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#17: Rainbow Riddle > Chapter 6: The Rainbow Riddle - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 1081 comments Mod
Chapter 6: The Mysterious Wedding Gift

As Judy and Peter alight from the car, they reminisce about different moments in their relationship. Then Peter asks, “Are you trying to tell me you've grown up? Just because you looked the part at the wedding---” “Did I, Peter?” She was very pleased. She wanted to look grown up for her wedding, but now that it was over she was her lighthearted self again, ready for any adventure. “I'd even welcome a mystery. I mean when you're gone. It would keep me from getting lonesome.” Peter is sure there will be one. A few tables have been set up on the porch and inside in the dining room and into the living room. Lithia tries to talk to Judy as she comes in but Judy is too excited. She looks at the table, there are flowers everywhere and candles and the wedding cake is on the center of the table. There is a tiny bride and groom. The dolls hair was flaming red yarn and the groom actually had a wide grin and pug nose like Peter’s. His hair was also was of yarn with each separate piece standing on end. After looking at the gifts, Horace tells her that Elitha wishes to talk to her. Judy apologizes to Elitha for not paying attention sooner. Elitha asks Judy if she would like to hire her since Grandmothers house is big and Elitha would like to leave the Yellow Bowl. Judy tells her that she couldn't pay much and Elitha must earn a lot from tips. Elitha slowly agrees. She calls Judy “Mrs. Dobbs” and Judy is thrilled. Mrs. Bolton tells Judy that she will never settle down and that she is still a harum scarum girl at heart.

Peter is looking at the wedding gifts and Judy joins him to show him the mysterious package from Irene & Dale. The package is three times larger than a shoe box. It had come by parcel post and was carefully wrapped in thick brown paper and tied with stout cord. The number of stamps pasted on it showed it must be heavy. Peter lifted the package. He agrees that it is about the size of a portable radio and asks where they should plug it in. Roxy and other bridesmaids interrupt and Roberta suggests they surround Judy like a rainbow ring as people come in. In the whirl of her reception, Judy suddenly hears music and is a little relieved to see the package is still unopened. Mrs. Bolton had still been trying to call Mrs. Griggs, Roberta’s aunt and finally they sent a telegram “Roberta here for wedding. Bridesmaids bring her home tomorrow” Roberta isn’t happy about the idea. She says she brought her suitcase because she intended to stay. Judy explains to her that the bride and groom take a honeymoon alone. “Then you don’t want me?” “It isn’t that.” Judy was at loss at what to say. Roberta then says “if I go home, will you please let me keep the radio? I want it terribly. Really I do. There are some lovely fairy stories and things on Saturday morning and Aunt Alma never lets me listen. She would if I had my own radio.” Judy explains that it was a gift and maybe not even a radio. Roberta offers to fix it up with flowers and goes looking for a lace centerpiece, so that everyone can listen to Irene’s program in a pretty atmosphere. Judy joins her friends in the garden. It was almost time for supper and Mrs. Bolton invited the guests to look at her roses while the final preparations were being made. Some people were dancing on the porch and Judy & Peter joined them. “An excuse to take you in my arms again,” Peter remarked as they began waltzing. They were still dancing when they caught a glimpse of Roberta. She was entering a wooded stretch of ground on the top of the hill back of the house. Judy wasn’t sure but it looked like Roberta was carrying a package. Judy and Peter called to her and then started after her. They were afraid that she would miss supper and get lost. Peter didn‘t want Judy to come and get her dress dirty but she reminded him that they were partners. Peter vaulted the fence and ran after her while Judy’s veil caught. Judy stopped to carefully free the veil. She hoped that someday her daughter and maybe granddaughter would wear it too. BOOM! The picket fence seemed to come up to meet Judy. The ground shook. Even the house seemed to tremble. Mrs. Bolton screamed for Judy and Peter. “What was that noise?” Horace wanted to know. “ It sounded like the end of the world.”

Don't you feel so sorry for poor little Roberta? It is heartbreaking when she says “Then you don't want me?” I think Peter is very romantic when he said it was a reason to take her into his arms again.


William Land (williamland) | 1081 comments Mod
There are some very sweet moments in this chapter. I think it's delightful that Judy was happy that Peter thought she looked grown-up at the wedding. Another delight for me was when Judy was "thrilled" to be called Mrs. Dobbs. Equally sweet was when Judy's mother told her daughter that she is a "harum sacrum girl at heart."

