Monday, September 18, 2017
Mr. Owen Davis Comes to Town
Wade was in Monday morning to get some papers from Bunny. The morning was unusually quiet given it was Monday. Della called to say she would be a little late. Before Wade left he asked Bunny, "You doing OK?"
"Yeah, why do you ask?" Bunny laughed. "Yes, the house is rather large for me and Bootsey, I have learned to drive Harrison's car and have started dating again."
Wade laughed,"So I heard." Then he got serious, "Bunny, I don't want you to get hurt. I assume you have met Tula Latrelle?"
"I have met her and thanks to Aunt Cordelia, I know all about her and my mama."
"The whole story?"
"Yes, The whole story, the campfire at the Butlers, Mr. Jackson's mother."
"I just want to warn you Tula is not a good person. I have never understood why she is so angry. But, trust me she is. Don't let her upset you and don't always believe everything she says."
"I won't. Thanks Wade."
As he put his hat on, Wade smiled," She's ruined enough lives, I do not want you to be a casualty." He walked out. She went back to her office to return calls and check her email.The door opened. She thought it was Bunny, but when she went into the reception area there was a middle aged gentleman standing there.
He offered Bunny his hand, "Owen Davis."
"How can I help you?"
"I'm looking for Reginald Jackson. it was my understanding he lived in Gallagher but I asked at the local cafe and no one there had heard of him. Then I was driving around and saw 2 ladies dressed alike. I stopped and asked them if they knew him. But they just gave me an odd stare, said 'No', and continued working in their yard."
"The one full of gnomes?"
"Yes, that would be the one."
"I have asked at the CPA office, the Jewelry store, and the Hat Shop. Everyone is very friendly but no one knows him. When I went to the hardware store, no one knew him there either, but a customer suggested I come here to see if you could help me. It puzzles me that he lives here and no one has heard of him."
"Well, I'm afraid I cannot help you either."
About that time Della walked in. The man turned to her. "Maybe you can help me?"
"Well, sir, I surely try."
"I'm trying to find Reginald Jackson. I know he lives here but it seems no one has heard of him."
Behind his back Bunny was shaking her head and waving her hands indicating that the answer was no.
Della hesitated for a moment as she got what Bunny was 'saying'. "No sir, can't say I have. But if you leave your name and number and for some reason someone with that name comes in I'll be more than happy to call you."
"I would appreciate that. It's very important I find him." He gave Della his card, told the ladies goodbye, and walked out of the office.
Della turned to Bunny, "What in the Sam Hell is going on?'
Bunny shook her head. "I'd like to know why someone is looking for Terse.?"
"Well, Terse picked a good place to live. Obviously, everyone in town was wary of a stranger asking around."
Della got on the phone, "Sam, I've got a name and number." Then she explained what was going on and asked if he could check Mr. Davis out. Of course Sam was happy to do it. He would call her back.
Before Della could get off the phone Miss Ella walked in, "I just had some some man stop and ask me if I knew 'Reginald Jackson'? Well now first since he wasn't from around here. How did I know to trust him? Besides, I wasn't lying, I don't know any one with that name."
Bunny put her hand on Miss Ella's shoulder, "I think he has asked everyone in town that question and I think we all gave him the same answer."
Miss Ella looked relieved, "Well, who is he anyway?"
"Della gave his name and number to Sam and he's looking him up."
The door opened and the Eldridge twins walked in. Cora spoke for them, "There's this man . . ."
Della finished Cora's sentence,"Looking for a Reginald Jackson, right?"
"How did you know?"
"Because I think he has asked everyone in town."
The women all talked (and gossiped) for a while then they went on their way and then Della and Bunny could go back to work.
Sam called back, "He's some high powered attorney from Atlanta. I cannot find what he would want to see Terse about. His firm does not do criminal work. Hopefully by now he has left. I have called Mike to give him a heads up."
Bunny had tried to call Terse but his phone did not answer and it did not go to the voicemail. At lunch, she drove over to his apartment to see if he was home. She knocked on his door and was surprised when he opened it. His hair was messed up, he was barefooted, wearing an old pair of jeans and an old Izod shirt.
"Bunny", he said surprised. "come in."
"Terse, I hate to bother you. Do you know a man named Owen Davis?"
She could tell that name was familiar to him. "I don't know him but I know who he is. Why are you asking?"
"Well he has been all over town asking about a 'Reginald Jackson'."
"Dear God, where is he now?"
"I don't know, but everyone I've talked to this morning told him they did not know a 'Reginald Jackson'."
"Well the Starlight Cafe, Parker's office, Heddie's, the Eldridges', and Miss Ella to name a few."
"Boy, he is serious."
Bunny looked at him. "Terse are you in trouble? Do you need help?"
Terse smiled, "No, but I appreciate the offer." He paused. "Actually there is something you can do. I've got to leave town. Can you just not tell anyone that you have seen me, or even talked to me?"
Bunny was puzzled.
"Bunny, trust me, I'm not in trouble. It's too complicated to explain right now but I will when I get back. I promise."
"But what about Mr. Davis?"
"Mr. Davis is a fine man. There is nothing wrong with him, I just do not want to talk with him right now."
Bunny smiled,"Terse, no one will know, at least not from me. I'll go so you can get your things together." God, he was so good looking, she thought."And Terse, please be careful."
"I promise, I'm not in trouble."
"Oh and something is wrong with your cell phone. I could not even leave a voice mail."
"No, I just forgot to turn it on and I don't use voice mail." He thanked her for coming.
With that, Bunny left 112 Oak Street and made her way to Ed's to pick up some lunch. On her way, she spotted Mike and Mr. Davis chatting on the side walk. It dawned on her, there were 2 'Reginald Jacksons'. Why did she assume Mr. Davis was looking for Terse?