There's a lot of talk about Jessica being "wild" when she was growing up. This seems to amount to her going to lots of parties and kissing lots of boys. Maybe "wild" isn't so far from "high-spirited". Nevertheless, Clayton speaks gravely of needing to "protect her from herself." He also describes her disapprovingly as "a dreamer. Texas just wasn’t big enough for her. She had her head full of a lot of crazy notions, travelling all over and meeting all kinds of people." What could be more natural than to dream, to want to see the world? It's notable that Garrison Southworth and Jason Ewing also had a desire to travel but, as men, were referred to as natural-born wanderers rather than as "crazy." (Admittedly, both are also perceived as cowards for "running away.") Then Jessica gets pregnant. Clayton ungallantly suggests that she didn't know who the father was, but she insists Atticus Ward "wanted to marry me after I told him I was pregnant, but [Clayton] wouldn’t give us the time." As Ray points out, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy would have caused quite a scandal at the time, and avoiding such a scandal seems to have been Clayton's first priority: "We agreed upon a plan. Amy and I took her on a long trip overseas so she could have the baby" after which he and Amy intended to take the kid to raise as their own. At least part of this plan appears to have been against Jessica's will. ("Who banished me to England in the first place? You!") "After the birth, Jessica went into an emotional depression that was so bad we had to put her in a rest home, a place to see that she got proper care," says Clayton. This would be in the late 40s, early 50s, when comparatively little was known about depression, including postnatal depression, and "proper care" might have included electroshock therapy. Despite this, Clayton and Amy took Dusty back to America while Jessica was still ill in hospital. So by the time she's released, her baby is already on the other side of the world, she's alone in a foreign country and she doesn't get to see her family again for at least ten years. Nevertheless, Clayton was sure that she had "recovered beautifully." It's curious that he and Amy never adopted Dusty legally - possibly because they never received the natural mother's permission? It just makes me wonder, if Jessica's story was told today, whether if she'd be depicted as the same two-dimensional "evil psycho" archetype she was in the '80s (fun as that was).