Susan Glaspell Journal

August 7, 1916

The Sea! The Sky! What a joy to live on a spit of sand, the wild Ocean on all sides. It was a wide, bright day, with blue [illegible]. The produce market seemed extra busy: I peaked  around the crowds. There was Mrs. Burrel (6), who ran ther store. She was hard women, as I knew her, who spoke seldom and smiled less. Her husband was a local fisherman, who was also stern and cheerless.

Corn. It was ripe in fields all over New England. I picked up an ear and smelled it deeply. It's amazing how a scent can trigger a memory. For the second time in two days, I was taken back to Indianola. There the smell of corn was on the land, the buildings, the people. In the spring the grassy shoots speckled the fields. As summer wore on it became one with the hills and the horizon; the land itself was a [illegible] of corn. Even in the winter, the scent hung in the still air. My thoughts turned to the court house. I remember thinking that the prosecution could not win their case. Despite compelling circumstantial evidence, the efforts to produce a motive seemed thin. I wrote as much in one of my articles. The suggestions of unhappiness were vague, though most believed them, me included. But they seemed not enough motive, beyond reasonable doubt, to prove her guilt. This is why the motive, and the proof of motive, became such a point for me in Trifles. I have supplied the missing evidence, and it becomes [illegible] tool of liberation for the women in the play. Perhaps this was the secret wish growing in me during the trial, that I could have somehow saved Margaret. Her only path to liberation was the axe, a final desperate choice. Was it not her own form of Justice? Did she not deserve freedom for all the years she had lost, prisoner to John Hossack's brutality? But perhaps this was taking it too far.

I was suddenly startled back to reality. The cold stare of Mrs. Burrel. She was asking me if I was ill. I must have had a queer look in my eye, as I was lost in thought. I gently put down the ear of corn. I replied that I was fine, just a bit tired. She frowned, deeper than usual, and ask if I was going to buy any corn. I politely declined.