Backup JMR20170413: Economics 101, a Novel, ch_42 -- Prologue

[JMR201704131859: backup of]

(The story starts here:

The previous chapter is here:

[JMR201610140718: I've lost the thread by this point. This whole chapter will change or disappear.] Still needs a little more work.

Well, I find myself faced with two questions.

One is whether to end the first book in the series here, with loose threads left loose.

It would make a natural break, especially if the next book were to be called "Economics 102" or something similar.

And the story really is essentially told. Now I need to focus on cleaning up the rough draft.


Of course, I haven't really dug into the simplified economic model as I promised. {JMR201612032050: So I guess the story really isn't told, yet. }


The other question is the wedding night.

I'm inclined to just tell you we're going to respect their privacy. But some readers will take that as the equivalent of a challenge: "This problem is left as an exercise left to the student."

And I do not want to have to take the blame for setting you to fantasizing on this particular subject without training wheels.

Starting the next book in the series with their wedding night would be a little extreme. I guess I should go ahead and tell you now how it went.

Uhm, it does get a little bit into private stuff here. No gratuitous sex, of course. I'll draw the curtains there.

But if you don't deal well with the so-called less ideal aspects of the human reproductive system, just [JR201612032051: call the story complete and end here jump ahead to the next chapter ] .


I treated this too carelessly. It will take several editing sessions to get it right.


Bobbie and Karel returned to camp with their marriage licenses and certificates (in duplicate) and temple clothes in their backpacks, and a new covenant in their hearts.

"Are you hungry?" [JMR201608270803: I think it was Karel who asked. ]


They had various edible seeds set out to dry, so they put those on to boil and went out to get some fresh breadfruit and vegetables.

While they were getting dinner ready, Bobbie found herself having to stop to breathe deeply every now and then.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she lied.

And Karel let it pass, [JMR201608270804: deciding to watch her carefully opting to keep an eye on her instead of asking further ].

[JMR201608270804: After eating , as the sun touched the horizon, The sun touched the horizon as they finished washing dishes, and ] Bobbie suggested, "Let's get our temple clothes hung up to air them out."

So they stretched out the emergency rope and wiped off as much dust and dirt as they could, and began hanging their temple clothes up. (There was more to hang than [JMR201612032053: the laundry ] they usually had, and there was not enough room on the bamboo poles.)

"We're not going to wash them first?" Karel asked.

"We need to find some sort of laundry soap. Washing them in the ocean just won't work."

"Hmm. That means I have to invent some sort of laundry tub, too."


Karel smiled. "We." And they just happened to be close enough for a kiss, so they shared a kiss. (Be still, my beating heart!)

"Nice." Then Bobbie looked a little perplexed. "Oh."


Bobbie sighed. "I'm leaking." She put one hand under her abdomen.



"Please don't be upset." And she draped what was in her hands over the rope and grabbed Karel's arm.

"Upset?" Karel put his free hand under Bobbie's arm to support her and threw what was in his other hand over the rope.

"Oh, please don't be upset." And she unceremoniously draped the clothes she was holding over the rope so she could {JMR201608301446: hold on to grab hold of } Karel's arm.

"Upset?" Karel also quickly draped what he was holding over the rope, so he could support her with both arms.


Bobbie breathed hard.


Karel looked at Bobbie's hand on her abdomen. Finally understanding, he stroked her stomach gently.

Seeing that Bobbie seemed to have some pain in her abdomen, he reached down to stroke her stomach.



And Karel stopped stroking.

"Just let me hang on to you."

"A chair is another thing I need to make," Karel said, as much to himself as to Bobbie. "Can you sit down?"

Bobbie looked at the trunks and at the sand and said, "No." After taking another hard breath, she said, "I ... thought ... it might ... be hard, ... but ..." Again, she breathed hard.

"What should we do?"

Bobbie relaxed. "Ouch. That hurt." She nodded to herself. "Yep. I guess it really did build up from last month. You're not going to be mad?"

