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Rebecca Barnes Wentworth  in Dallas

When Digger did arrive home, it was a nightmare. He was so ill from alcohol abuse that she could barely see any trace of the man she had fallen in love with. In fact, at his worst times, she wondered if she didn't hate him. But none of that mattered, as she had nowhere to go and was too scared to leave. He did, at least, bring home some money now and then-although, unless she hid it well, he was sure to take it to drink with.

Rebecca was thin and drawn but still very pretty. And lonely. She knew Hutch McKinney, the foreman of Southfork Ranch, who had openly paid her more than a kindly eye ever since she married Digger. She didn't want to God knows, she really didn't-but she was so lonely, so anxious for some relief in that horror of a house, that she had an affair with McKinney. It really never occurred to her that Digger would find out, since he was so busy being drunk all the time, so it came as a shock when she realized she had to tell him herself.

Rebecca was pregnant. She knew that it had to be Hutch's baby she hadn't slept with Digger in months. Finally, tearfully, she told him. He looked at her oddly at first-for a moment she thought she saw love in his eyes -but he said nothing and left the house. She assumed he went out on a bender. Then, to her surprise, Digger came home late that night only mildly drunk and instructed her to pack up their belongings because they were moving to Corpus Christi, which they did. Later, Rebecca heard that Hutch McKinney had disappeared from Dallas. Talk was that Jock Ewing had fired him, but to vanish completely was not Hutch's way.

The calm Digger had shown during the move ended, and he resumed drinking heavily, hurling vicious verbal abuse at Rebecca. It increased as her pregnancy progressed, and she began to fear for her safety. Thank heaven, Digger had never gone near Cliff while drunk, but with those black outs......

Rebecca gave birth to the most enchanting little girl she had ever seen. She was simply a blessing in every way. Her big brown eyes looked at her mama and they told her that all was not lost in the world. And stunned, disbelieving, Rebecca watched as this beautiful, tiny baby took possession of Digger's heart. No matter what awful things he said to Rebecca, he only whispered to the little girl that she was his own precious daughter.

And that's the way it was, drunk or sober: Digger worshiped the children and despised Rebecca. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She had one huge, last confrontation with Digger, a blackout in which he nearly hurt her badly. As she explained years later, "Digger was destroying me. I didn't want to leave. You know that. But I would not have survived. I became strong. I had to." She left, and ~left the children behind, gambling that Digger would take them to his sister. Had she had any money, any place to go, she would have taken them with her, though she knew deep down that Digger would have tried to kill her if she did. Confused, frightened, and heartbroken over her babies, Rebecca had to come to terms with the fact that her family would be lost to her forever. She prayed she was doing the right thing.

She left Corpus Christi for Kingsville, where she worked under an alias as a waitress in Jerry's Coffee Shop. She met a nice man there, a sales man, and he talked her into traveling with him on the road. She didn't like what she was doing; she just didn't know what else to do. She changed her name almost twenty times after leaving Kingsville, always using the first letter of her maiden name, the last alias being Rebecca Burke. She left the salesman and settled in Houston to start her life over. She was still quite young. Rebecca put herself through secretarial school, learning typing and stenography, and she landed a job at Morrison & Pitz, a brokerage firm. After that successful experience, she was offered a job as executive secretary to Herbert Wentworth, the president of Wentworth Tool & Die. Their office relationship turned to romance, and Rebecca married him in 1960.

Rebecca loved Herbert very much. He was a smart, kind, gentle, handsome Texan, and could take or leave alcohol (she would never make that mistake again). Together they had one daughter, Katherine, a simply gorgeous -and willful-child. Rebecca tensely hovered over her the first year, remembering her poor Tyler and Catherine, but this child flourished and actually kept Rebecca running to keep up with her. The Wentworths had a happy family life, no one knowing that it was Rebecca's second time round

In the 1960s, Herbert's company expanded into a conglomerate and went public. The Wentworths were millionaires, and the mansion they bought was the talk of Houston. Rebecca settled easily into the role of a grande dame of Texas social circles, but during all those years, not a day went by that she didn't think of her children Cliff and Pamela. By 1978, it was impossible not to-they were constantly in the newspapers. Her heart twinged when she read about Pamela's marriage to Bobby Ewing-and she immediately thought that if Digger was still alive, this news would surely kill him. And her boy, her son, appointed Commissioner of the Office of Land Management!

But she had to push down those thoughts, those memories, those intense feelings, and concentrate on her real life, her life as a Wentworth, as Herbert's wife and as Katherine's mother. And Katherine made that easier to do-though what a handful that girl was! She had brains and beauty, and Rebecca was hard put to tell her anything after the age of thirteen-the child seemed to know it all.

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