When Charles stopped by to see the girls at Geneva’s that morning, Geneva had news for him. “I got a letter from Richard Henderson, Cousin Jean’s lawyer, this morning. I am named executor of the will. If you haven’t gotten a letter, you will. You need to intercept it before Ellen sees it. She’s been telling everyone she will inherit from Cousin Jean but she gets nothing. Cousin Jean left me full use of the farm and lake property with the farm going to Charley at age twenty-one, and the lake house to Ginny at twenty-one. She left most of her money to me except twenty-thousand left to you to provide care for Ellen, should the need arise. She left Robert and Bessie the house they live in, one-hundred eighty acres in the front section, the 1937 Case tractor, and two-thousand dollars with the offer to stay on in their positions, should they desire. Robert and Bessie will get a five-hundred dollar yearly raise in January and every three years after that. I am not surprised since we discussed this a few weeks ago. She also talked to Robert and he and Bessie are happy to stay on, so we don’t have look for anyone to manage the farm. I know this will be a problem, since Ellen expected to inherit. If you like, I will help you tell Ellen, but if she reacts badly, I’d like to take the girls and Josie back to the farm till she settles down.”
“I’d be grateful for any help.” Charles told her. “We’re are in a mess with Ellen. I promised not to put her back in the hospital, but she’s a danger at home. I’ll have to come up with some solution, but right now, I’d better call Cora to intercept the mail. Ellen never gets up this early.” With that, he called home, but got no answer. “Cora must be at the clothesline. I know she had a wash to hang out. I’ll just run back by the house.”
“I think I’ll leave the girls and go with you. I don’t feel good about this.” Geneva said.
Charles and Geneva anxiously rode the few blocks home. Charles called out, “Yoo hoo! Cora! As he opened the back door, he saw the opened letter lying on the kitchen floor, blood spattered. Chairs and ironing board were overturned. “Oh my God!” He exclaimed, He flew in to find Cora lying on the floor bleeding from several wounds with a gash on her head. Screaming like the madwoman she was, Ellen flew at him from behind the door, slashing with a butcher knife. He was able to subdue her, though she cut him a few times in the struggle. Geneva saw the whole scene, horrified. “Find something for me to tie her up with!” He shouted.
Geneva struggled to tear dish towels into strips while he held her. Meanwhile, at the sounds of the struggle, the boys tore downstairs. George held his mother while his father took off his belt and bound her wrists. It was a terrible thing for all of them to witness Ellen’s undoing.
Realizing his own wounds weren’t life-threatening, Charles hurried to Cora. Fortunately, despite the bleeding, her wounds were mostly superficial. Ellen had caught her up beside the head with the iron during the struggle, knocking her out. She quickly came around and was able to tell her story. “I come in from the clothesline to find Miss Ellen reading that letter. She was fit to be tied. She grabbed a knife and come stabbing at me, saying we was all in it together. I run around the ironing board and she took the iron and hit me in the head. That was the last I remembered till now. She was a wild woman. I can’t take no more of this!”
“None of us can, Cora.” He dialed the phone and spoke to Maisie, the operator. “”Maisie, please ring the sheriff.” After a brief conversation asking the sheriff to come over, He and the boys carried Ellen upstairs and left her bound in her room, screaming like a banshee. Dejectedly, he trudged downstairs to tend Cora’s wounds.