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Unformatted text preview: he saw an opportunity and took full advantage of it. Before she agreed to marriage, Mr. DeJarnette promised to not only employ her father as a farm supervisor but to provide his family with very comfortable housing. He agreed to educate her three younger sisters. He agreed to pay off the peonage debts from the Delta. So smitten was Mr. DeJarnette that he would've agreed to anything. The first Italians in Ford County arrived not in a broken ox cart, but rather by first-class passage on the Illinois Central Rail Line. A welcoming party unloaded their brand-new luggage and helped them into two 1904 Ford Model T's. The Rossettis were treated like royalty as they followed Mr. DeJarnette from party to party in Clanton. The town was instantly abuzz with descriptions of how beautiful the bride was. There was talk of a formal wedding ceremony, to sort of buttress the quickie service in Memphis, but since there was no Catholic church in Clanton the idea was scrapped. The bride and groom had yet to address the sticky issue of religious preference. At that time, if Nicola had asked Mr. DeJarnette to Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, convert to Hinduism he would have quickly done so. They finally made it to the main house at the edge of town. When the Rossettis turned into the long front drive and glimpsed the stately antebellum mansion built by the first Mr. DeJarnette, they all broke into tears. It was decided that they would live there until an overseer's house could be renovated and made suitable. Nicola assumed her duties as the lady of the manor and tried her best to get pregnant. Her younger sisters were provided with private tutors, and within weeks were speaking good English. Mr. Rossetti spent each day with his son-in-law, who was only three years his junior, and learned how to run the plantation. And Mrs. Rossetti went to the kitchen where she met Callie's mother, India. "My grandmother cooked for the DeJarnettes, so did my mother," Miss Callie was sa...
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