“I got to have you, Lenny. I ain’t going to let no other man get a hold of you. I aim to be the only man in your life for the rest of your days. I mean that. So either marry me tonight or you won’t marry anybody in your lifetime. I’ll make sure of that.” There was an ultimatum in Curley’s voice and an uncompromising fire in his eyes. He would beat her into her grave if she didn’t do what he wanted and Ida, his mean spirited mother, would stand by and allow him to do it. Both of them had caverns of blackness so deep in their souls that even the light of G*d couldn’t reach the bottom of them. He’d hit her before for trying to break up with him. He’d punched her so hard that she had a headache for two days. She couldn’t go to the sheriff. He was another member of the white side of Curley’s family. Besides, Sheriff Quinney cared as much about a colored man beating his woman as he did about shooting, hanging or placing a colored person in jail. It just didn’t matter to him one way or the other.
Lenny Gray wanted to move, but felt as if something had forced her body to become paralyzed