The Bean Trees

How did Taylor acquire a child?


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While staying the night in the town on the Indian reservation, Taylor goes to a diner and writes a postcard to her mother. There are only two men at the counter, a white guy and an Indian. The cowboy, Earl, makes a joke when Taylor asks if there is anything at the diner for less than a dollar, but Taylor quickly reprimands him. There is a woman in the bar at the back who looks frightened. After Taylor leaves the diner and returns to her car, the woman, an Indian, follows her and tells her to take her baby. She warns her not to take the child back to the diner, indicating some unimaginable harm that could be done to her. Taylor argues with her, claiming that she can't take the baby because she doesn't have the papers, but the woman says that nobody knows that the baby is alive or cares. Finally Taylor takes the child; she does not know whether the child is a boy or a girl, and even wonders at one point whether it is still alive.