It was Piney Woods Betha who told me the ingredients for a good marriage were heaps of soft words and a dash of cast iron skillet. And I don’t think that was for cooking.
I never saw her hit her husband, but I did see a few bruises up-side his head now and again. And always wondered how she could reach that high, ’cause he was a mighty big man.
But they seemed happy enough. Not like the Kelters who lived on the backside of the same hill. Mrs. Kelter always looked sorrowful when she showed up in town with bruises and black eyes. Mr. Kelter wasn’t a bad man — just mean when he was drunk. And he got drunk a lot.
Then one day Mrs. Kelter and her mother, who lived in town, both disappeared, and the story got out why.
Seems Mr. Kelter came home drunk one night, beat Mrs. Kelter, then passed out. He woke up to find himself naked and tied to the bed. His wife and mother-in-law came in and beat him with a stick and his own belt, and left him there, still naked and tied up. Guess it was several hours before a neighbor came by and heard the hollering.
Mr. Kelter, he talked to the sheriff, but I heard there was several days of laughin’ before a report was made callin’ for Mrs. Kelter’s arrest.
Me, if I ever get married, I think I’d prefer the skilllet.