Six months after Chris had become a law clerk in the firm of Lowell and Barnes, Nancy became pregnant. Then came the lean years, for Chris and Nancy in the city living on the meager salary of a junior law clerk, and for his family on the farm caught without savings in the crop failures of the dustbowl.
Chris' brother, John, at seventeen, left the farm to join the navy. Chris' father, mother and Edith tried to weather thru the bad times on the farm. Five years ago Chris' mother died and Edith, feeling no longer tied to the land, left for the city to find a life of her own. For the past five years Fred Hughes has tried to run the farm alone, and with Chris' financial help has been managing to get by.
There seems to be every reason for Chris to feel that he's had a rich, full and successful life so far. He'd be the first to tell you that he has everything a man could want. Nancy and his three children make up his world, his house in the suburbs, but a man lives in another world too, in a world of his work, his professions, and somewhere along the way Chris feels something went wrong. Chris had always wanted to be a famous criminal lawyer. But the years with Lowell, Barnes and Lowell had never given him the opportunity to pursue that branch of the law.
Nor had the years brought to him a junior partnership in the firm as he had hoped it would. As far as the criminal law was concerned, he was forced to take a second place to the senior member of the firm who fancied himself as the great trial lawyer. As far as the partnership was concerned he had to take a second place to Jim Lowell who became a partner several years ago.
Nancy is well aware of her husband's frustration in his work. Many times she blamed herself for it. The responsibilities of a married man kept him tied to this large organization, responsibilities which kept him from saying, "I have served my apprenticeship, now I will open my own office and go my own way."
Today life has gone full circle and there is Kit's college education to consider. Penny, altho still in her formative years, has a future too that must not be overlooked. Kenny - well, he's only a youngster, but his physical needs must be met.
There had been another child, Susan, who was killed in an accident six months ago.
Nancy knows Chris' problem. Often she had begged him to leave Lowell, Barnes and Lowell and go out on his own, but perhaps men are less daring than women, or perhaps it is fear of consequences, or is it a state of being over forty that makes uprooting difficult. And so Chris has stayed on, hoping that things would change.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The names of Chris and Nancy's children are changed later in the document. Up next, the original vision for Nancy Hughes.