Wednesday, October 4, 2017

General Holden James Kirby, Morgan and McGee

Bunny did not know what to think, other than she was mad. Who had the right to dig up her yard? Who would do such a thing without asking her? Are even telling her. The first person she called was Mike. After hearing her plight, he promised to look into it ASAP. Then she dialed the phone number she had been given.

"Good afternoon, Morgan and McGee, how can I help you?" said a very professional sounding lady.

"I hope you can," Bunny said exasperated. She explained her dilemma in as few details as she could. Bunny was put on hold and it wasn't long before someone picked up the line.

"Ms. Vontese?"

"Yes."

"Ms Vontese, my name is Manfield Morgan. How can I help you?"

Bunny explained her situation and why she was calling his law firm. She could hear him hesitating. Then he said,"Ms. Vontese, I believe you are speaking about the plantation, Ivy Lane, correct?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well once the Mobile Alabama Land Grant and Historical Society received your letter concerning the proof you had that General Holden James Kirby may be buried in your front yard, they set everything into motion. I can only assume that is why the men and their equipment are at your house."

"Mr. Morgan I didn't write the Historical Society about anything, much less a body being buried in my front yard. And why was I given your number to call?"

"I do pro-bono work for the Historical Society. Once they get involved in anything like this, I help them handle the legal details of any acquisition, restoration, or preservation they are involved with. However in this case, I only knew about it as an aside of other information I was working on."

"I'm telling you, I don't know anything about this. You can't just do this without discussing it with me?" 

"Well, when we tried to contact you, to follow up on your request, the number we had had been disconnected."

"Obviously, you knew where I lived, you could have mailed me some notice."

"We did, but it was returned, 'Undeliverable'."

"How long have you been working on this?"

"For about a month."

"I still find it hard you could not find me in a small town the size of Gallagher, when you knew where I lived. But never mind that, why does this have to be done this afternoon?"

"Ms Vontese, I am a little confused. It was my understanding that you were the one who contacted the Historical Society making them aware of the potential grave. And, you were the one who requested the grave be located and the body exhumed.  Also, you were the one who gave the Historical Society permission to search your property, but only if it was done by the end of the month."

"Mr. Morgan, there is some confusion. I don't know anything about this.  And, if I had requested it, why was a court order issued?"

"I know nothing about a court order."

"Well the man in my yard with a big tractor, says he has one."

Bunny and Mr. Morgan finished their call. Bunny only had more questions than answers. Meanwhile the beautiful lawn of Ivy Lane was being dug up. She was furious. Bunny called Col Walker to see if he knew anything about it. He knew nothing about the possible exhumation, but was well aware of who General Kirby was.

"Bunny, I'll come over right now. If they think they have found his grave, I think I need to be there. Thank you for letting me know."

"I don't think that is necessary. I'll give you a call if they find anything." Then she rang off. The last thing she needed was the Confederate Calvary showing up to claim one of their own.

By the time Bunny got back outside, the back hoe was digging away. Her lovely front lawn was in piles of red clay. Bunny walked up to the driver of the back hoe and indicated she wanted to speak to him. He shut the machine down and climbed off of it.

"Yes, mam," he said as he pulled off his gloves.

"Did you find General Kirby?"

"I don't understand," said the worker a little confused.

"You know the grave you were sent here to exhume. The grave of General Holden James Kirby."

"Mam, we are here to try to find the main water line that is causing the problems in your house."

"Water line? In my house? I do not have any water problems in my house."

About that time the foreman walked up. "Do you have some questions mam?"

"Yes I do. A water main? I do not have any water problems. And why do you have a court order to dig for a water main? What is all that about?"

The foreman scratched his head, obviously confused,"Mam, I was told that you were mad that  Mobile Dig and Dump Company refused to come find this water main after you had paid them. And that you actually went to court to get an order to have it done since you had paid for it. The order said the digging had to start at 4:30 this afternoon."

"But what about General Kirby?"

"General Kirby? What does he have to do with this? Does he work for Dig and Dump?"

"No, I was told he was buried in my front yard."

"So are we here to find a leaking water main or this General Kirby?"

"Neither!"

"I'm confused."

"So am I." said Bunny upset, nearly in tears.

As if sent by heaven, Mike appeared. "Bunny, do you realize how much work it is going to take to re-sod this lawn?"

"Re-sod? I didn't want it  . . .," then she realized he was picking on her. "This is serious Mike!"

"Oh Bunny, I know. I just had to laugh at the situation." Mike turned to the foreman and asked him some questions. Bunny heard the foreman say, "Well, I think we can call it a day." With that he left to gather up his crew.

Mike gave Bunny a hug,"It will be OK. The lawn can be replanted."

"But what is the deal about a water main?  I've never heard of Mobile Dig and Dump. And who is General Kirby?"

"Why don't we go get some dinner? Unfortunately, this will all be here when we get back." Bunny smiled and agreed.

What was it about her day? Was it the half sister she knew nothing about and her pack of hellions? Or perhaps the protest over her mother's 'Gentleman's House' albeit broken up by a pious Christian lady (in costume)?  No, it was the question over the lost grave of a Confederate soldier, supposedly in her front yard or a broken water main she knew nothing about? All she had wanted was a peaceful evening with a glass of wine on her front porch. What else could happen?

Bunny gave Mike the keys to her Mercedes and he opened the door for her. He got in, backed up, and made his way down the drive. Half way down they met a car coming up. Mike stopped and rolled his window down. 

The driver of the other car did the same. It was Tula.

Bunny, looking past Mike, burst out, "What are you doing here?"

"Why, I came to see how the project was going?"

"What project?"

"To find General Kirby?"

"What does this have to do with you?"

"Oh darling, don't you know, I am the President of the Mobile Alabama Land Grant and Historical Society."

"The one that could not find my correct phone number or mailing address?"

"The same one. That was an unfortunate circumstance. Seems I had the street address wrong. It has been so long since I had to use the street address for the family home place. Well, you know how those things escape one's mind."

Mike interrupted,"Ms. Latrelle, you are trespassing. I suggest you leave this property immediately. You are in enough trouble as it is."

"Oh, son, in Alabama, no one is going to argue with a Historical Society searching for a part of our past. Why most of the state legislature are members of the Society."

"General Kirby, is one thing. Getting a court order under false pretenses, is another. That involves lying to a judge. I would suggest you get a good attorney."

Tula sounded a bit concerned, but managed to smile anyway while she asked, "Bunny, you would not do that for a silly little thing like this. Why, we are basically family."

Bunny just sat there, stunned at the whole situation. Mike spoke up,"Oh, yes she will. And if she doesn't, I will." He smiled at Tula. Her smile back was weak at best.

"And, I imagine Mobile Dig and Dump will have issue with your falsely accusing them of breach of contract." Mike rolled his window up and continued down the drive way.

Bunny was scared. "Mike, she may just burn the house down."

He laughed,"Then we will add 'arson' to the list of charges."

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