By DiVoran Lites
Chapter Forty Seven
The day after the musicale, Ellie went to the kitchen to help Molly with breakfast. She had awakened late and missed coffee with Aldon.
“Where is Aldon?” she asked Molly, who was scrubbing the top of the Acme stove with great fervor.
“I haven’t seen him this morning. Chief is gone, so I suppose he’s gone, too.” Molly words came crisp and cut off.
“Maybe he’s gone for Sherriff Oates.” Ellie said.
“Why would he do that?” Molly went on working and did not turn to look at her. Ellie realized that the older woman was annoyed.
“Oh, he didn’t tell you?”
“There was no time for him to tell me anything. He took out of here right after the refreshments, last night.” Getting down on one knee, Molly applied her energy to something in the oven.
“What’s wrong? Didn’t you sleep well?” Ellie asked.
“You’ll have to ask Aldon.” Molly got up and washed the rag in a bowl of ammonia. “It ain’t none of my business.”
“Molly, please. I can’t ask him anything if he’s not here.”
“We saw you last night.” Molly whirled to face Ellie, rested her fists on her hips with the rag hanging in her fist, glared.
“Yes?” Ellie took a deep breath to slow her racing heart, but she knew what Molly was getting at. She and Enrico had been seen.
“Me and Aldon saw you spooning with Enrico on the back porch.”
“Spooning? Ellie!” Grandmother came in through the swinging door. “How could you. Your mother and I taught you better.”
“You’re a real packet, Missy.” Molly, ignored Hester, and glared straight into Ellie’s eyes. “You and Enrico smooching on the porch.”
“I can only imagine what you saw.” Ellie conceded but I do know what you’re talking about.
“For your information, young lady, we don’t like such goings on in this house.” Molly’s mouth looked like a cinched up purse.
“Enrico…” Ellie paused searching for the right words. “…was trying something with me.”
“A likely story!” said Molly. “I’ve seen you two laughing and flirting.”
“What did you think you saw” Ellie motioned for her grandmother to come to her side and put her arm around the portly waist.
“I don’t think, I know what I saw,” Molly folded her arms over her chest still holding the rag, and ready for battle. “You were all cozy against the coats and…and… I can’t say any more.”
“You didn’t see what happened next.” Ellie’s lips felt dry. Please, Lord, help me explain without shocking them.
“Aldon saw it too, that’s probably why he took off without telling anyone where he was going.” Molly sniffed as if she smelled something bad.
“You should have watched a little longer.” Ellie said.
“So, you think I’m a nosy-parker, do you?”
“No, I think you’re a good woman trying to protect you family.” Ellie didn’t want to shock the two older women, but she didn’t know how to defend herself without telling the truth.
“He was forcing me against the coats. If you had watched for a few more seconds you would have seen me knee him,” said Ellie.
“You mean you kicked him where he lives?” Molly’s mouth opened and closed, her eyes grew large. After a short pause, a small, “ha,” escaped and she began to laugh in little bursts as if she were trying to hold back. “You didn’t want anything to do with him?”
“That’s what they taught us in the ambulance corps where we worked with all kinds of men.” Ellie smiled at Molly’s amusement.
“So the young whippersnapper finally got his comeuppance? Did you hurt him good?” Molly said relishing each word.
“I was looking for Aldon when Enrico grabbed me and shoved me against the coats.”
“I see,” Molly nodded slowly. Ellie knew Molly didn’t believe in saying sorry, but that was all right as long as they could remain friends.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself for thinking my Ellie would spoon with anyone.” Now Grandmother Hester changed sides to defend her granddaughter.
“Yes, ma’am.” Molly patted Ellie’s shoulder thoughtfully. “I understand now.”
“You did nothing wrong, dear,” Grandmother said.
“I’m going up to the pond, and see if I can find him,” Ellie nodded. “Grandmother, will you ask Mother to help Molly cook breakfast?” Hester nodded and at the same time, Lia came into the kitchen.
“I’m going with you,” said Lia.
“Because I have to tell him something,” she said.
“I want to go alone.” Ellie said in a voice that she hoped would hold Lia off.
“I’m tired,” Grandmother said. “I’ll send your mother down.” She left the room walking slowly and Ellie saw in a flash that Grandmother was going to need some extra care in the years to come. When had she grown so old? Her hair was white, her face lined, and her shoulders stooped. I’ll have to think about all that later, she thought. Right now I’m going to find Aldon.
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