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It's September now and still hot. Skeeter checks the mail and finds a letter from Elaine Stein at the publishing company Skeeter applied to. The letter says that editors need experience. Fair enough.
Miss Stein admires Skeeter's ambition and suggests Skeeter take any job she can get at her local newspaper and offers to look over Skeeter's ideas.
Skeeter makes a list of some, and mails it.
A few days later, Skeeter, who double majored in journalism and English, goes to the Jackson Journal for a job interview. She's offered a job writing the Miss Myrna column.
It's a column that answers questions about cleaning. The real Miss Myrna has had some kind of breakdown. Skeeter just has to copy her style.
Skeeter is excited, but has no cleaning know-how. Hmm, so she has to copy her style and come up with answers out of thin air…
She convinces a very reluctant Elizabeth to consult with Aibileen.
During Aibileen and Skeeter's first meeting, Skeeter asks Aibileen if she happens to know anything about Constantine. Aibileen reveals that Constantine was fired, but won't say more.
At home, a very upset Skeeter asks her mother Charlotte if she fired Constantine, who worked for them for 29 years. Charlotte admits that she did, but still won't explain why.
When Aibileen is helping Skeeter with the Miss Myrna Column, she tells Skeeter about her son Treelore's death. She tells her Treelore was writing a book about his life in Mississippi.
Skeeter also learns that Constantine had a daughter who was born with very pale skin. The father is a black man; the daughter gets her skin tone from Constantine's white father.
But it was impossible for a black woman to raise a white-looking child in Jackson. Constantine had to send her daughter away. Her big goal was to get her daughter back.
Skeeter has lots more questions, but Aibileen won't answer them.
That night, Skeeter gets a letter from Elaine Stein saying that none of Skeeter's ideas are all that exciting. Unless she comes up with something "original" (6.227), Skeeter shouldn't write to her again.
Skeeter is very upset, but then she gets a good idea, one that won't leave her alone.