- Lucas Cross
Lucas Cross is a fictional character in the novel "
Peyton Place", and its film adaptation. In the movie, he was played by Arthur Kennedy.
In the novel
Lucas Cross lived in a tar paper shack in the
New Hampshirecommunity of Peyton Place, along with his second wife, Nellie, and their children, Paul, Selena and Joey. He was considered to be a woodsman; although he was also skilled as a cabinetmaker. He believed that since he paid his bills and minded his own business, that allowed him to behave as he pleased, especially in his abuse of his family.
Throughout the novel, he beats his wife and molests the 14-year-old Selena. He also threatened to kill his youngest son, Joey, should he ever have gone to the Sheriff about his criminal actions. When she gets
pregnant, Dr. Matthew Swainexamines her and finds that Cross is the father. Cross, for his perfidy, is eventually driven out of town.
He later joins the Navy (how or why he did was never revealed). Upon his release, he returns to Peyton Place and tries to
rapeSelena again. Panicked, she grabs the nearest blunt object and clubs him over the head, killing him. She and Joey bury him in the sheep pen.
Selena is placed on trial for his murder, but with the help of Dr. Swain, she is acquitted. The only ally he really had, after his death, was selfish
Marion Partridgewho thought Selena should have been convicted, but not for justice; but because she only thought of what she got from him (he made their kitchen cabinets).
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