Books By Willy

Molly 

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   My Demise

 

   

 

 

 

   My Miserable Life

 

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Molly

By Willy

  

 As I look back at my life, I have always been in a rut that is never ending.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot get out of it. At times, I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I became very depressed with the life that I was living. I always wanted a better life than the one that I was living. Complaining about my life has never changed anything. I tried not to think about my problems. The problems were always popping up. I have tried to look at the positive side of my life. Damn it there wasn’t a positive side of my life. When I was child, I accepted my life as it was. I did not know there was a difference. Now that I know the difference, the one I am living is not good enough for me. My Pop was a poor dirt farmer. I was born and raised on his farm. How can I describe it? It is no different than thousands of poor souls trying to make a life for themselves and their children. On my father’s farm there wasn’t any electric, gas and City water facility. To get water for a bath, we had to drop a large bucket down into a deep well and pull up about a dozen to get enough water for a bath. To get the water warm enough to take a bath we had to heat the water on a larger wood stove in the kitchen. Taking a bath was a major project. Mom allowed us to take a sponge bath out of a five gallon bucket. Mom made all seven of us take a bath every day. During the week we were allowed to take sponge baths. Every Sunday we all had to take bath in the large tub. The boys took their baths first so they could work on the farm. Being the youngest in the family, I was the one that had to go last. When we were smaller we had to take a bath with one of the other member of our family.  Mom had set up a schedule for the time we had to take a bath. Our home was a weather-beaten old house. In the winter months we had to stuff rags in the cracks around the doors and windows to keep the cold air from blowing through the cracks. Not saying much for the barn, it was structurally better than the house. We did not have toilet-facilities inside the house. There was a three-holler weather-beaten privy that we all had to share.

The only thing that we all enjoyed was a giant oak tree that shaded an area as big as three tennis courts, if not larger. When we had a few free moments, we all spent it under the old oak tree. Even when the weather was hot as hell, it always felt much cooler under the tree. Even the farm animals loved the shade of the old oak tree.

I was the last of seven kids. When my brothers and sisters and I were born, Pop hired a woman to help with the delivery. She only charged $10. This $10 in cash always put the family into another financial crisis. All the cash that we made went to pay the taxes on the farm and the loan from the bank. When we got sick, neither Mom nor Pop ever called a doctor. They could not afford one. They always used family remedies that were passed down from our Great Grand Parents. Fortunately none of us died at an early age. As a matter of fact, up to now, we all have lived a healthy life. Of course we all had the kid diseases. One of us would get it and give it to the rest of the brood.

The oldest of the brood was Millie, and then came Mike. Martha then Mitch was the next two. Mattie followed Mitch. Matt came next and I popped out last. Even though I was very young, I can still remember Mom and Pop fighting about having any more kids. This made me sad. I wanted another small child to play with. Matt is two years older than me and he wanted to hang around with Mike and Mitch. They did not want Matt tagging along with them. He felt rejected and Mom made him play with me.

I never thought about all our names being started with a "M" until one of my class mates ask me why my parents had started all of our names with a "M". I asked Mom and she told me to ask Pop. He was the one that named us all. Pop said that our names just popped out of his head when he first saw us. I did not believe him. Knowing Pop, he never did anything without a reason. Pop name was Louis and Mom was named after her mother, Pamela.

The sleeping arrangement was setup by Mom. Of course Mom and Pop had the largest bedroom; I would not call it large. There was just enough room for the bed and two dressers. Millie somehow got the largest closet and she did not have to share the single bed. Mattie and Martha slept together in another closet on a single bed. Mike and Mitch shared another closet on a full size bed. They had to put the bed together inside the closet and leave the foot rail off otherwise they would have to climb over it to get into the bed. Matt and I had to share a large baby bed that was in the corner on the living room. My head was on one end of the bed and Matt's head was at the other end. I would wake up in the middle of the night and find Matt's stinking feet in my face. I told Mom about it and she told me not to worry about it. I would not die from the smell of my brother's feet. I still cannot figure out how we all lived in this house. It is just a Matchbox but we did.

The dinner arrangement was unique. Mom and Pop sat on opposite ends of the table, with the boys to the right and the girl on the left side of Pop. I sat at the left corner next to Pop with the girls. The order of both the boys and the girls were by their age. I was at the end of the line. Pop always helped himself first and then passed the plate to the boy next to him. After all the dishes were picked over, I had what was left over. Usually it was something that I did not like and nor did anyone else in my family, I also got all the worn out hand me down clothes. I don't know how many of the older kids had worn the same clothes that I inherited. I don't remember ever wearing anything that was new until I was old enough to purchase something with my own money. The clothes we wore were rags. Neither Mom nor Pop had an education. I think they were taken out of school when they were in their early teens to work on their parent's farm or help raise the younger kids in their family. Both Mom and Pop’s family had over ten kids. The kids scattered once they finished school or dropped out of school. Their ages were so close that their all ways two kids in diapers. Not only that, like my family, they did the laundry by hand. Even though I was the youngest of the litter, when I got old enough to carry a five gallon bucket, I had to water and feed the chickens, pigs and cows. I also had to milk the cows. I am still feeding them, plus all the other crap that my brothers and sisters did before they got out of high school and vanished. I never finished high school. With my three brothers and three sisters abandoning the family, I had to work to help pay off the loan on the farm. I cannot blame Mom or Pop for the way we lived. They did everything they could to give all of us a chance to live. During the school months, the older kids had to tutor the younger kids and help them with their homework. Even thought the younger kids were not taking the subjects that the older kid were taking, Pop made the older kids tutor the younger kids on the courses they were taught at school. I think that the girls ended up being better educated than the boys. We spent more time in the evening studying than the boys.

The boys in my family were allowed to finish their high school education. They only had to work on the farm on weekends, holidays during the winter and every day during the summer months when they were out of school. The girls had to work all summer and before and after school hours during the winter. Mom and Pop thought that after the boys finished high school they could get jobs and financially help the family. No such luck. There wasn't any place in town that was hiring. They all moved out of town hoping to find a job someplace else. I thought that they would start their own family and live in town. We never knew what happened to them after they left home. Yet, they were always trying to get Mom or Pop to lend them some money. They should have known that Mom and Pop did not have a pot to piss in. By the way, we all had to use the privy that was two hundred feet behind the house. On the cold winter nights, most if not all of us, never got to the outhouse. Like all the girls, we all squatted close to the house. The boys just let it hang out just as soon as they were out the back door. Pop did the same thing that the boys did. Mom was the only one that I had seen make it to the privy. On the real cold nights, I think she squatted too.

 After Matt got his high school diploma, like all of his brothers and sisters, he flew the coop. God only knows where they all went. None of them have every contacted Mom and Pop, except when they wanted money. I don't think they had enough money to buy the stationary much less the stamp.

Since all the others kids seemed to have evaporated, I had to stay home and take care of Mom and Pop. Old age had crept up on them. The many years without the help of modern medication and health care, Mother Nature had taken its toll on both of them. I took care of Mom, Pop and the animals during the day. In the evenings I work in a fast food restaurant. At least we had some cash coming in. It wasn't much, but it kept the bank and the county tax collector off of our backs.

 The manager of the restaurant encouraged me to take a course at the high school and when the course was over to take an equivalency test to get my high school diploma. He convinced me that without a high school education, I would only get minimum wages. I got up before daybreak and tended my chores at the farm. This gave me enough time to take the courses during the day. Thank God, I finished the courses and got a very high score on the test. The teacher said that I was an excellent student. This was one time in my life that I felt proud of myself.

For the next 3 years, with me working at the restaurant, and Mom and Pop still working their butts off, we survived. Without the extra kids around, we had a surplus. We sold the extra eggs, milk, vegetables and fruit in the summer. In the fall Pop would sell the pigs and young bulls alive. His attitude about farm animals had changed over the years. He could no longer slaughter the animals that kept his family alive for all these year. They were part of our family. I could see the anguish that was in his face when he sold the pigs and young bulls. Tears would trickle down his face. 

 

Passing of my parents:

The years passed by to rapidly. Mom and Pop would not take welfare. They felt it was demeaning and others needed it more than they did. I was twenty two when Pop died trying to save me the trouble of cleaning out the barn. It was a simple ceremony; I had the undertakers bury Pop under the giant oak tree that had a large couch hanging from a limb. That couch had been hanging on that tree since I was an infant. On those hot summer nights, Mom and Pop would set there for hours with Pop's arm wrapped around Mom. Mom would lay her head on Pop shoulders. We could hear their whispers and chuckles at the house. I often wondered what they were laughing about.

Mom was extremely depressed after Pop passed away. I could almost see her dying a little every day. One evening Mom gave me a large envelope and told me not to open it until she had passed away. From the return address on the envelope, it was from an attorney in town. I had seen Pop with him a few years ago looking at the young bulls. As far back as I can remember when they sold a young bull; I saw the relief in Mom and Pop's faces. It took some of the financial presser off of them. Pop must have bartered the bull for some legal matter. He never mentioned it to us.

As the days passed, friends dropped by to see Mom and me. We would have starved if our friends did not bring over food for Mom and me. Even with the food our friends brought, Mom became weaker. I had to help her take a bath and almost carry her from one place to another. On the last night after I tucked Mom in for the night, my thoughts flashed from one part of my life to another. Incidents, I had not thought about in years. I had never thought about those years of my life. I was wondering why I was thinking about those times of my life. I finely fell to sleep.

Mom usually had to go to the bath room around two in the morning. I had set the alarm clock to wake me up. Usually Mom would be awake and waiting for me to help her. My poor mother had to suffer until I woke up. I set the alarm clock to wake me up around one thirty. My system became accustomed to waking up at that time. Like the other nights, I woke up and headed for Mom's bedroom. I expected to see the small light in her bedroom turned on. For a moment I was happy that she was getting a good night's sleep. I started to go back to bed. I turned on the overhead light. Mom had a smile on her face and her mouth was shut. I said to her, "Open your eyes, what are you thinking about."

She did not move. I reached over and kissed her on her forehead. Her brow felt cool. Like an electric shock hit me, I was thinking the worst. I shook Mom softly. She did not respond. I almost collapsed. With tears streaming down my face, I picked up the phone and dialed the police. I told the operator that my Mom had passed out and I could wake her. I told her who I was and where we lived. By coincidence the operator was one of my best friends. I think she almost collapsed. I could hear her crying and talking to a police officer. I waited for her to come back on the line. I could hear her crying profusely and trying to say something to me. I told Nancy that Mom hasn't responded to anything I said or did and I could not feel a pulse. Between burst of sobbing Nancy said, "The police and ambulance are on the way. They should be there in minutes."  

I could hear the sirens approaching. With tears blinding me, I could still see the smile on Mom's face. I had a feeling that she was talking to Pop when she closed her eyes. She had a beautiful smile on her face. It was just like the smile that she gave Pop when he came home after he had been away. Within minutes the police were there. I opened the door for them. I could see the sadness on their faces. Like me, they had lived here in this miserable little town since we were born. All of the families didn't have very much money, but we lived a happy and friendly life. The police checked to see if there was any life left in Mom. They did everything they could to revive her with no success. I hugged and thanked them for their effort.

Mom passed away a month to the day after Pop died. My brothers and sisters with their families, if they had any, had scattered looking for a better place to live and a better life. They did not stay in contact with Mom or Pop. I had no way of contacting them. I had Mom buried next to Pop under the big oak tree where they spent many evening with their arms wrapped around each other. With all the hell they went though, they always loved and respected each other. Don't get me wrong, like most couples they had their fiery moments. Even in these moments I could see the love Pop had for Mom. He would smile and with his strong arms, he would lift Mom's fragile body and give her a kiss. Tears would come to her eyes. She would look at him for a few moments then wrap her little arms around his neck and pull his head down so she could kiss him. The love they had for each other lasted for over 50 years. Tears ran down my cheeks. I took one of the roses that lay on Mom's grave and brought it up to my nose. The aroma was the same as the cheep perfume Mom always used. I did not know if it was my imagination or it was the fragrance of the rose.

After all the guest had gone home, I slowly walked back into the house and flopped down on my bed. I felt so alone. I had never felt this loneness before. Every sound sent cold goose pimples all over my body even though it was quite warm. Laying there I thought about my future. I felt like a lost child. What should I do now? Fear wracked my brain. Through the mental hell, I finally fell asleep.

The following morning I went into Mom and Pop's room. An empty feeling ran through me. Again, the fear and tears I had last night came back. I turned and walked out of the room and headed for the front door. I saw the tombstones under the oak tree. I spun around and plopped down on the couch. I tried to convince myself that I had to keep on living. For a few moments I felt like I wanted to kill myself. I jumped up out of the couch with determination to live. I shouted, "I am my own boss. I don't have to take any crap from anyone. Where I go and what I do is my responsibility, no one else's."

I was not going to let anyone tear me down. For the next few hours, I was on an emotional high. I was going to take the world on by myself.

 After an hour or so, reality started to sink in. The other side of me said, "Don't kid yourself. All of your problems are still out there. With the attitude that you have now; they will crush your ass."

 The wonderful feeling that I had a few minutes ago had left me. I ran into my bedroom and slowly climbed into bed. Tears trickled down my face. I asked myself, how am I going to pay off all of the debts and loan from the banks on the farm? I will have to sell the house and land. The money that I get from selling my parents property will not pay off all of their debts. These thoughts brought me back to where I was a couple of hours ago. Nothing had been resolved. Where are my six brothers and sisters? Knowing how much in debt that I am in now, with their kids if they have any, they are probably worse off than I am. For moments I thought about killing myself without thinking how I was going to do it. When I thoughts about the way I wanted to die, I felt like I was emotionally hit by a sledge hammer. Something within me shouted, "You stupid bitch, you do not have the guts to kill yourself. Get it out of your mind. Face it; you have the rest of your life to live."

I felt like the house and farm was on my back. The load was emotionally killing me. I could not let myself drive me into the grave with Mom and Pop. Stop worrying about the load on your back. Mom and Pop has had this load on their backs and lived a long time with it. There was an emotional fight inside of me. One side of me was a pessimist and the other side of me did not give a damn what would happen. Finally I made up my mind to continue my life as it is. I told myself to forget about the problems that were facing me. One way or the other they will take care of themselves.

Mom was resting next to Pop. That was the place where they enjoyed their free time together. I hope they will enjoy being there for eternity. I was constantly glancing at their graves. Tears would trickle down my face. As the days passed, the tears and glancing subsided. I tried to get my life back to normal. I had given up my job to take care of Mom. I could not leave Mom home alone. I called the restaurant and asked to speak with Tom. I could hear the person that answered the phone yelling, "Tom, it's Molly on the phone. She wants to talk to you."

I was wondering if I could go back to work. Tom may have hired someone else. I wasn't sure what I was going to say to Tom. I heard the phone being picked up. Tom said, "When would you like to come back to work. We all missed you and prayed for you and your parents"

I said, "Tom, if you hired someone to take my place while I was gone. I don't want them to be laid off because of me."

Tom said, "No Molly, I did not hire someone else. We all worked a little harder so we could save your job. When would you like to come in?"

"Tom, I could come in tonight if you need me."

Tom replied, "That will be fine. See you soon."

I looked at my watch.  If was a little after one, I had to be at work at five. I took a long bath. Washed my hair and set it. I touched up my finger nails. While I was messing around, I had forgotten about the time. I glanced over at the clock. Oh, shit. I have to walk to town if the damn truck doesn't work. I will be late on my first day back. I took a towel and went outside and dusted the truck off. It hasn't been run in 6 months if not longer. I turned the switch on to see how much gas was in the tank. It seemed like eternity for the needle to rise. Thank God, it had ¾ of a tank. Now I hoped that the battery would work. I did not want to hand crank the damn thing. Surprisingly, after three tries the engine fired and smoke came out of the exhaust. It sputtered a few times but it kept running. I ran back into the house to get my pocket book and lock the door. I don't think the house has ever been empty, not in my life time. There was always someone at home. I don't remember a time when the house was locked day or night. Times have changed.

With the help of Old Betsy, I got to work on time. As a matter of fact I was ten minutes early.  Pop spent a lot of time keeping Old Betsy working. Thanks Pop.

 

Back to work:

When I walked into the restaurant everyone in the restaurant came over to give their condolence. Hugs, tears and sadness engulfed the restaurant for a few minutes. Tom stood patiently waiting until the crowd dispersed. He opened his arms. I walked over to him and pulled his body tightly against my body. For a moment I had forgotten why I had hugged him so tightly. A slight feeling of lust flashed through my body. Tom gently pushed me away and said, "Molly, we all have missed that beautiful smile. I wanted to see it again. It gives me so much pleasure when you are happy. I know it is hard for you to smile, but please try. Your Mom and Pop are still watching over you. Smile for them."

With the tears still rolling down my face, I tried my best to give Tom a thankful smile. Tom patted me on the butt and said, "Go put your uniform on. We have customers that want to be waited on."

I pulled away for Tom and said, "Yes boss, I will be right back. Do I still have the same locker?"

Tom nodded his head and said, "Yes, Liz and I opened it and washed your uniform. We also replace all the toilet articles. They were drying out. I hope you don't mind."

I laughed and said, "Thank you so much. I hope the stink didn't knock you out."

Liz came over and said, "We took everything out shortly after your father died and we put a new uniform and toilet articles in about a week ago."

I hugged Liz and thanked her and said, "I was going to borrow a uniform if the one in the locker smell bad or wear my dress. I brought an apron along with me."

I excuse myself and headed for the dressing room. I took my key and open the locker. Everything in the locker was so neatly placed. They replaced the few items that I had left in the locker and added a number of other items that I wanted but never had the money to purchase them. Also, there was a large envelope lying on the floor of the locker. I picked it up and opened it. It was stuffed with money. I almost fainted. There was also another envelope in the locker. I opened it. Still light headed, I had to sit down on the bench. Tom had put in the checks for all the weeks that I had missed. The tears before had messed up my makeup. Now my face was a holy mess. I got up and looked in the mirror on the inside of the locker. I could not believe how hideous I looked. I went into the bathroom and removed all of the makeup that I had on my face. After I finished, I looked in the mirror. Without makeup, I looked like a homely bitch. I went back to my locker and I combed my hair and put on lipstick. As a tear jerker that I am; I will look like a clown after I flood my face with tears.

I put my uniform on and headed for the dining area. All hell broke loose. The restaurant was packed. It looked like all the locals in town were there. Liz walked up to me and gave me two rose plants to put on my parents graves and an envelope, she asked me to open it. The envelope was stuffed with gift certificates from the stores in town. Someone must have known the stores that Mom, Pop and the rest of the brood shopped. None of us had enough money to do very much shopping. I could not hold back my emotions. A flood of tears ran down my face. My coworkers and the customers formed a line behind Liz. One after another they came up to me gave their condolence and a loving hug. I placed kisses on their cheeks and they returned the kiss. Thank God, I didn't put on makeup. With the tears flooding my eyes, I could not recognize most of the people that gave me their condolence. When the last person in the line kissed me, I saw Tom standing in front of me. He lifted my hand and kissed it, and then he said, "Molly, I did not want to flow down your cheeks. Both sides are flooded. I hope you don't mind me kissing the back of your hand?"

I pulled Tom close to me and whispered, "Thanks so much for letting me come back to work and paying me for the time I was away."

          Tom lifts my chin and said, "Molly, you were here every day. You were in everyone's heart and mind. You gave us a wonderful feeling just to be able to help you. There wasn't a day that we didn't pray for you and your parents."

The customers that had dropped in were leaving. There were a few tables with customers waiting to be served. I got an order pad and went over to one of the tables. I was working again. It felt good to be with my friends again. Being busy, the night passed rapidly. We were cleaning and setting up the table for tomorrow morning. Again I thanked everyone for their kindness while I was gone. I hugged and thanked each one of my coworkers as they were leaving. There was no resentment from any of them. I could see and feel the love and their sincere feeling when they hugged me. This gave me a wonderful feeling. I had thought that Tom was expressing what he felt. Tom came out with four or five doggy bags. He hands them to me. I took them and thanked Tom for his generosity. Tom said, “You can't carry this out to the farm, I will take you home.”

 The nasty part of me started to wake up. It said, "There is no one else at the farm. You will be alone with him. Why do you think he continued paying your salary while you were out?  Don't let him drive you home or enter the house with you."

I had forgotten that I had driven Betsy to work. We were headed for Tom's car. Tom took one of the bags from my hand. I said, "I don't want to take you out of you way. It will give me a chance to enjoy the night air."

Tom said that it would only take a few minutes. I agreed to let Tom take me home. As we were approaching the parking lot, Betsy stood out like a sore thumb. I stopped in my tracks and said, "Tom I forgot that I drove to work today."

Tom looked across the parking lot. Betsy and Tom car were the only vehicles in the lot. With a depressed look on Tom's face, Tom said, "You didn't drive that truck to work did you?"

"Yes Tom. I drove it to work."

Tom replied, "I will wait for you to start it. I don't want to leave you out here by yourself."

I climbed into the driver's seat. I laid the doggy bags on the passenger's seat. I scrambled through my pocket book for the keys. I put the key into the ignition switch, praying that it would start. Thankful it started up on the first try. Tom asked, "Are you sure you know how to drive that truck?"

I said, "I started driving this truck before my feet could reach the pedals and I could not see out the windshield without standing up. I had to drive it when we harvested the crops. The rest of the family loaded the truck."

I drove away and through Tom a kiss, he through one back to me.

On the ride home I had mixed feeling. I was still a virgin. One side of me wanted to invite Tom home with me and pay him for what he had done for me. The other side of me said that he has already been paid for what he did for me. Don't be a fool.

When I woke up the following morning, I was glad that I did not try to kill myself. I could not have killed myself even though I wanted to at the time.  Like the hundreds of days before, I had my breakfast, and fed the animals. At least at work, I was so busy that I did not have time to think about my problems. Surprisingly my thoughts no longer bothered me.  If I lose everything I got, so what.  But deep within me, I did not want to lose the farm.  My parents are resting there and I did not want to disturb their graves.  Far the following months I saved every penny that I made to pay off part of the loan from the bank. Even on the cold wet days I still walked to work.  With the price of gas to run Betsy, on the nice days I would walk to work. Pop bought Betsy when I was only a small child. Surprising, it is still working.

The following afternoon I decided to walk to work. Going to work did not bother me. It scared the hell out of me when I was going home. I got to the lonely road with no street light. Frugal as I was, I did not want to spend a quarter for gas. Also without my parents and siblings around, it intensified my fear. I hardly ever had a car passing me in either direction. If I saw the headlights coming, I would hide in the woods. Thankful, so far I am still alive, but I think I will turn into a nervous wreck.

 

 

3

I met and old friend:

I had been back to work for about three months. Autumn was starting to creep up on us. On my way home one cool miserable evening I saw a young man that was walking in the same direction that I was heading. He was slightly ahead of me when I left the restaurant. We had not reached the unlighted area. I was almost certain that he was in my high school class. His parents, like mine were always in debt. They owned a farm similar to our farm. It was only a mile or so down the road past my home. I dreaded walking down the unlighted road. I felt that I would be safer with him. I yelled, "Hello."

He turned his head and looked over at me without stopping.  I yelled at him, "Aren't you Billy Johnson?"

He stopped in his tracks and spun around and said, "Yes, who are you?"

"I am Molly Malone; I was in your class in high school."

Billy turns around and walks across the highway and said, "Molly, what are you doing out here on this highway alone at this time of night?"

"I'm going home.  I live a couple of miles down the road.  Do you still live down the road from where I live?"

"Not really. My parents took off a few years back. The bank was going to take away our farm.  I came home a few months ago.  There wasn't an animal on the farm, the fields had not been planted and the house was falling apart. I had lost my job and was down to only a few dollars I had in my pocket.  The bank had put up a for sale sign. I hitchhiked back to town and went over to the bank.  The bank manager told me that my parents had abandoned the farm over a year ago.  When they were three months behind in their payments he went out to the farm.  All the animals were gone. There was no furniture in the house except for one or two beds. I told him about my predicament and ask him if I could sleep in the house. After I explained that it would be in his advantage to have someone on the property.  With all of the vandalism going on, someone might torch the house.  Reluctantly he gave in and was going to charge me rent.  I reminded him that I was flat broke and did not have a job.  He finally gave in and let me sleep out there."

When we reached my home I invited Billy in.  I asked Billy if he's was hungry?  He said that he was starved. The refrigerator was full of food from the restaurant. Tom let the employees take home all the leftover foods that would be put in the garbage.  The garbage cans do not collect any of the leftovers. I told Billy to look in the ice box and take out what he wanted.  I could see that Billy was starved.  The poor guy must not have eaten in weeks.  I warmed up the food for Billy and made us a pot of coffee.  Billy was so busy eating that there was no conversations during his dinner. Finally he cleaned his plate and pushed it away, he looked over at me and said, "Molly, that's the first decent meal that I have had in months. At times I thought that I would die of starvation. I was half way across the country hitchhiking home. I would be dead a long time ago if I had not found a few places that fed the homeless."

I asked, "Billy have you been looking for work."

He said, "I have been looking since I came home. No one is hiring. I have hit every company in this flea bagged town. I got a reputation when I was about six years old. I found a penny candy bar on the floor of at Preaches store. I picked it up and started eating it. Old man Preach accused me of stealing the candy bar and lashed into me. My father was on the other side of the store and he heard Preach giving me hell. Dad lashes into Preach for giving me hell. It scared the hell out of me. Dad was about to slam a fist in Preaches face, but he held off. He gave Preach a penny and dropped all of the items that he had in his basket on the floor. He told Preach he would never purchase another thing in his store again. Dad picked me up, I was shaking like hell. Dad told him that if he ever gave any of his kids' hell again, it would be the last kid that he would ever talk to. Preach was one of the Deacons at the church. I think that he told the whole congregation that Daddy had threaten his life. From what I remember hearing Dad saying to Mom, Everyone in the congregation never associated with anyone in our family again. The kids that played with me and my brothers never came out here to play with us again."

I said, "Billy, your family wasn't the only family that was discriminated by the church congregation. Most of the congregation worked in the City. They did not let their kids associate with the locals. The locals were the City’s trash. Billy, the original residences of this hell hole were outcast and still are. Those snobs go to church just to socialize with the other snobs. The women get dressed to kill on Sunday and they snob the unfortunate locals that attend the church. While I was still in school, Mom and Pop were still healthy. I got a job after school at the restaurant on Main Street. Those rich bitches went to the restaurant to socialize. Tom, the manager, noticed that different groups of women in town would come in just to have coffee and chat. They always sat at a table furthers from the counter. He was curious of what they were talking about. He installed a microphone under the table and ran the wires to his office. He recorded the conversation. He knew that I hated waiting on them. After I took their order for coffee and walked away. I could hear them snickering and whispering about me. One evening when we were closing, Tom asked me to come into his office. I thought that he was going to fire me. He asked me to sit down and listen. He opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a tape recorder. He said, "Molly, I am going to play something for you. Before I play it, you will have to promise me that you will never tell anyone about the recording. I have a family and I cannot afford to lose my job."

I told Billy that I liked Tom. He is the one that encouraged me to get my high school diploma by taking an equivalency test, which I did. I continued bragging about myself until Billy said, "I hate to interrupt you, what was on the tape?"

I shook my head and laughed, then said, "Billy, I haven't had anyone to talk to in years. You will have to forgive me. I haven't had anyone that I felt that I could trust in years. No one gives a damn about me."

Billy interrupted me again and said, "I'm sorry, please forgive me. What was on the tapes?"

I said, "You are forgiven. From what I can piece together, there were a number of clicks. Some of the women were members of more than one click. They spent most of the time tearing the other clicks apart. Tom ran the tape forward, and then he would stop the tape and listen.  He did this a number of times, and then he gives me the headset. He told me to be cool and don't get mad. Just remember where the source came from. Expecting the worse, I gritted my teeth. Tom turned the tape recorder on. For a moment I did not hear anything but the usual noise of the restaurant. One of the bitches said that I was a whore and I slept with every man in town, plus a few other demeaning remarks. Tom and I had labeled the different groups. I asked Tom which group made the comments. He said that it was the 30+ group. All of the women were around thirty year old or older. They all were well dressed and quite attractive. Usually, there were 8 to 10 in the group. The next time they came in, they gave me that holy than thaw look and said to me the usual. I had to count the number in the group. The other workers would count the number of women and have the coffee ready before I could set up the tables. After they were seated and I had served the coffee. One of them made a sarcastic remark about me. I spun around, smiled and said that I knew more about their husband's than they do. You should have seen the looks that flashed across their faces. I smiled, winked and walked away. Since they thought that I had slept with every man in town, I thought this would shake all of them up."

Billy started laughing uncontrollable. Watching Billy laugh started a laughing frenzy. After we finally settled down, I asked Billy if he would like to spend the night. The look that Billy gave me, I knew what he must be thinking. I chuckled and said, "Billy, I am not a whore. I am still a virgin. I am saving myself for the man that marries me. We will sleep in different rooms. You can sleep in Millie's bedroom. You cannot lock your door. None of the rooms have locks on them. I hate to say this; you need to take a bath. The clothes that you have on are filthy. In Millie's room there is a closet. I put all of Mom's, Pop's and the brood's clothes that they left here in that closet. They all have been washed and pressed. Take whatever fit you and anything else you want. There are towels in the bathroom closets. You will have to draw some water from the well and heat it."

An hour had passed when Billy came out of the bathroom he only had a towel wrapped around him. He asked, "Where is Millie's bedroom?"

 I had moved the dressers with Mom and Pop clothes into Millie room. I guided Billy to Millie's bedroom. I pointed at the closet size room and said, "The dresser next to the closet has Mom's clothes in it. The one on the opposite side of the room is Pop's clothes. Good night I am exhausted, I am going to bed."

After I left Millie's room, I started to feel lonely. I had an urge to climb in bed with Billy. I had not felt this was in years. Billy was an ugly little kid, but he grew up to be a very good looking man. Fighting my urges kept me awake for hours. I could not stop thinking about Billy. I was not sure if it was my libido or loneliness that was driving my thoughts.  Since he is not working, he could stay here with me. Just maybe he will work on my farm. I will be able to get a few extra hours of sleep. We can be partners and share the profits.  Would he want to live with me in this old house? How does he feel about me? Why hasn't he gotten married? Thinking about other things and not the sexual urges, I finally went to sleep. 

Bright and early with my eyes still closed, I heard Billy roaming around the house. I could smell something cooking and coffee brewing. God bless him, Billy is fixing my breakfast. Maybe he is just fixing his breakfast. I went into the bathroom, did my usual and took a sponge bath with cold water. I slipped on my bath robe and went into the kitchen. A felling of excitement flowed through my body when I saw the kitchen table. It was set for two. Billy said, "Take a seat. What do you want for breakfast? A couple of eggs with bacon and toast; I perked a fresh pot of coffee. Can I give you a cup?"

"Billy, you should not have done this. This is a woman's job. Yes to everything."

I could not hold back myself. I walked over and put my arms around Billy and gave him a kiss on his cheeks. Still holding Billy tightly, I smiled at him and said, "Thank you for fixing breakfast and letting me sleep."

Billy said, "That the least that I can do for you. Don't worry about feeding the animals. I woke up early and I could not go back to sleep. Having been raised on a farm, I knew the animals had to be fed."

I walked over to Billy and gave him a kiss on his lips then said, "How would you like to eat here every morning?"

Billy looked at me for a moment then he looked down at the floor. He said, "I can't pay you, can I live here for free."

Billy was still looking at the floor, he raises his head. Billy eyes were teary. He opened his mouth as to say something. I said, "I am sorry if I insulted you."

Billy snapped back, "Molly, I was awake most of the night hoping you would let me stay here with you. I have been out of work for a long time. Last night was like heaven. I was afraid that you would kick me out this morning. I would love to make your breakfast and feed the animal if you let me stay here with you. I was dreading what I would do today. I don't know how long you want me to stay here and feed the animals. Winter is coming and I did not want to go back on the street. I almost froze to death a couple of times last winter."

I put my hand on Billy's neck and pulled him down to my lips. I gave him a long lingering kiss then said, "How would you like be my partner. You live here, take care of the animals and we will share the profits. We will build the herd up, raise more hens and keep all the sows. By spring we will be able to start selling them."

A broad smile lit up Billy's face. He hugged me tightly for a moment and then backed away a step. He apologized for his aggressiveness. I pulled Billy back against me and said, "If we both live here together we have to have some respect and love for each other. If I thank you are getting to aggressive, I will let you know. Can I call you Bill? Billy makes me think of you as the cute little kid that live down the road and went to school with me."

Billy laughed and said, "I been called Bill since I was thirteen. I felt that if my host wanted to call me Billy, she could. At times when someone calls me Billy, I am not sure if they are calling me or someone else. Molly, you can call me anything you want to."

 Bill liked the idea of building up the livestock. He said, "The few animals that you have could be managed in a couple of hours. I would be twilling my thumbs all day if I don't find something else to do."

"Bill do you want to stay here and be my partner, it will take time to put this all together. It is up to you. Do you want to be my partner?"

With enthusiasm Bill said, "Molly, as I said before, I spent half the night wishing that you would let me stay here. Being your partner is the icing on the cake. As far as the free time, I am sure that I will find something to keep me busy." 

We spent the day discussing what we would do with the farm. He realized that I did not make a good salary and most of it went to pay the loan from the bank and taxes. He assured me that Mother Nature would increase the livestock without costing us a penny. Since I had to go to work later Bill would not let me do anything. He told me that I had given him a new lease on life. I was so happy to have someone else in the house. I felt that I could trust Bill. I will have to wait and see how it works out.  Will Bill be trying to steal the farm from me? What will people think with Bill living with me? What if some of the brood comes back home? Question, question and more question flooded my mind. I yelled to myself to stop thinking what Bill would do. To help me from going nuts, I got ready to go to work. Bill was out watering and feeding the animals. He saw me heading toward the highway. He yells at me, "Let me take you to work. It scares me to death seeing you out on the highway alone. Please let me drive you to work."

I said, "Bill, I hate to spend the money on gas."

Bill said, "Molly, the amount of money that it cost to drive you to work is only a fraction of what it would cost if you got hurt, please. Also, it is good to keep the truck running ever day."

Being pleased that I did not have to walk in freezing weather, I said in an enthusiastic voice, "OK, partner. I wasn't afraid when Mom and Pop were alive. After they died, walking home on a pitch black night scared the living hell out of me. Every shadow made chills run down my back. Also it has been getting cooler every night when I come home."

Bill helped me climb into the truck. I could see the affecting for me in his eyes. It reminded me of the kid that flirted with me when I was in school. It made me feel good then and it is making me feel good now when Bill looked at me. I can almost feel the emotions that were spreading through his body. I wanted to cuddle up to Bill warm body. I saw a pleasant look on his face. He looks over at me and smiled at he pulls in at the restaurant. He helps me out of the truck. I could see bodies collecting at the window in the restaurant. To shake them up, I gave Bill a kiss and thanked him. He asked, "What time should I pick you up?"

I said, "The restaurant closes at eleven. We don't get out until about eleven fifteen. Please be here a little before eleven and I will give you a cup of coffee. I always have to pour out the coffee that's left over. I will introduce you to my boss and my coworkers."

I patted Bill on his back and said, "See you later partner."

As I walked up to the restaurant, all the windows were filled with faces staring at me. I smiled and waved at them. As soon as I opened the door, I was surrounded by my coworkers. They all wanted to know who had dropped me off. I told them that I met him last night walking home and we were in the same class in school and he had came home and found out that his parents had deserted their farm. I had an empty house and invited him to spend the night at my home. They pressured me for more. I told them that's was it and nothing else. Tom saved the day. He said, "Let's get back to work. Molly will tell you what she wishes to tell us when she wants to."

As I was walking to the locker room Tom stopped me and said, "Is there anything that you want to tell me."

I smiled at Tom and said, "No, I have a tenant who is an old friend. I have an empty house and he is renting a room. He does not think it is safe for me to walk to and from work especially with the winter coming on."

Tom agreed with Bill. He was happy that I had someone at the farm with me. During the evening all the girls wanted to know more about Bill. Some knew Bill when he was in school and did not recognize him. They all thought that Bill was quite handsome. When the evening was over and Bill showed up, all the girls flocked around him. They all started to question Bill. Not remembering what I had told them, Bill said, "Molly and I were going to our homes down the highway. Molly invited me in for a cup of coffee. Since there are no facilities at my old home: Molly told me I could stay at her home until I get settled."