Karel smiled shyly. "Of course not." And he paused. "But what can we do? Can you sit down?"

"Everything will get ... ouch. I thought to put on a pad this morning, but it feels like it's going to spill if I sit down. And these are your trousers I'm borrowing."

Did I mention that she had been sometimes borrowing his trousers to protect her legs in the jungle? She had long [JMR201608270826: trousers slacks ] of her own, but they weren't as heavy, and weren't as much protection. Skirts, of course, were not for the jungle.


"Don't worry about that."

"Mine? Yours. Don't worry about it."



If you're worried about reading about this, skip ahead.


"Can I just take my clothes off and sit in the surf?"

"Well, ... that would probably be comfortable, but we really don't want to know how close the nearest sharks are."

They stood for a [JMR201608270830: few minutes minute or so ].

Karel tried to sympathize. "I guess the stress of getting married brought it early?"

"More like releasing me from the stress of waiting opened the floodgates." Bobbie [JMR201608270831: gave Karel a long kiss. raised her face to Karel, and he gave her a long kiss. "Thanks. That helps." ]


If you're worried about reading about this, skip ahead to where I say it's safe again.


"Ow. Oooooh. I ... need ... to ... sit ... down." She let out a breath and drew another carefully. "Can ... I ... take ... off ... my ... your ... trousers ... and ... sit ... on ... the ... sand?"

Instead of replying, Karel undid her belt and helped her out of the trousers.
"Is sitting in the sand going to cause problems [JMR201608270840: for you later, getting sand in stuff ] ?"

Bobbie didn't answer.


In case you're wondering, Wycliffe and Hanaka were busy at that moment, encouraging Zedidiah not to give up and slip away. So it was Greg and Georgiana who were watching over Karel and Bobbie. We can trust them not to be indulging in prurient and unclean thoughts, of course.

"I wish we'd thought to make some simple mats while we were making rope. Oh, just sit on my trousers."

"They'll get bloody."



"The blood doesn't bother you?"

"For you, I'll just grin and bear it. If grinning doesn't help you relax, I'll just bear it."

Bobbie laughed. "Ouch. Don't make me laugh."


Shortly, Bobbie was sitting on a clean pad, on Karel's trousers, on the grassy sand, wearing just [JMR20160844: a shirt one of Karel's long shirts, with a sheet over her stomach and another over her legs ]. As twilight [JMR201609021410: approached was approaching ] , she didn't need protection from the sun, but she was still feeling a little shy. And she needed to keep [JMR201608270846: things around her abdomen ] warm.

Karel quickly finished hanging things on the line. [JMR201608272029: Then he went to cut a big pile of hemp. Then he went out and cut a big pile of hemp and brought it back.

When it hurt, Karel would massage her back and shoulders and sometimes stroke her stomach. When Bobbie was in pain, Karel massaged her back and shoulders and wherever it hurt. When it didn't hurt she wasn't in pain, ] both of them were busy weaving a mat from the hemp so she would have something to lie on.

Somehow, they managed to make the mat big enough for her to lie on before it got too dark. She lay down on the mat with just enough under her to protect her skin from the hemp, and just enough bedding to keep her warm in the mild spring night, with help from Karel.

Karel put his bedroll right next to her mat, so that he could help her keep warm without pushing her off her mat.  


But before he lay down, he dug a shallow pit in the sand about fifty yards from camp, filled it with saltwater from the ocean, and washed as much blood off his trousers and her pads and underwear as he could. Then he dug a deeper pit and filled it with saltwater, too, and put the clothes in it to soak some more.

It's safe again, for a little bit. Sort of.

Karel slept lightly, waking up to stroke Bobbie's stomach when she groaned.

When he lay down beside Bobbie, he slept lightly, waking to help her when she was in pain. Sometime during the night, the intermittent pains and blood flow subsided to a normal level.


