A part of me admired her. There was something sadly heroic about Kathleen. There was the audacity with which she played her role as one of the first and most significant women in the party. There was her defiant acceptance of Eldridge’s well known brutality toward her. There was her willingness to stick with everything under a variety of adverse conditions, including being uprooted from San Francisco, and now from Algiers to Pyongyang to have her baby.
What threw me back into a shell of fear was Edridge’s behavior on the visit to Kathleen. She was weak and less than one month from delivering. Nevertheless, Eldridge immediately launched into an attack on her about nothing in particular, something personal to them. Her listless response only increased his hostility to her. He did not feel shit about her condition, he told her, since the baby she was carrying was probably not his.
When she tried to defend herself, he shouted her down. “Shut up! Shut up, bitch!” True to form, Kathleen hung on, chiding him with spitfire responses, pushing further with her high-bred intelligence. Incapable of shutting her up, he finally slapper her hard… He slapped her again, as I stood stoically, stupidly helpless. She just sat there in bed, holding her pregnant belly with one hand and wiping away tears with the other. She bravely screamed at him to leave. As he left her room, me trailing, he tossed her a laugh and a last ugly comment that he would have nothing to do with the bastard she was carrying.”
- Elaine Brown, A Taste of Power, 228