Thankful, the girls left before I did, Tom came over to us and gives us a large bag full of leftovers. Bill had not told me that he had applied for a job at the restaurant. Tom was well aware of Bill's predicament. In a fatherly fashion he advises us to stay good friends. I could feel the concern that Tom was going through. He walked us out to the truck and again he told us not to fight. Living with someone is much harder than living alone even when you are married.

I gave Tom a peck on his cheek and thanked him for his advice. I told him that we were going to try to put the farm back together and Bill was going to take care of the livestock. We waved goodbye as Bill and I headed home. Bill did not say anything for a while. Then he said, "I think Tom has a crush on you or he is a very nice man. Most men are not that nice without having other interest in the woman."

I said, "Bill, Tom has been overly nice to me since I started working here. He is married and I have felt that he might have other ideas in his mind. I am fully aware of what is on most men's minds. I am very aware of what is on most women's mind when they see a handsome man. When I saw you after you came out of the shower last night, you sent me for a loop. I think that I am in love with you. I don't want to make a mistake and give you the wrong idea. I am like most women who see a handsome man."

 Bill said, "Molly you are the most beautiful woman I have ever known. When we were in school you were the most beautiful girl in school. Not only was your face beautiful, you have the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen. The long black hair with the lovely blue eyes makes you ever more beautiful. I had a crush on you. I felt that a beautiful girl like you would never go out with me. I have always been in love with you. Not only for your looks and kindness, I fell in love with you because of your seriousness.  You were so sincere this morning that I wanted to hug and kiss you. It took all of my strength to keep from hugging you forever. I was so surprised when we both came up with the same idea. I pray that we can make a go of it and put the farm back in business."

"Bill, after my Mom died, being alone and with the taxes and the loan on the farm. It was a massive load on me. I had thoughts of killing myself. What made it worse, I was wondering how I was going to kill myself. That brought me back to my senses. With the both of us coming up with the same idea has made me want to live again. Let's work together and make it a success."

"Molly, I want to be as sincere as you are about getting the farm productive. It is going to take a lot of work to turn it around. I will do my very best to make it happen. I hope I don't let you down."

I hugged Bill and said, "That is all I can ask of you."

We both hugged and kissed each other. My libido started to rise. It took all of my strength to pull away from Bill. I quickly changed the subject and said, "Let's see what Tom had given us."

Bill said, "When I was packing Millie clothes in the boxes to make room with my things. I found a large envelope that had not been opened. It is from an attorney."

I could not believe it, I said, "I had been looking all over the house for this envelope since Mom died. Let's open it and see what in it."

Bill took his pocket knife and cut it open on one end then he handed it to me. I began to read it. There were at least ten pages of legal hog-wash. When I turn the next page I had no trouble reading it. It was Mom and Dad's Will. She and Pop had left the farm and everything they had to me. Since the flock had flown away and never came back home to stay. Mom and Pop had only left them one dollar each. I gave the documents to Bill to read. He had read the last paragraph, he said, "Why didn't they leave equal shares to you brothers and sister?"

I said, "Keep reading."

I watched the look on Bill's face. He looked sadden. When he finished he looked at me and said, "I can almost feel how your parents must have felt. I cannot understand why they never corresponded with their parents. They had raised their kids to adults; they never wrote, called or visited you and your parents. I wonder how they must have felt. I always called, or sent Mom a card telling them where I was and what I was doing. My two brothers settled down in California. Mom and Dad went to Florida. They were in poor health. They thought that the warm weather would cure what was making them ill. I still do not know what made them wither away.  On the coroner report it stated that it was a natural death from old age. The police officer that I talked to said that he could not give me any more information than what was on the coroner's report. I am still wondering what they may have eaten or drank that may have been the cause of their deaths. I was working in Kansas for a big corporation.  I called mom and dad a number of times before they left home.  On the trip to Florida mom would call me collect to let me know where they were. A couple that lived down the hall had become friends with mom and dad.  She had checked in to see how they were every morning. When they didn't answer the door they contacted the superintendent to let them in.  She told me that they looked like they were just sleeping.  She shook mom to wake her up.  Her arm was ice cold.  She said that she felt like she was going to die.  If the superintendent wasn't standing next to her, she would have fallen to the floor.  This happened over a year ago and I am still wondering what they must have eaten or drank that killed them.  Since the welfare department cremated both of them, I will never know. When I returned to Kansas they had given my job to someone else.  The trip to Florida and back emptied my pockets. I could not pay the rent and I lost my apartment.  I have been roaming the country until I met you."

Like usual, tears were running down my face.  I can feel the agony that he must have gone through.  I wrapped my arms around Bill and said, "You can stay here with me as long as you want.  I will not kick you out because you did not pay the rent or for any other reason.  My home is your home as long as you want it."

Bill planted kisses all over my face and said, “Molly, I never thought I would find a woman like you. You have made all of my dreams come true. For years I have wanted to find someone like you. You have made my dreams come true.”

I gave Bill a peck on his lips and picked up the bag that Tom had given us and looked inside. I told Bill to look inside. It wasn't leftovers. It was enough food to keep us fed for a week. Bill said, "When I went to apply for a job in the restaurant, I could see the anguish that was going through Tom when he turned me down. He was as sincere as you were this morning."

It was getting late I told Bill he could go to the bath room before me. I took twice the time to get ready for bed. Without any hesitation he heads for the bath room. He was out within minutes. He came over and gave me a peck on the cheek and said good night. I wished him a pleasant goodnight and headed for the bath room. While taking my sponge bath, I had urges to climb in bed with Bill. They were quite strong. I splashed the cold water to get my thoughts in control. I was wondering how long I could hold myself off. He was only a few steps down the hall from the bath room. I had to pass his bedroom to get to my bedroom. The door was open. I could not resist the pressure that was driving me through the door. Bill turns on the light. It brought me back to my senses. I walked over and gave Bill a kiss on his forehead and said, "Good night."

I turned to walk away. Bill takes my hand. I stopped and looked at him. Bill kisses my hand and said, "Good night Molly."

It took a little strength to pull my hand out of Bill's hand. I winked and smiled at Bill and kept on walking. I could not believe the wonderful feeling that was flooding my body. I knew that Bill loved me or wanted me as much as I wanted him.

The following morning was the hardest. We were constantly brushing across each other. I could see the affection and desire that Bill had for me.  I had the same desire that Bill had if not more. After the wonderful breakfast that Bill prepared we went out to feed the animal. We took an inventory of the animals. It wasn't very impressive. We both knew it. Bill said, "It is enough to get started. We went back into the house. The phone was ringing. I wondered who it could be. It was Tom. He asked me if I could come to work. One of the waitresses had not come in and he called her home. Her mother answered the phone and said that she found a better job in the City. Tom asked if Bill would like to take my position at night. I told Tom to hold on for a moment. I went to the door and called Bill. I said, "Would you like a job at the restaurant?"

He said, "Hell yes, when do I start."

"Tonight, you are taking my position and I am taking one of the waitress’s position that quit."

On the way to work Bill said, "With two salaries, it will make it easier. Not a lot, but every little bit helps."

With both of us working, we did not get to spend much time together. We enjoyed the extra money. We pooled our salaries and opened a joint account. We did not share the tips. It was used for our personal items. We still took home the leftovers from work and pinched every penny. Bill hardly spent a cent of his tips. I spent about half of the tips that I got. Next to the bank was a store that sold lottery tickets. There was a drawing every Saturday night. I watched the drawing on TV. Bill would not waste a dollar. He said that it was for dreamers. I told him that I was a dreamer and my dream would come through someday. The winter came and was leaving.  To keep us both warm, I let Bill move into bed with me. We enjoyed petting each other. We lived like a married couple without sex. At times we got very close. We had discussed marriage a number of times and we both agreed that we would hold off until we got the farm making a profit. If I got pregnant, I would have to stay home and take care of the baby.

Spring arrived, poor Bill was working on the farm during the day and at the restaurant at night. I suggested that he give up the job at the restaurant during the summer months. He would not give up his job. He liked getting the checks every week and the tips.

Our sexless marriage had entered the second year. The number of chickens, pigs and cattle had doubled. During the winter months Bill would sell eggs, chickens and pigs on the side of the road. Last summer, Bill got tired of standing in the hot sun all day. He built a small shed where he sold our produce. The block of ice that he used to keep the meat fresh did not melt as rapidly as it did in the blazing hot sun. We put the money into our joint account. As the months passed business picked up. We were sold out before noon. People that lived in town drove out here just to purchase what we had to sale. The prices were less than what they had to pay in the City and Sunny Ville. We took the money that we made at our roadside stand to purchase young calf's, by the time fall came around, the calf's had doubled in size and they helped to clean out the weeds in the pasture. Besides all the work he was doing, Bill worked on the old tractor that Pop had purchased forty years ago. He stripped down the engine and overhauled it and all the other moving assemblies on the old tractor that had been rusting away for long as I could remember. It was one of those many projects that my brothers and Pop always had an excuse for not doing it. Bill even gave the tractor and the truck a fresh coat of paint. When he was finished, he said that we don't have to buy a pair of mules to help cultivate the fields. I had never seen my father or my brother so dedicated when they worked on the farm. We had electricity connected to the house. Bill worked on the house in his spare time. He installed plumbing in the house and a water line from the well. He extended the bath room, bought a bath tub and installed a septic tank next to the outhouse. We purchased a new kitchen sink, a bathroom sink and a toilet. Once they were installed Bill installed hot water tank and an electric pump to the water line from the well. This did not happen overnight. With working on the farm and working at the fast food restaurant Bill had very little time working on the house. 

     The summer and fall had come and gone. Tom was throwing a New Years Eve party at his home. It started at nine. We all had been drinking and we were all a little high when the clock struck twelve. After all the hugging, kissing and wishing everyone the best for the coming year for the rest of the evening Bill and I were glued together. My libido was driving me crazy.  With our bodies glued together I knew Bill libido was driving him crazy. After the clock struck twelve, we both wanted each other so desperately. We almost did it with our clothes on, in front of everyone at the party. Some of the other guest stared at us. I wondered what they were thinking. Tom's wife Lillie cornered me. She started talking about general things and worked up to the personal parts of Bill's and my life. I had a glow on and it did not bother me. Lillie asked me if Bill and I had gotten married and not told anyone about it. I told her no and that we wanted to pay off the loan from the bank and get the farm profitable before we got married. I told her that we did not want to have children until I could stay home with them. She hinted that there are ways to prevent becoming pregnant and gave me a few hints. I had already thought of all the ones that Lillie had mentioned to me plus dozens of other preventives. Tom was at the door saying good night to his guest. Tom asked Lillie to join him at the door. Bill came up with my coat in his arms. Lillie ended the conversation with, "I don't know how the two of you can live together and not have sex. Tom and I could not wait until we were married. I think both of us would have gone crazy without sex."

With that thought ringing in my ears, we left the party early like some of the other guest. Tom asked us why we were leaving so early. Lillie smiled at us. She was watching us on the dance floor. The way she looked at us, she knew why we were leaving. I think she was ready to drag Tom into the bedroom as soon as she can get everyone out of her home.

 On the way home, I could not resist caressing Bill personal. Bill had one hand on the steering wheel and the other exploring my body, I thought we both would climax before we got home. I dragged Bill the bedroom and we helped each other remove our clothes. We fondled each other until we both could not stop. I climbed on top of Bill. Not having sex before, the position that we were in felt a little awkward. Bill rolled me over and got on top of me. It was over in minutes. Losing my virginity was quite enjoyable. After we finished, I wanted to start over again. I did not realize the problem men had in doing it two or three times in a row. I tried everything to get Bill ready again. I was so anxious to do it again. I thought that Bill was disappointed in what we had done. Thankful we did it again. Afterwards we both fell asleep. When the sun lightened the room Bill was looking at me. He pulled my naked body against his. Bill was ready and waiting. After we finished we showered together for the first time. I wanted to do it again in the shower. I felt that I had expected more out of Bill. I felt that I may have exhausted his desire to make love with me again. Since I told Bill that I was saving my virginity for the man that I would spent the rest of my life with. After I finished eating my breakfast, Bill got up and walked around the table. He kneeled in front of me and proposed to me. The sincerity that he showed made me cry. He had made a small wooden ring out of an old broom handle that Mom would not let Dad throw it in the garbage. I grabbed Bill and stood up.  With tears streaming down my face, I yelled out, "Yes darling I will marry you."

Bill apologized for not having the money for a more expensive ring. Knowing Bill, he must have spent a long time making and painting the wooden ring gold, tears were streaming down my face.

Within a few days we both got protection. Fortunately I did not get pregnant. We had the wedding in our front yard under the giant oak tree next to my parent grave. I wore Mom's wedding dress that her mother had made for herself. She had wanted all of her girls to wear Grandma's wedding dress. Unfortunate they had flown the coop before they got married, if they had gotten married. I was disappointed that the rest of the family was not here. At least the gang from the restaurant and my other friends showed up. On the invitation I wrote, "Please do not bring any gifts."

All of the guest ignored or did not read that line in the invitation. Tom gave us both a week's vacation with pay. The City was the furthest distance that we had traveled on our honeymoon. We shopped, had dinner at nice restaurants and went to the movies. The following week, we were back to our usual routine. As far as the sexual activity, we had not slacked off. As the months passed, we only did it when one of us wanted to.

Bye the third year together, we had paid off most of the loan on the farm. The herd had grown as well as the chicken and pigs. On Sunday we both worked at our roadside stand. During the week Bill would stop working to service the customer that came in. We were not making a lot of money, but it was a profit. Tom was offered a position at the company that owned the restaurant. Tom suggested to the management that they hire me to take his place. Thankful, I got the job, or was I. The hours were longer and broken up. I had to hire an assistant manager. Liz had been working at the restaurant longer than any of the other workers. I gave her my job and I took Tom's.  

Each year the live stock almost doubled. Bill had to give up his job at the restaurant and hired someone to help him with the crops. It was more than one man could handle. The loan on the farm was finally paid off and we had our nest egg invested in the stock market. It wasn't much but it made more interest than putting the money in the bank.

 

Our first child:

One evening my sexual urges got the best of me. I could not take the time, nor did I want to put on my protection. I climbed on top of Bill and we made love. He assumed that I had my protection on. Nine months later we had our first child. She was a beautiful baby. She had the best of both of us. Bill and I were very excited and happy about our first born. I named her after my mother, Pamela. Bill and I were over protected. We hired an elderly woman to take care of Pamela during the day. Her name was Linda. I took my two week vacation so I could be home with Pamela after she was born and breast fed her. When I had to go back to work, I use a breast pump to get enough milk to feed my baby. I knew that the cow's milk was as healthy as my milk. All of my brothers and sisters and I were fed cow's milk and we were healthy little brats. I enjoyed holding my baby in my arms when I was feeding her or not. Holding Pamela in my arms gave me the best feeling of my life. I had flashbacks of the times when I wanted to kill myself. All the hell that I went through was worth a moment with Pamela. Linda was a little annoyed at us. She loved to care for Pamela as much as Bill and I did. She was glad that we had to go to work.

Time passed to fast. Pamela's first birthday was only a month away. I had lost two employees at work and I had spent most of my time at work.

 

The lottery jackpot:

As usual, when I take the restaurant's money to the bank, I was still wasting my hard earned money to buy lottery tickets. I should have stopped buying lottery tickets years ago. I did not want to calculate the amount of money I had spent on the tickets. I always bought the tickets two days before the drawing. Sometimes I would forget where I put the lottery ticket. This week it was no different. The night of the drawing I could not find the damn lottery ticket. I watched the drawing on TV and wrote down the numbers. The jackpot was valued at eighty seven million dollars.

I tried to remember where I put the ticket. I could not find it. The following morning I gave up looking for it. When I went out to old Betsy and opened the door a gust of wind blew a scrap of paper off the dashboard and out the window on the far side. I got in the truck and started to leave. I saw the scrap of paper skipping across the yard. I almost went into shock. The color of the scrap of paper was the same as the lottery ticket. I got out of the truck and ran after the paper. It was the lottery ticket that I had bought a couple of days ago. I remembered that I was too lazy to put it in my pocket book. I ran into the house to find the piece of paper that I had written the lottery numbers on. I had laid the ticket on the top of the TV. I picked up the paper. A shock wave ran through my body. Some of the numbers I had remembered were on the lottery ticket. I could not stand up. I felt like I was going to faint. I sat down in the chair and compared the numbers. They matched with the numbers on the lottery ticket. I could not believe what I was seeing. How many times had I thought that I had all of the correct numbers and only had a few of the numbers? My mind was playing tricks on me?  Linda must have heard me coming in. She came in and said, "Oh, I thought that you had gone to work."  

I stuffed the lottery ticket and paper into my pocketbook and told Linda that I felt a little dizzy. Linda loved to talk about the rumors that she had heard. If she knew that I had a winning ticket, the whole state would know about it before the sun went down. I told Linda to see if she could find Bill and tell him that I wanted him to drive me to work. I did not want to drive when I felt so light headed. I wasn't lying. I thought that I was going to faint. I did not want to pass out or die with a winning ticket in my pocketbook. Linda went outside. I slipped the lottery ticket and piece of paper out of my pocketbook. This time the shock wasn't too bad. As a matter of fact, I wanted to shout that I had won the jackpot. For a brief moment I had forgotten how much the jackpot was worth. I was so excited when Bill came through the door; I jumped up to greet him. Bill and Linda both said that I should not make any quick moves. I had to relax and take it easy.

I had never lied this much to anyone in my life. I tried to reassure them both that I was fine and I wanted Bill to take me to work. I did not want to drive after feeling dizzy. They seemed to accept what I had said. Bill helped me out to the truck and helped me into the front seat. He saw the smile on my face. He knew that I was hiding something. When he got into the driver's seat, he smiled at me and said, "Ok, what are you up to. Are you pregnant?"

I smiled at Bill and said, "No, but it is almost as exciting as having a baby. I have a winning ticket for the jackpot. The jackpot is worth around eighty seven million."

With a stunned look on Bill's face he said, "Molly, please don't pay games with me. I don't believe you. How much did you win?"

"Bill, I am not kidding. I am going to call the restaurant and tell them that I am not feeling too good and you are taking me to see my doctor."

 I dialed the restaurant phone number and Liz answered. I told her that I was a little dizzy and was going to see my doctor. She snapped, "Are you pregnant?"

Everyone thinks that I am pregnant, I said, "No Liz, I am not pregnant. At least, I don't think so. I hope I am. I will not be coming in today. If I feel better tomorrow, I will call you early tomorrow morning."

Liz said, "Don't do anything foolish. If you are pregnant, you don't want to hurt that precious baby inside of you. Don't worry about the restaurant. We can handle anything that comes up."

I thanked Liz and reassured her that I would take good care of myself and the baby if I have one inside of me.

The lottery headquarters was about fifty miles away. I asked Bill if he thought that Betsy could make it. He assured me that it could cross the country and back again. I pulled out the lottery ticket and the slip of paper. I told Bill not to forget that we are driving about fifty miles an hour. He took a quick glance at the ticket and then looked at the slip of paper. From the expression that Bill had on his face, he was convinced that I had won something. He said, "What the hell are you going to do with all of that money?"

I said, "That small bank in town has been up for sale for almost two years. I have heard rumors that they are about ready to close it down. Tom told me that if they close it we would have to take the deposits to the City. I don't want to trust anyone with this amount of money. The government will only insure a hundred thousand. Another thing, the price of your parent's farm has dropped considerable. I think that we could buy it for half the price that they were asking last year. The builders don't want the land. There is plenty of land closer to the City and the prices have dropped there. We could buy your farm and the land that is near the City. Also we can buy the land that is in-between our farm and your family's farm. That would give us a chance to expand both farms"

Bill said, "How do you know the cost of the bank and the land? Where did you get the information from?"

I smiled and said, "Bill, as you know. I have been buying lottery tickets long before I met you. I have been watching the prices dropping for almost ten years. The builders that built the subdivision in town over estimated the growth of the community. Only the rich can afford to move out here to our little community. Some of the four-flushers have lost their homes and the banks cannot find buyers for the properties."

Bill reached across and patted my thigh and said, "Not only have I married the most beautiful girl in the world and you are the smartest person that I have ever met. You are not only smart, you are brilliant."

I cuddled up to Bill and fell asleep. Bill woke me up as he was pulling into the lottery headquarters. I ask the guard at the entrance where I could purchase and cash in a few winning tickets. He point to an elevator down the hall and said to take the elevator to the third floor. You cannot miss it. We took the elevator to the third floor. There was a line of people collecting their winnings and purchasing more tickets. Down at the end of the room was a young girl typing on a computer. I walked over to her and said, "Please don't create a scene and I will make it well worth your time."

She whispered, "Do you have the winning ticket?"

She accented "the winning ticket".  I nodded my head. She told me to follow her. We followed her down another long hall. She opens a door and said to the person inside, "I have the winner."

A gentleman came to the door and asked us to please come in. He pointed to a couple of chairs and asked us to take a seat, which we did. He asked to see the winning ticket. I opened my pocket book and gave him the ticket. He pulls out a folder from his desk drawer and compared the numbers, then said, "Congratulation, you have won the jackpot. As you may know Uncle Sam wants a big chunk of the winnings. Are you two sharing the winnings? I nodded my head. He places the ticket in front of us and asked us to please sign the ticket. We signed the ticket and handed it back to him. He wanted to know if we wanted all the money in one payment or over 20 years. He told us that if we took the 20 year payment our winning would be more than it would be in one payment. Bill looked at me. I asked the gentleman how much money we would get if I took all the money in one lump sum, also, how much I would get each year for twenty years. He gave us the figures. Of course we would get more money in 20 years, but the amount that I would have in my possession would be quite a bit more if we took the money in one lump sum. I told Bill that I wanted to get the money in one payment. I asked him if we could take part of the money now and pick up the rest of the money after we find a place to deposit or invest it. He said that we had a year to collect the entire amount. If we do not take all the money in a year, what is left will go to the states treasury. Bill and I both took a check for a hundred thousand each. The gentleman wished us the very best. As we passed the young girl, I told her that I would be back in a few minutes. A block away was a bank. We went into the bank and we both opened a checking account. I told the clerk to give me a thousand dollar and deposit the rest in my account. Bill deposited all of the one hundred thousand. I went back to the lottery office and gave the young girl a check for a thousand dollars. She was quite thrilled and said, "I have been working here for almost five years. You are the first winner that has given me anything. Why did you give me this money?"

I pointed down the hall at the long line and said, "I don't want them to know that I had won the jackpot. I would have never gotten out of here."

She thanked me. Again I told her that I did not want anyone to know who won the jackpot. She assured me that she would not tell anyone.

I dropped in to see Tom at his office. I asked him if he would like to work for me. He asked me what his salary would be. I told him that it would be three times what he is making now. He asked, "What do I have to do."

I said, "You will have to represent us in business transactions."

Somehow he felt that we were not kidding him. He asked, "Molly, you didn't win the lottery did you?"

I chuckled, "Yes I did, how did you know?"

Tom smiled and said, "How could I not know. I had seen you so disappointed every week for almost ten years. You never had a smile on your face the day after the lottery numbers were published."

 I said to Tom, "I want to make some investment with the money without anyone knowing that I am the investor. We will select an appropriate name for the company. We want to live in peace without everyone wanting a handout. Not that we don't want to share our winning with other. We don't want to be caught in a stampede."

Tom asked, "When will you need me?"

"Tom, there's no emergency.  You can keep your present job and work for us on the weekends and in the evenings.  Bill and I do not want anyone to know that we have come into millions of dollars. Please do not tell anyone. The first thing we want to purchase is the bank down the street from the restaurant. That will give us a place to hide the funds and not having to go through another bank to get the cash for any of our purchases. From what you had told me, the bank is about to go belly-up. If you have a moment, give the owner a call and ask him if he is going to close the bank. We still have an account with them, don't you?"

"Yes Molly, I will call him now."

Bill and I had our finger crossed. If we cannot find a small bank to purchase, what will we do with all of the cash we have come into? Tom dialed the bank. He waited for a few minutes then said, "Would you please call Mr. Henderson and tell him Tom Anderson is on the phone."

Tom put his hand over the mouth piece and said, "I am waiting for Henderson to pick up the phone."

We waited. It felt like hours were passing before Tom said, "How are things Bob?"

There was a long pause then Tom said, "I sorry to hear that. You will be busy for the next few weeks. I will have to get my wife to withdraw what we have in our two accounts. Did you sell your the bank? No, what was your asking price. For that price, surely someone will purchase the bank. What will be your asking price after you close the bank? (There was a long pause.) Twenty five thousand, you are giving it away. I am working for an investor part time. I will give him a call and see if he is interested. Are you certain you will sell the bank for twenty five thousand? Do you have a real-estate agent working for you? No, hold on for a minute. I will give my client a call and see if he is interested."

Tom put his hand over the mouth piece and said to us, "Would you pay twenty five thousand for the bank."

Bill looked over at me and said, "Honey, I don't know what to say. Do you want to spend twenty five thousand for a bank?"

I looked at Bill and then at Tom and said, "Yes I would pay twenty five thousand for the lot, the building and everything that is in the interior of the bank building. I will not pay for any liens that Mr. Henderson may have on the property. Tom, make sure that there are no taxes, liens or anything else on the property that we would have to pay."

Tom said, "Bob, do you have any liens on the property and back taxes that have not been paid."

There was another pause for a few minutes. Bill motioned to Tom. Tom asked Bob to hold on for a few moments. Bill said, "Asked Bob, does the bank owns any other properties in or around the town?"

Tom said, "My client wants to know if the bank owned any other properties around the town that would be included in the price of the bank?"

Tom listened for a while then started to smile and said, "I think that I have a buyer for your bank. I will get my wife to write up an offer for my client. She has been in real estate for years. I will drop off an offer tomorrow morning on the way to the City. See you tomorrow."

Tom hung up the phone. He looked over at Bill and said, "The bank does not own and any properties. He had purchased all the properties from the bank. He sold all the properties except your parent's property and the land between it and Molly's farm. Bob still owns these properties. He said that they were owned by locals and he felt some day they would come back and want to purchase the land. Tom looked at Bill and said that your parent's farm has a tenant living on the farm.

I told Tom to call Bob back and asked what he wanted for the two properties. Tom hit the redial button. Tom said, "How much do you want for the two properties?"

From the look on Tom's face Bob was quite happy. Still listening, Tom winked at Bill. Then said, "Hell Bob, the house and barn on the farm are about to collapse. The lake on the other property takes up about a quarter of the property. That is the reason the guys that built the development did not purchase it. Give me a price for both properties and I will ask my clients."

Tom was still haggling with Bob for a few minutes then said, "Ok, if my clients agree with your price, I will have my wife include the properties with the purchase of the bank."

Tom was still smiling. He looked at Bill and then at me and said, "Do you think that the two properties are worth another twenty five thousand?"

Bill looked at me; I had a big smile on my face. I said to Tom, "I would have paid twenty five thousand just for Bill's old farm."

I asked Tom to tell Mr. Henderson to tell the bank employees that I was hired to manage the bank and that the company wanted to keep the employee's that were working at the bank. 

I could not believe that we were purchasing the bank and the properties for this price. With the cost of properties at this time, I had imagined that it would cost us over a hundred thousand dollars.  I jumped up and went over to Tom. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and said, "Tom, what is your salary. I will triple it."

Tom looked at me and said, "You are offering me too damn much. Why don't you give me a percentage of the investment you and Bill are making? How is one percent?"

Bill said, "Why don't we come up with a figure on each investment that Tom helps us with."

Tom said, "Bill has a good idea. Lillie will write up a contract in your favor. She knows all the loopholes that agents try to hang you with. Taxes, loans and contentiousness are the items you have to watch out far. Lillie will hit the seller up for six percent of the sales price."

Tom looked over at us as if he wanted our approval. Bill looked at me and said, "Honey, we have to have a contract. I would prefer Tom and Lillie working on it than anyone else."

I said, "Bill, I wasn't hesitating about letting Tom and Lillie arrange the transaction. I was worried about letting so many people know that I won the jackpot. We have to come up with a name for our company so Lillie can write up the contract. Tom, please tell Lillie that we don't want anyone else to know about us winning the lottery jackpot."

Tom said, "Molly, even though Lillie is a gabber, she knows when to keep her mouth shut. Now, for the name of your cooperation, what about MM, M&B or BM? Short for Bill and Molly, I don't think anyone would link these names to you and Bill."

I laughed, and then said, "I don't want to name it BM, everyone would think of bowel movement."

Tom and Bill both laughed. Bill said, "Let's call it Molly Inc."

"No honey, I don't want anyone to know that we are associated with the company, I like M&B Trust."

We all agreed with M&B Trust. The transfer of the property to M&B Trust went through unexpectedly very easy. Getting the bank registered in Bill's and my name was a nightmare.  I had never imagined that there would be so much paperwork. It took over three months before we could take over the bank and have the money in the jackpot transferred to M&B Trust. I think a member of every department in the state and the federal government had to stick their noses into the transfer of the bank. All of these politicians were well aware of where the money came from and who had won it. So much for not letting anyone, everyone now knows who owned M&B Trust. I told everyone that M&B Trust hired me to run the bank. A month after the bank was transferred to M&B Trust, I started getting tons of junk mail telling me how I could double or triple by investing in their companies. The days were getting cooler and the junk mail in the fireplace helped to warm the house. The fire place served two purposes, keeping the house warm and destroying all the junk mail. Having the fire place, we did not need to buy a shredder, the fire place worked fine. 

One of the things that I had wanted for years was some type of transportation. Those cold winter nights that I had to walk to and from the restaurant were about to push me over the edge. I was almost ready to fly the coop like the rest of the flock, but emotionally, I could not leave my elderly parents alone.  When these urges flooded my soul, I cursed myself for even thinking about leaving my parents. They had suffered many years of torture to raise me and the other siblings in our family.

Bill and I drove to the City one evening after work to look for a car for me. Bill wanted to buy me a new car. I told him that if I purchased a new car, everyone would wonder where in hell we got the money. I settled for a car that was about five years old. The mileage on the car was quite low and the exterior had its share of dents. The price was five thousand dollars. Bill told the dealer that he would buy the car if they would give the car a complete inspection and give us a warrantee for five years. The salesman said that they could not give us a warrantee because they had not inspected it since a buyer brought it in for a trade-in. Bill asked the salesman how much of a trade-in did he give the buyer. The salesman stammered for a few minutes and said, I can't tell you that. Bill took the license plate number down and said, "I will look up the owner and ask him how much of a trade-in you gave him. I have seen this car around and I think I know who owned it. If it's the same car I don't think you gave him a cent. You charged him a fee for disposing it."

The salesman said, "I will sell it to you for a thousand buck. For another five hundred I will give it a complete inspection. But, I will not give you a warrantee."

Bill said, "You have a deal. When can I pick it up?"

The salesman said, "Give me three or four days to inspect it and give me seven hundred and fifty dollars now and the other seven hundred and fifty when you pick it up."

Bill said, "I will give you another fifty dollars if you deliver it to M&B Trust down on Highway 25."

The salesman said, "That about 40 or 50 miles from here, I will have to get someone to drive me back up here."

I said, "I will drive you back up here. I want to give it a test drive before I give you the rest of the money."

The salesman stammered again for a few minutes about how we were robbing him, but he finely gave in. Three days later I saw the car drive up in from of the bank. I could not believe it was the same car. They had taken all of the dents out and repainted it. I drove the salesman back to the City. The car drove like a new car. I paid the remainder of money that I owed him. I thanked him for repainting and removing the dents. As I was ready to leave he said to me, "Please tell your husband not to ask the previous owner how much I gave him for the trade-in. He is a good customer and trades in his older car every few years."

I assured him that my husband would not discuss the price with the previous owner.

Managing the restaurant and the bank kept me busy. I was constantly running back and forth between the two. Our next purchase was the restaurant that I was managing. Tom told me that the company had been planning to close the restaurant and possibly selling it due to the lack of business. Business had slacked off quite a bit over the last few years. With Tom working for the buyer and seller this was a little tricky. Tom did not want to be involved with the purchase. Tom was reluctant to discuss the transaction with his boss. He told his boss that his wife had drawn up a contract from the banks new owners for the restaurant. Lillie being married to Tom was well aware of the problem the restaurant was having. When she prepared the contract, she made the offer fifty thousand less than what the company wanted for it. With Lillie persistence and experience I paid forty thousand less than what the company wanted.

I knew that the receipts had dropped off considerably long before I won the jackpot. I did not want my co-workers to lose their jobs. But, at the time I could not do anything to stop the closure of the restaurant. I knew how much of a lost it would be for Bill and me. We all would have to go to the City to find another job. Bill and I could not work on the farm if we had to commute to the City. Thankful, I won the jackpot.

M&B Trust purchased a few small homes and apartments. Also, we purchased the only grocery store in town from Mr. Preach. Most of the people in town didn't shop at Preaches grocery store. The majority of the residence worked in the City and did their shopping at the large grocery stores. Bill was glad that he did not have to see Mr. Preach every time we needed some groceries. We dropped the prices on the groceries below the prices in the City and hired one of the clerks to run the store. With the grocery prices lower than the prices in the City, the locals and some of the residence from the development starting shopping at M&B Outlet. The items were always fresh and the convenience of not having to buy large quantities and driving to the City helped to increase the number of shoppers and make M&B Outlet profitable. Tom, Lillie, Bill and I were spending hours planning what the village needed and how to make it profitable, we turned the town around into a thriving little community. We knew that if we hired workers, they would need a place to live and shop. We planned to rent them to the field hands at a reasonable price. The rents were priced less than the other compatible rents. Also, M&B Inc. extended the restaurant and added a bar with a dance floor. Surprisingly, it was making a profit within a week after it was opened. It gave the community a place to let off a little steam. 

With the purchase of Bill's family farm and the adjoining land, and the bank and the restaurant out of the way, Bill and I still had a hug balance left over. M&B Inc. hired Liz to manage the restaurant. With all the land being left undeveloped for so long, Bill hired ten men to clean up the fields. He paid them minimum wages and they were happy to get it. Bill and I had worked at the restaurant for less than the minimum wages. Of course we could keep the tips.

With the new families that we hired, we had to find places for them to live. We repaired the damages to Bill's old home that had accumulated over the year. Some of the homes and apartments that had been foreclosed on, M&B Inc. purchased them. We rented them to the new employees. Bill rented his old home to the field hands at a reasonable price. The rents were priced at less than the other compatible rents. There was no problem collecting the rent. Their checks were cashed at the bank. With M&B Inc. owning the bank, and the homes, M&B Inc. deducted the cost of the rents from their pay checks. No one was late with the rent. We trusted the new workers until they gave us a reason not to trust them. We waited to see how honest they were. I learned this at the restaurant when I was managing it. We never knew how honest they were. When they had made enough money; some of them would walk out with everything they could get their hands on, including the other workers tips. This is what we had to live with at the restaurant and with the farm workers.

By spring time the fields will be ready to be planted. The big problem was what crops we should we plant. Bill spent hours on the internet trying to decide what crops would get us the most money. He also drove through the county to see what the farmers had planted last year. Unfortunately most of the fields were prepared for next year's crops.

One evening Bill took me for a ride down to the property that was between his old home and mine, he said "You can't see it from the road and I never knew that there was a lake on the property. It would be a wonderful place to build a beautiful new home."

A few years back I told Bill that I did not want to live anyplace else than where we were living now. We are living where my parents are buried. I did not want to leave them. This was the first time we had a disagreement. Without saying anything to burst his bubble, I did not agree or disagree with Bill. When we pulled over a slight knoll there was a beautiful lake. It almost took my breath away. The water was so calm that it looked like a huge mirror. I could understand why Bill had fallen in love with it. I was about to forget about where my parent were buried. Bill stopped at the top of the knoll. I could see the excitement that was in Bill's face. I put my arm around Bill and said, "This location is a beautiful place for a new home. I can see our new home up here looking out over the lake with a boat dock going out into the lake with a diving board at the end of the dock. In the winter we would be ice skating on the lake. Bill said, "When could we start building our new home."

I said, "Here or where we had discussed before?"

Bill said, "Here"

I said, "Would we live here all year or just in the summer."

Bill looked at me with a concerned look on his face and said, "You want our new home to be as we had planned months ago. We could build two homes. In the summer we would live here and in the winter we would live on your farm."

