The Sheriff had just gotten his first cup of coffee, when he was surprised by a phone call from the FBI. Apparently the agency had been following up on the Midsummer Sanatorium case. They had nabbed the main players, thanks to Hugh McKissick's help. It was easy to establish a case of mail fraud to hold them until the Attorney General filed other charges. What the Sheriff did not expect was to hear that John Dean aka Frederick Barker, was also indicted. His attempt to embezzle Iris Barker's funds was not his only problem. The Feds found he was in collusion with the parent corporation of the Sanatorium.
The Sheriff inquired about Hugh, "I'd really like to talk to him."
"Well, that's another situation. He was beat up pretty badly and is in a hospital."
"No life threatening wounds, I hope?" the Sheriff asked concerned.
"No, he will recover, but it may take some time. As soon as Hugh was able to give us what we needed some goons came, found him and beat the living daylights out of him. Apparently, the company decided to seek retribution. They left him with a concussion, lacerations on his face, a broken nose, several broken ribs, and a broken leg."
"Whoa, that's pretty bad." The Sheriff asked for the hospital Hugh was in so he could contact him. "I want to tell him how much I appreciate what he did."
"Yes and no? He definitely deserves credit. However to keep the goons from finding him again until the trial, we have put Mr. McKissick in the Witness Protection Program. Even if I knew where he was, I couldn't tell you."
"I appreciate the call. Keep me in the loop."
"We will. We'll probably be in Gallagher some time soon to talk with Mrs. Barker. You may want to tell her."
"I'll do that. Thanks again." They rang off.
In town, Wade came into the Rental Office. His first words were,"You can't make this up - only in Gallagher."
By this time his booming voice had called Bunny and Vivian out from their offices. "I've got to tell y'all something." He smiled, "And for once I bet you don't know anything about it."
Della laughed, "You've got my attention."
Wade continued, "You know how the Eldridge twins are in their mid to late 70's and have never married?"
Della added,"I always wondered about that."
Bunny looked at her, "Della!"
"Well, guess who is getting married?"
"One of them?" Vivian guessed.
"No - both of them,"
Della just looked at Wade with a large smile,"See, I told you so!"
"To whom?" asked Vivian ignoring Della.
"A set of twin brothers, also in there 70's."
"From where?" asked Bunny trying to wrap her head around this news.
"That's what is so funny. They went online."
"Like eHarmony.com?" asked Della.
"Sorta, but they found a dating web site setup to help seniors in their 70's find companionship."
Bunny just remembered her experience with the online dating service Silverspoons.com. It was both disappointing and dreadful, leading to her kidnapping. Still puzzled, Bunny asked Wade,"Have you met them?"
"The grooms? Wade asked, "No, I don't think they are in town yet."
Della gave a wry smile, "And, just where did you get this news?"
"Mae, at the Starlight."
Della just shook her head, "And, you believe her?"
"Well, let's put it this way - if she just made this up, she can go into creative writing."
They all laughed and discussed the matter for a while before everyone decided they needed to get back to work. Wade turned to Bunny, "You got a minute?"
"Sure", she said walking back into her office. Wade followed her. As she was taking a seat behind her desk, Bunny said, "I think that is so sweet, at their ages, to get married."
"I can see it now, they'll have the 7 elves in their wedding," Wade said as he sat in the chair in front of Bunny's desk.
"You mean gnomes?"
"Whatever," Wade said in a dismissing tone.
She and Wade discussed some business. Bunny printed off the account sheets he requested.
Wade sat back in the chair, "How often do you see your mother?"
Surprised at the question, Bunny replied, "Not often, but that is our relationship. Why do you ask?"
"Well, sometimes I wonder about her. She seems to work all the time."
"Oh, I don't think that's the case. I see her out and about." Bunny laughed, "and personally, that suits me just fine."
"Well, that's good to hear."
"Wade! Are you interested in her?" Bunny giggled
"Of course not," Wade said as he stood up to walk out. However, Bunny could tell there was something there. Over these past years she had become pretty good at reading him. Come to think about it, in all the years she had known him, she had never seen him act quite like that before.
Della stuck her head in Bunny's office, "Any problem with my taking next week off?"
"Of course not. What's up?"
Della asked, "Remember that trip to Texas Sam and I were going to take? We had to cancel due to Sam's mystery assignment. Now that he's back, he wants us to go next week."
"Great. You think he's going to ask you to marry him?" an excited Bunny asked.
"Bunny! Don't start that. Remember what happened last time you got that idea."
The image of the premature wedding shower party she had decided to host for Della and Sam, was fairly embarrassing.
'Miss Ella' came in to pay her rent. Della commented, "You know this is not due for 2 weeks."
"Oh, I know, but I happened to be walking this way and figured I may as well stop." She pulled out her checkbook. "Have y'all heard about Flora and Cora?"
Della answered, "Yes mam, Wade told us this morning."
"I'm so excited for them. I always wondered why they didn't marry earlier."
"Really?" asked Della.
"Well, they are nice looking patrician ladies. They are tall and slim and have aged well, if I say so myself."
"We'll see." Della paused, "How long have they been seeing these men?"
"Oh," said 'Miss' Ella distressed. "That's the only thing that bothers me. Flora and Cora have never seen them. So far everything has been done online." She finished writing her check and handed it to Della. "But they showed me pictures." She blushed. "Even at my age, I would accept a marriage proposal from either of them."
Della looked at 'Miss' Ella. This was not something she expected to ever hear her say. "Why so?"
"Well one of them looks like Sam Elliot and the other is the spitting image of," She paused. "Oh, who was that very handsome actor who played the president in that picture show about the girl who was selected to represent her city in those horrible games?"
"The 'Hunger Games'?"
"Yes, that show."
"Are you talking about 'President Snow'?" Della asked.
"Yes that one, 'President Snow'."
"Yes, Donald Sutherland. Personally I think he is dreamy." 'Miss' Ella had this misty look in her eyes. "Oh, I remember when he was in 'Kelly's Heros'. I saw that show twice just to see him."
"Really?" Della laughed, "Well, this should be interesting." Della answered her phone and 'Miss' Ella waived goodbye and walked out.