Breakfast at Tiffany's: Pages 60-70
Summary, pp. 60-70
Angry, the narrator puts the bird cage outside her apartment door; the next day he sees that she has put it out for garbage collection, and he relents and takes it back. He and Holly do not speak for a long time.
In the spring, the narrator is suspicious when he notices a man in his early fifties examining Holly’s mailbox. That evening, on his way to dinner, he sees the man again, across the street, looking up at Holly’s window. He wonders whether the man is a detective, or perhaps has a connection with the prisoner, Sally Tomato. Worried, he decides to end his feud with Holly and warn her about the man. But as he walks the streets the man follows him. The narrator enters a café and the man follows and sits beside him. The narrator asks him what he wants, and the man replies that he needs a friend. He shows the narrator a picture of Holly and her brother as a child, and the narrator thinks the man must be Holly’s father. But it turns out that the man, Doc Golightly, is Holly’s husband. He is a horse doctor from Tulip, Texas, and he married Holly when she was just under fourteen. She acted as mother to his four children (his first wife was dead). He called her Lulamae. But Lulamae ran off and he has been looking for her for five years. Explaining further, he says that Lulamae and Fred were orphans and had run away from the people with whom they were living as they were mistreating them. They had been stealing milk at Doc’s when they were caught. Doc married her and claims that she was happy and had no cause to leave.
Doc asks the narrator to tell Holly that he is in town looking for her. He does not want to surprise her. The narrator goes to Holly’s apartment and when she answers he calls her Lulamae. She immediately assumes that her brother Fred has come home, but she quickly adjusts when she realizes that the visitor is in fact Doc. She kisses him and is happy to see him.
Soon afterwards, on a Sunday morning in Joe’s bar, Holly says she has not divorced Doc but claims that the marriage cannot have been legal. The previous night she accompanied Doc to the bus station. He thought she was returning home with him until she explained that she could not do so. She tells the narrator that she believes Doc understood why.
The entire incident with Doc Golightly is amusing and touching, and Capote springs as many surprises as he can in order to satisfy the curiosity he has aroused in the reader up to this point about Holly’s origins. Given Holly’s adventurous nature, it is not surprising that she was not content with her unusual life, still a child herself, as the wife of a man about thirty-five years her senior. This girl was not cut out for domesticity, and she thinks of herself as like the “wild things” that Doc used to befriend and try to save, such as an injured hawk. It is also not surprising, given the fact that Holly is an orphan and was so mistreated by her foster family that she and her brother ran away, that she developed a defensive shield around her that keeps others at a distance even while she appears capable of friendship and even love.
Interestingly, Holly is a woman from rural Tulip, Texas, who comes to New York and shows she knows how to survive; Mag Wildwood is from rural Arkansas, also in the South, and shows a similar ability to make the best of her beauty and talent to flourish in a man’s world. Truman Capote was himself a Southerner who although not an orphan was sent to live with his elderly relatives when he was four, and whose childhood was lonely. At one time he came to live in New York and became a success there even though he received no formal schooling after the age of seventeen. Capote obviously had sympathy for his fictional female creations who could do the same thing.