Wanda had finished her first four years at the country school and when fall came she started classes in school at town. There were more things to do at the new school and she made new friends. One day she brought home a note from her teacher inviting Mama and Daddy to a program at the school. Wanda had practiced with her class, not knowing whether she would get to come. Daddy still didn't have a car of his own and he didn't think Grandma liked for him to drive Uncle Dewey's car, so he told Wanda, "I'm not going to ask!"
Charlotte was afraid of Daddy's stern looks and his harsh words, but Wanda had a stronger personality and she sometimes challenged his authority, but this time, no amount of begging could change his mind. "I'll find a way to get us there," Mama had told Wanda that night, and when morning came she had a solution: she'd ask the young neighbor lady to take them. So she swallowed her pride and got up the courage to ask Emily, who agreed happily to give them a ride to the program.
All went well with the songs and after the program Wanda felt like she really belonged in this class. "It sure is dark tonight, isn't it," said Mama when they got into the car and started home. There was no moonlight and the stars seemed even brighter than usual. About two miles out of town Emily thought she saw a flicker of lightning, but Mama said surely it wasn't since there were no clouds in the sky. Then Mama thought she saw a flicker too, just before everything went black. Emily couldn't see the road! She stomped the brake peddle, pitching Wanda forward in the seat and Mama threw out her hand to catch hold of the dashboard. "What happened?" asked Mama, and then it was bright again. Emily told her the car's lights had gone out for a minute; she barely had the words out of her mouth before the lights went out again, and this time they didn't come back on. "Now what will we do?" she asked. "I don't know anything about fixing car lights!"They sat in the blackness, trying to decide what to do. All was quiet except for the chirping of crickets.
to be continued ...