I said, "Why don't we build a large cottage here and build our home next to my old home. Let's not make any decisions now. Let's think about it for now, and change the subject, this would also be wonderful place to raise cattle. The field next to the lake is a wonderful grazing ground for the animals. With the lake here we would not have to drill a well for water. We would only have to crack the ice in the winter so they could drink or install a pump and a water pipe over to a feeding shed on the other side of that knoll over there. We can fence off the area where the feeding shed is and the animal would not pollute the lake. "

Bill listened patiently without saying a word. We walked down to the water's edge. I bent over to test the temperature of the water. With winter approaching, the lake was not suitable for swimming or ice skating. We would only have a couple of months to ice skate in the winter and about three to four months to swim in the summer. With all the work that was ahead of us. We would not be about to live at the lake on the weekends even though it is only two mile ride over here. We are so busy with the farms and our other investment we would not have time to build a new home in either location. Neither one of us brought up the subject again; on one cold and miserable weekend Tom called us. He asked if we were still looking for investments. I said, "The money in the vault is not growing. What do you have in mind?"

Tom said, "Do you remember the group of men that came into the restaurant while they were building the development?"

I said, "How could I forget them. When I was serving them, one of them would get my attention while another one would try to lift my skirt up. I thought that I had solved that problem by wearing slacks. That did not stop them. They were rubbing their hands across my butt. I ended their antics when I had a tray of hot coffee and one of them poked me on the rear. I deliberately poured all the hot coffee all over their boss. Then turned around and slapped the guy that poked me in the rear. The boss had been edging them on. The hot coffee cooled them down. I ruined their day. I think a few of them thought that I did it deliberately, which I did."

With a roll of laughter coming from Tom, I said, "What about them?"

The company has declared bankruptcy. All of the land adjacent to the development and the homes that were not finished has been up for sale for some time. The banks that hold the mortgage on the properties just dropped the asking price to a ridiculous low price a week ago. I have called the bank to find out if they were taking offers and they are. The original price for everything, which includes about 20 partially built homes, and around 100 acres of land was 18 million. The price now is 5 million. I think that you can get the 100 acres for $1000 dollars an acre. I don't think it's a good idea to buy partially built homes. They do not have the sewage, streets and the utilities installed, and the City has this hanging over the banks head. Also, there are a number of homes that have been taken over by the bank. Are you and Bill interested?"

I said, "Tom, we could buy the land and the buildings. The land is a good investment. The price of land here is worth more than a $1000 per acre. Hold on while I talk to Bill."

Bill said, "Honey, I have been on the extension. I think it a terrific deal. Tom, Molly is right it is costing over three thousand for an acre here. Honey let's go for it."

I said, "Ask Lillie if she would come up with an offer for a $1000 an acre for all the vacant land and make sure that the City does not get their fingers into the transaction."

Lillie popped in and said, "Tom motioned for me to pick up the extinction. I will make sure that there are no taxes, liens or any other attachments to the land."

Bill and I went over to Tom's home later that evening to sign the contract. I told Tom that Bill and I would give Lillie her standard commission and I would give him 10% of the sale price if it is under two hundred thousand for the one hundred acres."

While Lillie was preparing the contract, Bill, Tom and I were preparing dinner. Lillie kept us up to her progress. Lillie came in with the contract and gave it to me. I said, "M&B Inc is purchasing more property, Bill, if we keep this up we will own the state before it's over with."

Bill nodded his head and said, "If we keep this up, I will be working two 24 hour shifts every day."

Tom and Lillie both laughed, then Tom said, "With the money that Molly has she can hire at least one person to work the second 24 hour shift."

Bill said, "I already spend 48 hours every day taking care of Molly. She is running my ass off."

I spoke up and said, "Who is taking care of whom? I have been taking care of Bill since we met on the highway and I have enjoyed every minute of it."

Bill came over and puts his arms around me and whispered loudly, "Molly, I have enjoyed every moment since the night that we met. Darling, you have turned my miserable life around. God only know where I would be if you had not called to me. I would have starved or frozen to death."

Bill looked over at Tom and Lillie. Tears were in his eyes. I kissed Bill's teary cheeks and said, "I will still take care of you for the rest of my life."

Lillie and Tom came over to us and wrapped their arms around us. They both had tears in their eyes. Lillie said, "The love you two have for each other makes my love for Tom more precious. The love you have for each other amplifies the love I have for Tom."

We thanked Tom and Lillie for their effort in drawing up the contract. Lillie opens the door for us. A cold blast of air sent chills through my body. Bill and I dashed for his new car. The bitter wind felt like it was cutting my cheeks. It brought back the nights I had to walk to and from the restaurant. Thank God that I don't have to do it any longer.

For the next two weeks, Tom and the bank manager quibbling over the price, we finally agreed on twelve hundred per acre. Bill and I both knew that the money that we spent on the land was not making us a cent richer. We have hopes the land would be more profitable in the future. M&B Inc. was loaning money and buying stock in businesses that Tom thought were good investments. Tom thought that the low income families needed homes and convinced Bill and I to build a few small home on the hundred acres that we had purchased. Bill and I agreed to build twelve three bedroom homes at the far end of the development. If we built them near the higher price homes, it may reduce the value of the larger homes, which we already owned. We found a builder that had worked on the high priced homes. He was glad to get the work and started breaking ground within a week after we signed a contract with him.

One evening Bill and I were sitting on a new couch that replaced the old couch hanging from the old oak tree. We were reminiscing about our families and looking at our new home that was partly finished. I felt guilty that I had not tried to find my brothers and sister. Bill had lost contact with his two brothers. With all the purchases that we had made, it had not made a dent in our finances. With the money we have, we could have hired a company to look for them. Bill and I did not want to disturb their lives. We did not know what they had been doing and what they would do if we found them. We came up with an idea to search for one of them at a time. Bill wanted me to search for all of my family before we searched for his two brothers.

 I picked Millie to be the first one to look for in my family. I went on the internet and pasted her name on all the search engines with no success. There was a service that I had to pay for. I signed up for a year. There was a questionnaire that wanted to know everything about their life. I filled out the questionnaire and hit the enter button.  I was surprised at the number of Millie Malone's in this country.  I started dialing the phone numbers. I went through a couple of dozen before I found one that I thought would be Millie. I dialed the number and a male voice answered. I asked to speak to Millie. He laughed and said that he would like to talk with her also. I asked if he was her husband, he said that he would not marry the bitch if she was the last woman on earth. I asked if he knew where she was. He replied, "Hell yes. Who are you?"

With the hate that he had in his voice, I was afraid to tell him that I was her sister and I did not know why he hated Millie? I said that I was an old friend and I received a letter from her telling me she would see me in about six months. He said, "Girlie, if you knew what I know about her, you would not want to be a friend of hers."

I asked, "What did she do to you that made you hate her."

"That bitch stole five grand from me. She is locked up for five years in the state pen. She will be out in a couple of months and I will beat the shit out of her until she pays me back the five grand."

I told him thanks and hung up. The address that she had lived at was in California. I called Bill and told him that I had found Millie. He yells back, "Where is she?"

I said, "She is locked up in California. I am going to call the prison to find out where it is located."

I couldn't believe how fast the information I wanted popped up on the monitor. It showed me a map where the prison was located and the phone numbers. There was a half dozen numbers to choose from. I dialed the first number on the list. Someone answered and asked who I would like to talk to. I said, "Millie Malone."

He told me to stay on the line. Ten minutes had passed. The phone clicked, a voice rang out "Sammy what the fuck do you want. I told you that I would pay you back after I got out. You would have had your damn money back already if you had not pressed charges against me."

I said, "Hi Millie, this is not Sammy. It's Molly, what have you gotten yourself into."

Millie let out a scream and said, "Honey how did you find me."

I told Millie about the conversation I had with Sammy and I found her telephone number on the internet. She wanted to know why I was looking for her. I told her that it had been at least fifteen years since she left home and I felt that I should find the rest of the family. Everyone except me has flown the coop. I asked, "Why did you take Sammy's money?"

Millie said, "It was not his money. It was our money. He was going to take off and not leave me a penny. I wrote a check for five thousand dollars and signed his name to the check and cashed it. I hid the money in our apartment and told him that I had spent the money on cocaine. I was going to sell the cocaine and get my share of the five thousand. I told him that some junkie stole the cocaine and I could not find the junkie. If I called the cops, they would have arrested me. The bastard would not listen to me. He pressed charges against me. I still have about six months left. In a way I am scared to leave the prison. Sammy will go back on his word. He will sell my ass to the mob. We made the money by selling cocaine on the street."

"Millie, I will take care of Sammy. Don't worry about anything and don't do anything that will keep you locked up. I will do everything I can to get you away from Sammy and out of prison. Love you, I will keep in touch with you and let you know what happens."

Millie yelled, "Molly, what the fuck can you do. Sammy will have you killed."

I yelled back, "I will get someone to shut him up. Don't say anything to Sammy. I will take care of everything."

I hung up before Millie said another word. I dialed Sammy number. With a gruff voice he said, "Who the fuck is this."

I said, "Hello Sammy, this is the old friend of Millie. I had a long talk with Millie. Didn't she tell you that she a member of the family? If you came anywhere close to Millie I will have someone in the family take you for a long ride."

Sammy yelled, "Millie told me about her family. They are nothing but a bunch of red neck from somewhere down south."

I laughed, "Millie never lived down south. She grew up in Brooklyn. She has been selling cocaine for the family since her teens.  If you come close to Millie, I will have someone blow your balls off. "

With Bill in the room, he was busting his gut laughing.

Sammy yelled, "Who the fuck do you think you are. I will personally shove a gun down your throat and blow your brains out."

Bill was listening in on the portable. I whispered to him that I was going to tell Sammy we are having a three-way conversation. Tell him that you are going to kill him if he touches Millie.

I said to Sammy, "Would you like to talk to the member of the family that is going to blow your balls off. He doesn't live too far from where Millie lived. We are having a three way conversation."

Sammy said, "Who in hell is he?"

Bill spoke up and said, "Sammy, I have known about you and Millie's relationship since she first met you. She wanted to break away from the family. Millie was a young and ambitious young lady.  We let her go off on her own, she has her own mind and no one could convince her to work with the family.  We knew that someday she would come back to the family.  I have kept an eye on you two since she met you. We made it possible for you and Millie to get cocaine and fed Millie customers that would not turn her in. Don't fuck around with me. I will set you up to get life. Millie did not want to tell the cops that she had made the money selling cocaine. We thought it was best to let her cool her heals in prison for a few years. We discipline members of our family, not you.  You have only one choice, get the fuck out of town. I already have someone headed for your home. He is probably already outside your home. Keep the fuck away from Millie, or I will personally blow your balls off."

Sammy with a scared tone in his voice, said, "Hey man, I'm gone. I don't want to give the family any trouble." 

Sammy hung up the phone. I looked up at Bill and shook my head, and asked, "How did you learn to be so vicious."

Bill kissed me on the cheek and said, "I have watched X rated movies. I think you have also."

I said, "Let's go out to California to see Millie. Maybe we could buy her way out of prison."

Bill said, "Don't get your hopes up. We don't know what Sammy looks like and if we scared him enough to get him out of town. We will go to the prison to see Millie. We will hire a lawyer to look into her case. Maybe we can get her out on good behavior."

I called the prison again. They were reluctant in letting her come to the phone. I told them that I wanted to let her know that we were coming to see her. The man said, "Hold on I will get her. Make the call short."

Again I waited for ten minutes when Millie said, "Who is this?"

"It's me, Molly. I forgot to tell you that I am married. Bill and I are coming out to see you. Bill and I talked to Sammy. We pretended that we were member of the mob and so were you. I think that Bill scared the living hell out of him. If he calls you or comes to see you: and he questions you about your background. Tell him that your father is a member of the mob and nothing else, also that you lived in Brooklyn."

Millie said, "Why in hell did you tell him that? He want believe you."

I said, "Bill was the one that scared the living hill out of Sammy and I have hopes that he is gone into hiding. Bill told Sammy that he had put a tail on him. (I had heard someone in the background telling Millie to hang up.) We did not have any other choice. Just don't tell anyone about your background. We hope we can get a lawyer to get you out on bond. We are leaving early tomorrow morning. Love you, see you soon."

I had a sleepless night. I made a dozen calls to let everyone know that we were going on our second honeymoon. When we got on the plane I collapsed. I slept through the whole flight. I was still groggy when we were leaving the plane. Bill had rented a car and a hotel room before we left home. We checked in at the hotel around seven in the evening. We did not go out for dinner; they had fed us in flight. I looked at Bill, he was ready to collapse. I think he was as tired as I was. I let him take a quick shower before he went to bed. He was out by the time his head hit the pillow. I took a long warm bath and wondering what we were up against. Has Sammy skipped town. Was he going to see Millie before he left? I hope not. Thankful, Bill wasn't snoring. I finely dozed off to sleep.

When I woke up I turn over to cuddle up to Bill, a shock went through my body. Bill was not there. I thought that he had gone to the bathroom. I turned on the light next to the bed. The bathroom light was not on and the door was open. I called to Bill. There wasn't any reply. I jumped up and turned on all the lights and opened the shades. It was still dark outside. I looked around the room and checked the closet. After searching the room for Bill, I knew that he would not leave me alone without leaving a note to tell me where he went. There was a pad on the light stand on Bill's side of the bed. I leaped across the king size bed and picked up the pad. There was a note from Bill. I read it. "Darling, I woke up around midnight and could not fall asleep. I wanted to know if Sammy was still in the house. Don't worry about me. I won't get into trouble. When you wake up give me a call on your cell phone."

I grabbed my cell phone and called Bill. He said, "Molly, I hope that I did not wake you when I left. I am in front of Sammy home or the address that you wrote down. When you talked to Millie was Sammy living in the house address that you wrote down."

"Honey, from the conversation I had with Millie and Sammy, I am almost certain that Sammy was still lived in the same home he was living with Millie. Why did you ask?"

Bill said, "Someone is still in the house. I have seen lights in the rear of the house being turned on and off. I am going around the block and park the car and walk back pass the house. The lights in front of the house were on when I drove up and parked. Someone turned the light off just as soon as I started to park. Keep your cell phone on and keep it plugged in. I don't want to lose contact with you. I have had my cell plugged in to the cigarette lighter in the car."

I said, "Sweetheart, please be careful. If that bastard is still in the house, he did not leave like he said he would. I don't think he believed us."

Bill said, "When I walk back, I am going to sit in a park bench across the street from where Sammy lives. Since someone turned off the lights in the house when I drove up, I have an idea that we spooked him. He probably didn't see any cars parked there last night, so he turned the light in front on. When he saw me park he turned the front light off. Honey, I am parking now. On the way back, I will keep my cell on."

"Bill I am in the bathroom and doing my thing. I thought that I was going to bust. Oh, what a relief it is."

Bill laughed and said, "You could have gone while we were talking, why suffer."

"Honey, I did not want to miss anything. I am afraid that the bastard will hurt you. Tell me the streets and address that you are at. If something comes up I will call the police."

Bill whispers on the cell phone, "I just passed a couple sitting on a park bench. They were at it like we were before we got married."

I said, "Don't make fun of them. I enjoyed every minute of our premarital petting. I would have slapped anyone that interfered with us."

Bill said, "Honey, I am just keeping you informed with what is happening."

I asked, "Can you see the front of the house yet?"

"Give me a few more minutes; the bench is about a hundred feet from where I am now. The houses are too close together to see the side of Sammy's home."

"Bill, don't do anything foolish. We don't know what Sammy will do. I don't want to get you hurt because of something my sister did."

"Honey, I am in front of the house. The light in the rear of the house is still on. From the bench that I am sitting on I have a good view of the front and one side of the house. I hope he cannot see me from the house."

For the next ten minutes Bill did not say a word. He was afraid that someone might hear him talking to me. I wanted something to happen. Then a feeling came over me to tell Bill to get out of there and come back to the hotel. I was afraid that we had gone too far. I whispered softly, "Forget it Bill, and come back to the hotel."

With a loud voice Bill said, "What did you say?"

With a frightened voice, I said, "Forget about Sammy, come back to the hotel."

"Honey, I am going to give him another half hour. If nothing happens……….someone is coming out the front door. He is walking out to sidewalk. He is looking up and down the street. Hell, it looks like he is crossing the street. I am going to lie down on the bench and pretend that I am sleeping. The bastard is half way across the street and still heading in my direction. Don't say anything; he may hear your voice."

I was frightened out of my wits. I wanted to shout at Sammy, if you lay a hand on my Bill, I will kill you.

Bill whispered, "The bastard made a quick turn and is walking back toward the house. A car just turned the corner. It must have spooked him."

I said, "No honey, I used the hotel phone and dialed his number. I let it ring. I think he heard it ring."

Bill said, "Anyway, I think he is spooked. I will be back at the hotel soon."

Without telling Molly, Bill drove his car to the front of Sammy home. He watched the window that was slightly lighted from a light in another room. A silhouette of a man appeared at the front window. Bill dialed Sammy phone number and let it ring. When Sammy answered the phone, Bill said in a deep voice, "Hey man, my boss told me you would be on the road. He isn't going to like what I going to tell him."

Bill pulled away from the front of the house. Sammy started to say something; Bill had started to hang up the phone. He heard Sammy voice, he had already pushed the button on the cell phone. Bill wondered what Sammy was going to say. He wanted to kick himself in the butt for hanging up.

Sammy had seen Bill's rented car twice. He felt that he had to go back to the rental agency and turn the car in for another color. The car Bill had was red. Bill told the rental agent that the brakes felt soft and he wanted another car. Without any trouble they gave Bill a white car. He dialed Molly's cell phone and told her that he would be at the hotel in a few minutes and he would tell her what had happened. Molly told bill that she was going to call the police on her cell phone it he got into any trouble.

The following day they hired a lawyer to see if he could get Millie out of jail. Surprisingly, Millie had turned down an early release because her fear of what Sammy would do to her. It took two weeks to get Millie out of jail and get a restraining order to keep Sammy from coming close to her. Millie wanted to get the five thousand out of the house. I told Millie I would give her five thousand. Millie wanted the money that she had earned herself and I could not get Millie to change her mind. The only way that they could get Sammy out of the house was when he had to go to work. We all sat in the rented car waiting for Sammy to leave for work. After we waited an hour, Millie said, "I don't think the bastard is going to work."

I tried to get Millie to forget about the money. I told Millie to tell Sammy where the money was. It would get Sammy off of her back. I finely convinced Millie to take only the twenty five hundred. We had given up on Sammy leaving and Bill had started the car. Millie screamed, "Don't leave; he is definitely going to work. He got his lunch box with him."

We waited until Sammy was out of sight. Millie told us to stay in the car. I asked Millie if she had a key to the house. Millie told me that she had hid one outside the house and she didn't think anyone had found it. I insisted on going with Millie. Bill had to stay in the car for a fast getaway, if necessary.  I followed Millie into the small yard to the side of the house. Millie stops and knelled down and pulled a brick out of the foundation. Her key was still there. Bill saw the joy on both of their faces. When Millie turned the key and entered the house with Molly behind her, fear flashed through Bill's mind. Someone else may be in the house. He jumps out of the car and heads for the house. He opened the door and eases inside. He crept through the house. He passes a bedroom and saw a woman sleeping in a bed. He continued down the hall. He passes another door and he saw Molly trying to lift Millie. With the floor creaking with every step, Molly turns around and saw Bill. She lets Millie fall to the floor. Millie said, "You are not strong enough to lift me. I will have to get a chair."

When Millie saw Bill she let out a deep gasp. Then whispers, "Damn it Bill, you scared the piss out of me. Lift me up. Bill lifts Millie up. Millie said, "Higher, I have to lift the panel in the ceiling up."

Millie was standing on Bill's shoulders.  Millie lifts up the panel and said, "Ah, shit, that bastard must have found it."

Bill said, "Keep looking and try to remember exactly where you put the money."

After a few minutes Millie let out a gasp and said, "I found it. Help me down. Don't drop me like Molly did."

Bill lets Millie slide down his chest slowly. When they were face to face Millie places a sexy kiss on Bill lips. I said, "None of that, Bill's mine."

Millie said, "You can see how selfish Molly is, I haven't been this close to a man in almost five years. What did you expect me to do?"

I said, "Get down from there. I will get you a hundred men."

Millie said, "I can't get down Bill is holding me."

With a guilty look on his face, Bill said, "Look, I am not holding Millie. She has locked her arms around my neck."

Millie very slowly slides down Bill's body. Bill looks over at me. I shook my head and said, "We have to get the hell out of here. That bitch in the front bedroom will hears us. We all silently walked down the hall and peeked at the woman that was in bed."

 When they were out of the house, Bill said, "She wasn't in the bed."

I said, "I know, she was taking a shower. I heard the shower running. Move it, we have to get out of here."

We hurried to the car. Bill had the car moving before Millie was seated in the back seat. Millie said, "You have gone through a lot of trouble to get me out of jail. Now you want to leave me on the street in front of Sammy's home."

Bill said, "Stop complaining, you were seated before I move the car. Put on your seatbelt."

We have to go back to the hotel. Bill said, "Molly, see if you can get us on a flight back home."

I said, "Bill, I have already made reservation for three in first class."

Millie said, "Where did you get the money for the flight, must less for first class."

Bill did not say a word. I looked at Bill then turned around and said, "You will find out soon enough. Just enjoy the flight and getting out of jail. You didn't leave Sammy his twenty five hundred. When we get to the hotel, take one of the envelopes and mail him his share."

Millie said, "The hell I will, I earned every cent of that twenty five hundred. I am the one that spent hours on the street selling coke. Sammy did not sell a hundred dollar worth of coke. He would force me to turn over all the money I had on me and put it in his bank account. He was ready to ditch me for some broad and kick me out of the house. We fought about the money. I knew he would not give in. So, I withdrew all the money and hid it. Those five years were not easy. I went through hell. There were bitches in there that would beat the living hill out of you just for the fun of it. At first I just took the shit they gave me. Helen told me to fight back. If I hadn’t protected myself, they would have continued to pick on me. For months I worked out whenever I had a chance. One morning one of the broad ass bitches grabbed a full pack of cigarettes from me and walked away with it. I went after her and grabbed her hair and slammed a foot into the back of her knee. She fell to the floor on her back. I put my foot across her neck and picked up the pack of cigarettes and went back to my bunk. She got up in a fit of rage and headed for me. I got up and laid the pack of cigarettes on the bunk close to her. I told her if she touches the cigarettes, she will regret it for the rest of her life. She started to reach for the cigarettes, and then stopped. She turned around and headed back to her bunk. I did not have any trouble with any of them after that."

Bill said, "I don't blame you Millie. I hate bullies. I had been bullied until I grew big enough to defend myself. It got to a point that no one wanted to take me on. Many times in my life I have stepped in to help some poor sole that was getting the living hell beat out of him. I think all of them were very grateful."

The flight back home was pleasant. I was happy to have Millie with me. She has been all over Bill since I introduced them. After being in jail for over four years and having a handsome man in her reaches. I could not blame her for wanting Bill. I could see what I had gone through when I first saw him. Under normal circumstances, I don't think Millie would have flirted with Bill. At least I hoped so. Yet, in the back of my mind I did not trust Millie. I had never seen this side of her. At home we all were angles. I wonder what she had been doing since she left home. Was she peddling coke from the day she took off on her own? I was not going to question her about her life. When she is ready to tell me, I will try not to get to emotional over things that she was forced to do just to survive.  Before we landed I had tried to forget how I felt about Millie and just enjoy having her home with me. Of course, it upset me to see how much attention that she gave Bill. She almost ignored me. 

Since Bill and Millie had hit it off. I let Bill explain to her how we got our wealth. We did not want to tell her that I had won the lottery jackpot. I told Bill to tell her that he was the one that had become wealthy through real estate purchases. Bill did not agree with me and said as much. I told him that my side of the family would bleed us dry if they knew that I had won the lottery jackpot. I finally convinced Bill that it was the best way to handle my side of the family. I asked Tom if he would talk with Millie and come up with a carrier that she was qualified for. Tom was managing M&B Inc. and Lilly was handling the real estate part of our fortune. Being locked up for so long, Millie had not tried to get an education? Trying to get Millie interested in getting a job looked impossible. She always had an excuse why she could not go to work. I did not believe any of her excuses. She felt that she could not hold down a job since she had spent almost five years in prison. I told her that Bill and I could not afford to keep her and she had to go to work. The five thousand that she had taken from Sammy would be gone within a few months. With the five thousand that she had, I think she expected it to last for the rest of her life. Millie did not want to live with us. Lillie asked us if we wanted her to rent Millie one of the apartments that we had purchased. There wasn't any furniture in the apartment. Millie wanted to borrow some money from us to furnish the apartment. Instead of asking me she asked Bill. He told Millie that she had to get my approval for the loan because our funds were in both of our names. She tried to pressure Bill into loaning her the money. When I told her that I would not loan her the money until she got a job, the shit hit the fan. She cursed me and Bill and packed a small suitcase. She continued to bad mouth us until she left the house. Bill asked her where she was going. She said that it wasn't any of his fucking business. Bill offered her the use of his car. Millie told him to shove it up his ass and walked out the door. 

 

Mike and Mitch were found: 

After Millie left, Bill and I discussed which one of our brood should we look for next? I asked him if he wanted to search for George and Paul. Bill said that I should look up the rest of my family before we started looking for his family. Bill was so adamant about finding my side of the family that it made me feel that he did not want to look up his side of the family. To keep peace in the family, I started looking for Mike. Mike was the next one after Millie. Bill and I agreed; I will look for Mike. With hopes he was still with Mitch since they left together. I search for both of them. Surprisingly, the program that I purchased, I found Mike and Mitch. They were still together. They owned an auto repair shop. They also lived in California on the outskirt of Los Angeles. I called the phone number that came up on the internet. Mike answered the phone. I said to Mike, "How is that handsome young Mike Malone."

Mike whispered, "Jane, please don't call me at work. My wife is working with us. Jane, I told you that it was all over before I got married."

I laughed and said, "I want tell your wife, and I am not Jane. I am Molly Malone, your sister."

I thought that Mike was going to explode with excitement. He thought that I was in the LA area.

I told him that I had found Millie and wanted to know if Mitch was still with him. Mike yell out, "Mitch drop everything Molly is on the phone."

I could hear foot step running in the background. With an exhausted voice, Mitch said, "Are you in town. Tell me where you are and I will come and pick you up."

I said, "Honey, I am still at home. I don't want you to drive that far. I have wanted to look for you guys. I found you from a program that I purchased on the internet. When I search for you and Mike the two of you had the same telephone number and the same address. Do you both live at the garage?"

Mitch said, "No we don't want any of our customers calling us in the middle of the night. Our home phone numbers are not listed. Mike and I both were living in the same apartment until he got married to Sue. Sue has another job and comes over to the garage and takes care of the books for us. We would not get out of here until midnight if we had to do the books. Sue is a blessing in a number of ways. Not only is she a wonderful accountant and a beautiful sister-in-law. She is a wonderful cook. We all eat together at Mike and Sue's."

I asked, "Why didn't you and Mike call home and tell us where you were?"

With a sorrowful voice Mitch said, "Molly, we both were flat broke. We worked part time for another garage and saved ever cent that we made until we had enough money to rent a garage. Later we purchased this garage. We both were so embarrassed and ashamed that we could not get enough courage to call home."

I broke in and said, "Say no more, I understand. I have been through the same thing."

Mike took over the phone. He had been listening on an extension. He said, "Molly do you need any money? I am sure Mitch will agree. You Mom and Pop can come out here and live with us. We will pay for the trip out here."

I interrupted Mike and said, "Mom and Pop passed away a few years ago. They were buried under the giant oak tree where they spent most of their spare time together. As far as money, I don't need any. Bill and I can afford the trip to LA. As I said, I found Millie she was living in northern California. She is living with us at our family farm. Since I was the only one still at home, Mom and Pop had not heard from any of you, in the will I got the farm and the rest of you only got a dollar."

Mike said, "I can understand Mom and Pop's feelings. We deserted them when they needed us. It was our selflessness that had driven us away from the farm. Both Mitch and I have paid for it over the years. I pray that Mom, Pop and you will forgive us both."

I said, "I am sure that Mom understood, but Pop, I don't know how he really felt about all of you leaving us stranded. I forgave you all a few years ago."

Mike said, "Which Bill did you marry? There were a dozen Bills in town."

I said, "Do you remember the farm that was a couple miles down from our farm?"

 Mike said, "Yes, you didn't marry that ugly little kid, Billy Johnson did you?

I laughed and said."Yes I did. He grew into a very handsome young man. He is over six feet tall, quite muscular and very handsome. I have asked myself many times, how in hell did that puny little kid grow up to be a handsome young man? Bill has both farms ready to be planted next spring. Do you have any suggestions of what to plant?"

Mike said, "Anything that he wants as long as it is organic. People that are growing organic foods are making a fortune."

I called to Bill and said, "Mike said to plant organic foods."

Bill laughed and said, "Both farm have grown organic foods for as long as I can remember.  We could not afford fertilizer."

Mike said, "Let me talk to Bill. It has been a long time since I talked to him or his brothers."

I gave Bill the phone. I could only hear the Bill's side of the conversation. Mike must have been doing all of the talking. I started to wonder what my oldest brother was saying to Bill. This lasted for more than fifteen minutes with yes, I know, I will do my best, I'll try and other answers that I don't remember. Finely Bill said, "It was nice talking with you Mike. I will give the phone to Molly."

Bill hands me the phone and smiled at me. I took the phone and said to Mike, "What secrets have you been telling Bill."

Mike said, "Just man to man talk, and how he was treating you?"

I said, "I could not have found a better husband. I bless the night that I found him. He is treating me as good as Pop was treating Mom. Pop treated Mom like she was an angel.  Bill has worked his ass off since we bought his old farm. We also bought the land with the lake between our farms. Bill wants to build us a new home near the lake."

Mike said, "That would be a wonderful place to live."

I said, "I know it would be a dream house. I don't want to leave Mom and Pop alone on out farm. We plan to build a large cottage next to the lake. But our real home will be next to our old home. We are having all the damage that the two homes and the barns have accumulated over the years repaired."

With an arrogant voice Mike said, "Both homes, Bill's and our home were ready to collapse when we left. You are wasting your money repairing them. Take a bull dozer and tear them down."

Surprised at Mike attitude, I said. "Mike, that is where we all grew up and the house frame is structurally in better condition than the new homes that they are building today. Also, Bill is the one that repaired and repainted both homes. You would not know that it is the same house."

Mike said, "At the moment we cannot afford to come back home. Are you planning to come out here?"

"Yes, when we get Millie settled. I still have two sisters and a brother to find. Give my love to Sue and Mitch. I am looking forward to seeing you all."

I hung up the phone and looked over at Bill and said, "I hope Mike didn't tear you apart. When Pop wasn't around Mike became the boss. He was more restrictive than Pop was."

Bill laughed and said, "Mike reminded me of George, like Mike, George bossed Paul and me. As you said, Mike became bossy as soon as you're Pop left you alone with Mike. George was the same."

I chuckled and said, "I know, both of our brothers wanted to control the family and Mike is still at it."

Bill took me into his arms and said, "I think that all the oldest brothers or sisters are practicing to be parents, especially when their younger brother or sister is alone with them. At times, I did not want to do the chores that George or Paul wanted me to do. Particularly, when Mom or Pop had told them to do something, they would always try to shove the chore off on me."

Still holding Bill in my arms, in a loving voice, I said, "Go watch the football game. I know that I have been shoving all the chores off on you. I am going to bake you a Pecan Pie to make up for it."

The tone of Mike's voice and what he wanted to do to our old home had made me a little uncomfortable. Did he hate Mom and Pop? Was this the reason my brothers and sisters never called home or contacted Mom or Pop. If it was, I never sensed it. Did all of them feel this way? Were all of them struggling to get ahead and they still are. I looked back at the time I wanted to kill myself. I wonder what they must have gone through. Did they ever think of committing suicide or doing something as crazy as I had felt? I would be in the same predicament as they are if I did not found Bill and won the jackpot. What would they do if they knew that I had won the jackpot? What has their life been like? Had they all known that Mom and Pop had died? Had some of their friends told them? If not, had they abandoned their friends also? Silently, I shouted at myself to stop agonizing myself. I had a rough time and they more than likely also have had a miserable life.  Bill and I will let Millie have a chance to settle down before we start searching for another family member.

It had been quite some time since Millie left. She had been gone almost all day. I felt sorry for her. Why didn't she want to live with us until she had a job? I went outside to see if she was somewhere outside. I had asked Tom to talk to Millie and see what type of job she was qualified for. I wondered if what Tom had told her had upset her. I walked out to the highway. Like usual, the highway was deserted. This frightened me. She was so pissed off at us, God only know where she has gone. I went back into the house. Bill asked me where I had been. I told him that I was afraid of what may happen to Millie and I had looked for her on the highway. If she got a ride, who in hell could have been on the road. The same fear came over me that went through my body every time I walked home from work. I asked Bill if he would go look for Millie.

Bill said, "I was hoping that she would be back before now. Of course, I will go look for her."

I gave Bill a kiss and said, "I will have dinner ready when you get back. The pecan pie will be done by the time you get home."

Two hours had passed and the phone rang. I picked up the phone, Bill said, "Honey, I called Sue and asked where the apartment that Millie rented was located. Sue told me that Millie did not take the key for the apartment. Tom was on the line and told me that he had a long talk with Millie and she will have a difficult time holding down a job. The time she spent in prison has destroyed her. I also went to all the bars, restaurants, the night club in town and everything else that was open. I am sorry. Where would you like me to look for her?"

I said, "I don't know where else you can look. Come home."

 I felt so bad. With all the money that I have, I had refused to give my sister a loan. Why had I done this when I am trying to put my family back together, why, why, why. With tears in my eye, I tried to relax. I couldn't. I kept looking out the windows.  I saw the silhouette of the old barn in the night sky. An old memory popped into my mind. Mom and Pop had scrolled Millie for something that she had done. When it came time for dinner, we could not find Millie.  After Millie was missing for over an hour, Mike climbed up into the hay loft and found Millie sleeping in the hay.  He quietly climbed out of loft and came to the house and told Pop. Pop said to leave her there. She will come down when she gets hungry, which she did.

I took a flash light with me and headed for the barn. I climbed up into the loft holding the flashlight in my mouth. I was almost certain that Millie was up here. I reached the top of the ladder and looked around. The loft was full of hay. I laid the flashlight down and pulled myself into the loft. There was a path through the bales of hay. At the far end of the bales was an open bale of hay. I crept up to the hay and saw Millie fast asleep. I whispered, "Supper is ready."

Without opening her eyes she said, "Mama is daddy still mad at me?"

I said, "No darling, daddy is not mad at you."

Millie slowly opened her eyes. The light must have blinded her. Millie shaded her eyes and said, "Where in hell am I?

I said, "You are sleeping in the barn. Come with me, dinner is ready."

I put my free hand out and Millie took it. I lifted her up and she hugs me. She started to cry. With Millie tears rolling down my cheeks. I also started to cry. Millie said to me, "Will you forgive me. I had fallen in love with Bill and I could not accept his rejection. When he refused to lend me the money, I could not hold back the anger. Will you please forgive me? After Tom told me that I must go back to school if I wanted to get ahead. You and Bill insisting that I must get a job, I lost my temper and dashed out of the house. When I got to the highway a car load of men stopped and insisted that I get in the car with them. I turned around and headed back to the house. Something must have scared them. One of the men yelled to the driver to get the hell out of here. I ran for the house and when I heard the tires screaming I looked back and saw smoke coming from the tires. I stopped for a moment. I did not want to go back into the house or go back on the highway. I had been raped before and I did not want it to happen again. With no other place to go, I headed for the barn. I had a couple of hours of solitude. It gave me time to look back over my life. Tom and Lilly told me how you and Bill worked night and day to scrape up every penny so you could pay off Mom and Pop's debts and the loan on the house. I don't want to be a burden on you and Bill."

I interrupted Millie and said, "You will never be a burden on me and Bill. You can live with us if you wish. If you want to live alone, I will pay for the furniture for your apartment and support you until you are able to take care of yourself. Come, let's go and have supper."

