Unbeknownst to Tula, Cordelia had called Sheriff Quitman the day before when she learned that the Sanatorium had closed and they were searching for Burdell. "Sheriff, it has just come to my attention that the Bay Minette Midsummer Sanatorium has been condemned and closed."
"It has. That was a horrible place. Guess it had its former days of glory but it had well passed the good times when the State came in and closed it. You would not have believed the condition the place was in."
"Well, actually, that is why I called you." Sheriff Quitman was all ears. "You see, shortly after I learned that Tula had had Burdell admitted there, I went to visit. Why Sheriff, I was shocked and appalled at what I saw. I decided right then and there that Burdell needed to be moved."
"So you visited Burdell there?"
"Not only that, but I got him out of there as soon as I could and had him admitted to this wonderful facility, Sarahill Manor, down by Mobile. There he will be cared for as he should."
"That's odd because his name never showed up on any of the lists of patients in the State. The State Health Department checked everywhere."
"No, I doubt they did find Burdell Wells. But if they had looked for 'Beauregard Williams', they would have found him."
"I'm confused," said the Sheriff. "You moved him into another facility under an alias?"
"How else was I going to keep him safe from Tula."
"Why were there no records of his being admitted or discharged at the Sanatorium?"
"I cannot speak for his admittance, but when I moved him out, I threatened the Sanatorium staff."
"Threatened? With what?"
"I told them that I had connections with the State and one word from them and I would have the Health Department come visit them."
"OK, but what about the money?"
"Burdell's, what was being paid to the Sanatorium for his residence?"
"Oh, that was no problem. Tula sent them a check each month. They cash the check and forward the funds to me. I in turn, deposit the money into a separate joint interest bearing bank account in Burdell's and my name. Then I pay Sarahall Manor from that account. "She paused. "Not only is it a far better place, it is less expensive. I notified the State and the Federal agencies of what I had done so all his medicare could be filed from the new place."
"That's impossible. Tula has his power of attorney."
"She does. However, I have his medical power of attorney, which gives me the authority to make any decisions concerning his medical needs. Besides, there is nothing wrong with Burdell. Trust me, he wanted to get out of that dump. Together we managed to get him admitted under another name. We told Sarahall it was a security issue. They agreed his real name would not be listed anywhere. Then they had all his paperwork with State and Federal government in his name."
"So he's OK?"
"OK? He's better than he has ever been. He's taken up water polo and is keeping company with this nice lady who also lives there. I think she is from Montgomery. From a good family - you know the Monroes." Cordelia paused, "But, I digress. Burdell is fine. He is of sound mind. The issue we have now is with Tula."
"Yeah, thanks to some great detective work, my staff was able to follow the money trail. I imagine Burdell is concerned about all the money Tula took for herself?"
"Well, unfortunately, that is gone with the wind. However," she paused,"Tula only has access to one of Burdell's checking accounts. He has 2 other accounts plus a money market account in another bank in Mobile. The account Tula has been 'caring' for him from is a mere pittance of what Burdell is worth."
"So where is Tula now?"
"I assume looking for Burdell. We had a come to Jesus meeting and I explained that the Sanatorium had been closed, Burdell was missing, and she damn well better find him."
The Sheriff laughed. "So you didn't tell her what you had done. Cordelia, no one is going to get a head of you?"
"Rascal this is serious. Burdell could have died there. He said they kept him in a constant state of delirium."
"He's not the first patient we have heard that from. But what about the money, aren't you concerned that Tula will drain the account?"
"Well, I imagine if she has not already done that, it is only a matter of time. Burdell says she can have the balance."
"Are you sure he's OK - just giving Tula his money?"
"I think Burdell can spare $5.86." She laughed. "He moved the funds from the account the day I got him to Sarahill and left that balance to keep the account open."
"So what do you want to do with Tula"
"Right now? Just let her get her self further into this pig's mess on her own." Cordelia laughed,"Personally, I want to watch her squirm. I am counting on you not to let on to Burdell's situation."
"I won't say a word. I'll just tell everyone they can call off the dogs ,that we found Burdell - it's a long story and leave it at that. But I am glad to know that Burdell is OK and doing well. If anything changes will you let know."
"I promise." With that they rang off.