When the sun came up, they moved the mat under the trees, for shade. [JMR201608301500: And Bobbie yielded to the logic of wearing clothes again, to protect her body. ] Then Karel made breakfast from what was in camp and they read scriptures together.


A little later, they got out some of their reference books and looked for vegetables that would help Bobbie recover from the loss of blood, iron, and mass of the uterus lining. ] Karel went foraging for food by himself twice during the day, staying close enough to hear in case Bobbie needed help. On the second foraging trip, he collected enough that he wouldn't have to go foraging on Sunday.


Around ten in the morning, Karel decided to dig a small pit, about fifty yards from camp. He filled it with water from the sea and started washing the stuff that had gotten bloody. Then he dug another pit and filled it, and put it all in to soak.

Then he dug another pit and filled it, and rinsed Bobbie's pads one more time and hung them up to dry, so that she would have more when she needed them. (They were cloth pads. Paper pads were available in the US at the time, but not in the islands. Some of the women she had stayed with had found the whole idea odd, others had found it interesting.)

During the morning, he kept the pits with more sea water and washed more things that needed washing. And he dug another pit for final rinse.


And Bobbie commented on how salt water was useful for getting blood out of things.

After lunch, he rinsed the rest and hung it up to dry as well. When she changed her cloth pad, he immediately washed it and put it to soak for a few hours before giving it a final wash and hanging it out to dry.


They spent much of the day making more {JMR201608301507: mats and rope more rope and another mat } . And talking. And when they needed to change clothes, they no longer bothered to take turns in the tent.


Of course they slept together that night, even though Bobbie was not yet up to doing anything besides sleep.

Bobbie was more rested than Karel Sunday morning, so she let him sleep in. She woke him up with a big kiss about eight o'clock or so, with the sun shining low through the trees.

It was nice to have a Sunday, just to relax and read scriptures [JMR201608301522: and sing hymns and have church ] and talk [JMR201608301523: , ] and give each other massages. (Bobbie had mostly recovered, and insisted on returning the favor [JMR201608301510: when he rubbed her back or abdomen or other places that hurt ] .)

Bobbie still [JMR201608301511: needed pads, so a clean pad every now and then, and ] Karel kept washing them, even though it was Sunday.

[JMR201608301512: She was still not quite comfortable with doing the honeymoon thing that night, so they didn't. But That night, ] they both wore pajamas for the first time since they had come to the island.  

[JMR201608182042: And they didn't bother taking turns in the tent when they changed.

If you're shy about the honeymoon thing, skip ahead.


Bobbie woke up in the pre-dawn twilight of Monday morning, looking around herself at the trees, watching Karel asleep beside her. He seemed to be dreaming. She wondered whether she should let him sleep or wake him.

Karel was dreaming about running and playing on the beach with Bobbie.

[JMR201608301514: In his dreams, ] Bobbie ran into the ocean and swam ahead of him. Then she stopped and waited, swimming away when he caught up. He got tangled up in seaweed, and had to come up for air. When he went to chase her again, she had taken off her swimming suit, and had turned back to catch him.

Bobbie, of course, was not seeing Karel's dream. She decided to wake him up with a kiss [JMR201608301516:, and got up and crawled over him on her hands and knees ] . Her hair fell in his face and he shook it off without waking. Then she tried to kiss him.

"Nooooooh!" Karel struggled [JMR201608301518: underneath her with imagined seaweed, beating at her hair ] as he woke up. 

Bobbie giggled. While Karel was trying to get his bearings, she tried to kiss him again, succeeding this time.

"No fair!" Karel complained, laughing.

"Why not?"

"Because I can't complain that you're cheating any more."

So she kissed him again, and he pulled her to him.

Between kisses he said, "I was dreaming we were in the ocean again."

[JMR201608181816 -- Yes, it needs to be said:

(Another kiss.)

"Was I ...?"

(Yet another.)