I went ahead of Millie and lighted the way. I told her to watch out for the dropping from the animals and took her hand. Bill was driving up the driveway when we reached the house. I told Millie to go ahead and gave her the flashlight. I turned around and headed for the car. When he got out of the car he asked if that was Millie. I acknowledged that it was Millie and told him not to bring up what had happen and told him what had happened to Millie.

For the remainder of the evening very little was said about the earlier part of the day. After Millie helped me clean up the kitchen and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. She gave Bill and me a hug, and then excused herself.

When we were alone I told Bill what had happened. He understood how she must have felt. I did not tell him that Millie had a crush on him, but I did tell him about the men in the car. This bothered Bill. He was going to find out who the men were and fire them. He thought that it had to be the field hands that lived in his old home. I told Bill that it was best not to stir up the problem. From the way they left the scene, they realized who house Millie was heading to.

During dinner we only talked about Mike and Mitch. Millie wished she had known that they lived near L.A. She had been in L.A. a number of times. I did not bring up the rape incident that she had, with Bill at the table. After dinner we told Bill to let us wash the dishes. He usually washes the dishes because I prepare the meals. He looked at me and started to say something. I shook my head and looked in the direction of the living room. Over the years, we had learned to communicate with our eyes. It kept us out of a few embarrassing moments. Bill said, "That's the best offer I have had."

I said, "You better take it. You are not going to get one like this again. Turn the TV up loud enough so we can hear it."

The way that he looked at Millie, he knew that I wanted to question Millie about something personal. As soon as Bill was out of the room, I said to Millie, "Tell me about your life after you left home."

Millie bowed her head and said, "There some parts of my life I would never tell anyone. Please don't question me about the times that I omitted. I had saved up about five hundred dollars before I left home. I thought that I could live for a year on it. I was flat broke in six weeks. I cannot remember where a cent of it went. I wasn't lavish. The money just melted away. Not having to pay for anything at home, it did not prepare me for the shock when my last penny was spent. When I left home I took a bus as far as fifty dollars would take me. I landed up in a whistle stop in Texas. There weren't any jobs to be had or a motel or a rental. I hitchhiked out of Texas and heading for California. I had to fight the damn truck driver off. Some of them expected me to pay for the ride."

Millie looked over at me with a sheepish look on her face and said, "There was only time that I paid for a ride by sleeping with a guy. He was very good looking and I almost went crazy when we made love. The way he talked about our future I thought that we were going to get married. When we got to Berkley, California, he forced me out of the truck. The damn bastard told me that he was already married. The son of a bitch climbed into the truck and through a twenty dollar bill at me. I picked it up and through it back at him. The truck was moving and the wind was blowing it away. I stepped on the bill hoping the bastard didn't see me. After he was out of sight I picked up the twenty. This incident taught me a lesson. Never trust anyone."

Millie stopped talking and didn't say anything for a while. I imagined what I would have done if Bill did not marry me after we made love. I think I would have killed him. Fortunately, Bill loved me as much as I loved him. A filthy thought flashed through my mind. What would I do if he is cheating on me? Another filthy thought flooded through my mind. Is Bill cheating on me? For a moment I felt that Bill has a guilty conscience and that is the reason Bill is so nice to me. I wanted to bash his head in. The thought faded as fast as it came. My love for Bill flushed the crap out of my head.

Millie said, "What the matter? Why are you looking at me with hate written all over your face?"

I laughed then whispered, "Far a moment I was wondered why Bill has been so damn nice to me. Has he been cheating on me? In a way, I could not blame him. At times I have felt guilty for shoving so much responsibility on him and he has never complains about it."

Millie said, "I don't think he has been cheating on you. I have done everything to get him in bed with me and it hasn't worked. That was the reason that I was so pissed off when he asked if I wanted to use his car. I realized that he did not give a damn about going to bed with me. This is what brought out the bitchiness in me. With all my effort I had failed. I should have realized it; I would be the last person in the world that he would want to sleep with if he really loves you. Please don't mention it to him."

"Millie, I can't blame you for wanting Bill. When I first saw him, it took all my willpower to keep out of his bed. I had never wanted anyone so desperately. Still having my virginity was one of the reasons that I did not climb into bed with him. I was ashamed that I was still a virgin. Did you lose your virginity with the truck driver?"

Millie looked at me and started to say something. She stopped before a word came out of her mouth. She paused for a moment then said, "This is one of the things in my life that I don't want to talk about. Please don't ask me again."

"Millie, I will never mention it again."

Millie said, "I cannot afford an apartment, nor can I afford to spend a lot of money on furniture. Do you mind if I stay here with you and sleep in my old bedroom? Tom really laid down the facts of life when he talked with me. He came up with an amount I would get paid if I could find a job and how much it would cost me to live alone. With the salary that I would get, it would only cover half of the expensive. Even if you furnished my apartment, I would still have so many expenses that I would never be able to pay them off."

I said, "Take the money that you got from Sammy and put it in the bank. We will come up with an amount that you will need for your personal items and a little spending money. I will get you a car so you can go to college and get an education that you can be able to support yourself."

Millie interrupted me and said, "It would put you and Bill in debt. I could not live with that hanging over my head. You and Bill have worked you asses off to get where you are now and I am not going to drag you down with my expenses."

Bill must have muted the TV. He walks into the kitchen and said, "Let Molly and me decide if we can afford to help you get on your feet. All we will ask from you is to do your very best to get a good education and be able to support yourself. If we could not afford what we are offering you, we would not offer it to you."

With a surprised look on Millie face, she said, "Are you sure that you can afford an over age child?"

In nuisance Bill and I said, "We are positive that we can afford an over age child."

Millie come over and hugs Bill and me. I said, "Have you ever worked in a restaurant?"

Millie laughed and said, "Have I, I have worked in every fast food restaurants, you name it and I have worked there."

I said, "I will ask Tom if he has an opening in one of the restaurants that he manages. When would you like to start?"

 Millie said, "The sooner the better. I can't wait until I get back into the public eye. It would be nice to meet someone that is not locked up."

I said to Millie, "Excuse me for a minute."

I went into the living room and picked up the remote phone and went into the bath room. I dialed Tom's number. Lillie picked up the phone and said, "Hi Molly or is it Bill."

I said, "Its Molly, can I talk to Tom."

"Sure Molly, how is Millie. She was a little disturbed when she left yesterday. Did Tom tell you about her mood?"

"Yes, she was quite distressed. I think that being locked up for almost five years has taken a lot out of her. She has lost her cheerful attitude that she had when she left home. I would love to see her in a more pleasant mood."

Tom must have picked up the remote, he said, "Millie was very depressed when she left yesterday. Have you told her about winning the lottery?"

I said, "No and I am not going to tell her at this time. Do you feel that Millie can work at the restaurant?"

Tom said, "Are you looking for a job for Millie?"

"Yes I am. She has to do something to take her mind off of her past. I will call Liz and see if she can fit in. I hope that I can get her started tomorrow. I will drop her off on my way to the bank. I will give her a couple of weeks to see how she works out."

Tom said, "I talked to Liz about a week ago and she said that the business had picked up a bit and she felt that we may need another waitress. I will call Liz and tell her that we are hiring Millie and you will drop her off tomorrow."

"Thanks a million Tom."

Tom said, "Hey, you own the restaurant.  How could I deny your request? I am not sure how Liz will take it. Of course she knows that Millie is your sister."

I said, "Liz and Millie were in the same class in high school. I will feel Millie out and see how she feels about working with Liz."

Tom said, "Molly, if there is any resentment or other reason that they are not compatible, let me know."

 "I will feel her out and see how she feels about working under Liz. I will call you back and let you know what happens. Bye."

I hung up the phone. I did not go back into the kitchen. I wanted to think about what I was getting myself into. If Millie and Liz are not compatible, how am I going to get Millie out of the restaurant without destroying my relationship with Millie and my long friendship with Liz? Problems, problems and more problems.

I walked back into the kitchen. Bill and Millie were standing quite close to each other. They had not noticed that I was at the doorway. They were either whispering to each other or looking into each other's eyes. A flare of resentment ran through my body. I wanted to blast them, but, for what? I closed my eyes and tried to forget about my feelings. I said quite loudly, "Hi."

They both jumped. I had frightened them.  I quickly apologized. Bill said, "Honey, you scared the piss out of me."

I again apologized for frightening them and said, "Did you have a friend in high school by the name of Liz Porter?"

Millie with a smile of her face said, "Of course we were the best of friends. She was the only one that knew that I was running away. She was working at the restaurant after school. I believe Tom was working as a waiter at that time."

"Would you like to work at the restaurant? Liz is the manager of the restaurant now. Tom is the district manager. He works for the corporation that owns the restaurant. I manage the M&B Trust down the street from the restaurant. Would you like to start tomorrow?"

Millie come over to me and said, "Molly, there is no one in this world that I would enjoy more to be working with. I have been wondering where Liz was. Is she married? We went out on dates together. We felt that the both of us would be able to beat the hell out of someone if they got to aggressive."

Later I called Tom and told him that Liz and Millie were friends in high school and I did not think there would be any problems. He thanked me and said, "We will give it a try. I hope it will work out for both of you and Liz." 

I hung up the phone and called to Millie, "You got the job. It is getting late and we have to get up early so you will be on time. You use the bath first, Bill will go next and I will be last."

Millie said, "Why don't you and Bill go first. It will give me some time to figure out what I am going to wear."

I said. "Don't wear anything fancy. You will be wearing a full length apron. You will find yourself wiping your dirty hand on your rear. Bill, go do your thing."

Bill smiled and said, "Ok honey."

Fortunately we all were in bed within an hour. I could not fall asleep until Millie was in bed. The night was too short. I felt like I had just gotten into bed. Bill was up and cooking breakfast. I think the aroma of the food being cooked woke me up. I headed for the bath room. Millie had beaten me to the bath room. I had not gone to the bathroom all night. The pressure was killing me. I slipped on some slippers and headed for the outhouse. I had not used it since Bill built an extension to the house and added a toilet. When I came back into the house, Millie and Bill said, "Where have you been."

I said, "I had an emergency. I had to visit the privy."

Millie said, "If you have to go and I am in the bathroom, just knock and come in. That is why Pop made a three-hole privy; there was always someone out there. We even had to share it with the boys."

I said, "At the same time?"

"Yep, earlier there wasn't a latch on the inside. When the boys got a little older, Mom made Pop install a latch that we could not be opened from the outside."

"Millie, I wasn't tall enough to reach the latch. Our terrible brothers would deliberately come out and open the door when I was using it. I could not get up and shut the door. They would stand there pointing there finger at me and laughed until I cried. Pop caught them doing it one day. He took them all out to the barn and whacked their butts until their asses were bright red. Pop saw me leaving the privy and called me over. He made them face the barn and drop their pants. Their cute asses were red as fire. Pop told them if they opened the door again, they would get double the lashes they got this time. After that they never came close to the privy when I was in it. To scare the hell out of them, I would go out to the privy when I did not have to do anything and waited until one of them passed by. I would kick the door open and sit down. They would run like hell to get away from the privy.  Matt would run back in the house and tell Mom that he did not open the privy door on me. I just wanted to get him spanked. Mom took me aside and told me that they had been punished enough. If I did it to one of the boys, she would spank me. Like the little bitch that I was, when Mom was out in the field and one of them passed by I would kick the door open."

Bill said, "You were a mean little bitch. Don't you think so Millie?"

"Yep, Molly was the smallest one of the brood, but she would scream like hell when she was getting the worst of it."

I said to Millie, "I was the youngest of the bunch, but to keep from getting crap from all the other. I spent half the night trying to figure out ways to get even with the rest of you."

I said to Bill, "Millie did not tell you about all the crap they came up with to aggravate me. When I was born I had a solid black hair. Within a year or so all the black hair had turned blonde, except for one black hair. All of my brothers and sisters teased me by saying they were going to pull out my one and only black hair. I don't know why I was afraid to have it pulled out, but I was. I thought that I would die or something bad would happen to me. Millie after one of you had your fun, another one of you would take over. This did not happen when Mom or Pop were around. You all knew that they would beat the hell out of you. After a while I pulled on the hair and it fell out. I did not die from it. When one of you came around after the back hair fell out to tease me and you could not find the hair. You all would want to know who pulled it out. I would tell all of you that it had turned blonde. You all would accuse me of pulling it out myself. They would come up with something else to tease me. Honey, my brothers and sister were a nasty bunch. "

Millie said, "Don't believe her. She was more of a bitch than the rest of us were."

Bill said, "I believe you. She has a short fuse and she knows how to use it. I have an early morning. I have a bunch of field hands coming over to my old place to work on the field. Also, Millie you have to go to work. We better get moving."

Bill went out the front door, I grabbed something to eat while I fixing my face. Millie was waiting for me when I came out of the bathroom and glanced at the clock. It was getting late. I grabbed a biscuit and stuffed one of the sausage patties in the biscuit. I could not carry everything. With the biscuit in my mouth, I grabbed all of my junk. I gave Millie the car keys and asked if she would drive and she said that she would. I wanted to see how she handled the car. Surprisingly she was a better driver than I was. She had forgotten where the restaurant was located. With the addition that we added she passed by the restaurant. I told Millie that she had passed the restaurant. Millie said that she had not seen it. I said, "It was the larger building that you just passed."

Millie said, "That place looked like a dump when I left. They must be making a lot of money. It must have cost them a fortune to rebuild it, who owns it."

It almost slipped out, I wanted to tell her that Bill and I owned it. I said, "There is a new company that is buying up property. They also own the bank where I work. I was managing the restaurant and they hired me to manage the bank."

"Molly, what is the name of the company?"

I said, "A company by the name of M&B Inc. purchased it and they also owns the grocery store down the street. Also, they are planning to open a department store in the lot across from the grocery."

As Millie made a u-turn, she said, "The economy does not look like it has affected that company."

Again, I almost let the cat out of the bag. I said, "I hope the company doesn't get hit by the economy?"

Millie said, "Why should you worry about M&B Inc. losing money?"

I said, "If the company goes belly up, so will the town. Both of us will lose our jobs, and so will a lot of other people."

Millie was pulling into the parking lot of the restaurant. I took Millie hand and told her to stay cool and that most of the girls are very friendly. They will try to squeeze every memory you have about us out of you. Don't get pissed if they pressure you. Just tell them that you don't talk about your family behind their backs. If they continue to pressure you, tell them to ask Liz, and walk away from them.

 They all welcomed Millie. Liz had wrapped her arms around Millie and tears were running down her face. From the conversation between the two, Millie had only hinted that she may leave and it broke Liz's heart when she found out Millie had left town without her. I was hoping that Liz would not hold it against Millie. I stayed for just a few minutes and headed for the bank.

Like the restaurant, the bank wasn't busy. The parking lot was empty. A cold chill ran down my back. Had the economy affected our little town? I spent yesterday morning going over the books. We were making a profit, but with the way it looked at the restaurant and the bank this morning it did not resolved my concern. Still sitting in my car, I called Bill. I told him how I felt about the economy. He laughed at me and said, "Honey, looking at the last statement we have doubled the amount that we have invested. According to Tom, we are must better off investing the money than putting it in stock or bank accounts. We could walk away and let the state take over all of our investments and we would have more money than what you won. Our investments are worth almost twice what we paid for them. Please don't worry. I have to go back to work. Love you."

Bill hung up before I could say another word. I tried to shake the thought of losing everything that I had won.  I took a deep breath and went into the bank. One of the clerks called to me. I turned around to see who was calling me. Not knowing who had called me, I said. "Yes."

Pat a local girl walked from around the desk and headed in my direction. In the mood that I was in, I asked myself, "What in hell does she want."

I waited until Pat said, "I would like to talk to you in private."

 

Our first robbery:

I told Pat to follow me into my office. Only one of the other three clerks was busy. They all stared at us as we went down the hall to my office. After we were out of ear shot of the other clerks, I asked her what she wanted and continued to my office. Pat did not answer me. I stopped at the entrance to my office and again I asked Pat what she wanted. She looks down the hall and nudged me into my office. Pat locked the door behind us. She turned around and said, "I think two men are going to try to rob the bank. I was over at the bar last night and two men offered to buy me a drink. We had a casual conversation and we joked around. One of them asked where I worked. Like a fool I told them. One of them asked me if I had ever thought of robbing a bank. By this time they had bought me a number of drinks. Half drunk and not thinking, I said that I have been living on the edge all my life. I have thought of robbing someone that had more money than they needed. They came up with a scheme to rob this bank. They asked me if I would help them. Thinking that they were kidding, I said sure. We shook hands. They ordered another round of drinks and like many time before Stan told me that I had my limit and told me to go home. I got up to go home and they got up also. They had not paid their tab and Stan said the last drink is on me. They sat back down and I went home. On the way home, as usual, the fresh night air and the fear of being alone in the darkness sobered me up. Like a flash of lighting, I remember that I had told them that I would help them with the robbery today. I have been up all night thinking that they were not kidding around. Expecting them to be here, I came in early. Thank God, they were not here. I opened the bank and went inside. I waited at the door for the other girls to let them in and make sure that those men would not force them into the bank. Fortunately, they had not shown up. I still didn’t know if they were kidding or not."

    As I was approaching my desk I saw two men with pistols in their hand entering the front door of the bank. I ran to my desk to get a pistol that Mr. Henderson gave me the day we took over the bank. I opened the desk, took out the pistol and picked up the phone. With the phone resting on my shoulder and the gun in one hand, I dialed the police. I knew the operator at the police station and said, "Barbara, this is Molly, someone is trying to rob the bank. From my desk, I saw two men with pistols going into the front door."

Barbara said, "Don't try to stop them."

I heard her yelling to Steve that someone is robbing Molly's bank. Steve yelled out, "Tell her, that we are on our way and don't try to stop them."

I heard a gunshot and a man yelling, he said, “Where in hell is Pat?"

I told Pat to lay down behind the file cabinet and don't move. Before I could hide behind my desk, someone started pounding on the door. I raised the pistol up and aimed the pistol at the top of the door. I fired two shot at the top of the door. I hear someone yell, "The crazy bitch is firing at us through the door. Let's get the fuck out of here."

Another voice said, "What about Pat?"

The earlier voice said, "Leave the bitch here. We want have to get rid of her later."

 I could hear them running down the hall. I heard the sirens getting closer. As I approached the door Pat was crying and screaming that they were going to kill her. I quickly open the door and peeked down the hall. I saw the two bastards heading in my direction. They must have tried the side door. It was always locked. I ducked back into my office and locked the door. I heard them running back to the lobby. I unlocked the door and aimed the pistol down the hall and pulled a trigger. The bastards turned around and started firing wildly. I head Steve yell, "Drop the guns."

I heard the guns falling to the floor. I peeked around the door and saw the two men lying on the floor. I stepped out into the hall and started walking in the direction of the two men. He helped the two clowns off the floor. They were talking to Steve. Steve looked over at Pat and said, "Stay here with Molly until I get back. Don't do anything stupid, like trying to run away. Pat how in hell did you get yourself mixed up with these clowns?"

Pat did not answer Steve. I asked, "Where is the money they took?"

Mabel said, "I was getting the money for them when that SOB asked about Pat. I told him that the manager of the bank took her to her office. They took off down the hall without taking the money."

I looked over a Pat. She was still crying. I told her to come back to the office with me. She followed me to my office. Was Pat telling me the truth or was she going along with them?

I said, "We have already talked about today. Tell me everything about your family and yourself. I have good ears. I want you to be honest with me."

Pat said, "What do you want me to say. I have already told you everything."

"Pat, forget about yesterday and today. Tell me about your life. You have been living here since I been here. Go back as far back as you can remember."

With tears in her eyes Pat looked down at the floor. Forcefulness, Pat said, "You know just as much as I do about my life. Look back at your life, mine was no different."

I said, "Pat if you don't help me, I cannot help you. I will not be able to help you when Steve comes back to get you. Help me to help you."

Pat yelled, "They are going to lock me up no matter what you do. M&B Inc. will press charges against me and fire me. There is nothing that you can do."

"Pat, you know as well as I do, you haven't done anything in your life before this that would even cause you to get a traffic ticket. If you don't help me you will go to jail. How are you financially?"

Pat said, "I am just barely making it. By the time I get my next pay check, I don't have a penny in my pocket book. My parents kicked me out of the house a few years ago. They wanted me to endorse my pay check over to them. I was giving them three quarters of my pay already. I refused to endorse the check over to them and my father physically pushed me out of the house with only the clothes on my back. The guy that I was going with, he let me live with him until he found another girlfriend. Our relationship became unbearable. It came to a point that I wanted to kill myself. Every relationship since then hasn't been much better. I think that I was cursed from the moment I was born. What happened today is a classic example of how my life has been since I was born."

Pat continued with stories of her life. At moments, I could feel the anger and depression that Pat had gone through. It sounded like my past life. I put my arm around Pat and told her that I had heard enough. With a frighten look on her face she asked, "How long will I be locked up?"

I shook my head and said, "I don't know. I am hoping that you will not have to go to jail. When Steve comes back, don't say a word. You and I are the only ones that know what happened when they come to my office. Let me do the talking."

I got up from my desk and went over to Pat. I reached my hand out to Pat and she took my hand. I lifted her up and hugged her then said, "You are not going to jail."

 I looked across the room. Steve had just walked up to the door. I invited him in and asked him to take a seat. Steve said, "I will come back later after I take Pat to the police station."

"Pat is not going to the police station. She hasn't done anything wrong. I was on my way in and Pat told me that she wanted to talk to me in private. I took her to my office and she told me that some men were going to try to rob the bank. When I was walking over to my desk I saw two men entering the bank with pistols in their hands. I took a pistol from my desk and called you. I heard a gunshot go off. The bastards were trying to break down the door.  I fired a couple shots at the top of the door. They must have heard you coming into the bank. I could hear them running in the hall. I opened the door and they were on the floor. You were cuffing them. Steve said, "Those clowns told me it was Pat's fault. They had no intentions of robbing any bank until they met Pat. I said, "They tried to talk Pat into going along with them. She was afraid that they would harm her if she did not go along with them."

Steve said, "I have to witnesses that say's Pat was part of the robbery. I think I have to take her with me."

I said, "Steve, who do you believe, those two bastards or me. If Pat had not asked to talk with me, I would have been in the middle of the robbery. She got me out of the front office and she did not know if they were kidding her or not."

Reluctantly, Steve gave in and told Pat to stay in town. We watched Steve leave the bank. I took Pat with me and went out front. I told Mabel to close the bank. We may have some visitors from the Banking Commission coming to investigate the robbery. We will open tomorrow as usual. I am going to hide Pat from the public. The thieves may have friends that want to get even with Pat. If Pat had not told me that she wanted to talk with me in private, we all would have been in the middle of it. It gave me a chance to get armed. If I had not fired the pistol at the door when they were breaking in, they would have broken the door down.

As Pat and I left the bank I put up the "Bank is Closed" sign. I drove Pat to the house she shared with four other women. She packed a suitcase with the things she thought that she would need.

I drove out to the fields to tell Bill that we just had our first bank robbery. He seemed quite upset. He told the hands to continue with the job he had given them and he would be out here with them tomorrow. Bill followed us to our home. With the extension that he had build to our old home. We had more than enough room for another person. 

I explained to Bill what happened at the bank. At first he did not want Pat in the house. After I convinced him that Pat had been going through more hell than we went through, he thought that I had done the right thing. Like me, he had known Pat for years and he hated to be the one that ruined the rest of her life.

Later that day I had a long talk with Pat about her problems. I assured her that I would help her get on her feet. I told her to make herself at home, I had to go pick up Millie at the restaurant.

On the way home I told Millie about the botched robbery. Millie wished that she had someone like me when Sammy pressed charges against her. Millie and Pat had known each other for years before Millie left home. They were in Millie's room talking for most of the night. The two of them had lived miserable lives. I am thankful that I stayed home and met Bill. Even if I did not win the lottery, it was a lot better than what Millie and Pat had gone through. Bill had already gone to bed. I climbed into bed and cuddled up to Bill. I kissed him on his bare shoulder. He rolled over and pulled me tightly against his naked body. I asked him if he wanted to make love. He said that only if I wanted to. With the rooms so close and two hungry young women in the house, I did not want to stimulate their libido. I remembered the many nights that I laid in bed wishing I had someone to make love to. I whispered to Bill, "I would love to, but the walls are quite thin and we have two hungry young women in the house."

I loved the feeling of Bill's naked body against me. It has always stimulated my libido. I am not sure who fell to sleep first. Bill was an early riser. He was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for all of us. Millie and Pat were both in the bath room. I could hear them talking, but I could not make out what they were saying. I knocked on the door and told them to hurry up and we all have to go to work. Millie opens the door and said, "Oh shit, I forgot that I had a job. Pat, I am sorry that I have to leave you. We will continue telling about our lives when I get home."

It was late and we all were still eating the last crumb from the table when Millie, Pat and I left the house. As we got into the car, Pat said, "How could you afford a car as nice as this one?"

I said, "Bill and I saved almost every cent that we made. I don't think Bill has every spent a cent on himself until he bought his new car. This car is about five years old. When I bought it Bill finagled a new paint job and all the dents being repaired."

I dropped Millie off at the restaurant and continued on to the bank. I told Pat to stay in the car and to keep her head down. I went and unlocked the bank door. The crew was already inside. I had to open the vault and give them there receipts for the day. From the quietness I wondered what they were thinking about. As I gave each one their receipt, I asked them what they wanted to know about the attempted robbery. Mabel said, "We all heard what the robbers were saying about Pat. Pat was just as much involved in the robbery as the two men. They talked as if she was part of the gang."

I interrupted Mabel and said, "You did not hear what Pat said to me. She had met those men at the bar the night before. They were buying her drinks and they wanted to know what she did for a living. She told them that she was a bank clerk. They came up with a scheme to rob the bank and have Pat as the escape goat and use her as a shield if anything went wrong. You all know what Steve said yesterday when he came to get Pat. Pat did not know if they were joking with her or it was for real. For her own safety, she pretended to go along with them. When I came in she wanted to talk to me in private. That gave me a chance to get my gun and keep them away from Pat and me. Pat does not know if there is anyone else involved that might want to get revenge. They were going to use Pat as a shield and kill her later. I am going to keep her out of the public eye until this blows over. Are there any more other question?"

Mabel and Gloria wanted to know how Pat was taking it. I told them that Pat was still scared that the men had friends and they may want to get even with Pat. They all wanted me to give Pat their regards and wish her the best. From the expression on their faces, I knew that they truly meant it.

I went to my office and went through the statements. While I was working, I kept an eye on my car. With the tented windows I could not see Pat. I hoped that she was doing as I told her and she was still in the car.

When I finished my daily routine, I put all the documents in the safe and told the girls that I had to take Pat to the police department and give them a statement of our involvement in the robbery. I told the girls that I hope we don't have another robbery for a long time.  I walked over to my car and opened the door.  Pat was fast asleep on the back seat. From the experience she had gone through yesterday and being up all night talking to Millie, she must be exhausted. I eased into the car hoping that I would not wake her. When I started the car, I glanced to see if Pat had awakened from the sound of the engine. I had mixed feeling. I wanted to go over the statement that she was going to give Steve or anyone else that had to question her. I did not want to waken her, but I did. I said, "Pat wake up."

Pat rolled around for a moment then climbed over the car seat. She said, "What did the girls say about me."

I said that they wished her the best. I told Pat that we had to go over the statement she is going to give Steve and anyone else that wants to question her. I told Pat to repeat what I had told her to say to Steve and anyone else that wanted to know about the robbery. Pat must have spent the night rehearsing. Pat told me word for word what I had said to tell anyone that wanted to hear about the robbery. I patted her on the shoulder and said, "Darling that was perfect. You are so believable. I could almost see everything you said. It is best not to repeat word for word every time you tell it. If they record your statement and each time they record it, the statements are identical, they will know that you have rehearsed it. Tell then the same thing, but change it around or skip parts of the incident.

We parked the car. I told Pat to get out of the car ahead of me and head for the front door and I will follow her. If they see you alone, and coming in on your own free will they will think that you don't have anything to hide. You can stop at the door and hole it open for me. Pat heads for the door. When she gets to the door she goes into the office. When I got to the door, Pat was heading back to the door. She said, "I sorry, I thought that you were right behind me."

We went over to the desk and the sergeant said that Steve was in his office and for us to go right in. With Pat ahead of me, when she reaches Steve office, she said, "Here I am. What do you want me to tell you about the robbery?"

Steve said, "How did you happen to become friends with those two men. Did you pick them out of the crowd?"

Pat started to say something. I spoke over her and blasted Steve, "What the hell are you insinuating. Pat is here by her own free will. Don't try to insinuate that she is something that she isn't."

Steve interrupted me and said, "Molly, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way."

I said, "Steve, I know how you meant it, Pat is here to tell you what happen in the robbery and what happen the night before the robbery. Don't you dare start to insinuate anything else?"

I told Pat to tell Steve about the night before the robbery, Pat said, "Steve you know damn well what I was doing at the bar. You always come in and look around every time I have been in the bar with or without my roommates. In this miserable little town there is nothing else to do. I go in there to relax, have a drink, and if someone comes over and offers me a drink. I let them buy me a drink. Those two men come over to me and offered to buy me a drink. I knew damn well what they wanted, like many other men that bought me drinks. They were drinking one drink after another. Like a fool, I accepted all the drinks that they bought me. Now, as I look back on the evening, I was too damn drunk to know what I told them. They wanted to know what I did for a living and I told them that I was a clerk at the bank. I have no idea how they got me to agree with a robbery. I thought they were kidding around. Stan stopped serving me drinks and told me to go home. I left alone. As I was going out the door, Stan stopped the two men from leaving and told them that the next drink was on him. I thought the robbery was a prank. No one followed me home. When I got home I had sobered up a little. I started wondering about the robbery. Were they really going to rob the bank? This sobered me up. I don't think I got a moment of sleep thinking about the robbery. When I went to the bank and there hadn't been a robbery, I was a little relieved. When Molly came in, I told her that I wanted to talk to her alone. We went to her office and I told her about the robbery. Molly saw the two men approaching the front door of the bank with guns drawn and she called here. Thankful, I had locked the door. Molly told me to hide behind a large file cabinet. Within minutes the bastards were pounding on the door. I thought they were going to break in. Molly fire a few shot into the door. I heard them say something about getting rid of me. Then they ran down the hall. Molly was at the door and opened it. We saw you taking them out and you told me that you were going to come back for me. I heard the bastards blaming me for the robbery and that is it."

I said, "Steve, Pat had no part of the robbery. Get it out of your filthy mind. Pat is a poor young girl who grew up here. She has never done anything to cause her to be arrested. You took the word of those thieves without knowing what really happen. You assumed that I was lying to protect Pat. Pat will be back at work when we are sure that those two nuts do not have friends lurking around. I hope you recorded this conversation. I don't want Pat to have to go through this again. Steve said, "Yes, I have if on tape."

I said, "I don't think you were planning to give Pat a copy of what she said. We will wait while you make Pat a copy."

Steve said, "I will take it down the hall."

I said, "Leave the original here and go get the recorder. Make a copy of the tape here in front of us."

Gruntingly, Steve gets up and walks out of the room. Within minutes he returned. I said, "Was that so difficult?"

Steve grunted, "No, it wasn't."

Within minutes Steve gives Pat the copy. I said, "Pat would like the original."

Grudgingly Steve handed Pat the original. I said, "Is there anything else that you want us for?"

He said with pissed off look on his face, "Get out of here."

As we walked out Steve mumbled something. I turned around and said, "I heard that!"

With a completely different look on his face Steve said, "I didn't say anything Molly. I was just clearing my throat."

I yelled at Steve, "If you don't tell Pat what you said, "I will tell everyone in town what you called us."

After denying he said anything, Steve apologize then said, "I have two witnesses said that Pat was involved in the robbery.  I do not know who to believe.  You are those bastards that are locked up."

I yelled at Steve, "My bank was being robbed and Pat told me what had happened the night before. You believe those bastards before you believed me.  I still want you to tell us what you said.  If you don't I will tell everyone in town what you said and why you said it."

I grabbed Pat's arm and we headed out the door.  Pat whispered, "What did he say?"

"I am not sure what he said, but with that pissed off look on his face, it wasn't nice"

Steve ran over to the door, he called to me, and said, "Molly, please don't tell anyone what I said."

We headed back for the office.  I said, "Tell Pat what you said about us, word for word."

Steve cleared his throat, and then said in a mild voice, "You lying fucking whores."

Pat screamed at Steve, "You fucking philanderer, you have promised every woman in this town that you and Nancy were going to have a divorce.  When you get tired of them, you give them the some fucking story why you can't get married to them.  Then you go out and find another woman to shack up with if you haven't already found another innocent young girl.  What are you going to do when you run out of women in this town?  You have already got a name for yourself.  Everyone in town knows that you are a whore monger.  Molly let's get out of here, I cannot stand to look at that bastard anymore."

Pat took my arm and we walked out of the office. As we walked down the hall, Pat screamed, "I wonder if all the cops in this town are philanderers."

I chuckled and said, "Honey, I don't remember how many cops I had to fight off when they offered me a ride home. When they knew that I was not going to let them screw me, they stopped offering me a ride home. Less go home.  I want to go by the bank and tell the girls that I will not be coming back today."

When we finally got home Bill had already eaten lunch. Bill kissed me and said that he would be working until sundown. He turns and heads for the door, I was busy warming up the leftovers. I believe Pat was starving. We did not say a word. As I glanced over at Pat tears came to my eyes. I felt so sorry for her. I was so lucky, I thanked God for letting me find Bill and winning the lottery. I was looking at Pat. She raises her head and saw me looking at her. With a sympathetic look on her face she said, "Molly, why are you crying. I hope it isn't something that I have done."

I shook my head and said, "No darling, it is not anything that you have done. I am thankful that I could help you. I am sorry that you had to put up with Steve. He is a real bastard. Let's get it out of our minds. Leave the dishes in the sink, let's go for a walk. I want to show you what Bill has done to the farm."

Pat and I took a long walk over the farm. She was quite impressed at the work that Bill had done. She had been out here a couple years ago when we first started selling food on the highway. She told me how different the house, barn and all the other things looked since she was here the last time.

When we got back to the house, I looked at my watch. It was past the time I was to pick up Millie. I grabbed my cell phone and called her. When she answered, she said, "Where are you I was waiting for you at the restaurant. I am at the bank now and it is closed."

 I apologized for being late and told her that I would be leaving now. We were almost at the restaurant and we saw a police car parked on the side of the road. Millie and the office were standing behind the police car. I made a u-turn and pulled up behind the cruiser. The office was facing the opposite direction. Millie saw me and started to head for the car. The officer forcefully grabbed Millie's arm and pushes her against the cruiser. He hears my car stopping on the gravel road and looks in my direction. With fear all over his face, he jumps back. He must have thought that I wasn't going to stop. Pat and I both got out of the car. He reaches for his pistol. I yelled, "Don't you dare pull that gun on me. Why in hell are you restraining my sister? Millie, get in the car."

The officer grabbed at Millie. Millie slaps his hand. I yelled, "Leave her along. Why have you stopped her?"

He said, "For peddling her ass."

I yelled, "What proof do you have?"

He yelled, "My word."

I yelled back, "You fucking liar. Did she approach you or did she flag you down? Who put you up to this, Steve? The bastard is trying to get even with me. Pat, you and Millie get into the car."

The officer yelled, "I am going arrest all of you for resisting arrest."

I yelled back, "You son of bitch follow me. I am going to turn you in for false arrest and intimidation."

I got into the car and made a u-turn. The office stood there with his mouth wide open. I looked over at Millie and said, "Honey, please forgive me for being late. I am going to blast Steve for what he is attempting."

I took my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed Tom's cell number. When he answered, I asked him to get in touch with the attorney that helped us and see if he can meet me at the police station."

Tom said, "He lives down the street from me. I will pick him up and go with him. Bye."

I pulled into the police station parking lot and got out of the car. I looked around for the cop then said, "I wonder if the cop is coming to the station. It looks like he lost his way."

Millie said, "Some of them are very nice. Others are downright stupid."

I heard a car pulling into the parking lot. I looked over to see who it was. It was Tom. How the hell did he get here so soon? Attorney Wilson was with him. They came over to us. Wilson said, "Molly, what can I do for you?

I said, "I want you make sure that I don't make an ass out of myself. This is Millie, my sister; I don't think you two have ever met. A cop was harassing her, and I think Steve is behind it."

I pointed at Millie. Wilson said, "I know Pat. She has helped me when I go to the bank."

