When we arrived home, we came in singing one of the hymns from that morning; Grandda and I greeted Rosie with a smile and saw that she was peeling potatoes and smiling, too. Ah, she seemed to be still happy and very pleased with something.
Grandda inquired, "How is my Martha Jane?"
"Oh, she's doin' right as rain, I reckon," Rosie replied. "Haven't heard a peep from her all morning."
Grandda and I went in to the bedroom, only to find the bed rumpled and damp, and Grandma was missing.
"Rosie," Grandda shouted, "where is Martha? What has happened to her?"
"Why, isn't she in bed? That's where she was some time ago when I went in to check on her!" Rosie came running in. I looked down at the carpet on the floor and saw what looked like marks all along the rug to the door. I was afraid to think what it could be.
Had Grandma gotten out of bed and dragged herself to the bathroom? I ran in there and peeked through the doorway to see. No Grandma there.
We all began looking through the house, searching and calling her name. Finally, the only places to look were outside and in the cellar. Horrible thoughts filled my mind and I couldn't bear to even consider the possibilities.
Thinking about how bitterly cold it was, I ran outside to see if she could possibly have gone out looking for Grandda, but could see no trace of her. That left the cellar. Surely, Rosie wouldn't have...
Running to the cellar door, I flung it open, and heard weeping coming from near the steps. Yes, she was there. I ran down.
"Grandda, she's down here in the cellar!" I shouted. "Grandma, how did you get down here?"
By now, she was moaning pitifully, "I'm so sorry, Martha Rose, I'm so sorry. I didn't know what it felt like, and now I do. Can I please come back up?"
Well, we had our answer and I must say, I was thoroughly ashamed of my sister, but not really greatly surprised. Rosie was a big one on getting even with wrongs she had been done. But this took the cake as far as I was concerned. I wondered what Ma would do when she got here. Regardless of that, we had to get Grandma back upstairs.
Grandda came down and tenderly gathered her into his strong arms, and carried her like she was a feather. He looked sorrowfully at Rosie as he passed her in the kitchen and shook his head with regrets unspoken. He felt some responsibility as well, it seemed.
Turning to Rosie, tears filling my eyes, I asked her, "Rosie, you had no right to do that. Didn't you know that God was already dealing with her? Why do you think she was drinking so much? Why do you think you have a right to be dealing out judgment to her? Wait till Ma hears about this. I think you are the one who should tell her, though. Yes. You should tell her yourself."
Just then the doorbell rang. (To be continued)