"Yes. You were. [JMR201608301525: You took {JMR201609092142: it everything } off and started chasing me. ] "

(And another.)

"Should I?"

(More kissing.)

[JMR201608182042 -- Karel really should be a bit more conservative about his wife's health:

"Are you okay with it?"

(And still more.)

"I think so."



"You still had a bit of flow last night."

"Oh, just a little. We've waited so long."

"No doctors if something goes wrong. Two more days?"

Bobbie rolled back off of him and lay facing the sky. "Spoil sport. Just because I started it."

Karel sat up. [JMR2016008301526: "Well, I just don't want to let you go to the other side before me." "No, I just don't want you to go over to the other side of that veil before me." ]

Bobbie pouted and they sat there for a minute or so. Then Bobbie said, "I guess we should pray about it."

Which they did.

"Please help us to respect each other and take care of each other's health."

"What he said."

So they got breakfast [JMR201608301521: and read scriptures, etc., ] and moved more of the bamboo up from the sea. Then they studied how to weave a tight wicker basket, tight enough to carry water without too much leakage. The first try didn't work, but it was a decent basket for other uses.

In the afternoon, they studied scriptures and found information about tubers that were said to be helpful for restoring women's strength and health after [JMR201608301529: heavy ] menstrual flow. They knew where to find the red sweet potatoes, but had not seen the long potatoes (nagaimo in Japanese).

Bobbie was feeling strong enough in the afternoon, so they went up and got some sweet potatoes. They were blessed, and found long potatoes nearby.

In the evening, they succeeded in making one wicker chair.

On Tuesday, there was no flow of blood, and they finally took baths again. [JMR201608301530: (Do I need to mention that they did not bother turning around?) ]

The rest of the day, other [JMR201608301531: that than ] scriptures and plant study in the afternoon, was spent in learning more about how to work with bamboo and hemp. They put together another wicker chair in the morning, and had a waterproof basket by nightfall.

And now they had an idea how to make the roof of their hut.

If you're shy about the honeymoon thing, skip ahead.

Wednesday morning, Bobbie woke again before dawn. When she moved, Karel woke up, too. They lay in the pre-dawn twilight looking at each other.

"I'm feeling fine."

"No flow?"

Instead of answering, Bobbie took off her pajama bottoms and removed her pad and showed it to him. And she stuck out her tongue at him.

Karel laughed and turned a little red around the ears.



"Wycliffe, where are you going?"

"We're not supposed to stick around, are we?"

"Open your eyes."

Wycliffe let himself become aware, again, of the evil spirits who were around on the lower spiritual plane, waiting avidly for the opportunity to whisper suggestions of a mean and vulgar nature to our co-protagonists. No, not waiting, whispering continually, just in case there was a crack in their emotional armor.

"Well, I thought we should give them their privacy, but I see that won't work. I guess propriety has a different meaning for us."

"That's right. That's why you've spent so much effort since you did training yourself to ignore the memories of your flesh."

"This is going to hurt."

"Remember that anything that is right, that you would have received with all your heart if you had had the opportunity, will not be denied. If you are faithful now. And patient."

"I don't want to become a devil."

"That's part of the being faithful and patient {JMR201609101914: , learning how to watch over people in every situation without giving in to the temptations to serve the devil } ."

"What if my thoughts get out of control?"

"Focus on what's right for our friends. And I can help you."


"She can help you. We'll be here, too."

"Oh. Grandma Georgiana, Grandpa Greg. Well, okay, I guess I'll try."



I could talk about the clinical attitude of physicians, but it would not really cover more than a small part of what Wycliffe was learning, that enabled him to watch over them without being himself overtaken by the lusts that the evil spirits allow themselves to be entirely taken in by.


And don't you use the concept that angels might be watching to excuse yourself in voyeurism, or in watching pornographic movies and such. Your purpose is, by definition, not the purpose angels have, and the lusts would tend to consume you before you were able to do anyone any good thereby.


