Gert saw Calvin and decided to purchase him. Yes, slavery was over, so she couldn’t just buy him. She had to make him sell himself to her.
She had to have him take her places he could never afford, eat food he couldn’t imagine, wear shoes that cost more than his weekly pay.
She had to be nice to him, had to give him everything he wanted and make his friends like her.
This was hard because she knew his friends would look at her and see an ugly blob. It was very hard for her to be nice. Buying them lunch or taking them on an outing meant she would have to expose herself to them, which she found repellent.
Gert worked hard to capture Calvin. She made him know that without her he would go back to living in a ghetto, riding a bus, and wearing the cheapest clothes on the market.