I, too, thought it sad when Roberta thought she wasn't wanted by the bridal couple. Also, disappointing was that Judy couldn't afford to hire Elitha to help in her new home, but I did think the servant was inappropriate to approach Judy at her wedding reception for a possible employment opportunity. Perhaps the girl felt, though, that she could secure a new job before Judy and Peter left on their honeymoon.

It was exciting that the bridal couple raced after Roberta who was carrying their wedding gift. I was charmed when Judy stopped to rescue her veil from harm, hoping to save it for future generations.

The explosion sounds like the end of the world! Definitely a page turning moment! Margaret had created some exciting cliff hangers in this series.


message 3: by Rachelle (new) - added it

Rachelle | 74 comments Mod
The first chapters are so full of clues. Rainbow ring is mentioned, when Judy was talking about her bridesmaids. She was looking up rainbows at the library. Roberta talking about a bomb put in radio when she arrived.


message 4: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 110 comments I thought that Peter's comnent to Judy was insulting, demeaning and condescending to women. That it should be taken as a dated, sign-of-the-rimes remark does not excuse it. If a man made that or a similar remark to me, I would terminate that relationship forthwith. Judy, for all her alleged intelligence, drinks it in, as though Peter were justified in making a remark of that nature. I'm sorry folks, because I know that the rest of you adore Peter and think that he is perfection personified. To me, however, he is the epitome of sexism. He has all the earmarks of being controlling and verbally abusive.. A control freak is not necessarily a nasty individual but can be someone on the surface mild mannered and loving, but only as long as he is in control.


William Land (williamland) | 1081 comments Mod
Kathleen wrote: <>

“Are you trying to tell me you've grown up? Just because you looked the part at the wedding---”

Is this the comment about which you are referring, Kathleen? I know that different people feel things differently. I took this remark from Peter as his opportunity to tease Judy. Of course, I cannot offer a woman's viewpoint about this. I am saying what this 60-year-old adult male reader fan thinks.

I never saw Peter as being controlling and verbally abusive in the series. He's far from perfect, but his devotion and love for Judy is strong for this reader and I believe that Margaret Sutton successfully demonstrates this in many of the books. Also, Judy's love and devotion for Peter is frequently expressed.



Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments Kathleen wrote: "I thought that Peter's comnent to Judy was insulting, demeaning and condescending to women. That it should be taken as a dated, sign-of-the-rimes remark does not excuse it. If a man made that or a ..."
That's an interesting perspective, Kathleen. I too have never thought of Peter as the epitome of sexism or verbally abusive and controlling. If anyone is like that it is Arthur, in my opinion. Later in the chapter, Peter tells her not to go after Roberta because brides don't belong in the woods because she'll ruin her wedding dress. Judy blows him off saying "we're partners, remember?" and keeps going. If he needed a wife he could control and abuse, he picked the wrong girl. In fact, he is right, she would ruin her dress, and Peter is perfectly capable of bringing Roberta back. Judy does have some growing up to do as we saw in Barred Window. (I'm assuming that is the remark you are referring to?)How old is she? 18? 19? I think the tone is important here. Like Bill, to me, it came across as lighthearted kidding around. Not serious. He wasn't lecturing her.

That said, I cringe every time he calls her "angel", for the same reason other things rub others the wrong way. I read a lot of books written 50, 60 or more years ago, and I've had to remind myself time and again not to bring my modern sensibilities into it. And that especially applies not only to attitudes towards women, but minorities, etc. I especially give Margaret Sutton a pass because she does address serious sociological issues in her books, and I bet she did shape a lot of young minds for the better.


message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 823 comments Yes, I took the remarks as lighthearted kidding. Peter is a product of his times and very progressive in that he has great respect for a woman four years younger. He defers to Judy a lot.
That said, there are things that would not be said today.


message 8: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 110 comments Thanks for sharing, folks. But I had to get that off my chest. Afterwards, I thought of Dale, Irene's husband, being a controlling type, as well. It's funny how certain things rub certain people the wrong way while it doesn't bother others. For example, Rebekah said that Peter's calling Judy 'angel" annoyed her. That is quite interesting. I have to admit that that one went right over my head. Rebekah, I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on that.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments Kathleen wrote: "Thanks for sharing, folks. But I had to get that off my chest. Afterwards, I thought of Dale, Irene's husband, being a controlling type, as well. It's funny how certain things rub certain people th..."
OH MY. Dale! He is very controlling. The worst.
as far as "Angel," its hard to explain. It's like putting her on an unobtainable pedestal (pressure!) and infantilizing her at the same time. I know that's contradictory. When you call someone an angel you are either being sarcastic in a teasing way, or are very serious, because the person has done something really nice over and above. But he uses it as a substitute for "honey" or "darling". It strikes me as putting her in a pigeon-hole. Like I said, hard to explain. I guess it's a personal problem! Lol.


message 10: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 823 comments Kathleen wrote: "It's funny how certain things rub certain people the wrong way while it doesn't bother others. For example, Rebekah said that Peter's calling Judy 'angel" annoyed her. That is quite interesting. I have to admit that that one went right over my head. Rebekah, I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on that. ..."