And Anyway, ] this is where we should draw the curtains.  

Sex is such a paradox.

Being too uptight about it tends to just make us more interested in it.

Being too careless about it also tends to make us too interested in it.

Sometimes, as a society, we decide that being too strict about it is the better way to go. [JMR201609101929: And then we usually end up only pretending to be so strict. But Rr]ight now, in my opinion, we are way too loose.

God turns neither to the right nor to the left. Neither, I think, should we. we shouldn't hide it from ourselves, and we shouldn't make it our god.

If our curiosity gets the better of us and we fantasize about, say, our co-protagonists finally getting married in practical terms, what should we do?

Well, even though they are fictional characters, they have earned the right to draw the curtains. 
Now, when I find myself distracted about sexual matters, I have found the best thing to do is think things through. What happens next? What are the consequences? Where do things lead?

Sure, there may be an adventure, but you have to remember there's a lot of work to do in real adventures. I've shown them working pretty hard, but I've glossed over a lot of the drudge, too. (Staying friends with each other can help with the drudge, you know.)

Think about the work, too. The work can be interesting, and thinking about the work is less likely to cause us problems than just thinking about the stuff that stimulates the endorphins and hormones and whatever.

If one picks up one end of a bamboo hulm, what is on the other end? What happens when you try to pick that other end up or put this end back down?

If we think about the one thing, we should think about all the rest of what comes with it. In the case of sex within marriage, we must not forget to think about the diapers and the money for food and school, etc. for the kids.
If we think about sex outside of marriage, we have to remember the possibility of diapers and the extra work it takes to raise children who have a parent they don't live with. And about the probability of disease [JMR201612032105: when there are multiple partners ].

Not just possibility of disease, probability. Pregnancy is a possibility, even with prophylactics. Sexually transmitted diseases are not just possible, they are probable when we engage in sex outside of marriage. Marriage may not be iron-clad, but it does affect the probabilities.

If you react poorly to antibiotics and other strong medicine, as most of us do, maybe you should think about struggling with those health problems when you think about sex with multiple partners, or with a partner who has not promised fidelity.

When we start down a road, whatever happens to us while we are on that road happens to us. We can fix things to a certain extent, especially with the help of God, but we can't undo them. And God would rather not have to help us fix too many things, really.

Oh, you've heard that before. You didn't think you needed me to tell you again. But it's a fundamental principle of real economics -- If we can't learn how to be true to each other in sexual relationships, how are we going to be true to each other in market relationships?

Anyway, think carefully about how Karel and Bobbie prepared for this day. I suppose they'll have arguments, disappointments, and such. Life won't be a rose garden, especially out here on the island. But the arguments and other problems are going to be significantly different because they prepared.

Because they start out trusting each other, they can usually be seeking for solutions instead of seeking for common ground when the arguments occur.

This is one of the big things you give up when you try to get to the good times without the preparation.

That's the stick. Where's the carrot?

There are ways we can feel good about ourselves without having sex. There are ways we can help each other feel good without having sex with each other. We've watched that with Bobbie and Karel and their friends.

I'm going to go out on a limb and tell you it works much better if you are not trying to negotiate sex at the same time as friendship.

Sex without marriage may seem easy and it may seem fun, but friendship just lasts longer than sex.

And it may seem old-fashioned, but sex with both commitment and friendship really is a whole lot better.

I haven't [JMR201608301537: yet ] dealt much with mistakes in this book. That is, I haven't said, this was a mistake, and here's how they dealt with it. [JMR201608301537: That's for the second book. I hope I'll have a chance to write it. ]


"Are you okay?"

[JMR201608301539: They were lying on their backs. Karel was looking like he was in another world. ]

"Mmm. Yeah."

"Much more fun when I'm not being forced."

"I'll take your word for it. I think I'm in heaven."

"Me, too. Breakfast?"

"Can we just lie here for a while?"

"That's fun, too."



