Meanwhile, Bill's off at a bus depot, loading Holloway and his wives onto a bus headed for Tucson, Arizona. Holloway says somewhat excitedly, "I never thought this day would come. I'm finally getting out." Bill mumbles platitudes about how hard it is to leave the place you've lived your whole life, completely missing that I'm finally getting out part. Meanwhile, the wives are driving the poor porter crazy. The way the Juniper Creek wives behave around the men they're not married to totally reminds me of that passage in Florence King's Southern Ladies and Gentlemen:
Old ladies never stop trying to have a devastating effect upon the male sex. A devastating effect can be anything from an erection to bleeding ulcers. Old ladies know they can no longer cause erections so they aim for bleeding ulcers.
Anyway, Bill tries to give the man who can't wait to get away a pep talk about how great life outside the cult can be, and adds his thanks for everything Ernest has done. Ernest says, "I don't know if you should thank me. When Roman finds out that you've taken my seat on his council, you watch out for yourself...what I told you about your grandfather, about his death, is the truth. And you mind that on your journey." Then Bill's temporary paternal figure boards the bus. Bill takes a moment to think about how he's effectively painted a large bull's-eye on his forehead. Good thing he ironed that will with Don, huh?
Margene descends the stairs to the sounds of cozy domesticity: Rhonda and the two grown-up women are all minding the younger kids in her den. For once, her house looks lived-in instead of merely inhabited. Barb asks if she's okay; Nicki calmly adds, "I'm sure it was just sunstroke." Margene holds up her pee stick and says, "I'm pregnant." Barb looks a little startled at this. Lester begins crying, perhaps echoing Nicki's inner turmoil; her expression is not what you'd call overjoyed. Margene smiles. She is the only one who seems happy about this, which is kind of funny when you consider how she's going to be the unhappiest about having three kids in diapers at the same time.