Walt works almost constantly, but he sees Bert at least once a day or night—often just to deliver her food or make her laugh or take her out in his automobile to scout around. One night on a date Walt asks 16-year-old Bert to marry him and she says yes. He presents her with a cheap Zircon engagement ring which she loves as if it were the Hope Diamond because, really, what’s the difference? Walt lays out his plan: he’ll keep working his ass off and sock a little bit of money away each week so he and Bert can purchase the dowry they’ll need once married.
They are both deliriously happy. Over the next several months they buy dishes, towels, silverware, glassware, blankets, and sheets, which they store in a corner of Bert’s bedroom.