Over burgers at Ed's, Bunny pulled details out of Della about her relationship with Sam. As it was they were keeping constant company. Sam traveled out of town on assignments occasionaly, but other than that they spent most evenings together.
"Is he really as nice as he seems to be?"
"Oh, Bunny, I think he's even more so, the more I get to know him. We are going to Texas when I take some time off. He wants me to meet his family"
"Wow, that is serious."
Della just blushed,"I don't know."
"Well I do, after everything you have told me. I am so happy for you."
"Bunny, thank you. I am so sorry about what happened to Harrison. He was a true gentleman."
"He was and I miss him dearly, but my life has to go on."
"Good for you."
Bunny's phone beeped indicating she had a text. As she was checking that, Della looked at the TV on the wall over Bunny's shoulder. It was tuned to the local Mobile station. It got Della's attention. There was a film of Belva and her husband walking out of a courthouse with their attorneys, followed by a phalanx of press. Before she could ask Ed to turn up the volume, the newsman had moved on to a local charity race.
"Bunny, what's Belva Wells' married name?"
Bunny paying more attention to replying to her text mumbled, "I think Asbill." Then she stopped, "No Liza's name is Asbill, Belva is McCord, Belva McCord." And she went back to her text.
Della picked her phone to Google Belva's name to see if she could find out what going on.
Suddenly Bunny came out of her fog. "Why do need to know Belva's name?"
"Because I saw her, her husband, and their attorneys walking out of the courthouse flanked by the press."
"It was on the TV, the one behind you."
Bunny naturally turned around.
"The sound was down and I just caught the end of it, so I am Googling it."
"Howdy ladies", said Mike as he walked up to their table. "Boy, you two look pretty intense."
"Mike, you can help us," said Bunny.
"I'll certainly try."
Della filled him in on what little they knew. "Can you find out what's going on?"
"Sure, let me go to my car and I can search it on my computer. Give me a sec." And off he went.
"I still say he is cute as a bug," said Della.
Bunny blushed, "I know, I know."
It wasn't long before Mike came back in. "Well I didn't see this one coming. It seems Culler McCord had a private love of wearing women's clothes. Apparently, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Bunny interrupted him, "As..."
"As a transgender night club in Mobile that was busted for solicitation."
Della laughed, "Now, I've got to think about that. Who would be 'soliciting' whom."
Mike smiled,"You would think that way."
Bunny was puzzled by the whole thing.
Mike looked at her, "Culler likes to dress like a woman. Seems one night he went to a club where men and women cross dress, which is not a problem. Except that night the police raided the club for solicitation of sex."
"Buzz told me Culler had an issue a while back, but I didn't really take it seriously."
"How much trouble is he in?", asked Della.
"I don't know. He may have just got picked up in the melee and was totally innocent or he could have been guilty of what he is accused of."
"Thanks for checking on that," said Bunny. "Hey, sit down and have a burger with us," .
"I just came in to get a Diet Coke, but I'm always happy to see both of you." The radio on his shoulder went off. "Got to go ladies".
They said good bye and Mike walked out.
After lunch when they got back to the office. The phone was ringing. It was Mr. Sweeny. He needed Bunny to meet him at his office that afternoon at 3 to sign a release for Belva concerning the estate.
Bunny told Della she needed to run out to Ivy Lane to pick something up. She would be right back. Even though Belva had humiliated and been anything but nice, Bunny really felt sorry for her. Whatever Culler had done or not, it wasn't her fault. Belva was there to support her husband. She must really love him.
At the house, Bunny opened the safe and pulled out the box of jewelry. She found the bird broach and the ring she had selected for the girls. Maybe if Belva had something from her mother she could wear, she would feel better. Maybe, just maybe, it would warm up her relationship with Belva.
She went back to the office and showed the two pieces to Della. "I only have to give each girl one, but I'm going to give each of them several pieces each. I think I will give these 2 to Belva now. Maybe having something of her mother's will help her get through this mess with Culler."
"That's awfully generous of you."
"It's the least I can do. I just cannot imagine what she is going through."
"When are you going to give them to her?"
"Right now. I've got to meet her at Mr. Sweeny's office to sign some estate papers. I won't be gone long." Bunny then left for the office's of Marlboro, Winston, McGregor, and Sweeny.
When she walked in, Mr. Sweeny and Belva were waiting for her. Bunny spoke to both of them. Mr. Sweeny handed her the paper he needed her to sign. He explained what it was and why she would be signing it. Bunny was happy to sign the paper. When they were done she pulled a small box from her purse and handed it to Belva. "I have been thinking about you and thought maybe this would help a little."
Belva took the box and opened it. Bunny added, "They were your mother's."
Belva took the broach and the ring from the box. She turned them over. Bunny waited for her to say something.
"Seriously?" Belva said.
"Yes, those were two of your mother's pieces."
"Out of all the nice pieces she had, you give me two tacky pieces of costume jewelry that could have been bought at the dime store."
Bunny was astounded. "No, I selected those pieces because of the jewels that were in them. There were few pieces that had that many different colored gems in them. I spent time looking for something special for you."
"Oh, this is special OK,", Belva said as she threw the pieces on the table. "I'm through here." And she walked out.
Bunny had tears in her eyes when she turned to look at Mr. Sweeny. "I was just trying to be thoughtful."
"I know. She is just that way. You know things are difficult for her." He put his hand on her shoulder,"Bunny, I think what you did was very thoughtful. Don't worry about it."
Bunny thanked him, picked up the jewelry and left.
When she got back to the office, Della asked her how it went. Bunny told her all the sordid details. When Bunny finished Della said, "That was a little more than ungrateful of her."
"I know. I could have given her those dirty gray pearls."
"Gray pearls?" asked Della. "Mary had gray pearls?"
"Of all the beautiful things she had, I was astonished that she would have a strand of those."
"Bunny, I don't think they are 'dirty gray' pearls. Those probably what they call 'Black pearls' and those are some of the rarest and most expensive pearls you can have."
"Oh, I just thought they were dirty pearls. Guess not huh?"
Changing the subject, Della said, "Oh, I found out what the deal was with antebellum costume crew traveling in the bus."
"I cannot wait to hear this. I assume it has something to do with Col Walker?"
"Nope, they were on their way to a reenactment of the Battle of Fort Blakely. And they just stopped for lunch. But, apparently they fell in love with our little town and want to return."
"Bunny, I'm not sure they thought they were in costume."
Just then the door opened and a nice gray haired lady walked in. Della spoke first,"Good afternoon, how can I help you?"
"My name is Ruby Rollins, and I hope you can help me? I am looking for 'Reginald Jackson'. Do you know where I can find him?"
"Mam, I don't. We get that question a lot but we have both lived here all our lives and we do not know any 'Reginald Jackson'. I'm sorry we cannot help."
"So am I."
"But, if want, you can leave your name and how we can get in touch with you. If we learn something, we will contact you."
Ruby said she would appreciate that. Della handed her a pen and paper. After she left, Della looked at Bunny, we've got to find out who 'Reginald Jackson' is."
The door opened, Mike stuck his head in, "Bunny, I think you need to see this."