Wilson introduces himself to Millie and said that he would do his best. Millie tells Wilson what had happened. Wilson said that this type of harassment is frequent here. I have had a number of cases of this type here. Where did he stop you? Millie said, "Molly was late in picking me up. I was half way between the restaurant and the bank. Molly called me and told me she was on her way. I started walking to the farm. I was about a quarter of a mile past the restaurant. When this cruiser passed me and pulled to the side of the road. He gets out of the cruiser and stand at the rear of the cruiser. When I got closer to him, he calls me over to him. He started to give me the third degree. He continued question me about my personal life until Molly and Pat came. He wanted to arrest me for prostitution. Molly asked him what proof he has, he said, his word. If we left, he was going to charge us with resisting arrest. Molly told me to get into the car and we drove over here."

Wilson said, "The county line and City limits are just before the restaurant. He has no authority arresting you outside of the City limits. Let's go inside and see what Steve has to say about this. Tom told me about the bank robbery. Does this have something to do with it?"

I said, "Possibly, Steve thinks that Pat and I are lying about the robbery."

Wilson knowing who owns M&B Trust chuckled and said, "Molly, I know you two are not lying. M&B would not have hired either one of you. Let's see what Steve has to say about this incident and the robbery."

We walked into the station and Wilson told the officer that he would like to talk to Steve. The officer pointed down the hall and said that he is in his office. Wilson led the group down the hall. Suddenly Wilson stops and puts a finger over his lips. We all stopped. Wilson whispered, "Steve is on the phone. I think he is talking with the officer that stopped Millie. Let's listen for a few minutes."

We could only hear Steve side of the conversation. He was blasting someone for blowing an assignment. We eased up to the door. It was no question that Steve was talking to the officer that was going to arrest Millie. When Steve hung up the phone, he said in a very loud voice, "That stupid bastard. He fucked up everything."

When Steve turns around he looked like he was going to pass out. His face turned white as snow and he plopped back into his chair. He sat there with his mouth open for a few minutes trying to utter something. Wilson said, "How Steve, are you alright? You look like you are in shock."

The words from Steve's mouth were garbled. Wilson said, "Molly wants to file a complaint about being harassed by Officer Peterson. He was in process of charging her sister Millie for prostitution and resisting arrest without any evidence. I understand that you also wanted to charge Pat with prostitution and bank robbery. What evidence do you have to warrant Peterson and yourself to assume these allegations? Also, Peterson was not in his jurisdiction when he was going to arrest Millie. You and Peterson do not have the right to arrest anyone outside your jurisdictions. You must call for county assistance. Peterson did not ask the county sheriff to assist him. When I talked to the sheriff, I got the feeling that you and the sheriffs do not agree on who you can arrest in his jurisdiction. It seems that you have been harassing citizens outside your jurisdiction."

Wilson stopped talking and glared down on Steve. Wilson had Steve climbing the walls. Molly said, "M&B owns the restaurant. It is not in the City limits. Not only am I the manager of the bank, I am also the manager of the restaurant. I would appreciate it if you would not harass my customers for no reasons. Stan is a county officer.  He monitored how much the customers drink. He will not sell the custom another drink if he feels that they have already had their limit. The night before the robbery, Stan sent Pat home. Stan told me that he thought the men were kidding around with Pat about the robbery. He said that we all fantasize about getting rich over night. That was what Pat had thought also. She was smart enough to realize that they may not be kidding around. She used her better judgment and told me about it. Those bastards were going to kill Pat after they used her in the robbery."

Steve had settled down. He apologized to Pat and Millie. He promised Wilson that he would try to keep his officers in line and stay in their jurisdictions.  Pat and Millie thanked Steve for his apology. Steve told me that his officers would not try to enforce the law only if Stan requested their help.

We all went outside with Steve. He even thanked Wilson for coming. When Steve went back into the police station, Wilson told us not to hesitate if Steve or his officers gave us any trouble. Wilson winked at me and said, "I will not bill M&B for this one, it is on me. I have wanted a reason to give Steve hell for a long time. I enjoyed seeing him squirm." 

On the way home, we all felt relieved of the mess with the local cops. Pat said, "I guess you both know that Steve is a philanderer. There are only a few single women that have not been seduced by Steve. Millie said, "Pat you must be kidding Nancy would kill him if she found out."

Pat laughed, "Nancy is not any better. One of the girls that hangs around the bar told me that Nancy knows that Steve is a philanderer. She said that if she applies for a divorce, she would be out on the streets peddling her ass. The only reason she married Steve was to have a home and not pay for the expenses.  If she went to work she would only get a temporary job that would pay minimum wages. Of course she works as the emergency operator when one of them can't make it. If she got a job it would not be enough to put a roof over her head.  Since they do not have any children she would not even get child support."

I said to Pat, "We live and learn we all have our problems. All of my own problems have overshadowed everyone else's problems. Seeing Bill walking down that lonely road is where my life turned around.  I think that he was so tired, cold and hungry that he didn't even see me.  If I had not recognized him, I would still be walking down that lonely road. Some nights when I wake up and see Bill is laying next to me, I thank God for the moment that I saw him walking alone on that bitter cold night.  I feel wonderful having Bill to cuddle up to."

In unison Pat and Millie said, "You are a lucky bitch."

Millie said, "Molly, I am grateful to have you. I would still be in jail if you had not taken it on yourselves to find me.  Living with Sammy was worse than living in prison. I was the one that had to work. It's no wonder that bitch that was sleeping in the front bedroom did not wake up. She had probably been working all night while Sammy was out screwing another bitch. Men are such beast. They want to sleep with every woman they see."

Pat laughed and said, "I must be a beast. I want to sleep with almost every man I see."

I said, "Don't we all?"

As we were approaching the house, Bill was splitting logs for the fire place. He wasn't wearing a shirt. His muscular chest was beautiful. I think it turned all of us on. The way that Millie and Pat looked at him, I knew what was going on in their minds. We all started to get out of the car. The jealous part of me took over. I wanted to see what Pat and Millie did. I procrastinated to see what my darling husband would do. As I expected, they both went over to Bill and hugged him and gave him a kiss on the lips. I didn't mind the kiss, but Bill seemed to enjoy it. The dander in the back of my head started to grow. I didn't want to let Bill know that I was jealous. It took all my strength to hold my composure. I joined the group. I did not hug Bill. He gave me this weird look and said, "Don't I get a hug and kiss from my beautiful wife?"

I said, "Of course you do."

Bill hugs me and lifted me up. He started kissing me on the cheek then he progressed to my lips. I felt an erection pressing against me. I whispered to Bill, later lover."

The jealousy faded from my body. The jealousy that I had a few minutes ago has gone. I said to myself, "Don't let my selfishness ruin my life."

As I slowly slid down Bill's chest, Bill turns around so that the girls would not see his indiscretions. He whispered, "After dinner…when we go out to feed the animals…. in the hay loft."

I nodded my approval. We headed for the house. The girls were still standing there. I looked around and they looked like they were in a trance. I smiled at them and said, "Please go inside and fix supper. Bill and I have to feed the animals."

They both looked like they were in another world. Fortunately, they came out of their trance. Pat said, "Go ahead and feed the animals. We will fix supper."

After they were inside, Bill said, "I have already fed the animal. We can spend the extra time together. Since Millie came to live with us, we have not made love."

I said, "We will make up for it in the hay loft."

Bill picked me up and carried me in his arms. When we were in the barn, Bill lifted me up almost to the top of the ladder. I grabbed the ladder and hurried into the loft. I turned around and stuck my hand out for Bill and helped him up the last few rungs on the ladder. Bill picks me up again and slides his hand under my butt. I spun around and wrapped my legs around Bill. There was a pile of hay in the far corner of the loft where Millie was laying. With my legs still wrapped around Bill. He lays me down in the hay with me straddling him. Should I say more? I was in paradise. Our interlude was wonderful. I realized that my jealousy was ludicrous. Bill is still mine.

In the darkness, Bill and I did not see the hay on our clothes, our messed up hair and my lipstick smeared all over Bill's face. As we were walking into the house, both of the girls turned around. The look of their faces said it all. With a smile on her face from ear to ear, Millie said, "Go back outside and brush the hay off of you."

Millie and Pat both chuckles, Millie said, "I don't want to sweep the hay off of the floors."

I could feel the flush on my face. I looked over at Bill; his face was a cherry red. I knew that both of the girls knew what we had been doing. We went outside and Bill said, "Since they know what we did, let's do it again."

I said to Bill, "I would love to. They already have dinner ready. This time Millie would come looking for us."

Disappointed, we turn on the front porch light and sensually brushed each other off. I looked over at the window and saw the girls peeking out the window and I did not give a damn. I did not tell Bill, in a way I felt sorry for them. A flash back in my life reminded me how many times I had been deprived of sexual attention. When Bill was brushing the hay off of my back, I pushed my butt into his crouch and looked over at the window. The girls quickly pulled away from the window. I let out a chuckle. Bill said, "What is so funny?"

I told him that the girls were getting a free show. He looked over at the window, the girls popped into the window at the same time. Bill waved at them. Again, they jumped back. Bill reaches for the door and opens it and said, "Come on out, you can help us."

The girls were on the porch in seconds. I smiled at them and said, "You can brush my back off while I brush the hay off of Bill, not you two."

Millie said, "Ahhhhhh, don't be so greedy."

Pat and Bill both laughed. I replied, "You had Sammy and I never got the chance to brush the hay off of his back. Why should I let you massage Bill's back when I am having so much fun?"

Millie said, "Molly honey, we are sisters. We should share our nicer moments in our life."

I said, "Bill, don't you dare enjoy it."

Bill quickly pulled off his shirt and said, "I am not going to get in the middle of two sisters fighting over nothing. I will clean the hay off of my own shirt."

 I said, "Honey we were just kidding."

Bill said, "Two hell you were. You don't share me with anyone."

I put my arms around Bill and said, "You are damn right, I don't share with anyone, especially my husband, he is all mine."

We all headed back into the house chuckling. I was hoping that I had made a point. Bill is all mine and I don't share my husband with anyone.

Millie and Pat had made a wonderful dinner. Like usual, I put my darling baby girl to bed and stayed with her until she were asleep. The girls washed the dishes while Bill took his shower. He only wears his pajama pants around the house. They were a little on the loose side. The top of his cute butt shows when he wears his pajama pants. I heard the girls chuckling. My jealousy started to show its ugly head. I wanted to kick the girls out of the house. This all changed in a flicker when Bill joined Pamela and me. His loving smile flushed my selfish thoughts from my mind. He bent over and gave me a kiss and stroked my head. I put my arms around him and he lifts me out of the bed into his arms. He carried me into our bedroom. He lies down on the bed with me on top of him. He kisses me on my breast and said, "I will never be unfaithful to you. There is no other woman in this world that I could love as much as I love you. The girls were just teasing you. Don't ever be jealous of another woman. I will always be yours. I love you."

Tears came to my eyes. I gave Bill a long and lingering kiss and cuddled tightly against his bare chest. Within minutes Bill was asleep. The feeling of happiness and security ran through my mind. I wanted this feeling to last forever. Exhaustion soon took over my body. Even with the heavy snoring of Bill, within minutes I was asleep.

When the morning light started to enter the room, my eyes glance across the bed. Bill looked like he was still sleeping. I tried to ease out of the bed without waking Bill. His large arm wrapped around me and Bill whispered, "I will always love you."

I said, "Honey, my bladder is full. If you don't let me go, I will wet the bed."

Bill quickly removed his arm. I dashed for the bathroom. Oh, shit, someone is in the bathroom. I looked through the window at the privy. I lifted my nightgown and headed for the back door. When I got to the privy I tried to open the door. It was locked. I heard Millie say, "Who's there."

I said, "It's me honey. Let me in."

Within seconds Millie opened the door and said, "Like old time. Everyone in the house had to go to the bathroom at the same time. That's why Pop made a three-hole privy."

 When we got back to the house Bill and Pat were making breakfast. I let Millie take her shower first. Linda tapped on the front door and walked in. She said, "Where is my baby?"

I said, "I think she is still sleeping." 

I believed Linda loved Pamela as much as I do. She spends more time with Pamela than I do. At times I think Linda is going to kidnap Pamela. This filthy thought has flashed through my mind a number of times. With Bill and I both working, we do not have the time to spend with our beautiful baby. At times when I am at home with Pamela and Linda, Pamela seems to enjoy Linda more than she enjoys me. The two are almost inseparable. They have more in common than Pamela and I. The conditions have already been set and there is nothing that I can do about it. I cannot control the feeling that Pamela has for Linda. If I try to change their feeling for each other, I may destroy the feeling that Pamela has for me. There is no reason that I could hire someone to take over my duties and stay home with Pamela. I don't think that would work either. I would have to let Linda go. This would make Pamela and Linda both hate me. Even on Sunday when I am home, Pamela spends more time with Linda than she spends with me. I took a deep breath and let out a puff of air. Everyone at the breakfast table looked over at me. Linda eyes were also taking it in. Bill said, "Honey are you alright, what's bothering you?"

It took me a moment to think of something to say. I said, "Nothing really. I think that we all have been working to many hours."

Pat and Millie both said that they hoped that it wasn't anything that they had done. I tried to assure them that they had not cause any problem.

Pamela came running into the kitchen. She climbs up into my lap and gave me a kiss and said that she thought that I had gone to work without kissing her goodbye. The love that was written all over her beautiful little face made tears come to my eyes. I gave Pamela a hug and planted kisses all over her beautiful and caring face. I said, "Sweetheart, I don't get to see you as much as I would like too. I will never forget to hug and kiss you goodbye and when I come home."

I asked Pamela if she would like to have her breakfast while she is sitting in my lap. She said, "Mom, can I?"

"Yes my darling. Do you want me to feed you?"

Pamela shook he head and said, "I am old enough to feed myself."

I gave Pamela another burst of kisses and said, "My darling little girl is growing up."

Pamela said, "Linda taught me how to hold a fork when I eat. I can also cut something with a knife."

I looked up at Linda and smiled. With a smile on Linda face she said, "Pamela is growing up in more ways than one. She has become a darling little lady."

After Pamela finished eating I put her into Bill's lap and said, "Don't you want to kiss daddy."

Pamela said, "I kiss daddy all day. When daddy is working around the farm, we kiss all day."

Bill said in a rejected voice, "Don't daddy get a good morning kiss."

Pamela started planting kisses across Bill's face. Bill gave Pamela a bear hug and a strong kiss on her cheek then said, "Those kisses that you gave will give me the strength to work hard all day."

With all of the hugging and kisses, I don't think Pamela had noticed Linda. Like a flash, she jumps out of Bill's lap and ran over to Linda and wraps her arms around Linda and said, "Now, I am going to kiss my best friend."

So much for how much Pamela loves her Mom and Pop, she has enough love in her sweet little body to love everyone in the world. I said, "Honey, when you finish loving Linda why don't you love your Aunt Millie and Pat."

Pamela said, "When you and Pop are not her, I hug and kiss both of them."

Millie said, "Pamela has a loving schedule. There is a time that she loves us all. There are a lot of people that she loves. Pat and I will get a lot of loving after you and Bill go to work."

I got up from the table and gave everyone a hug and a kiss. I told Pat and Millie to stay at the farm. I did not know what Steve had up his sleeve. He is the type that doesn't give up quickly. I don't trust the bastard. I looked over at Millie and said, "I hope that you don't have any of the products that you were selling."

Millie chuckled and said, "No Molly, I did not use them and I am not going to go back into that business. I have had enough of the crap that goes with the business. Sammy did not sell the junk and he forced me to sell it. That is the reason I did not want to share one cent with him. Molly, someday, I am going to tell you the hell that I went through."

I said, "Just talking to Sammy gave me goose pimples. He must be a real bastard, goodbye everyone.”

I said, “Bill, walk me to the car. I wanted some more kisses. You haven't kissed me goodbye."

Bill said, "Honey, I am sorry. With all the kissing going on, I forgot about kissing you."

I said, "I will let you off this time. Don't let it happen again."

Millie chuckled and said, "What a bitch you have turned out to be."

I looked over at Millie and said, "With you, Martha and Mattie, how else would you expect me to be. I learned it from my three sweet sisters."

Bill slightly pushed me through the door and whispered, "Honey don't be too rough on Mille. With the few thinks she has told me, she has been through hell since she left home. I have been through some of the same things that she has been through. From the things she told me about Sammy, I would have killed him for the crap that Sammy put her through."

I hugged Bill and said, "I know honey that is why I asked you to take me out to my car. I feel terrible about not letting her live alone. I want you to call Lillie and ask her which one on the two bedroom apartments is the nicest. I am going to furnish it and let Millie and Pat live up there. We will discuss the rent we charge them later. Lillie and Tom have friend that own a furniture store in the City. Tell Lillie that we want some modest. Not too expensive, but, not junk."

Bill took my arm and spun me around. He pulled me tightly against his body and said, "Honey, it tore me apart when I had to turn her down when she asked me to lend her some money to buy furniture. You are an angel. Also, the old house is a little too small for all of us. You had a taste of togetherness this morning when you and Linda had to go out to the privy."

 "Bill you are not the only one. We could support all of our brother and sister without them having to go to work. It is much better for all of us to continue working. We all would emotionally fall apart if we didn't continue to work. I am going to give my two brothers a loan on their garage. I will cut the interest in half. M&B has two much money that is not earning its keep."

Bill said, "Sweetheart that is wonderful. You take care of your brothers and I will take care of Millie and Pat."

Bill gave me one of those long and lingering kisses with our bodies glued together. I peeked at the house and chuckled. Bill asked, "What is so funny?"

Still chuckling I said, "Honey, don't look around. Everyone in the house is watching us."

Bill opened the car door and gave me a pat on my rear end and said, "This will give them something to laugh about. Don't work too hard. If Steve gives you any trouble let me know."

I shook my head and said, "Honey let me handle it. Wilson will scare the hell out of him. If you lay a hand on him, you could be in a lot of trouble."

Bill said, "I would still like to beat the hell out of him. He thinks that he is God and he can do anything that he pleases. He needs to be taken down to size. I want to stomp the worm."

Still not wanting Bill to get involved with Steve, I begged, "Honey, please don't let what Steve did to Pat, Millie and me upset you so much. I am going to talk to Stan’s brother and ask him if he would like to run for Steve's Job as Chief of Police this fall. He is the only officer on the police force that I can trust. The other officers are as bad if not worse than Steve."

 Bill said, "When I came home one of bastards saw me walking to the farm. He pulls over and questions me. When he got out of the police car he would yell at me with a blatant voice, what the fuck are you doing out here. I told him that I was going home. When he got closer to me and saw that I was a head taller than he was, he changed his tone of voice. I told him what my name was and where I lived. He would head back to the police car mumbling some shit about not starting any trouble. He must have told the other officers about me. The police cars would pass me so close that I had to jump off the road to keep from getting hit."

I said, "With luck, maybe we can clean up the Police Department."

Bill hugged me again and helped me into the car. He watched me drive away. I went to the bank and all the girls were already there. They all wanted to know about Pat and Millie. They knew about Pat, how did they know about Millie's problem with the cops? I asked Mabel what she had heard about Millie. She said that she heard that she was arrested for prostitution. I asked Mabel who told her that Millie was arrested for prostitution. She said that almost everyone that she had met had mention that your sister and been arrested for prostitution. I said, "Mabel, I have a special assignment for you. I would like you to get on the phone and call everyone that mention that Millie was a prostitute and find out where they got the information from and whom. Gloria, if you get overloaded call me and I will come and help. For the both of you, do not tell anyone that I am the one that wants the information. I will be in my office if you need me."

I knew that Steve was behind it. I had to shut the bastard up for good. This may be the way to get him out of office sooner than I expected. I went to my office and called home. I asked Millie if she had ever been arrested for any other crime beside the check problem. Millie told me that was the only thing that she had been arrested for. I said, "Millie this is very important. Have you ever been arrested for prostitution? Millie please be honest with me."

Millie said, "Molly, the only time in my life that I have been paid for sex was the twenty dollar the truck driver through out the window to me. I have had boy friends that I was interment with. There is nothing else that I have been charged with."

"Honey, Steve or Peterson has told everyone in town that you are a prostitute. I am going to get Wilson to file charges for you against the City for spreading malicious information about you."

Millie said, "Molly, don't file charges against him. I am going to kill the bastard."

"Honey, I am going to file a suit against the City and the police department if Steve or anyone else in the department accused you of being a prostitute. I am going to ask for one million dollar in damages. Please don't mention this to anyone. Please don't mention this to Pat or Linda."

Millie said, "Pat is right next to me. She told Linda what want was going on."

"OK, tell Linda not spread it around, she is a blabber mouth. I want to talk this over with Wilson before we do anything else. Love you honey, bye."

I dialed Wilson office. His secretary told me that he was on another line, and asked if I wanted to hold on. I told Frances to have him call me at my office at the bank. I hung up and called Stan at his home. Sara told me that he was still sleeping. I told her to tell him to call me when he wakes up.

I had no sooner hung up the phone and Wilson was on the line. I told him what I wanted him to do if the rumor was started by any of the Police and Millie wanted a million dollars in damages. Wilson told me that it would shake them up more if I filed a suit for ten millions and we could settle for less. I said, "Bob, the City does not have a million, much less ten million."

Bob said, "Don't worry about the City. The Party that's in office has been hiding the City's funds. The state has my firm looking into the funds. The investigation is about to become public. The Mayor and all the City counsels' members' accounts have been frozen. I examined the files and Steve's name appears in the documents. With the state on his back he will crumble. He will sing like a canary. Just let me know who is pushing the rumor. I can stop the rumors by a phone call. I want to push the whole rotten gang out of office and out of town. The best way to get Steve and his buddies out of town permanently is though the courts."

"Bob, I hope you are right. Steve has been in office as far back as I can remember. Thanks for your help. I will let you know what happen on this end. Bye."

As soon as I hung up the phone. Mabel was on the intercom. She said that Stan called and wanted to talk to you. I thank her and dialed Stan phone number. Stan said, "Molly is that you."

"Yes honey, it's me."

With an excited voice Stan said, "I was going to call you last night. Steve has every one of the cops spreading rumor about Millie being a whore. Chuck came into the bar last night and told me. Peterson and Steve were giving out a line of bullshit that I could not believe."

I ask, "Did you hear them making remarks about Millie or did someone else tell you?"

"Molly, both, everyone at the bar was talking about Millie. I heard Peterson across the room bellowing that we have a new whore in town. Steve was standing behind one of the customers telling him that he had another choice of whores and he mentioned Millie Malone. I could not believe what he was saying. Charlie is one of the customers that hangs around with the gals that are known prostitutes."

I said, "I am well aware of Charlie. I don't know where he gets his money. He has been coming in the restaurant with different women since I first went to work there. He even approached me. I slapped his face one evening when he rubbed my butt. I yelled out to him; don't ever touch my body again."

Stan said, "He got a number of women that he keeps company with. I think his parents had a business in the City and he sold it for a couple of million."

 I said, "Thanks Stan, keep notes on anything you hear about Millie and ask Chuck to do the same. I have been thinking about getting Chuck to apply for Steve job if he wants it."

"Molly, Chuck has wanted to find a way to get Steve fired. The City commissioners don't want anyone else in the office. Steve does anything he wants without the commissioner's approval. I don't want to get Chuck fired, but I would appreciate any information he can give us concerning Millie and Pat."

I thanked Stan and reminded him to keep notes of conversation of the customers. I thanked Stan and hung up.

With Steve partly out of my mind, I called Lillie. Bill had already called her. She said that she has the perfect apartment for them and asked how much money she should spend on the furniture. I told her that to use her judgment. I want it to have all the necessities and the furniture should be in the mid range, not to cheep and not too expensive. Lillie said, "The furniture store that my friends own have very nice furniture and the prices are not extravagant."

I asked Lillie what was the apartment number. She said, "Its number 101and it is just a few doors down to the swimming pool."

I said, "I think Millie is part fish. She used to hog the bath tub and still does. I am going over and pick her and Pat us and take them for a peek."

Lillie said, "I am already at the apartment. I am looking forward to see what the girls will do when they know this is going to be their new home."

I said, "I am not going to tell them. So pretend that you are doing a walk through before the new tenants move in."

Lillie let a burst of laughter and said, "That will be the icing on the cake. I can imagine what I would do if I was in their shoes."

After I hung up, I called home and told Millie that I want to take her and Pat sightseeing. They both wanted to get out of the house.

When I got to the house Millie and Pat were both outside waiting. With smiles on their faces, Millie said, "We whores are ready to go."

I said, "I have to stop at the county jail for a few minutes."

With a suspicious look on Millie face, she said, "I am not going in. I don't want to set foot into another jail for the rest of my life."

I did not say a word. I pulled out of the driveway and headed back to town. I heard Pat whisper to Millie that I wasn't going the right direction. The county jail is the opposite direction. It is five miles south of Bill's old home.

My cell phone rang. I answered it. Wilson said, "I just called the office, I have some good news for you. The State Attorney General has frozen all of the City Councils members, City’s Mayor and the Sheriffs accounts. I will mail the papers to you. Do any of the above have accounts in your bank?"

A flash of excitement ran through my body. I said to Wilson, "Yes they all have accounts with the bank. They also have safety deposit boxes also. Steve has a very large box. I have often wondered what he put in it every month. Please don't mail the papers to the bank, Fax them. I pulled to the side of the road and said to Wilson, "Where are you now."

Wilson said, "I am walking out to my car, why?"

"I thought that you were at your office. Please call your office and have them Fax the files to my bank. If they find out that their accounts are frozen, there will be a stampede at the bank. Call your office back and please tell them to Fax a copy to the bank."

Wilson said, "I will call the office and see if they can Fax you a copy."

I turned and looked at Millie and said, "You girls are going to love what is happening to Steve."

Before I could tell the girls the good news, my cell phone rang again. I grabbed my cell phone. Wilson said, "Your bank was at the top of the list. The girls at the office have already started faxing the documents to M&B Trust."

"Thanks a million Bob. When will I be able to freeze the accounts?"

Bob replied, "Just as soon as you get the Fax. The notices are going to be mailed to the defendants. This will give the banks a day or two to freeze the account before the defendants can close all of their accounts."

"Thanks Bob I am headed to the bank now."

The girls were all ears. Millie wanted to know what was going on. Pat told her that all the big shots in our little town were not allowed to access their accounts at the bank and that included their credit cards and savings account.

I parked my car in front of the bank. We piled out of the car. I looked over at Pat and asked, "Honey, have you ever frozen the accounts while you were at the bank."

With a disturbed look on her face she said, "Yes a number of times. There has always been some poor sole that only has a few dollars in the bank. Unknowing to them, their creditors can freeze their accounts. It always tore my heart out when they came in and found out they could not remove the few buck they needed to feed their kids and themselves."

Millie boastfully said, "That's terrible, there should be a law that forbids banks from taking the food out of their poor kid's mouths."

I patted Millie on the shoulder and said, "That the type of world we are living in. If you do it once, you have to do it to everyone that owes money or damages. We all are treated like thieves. That is what I was afraid of before Mom and Pop died. It lingered in my mind until Bill came into my life."

As soon as I walked through the door, Mabel said, "There is a fax coming in. It looks like it will never end. I had to add paper once. The rate that it is going, I will have to add more paper to the fax machine."

I lock the door behind me and put up the temporary closed sign. I said, "Pat will tell you what we have to do. We are freezing the accounts of all the big shots in Sunny Ville."

I went over and thumbed through the documents for the list of people that their accounts were going to be frozen. The first thing I did was take enough cash to run the bank for a couple of month out of the vault and put it in the old banks safe. I sealed the vault and put up a notice to keep the vault locked and do not let anyone near it. There was a door to the vault area. I locked it also. Pat and the other clerks were working on the computer system. They were adding passwords to the account of the individual that were on the list. This episode was freighting to all of us. We did not know what the account holders would do when they found out that their account had been frozen. I did not want the girls to be harassed by the account holder. It was going to be hell when they all started coming in to get into their safety deposit boxes. I could see Steve when he came in. He would try to intimidate the clerks to get to his safety deposit box. I went into my office and called Bill. Linda answered the phone. I said, "This is Molly, is Bill around."

Linda said, "I don't have any idea where he is. He came in right after you left with the girls."

I asked, "Is his car outside."

Linda said, "I don't know."

Trying to keep my cool, I said, "Go out front and look around."

Linda said, "I am playing with Pamela."

I yelled, "Damn it Linda, get you damn ass out of the house and look for Bill."

From the sound of Linda still breathing, I yelled, "If you don't go looking for Bill now, this will be the last day you will ever see Pamela again."

With fear in her voice, Linda apologized and said, "The last time I looked outside. He was talking to some of the workers."

I yelled, "Go look for him now and don't hang up. Tell him it is very important."

I did not hear Linda heavy breathing. I could hear Pamela saying something to Linda. I heard her little footsteps running across the room. She picks up the phone and said, "Mom is that you on the phone?"

"Yes darling, have you seen daddy?"

"Yes Mom, he is in the front yard talking to some men."

Before I could say a word, I heard the door open and being slammed shut. Pamela hands the phone to Bill and said, "Mom wants to talk to you."

Bill thanked Pamela and hands him the phone. Bill said, "What did you say to Linda? She was hysterical when she came over to me and told me that you wanted to talk to me."

I laughed and said, "I will tell you later. I have another job for you. The state has frozen the accounts of the bigwigs in the City. They all will be coming to the bank demanding us to release all of their funds and clean out their safety deposit boxes. I don't want the girls to have the problem of turning them down when they come to the bank. They will physically force the girls for their funds. I will need two big men to take all the crap that Steve and all the rest of the bastards that show up. Steve will be armed. He will do everything to get his funds. I want the two men to wear suit with white shirts and ties. Also, I don't want them to be wearing their field shoes. We both know what they look like."

Bill interrupted me and said, "Darling, how well do I know what you are talking about. I have the perfect pare for the job. I will take them down town and get them spruced up. When will you need them?" 

I said, "Now, as soon as you can get them here. Are they field-hands?"

"Yes Molly, why do you ask?"

"Bill I want someone that can control their temper and explain to the account owner that their account cannot be opened without creating a brawl inside the bank."

"Honey, I will not send anyone that cannot control their emotions."

"Bill, I have to go. A fax is coming in with the names of the individuals whose account are being frozen. I don't have any idea when they will be notified that their accounts are being frozen. Do your best to get the men here as soon as you can. Pick up a couple of pistols with a box of bullets. I hope things don't get that bad. As I said, God only know how far those bastards will go. Love you, bye."

I hung up the phone. I wanted to see what bastards were on the list. I took the stack of files that were already printed. In every page was a pack of garbage. Page after page was the same garbage. When I reached the list of dependence, I woke up, familiar name started popping up. I could not believe the number of things that they were being charged with and the amounts of money they had embezzled. I finally found Steve name. He was a co-conspirator to all the other men on the list. Who in this town knew that Steve conspired with all of these bastards? There is only one person that was close enough Steve to know that he was involved with the other men and hated him enough to have squealed on him. It has to be Nancy. From the gossip that I have heard, Nancy hated his guts. I wonder how much she is getting for turning him in. Was she the only one involved? Did one of the women that he promised to marry? That could be all the single girls in town and a number of the married women. I don't blame them. The crap that he is pulling on Millie and Pat is enough to send him to jail. I looked around the room. Everyone was looking at me. Mabel, Gloria and Peg were sitting at their desk. Millie and Pat were at one of the desk in the lobby. They all had a, what now Molly, look on their faces. I asked, "Do you have a list of the ones that are listed in the document. Peg said, "Yep, and we made a few copies to spread around town."

I smiled and said, "At this point, I do not want to get the bank involved in this mess anymore than it already is. At this point we do not know what the Attorney General knows and who else is involved. I am sure that M&B does not want the bank to get into the middle of this mess. All of us are already involved in this case. We allowed them to deposit funds in M&B Trust. We may be called as witnesses in the trial. So please for all of our sake, don't discuss this matter with anyone. If you have anything to say that may involve the bank, please tell me now."

With my eyes, I scanned the girls at their desk. Gloria raised her hand and said, "Me and a group of my friends were at the bar. Steve came in and saw Mary's sister Joyce. She lives in another state. Joyce is a beautiful girl. Like a magnet, Steve came over to the table with his eyes glued on Joyce. Before Steve could say a word, Mary took Joyce's arm and said, come honey, we have to go now. Mary shouted NOW and she dragged Joyce out of the bar. Steve sat down in the empty chair across from me and said, “Who was the young lady that was with Mary? I lied and said that I had just arrived only a minute before he did. Mary was telling the young lady who I was when he walked in. They were getting ready to leave when I came in. Steve gets up and walks away with a pissed off look on his face. Mary had told Joyce about Steve a few minutes before he walked in. From the little that Mary had said. Steve had promised her the world. He said that if she married him they would leave this flee beaten town. He had told Mary he had millions of dollars. After about a week, he dropped her like a hot rock. He had ignored her every time she saw him. She said that it did not take long to get the full picture of Steve. Every girl that she met had gone through the same mess or similar mess that she had gone through."

I said, "Gloria, everyone in town knows that Steve is a philanderer."

Gloria said, "I'm sorry. I went through the same mess that half of the women in town have gone through. Steve throws money around as if he has millions. The bastard spent over five hundred dollar on me before he dropped me. I have always wondered where he gets all the money from."

"Gloria, I think we will know soon. The State wants to know where all of the town's funds have gone."

I took the girls receipts for the day and put them in the vault. We made copies of the document that stated whose accounts were being frozen and left them on the desk of each of the clerks. We put new padlocks on the safety deposit boxes of those that were on the list. I put enough money in the old safe so the girls did not have to go into the vault when I am not there. I told them we would keep the bank open. I took away the temporary closed sign down and looked over at Millie and Pat and said, "I am sorry that this came up. If had to be taken care of before all hell would break loose, Are you ready to go to jail?"

They looked at each other and Millie said, "Aren't you going to put the cuffs on us?"

I laughed and said, "No honey, I don't think you will run away."

Peg laughed and said, "What have they been doing, stealing all of your makeup?"

Like Peg usually says, "Yep, they are using it all up."

Millie shouts as we were walking out the door, "The cheep bitch doesn't share anything with us that includes her husband."

Smiles came across everyone face including mine. With all the crap going on we needed a little happiness. With all of us in the front seat, I headed for the apartments. Again I heard Pat say, "She is not headed for the county jail."

I didn't hear what Millie said to Pat. I said, "I don't allow secrets in this car. What are you two talking about?"

Millie said, "None of your damn…."

We were just entering the apartment complex. I pulled in front of apartment 101. Millie said, "Why are we coming over here? Are you going to kick us out of the house before we can rape Bill?"

"Yep, come on in let's see what the cell blocks look like."

Millie said, "Why have you dragged us over here?"

"I have a new tenant and I want to see what the apartment looks like."

I walked ahead of Millie and Pat. I could still hear them whispering. I reached into my pocket book for the key to the apartment. The door swung open. I think it scared all of us. Liz jumped back and so did we. Liz said, "I heard a car drive up and I wanted to see who it was. I'm sorry I scared you."

Pat said, "I think we all were about to wet our panties."

We all laughed and I said, "Does this place have a bath room?"

Liz said, "This apartment has one and a half baths. Sorry that I can't help all of you. One of you has to wait."

I said, "I have been waiting all my life. You girls go first."

There wasn't any hesitation with either one of them. I told Liz not to mention that this was going to be their new home. Millie finished first, I did not excuse myself. The pain was killing me. I wanted to hold a finger on it. What a relief it was. I felt like a new person when it was over. Surprisingly, Liz must have brought a towel and soap with her. I walked back into the living room. I asked the girls how they would like to live out here.  They both said that they could not afford to live out here. They would love to but, they could not afford the rent. I said to Liz that we were going out to the swimming pool. I asked the girls to come with me. I don't think they heard me telling Liz that I was taking them out to the swimming pool. They both headed for the car. I called to them and said, "We are not leaving yet. Come over and enjoy the pool for a while. I have been on my feet all morning. When we are finished, I am taking you out to dinner. I sat down and called Bill. I asked him where he was. He said that he is buying a new suit for himself. Since the two field hands got new clothes, he felt that he deserved a new outfit also. Also he is buying Pamela a few things she wants. I said, "Is Pamela with you."

