her returned to him. The judge reads Mason’s legal document and reluctantly agrees Clara has to be returned to Mason. The sheriff goes to Mr. Mendes’ home and informs them of the judgement. Miss Louie and MacGregor take Clara to Mason. Miss Louie instructs him on administering the bromide, and MacGregor threatens him with a beating if he should hear of any harm come to Clara.


Part Ten, Scene Ten, February 17, Monday, 1890

Danny and Lailah leave for school extra early so they can stop by Clara and Mason’s house. They find Mason passed out drunk and Clara missing. They go in search of her. Danny discovers that she’s on the stage going north. He chases after her and catches up at Cold Springs Tavern. She’s in her Miss Ruban mood. He persuades her to return with him. He has her ride on his horse while he leads it on foot. Part way home and still in the San Marcos Pass rain and coldness force them to take shelter in the lee of a boulder. He builds a fire and they spend the night there.


Part Ten, Scene Eleven, February 18, Tuesday, 1890

They wake up and move on. Further down the road, Clara insists that she and Danny ride double on the horse. Danny reluctantly agrees, but after a short while decides it’s too intimate. At the same time, they see ahead on the road, the search party coming for them. As Danny slides off MR reverts to her Clara Mood and pouts and begs. In the search party are Tobias, Lailah, Sheriff Townsend, Miss Louie, and Mason and his lawyer.

In their presence, Clara babbles about how she and Danny are now like husband and wife. Danny is mortified and denies it. ML gives Clara potassium bromide.

The judge has requested that they meet at the courthouse for an informal hearing.


Part Ten, Scene Twelve, Pg. 193, February 18th, Tuesday afternoon, 1890

They arrive at the courthouse. Clara is barely conscious and falls asleep during the hearing. Mason’s lawyer presents his arguments and points out that if what Clara said in the theater is to be believed then what she said this morning about Danny and her should also be believed. Danny is again mortified, and now because of eavesdroppers outside the courtroom the whole town will hear Clara’s fantasies and some will believe her. Again, the judge has no choice but to return Clara to Mason’s custody.


Part Ten, Scene Thirteen, February 18th, Tuesday P.M., 1890

Mason has also hired a snake oil salesman to be his medical advisor. When Mason and Clara return home the quack recommends giving her a whole bottle of Vin Mariani (a wine mixed with cocaine).

Danny and Lailah return to school for the afternoon, but gossip has spread and Danny can feel the smirks. After school, they run into Miss Louie who is on her way to check up on Clara. They go together and find a cocaine frantic Clara sobbing and crying hysterically. Mr. Mason is dead with several stab wounds in his chest.

Miss Louie knows they must go to the sheriff, but decides to go alone. Danny packs Clara’s bag. He and Lailah take her to Captain Argent’s boat. Danny, Clara, and the Captain sail to San Pedro. Lailah returns to the Rancho.


Part Ten, Scene Fourteen, February 20, Thursday, 1890

Miss Louie and Wen Shichu arrived at San Pedro and find Danny and Clara. Danny admits he knows he can’t care for Clara by himself and that she needs full time medical supervision. Danny announces he can’t go home and he’s signed aboard a ship.

Part Ten, Scene Fifteen, February 21, Friday, 1890

Miss Louie and Danny escort Clara to LA’s The Poor Farm. Sarah and Tobias arrive.

Part Ten, Scene Sixteen, February 22, Saturday, 1890

Sarah and Tobias say goodbye to their son.

Click here to go to A Homecoming which takes place five years after Danny goes to sea.