Sometime during the morning, they got up and got some exercise, bathed, got breakfast, and generally got a fairly normal, if belated start on the morning.

"Should we get started on the hut today?"

"We need two."

"Huh? Wait ..."

"One for storage. Our trunks and stuff are going to rot!"

"Oh. Good idea. It should be simpler, we'll start with that."

During the heat of the day, they drew plans for their huts in the sand. With a little thinking, they decided they could put a covered porch between the two huts by walling in only half the floor on the storage hut.

"I'm worried about the stand-offs. I'm sure they'll shift in the sand, and then the whole thing will fall down."

"The wise man built his house on the rock."

"Where are we going to find rocks that big?"

In the cool of the evening, they hiked up to the ridge and found some large loose rocks, some of which Karel carried down to camp, one at a time. The larger ones, they carried together, stopping frequently for rests.

They weren't able to move enough before nightfall, so they stopped and got some dinner and went to bed under the stars. It rained that night, and they changed into dry clothes and moved into the tent.

It took the rest of the week to raise the corner posts, get the floors laid out level on good foundation, and get a loosely woven wicker roof up, supported by whole culms spaced about three inches apart, and covered with thatching. And it rained again on Sunday, giving them an opportunity to test the thatching and re-work it on Monday.

After some more planning, they decided to use wicker work on the walls, too, using a double weave that would shed water outside the walls. They tied the wicker onto vertical culms spaced about six inches apart.

The support beams for the walls went up quickly, but the wicker work took time. It rained twice that week, allowing them to test the walls as they built them.

The storage hut was finished on Saturday, and they moved their trunks and luggage into it in time to protect it from another Sunday rain. Happily, the roof and walls held. But the tent, without the luggage in the center, seemed like it might fly away in the wind.

By Tuesday evening, the walls for their living hut were finished, with windows, door, and coverings for both. And it started clouding over again, so they moved they rest of their stuff in, took the tent down and stored it, lashed the coverings in place, and spent the night in the hut.

It held, in spite of the wind, but sleeping with their bedrolls directly on the bamboo floor was not very comfortable.

They had just enough bamboo left to make wicker flooring, which took most of Wednesday.

The rainy season began in earnest that night.


They were lying together on their combined bedrolls, cuddling and listening to the changing rhythms of the rain and wind.

"Yes, Honey?"

"I think I felt something inside me."


"You know."

"Yeah." Karel stroked Bobbie's stomach, then lifted the covers and kissed her navel.


I guess I have to mention the underwear here.

Mormons who have received certain of the temple ordinances will usually wear a kind of underwear generally referred to as the "temple garment". This is to remind them of the promises they have made to behave themselves.

At the time in which this story was set, it was all of one piece, similar to the style of underwear called a "union suit". That is, it was not separate shorts and shirt, but trunk and torso altogether. (Two piece is available now.)

So Karel had to kiss her navel through the underwear, not having an easy option to lift a camisole hem or similar top and kiss her skin directly.

Talking about the details is a bit awkward, so I have avoided it, and will continue to avoid it. It's mostly not a big deal, but some who have heard about "magic Mormon underwear" will call foul if I ignore it here.

And it's not magic. The faith of a member may sometimes appear to be belief in magic to those who don't know what faith really means, but the underwear is just a reminder.


"Always so romantic!"

"Huh-uh. Just telling the kid to take his or her time and get it right."

Bobbie giggled {JMR201609101421: and stroked Karel's hair. And then she became serious. } "But we're going to have to review your physiology lessons and get started with advanced stuff so you can take care of me and the baby."

"If this hut holds, we should have the time."



Yes, I guess this chapter was a prologue after all.

(The link to the next book in the series? We'll see. First I have to fix the rough draft.)

(The link to the next chapter will be here when it's ready.)

(The next chapter is on hold:



(The next chapter is here:


(The chapter index is here:

[JMR201704131859: end backup.]

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