"Yes she is honey. Whatever you did to Linda, it shook the hell out of her. She was a nervous wreck. I told her that she could go home. I told the clerk at the clothing store to bill me and what I wanted them to select. She asked if they were going to a wedding. I said, possibly."

I said, "Meet us at the restaurant in about an hour. We will all have dinner together and we do not have to cook and wash dishes. Put Pamela on the phone. I want to tell her how much I love her. I love you."

I heard Pamela sweet voice saying, "Does Mom wants to talk to me and she wants to take us out for dinner."

Bill hands Pamela the phone. She said, "Mom, are you going to take us out to dinner. Where is Pat and Millie?"

"They are with me. We are going to meet daddy and you at the restaurant for dinner." 

That darling little voice said, "Are we all going to dinner together?"

"Yes darling. This will be the first time we all will eat together at a restaurant."

I heard Pamela telling Bill that we were going to eat at a restaurant. The excitement coming out of my daughter sweet mouth made tears trickle down my face. Bill said, "where are you now?'

I told Bill that we were at the apartments.  He said that he would meet us there and he wanted to know what apartment we were in. I told him and he said that he would rather wait for us at the restaurant. I said, "Darling please come up here. I may have a problem getting the girls to live in the apartment."

Bill said, "Honey I am on my way."

I looked over at Millie and said, "You wanted a place of your own."

Millie interrupted me and said, "Molly, Pat and I have been discussing the apartment while you were in the phone. We don't want to live on the edge and we do not want you and Bill to live on the edge. We could not afford the rent much less the cost of furnishing the apartment. We both would be over our heads. Even if you lend us the money, we could not pay it off for years."

I spoke over Millie and said, "Millie, if Bill and I could not afford to rent the apartment furnished to you and Pat, we would not rent the apartment to you. We will only charge you and Pat what you can afford. Bill and I own this apartment and it is not rented. It is not making us any money. Any amount that we charge you would add money to our account. We will only charge you what you two can afford. We will discuss the rent later. Let's go inside and see what Liz is doing."

I told the girls to look around at their new home. I wanted to talk to Liz. Liz was in the kitchen talking on her cell phone. She was looking at a catalog giving someone on the other end of the line the part number of the items she had on a list. She looks around and winks at me with a smile on her face. I pointed to the bathroom and took off. Damn it, why does it have to ache so badly?

As I sat there on the throne it gave me a few minutes to think about what Millie and Pat will think about us. Will they be looking for more or will they be satisfied with what we are giving them. For a few minutes I was on the frugal side of me. The feeling quickly faded away. This small amount of money is only a fraction of the money that Bill and I have.  With the recession as it is now, we are increasing our total assets. One side of me wanted to give Millie the apartment and pay for all the expenses. What effect would it make on Millie and Pat's future lives? I was in another world when there was a tap on the door and a sweet young voice that brought me back to life. Pamela said, "Mommy, are you in there?"

"Yes darling I will be out in a moment."

I washed my hands and opened the door. I asked Pamela if she had to go. She shook her head and said that she had gone before she left home.  We walked into the kitchen holding hand. The whole gang was in there. Millie said, "Molly we cannot afford the apartment and neither can you and Bill. Pat said that the girls she was living with want her to come back home."

This brought up another situation that I had not thought about. It took the salary of the four girls to make ends meet. Without Pat's part of the expenses they must be living on the edge. Liz looked over at me, she tilted her head as to say, what do we do now? I said. "Liz, have dinner with us. Call Tom and ask him if he remembers how to get to the restaurant."

Liz laughed and said, "He will never forget. He can do it when he is sleeping. I will give him a call."

When I was close to Liz, I told her to continue her project. Millie will live up here alone until she gets a roommate or Pat decides to stay with Millie. I told everyone to come outside and let Liz finish what she was doing.

With Pat's problem, I did not know if they really wanted Pat to come back. By chance the clerk at the clothing store where Bill took his field hands was one of Pat’s old roommates. I called the store and asked to speak with Bethel. When she answered, for a moment I could not bring myself to ask the question that I wanted to ask her. Bethel said, "Hello is anyone there."

 I said, "Hello Bethel, our paths haven't crossed lately. How have you been?"

She must have recognized my voice.  She started to tell me her life history. Then she told me about Bill's and Pamela visit today. She asked if the men they fitted today were getting married. I told her that I had a job for them and it required a dress suit and nice shoes. I asked her if she and the other roommates missed Pat. For a moment she did not say a word. She asked me how Pat was. I told her that Millie and Pat had become the best of friends and roommates. In her voice she sounded as if she was happy that Millie had become Pat's best friend. She said, "I guess Pat will not want to come back. We have a temporary tenant and I think she wants to stay here with us if Pat does not come back."

From what Pat had told me. Four people living in the same apartment was too many. Five was out of the question. They would love the extra money, but there was no place to put them. I said, "With Millie living with us it is a little crowded. She is getting an apartment and she will need a roommate. If your apartment is so crowed, maybe Pat will live with Millie."

With excitement in her voice, Bethel said, "That's great. Lois will not have to move out and she has paid 6 months' rent in advance. We would love to have Pat come back and live with us. I hope she isn't disappointed."   

I said, "Of course she is going to miss you girls. From what she told me, four people in the apartment is two too many."

Bethel said, "At times one tenant is one too many. With only one bathroom we have to assign the time each one of us can use it. We do share the bathroom when one of us is in the shower and someone wants to put on makeup in a steamy room."

I said, "I will talk with Pat and see what she wants to do. Nice talking with you. Goodbye."

Everyone had gathered around the swimming pool. I wanted to settle the roommate problem now before the furniture has been order. The girls had clustered around Bill. That familiar state of jealousy popped up its ugly head. Lilly had her arm around Bill. She looked like she was in heaven. Bill leaned over and gave Lilly a peck on her cheek. That intensified my jealousy. I turned around and headed back into the apartment. I took a deep breath and tried to cleanse my soul of the jealousy that was tearing me apart. I went back into the bathroom and shut the door. I did not have a chance to lock the door. Pamela shouted, "Mom, you went before. I have to go now."

I opened the door and let Pamela in. She jumped on the throne and said, "Shut the door when you leave."

I laughed to myself and said, "Of course honey."

My baby has grown up. A flashback of my life when I was Pamela age came to mind. The boys were always teasing me. I wanted my privacy then and she wants hers now. Like Pamela, I wanted to bathe myself and Mom let me.

The jealousy seemed to have melted away. The feeling was no longer there. I took another deep breath and let out a sigh. The bath room door popped open. I asked Pamela if she had washed her hands. She said, "Of course I did. I always wash my hands after I got to the potty."

I picked up my darling baby and said to myself. The damn lottery money has robbed me of my life with my only child. For a moment I wanted to tell the girls that they could live in the apartment rent free and I would pay all the expenses.

As I approached the crowd, Bill came over to me and said, "What have you been doing. Tom is waiting for us."

I said, "We ladies had to freshen up before we went to dinner."

I turned around to lock the apartment and said, "You go ahead and take Pat and Millie with you. Pamela is going with me. Put the car seat in my car on the front seat."

Without saying a word, he turns and grabbed the arms of Pat and Mille. He turns to Lilly and asked if she wanted to go with him. Lilly said, "My car is parked in the garage. I will meet you all at the restaurant."

Within minutes we were on our way. I loved having Pamela with me. Bill had added a steering wheel to Pamela car seat. Pamela was watching me as I pulled out of the parking lot. Out of the corner of my eye Pamela was turning the steering wheel in unisons' with me. Pamela was only four. I wasn't much older when Pop started teaching me how to drive.

Jealousy was no longer draining my soul. I was back to my normal self with my grown up Baby. As I had said to myself a hundred times that I have seen other women flirting with Bill. I cannot blame them. This is the way life is. You have something special and everyone wants to share or take it away from you.

As I pulled up to the parking lot it was almost full. We were doing a hell of a business. Not only was the new restaurant busy, the fast food section was packed. I was hoping we could find seats for all of us. Stan saw us coming in and he called one of the waitresses over. She come over and asked us to take a seat at the bar and she would put together enough seats to accommodate all of us. Stan welcomed us and handed me a few sheets of paper that were folded and said, "I think this will be what you are looking for. I smiled and thanked him. Stan said, "There are enough witnesses that will shut the both of them up for some time. Would you like something to drink?"

I said, "We will wait until we get a table."

Within minutes the waitress had arranged a table for all of us. The waitress took our order and said that it may take a little longer because of the crowd. None of us minded. If would give us a chance to chat before dinner. Bill looked over at Millie and said, "We have enjoyed having you and Pat live with us. The farm house is just too small for all of us. I am sure that you will enjoy living in the apartment. You both will have your own room and bath and Molly and I will get our privacy back."

Millie said, "Bill, it is very nice of you and Molly to let us live in the apartment. If we lived out there, we would have to have a car. It would take every cent I have to buy a car."

Bill interrupted Millie and said, "You can use my car until we find a nice car for you."

Millie said, "What are you going to do. You are always running between the two farms."

Bill smiled and said, "I am going to use your father's old truck."

Pat said, "Bill, Millie will be alone. The girls want me to come back and live with them."

I spoke up and said, "Pat, it was overcrowded with four of you living in the apartment. With you, there will be five girls in the apartment. I talked to Bethel and she told me that the girl that took you place paid for six months in advance and they cannot kick her out. Bethel said that they wanted you to come back, but they did not want you to pay your share of the expenses. One of the girls knew someone that was looking for a place to live. They invited her to come over. She was willing to pay six months in advance. They did not know when you would be able to come back. Also, with you in the apartment, the night watchmen will not let anyone in. If their pals came to get you, they will not know where you are living."

Pat said, "Oh my God, I had forgotten about those bastards. Do you think we will be safe at the apartments?"

I said, "Didn't you see the guard at the gate? Also there are two other guards patrolling the complex 24 hours a day."

We were interrupted by the waitress delivering our order. The food was wonderful and conversation changed to comments about the food. I think we all were starved.

While the table was being cleaned, Steve made his nightly visit. He did not look in our direction. He headed for the bar. All of customers stared at Steve.  Stan said something to Steve. Steve nodded his head. Stan put a bottle of beer in front of Steve. Steve bellowed out, "Have our new prostitutes been in here tonight?"

Without saying a word, Stan glanced over at our table. Bill stood up. I grabbed the belt on Bill's pants and tried to stop him and said, "Honey, don't get involved in this mess."

Steve turns and looked in our direction and saw Bill heading toward him. A look of fear flashed across Steve's face. Steve reached down and put his hand on his holster. Bill continued in Steve's direction. Bill said, "If you pull that pistol out of the holster, I will make you eat it."

The restaurant became deadly silent. It sounded like everyone in the restaurant was holding their breath. It was so silent that you could have heard a pin dropped. No one had taken their eyes off of Steve and Bill. The patron's appeared to have frozen when Bill stood up.

I had never seen Bill and Steve next to each other. Bill was a head taller and twice as broad. An intense look of fear grew on Steve's face. Bill put his hand on Steve shoulder and said, "You are not wanted in here. Please leave and don't ever come in here again."

Steve resisted. Bill put his hand on Steve back and pushes Steve off of the stool. Steve still had the bottle of beer in his hand. Steve must have felt that he was going to fall. The beer splashed across Steve pants as he was sliding off the stool. Steve started to hit Bill with the bottle of beer. Bill said, "Don't try it." 

Bill grabs a hand full of Steve's jacket and aimed Steve at the door. Steve resisted slightly or did not have the strength to stop Bill. Bill stepped outside holding the door open. Bill said, "I will see you in court."

Steve yells, "What the fuck did I do?"

Bill said, "You will find out soon enough."

Everyone in the restaurant was still watching Steve as he was crossing the lighted parking lot. Steve heads for the police car. He stops for a moment and reaches down for his pistol. Bill yelled, "You will have enough charges filed against you. They already have enough against you to put you away for life. Do you want a second life term?"

Steve looks around; he looked at the number of restaurant guest looking at him.

He turned and quickly walked over to the police car.  

Bill waited until the police car was out of sight. Bill walks back into the restaurant to a standing ovation. Everyone in the restaurant was applauding. Bill politely nodded his head. As soon as Bill sat down at the table, Tom whispered, "That was a wonderful job. But, that bastard will never forgive you. I have heard stories of people that confronted Steve and they had to move out of town to get away from the harassment that Steven gave them. He thinks that he is the Lord and Master of Sunny Ville. I have heard that he has the City official in his pocket. That's includes the Mayor."

Bill said, "I know, my two brothers had to leave town because he would lock them up for no reason. I think that is the main reason why my parents left town. I will never forgive him for the things that the bastard did to my parents. He would lock up my brothers for no reason. He would have someone come out and tell my parents that my brothers are locked up and they were fined $50 for some unknown reason. It is a quarter mile between cross roads in the center of town. There isn't a stop sign or traffic light at either cross street. They were locked up for J-Walking in the center of town. Everyone in town J-Walks across the highway.  My brothers were normal teen age kids. They would never deliberately do anything that would cost my parents money. They knew that mom and pop did not have a cent. They knew that they would be locked up for days while my parents scraped up the $50 to get them out of jail. The fine was always $50. Pop would question them after he got home with them. I knew my brothers as well as pop.”

We all had finished eating. Bill shook his head and said, "Let's call it a day."

Bill went over to the waitress and asked for the tab. He paid her and motioned goodbye to Stan. When we were in the parking lot we all hugged each other and wished everyone the best. Pamela helped me drove home. She gave me the directions and knew when to turn off the highway. I enjoyed these few minutes with Pamela. I was ready to give up my job and pay someone for managing all of our assets. That subject left my mind as fast as it came. With all the towns' official being indicted, I should be at the bank when they came to close out their accounts. I knew the hell they would give to anyone that did not turn over their assets. Pamela said, "Mom slow down and we have to turn into our driveway."

With all the crap in my mind, that sweet little voice washed all the crap out of my mind.

Bill, Millie and Pat were standing next to Bill's car talking. I wondered what they were talking about. They did not look over at the car as I drove into the driveway. They did not look over at me and Pamela. Pamela unbuckled her seat belt and opened the car door before I turned the engine off. She ran over to Bill and he picked her up without ending the conversation with the girls. As I approached the gang, I said, "What are you talking about?"

Bill continued talking; Pat turned around and said, "The apartment."

Bill looked around at me and said, "I talked them in to moving into the apartment as soon as the furniture is installed."

Everyone was over enjoyed about the move. Millie whispered, "You can have Bill all night without worrying about us listening to the squeaky bed."

I was wondering what Bill must have told them. He was alone with them before and after dinner. I picked up Pamela and walked into the house with the gang. Pamela said, "Millie and Pat are going to have some privacy and so are we."

Bill chuckled and said, "Pamela, you sure do have a good pair of ears."

Pamela said, "I hear everything that goes on in the house. Linda told me that it is alright to listen to everyone, but I should never tell anyone else what was said,"

Bill said, "Linda is a smart lady. What else has she told you?"

Pamela looked puzzled for a moment then said, "I can't remember everything that she has told me. She said that I should always listen to you and mom."

I said, "Honey, you have always listened to your father and me."

"Yes, mom, Linda said that I must obey everything you and poppy tell me to do. But there are times when I don't want to do what you and poppy tell me to do."

Bill said, "Sweetheart, there are times that we have to do certain things. We know that you want to play, watch television or something else. The things we have to do are very important. And, what you want to do interferes in what we have to do. At times mom and I have to do things we don't want to do, but they are important to our lives and sometimes important to your life."

Pamela was still questioning Bill when we got into the house. Bill looks over at me for assistance. I took Pamela out of Bill arms and said to Pamela, "It is past your bedtime and you need your rest so you can help Linda tomorrow."

Pamela dashed out of the room saying, "Goodnight."

I called to Millie and Pat to join us at the kitchen table. We had to discuss something very important with them. After they sat down I said, "I wish that you two will move over to the apartment. It will give all of more room."

Millie blurted out, "We are going to move up there. Bill talked us into it. Didn’t you hear Pamela?"

With them being so adamant earlier, it blew my mind. What did Bill tell them?

I looked over at Bill and said, "What did you tell them."

Bill smiled and said, "I simply told them that I wanted them out of this house. It is too small for all of us and they could live in the apartment rent free for three months."

Pat said, "There is no way in hell that Millie and I could turn down that offer."

I said, "I have been worrying about this since we left the apartment, and how am I going to convince you to move up there. With the four of us and Pamela using the same bathroom, it was getting to annoy me. After Bill added the extension to the house and the plumbing, I would soak in the warm bath for an hour or more. Since you moved in Millie, I have not had the chance to fall asleep in the warm water."

Bill said, "Is that the reason you lets me take my shower first; that's why the gas bill was so high."

 I ignored Bill and said, "Who wants to go first."

Millie with a sarcastic look on her face said, "Pat and I will go first. All the hot water will be gone when you and Bill finish. I always wondered why the water was only milk warm."

Millie grabs Pat's hand and said, "We will have to hurry. The bitch wants to warm up her body for Bill."

Bill said, "You can say that again. I love Molly's warm body."

Millie said, "I know how much she loves your warm body."

Bill and I looked at each other and I said, "I have loved Bill's warm body since the first night he slept in this house and I still do. Hurry up; I can't wait until we are in bed together."

As Millie left the kitchen she said, "You are one lucky bitch to have a husband like Bill."

I said, "Millie, you don't know how right you are. I could never have found a husband as wonderful as Bill even if I searched the whole world."

 Bill lifted me up in his arms and carried me into the bedroom. I said, "Honey, we can't do anything while they are awake. They will hear us."

Bill said, "With the showers going, they want hear us."

I said, "I always want to have a shower before we make love. Sometimes, I am so horny that I can no wait."

Millie yelled, "Bill the bathroom is all yours."

After the girls were in their room, Bill lifts me up and carried me into the bathroom. With the shower going we washed each other body and made love."

Bill climbed out of the bathtub. I said, "Turn the water off and just wrap a towel around you. I am not going to soak tonight. We dried each other off. Bill picks me up and carries me into the bedroom and lays me gently into the bed. He climbs into bed on top of me and whispered, "I wish I could do it again."

I said, "There is nothing that will keep us from cuddling."

A though came to my mind. I forgot to tuck Pamela into bed and give her a goodnights kiss. I grabbed my bathrobe and tiptoed down the hall. From the night light I could see that my baby was fast asleep. I tuck the blanket around her and kissed her. I tiptoed back into the bedroom. Bill had fallen off to sleep. I cuddled up to his warm body and thanked God for giving me a wonderful husband.

When I woke up the following morning, I could hear the clatter of pots and pans.

I did not want to get up. I heard Bill telling Pamela to go wake up mom. I closed my eyes and waited for Pamela to kiss me on my forehead. While she was kissing me I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her into bed with me. She said to me. Daddy said that it is getting late and you have to go to the bank. As much as I wanted to stay home with Pamela and Bill, grudgingly, I climbed out of bed and told Pamela that this is one of the times that I have to do something even though I don't want to. Pamela said, "I know, it is very important. You have to open the bank."

I headed for the bathroom. I heard Pat and Millie talking. Thankful, I did not need to go the toilet. I had gone during the night. I went into the kitchen. My breakfast was ready. Bill served me and gave me to sheets of paper and said, "Henderson gave me permits for Larry and Tim. They are the guys that you wanted to guard the bank. Henderson said that Steve cannot take the guns away from them for any reason. Sunny Ville is within the county lines. Since you are employing them you are the only one that can control the use of the guns."

The girls came in for breakfast just as I was finishing. I wish them a good morning and headed for the bathroom. I had to hurry. I did not have time enough to put on makeup. I dashed out of the house and kissed everyone on the way. When I was on the highway, I saw a Sunny Ville police car parked on the side of the road. As I passed it I looked at my rear view mirror. The bastard pulled out onto the road. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor. As soon as I was in Sunny Ville town lines I slowed down. I was only minutes from the bank. I parked the car and headed for the front door. The bank was already open. I went inside and the two men welcomed me. Mabel said, "These are the two men that Bill told us that they would be here today to guard the bank. I asked, "Which one are you is Tim."

The nicer one raised his hand. I looked over at the other one and said, "You must be Larry."

I said, "Welcome to M&B Trust. The company thinks that the bank will need guards at the bank. I don't know how long the bank will need you. There is a small office outside the lobby where you can watch the lobby. I don't want the customers to feel afraid when they see two armed men hanging around in the lobby. If things are normal, you will get bored soon. I want you to see the customer and learn who they are without them knowing that you are looking at them. If you get hungry there is a vending machine down the hall. The items are free for the employees. Also, in the monitor office where you will be most of the time is a coffee machine, help yourself. Come with me. I will show you how the monitor works. You can take still pictures when live movies are being recorded.

I had just turned on the monitor and Peterson walks into the bank. I said, "Come with me. Don't go into the lobby with me. Stay out in the hall and watch the monitor.  If I clasp my hands behind my back, walk into the lobby. Don't show your pistols."

I walked out of the office and into the lobby. Peterson said, "I am arresting you for speeding. Come with me."

I said, "Why do I have to go with you. Usually, you just pull them over and write out a ticket. Go to hell. I am not going with you. I was not speeding in the City and I did not go over 65 on the highway. What the hell were you doing parked a mile from the City limits. Were you waiting for someone out at the farm to give them a ticket?"

I clasped my hands behind my back. Larry and Tim must have walked into the lobby. Both of them are as big as Bill. Peterson was a short fat bastard only a couple of inches taller than I was. Fear must have raced through Peterson body. He almost froze in his tracks. I turned and said, "Let me introduce you to some of M&B Trust officials. They are visiting the bank. The gentleman on the right is Larry and the other gentleman is Tim. Gentlemen this is Officer Peterson, he has came to arrest me for speeding. I don't know what his intentions are, but I was not speeding. Tim said, "Officer Peterson give me the ticket and I will take care of it."

Peterson said, "I will have to write it up."

Tim said, "Go ahead and write it up."

Peterson said, "My book is outside in the cruiser. I have to go and get it."

Tim said, "We will wait for you. Take your time."

Peterson hesitated for a moment then said, "I will be right back."

Peterson turned and hurried out the door. We watched Peterson hurrying out to his cruiser. He goes to the driver's side of the car and jumps in. He took off burning rubber. I wondered what was going on in Petersons mind. What was the bastard going to do? Was it related to Bill kicking Steve out of the restaurant or something else?

I took Tim and Larry back into their office and told them that a very important part of their duties was coming up and a number of people will be coming in to close their accounts. I did not go into detail about the frozen accounts and who they would be.

 I asked Tim and Larry how long had they been in town. Larry said, "We have only been here for a month. We got a call from a friend about six month again.  He asked us if we had found a job. We told him no. He told us where he was working and what he was doing. He asked Bill if he was still hiring.  He told Bill about us and Bill hired us sight unseen. We like working on a farm. We do not like working in a factory and being caged up all day. We had agreed to keep in touch with each other. If one of us found a job, we would find out if they were still hiring. We were lucky.”

 I said, "I don't want anyone to know that you are guarding the bank unless it's absolutely necessary. I don't want it to spread around town that the bank has arm guards."

 

All Hell Breaks Loose In Sunny Ville:

For the next three days nothing happened. I think Tim and Larry were getting bored. On the morning of the fourth day our first frozen account customer came in. He went up to Mabel and said that he wanted to close his saving and checking account. Mabel told him that his accounts had been frozen. All hell broke loose. Tim runs into my office and said, "We have a problem in the lobby. I think he is the Chief of Police. He has a uniform on."

I went into the monitor room, there was Steve screaming his head off. I walked into the lobby and asked Steve what was the problem. He said, "This bitch tells me that my accounts are frozen."

I said, "Sorry Steve. Mabel please give Steve a copy of the document that the FBI sent us."

Steve grabs the document out of Mabel’s hand and reads it. Then he said, "I don't give a fuck what the FBI says. I want my fucking money, now!"

I said, "Sorry no can do."

Steve pulls his pistol out of his holster and aims it at me. I said, "Put the gun away. You are in enough trouble now. Why make it worse? You will get another 25 years for armed robbery. I cannot open your account and neither can Mabel. You will have to have the password to open the account."

Steve cursing a mile a minute and said, "Damn it, I want my safety deposit box."

Politely I said, "Sorry Steve your safety deposit box is in a special vault and I do not have the combination." 

Steve nudged me with the barrel of the pistol and said, "I don't believe you, move."

I headed for the vault. Tim and Larry came out into the lobby. Larry said out loud, "Excuse me."

 Steven spun around hiding his pistol.

Larry sternly said, "May I speak to the bank manager? It will only take a few minutes."

I turned around and headed in the direction of Tim and Larry. I think Steve was in a state of shock. I took Larry's arm and headed for my office. I looked around at Steve and said, "I will see you in a few minutes."

I walked into the monitor room and saw Steve hurrying for the front door. Tim said, "I think that we scared the living hell out of him."

I said, "We may have about a dozen more. I don't believe any of them will kill me or anyone else. The ones that I know are scared rabbits. It's a good thing that you did not show your pistols; Steve may have taken a shot at you."

 Tim said, "We both had our pistols aim at him. If he aimed his pistol at either one of us, we both would have fired at him."

We all went back into the lobby. Mabel and Gloria were in a state of shock. Tears were running down Mabel’s face. Mabel said to me, "Molly, I don't know how you did it. You were so calm. I wish I could be as cool as you were."

I shook my head and said, "Mabel, you don't know what was going on inside of me. It's a wonder that I didn't wet my panties. As a matter of fact, excuse me. I have to go."

When I returned to the lobby poor Gloria dashed out of the lobby and down the hall. I yelled to Gloria, us my toilet. Mabel must have already gone. A nervous laughter came out of my mouth. The episode scared the hell out of all of us.

I was alone in the lobby. Where in hell did Tim and Larry go?  They must have gone to the Men Room. For those few minutes, the reality of what had happened started to sink in. We all could have been killed. I had never seen Steve in that state of mind. The anger and his body reaction were very freighting. I have to do something to prevent this from happening again. 

Tim and Larry came into the lobby. Tim and Larry apologized for leaving. I interrupted them and said, "No apologize is necessary. I should be the one to apologize. I am going to have bullet proof glass put across the counter. Excuse me, I am going to call the State Police and tell them about our problem with Steve."

I went back to my office and called Tom and told him about our experience with Steve. He said, "Close down the bank until this blows over, and definitely call the state police."

I said, "Tom, I will shut it down today. I cannot keep it closed any longer. Will you see if you can find a company today that will install bullet proof glass on the counter?"

 "Sure Molly. Hang up and call the State Police now. You don't know what that bastard will do next."

I called the State Police and told them about the attempted robbery. They told me to lock up the bank and have an armed guard inside the bank. The officer that I talked to had grown up in Sunny Ville. He said that he had not been back to Sunny Ville in years and he was glad he had a reason to visit Sunny Ville. After I hung up I went out front and locked the front door and put up the "Temporary Closed" sign.

Everyone was at the counter, I told them that the State Police were coming for a visit and they suggested that we close the bank today. Also, since Steve is running around Sunny Ville, it is best that we all stay locked up at the bank until the State Police picks Steve up. Gloria said, "Steve is going to want to kill us all."

I looked over at Gloria and said, "I know how you must feel. I feel the same way. Steve is no fool. That is the reason that he left when Larry and Tim came out. Steve thought I would give in and open the vault for him. I have no idea who he thought Larry and Tim were. We had mentioned that the FBI had sent us the freeze notice. Larry and Tim do look like FBI officers."

Larry said, "Thank you, Bill told us that you were the one that suggested that we dress like important gentlemen. Thanks Molly, just wearing this suit had made me feel important."

Tim said, "I know what I am going to spend my money on from now own. When we were coming over here today, every woman we passed smiled and winked at us."

I said, "If I wasn't married, I would flirt with you two."

I had noticed the glow in Gloria and Mabel face's when I came in this morning. Now I know why.

Gloria said, "Before you came in, we planned to have dinner together at the restaurant tonight. We haven't had a chance to decide if we are still going out together."

I said, "Keep your dinner date. It is on me. Tell Stan that I am paying the tab. Also the drinks are on me."

I told them to turn in their receipts and we would have Liz send over out lunch.

I told Larry and Tim where they could find a folding table, chairs and clean towels for table cloths. Liz would send over plastic silver ware and paper cups. Mabel took down everyone's order and called the restaurant. She told Liz to delivery it around 12. I had a deck of card in my desk drawer. Bob Henderson had left them with the pistol. I took a box of paperclips also, that was what we were going to bet.

We sat down to play cards. I dumped the paper clips in the middle of the table. Gloria said, "What are the paperclips for?"

Mabel said, "They are our poker chips."  

Gloria had never played poker. Larry was sitting next to her and was telling her how to play poker. The boys and girls had already chosen their partners. I could see the glow in the girl's eyes when they looked at their partners. Gloria and Larry were sitting on one side and Tim and Mabel were on the opposite side. I sat next to Mabel. That was the only chair left. No sooner had I shuffled and dealt the first hand, I heard rapping on the door. I looked at the door. Our second frozen account customer was at the door. Honorable Mayor Gibson was fanatically pounding on the glass window of the door. It was bullet proof and he would bust his hand before he broke through the glass. I excused myself and headed for the door. Tim got up and followed me with Larry only a step behind Tim. When I got to the door, I pointed at the sign. This did not satisfy our Honorable Mayor. He demanded that I open the door. Little did I know two state police cars pulled into the parking lot? In the back seat of the second cruiser was Steve with a pissed off look on his face. One of the State Troopers got out of the car and walks across the lawn.  The Mayor was so busy demanding that I open the door. He did not look behind him. The officer said something. The Mayor said, "Shut the fuck up. Can't you see I am trying to get this bitch to open the damn bank?"

The officer taps the Mayor on the shoulder. The Mayor swings his arm around and hits the officer in the gut. The officer grabs both of the Mayor arms and slaps a pair of hand cuffs on the Mayor. I thought the Mayor was going to faint. His face turned white as snow. It appeared as if every drop of blood in his face had drained out. I opened the door. The Mayor folds up on the sidewalk. I called to Mabel to call emergency and tell them to send the medics to the bank. The Mayor has fainted. Within seconds a couple of officers jumped out of the cruisers and ran to the front door. Fear swept across Steve's face. I wondered what he was thinking. Within minutes the troopers were giving the Mayor first aid. Thankful he started breathing. The medic were only two block away and they were pulling into the parking lot. I motioned for them to drive across the lawn.  The medic came over and put an oxygen mask on the Mayor. With the aid of the officers they laid the Mayor on the stretcher and eased him in the back of the ambulance. As the ambulance was leaving we all watched it as it drive down the street. Steve glanced at me. He still had that frightened look on his face.

One of the troopers turned and said, "You have had a lot of excitement today."

I nodded my head and said, "Just another day at the office. It could have been nicer. Would you like to come in? I am Molly Malone, I am the banks manger. What is your name?"

The officer paused for a moment then said, "I am Charles Packard."

I stuck out my hand and said, "I am thankful that you came so quickly. The Mayor was going crazy."

Tim opened the door and we all went inside. Larry pulled another chair up to the table and assisted me when I sat down. The trouper said, "May I ask why the chief of police and the Mayor were trying to get into the bank."

I glanced at the officer and said, "They both have account with the bank. Their accounts have been frozen."

The officer asked, "Why have their account been frozen?"

I looked over at Mabel and said, "Honey, would you bring a copy of the FBI directive for the Mayor and Steve's accounts"

Everyone was watching Mabel as she walked across the lobby. Mabel started to hand it to me. I pointed at the officer. Mabel made a quick turn and handed the officer the two documents.  We waited patiently while the officer examined the documents. Without looking at me, the officer said, "How long has this been going on."

Remembering what Attorney Wilson had told me months ago, I said, "When I received the letter from the FBI a few days ago."

 Mabel said, "They were in the bank's mail shoot when I came to work the day before yesterday. We usually don't get very much mail, most of the mail is advertisements. Seeing the return address on the envelope, I opened it."

I looked at Mabel and smiled. The doll, she lying to the officer, we knew about this mess over a week ago. I said, "I have more customers that are on the list."

Aggressively, the officer said, "Who are they?"

I said, “The directive that came with the freeze notice did not give me permission to divulge who is on the list.”

The officer continued questioning me. I felt that he knew more than he pretended to know. The tone of the officer's voice became more aggressive. Tim said in a gruff voice, "Why in hell are you badgering Molly. She has told you a dozen times that she does not know anything more about the frozen account. If you want more information, ask the FBI.”

The officer looked at Tim with a surprised look on his face. I could read the look of the officer face. He was thinking, “Who in hell is this guy?”

I asked Mabel “will you please call the FBI office in the City. The officer wants to know more about the frozen accounts."

The telephone number for the department that was handling the case was on the documents. Mabel had already dialed the number for the FBI. The officer called to Mabel, "Don't bother. I will call them myself."

Mabel did not replay to the officer. She said, “Molly, I have FBI on line 2 and they want to know who is inquiring about the case."

I picked up the phone and pressed number 2 and said, "Hello, I am Molly Malone. I have had two City officials trying to get to their accounts this morning. I called the state police and they arrested the customers that tried to force us to open the vault. After we locked up the bank another City official tried to break down the door. Officer Packard arrested him. Officer Packard wanted more information about the case. All the information that I can give him is the information that is on the individual's document. He would like to know more about the frozen accounts. The officer on the phone said, "Let me talk to him."

I gave the phone to Officer Packard. His demeanor changed instantly. After a dozen acknowledgments, Charles gave me the phone and politely excused himself. He said that I should go to the local police department to file my complaint. He hurried out to the cruiser and sped away with his sirens blaring. Larry said, "I wonder why he is in a hurry."

I could almost feel what Charles was going through. I was almost certain that he was being paid off by someone that had one of the frozen accounts. Mabel said, "I hope you don't fire me for listening in on the phone. I think the state police are being investigated also."

I asked, "What makes you think that the state police are also involved."

Sheepishly Mabel said, "The FBI officer was very polite, but he more or less told Charles that it was none of his business and don't mention the conversation to any of the other state police officers."

Tim said, "At times I wonder if everyone in this world is trying to steal everyone else's money."

I said, "Tim, I know what you mean. I have had the same feeling. We are all money hungry."

I told Mabel and Gloria to go home and they would be paid for a full day. I think they have had enough excitement for one day. Gloria said that we will wait until after lunch. We ordered it and they should be coming over here soon. I said, "You can take it home with you or eat it here."

Mabel said, "Let's enjoy our lunch here; I hate to carry dinners home."

Mabel was right, only minutes had passed when Liz tapped on the door. Liz was in a hurry and said, "The restaurant is full. Have a nice lunch."

Tim had opened the door for Liz and Liz flirted with Tim as she left the bank. Mabel had a look on her face as to say, don't flirt with him, he is mine.

It took about two hour for Mabel and Gloria finely said goodbye. And another fifteen minutes at the door holding hands and smiling at each other. I knew how much I wanted Bill and it was nice to see how happy the four of them were. Tim, Larry and I went back to our poker game. I did not mention the courtship that had started. They all seemed to enjoy the company and I was not going to interfere with their friendship. After I lost all of my paper clips, I said, "Let all go home. Fortunately we did not have any more frozen account customer wanting to withdraw their funds. We did see a number of disgruntled faces coming to the door and reading the "Bank is closed sign."

We locked up the bank and I gave them a ride to their apartment. I told them that I would see them at the bank at nine tomorrow morning. They waved goodbye to me as I drove away.

When I got home Millie had let Linda go home earlier. Pat and Millie were having a ball cooking cookies and dinner. Pamela was adding the ingredients for the cookies. She tasted all the ingredients before she added them to the mixing bowl. I asked Millie if she knew where Bill was.

Millie said, "I haven't seen him since he left this morning."

I walked out on the porch and dialed Bill's cell number. He said, "How is my darling."

I asked Bill where he was. He said, "I am up at Millie apartment with two of my hands. I am installing all the utilities and all the furniture that we ordered has arrived. I want to get all the utilities install before I bring in the furniture. Honey, the sooner we get Millie and Pat out of our home we can live again. Have any of the City officials come in to close their accounts?"

"Honey, you will never guess who came to the bank early this morning to close out his account."

Bill said, "I don't know, but I bet that Steve is in this mess up to his ears."

