Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Heads Up

Tuesday morning while Bunny was trying to deal with the insurance appraisers and contractors, Wade had looking at Terse's place, Anna Belle called. When Bunny saw who it was, she did not answer it. There was nothing her mother could want or want to say at this time in the morning that would be good.

Mike came in again. He knocked on the frame of her door, "This is official this time."

"Wow, what could be 'official' in Gallagher?"

"Apparently the Feds have been watching your dear Mr. Jackson for some time. Seems he has been supplementing Daddy's money with some he is making on the side."

"Terse? Dear God," said Bunny.

"Well this is in total confidence, but as his landlord I felt you needed to know since the Feds will be opening an investigation of the fire. Seems Terse has been very good at hiding all the evidence. This is the break they need."

"So what do we do?"

"Nothing. Just act like the Fire Department is looking at it as a suspicious fire. If you want you can even say they have nothing else to do."

"Oh, I wouldn't do that to Chief Pyre."

"Seriously, if someone presses you on it, that is your story. Besides the Chief is loving being involved with the 'under cover' investigation. Not Della, not even Wade, needs to know."

"Thanks for telling me. No one will hear it from me."

He looked at her.

"Mike, this week is nuts as you can see with the fire, new renters, and some projects Wade has me on. I don't think I'm going to have any free time."

"OK, we can set a date for next week."

"Thanks, 'preciate your giving me a head's up."

Mike walked out of her office.

Bunny felt important. She was in on the top secret event in town. Who knew Terse would run amok of the law? But, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

She looked at her calendar, a purchase she made annually from the Grand Gallagher Ladies Club. Those ladies had no shame. They made sure the dates of all the bridge clubs, annual teas, even the Grand Assembly Ball were noted on the proper days. I guess that just reminded all the area citizens of all the social obligations of the aristocracy, seeing only those would receive invitations to these events could attend. And in Gallagher, unless you were visiting someone was ill, one did not just up without a written invitation. Perhaps, that alone, was the reason that the Rexall Drugstore downtown always kept a good selection of expensive stationary and note cards.

Only then did she  realize that "Next Month" was tomorrow, which meant the Grand Assembly Ball would be in less than two weeks. And she still did not have a formal invitation. Surely Harrison knew it was coming up.

Bunny finished the paperwork she had been working on and took it to Della, who was on the phone.

As Della hung the phone up, Bunny could tell she was exasperated. "Damn," said Della, "Seems those Eldridge sisters always need something done. You would think they were  just sweet on Buzz and Larry."

Bunny laughed. "I doubt that is the case. My theory has always been they were only sweet on each other."

Della feigned shock. "Now Bunny, down here we are known to marry our cousins, but sisters. Even in south Alabama, that's a little much."

"Just saying. I think anyone who lives in a home of gnomes is a little more than 'touched' don't you?"

They laughed and the phone rang. Della said, "Bunny this is for you. It's the Fire Chief."

Bunny took the all in her office. "Bunny, this is Chief Pyre. I just wanted to give you a head's up that the fire marshal has decided to open a case in the 112 Oak Street fire after all. After looking over all evidence, he seems to think it is suspicious. May be Arson."

"Arson?" Bunny said acting very surprised.

"Yes mam, but that is his bailiwick, not mine. I just try to put any fires out. We try to stay in our lanes, if you know what I mean."

"Certainly, I understand. Well tell the Fire Marshal if he needs anything from us, don't hesitate to call."

"Will do."

"By the way Chief, how long will this take?"

"Depends on what they find?" With that Chief Pyretipped his hat and walked out.

Della walked in, "What was all that about?"

"Apparently the Fire Marshal thinks the fire at Terse's is suspicious, so he has opened a case on it."

"Whoa, that sounds serious."

"Well the most 'serious' thing going on in Gallagher right now."

"By the way, yesterday two guys from Atlanta came in asking about renting a place for three months. Said they only needed one bedroom, they would prefer it to be unattached, and close to the highway."

"That's unusual, usually it's the 2 bedrooms in a neighborhood in town that everyone requests."

"I know. I gave them some addresses to drive by and told them to come by today if they saw anything interesting and we would go from there."

"Why not show them the places yesterday?"

"They said they had some other appointments and did not have time. Guess they will call back."

'Miss' Ethel walked in carrying 4 homemade jars of jam. "Brought each of you a jar of  my strawberry jam. This might be some of my finest. Well, that's all of except Wade, he doesn't need to eating things like this."

Bunny and Della thanked her. Della added, We'll make sure Buzz and Larry get their jars. And promise not to say a word about it to Wade."

"I don't care if he knows or not. He should be keeping care of himself."

She looked Bunny. "Bunny you got a minute to talk."

"I sure do, always have time for you. Come have a seat in my office."


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