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Melanie becomes ill and dies. On her deathbed, she calls for Scarlett and asks her to take care of little Beau and Ashley. With her last breath, she tells Scarlett to be good to Rhett because he "loves you so." Scarlett agrees although she is torn by guilt and grief. She goes to Ashley who has finally realized that he loved his wife all along. Scarlett berates him for not telling her years ago instead of stringing her along with talk of honor and duty. She is grateful that at least Melanie never knew there was anything between her and Ashley. However, she finds it ironic that now that she would have a chance to marry Ashley, she doesn’t want him. She thinks that she has only been in love with an idea-a dream into which she made Ashley fit. Now she is saddled with his well being when she wouldn’t care if she never saw him again.
None needed for this chapter.