Wade called the Sheriff to let him know what they had found. Needless to say after he realized Wade was not joking, the Sheriff was amused. He told Wade he was on his way. When the Sheriff arrived, sure enough, one couldn't make this up. It was true - across the yard there were gnomes hiding bags of hooch.
The Sheriff called Sam and let him know what they had found. Then he had to think about how to handle the twins. Technically they were hiding contraband. The Sheriff had really been hoping to keep the legal issues with the Eldridges as it was. But then again, he never considered the gnomes. He called Mike just to keep him in the loop. Mike's comment was,"Do I need to come test the proof?"
"I don't think so. I can almost assure you this is full strength." Mike laughed, agreed, and said he was on his way to photograph and catalog what contraband they had found.
Della had stayed at Sam's house the following evening so he dropped her off at the rental agency on his way to the twins' house. She and Bunny walked in at the same time. As Bunny put her bag on her desk, her cell phone rang. It was Vivian.
"Bunny, do you have Tula's number?"
"Sure, somewhere. You want to call her?"
"No, Harvey wants to call her." Vivian told her what had occurred earlier that morning.
Bunny was not surprised. She logged into her computer, checked her contacts list, found Tula's listing, and gave Vivian the number. Bunny added, "Vivian, if I can do anything please let me know."
"I will." With that Vivian rang off. She called Harvey and passed on the number.
Harvey assured Vivian he would take care of Tula. "It has been a longtime since I had to deal with her, but I'm not intimidated, and she knows that.This is a little much, even for her. I'll let you know where we stand as soon as I get finished with her. Actually, I know where we stand. I'll let you know when Tula has been taken care of."
Even though Vivian did not know Harvey that well, she felt comforted that he would, in fact, take care of Tula. With that she continued getting the children's things together and packing for their trip.
Vivian had mixed emotions about this. There was a feeling of relief. She never felt like she was giving the children everything they needed emotionally. Knowing they would be part of a family, a well to do, settled family who wanted them was ideal. Vivian knew they were going to a good place.
But she was extremely fond of them, even as horrible as they could be at times. Although she had not been with them that long, she knew their moving would leave a large hole in her life. On the other hand, she felt she was also in a good place. For the first time, she was feeling settled. She enjoyed her job, had made friends, and even found an unknown sister. With the exception of Tula, her move to Gallagher had been a positive decision.
Back at the rental office, the phone rang. Della said a few standard things then parked the call. Bunny yelled,"Is that for me?"
"Yeah, but wait. Before you pick it up . . ." Della stuck her head in Bunny's office. "It's Mrs. Walker, Winfred Walker. And she says it's personal."
Bunny looked at Della and said "What the heck?" before she picked up the phone.
"Mrs. Walker, this is Bunny, how can I help you?"
"Oh, Bunny dear, please call me Winfred."
"Yes mam, Winfred, how can I help you?"
"I have a personal issue that I need some assistance with. And you have always been so nice."
"Winfred, what can I do for you?" Bunny said trying to get to the problem.
"Can I come to your office to talk about it?"
"Yes, mam, when would you like to come?"
"Well, I'm right here."
It wasn't 5 minutes before Winfred was in Bunny's office. As Bunny welcomed her in, she stepped into the main room,"Della, if you wouldn't mind, please hold my calls."
Never having heard Bunny say that, she knew something was amiss. Knowing what little she did about Mrs. Walker, God knows what it could be. Della smiled, "Of course."
Bunny walked back into her office and closed her door. "Now Winfred, how can I help you?'
"Well I don't know how to say this."
"If it is a secret it is safe with me. You need help, I'll try my best to do what I can. But, if you cannot tell me, I'm afraid I won't be of much help."
Winfred fiddled with the bow on her bonnet, straightened her long skirt one more time, and glanced out of the window. "It's just never happened to me before. I don't even know where to start."
Bunny moved across the room and sat on the sofa next to the older woman. She patted her knee, or what she hoped was her knee, not being able to see or even feel anything through the layers of Winfred's skirt, slip, and petticoats. Bunny just wanted Winfred to take the gesture as one of support. Winfred looked at her. "You see it has to do with the Colonel."
"Yes, Colonel Walker." She paused as if getting up her courage. "Last week was my birthday. Usually we don't celebrate events such as that. We acknowledge them, but don't exchange gifts, or have a cake, or a party. But last Wednesday on my birthday, the Colonel came home at lunch, as he always does, with the most beautifully wrapped package. The box was covered in pink paper with a black lacy bow. Why, I had never seen such."