It dawned on Harrell, for the first time, how angry he was at his wife. She was getting worse. At first he tolerated her, but now it was down right embarrassing. In the past week, he had considered leaving her, something that had never crossed his mind before. Only one thing stopped him. He knew a divorce would be ugly and felt she deserved nothing from him. Lately, all she had contributed to the marriage was angst and misery. If only she would disappear - just go away.
They were interrupted by Pearce's Irish brogue coming from the patio. He welcomed the guests and thanked them for their generous donations. "My Mum always said Gallagher was a special and now I know why - the people." He smiled. "If any of you are curious, feel free to tour the house." Pearce pointed out Mack in the crowd and introduced him. "If you have any questions, Mack knows more about the house than I do." He laughed, "Although, we are both still looking for Uncle Falon's ghost that I was told wondered around here."
Pearce told them it was time for dinner. "As you enter the dining room, you will see a seating chart. There are tables in the dining room and living room. Enjoy!" With that he stepped away from the mike and let the combo continue playing.
Setting up the seating had been like shooting in the dark for Pearce. When he asked the Colonel for suggestions, he was told not to worry about it. "Gallagher is such a friendly place, you cannot mess up." So Pearce had assigned seats randomly, only making sure everyone with a date, spouse, or significant other were seated together.
As it turned out, Pearce had put together some 'interesting' combinations. He had seated the Colonel and Winifred at a table up front. Looking over the donations the guests had made (above the $1000 per head for the dinner), he tried to seat the higher donors up front. That put the Wadsworths together with the Butlers, Cordelia, Stella and Hollis.
As soon as they were seated, Winifred found herself sitting by Clark. Keeping in mind she had managed to handle her last dinner seated with the Butlers, she took a deep breath. Clark made polite conversation with everyone at the table, as well as Winfred, who was sitting to his right. Sitting on his left, Adair could not hear their conversation, but she paid close attention to Clark and Winfred. The more she thought, the madder she got. How could he humiliate her like this?
From across the table Hollis asked Adair, "You were out of town last week when I visited Clark. He showed your gardens to me. This is the first time I've been able to tell you that they are just lovely, as always. "
Adair offered an icy response that was lost on Hollis, "I'm surprised he was home. But then, I was out of town."