Charley’s Tale Part 20

Cousin Jean wasn’t up making coffee when Bessie let herself in.  That rarely happened.  She’d seen the lights on after midnight. “Them ol’ buddies must’a wore themselves out sittin’ up talkin’ late.  I’m gonna carry them high for laying up in bed half a day.”

Geneva wandered to fix Ginny a bottle. Charley ran to Bessie, tugging on her apron. “I’m hungry!  Make me some grits and biscuits.”

“Soon as I git the coffee made, Honey, I’ll get your breakfast goin’.  Miss Geneva, Miss Jean ain’t been through yet.  She usually has biscuits in the oven and coffee on by the time I git here?  Do you think we ought’a check n her?” Bessie asked.

“It’s not like her to sleep late.  Josie, take the baby and I’ll check.  That baby needs changing.” Geneva replied.  In a few minutes, Geneva was back.  “Josie take the kids over to Bessie’s  house and get Bobby to help you scap’em up some breakfast.  Tell Robert to come right over. I need to talk to him and Bessie.

Josies’s eyes widened, knowing something big was going on, she but was diverted to be sent to Boby’s house.  She was way past sweet on him.  “Yes’m.” she answered taking the bottle and stack of diapers Geneva handed her.  Puffed up with her importance, she set the off to Bessie’s house to fetch Robert.

When she was out of hearing, Geneva took Bessie by the arms.  “Bessie, sit down and get a hold on yourself.  Cousin Jean passed on last night.  She was cold when I touched her.”  Geneva was somber.

“Bessie started wailing, “Oh Sweet Jesus!  Miss Jean’s done passed.” She was about to run out the back door when Geneva pushed her into a chair and got her a cup of coffee.

“Now, Bessie.  Don’t you do that or I’ll fall apart.  We can’t give over.  We’ve got these kids to think of.  It won’t do them any good for us to go crazy.” Geneva remonstrated.

Robert hurried in the back door.  Bessie flew in his arms.  “Robert, Robert!  Our Miss Jean done passed.  What we gonna do?  We been with her near thirty years.” Bessie wailed.

Bessie, hush yo’ mouf.  We got to do for Miss Bessie and them that’s left livin’.  Do you want me to git the doctor, Miss Geneva?”

“Yes, thank you, Robert.  I guess that’s where to start.” Geneva was relieved to have his clear thinking to rely on.

“Yes ma’am.”  I’ll be back quick as I can.”  With that, he cranked the farm truck to go for the doctor, calling back.  “Bessie, you pull yourself together.  Miss Geneva’s done lost Miss Jean, what raised her up.”




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