Angel rubs me the wrong way, too. It is because it seems inaccurate. Judy is definitely not an angel and Peter knows it. I know Peter used those endearments in Strange Likeness and Judy Lane, but you have to let the characters be who they are.
Author Anne Lamott said, "Over and over I feel as if my characters know who they are, and what happens to them, and where they have been and where they will go, and what they are capable of doing, but they need me to write it down for them because their handwriting is so bad." I feel the same way.


message 11: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments I love the quote from Anne Lamott


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments Yes Beverly. It's like he doesn't really know and love her for who she really is. But yet I know he does.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments And I love Anne Lamott.


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 823 comments Rebekah wrote: "Yes Beverly. It's like he doesn't really know and love her for who she really is. But yet I know he does."

Exactly, which is why it is out of character. It make senses if Peter only used Angel in its first appearance in Double Ring. He feels she still loves Arthur and made a sacrifice for Lorraine. But it doesn't make sense for the nickname to be carried on. And Judy bristles at times when he says Angel.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments Does she? Good! I'll watch for that.


message 16: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments I loved when Judy was thrilled to be called Mrs Dobbs. I remember so well the excitement of being called by my new name. And I can still remember this. I took my new sister in law to get her ears pierced. The girl in front of her walked toward us with drops of blood coming down her ears and I fainted. When I came to a security guard was asking my sister in law questions and when she gave my name she used my maiden name. She laughed when I whispered "Ann, it's Kisker!"

I never thought of Peter as sexist. I love their bantering and tone is important as Rebekah said. Things do not always come across on paper as they would be if said.

And I guess I am in the minority here. I love Angel as a nickname. It is just a different variation as an endearment such as Honey or Sweetheart etc. But I am also someone that never takes offense when called Honey or Dear like some people do.


message 17: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments Rebekah, that is a really good point that if Peter needed someone to control, he certainly did pick the wrong girl. I have very seldom been disappointed in Peter. In fact, I think Barred Window was the only book that happened.
I love Rainbow Riddle as much as I didn't like Barred Window.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 514 comments Faye wrote: "Rebekah, that is a really good point that if Peter needed someone to control, he certainly did pick the wrong girl. I have very seldom been disappointed in Peter. In fact, I think Barred Window was..."
Terms of endearment are pretty common in the south. But if it's a male, I always take offense.
How did Peter disappoint you in Barred Window?


William Land (williamland) | 1081 comments Mod
Faye wrote: << ... I love Angel as a nickname. It is just a different variation as an endearment such as Honey or Sweetheart etc. But I am also someone that never takes offense when called Honey or Dear like some people do.>>

I, too, love Angel as a nickname. I think it suits Judy for the reasons Peter thinks it does. I think it's sweet that he has a term of endearment for her.

I often call my women friends "darling" or "sweetie" or "honey" or "sugar." Actually, these terms must not had ever insulted some of the women I worked with, too. I know I inadvertently used them sometimes in the workplace. But I also remembered the one woman who said "I am not your dear" onetime. She was right, of course to call me on it, but I didn't meant to insult her and she seemed quite angry. After that, I was very careful around her.


message 20: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sweet | 170 comments Nowadays you can get reported for a habit like that if someone chooses to be nasty. When I think of the things my boss used to say when I worked in the bar! But I knew it was all in fun.


J. Michael | 130 comments I remember when I first read this chapter oh-so-many years ago. I actually felt heartsick when the explosion occurred because I thought perhaps Judy was going to be widowed ... that's how unused I was to series book characters being married!

I agree with William and Faye. I like that Peter calls Judy, "Angel," maybe because in my mind I think he really means, "My Angel," which is intimate and endearing. I may be wrong, but I don't remember him calling her by that nickname in public very often, if ever. I also like it when he calls Roberta "Lamb Pie"; she needs to be treated affectionately, just as Grace Dobbs, Jr., did when she was feigning amnesia to escape a very cruel and miserable past, and Judy nicknamed her "Honey."


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