I chuckled and said, "Yes, it was Steve. The bastard pulled out his pistol and demanded that I open the vault and let him get his safety deposit box. When Larry and Tim came out of the office and asked to see the manager, I think they must have thought they were FBI officers. He hid his pistol and headed for the front door. When I called the state police and told them that Steve tried to break into the bank, the state police office told me to lock up the bank until this mess is over. Also, after we locked up the bank the Mayor shows up. He is pounding on the front door. I told him that the bank was closed. He insisted until two state police car drove up. They had picked up Steve and he was in the back seat of the cruiser. One of the officers came over to the bank and tapped on the Mayor shoulder. The Mayor turned around and saw the trooper and went into shock. We called emergency and told them to send the medics. The officer that scared the hell out of the Mayor questioned me about Steve and the Mayor frozen accounts. I told him that I did not know anything else than what is on the documents. He insisted that I tell him more about the frozen accounts. I showed the office a copy of the documents for the Mayor and Steve. That was not enough. Bob Wilson told me that the City council members were under investigation and not to tell anyone. If could cause me a lot of trouble. The officer continues insisting that I tell him more until Tim told Mabel to call the FBI. When the FBI talked to the officer, the officer finally took off."

Bill said, "Sweetheart, close the bank until this thing blows over. Those bastards are desperate. They will do anything to cover their ass. We can afford to close down the bank for a while."

"I know I don't want to lose all of the customer that we have. I know why we got the bank at a very low price."

Bill said, "Yes but, it is not worth the money. You don't know what those crazy bastards will do next."

I said, "I am going to keep the bank locked up and open it for only for the customers that I know. Tim and Larry and the girls are going to be at the bank with me. Please don't worry about me. Finish what you are doing before you come home. Pamela and the girls are preparing supper for us."

"Honey, the crew and I are going to work our asses off so I can have dinner with you all. Bye."

I closed my cell phone and went back into the house. They looked like a hive of bees. They all were quite busy and organized. Pamela was setting the table while Pat and Millie were doing the final touches on the dinner. I asked Pamela where I should sit. With her little finger she pointed at the far end of the table and told me where everyone else was sitting. I went into the bath room and washed my hands. I looked into the mirror. I was a mess. I had not looked at myself since this morning. I washed my face, put on fresh makeup and combed my hair. Now I know why Pat gave me that funny stare. I went back into the kitchen and asked if I could help. Without looking at me, Millie said, "No Molly, we have everything under control. You must have had a terrible day. Go freshen up."

I knew that I looked like shit; Pat turned around and smiled then said, "Go take a seat. Pamela has decided where she wants everyone to sit."

Pamela took my hand and guided me over to the table and pulled the chair out. I started to pull the chair under me. Pamela said, "Mom, that's my job. I am supposed to push the chair under you."

Before I could say a word, Pamela ran into the kitchen. She tugged on Millie's dress and asked, "What do you want me to do now."

Millie glanced over at me and said, "Go over and take your seat next to your Mom and keep her company. She needs a little company."

Pamela said, "Can I sit in Mom’s lap?"

Millie answered, "If you wish."

Pamela scampered across the room and climbs into my lap and said, "Mom, do you really have to go to work. I wish you could stay home with me."

I said, "Yes honey, in the near future, I am going to stop working at the bank and stay home with you. On the days that I have to go to work, you can go alone with me.

I only had a few minutes with my darling. Bill pop through the door. Pamela slid out of my lap and runs across the room and jumps into her father's arms. He almost ignored Pamela. With a concern look on his face Bill looked over at me. With Pamela in his arms he sits down next to me and tells Pamela to go into the kitchen and help Pat and Millie. He did not say anything until Pamela was out of earshot. He put his arm around me and whispers, "Let Mabel run the bank. Stay home with Pamela. You are missing the best part of Pamela life."

I hugged and kissed Bill. I whispered to him that I was just telling Pamela that in the near future that I was going to stay at home with her and take her to the bank with me when I had to go. I do not want to put the others at risk now. It would emotionally kill me if anything happen to them. Bill still pleaded with me to stay at home. I assured Bill that with Larry and Tim at the bank, I am certain they will not let anyone harm us.

After a pleasant meal Bill told the girls that they could move in to their new apartment in a couple of days. After they move in, they could repaint the color of their rooms if they wished and they had to do the work and pay for the paint. I had never seen Millie and Pat this happy.

The following morning we all were up early. I had the bathroom first and off to work soon after. When I got to the bank it looked like someone had tried to break into the bank. The door knob was broken off and there were cracks in the outer plate of glass. The inner plate wasn't hurt. After I unlocked the dead bolt, with doorknob off, I could see the interior of the doorknob.  I stuck a pencil into the latch and opened the door. Once I was in the bank I called Bill and I went from room to room to see if there was any other damage. I told Bill what I needed for the front door and for someone to repair it. Bill told me that he would get a new doorknob and Tim or Larry could install the doorknob. I called the local police and told them that someone had tried to break into the bank last night. They said that they would have someone come over. I sat down in my office and looked across the lawn at the front door. I wondered who would have tried to get into the bank. Since Steve and the Mayor are locked up, who could have tried to break in? There are 10 bastards in Sunny Ville City Counsel. Which one would it be? There is only one woman on the counsel. Would she or someone in her family try to get in the bank? She has been on the counsel as long as I can remember. With the other nine, I would not put it pass either one of them. I heard the sirens blasting away outside. I looked out the window. I could not believe who they had sent. Peterson, the dumb bustard, he has his gun drawn. I picked up the phone and call 911. Barbara answered. I said, "Honey, this is Molly. I call a few minutes ago and wanted to report that someone had tried to break into the bank. They sent Peterson over here. He is at the front door of the bank with his gun drawn. I am not going to open the front door with him outside with a gun. Barbara said, "That stupid son of a bitch. I told him to go to the bank and see what damage was done. I will call him on his cell phone and tell him to holster his gun."

I thanked Barbara and hung up. I watched Peterson fumbling his gun and trying to get his cell phone. I was afraid that he would shoot himself. Still fumbling his gun he answers the cell phone. I was wondering what Barbara had told him. Slowly he holsters his gun and put his cell phone into his pocket. Tim and Larry just turned the corner I raise the window. They saw Peterson and Tim said, "Can we help you."

Peterson started to reach for his gun. Larry said, "What the hell are you doing, robbing the bank?"

Larry and Tim walked over to Peterson. I yelled out to Larry, "He is here to see the damage someone did last night. I will be out and open the door in a second."

I hurried to the front door and opened it. I invited them all in. I asked Peterson why he had his gun draw when he came to the front door. He said, "I thought the robbers were still in the bank."

I said, "I told the operator that someone tried to break in last night and I wanted to report the attempted robbery and the damage to the bank. What did they tell you?"

 Peterson said, "They told me that there was a robbery here last night, go and investigate."

I pointed to the window and where the door knob was. Peterson said, "Is that all the damage they did. Why did you call the police?"

I shook my head, Tim said, "Some bastard tried to break into the bank. They came to steal the money that is in the bank. If the windows and doors weren't bullet proof, you would be investigating a robbery. I think you have to get someone out here and take finger prints and take pictures of the damage. That bastard may try to break into another business or come back to the bank with better equipment and try to break in again or come back when the bank is open. Someone may die because you did not make an effort to investigate the attempted break-in."

The girls showed up at the bank. Peg followed Mabel and Gloria into the bank. Peg looks at the door and screams out, "Someone tried to break into the bank."

Mabel and Gloria let out gasps. Excitedly Mabel said, "When did this happen?"

Tim said, "Sometime last night. I think one of us should spend the night here."

I said, "No, I don't want to put anyone in danger. They will never be able to open the vault. If they had gotten in the bank, the security company would know about it. And, they would call the state and local police and come out here also."

 Peterson turns around and heads for the door. Larry said, "Where are you going?"

Peterson said, "I going to call the state police and tell them about the robbery."

I said, "Don't bother; I have already called the state police. They should be here any moment."

We all went to work. I told Larry and Tim to take turns at the front door and let the customers in and keep the door closed.

Business was as usual. The regular customers came and deposited their receipts. The state police came and questioned us all and photographed the front door. Bill showed up and installed a new door knob. We went out for lunch. He wanted to know if we have had any problems. I told him that most of the day was quite pleasant. After lunch I went back to the bank. The afternoon was pleasant. Some of the customers saw the broken glass in the door. The guys told them that someone tried to get in the bank last night. That seemed to satisfy them.

It was almost closing time. Tim was on watch at the front door. He yells out, "Hey, it looks like everyone in town is coming up the walk."

I looked out the window and all the old bastard of the City council were marching down the side walk. I yelled to Tim, "Make sure the door is locked and don't let anyone see you. I yelled to Mabel and the other girls to hide behind the counter."

I heard someone knocking on the front door. I went into the lobby and whispered, "Don't make any noise. I don't want them to know anyone else is in the bank."

I grabbed the "Bank's Closed" sign. I placed the sign in the window, next to the door. For a moment the pounding stopped. Then someone yelled, open the damn bank."

I politely yelled back, "Sorry, the bank is closed."

Four or five of the old bastards tried to push the door open. Politely again, I said that the bank is closed. This did not satisfy them. They continued to ram the front door with their bodies. One of the men must have broken his shoulder another one collapsed and fell to the ground. The yelling became louder. I yelled to Mabel to call emergency and have them send an ambulance and the state police. They picked up the old man that fell down and dragged his body over to the lawn. A women and one of the men were talking to him. It did not look as if he was an emergency case. I sat down in the chair that Tim had been sitting in and watched them franticly trying to break down the door until the ambulance arrived. They lifted the old man up and help him over to the ambulance. Another half hour passed before the state police arrived. There were only two officers in the cruiser. The two officers were being mauled. They ran to the cruiser and locked the door. A few of the men were still screaming at the officers while the others were still trying to push down the door. Another half hour passed before two more cruisers arrived. The cruisers were filled with officers. A paddy wagon followed the cruisers into the parking lot. When the crowd that had collected on the sidewalk saw all the police headed their way, they dispersed. A few of them went over to the front door of the bank and mingled with the councilmen. The officers that came earlier got out of the cruiser and joined the other police. They huddled together for about five minutes then joined the City council members. They talked for about ten minutes until one of the officers called to me. I opened the door and the same officer that was here yesterday asked why I would not let them come into the bank. I told him that they came after the bank was closed and they were trying to break the door down. I said, "The two officers that were here earlier could not control the mob, how was I going to control them."

The officer went outside and told them all to go home. The bank is closed. Reluctantly the crowd dispersed. The officers followed the crowd to the sidewalk. They talked for a while before the officers had to shout at them to leave. With desperate looks on their faces they slowly walked down the street glancing back at the bank. Some gave me a royal finger. I wondered how many fingers they had given in their lift time.

With the crowd gone I told the girls to go home and asked Tim and Larry to wait for a while. After the girls were gone, I asked the boys if one of them would like to spend the night in the bank. They both looked at each other without saying a word. I said, "The one that is on the night shift gets time and a half."

They both said, "I will take the night shift."

I said that only one of you can spend the night here. Why don't you flip a coin and see who wins the night shift?

Larry won the night shift. I told him that he could call the restaurant and order anything he wanted and put the tab on my account.

There were already a few comfortable chairs with foot rest at the bank and almost any other thing that he might want or needed. The frig is loaded with snacks. He would never run out of coffee. Bill had helped me purchase the coffee maker and all the accessories. There must be a year's supply in the bank. On some days during the winter, there would not be one customer all day. There was nothing else to do but drink coffee and go to the toilet. Now I knew one of the reasons why Ben Henderson sold the bank.

Larry asked, "Do I have to work all day tomorrow and the night shift?"

I said, "We will start the night shift tomorrow night. Bill and I are going to spend the night here together. Larry, get a good rest tomorrow. I don't want someone breaking in and hurting you. These bastards are losing their life savings. They will not give up easy."

Larry said, "I going out tonight and have a ball, I will get plenty of sleep before I come over here tomorrow night."

I watched them leave the bank and wondered if I could trust them. I called Bill and questioned him about them. Bill said that they had been with him for about four months and had not had any problem with them.

After telling Bill what had happened today, I asked him if he would like to spend the night with me at the bank.

Bill laughed and said, "I would go to hell with you just to get a night alone with you. Do you know how many time we have slept together since Millie came to live with us."

I said, "None, we only made love in the barn one time."

Bill said, “What about the night that I joined you in the shower.”

I said, “That night doesn’t count.”

Bill said, “Why doesn’t that night count?”

“Because, I could not keep my mind on what we were doing and you was finished before I was.”

Bill said, “I am sorry. I will have to make up for that night.”

“We will make up for it tonight. Bye.”                               

I went home and made arrangement with Pat and Millie to take care of Pamela. They had made a wonderful dinner for us. I told them that I had to spend the night at the bank and explained why.

After dinner, I told Pamela why we had to be at the bank. Pamela wanted to go with us. I tried to explain to her that I did not want to put her in danger if someone tried to break into the bank. Pamela did not want Bill and me to be in danger and pleaded with me and Bill to stay home. Bill took Pamela into his arm and took her out on the front porch. Bill shut the door and stood in front of a window and whispered to Pamela for about fifteen minutes. I saw the fear in my beautiful baby’s face change to a happy and joyful smile. I wondered what Bill said to Pamela that would change her mood from one extreme to another. They looked through the window and waved at me. Bill put Pamela down and opened the door for her. Pamela ran across the room to me and told me that it would be alright for us to spend one night at the bank.

I started to ask her what her dad had said to her. Bill sensed that I was going to ask her why she had changed her mind. He shook his head and mouthed no, no, no.

We put an inflatable mattress and blankets into my car. Bill found an old motion detector that I was going to install before Bill came to live with me. After filling two suit cases with most of my junk, Bill had to cram his few item into the little space that was left.  

With a sincere look of fright on Millie and Pat's face, we kissed everyone goodnight and headed for the door. Millie and Pamela followed us to the door. As we headed for my car, Millie said, "Is this really necessary?"

I nodded my head and said, "If no one is in the bank, there is no telling what those money hungry bastards will do. Their lives are about to make a major change and they know what will happen to them without any money."

Millie said, "Bill honey, take good care on my baby sister and yourself."

Bill said, "We will be ok. I am worried about you two. Someone may come out here to get Molly. There is a pistol in my desk drawer and it is loaded."

Millie asked, "How does it work?"

Bill chuckled and said, "Aim it at who you want to kill and pull the trigger. Any more questions?"

I said, "If you don't feel safe here, lock up the house and come join us at the bank. Don't forget to bring some pillows and blankets."

Pat said, "You just might see us."

We waved goodbye as we pulled out into the highway. I was wondering how Bill felt about spending the night at the bank. Bill looked over at me and said, "We should do this every night until the girls move into their apartment."

Now I knew what was on his mind. I chuckled and I coddled up to him and kissed him on the cheek and said, "I was beginning to think that you had forgotten that I was a woman." 

Bill pulled me closer to him and said, "There no way in hell that I could ever forget that you are a woman. I would have to be blind, deaf and have no feeling in my body. You have driven me crazy since we met on the highway. I still have the same feeling about you and it will never change."

The love and affection that I had for Bill was the same feeling that I had the first time we made love. I wanted to pull Bill into the back seat now. Within minutes Bill pulled into the restaurant loading platform parking spot and said, "If we park it next to the bank, they will know that someone is in the bank."

Bill went in the back door of the restaurant and told Stan that he was parking his car in the loading platform parking spot.  When he came out he said, "There is an alley that runs behind all the building on along the road. If anyone is watching the front of the building they will see us going in. Do you have a key for the back door of the bank?"

I said, "Yes honey. One key opens all the outside doors. The side door has a bar that has been on the door since we bought the bank. The armored truck makes the deliveries through the back door."

Bill said, "Wonderful, I don't think anyone would be watching the back door. There is no one parked in the alley. I will park in the banks loading platform."

We went into the bank. Bill looked at the door and said, "You would need a sledge hammer to break down this door."

I said, "The front door is more decretive.  Mr. Henderson said that his wife made him change the door and it cost him a small fortune."

We prepared for the night before the night lights came on. If anyone was watching the bank, they would not have seen us. Slightly before dark the night light came on. Bill said, "Why don't you turn off the night lights. We will not be able to walk around the bank. If someone is outside they will see us."

I quickly switched off the night lights. I ran to the front door and peaked out at the street. There weren't any cars parked in the banks parking lot or on the street. Also there wasn't anyone walking the street. I said, "Honey, if we don't have the night light on, they will be suspicious."

The night lights are always on. Down the hall is a small room without any windows. There is a monitor that shows all the doors and the front door from outside the building. The nightlights are only on in the lobby."

Bill asked, "What do we do if we have to go to the bathroom?"

"There is enough light from the lobby that lights up both of the halls, the side hall and the hall that we came in. The room where we put the cots does not have a window in it and we can shut the door and turn on the lights. That's the room with the monitor. We can take turns watching the monitor. Also there is a small TV in that room. I only turned on the monitor when Larry and Tim came to work for us."

Bill was apologetic and said that he has to come over here more often to get the layout of the bank. He also wanted to know where the vault was located. I said to him, "Honey you passed it when we came in the back door. It was the first door on the right. The room that it is in was built just for the vault. The vault alone is worth the twenty five thousand. Ben must have been desperate to sell us the bank."

Bill shook his head and said, "Tom told me that Ben was in very poor health and he did not have anyone in his family or anyone else that Ben could trust to run the bank. Ben was happy just to get it off his back."

"Tom never told me that Ben was in poor health."

Bill said, "Ben has been in poor heath since I was a kid. Pop told us that Ben was a walking corpse. Everyone expected him to die years ago. I think that everyone prayers kept him alive. He was a kind old man. He never pressured us when we could not pay the interest on our personal loans or the mortgage payment. Knowing this, I think that some of the bastards helped to bleed him dry."

"Bill, Pop was not like that, we would eat corn bread, pig feet and ears or chitlings and butter milk. Pop hated to be in debt to anyone. He was too proud to take charity because he felt that there were poor souls out there that needed the help more than we did. Let go to bed."

With a surprised voice, Bill said, “Oh yes, the bathroom is across the hall from the room where we put the cots. If we have to go, we will have to turn off the over head light. The bath room has a frosted window. We will be able to see with the street lights outside."

Bill wrapped his arm around me and gave me a lingering kiss. He picks me up and carries me into monitor room. With one hand he pulls the mattresses from the cots and drops them on the floor. With his feet he aligned the mattresses and softly laid me on them. He stands up and removes his shirt and pants. He lies down next to me and lifts me on top of his muscular body. Should I say more? Thankful, no one interrupted our interlude. Bill was asleep before I could roll off of him. I went into the bathroom for a few moments. When I returned, I heard a voice on one of the monitors. I could not make out what they were saying nor did I know which monitor it was coming from. I switched to one view at a time. The screens were black. When I switched to the rear door monitor, the screen was black. I still heard voices. I nudged Bill. He jumped and said, "What happened."

I turned the volume up and said, "Someone is near the back door. I can hear them, but I cannot make out what they are saying."

Bill slips on his pants and head for the hall. I grabbed a pistol from the desk drawer and followed Bill down the hall. There wasn't any street light in the alley and the back door did not have a window in it. I tugged at Bill and whispered, "Follow me."

I went into the room across the hall from the vault. I saw flicker of light from a flashlight. I could not see who was holding them. They were trying to pry the rear door open with a crowbar. I told Bill that Ben had told me that there had been a number of attempts to break in the back door. They would bend the crowbar before the door was pried open. Bill wanted to use his camera to take picture of them. I told Bill that I would have to open the window and he would have to aim the camera in the direction of the sound.

That was a bad idea. We watched and waited. They were moving around. Their voices got louder as their frustration rose. We tried to recognize the voices without luck. I told Bill to lift the window up, stick his arm through the bars and aim his camera at the back door. I would turn on the outside lights. Bill said, "No honey, when they stop for a few moments to rest. Turn on the outside light and open the back door and I will take a picture of them."

I said, "Don't shoot them."

Bill said, "I will only fire the gun if I have to."

Bill and I crept out of the room and down the hall to the back door. Bill had his camera in his left hand and the pistol in his right hand.  Quietly I opened the back door. I don't think they heard us. I turned on the lights; Bill snapped a few pictures then aimed the pistol at them. They were blinded for a few moments. They reached for their pistols. Bill fired a shot into the sky. They raised their hands and dropped their pistols. Bill yelled to them, "Lay face down on the ground."

They quickly followed Bills instructions; Bill told them to take off their belts. They rolled over on their side and removed their belts. Bill grabbed the belts. He threaded the belts through the loops on the back of each of them. He threads one end of the two belts together, then he thread opposite end of the belts together. He ties the belts into a knot and told them not to move. Bill told me to call the state police and have them pick up the two bastards.

When I returned Bill was questioning them. To my surprise they were the two men that tried to implicate Pat in the other robbery. I asked them, how in hell did they get out of jail. An argument between them exploded. The bully of the two tried to kick the other one. Bill shouted, "Shut the fuck up and answer her."

The mild one said, "Officer Peterson came to our cell this morning and said that Steve wanted to talk with us. He had a cell phone with him. He gave the phone to Pete. When he finished talking on the phone he gave the phone to Peterson. Peterson talked with Steve for a few minutes then said for us to get out of our prison uniform and put on some street cloths. I thought they were talking us to the court house. After we got dressed, we followed Peterson to the front door. Peterson asked Pete if he knew what was expected of him. Pete said that he was well aware of what Steve wanted us to do. Peterson gave Pete a hundred buck and said that he would meet us around dusk in front of the police station. I asked Pete what they expected us to do. Of course you know now."

I asked, "What is your name?

He said, "My name is William, but everyone calls me Willy."

I looked over at Pete and said, "You stupid SOB, Peterson, Steve and the other assholes will deny everything you say. You two already have bank robbery charges against you. Who in hell do you think they are going to believe? Get up."

Bill helped them to stand then asked Pete, "After Peterson dropped you two off here, where did he go."

Pete started to point. Bill said, "Don't point. Just tell me where he went."

Pete said, "He let us off here. When he pulled away he turned his headlight off and pulled to the other side of the ally. I don't know if he is still there."

Bill took his cell phone out and called the state police and said, "Would you please send a crew to Sunny Ville. We have two of the three robbers in custody. We think there is a third one in a getaway car. There is alley running behind the bank. Send a cruiser to block the alley before the bank and after the bank. I think there is a getaway car in some place in the alley."

 We waited for about ten minutes if not longer. I looked down the back hall. I could see the street trough my office at the front of the building. I saw flashing light passing the bank. I whispered, "I think I saw a police car pass the bank."

Within seconds we say the street at the far end of the alley light up. I thought I saw someone standing next to a car. The lights of the cruiser must have spooked him. He dives into the brush on the opposite side of the alley. I nudged Bill and said, "I think I saw Peterson abandon his cruiser. He is going to get wet. There is a small creek running behind the bank."

Bright lights lit up the alley. Tires squealed as they cruisers stopped. Bill yelled out, "Please don't un-holster your fire arm. We have two of the robbers tied up. The third one is a City policeman. He is headed in the direction of the next block. Don't go through the brush. There is a small creek running behind these buildings. The field on the other side of the creek is loaded briers. He is going to have a hell of time getting across the field."

 They loaded Pete and Willy into the back of the cruiser. I told one of the officers that the third culprit would probably be heading for the local police station and he would be soaking wet and bleeding with cut from the briers.

After the State Troopers questioned us for about an hour, they finally left. Bill and I locked up the bank and then cuddled on the floor together.

The following morning we were awakened by Mabel and Tim. Without saying anything they went back into the lobby. I hear the clatter of her high heel shoes going down the hall. I slid out of Bill's arms and in my bare feet I followed them down the hall. They were just entering the lobby when I tapped them on the shoulder. They both let out a squeal. Mabel said, "You scared the pee out of me. How did things go last night? I said, "Not too bad. I think we have three bank robbers locked up at the state jail. Remember the two bastards that tried to rob the bank and blamed Pat for the robbery. Peterson let them out of jail, and brought them over here to rob the bank."

Bleary eyed Bill came into the lobby. The poor thing looked like he hadn't slept all night. I asked, "Honey did you get any sleep. Bill laughed and said, "After the police left, I was so pumped up that I could not fall asleep. I could not stop thinking about the robbery. Have you called the state police?"

I shook my head and said that I just woke up a minute before you did. "Mabel, do us a favor and call the state police and asked them about the robbery at the bank. My brain is still in a mixing bowl."

Mabel made the call and asked someone about the robbery. After a pause Mabel said, "The manager of the bank."

I walked over to Mabel’s desk and waited. After a long pause she said, "Why didn't you lock up the third robber?"

I grabbed the phone and listened for a moment, I told her who I was and said that Peterson was the third member of the robbery. He left them out of jail to rob the bank after Steve called from the state prison and give one of them instruction on what he wanted them to do. Peterson should be locked up also. I slammed down the phone and looked around. Everyone looked like they were in a trance. I said, "They picked up Peterson at the police station and took all three of them to the state police barracks. Peterson told them that they had escaped and he was out looking for them. Captain Packard let Peterson take them back to Sunny Ville."

Bill said, "Put on some shoes. We are going to the jail house."

I slipped on my shoes and told Tim and Mabel to lock up the bank and put up a sign that says the bank is closed because of another attempted robbery. 

Bill and I walked across the street. I think that the both of us were pissed to the end. I said, "If looks like the local and state police are also involved in the embezzlement of Sunny Ville funds."

All fired up we walked into the police station. Chuck welcomed us. The police station was usually a beehive of activity. I asked, "Where is everyone?"

Chuck said, "Hell if I know. When I came in the place was empty. All of the inmates were gone and the front door was open. I called the state police and they put Packard on the phone. I told Packard that no one was on duty and all the inmates had gone. He told me not to mention this to anyone and he would take care of it. I am still bewildered at what is going on."

Bill butted in and said, "The whole fucking county, state and God only know who else is involved in the embezzlement of the tax payer's money. Who in hell can we trust?"

I took my cell phone and dialed Attorney Wilson's cell phone. I knew he would be headed for work. Wilson answered and said, "What can I do for you Molly?"

I ask Wilson, "How in hell did you know it was me?"

He said, "I have a caller I.D. on the phone. Your number and name comes up when you called. What can I do for you?"

I refreshed his mind about all the things that he knew about, and then I told him what had happened in the last couple of weeks. When I finished I asked, "Can you help us."

Wilson said, "The federal government started this mess. I will fill them in on what is going on in Sunny Ville."

I thanked Wilson and hung up. I looked over a Chuck and Bill. They both asked what Wilson was going to do for us. I said, "The federal government started this mess and he is going to put it into their lap."

I looked at Chuck and asked him if anyone called are came in this morning. He said, "Molly, you and Bill are the only ones that have been in this morning. There haven't been any incoming calls and there is no one else in the building. The building was empty when I came in and it still is."

I asked, "Have you checked every room, closets and cells in the building."

Chuck said, "Not every closet."

Bill said, "Lock every door that enters the building. We will look in every crack in the jail. Bring all the keys for the building."

For the next hour we looked in every possible place in the building. As we were leaving we passed a short hall. There was a door at the end of the hall. Not only was there was a lock and door handle, it also had a large steel bar that ran from one side of the door to the opposite side of the door. I asked Chuck, "Where does that door lead to?"

He said, "I think that leads to the outside of the building."

"Do you have a key for that door?"

Chuck looked through the ring of keys. Each key had a number and scribbled note attached to the key. None of the keys referenced this door. Bill said, "Let's go up stairs and see if we can find one that matches this door."

Bill and Chuck searched every drawer except one and it was locked. Chuck tried every key on the large ring. None of them would open the drawer. In frustration, Bill said, "Go down stairs and get a crowbar from that tools room that we went into."

Chuck headed for the stairs to the basement. He was back within a few minutes. He hands Bill the two crowbars. Bill said, "You are the one that is going to pry the back door and the desk."

Bill hands Chuck the crowbars. Chuck opened the drawer. There wasn’t anything important in the drawer. Bill was holding one of the crowbars, as Chuck was taking it out of Bills hand; Bill pulls his hand back and stares at the crowbars. Bill said, "Honey we had another visitor last night. These are the two crowbars that Pete and Willy use to pry the door open. There was a blue streak around one and red streak around the other. I wonder who came to pick them up."

Chuck said, "The tools that have the red streaks around them are Steve's tools the ones with blue streaks on them belong to the police department."

I said, "Steve or someone else came over last night to cover up their tracks."

Chuck said, "You have to leave Peterson out. He is not smart enough to cover his tracks. It has to be someone else."

I said, "Who?"

Both, Bill and Chuck shook their heads. Bill said, "Let's not get side tracked. Let open the back door before we start on another wild goose chase."

I followed the boys through the building. Bill asked Chuck if he wanted to pry the door open. Chuck was reluctant to pry the door open. He said, "I would have to pay for the repair of the door. I said, "Bill go ahead, you are the one that wanted to search the police station. I think that we can afford it."

Bill slid the steel bar to one side. He took the end of the small crowbar and wedged it between the door and door frame. He applied presser to the crowbar. The wooden door cracked and a piece of the door fell to the floor. Again Bill wedged the crowbar between the door and door frame. The door knob and parts of the lock fell to the floor. I looked through the hole in the door. It was pitch black. This wasn't the rear entrance to the building. Bill put the curved end of the crowbar into the hole in the door. Bill jerked on the crowbar and the door flew open. He reaches around the door for a light switch. The light turned on. Bill let out a gasp. He slams the door shut and told Chuck to call the county police department and ask for Officer Henderson. When he gets on line tell him to get in touch with the federal officials in the City and tell them to come to Sunny Ville police department. There is a crime scene that they need to investigate. Chuck said, "what’s in there?'

Bill said, "You do not want to know. Just do what I tell you. You are lucky that you were not on duty last night. GO."

 I begged Bill to let me see what was inside the room. I tried to squeeze pass Bill. He took me in his arms and carried me into the front of the office. Chuck and I tried to get Bill to tell us what he saw. He must have thought that the scene was horrendous. I thought of every possible thing. Bill was right, if the room was filled with mutilated bodies, I would never forget it and it would drive me crazy. We waited patiently for about thirty minutes before Henderson arrived. Bill took Henderson into another office and talked to him for about an hour before the feds showed up. God only know what he and Henderson talked about.

When the fed came in, they wanted to know everything instantly. Bill told them who we were and about the robbery last night. Bill told the officer about the conversation he had with Caption Parker. It was obvious that he wanted more information. Finally Bill asked Henderson and FBI officer Miller to follow him. Chuck and I followed them. When we got to the room Bill picked up the crowbar and asked Miller to reach around the door frame and turn on the lights. With Bill's broad body and the rest of crowd, I could not see into the room. Like Bill, Miller let out a gasp and jumped back out of the room. After Miller got over the shock, he asked if one of us to go outside and tell the other men in the car to please come in. He wanted the other agents to see the scene. Chuck volunteered and Bill suggested that I got upstairs with Chuck and stay up there. The hall is too narrow for all of us.

I went upstairs with Chuck. He went outside and told the agents that Miller wanted them to look at the crime scene. The three agents followed Chuck through the building. Within minutes, Chuck returned. With the expression he had on his face, I knew that he must have had a peek at the room. I thought that he was going to faint. He looked at me and said, "Bill was right. I was lucky that I did not work last night. Also Molly, you do not want to see what I saw. I always thought that there would never be a scene that would tear me a part. The police station will not be open for a long time. They will have every department in the state visiting the scene.

I said, "Someone must have been killed. Who was it?"

Chuck said, "Are you sure you want to know?"

 Not being sure I wanted to know, curiosity nudged me. I said, "Make it simple and to the point."

Chuck studded for a few moments then said, "Everyone that was on duty and in the station last night is no longer with us."

I did not want to believe him. Cold chills ran through my body. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I cried, cried and cried. I tried to stop crying. The vision in my mind of all the bodies in the room kept flashing through my mind. Suddenly I thought about the operator. I looked over at Chuck and said, "Who was the operator on duty last night?"

Chuck looked at me and said, "Barbara."

For a flash, I thought that she would never have to put up with the crap that Steve gave her. Then it flashed through my mind that she was no longer alive. Again I cried uncontrollable. There was nothing that I could do to stop crying, nor did I want to. With all of my heart I cried for all of them.

My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of sirens approaching. I looked out into the street and there must have been five or six unmarked cars parking in front of the police station. I took my cell phone and called Bill and told him about the number of men coming into the office. I heard him call Miller and tell him that his friends were coming into the front door. Miller yelled back to Bill and said to tell them that he would meet them up stair and brief them, as they came in the front door I told the one in the lead that Miller wants to meet them up here. I had not gotten the words out of my mouth when Miller yelled at Chuck, "Is there a room big enough for all of us. Chuck said, "Take the hall just behind you. At the end of the hall is an assembly room. I think that you will find everything you need in there."

One of the agents asked Chuck how he was so lucky that he wasn't the in the mess. I will answer that. He was off duty. This morning when he came to work, the door was locked and there was no one in the police station.

The agent asked me how I knew so much about the situation. I told him about the robbery and that Officer Peterson was as much involved in the robbery at the bank as the two bastards that tried to break into the bank the second time. Again he asked why were you and your husband at the bank in the middle of the night.

I said, "Before I answer any more of your questions, ask your boss if you are authorized to know about the problems with the City council and anyone else that is involved. According to the document that the federal government sent me, I will be violating the rules of the court and could be fined and sent to jail if I tell you anything else."

With an argumentative voice he yelled, "I am an officer of the federal government. I am going to have you arrested for not cooperating in a murder case."

Bill came up behind the agent and tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Get the fuck down to the assembly room if you want answers relating to this crime."

Another agent came up behind Bill and said, "Joe get your ass down to the assembly room. We know why she and her husband were at the bank last night. Chuck would you please join us. Mrs. Johnson, please let us know if anyone comes to the door or calls. Please switch the calls to the assembly room. My name is Buddy,"

Sheepishly Joe turns and followed Bill and the agent.

The commotion that I went through Joe had blanked out what I visualize what the room looked like. Unfortunately the images came back to fast. I cursed the day that I won the lottery. If I had not won the jackpot I would not be mixed up in this mess. I wanted to do something to block out my thoughts about the room.

Thank God my stomach was started talking to me. I knew Bill's stomach would be doing the same. I walked down the hall and knocked on the door. Joe opened the door. I pushed pass him and asked, "Is anyone hungry?"

Every one of them raised their hand. I dropped a pad onto the desk and said, "Bill, call me your cell phone when you get every ones order."

I shut the door and went back up stairs. The outside line was ringing. I picked up the phone and a woman yelled at me, "Tell my fucking husband to get the fuck home."

I asked, "What is your husband name?"

She yelled, "Tony Peterson."

I knew from what I had heard that Peterson was one of the victims in the room. I wanted to tell her, but I was not certain. I said, "Please hold on."

I dialed Bill cell and asked him if Peterson was one of the victims.  Bill said, "Yes he was. Millie and Pat will love to hear that."

I asked Bill if the breakfast order had been finished. He said, "Yes honey, you can pick it up."

I said, "Mrs. Petersons wife called and told me to tell her husband to come home. I am certain that there will be more calls like this one. What should I tell the caller?"

"I will ask them. I will let them think about it while you are coming down here."

I switched to the outside line and go a dial tone. Mrs. Peterson must have made a number of calls to the police station without getting her husband. I hung up the phone and headed down stairs; I open the door and walked over to Bill. He gave me the breakfast order. One of the agents asked, “What did you tell Mrs. Peterson about her husband?"

I said, "I put her on hold while I called Bill. When I got back to her, she had hung up the phone."

The agent said, "Good. That solves one problem. If anyone calls and asks for someone, tell them that they are not at the police station. I don't want this case to get out of this building until we have a complete investigation."

The agent was still looking around the room and said, "That goes for everyone in this room. When we leave the building, dress down. I don't want any nosey bastard sticking their finger into this case. If the media get a hint, you don't know anything about what is going on. Chuck, normally, how many officers are on duty besides you?"

Chuck said, "There are about six people on duty and the operator. Not counting Steve.  There should be five beside me. There are usually 2 local homeless men that come in and they sleep here until the guys on duty kick them out."

I turned around to leave and the agent that was talking said, "Molly, I have called a number of departments. They will be sending people out here all day. I have someone that should be here any minute to take over your job. Her name is Jill. You and your husband can leave when she gets here."

I returned to the desk and phoned the restaurant. Liz answered the phone. I gave her the breakfast order and said to put it on my tab. Liz asked, "Do you want this to be delivered to the bank?'

