Miss Laura Mae was out of flour, so there was no biscuit for me, just toast. I didn’t like toast much. I had Ol’ Blue’s complete attention as I tossed him bits. Chickens crowded around the steps, hoping to snatch a crumb. They didn’t enjoy a lot of success since Ol’ Blue snapped, causing one to to protest, “pluck!” flap her wings and flutter off a few feet, though none of them had much respect for his toothless gums. Occasionally, he got up the steam to chase one and another was encouraged by a tiny reward while he was busy. Even so, I did notice when the ladies lowered their voices.
“So, Myrtle insisted on dropping by Jackie’s after he said it wasn’t convenient? That’s not right,” Mother whispered.
“Yeah, she’d been itchin’ to see Jackie’s place, an’ he kept a’tellin’ her it wasn’t a good time. Well, that Sunday she just insisted on takin’ me to lunch at her sister-in-law’s in Dallas an’ said, ‘ as long as you’re with me, we’re just gonna drop in on Little Jack. I ain’t seen him in a while an’ I know you want to see his place.’ I didn’ especially care about goin’ to see a woman I ain’t never met an’ sure didn’ want to go a’bustin’ in on Little Jackie of a Sunday morning.’ I’d a’heap ruther cooked at Myrtle’s and had a slow Sunday. We’d been a’goin’ all week.
I told her ‘I’d love to see Little Jack, but I ain’t gonna be yore excuse for buttin’ in where I ain’t invited. I’ll just wait in the car. He’s coming over Thursday to see me. Little Jack’s allus been standoffish an’ I ain’t goin’ in on nobody, grandson or not.’
‘Well, he’s a good boy an’ I wanna see his place. Wait in the car if you want to.’
“She was purty het up,” Miss Laura Mae said. “It was a real nice place, flowers in the yard, an’ all fresh-painted. Myrtle prissed herself up to the front door, rung the bell. She’s a hefty gal an’ looked plumb ridiculous in them high heels and short-tailed skirt. You’d a’thought she could’a looked in the mirror before she left home. Anyhow, Jackie come to the door in a robe an’ she pointed to me a’settin’ in the car. They talked just a minute an’ Jackie waved to me an’ shut the door. In just a minute, Myrtle was back in th’ car. She moved purty fast for a tubby woman in high heels. She was just a’sputterin’ when she got in the car.”
‘Well, don’t that beat all.’ Myrtle spewed. ‘Little Jack said he was gittin ready for work an’ didn’ have time to visit. That just ain’t right. I know good an’ well he ain’t got to work Sundays. He owns that store.’
“Well, I guess today wasn’t a good time for Little Jackie. neither. I’ll just see him when he comes Thursday night for supper.’ Miss Laura Mae laughed.
“It kind’a ticked me after she tried to pushed in like that,” she chuckled. “You know he had somebody in there he didn’t want her to see. After all, he is a man, full-growed.”
to be continued