We all went back downstairs. Right now, eating was the last thing on our minds, but we had to wait for the doctor to arrive, so we sat at the table and after Grace was said, we tucked into the very good breakfast.
The silence was palpable as we began eating; no one knew just what to say. Finally, I asked a question that had been weighing on my mind.
"Why had Miss Carter come to live here; do you know? What was her story, her background? Did she know you before she came here?"
"Miss Emmaline Carter was an acquaintance of my mother's, Zeb. When she lost her home and had no place to go, my mother found out and invited her to come and stay here. I never knew her before she came here. It seems that at one time was engaged to be married. On the morning she was to be wed, the groom took off with another woman and she was left behind, literally standing at the altar. It was to be a big affair, and her mother and father had put a lot of money into the arrangements."
"It seems she considered him her last chance, because she was in her late thirties and not considered a beauty. The whole experience soured her on the world, and when her parents died a few years later, she felt there was no one left that cared about her. They left their house to her, but she took to gambling, and lost it. She was not good at gambling; along with the gambling came drinking. You see the results. My mother let her stay here rent free."
Looking around the table at the faces turned toward their mother, I quickly looked at her as well, with the question on my lips, but not spoken.
"Oh, yes, they know the story already. It is nothing new to them. I had to explain to them that they were to always treat Miss Emmaline with kindness, regardless of how she treated them. As children will, they understood."
I wondered what had happened to tip Miss Emmaline over the edge. Why had she chosen to take the pills last evening? What was the reason?
Sam spoke up then and said, "Makes ya feel right sorry fer her, don't it? Never took a chance on changing things. We always got choices."
About the time we finished our breakfast, the doorbell rang.
"I'll go get it!" Katy jumped up to get the door.
"No, Katy. I've told you before, you don't answer the door. You must always let a grownup answer it. You don't know who it will be. Now, sit down and I'll go get the door."
Sure enough, it was the doctor and Mrs. Walsh escorted him up the stairway. We all sat at the table and waited. Within minutes, they returned back downstairs and she introduced me to Dr. Hampton.
"I'll need to use your telephone to call the police," he told her.
"Of course; it's over there on the end table."
(To be continued)