Bunny finally made it back to the office only to find Wade there with Della. Bunny had very little patience left. She said "Hello" to both of them and made her way into her office. She would have closed the door but she did not want to be rude. Thinking back on the last 35-40 minutes of her life, something dawned on her. Should this space ship arrive next Wednesday to pickup those souls who sought and found salvation, Buck would be among them. To go to Heaven with Buck would be her idea of Hell. The Fiery Gorges were looking more inviting than ever now.
Wade stuck his head in the door to tell Bunny he had made an appointment the following morning at 9 for Bunny to show a single mother 2 houses that he thought might be suitable for her. He put the file on her desk. He shook his head, "Bunny there are a lot worse problems than having an ex-husband in tune with the Lord. You could have married that gentleman, what was his name?"
Della yelled,"Pervis," from her desk.
"Yes, Pervis. You could have married him and realized his Mama was always right, you were always wrong, and there are no books to tell you how to get rid of your mother-in-law."
"Does everybody around here know everything?"
"Not everything, but most of it. We're a small town. Besides the weather, what else is there to talk about?" With that he left.
Bunny finished the work at her desk, locked up, and went home. Della had long been gone. What a day!
Della and Bunny had just opened the office when 'Miss' Ella literally came running in. "Girls, girls, did you see him on TV this morning? We should all be so proud. And, it's a best seller."
Della said, " 'Miss' Ella take a breath." She laughed,"No we did not, who are you talking about, and what is a best seller?"
"Terse, our Terse. His book, 'The Corporal's Secret' is number 2 on the New York Times Best Seller List."
Della and Bunny just looked at each other. Bunny laughed, "Our Terse. who knew."
"Well on his book he goes by 'Reginald Jackson', but it is our Terse," 'Miss' Ella said smiling. "Now I've got to go find the book. I just cannot wait to read it. I just know Beau and Blanche have to be so proud."
Bunny looked at Della and almost at the same time they said, " 'Reginald Jackson'?'
Bunny added, "Well I think that solves that mystery."
Miss Ella was not paying attention,"Girls, I've got to go. There are so many people I need to call." With that she turned and left.
But before she got out of the door, Bunny and Della were able to thank her.
The single mother called to cancel her appointment. Bunny rescheduled it for the following morning at 9.
About noon they started coming in. First one by one, then in groups, and by the afternoon there was a steady line of folks wanting to see 'Reginald Jackson'.
No longer denying it and, definitely, no longer taking names and numbers, Della and Bunny had a standard line: 'We just learned about the book this morning. However, we do not personally know of a 'Reginald Jackson'."
Around 4 that afternoon, Tim arrived from Lavenia's with the largest arrangement of lilies, roses, and other flowers Bunny had ever seen. "This is for both of you," he said as he put it on Della's desk.
Della signed for it and opened the card. She read it quietly.
Bunny asked,"Well? Who is it from?"
As another stranger walked in the door, Della handed the note to Bunny. In a whisper she said, "Do not read this out loud."
While Della dealt with the visitor, Bunny walked into her office and read the note. "I know it is wild there. I will explain when I get back to Gallagher. Thanks for covering for me. Love both of you, Terse".
Bunny smiled and walked back into the front office. The visitor had left. Bunny just smiled, "The mystery unwinds."
Buzz came in later. Della looked up, "Well if it isn't the famous author's brother."
Buzz just laughed, "Half brother and all I can say is thank God, my last name is not 'Jackson' ."
Della just said, "No doubt."
As Buzz stood there, another seeker walked through the door and asked the standard question. As Della started to talk to them, Buzz was a little taken aback. When the visitor left, disappointed like all the others, Buzz looked at Della, "What was that all about?"
Della told him about the stream of fans they had been dealing with for days. He just laughed.
Bunny looked at Della, "Well from now on, we will tell them we do not know where this 'Reginald Jackson' can be found, but we can tell them where they can find his brother."
"Half brother," Buzz said smiling. Then hee realized the two of them were not smiling.
"You wouldn't? Would you? Seriously?"
"No, I cannot do that to family," laughed Bunny.
"Wait", said Della. "Buzz, you are Terse's half brother and Bunny, you are Buzz's half brother? Then Bunny, you have to be related to Terse, somehow?"
Buzz laughed, "No, that math doesn't work, even in Alabama."
Sarcastically, Bunny added, "Unless Beau is my father also."
Della just shook her head, "Bunny you know better than that."
Buzz looked at Bunny, "Stranger things have happened around here. Wait," Buzz paused, "that would make us full brother and sister, not just half."
As if by divine intervention, a few minutes later, Anna Belle walked in the office. All three turned and looked at her.
"I'm not sure what is going on, but all three of you look guilty," Anna Belle said as she looked from Buzz to Della to Bunny. "Come on now, share. We're practically family."