"No honey, Stan should be showing up soon. Have him deliver the order to the Police Department. If Stan is not there, would you bring it over for me?"

Liz said, "Stan is here, he has a crew cleaning up the restaurant."

"Please tell him to bring over the order. Thanks honey."

I dialed the bank and told Mabel and Tim to stay at the bank until I come back. They can break the monotony by taking turns leaving the bank for short periods.

To my surprise Mabel said, "Tim and I are enjoy being here together. Since Gloria was board, I let her go home."

I laughed silently. I knew that those two had eyes for each other. I felt jealous of her. I remembered the days that I wanted to be alone with Bill. Young love is so exciting. I said, "Larry will be their around five. He will take the night shift. Enjoy the day."

Stan came with the food in his car. I took the first batch to the assembly room.  I told the group that Stan was a county police officer and that he could be a help in solving the crime. He managed the restaurant and worked the night shift at the restaurant. When he is in town he drops in to see what the day crew is doing. Not only that, he has good ears. He hears the heart beat of Sunny Ville. He is also Chuck's brother. If they would like to talk with him, I will send him down here.

Bill said, "Chuck has already told them about Stan."

Miller said, "When Stan comes, please ask him to join us. We have not scratched the surface. Any scrap of information he can give us may give us a lead."

I said, "I have a gut feeling that Captain Charles Parker know more about what went on last night than anyone else. Steve was jailed at the state police barracks. Parker also told us that he turned the robbers over to Peterson after Bill and I told the state police that Peterson and Steve were involved the attempted bank robbery. Someone came over to the bank after the state police took Pete and Willy away. They picked up the two crowbars and took them back to the police station. Those two crowbars are the same two that Bill use to open the door here at the police station."

Miller said, "We will check the finger prints on the crowbars. Maybe there are other finger prints beside Bill’s"

There was a knock on the door. I opened it. Stan was loaded down with doggy bangs. I took the ones from the top of the stack and started calling off the names and delivering them. When we finished Stan asked Chuck, "What going on here."

Miller said, "I am a federal agent, my name is Buddy Miller. Chuck and Molly told us about you. We are investigating murders in Sunny Ville. We are just starting an investigation and we hope you can give us a lead."

Stan said, "Who was killed."

Miller said, "We will get to that later."

Stan said, "Steve came into the bar last night looking for someone. I asked him who he was looking for. He did not answer me. With a pissed of look on his face he hurries out the door. Whoever he was looking for is probably the one that got killed. There have been a number of people over the years that have disappeared. Since we never found them, we assumed that they just took off."

Miller said, "Molly thanks for the lunch. You and Bill must be exhausted. Joe, go to the front door with them and lock the door after they leave. Sit at the operators desk, it is hidden from the street and if someone calls and ask about anyone. Tell them that they are not here and you don't know where they are. Forward all calls to the state police."

Bill asked Chuck if they had any bulletproof vest that we could borrow. He said that when you get into the lobby. There is at least a hundred in the closet next the main hall. Take as many as you need. I headed for the door. As we were leaving the room Miller thanked us.

Bill and I went up stair with Joe following us; we fished through the boxes and found a least two dozen that fit Bill. He took a dozen of them for the bank guards. I rummaged through the vest. They all were larger than the size that I need for the girls and me. They would be better than not having any protection. They all were in good condition. Joe said, "We don't have the quality anywhere close to these."

Bill and I said goodbye to Joe and headed out the door with Joe on our heels. Joe locked the door behind us. We headed for the bank. Mabel or Tim must have seen us coming. They opened the door for us. Mabel and Tim looked like newlyweds. I could see the expression on Bill's face. He must have gotten the same feeling. We gathered our things and headed to the back door with Mabel and Tim following us. At the door they wished us the best. Bill had gone ahead and started to open the car door. He jumps back from the car like he had gotten an electric shock when he touched the door handle. He pulls out his cell phone and dials it. I heard him saying don't look for Steve, I found him. There was a pause then he said, in my car. I don't think that he was killed here. There is no blood on the car seat and it looks like he was shot in the head. The blood on his cloths and body looks like it has dried up. There was a long pause. Bill said, "Only the driver's side door handle. I never opened the door. Do you want me to stay here? We will wait until Joe and Chuck arrives."

Bill redials his phone and said, "Millie, please come down to the bank and pick us up. I have a problem with my car."

Tim and Mabel were still standing at the door. Bill and I walked back into the bank. Tim held the door open for us and asked, "Car trouble?"

Bill said, "Yes, lock all the doors at the bank and don't let anyone in. Mabel we are going to take you home with us. I am going to get a couple of guys that work on the farm to keep Larry and Tim company at the bank until these robberies stop. Don't tell anyone where you are living and why you are living on the farm. You will be paid your full salary. You may have to do your own cooking."

Tim said, "Can Larry and I have the same shift?"

Bill looks over at Tim and said, "We need two men here tonight. Do you want two shifts in a row?"

Tim said, "No."

Bill said, "OK, you two will have the day shift and the other guys will have the night shift."

I hear a trucks engine being revved up. It was coming from the alley. We all went to the rear of the bank. Chuck was lifting up bills car and Joe was guiding him. I opened the back door and gave Joe Bill's car keys. Bill said, "Don't bang up my new car and remove the body before it starts to smell."

Joe just nodded his head. We went back into the bank. We heard someone knocking on the door. It was Millie. Bill and I took our things and headed for the front door. Millie said, "Sorry you had car trouble. Are you ready to go?"

I said, "Yep, let's go home."

Before I could say another word, Millie said, "Lillie called and said we can move in whenever we wish. Pat and I want to move in today. Bill please let us move in."

Bill said, "It's up to Molly. She is the one that controls living space.”

I said, "Millie, you picked a good day to move and so did Lillie. I have invited Mabel and Gloria to spend a few days here with us."

Millie lets out a scream, "Wonderful."

As we pulled into the driveway Pat was waiting for us. She yells at Millie, "Yes or no."

Millie yells, "Yes. We can move in today."

For the rest of the day Bill and I had cat naps. On one of the trips back home they stopped and picked up Gloria and let Mabel pick up some items from her home. Linda prepared a nice dinner for us and kept Pamela out of our hair. After we went to bed, every noise woke me up with fear running through my body. I think that I would have been better off trying to stay awake.

While I was dozing Bill took my car and found four men working in the fields. They all wanted to guard the bank at night. He gave all of them bullet proof vest. He did not give a damn what they wore as long as they wore the vests. Bill told them that he wanted one of them awake all the time and they could take turns sleeping. Bill dropped one of them at the bank. The other three would start tonight.

Since Bill was already down town. He stopped in at the police station see if they had found out who kill all of those poor soles. They still did have a suspect. Bill told me that he had never seen so many men and women in the police station at one time. Chuck said that all the offices and room have different groups and they were going to take over the police station. The two men that should have been on duty had not showed up for work and they have four agents looking for them. Bill did not count the number of bodies that were stuff in the small room. From what he saw, he thought that there were a least eight to ten bodies if not more. With Steve dead and two more not showing up for work, there were almost a dozen poor souls murdered by some nut. With Millie and Pat living at the condo, Bill felt they would be safe. They had two men patrolling the complex throughout the day and night. After everyone was in place Bill came home exhausted. He wanted all of us to wear the bullet proof vest. With Pamela asleep between us I dozed off. About an hour later I woke up. Bill was wide awake. I said, "Honey go to sleep, you are going to be dead tired tomorrow. What is keeping you awake?"

Bill said, "We are having a lot more traffic. I have never seen this much traffic on this road in my life time."

This woke me up. I got out of the bed and before I could reach the front door at least four cars passed. There were more cars going into town than the ones leaving. I turned around and asked Bill, "Why is there so damn much traffic?"

"Honey, your guess is good as mine. It has to be related to the murder of Steve and the others."

I asked, "Why would they kill Steve?"

Bill sits up in bed and said, "To shut his mouth, he knows too much. There are ten City councilmen; the Mayor and God only know how many other people have been paid off. Wilson said there must be as much as twenty million embezzled from Sunny Ville over the years. According to what he knew, they have been robbing the citizens of Sunny Ville for thirty to forty year. They wrote off the funds for work done on the City. But, the work was never done."

I said, "Honey, I look back at the amount of money my parents had to pay in taxes on the farm and the sales tax on the animals that pop sold. Some bastard put all of that money in their back pocket.”

We just laid there for a few minutes thinking. I looked over at Bill. I wondered what he was thinking about. My thoughts just popped out. I said, “That is the reason Pop went to bartering. We did not starve, we always had plenty to eat, but there was never any cash to speak of."

Bill rolled over and gave me a kiss and said, “I know what you mean. Living without money was our worst problem. If we only had a fraction of what we have now, it would be like living in heaven.”

Neither one of said anything. We lay quietly for while. Finely, we cuddled up and fell to sleep.

The following morning we woke up to clattering pot and pans. I slid out of bed trying not wake Bill. I slipped on a housecoat and headed for the door. Bill said, "Don't go into the kitchen Mabel and Gloria are making breakfast, let them take care of the meals. You are paying them."

I said, "Honey, they are guest. I can't expect them to do all the chores. Oh, shit. Where is Pamela?"

"She is there telling them where everything is and what everyone wants for breakfast. I could not get out of bed; I was enjoying listening to Pamela telling them what to do. If I did not know Pamela voice, I would think some grownup was bossing them around."

I could not hold back the laughter. I walked into the kitchen. Pamela was explaining how everything worked, where everything was located and how to cook the item she wanted. Mabel saw me coming in. She winked at me and said to Pamela, "I have never met anyone that knows more about cooking than you."

She Picks up Pamela and said, "Will you be my friend. I never had a friend as smart as you. Oh, don't you want to say good morning to Mom?"

Pamela turned around and saw me. Pamela almost jumped out of Mabel’s hands. Her tiny little feet flew her across the room instantly. She leaps up and grabs my neck and planted kisses across my face."

Pamela said, "Mom, please stay home today. With Mabel and Gloria, we will have lots of fun."

"Honey, I will not be going to work for about a week. I may have to go to the bank to pick up the mail."

Pamela scampered across the room and joined Mabel and Gloria. She continued telling them how we liked our meals cooked. I heard the shower. Damn it I hope he doesn't stink up the bathroom. That's one thing about a privy that nice, the wind dampers the smell. With five people and only one bathroom, the smell will never go away.

Bill came out of the bathroom; thank God he used the spray to cover the smell. This moment brought back the earlier year of my life. At times I wanted to roll back the clock to when I was only a child. I had no worries in my life. I loved living the life that I was living. How time has changes our lives.

The girls appeared to love living with us. Did they feel safer living out here with us? Anyway, it made me feel good to see the happiness on their faces.

Bill had to go out into the field and see what the hands were doing. He wanted to make sure they were doing the chores that he had assigned them. Without his car he had to use Old Betsy. Bill reminded me that I should wear the bulletproof vest if I went to the bank. With all of the new guards at the bank I had to see what was going on.

When I pulling into my parking space. I did not see the "the bank is closed" sign. A chill ran through my body.  Cautiously I walked up to the door. The front door was open. I was welcomed by Larry and Tim. Four men popped out of the hall with their field clothes on. I asked, "Where is the "the bank is closed" sign. One of the field hands said, "An old man came to the door and knocked on the door. He looked at his watch and then he tried to open the locked door. He waved a fist at us and yelled, "If you don't open the bank you are going to be in a lot of trouble. I yelled to him that the bank will open when Mrs. Johnson tell us to open the bank. With an angry look on his face, he kicked the window where the sign was and the sign fell to the floor. Harold went down to the restaurant to get our breakfast and we forgot to lock the door." 

I said, "It is very important that no one get into the bank. When someone leaves, or comes in, please make sure that all the doors and windows are locked. The federal government has frozen a number of accounts. The government thinks that the money is stolen and there are people out there that will do anything possible to get into the bank and take the stolen money. I am Bill’s wife and I am the manager of the bank. So please don't let anyone come into the bank, no matter what they tell you. That includes the local, state and federal police. If anyone insists on getting their funds out of the bank, please call me."

I thanked them and went into my office and shut the door. I sat at my desk watching the front door. Harold showed up about ten minutes later.  I heard them laughing and joking. There wasn't a damn thing that I could do, sit on my ass and watch the day pass. After twilling my thumbs, I decided to go out and visit Millie and Pat. The night crew was going home soon and Tim, Larry and one of the field hands would take over. I got up and paced the room for a few minutes wondering if anyone else would try to break into the bank. If so, who? The only person that kept popping up in my mind was Caption Charles Packard. He always seems to be in the middle of everything that happens. I looked out the window and saw an elderly woman talking with Tim. I could not make out what they were saying. I went out into the lobby and listened for a while. She was telling Tim a sob story of how broke she was and she had to take some funds out her safety deposit box to pay the mortgage on her home. If she was late they would charge her a large fee. I was torn between saying no to her and turning on the computer and opening up the vault. She reminded me of my parents. They were about her age when they died. I went over to the door and started to tell her that I could not let her take any of her funds out of the bank. When I saw tears running down her face, I could not turn her down. I remembered what the mortgage penalty would do to my parents. I went over to the door and told Tim that I would handle it. I took the woman hand and helped her over to the counter. I unlocked the small safe and got the vault key. I open the outer door to the vault and switched on the computer. I asked the woman what her name was. I enter her name into the computer and pulled up the accounts that were frozen. Her name was not on the list. I checked to see what her safety deposit box number was. Her box number was 5427. I guided her into the vault and unlocked box 5427. I went out of the vault and watched her on the monitor. She reaches into her pocket book and pulls out about a dozen keys. She did not even try to open her box. She went from box to box trying to open other boxes. Without me unlocking the security key she would have to have a sledge hammer to bust into the box. I continue to watch her. She was raging mad. I call the police department. The federal agent Joe answered. He goes a through a spill about calling the county police station. I interrupted him and said, "I have someone in the vault trying to open a number of safety deposit boxes. Would you please have someone come over here and arrest her?"

Joe said, "Is this Mrs. Johnson?"

"Yes it is."

"I will have someone over there in a few minutes."

 I watched the woman for another ten minutes trying to open the boxes with a bobby pin. I went out front and waited for the agent. I asked him for his identification card. He pulls out his wallet and showed me his ID. His name was Thomas. I took him over to the vault monitor. He watched for a few minutes and said, "I hope this is recorded."

"Yes it's recorded. She never tried to open her own box. She was fooling around with about a dozen different boxes if not more. I lost count of the number when she went back and tried one for at least five times, if not more."

He said, "Let's go get her."

I said, "I would like to know the number that is on all the keys that she has."

He said, "I will have to keep the keys, you can take the number down and give me a list of the names the keys belonged to."

I said, "The keys are property of the bank. I will give you a list of the names that the keys belong to."

The agent tried to persuade me into letting him keep the keys. I did not give in. He finely gave in and we went into the vault. The woman heard us. She jumped dropping the hand full of keys to the floor. After a few moments she cursed us and told us to get out of the vault. The agent told her that she was under arrest for attempted robbery. It was a three ring circus with the two of us trying to calm her down and searching her for more keys. When she finally calms down she said, "What are you going to do to me."

The agent said, "You are going to the county jail. Sunny Ville jail is shut down. We are charging you with attempted robbery."

I made a list of the names that matched the key number, there were fourteen of them. It included all of the City council, the Mayor Gibson and Margaret Stone. I showed Margaret the list and asked, "Who is on the list that you are related to."

She snapped at me, "It's none of your fucking business."

I did not push her into telling me. I knew that sooner or later it would tie to one of the names on the list or an associate.

After Tommy left, I told them what had happened and insisted that they do not let anyone get inside the bank. The night crew was ready to go home. I told them that I would not be returning to the bank and gave them my cell phone number. If someone tries to get into the bank, they should call the local police number even though there is not a local police force. The federal police have temporarily taken over Sunny Ville police. I wish them all good luck and told them that I have no idea how long this problem was going to last.

I joined Millie and Pat. They were ecstatic about the apartment. They could not thank me enough for letting them live there. I filled them in on the problem that we were having at the bank. They could not believe that so many people had been killed. Their heart went out for all of them, especially Barbara. They believed that Steve killed her. I thought so also. I took them out to lunch with a promise that we would not discuss the banks problem. I also told them not to mention the deaths at the police station. The agents did not want the media to hear about it. Also, I wanted to think of happier times. My wish was not broken by Millie or Pat. The rumors had leaked out. At least a dozen people that I did not know questioned me about the bank robbery. I simple said that we have had a few too many robberies for such a small town and I did not know when it would end.

For the next two weeks things seemed to slack off. The bank guards went back to work at the farm. The bank was still closed. With Mabel and Gloria still living with us, Bill and I decided to spend the night at the bank. We took the advantage of being alone so we could love each other without someone being around. The following mornings we were exhausted. On the third night at the bank we were waken by someone trying to pry open the windows. While the bank was closed Bill had a crew installing bars over the windows so if the window was open they still could not get into the bank. We watched the person going from one window after another trying to pry opens the windows. In frustration the robber slammed the window with a crow bar. Ben Henderson must have spent a fortune on the windows. The crow bar bounced off of the window as if it was a rubber ball. When the crow bar bounced off of the window, the crow bar hit the intruder in the face. He fell backward into the plants bordering the bank. We both laughed. The intruder must have heard us and took off holding his nose.

On the fourth week we sent the girls back to their apartments, we had so much business that Pat came back to work at the bank and Millie went back to the restaurant. 

The problems that Sunny Ville was having hit the new media, I had to rehire Larry and Tim to keep the media from harassing our customers. We had the Feds put up a yellow barrier at the sidewalk. Only customers were allowed to go beyond the barrier.  A few of the Pavarotti's were arrested and fined $1000.00 for going beyond the barrier. This helped to limit the number of Pavarotti's from hanging around. I still cannot figure out what or who they wanted to film. One thing for sure, they all were in it for money. I could not blame them. Aren't we all looking for a way to get rich or richer?

 The winter months was starting to come in. We had not had any attempts of someone trying to break into the bank. We sent the field hand back to work at the farms. It was almost dark when we closed the bank. Things were as normal as expected. One evening when we were closing and the girls had gone home. I was making my rounds to see if everyone was out of the bank and all the alarms were turned on. I went to check the videos and the recorders to see if they were turned on. Thankful, they all were sending the video's to the computer and the tap machines. I noticed a shadow moving in the area of the loading platform in the rear of the building. A cold chill ran through my body. I quickly turned off all the lights including the ones in the lobby that we leave on all night. I picked up one of the phones at the counter. Oh shit. The line was dead. I ran into my office and tried the two lines at my desk. Neither one of them worked. I groped around feeling for my pocket book. Thankful, my cell phone was in my pocket book. I called Bill. Damn it, he did not answer. I hit the local police indicator; I got a recorded message that the numbers were not listed. I felt inside my desk drawer for the pistol that Mr. Henderson gave me. Damn it, I had unloaded it. I fumbled around for a few minutes in the dark until I had it loaded. With the pistol loaded, I headed down the back hall peeking into each room as I passed them. I continued until I was at the last office. I crept into the room and peaked out the window.  It looked like there was a construction crew in the alley. The equipment they had could tear open the vault. I grabbed my cell and hit Bill on the display. He did not answer. I let it ring.  Finely Bill picked up the phone. I told him about the construction crew parked in the alley. Bill cursed and said, "Those bastards are going to try to open the vault. Honey get the hell out of the bank go over to the restaurant and get Stan to call the county police, the state police and the Feds. I am going to fill up old Betsy with all the hands that I can find and load that big spot light I use to work after dark. I hope it is still working."

I told Bill to be careful. They all must have guns on them. I hit the FBI on the display. Someone answered, I said, "Is Tom Henderson around."

The office said, "He has gone home for the day."

I said, "I don't give a dam where he has gone. I am Molly Johnson. There is a construction crew parked behind the M&B Trust in Sunny Ville. It looks like they are getting ready to rip open the walls at the bank. I called my husband and told him about it and he is getting a crew together to stop them."

The officer said, "We will not know who is trying to break into the bank if your husband's crew get their before we get there. Tell him to stay in front of the bank until we get there."

 He hung up the phone before I could say another word. I looked out the window and a group of men were gathered together. They looked like they were waiting for someone. I started to yell, "What the hell are you doing out there."

Before I could say a word, I saw headlight turning into the Alley.  The driver turned off the light on the car. From the lights on the trucks, I saw someone that I had seen a number of times during the last few months. It was Caption Charles Packard. What was he doing here? Was he here because someone had called the state police or was he the person that the others were waiting for? They all huddled together for a few minutes, and then someone backed away from the group and said that Packard was crazy. Packard pulled out his pistol and aimed it at the person that stepped out of the crow. The fear of another murder was going to take place, I screamed. A bullet bounced off of the window. The men scattered. Packard was standing their alone. I knew that Packard could not get into the building. I aimed my pistol at Packard through the wall and pulled the trigger. The bullet went through the wall and hit one of the trucks behind Packard. Packard quickly fell to the ground and started firing radically. He suddenly jumped to his feet and ran to his car. Two cars pulled into the alley, one on each end of the alley. Armed men jumped out of the cars and demanded that everyone drop their guns and lay them on the ground. With my heart beating a hundred miles an hour, Packard made a wrong move. He raises his pistol. The blast of another pistol rang out. It hit Packard. The impact of the bullet spun Packard around. He slowly turned and falls to the ground. I turned on the outside lights. The officers aimed their pistols at the window. I yelled, "Don't shoot."

I put my gun in a desk drawer and opened the back door. I heard a familiar voice say, "Is that you Molly?"

I opened the door a crack and yelled, "I am not armed and I am opening the back door."

I heard Packard say, "That crazy bitch has a gun. She will probably blow your brains out."

I yelled back, "Packard, you bastard what the hell are you doing? Are you planning to break into the vault?"

 Another voice rang out, "Packard got us out here on the pretense that we were going to reinforce the rear of the bank. When we got here Packard said that Molly had agreed to extend the length of the vault and she wanted it done tonight. I told him that he was crazy and we could not do it tonight. It would take a month of Sundays to cut a hole in that vault. Packard drew his gun and was going to shoot me. Molly took a wild shot through the wall and scared the hell out of him. I think Packard emptied his pistol firing wildly at the back of the bank."

Henderson said, "Molly, you can come outside if you wish."

I said, "No, I feel safer inside. I can slam the door closed if someone else is on Packard's payroll. Oh yes, my husband will be coming with a group of men. I will see if I can get him on the phone before he gets here."

I hid Bill on the pad and Bill answered and said, "Honey, we are on our way."

I said, "Honey, Henderson is already here. Who did I say was behind this mess?

Bill said, "Packard, what makes you so sure?"

I laughed and said, "The bastard unloaded his pistol trying to kill me. He riddled the back wall of the bank trying to kill me. Maybe he will tell us who is paying him off."

I waited for the Feds to take everyone into custody. Bill came during the process and they wanted to take Bill and his crew. I told Henderson that they were nowhere around the bank when Packard came. They were about five miles down the road when I called my husband.

After everything had died down, Bill told the crew that he was going home with me. He told then that there would be something in their paycheck for the ride in the night. They all laughed. A couple of them said that he did not have to give them anything for the ride. Bill thanked them again and walked back to Betsy with them. Henderson and his crew were still taking the names of the work crew that Packard had hired. The car with Packard in it had gone before Bill and his crew arrived. Bill came back and thanked Henderson for coming so soon. Bill said, "I think you have got the murderer. But, you have not got the one that hired Packard."

Henderson said, "I agree with you. We have weeded out a few, but so far we have too many others that could be the boss."

Bill replied, "Don't be too eager, I think anyone of the subjects could have been the straw boss, but who was paying him off."

Henderson said, "Time will tell."

Bill and I again thanked Henderson and watched the cars and truck leaving the alley. Bill locked up the back door and took me into his arms and said, "I am very proud of you. You did a wonderful job. But, I picked up some of the spent bullets that came through the wall. Anyone of them could have hit you. I am still proud of you, but please don't do anything like this again. I don't want anything to happen to you."

I bowed my head down and said, "I could not let Packard kill Mr. Woodward. Packard was going to kill him. I screamed at Packard. He fired at the window and the bullet bounced off the glass. I just took a chance that the bullet would go through the wall. I just wanted to scare him. I ran into the hall before he sprayed the room. Since my bullet went through the wall, I knew his would also."

We cuddled together and headed for my car. A group of men with cameras started taking shots at us before we got to my car. They flooded us with questions until we pulled out of the parking lot. A few ran after my car still snapping pictures. Bill said that we will be all over the headlines. I wonder what they are going to say about us. We knew that it would be almost impossible to get in the vault. If they did, they would have to get a torch to cut through the steel walls. Bill said, "Honey, why don't we shut down the bank until this is over."

I shook my head and said, "We cannot close the bank. Our bank is the only one in town, as you well know. And, there are dozens of business that have to pay their employees. Also, all the businesses in the Sunny Ville have accounts with us. They cannot leave their receipts at their business or take it home. If we close the banks, not only will the business know we are closed, the thieves will also know."

Bill did not argue with me. By his actions, I knew that he was afraid that I may get hurt.

We were almost home when Bill patted me on my thigh and said, "You are going to have two guards on duty at the bank and two more to escort you and the girl's home. There will be guard at their homes, at the bank, and at our home.  I don't want anyone of you hurt or killed, it is not worth all the money that we have and all the money in the world. Honey both of us know how it feels to be without money. I am positive that whoever hired Packard will do everything they can to get the money that is stashed in the bank. I am going to ask Henderson if they can take all the safety deposit boxes that are frozen and put them in another bank."

I reached up and caressed Bill's cheek and said, "Darling, I have already asked the court if we could put the money into another bank. They said that the boxes are evidence and cannot be removed. If they are opened or removed, the evidence will be contaminated. They cannot be removed from the vault or the bank. Honey, I don't want anything to happen to me or anyone else. If you want guards around the clock, we will get guards around the clock. We will hire professional guards. I don't want your field hands to get killed either. I want guards that are trained to guard over us all. I am going to call Tom now and ask him if he knows a company that provides security guards."

I dialed Tom's number. Tom picked up on the first ring. I told him what I wanted and he said that there a dozen companies in the City that provide protection 24 hours a day. I told Tom what Bill and I wanted and told him not to worry about the expense. When I hung up the phone, I let out a sigh of relief. At least we know that we have done everything that we could, but, I will worry about this for the rest of my life. Those bastards will blame me, not the State.

We were walking into the house; Linda and Pamela were at the window waiting for us. Pamela ran to the front door and opened it. Bill picked her up and said, "My little girl has grown up. She knows how to open the front door."

 Pamela said, "Daddy I have known how to open the front door for a long time. I wasn't tall enough to reach the door knob."

Bill said, "Honey, you are growing up so fast that I will not be able to hold you in my arms."

Pamela said, "You can pick up mom. It will be a long time before I am as big as mom."

I said, "Daddy is so proud of you that he will love you no matter how big you get."

Linda said, "Your dinner is ready. Pamela made it for you. What happened at the bank? The local channel had a camera aimed at the front door for over an hour. No one knew what had happened. We watched you leaving the bank."

Bill and I both knew what was happening and we did not want Pamela to get upset. Bill shook his head and said, "We are starving. Let's eat."

Linda took the hint. When she was leaving she said to me, "I will watch the news. I should not have asked you in front of Pamela. Good night."

We both were starved, and emotionally exhausted. After dinner, we went to bed without cleaning the kitchen and dishes. I cuddled up to Bill and told him how much I loved him. He said, "Molly, I have never loved anyone as much as I have loved you. At times I feel like taking you and Pamela away from Sunny Ville and never coming back. I don't want anything to happen to you."

Somehow the media found out about the Mayor and the City council robbing the Sunny Ville citizens. Everyone in town wanted to lynch them all. They had to hold the trial at the other end of the state because they could not find an impartial jury anywhere in the state.

Without a governing party, Sunny Ville held a town meeting at the football stadium. We elected citizens of Sunny Ville that were retired and wanted to clean out the political individual that were on the City's payroll and associates of the Mayor and City council. We created a volunteer government with a volunteer police and firemen department.  Sunny Ville became a City that did not have to pay taxes. A few of the honest City employees said at the meeting that the Mayor and the City council had been fleecing the citizens of Sunny Ville for the last thirty years. God only knows how much money is stashed away in the safety deposit boxes at the bank.

As the weeks and months passed; slowly life in Sunny Ville returns to normal. Our new home was finished. As much as I loved our new home, the memories I had of living in our old home were like a magnet. When I came home from work, I would pull up in front of our old home and park my car. I felt like my parents were dragging me into the old home. When I told Bill, he said that it was a force of habit. As much as I already knew this, I still felt that Mom and Pop had something to do with it. With it being empty, Linda asked me if I would rent the house to her. This brought out another side of me. Having the feeling that Pamela seamed to love Linda more than she loved me, with Linda living next door to us, I felt that Pamela would feel that Linda was more her mother than I was. I talked to Bill about my problem. Bill told me that Pamela is well aware who her parents are and Linda was a close friend.

I let Linda move in and did not charge her rent. She was very grateful. She seemed to go out of the way to get Pamela to spend more time at our new home with Bill and me, especially during the weekends and after we came home. Bill had noticed the difference and told me that we see Pamela more now than when we lived in the old house. Pamela even wanted to go to work with me. I took one of the empty offices and filled it with things that would keep her busy and installed a TV so she could watch her favorite shows. When I had finished my duties, I would join Pamela. This was the most enjoyable part of my day.

With the old government in jail, Sunny Ville became a thriving new town. New businesses moved in and Bills construction business was growing also. The bank was back to normal. It kept Pat, Mabel, Gloria and Peg busy. We still had guards at the bank and at the farm. The day and night shift guards at the bank appeared to be more alert than the ones that hung around the farm. 

Millie had gone back to the restaurant and loved it. It had been some time since I looked for the rest of the clan. I had finished my daily duties and there was nothing else for me to do but twiddle my thumbs. I put out a search for my other two sisters, Martha and Mattie. I was not as lucky as I was with Mike and Mitch. The 2% loan that I give them on their business has made their lives much easier. From the email that I got from them I believe they think that Bill and I stole the money from M&B Trust. I enjoyed seeing the monthly checks coming in. They always put a small note in the envelope thanking me.

Since I wasn't making any headway with Martha and Mattie, I put out a search for Matt Malone. I received a huge list. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I would spend months searching for Matt Malone. I had to shorten the search. I included Matt's birthday and the school that he graduated from.  Surprisingly, I found five Matt Malone's. They all had a different telephone number. I started at the top of the list and calling. The first three were no longer in service. The fourth number, a flirtatious voice of a young girl answered. When I asked it Matt Malone lived there. She's sarcastically said that there is no Matt Malone living here. She hung up the phone before I could ask her any more questions.  For a moment I did not know what to say or do.  I started to redial the number, but I stopped and hung up the phone. If Matt lived there and this was his wife or girlfriend, she may have thought that it was another one of Matt's girlfriends. I thought about what I should say. I thought about a dozen ways to ask if Matt was her girl friend or wife. I dialed the number again and soon as I heard the phone being picked up, I said, "Does my brother Matt Malone live here?"

There was a pause; I said again, "Does my brother Matt Malone live here?"

The girl on the phone paused for a moment. She did not muffle the phone and said, "There is a woman on the phone that wants to know if her brother Matt Malone lives here."

In the background I heard a man telling her to hang up the phone. I yelled and said, "Tell him it Molly Malone."

The girl said, "Do you know a Molly Malone."

I heard a man yell to her, "Hang up the fucking phone."

The girl did not hang up the phone. I heard the man say, "Oh, shit."

This made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Who in hell is this guy? I looked down at the list of Matt Malone's. The one I just talked to lives in San Francisco. The next one lives in Seattle. I dialed the Seattle number. The answering machine answered. The voice on the phone was defiantly Matt's voice. I left my phone number and said that I was his sister Molly and please give me a call. Again, I dialed the other numbers. They all had been discontinued. They were in different cities in Oregon. A flash of fear shot through me, some bastard has taken Matt’s identity. I wonder how and why he took Matt's name. I wanted to jump on a plane and fly to Seattle. All kinds of thoughts popped up in my mind. Is Matt still alive? How did Matt get all the way across the country alone? I was emotionally exhausted. I could not think straight. I laid back in my office chair trying not to think about Matt. Fear, over road all of my thoughts, my mind slid back in time. I remembered the beautiful times when we all lived together. Thankful, the fear that was going through me subsided. I looked at the clock, it was only ten. It would only be seven in Seattle. If he is at work, he will not be calling for another ten or twelve hours. Can I wait that long. I searched for the San Francisco police telephone number. I started to dial the San Francisco police. I hung up before I finished. What in hell am I going to tell them? I thought for a moment and then redialed the number. A woman answered, I told her what I had been doing and told her my maiden and my married name. I also told her that I was trying to find the rest of my family. I told her about the search and what I had just gone through. She wanted to know what I expected her to do. I told her that I believe that someone has taken my brother Matt Malone identity and I believe that the Matt Malone in San Francisco had done something to my brother that lives in Seattle or he is using my brother identity for illegal purposes. Again, the woman asked for my name, address and telephone number. She also wanted the telephone number and address of the Matt Malone in Seattle and San Francisco. I reminded her that the one in Seattle sounded like my brothers voice. The one in San Francisco voice did not sound like my brother's voice. She said that she would have someone look into my problem and she hung up.

This left me in another confused state of mind. When will they start the investigation? What are they going to do? Will the bastard in San Francisco lie to the police and claim that he is the real Matt Malone and my brother is not the real Matt Malone? I called Bill on the phone and explained my problem. Bill said that he would drop everything and go to Seattle with me if I wanted his company. I told him that I was wishing that he would go with me. Bill said, "Make reservation for us, Millie and Pamela."

I asked, "Why do you want Millie to go with us?"

Bill said, "Millie has been mixed up with the underworld and she can stay with Pamela when we are out searching for Matt. She loves to be with Pamela."

I made reservation for the flight and hotel. The clerk at the hotel wanted to know how many nights we were staying in Seattle. I told him that we would be at the hotel for a least two day and probably longer. I also rented a car for us.

With this out of the way, I called Millie and told her about my experience with looking for Matt. She said, "There is a lot of that crap going around. The bastard is trying to steal Matt blind, if he hasn't done it already. I would love going with you. When are we leaving? I will have to tell Liz, hold on."

Liz picked up the phone and said, "Have a nice trip. If we get busy, I will hire someone until you get back. Have fun and tell Matt that I had a crush on him when we attended the same class."

"Thanks Liz, we don't know how long we will be gone. You will be able to get all three of us on our cell phone. Don't hesitate to call if you have a problem."

I hung up the phone, my cell phone rang. It was the San Francisco police woman. She said, "I think we have a problem. The bastard hung up on me when I told him that I was police officer. I sent a crew out to the address you gave me. No one answered the door. The superintendent let us in his apartment. What a mess. It looks like he flew the coop. We also called your brother's number. We left a message on his phone to call you and also call us. We thing this is one on the scam artist that have been running up and down the California coast making friend and then writing checks that they have stolen from their victims."

I said, "I am leaving tomorrow morning for Seattle with my husband. I will let you know what happens. Maybe we can get one of those thieves' off the streets."

The police woman had given me her name before. I told Alice that I would call her if I got any more information on the imposter. She wishes me a nice trip and again requested that I let her know what information that my brother may have on the imposter.

The rest of the day we all packed and were ready to go about five. We all spent the night in our new home. Millie saw that I was still shaken by the incident. She tried to soothe my feelings, but I was still on the edge. I could still hear the bastard yelling at the young girl. I put Pamela to bed and told her that we had to go look for my brother and she was going with us. I had never seen her so happy.

 We still had two guards watching the house. This relieved some of the fear that was running through my mind. We all went to bed early, but I could not fall asleep. I laid there for hours listing to Bill snore. I dozed off a number of times. When I woke up, I had only been asleep for about half an hour. When I saw the light of day turning the clouds into a beautiful glow of firry red, I eased out of bed and took a long bath. I was about to fall asleep, Bill knocked on the bathroom door and said, "I hope you haven't fallen asleep. You kept me awake most of the night."

Bill's voice jolted me back to life. I said, "I'm sorry. I was finely falling to sleep. I will be out of here in a moment."

Bill said, "I will use one of the other bathrooms. We have plenty of time before we have to leave for the airport."

I jumped out of the tub and dried myself off. I picked up my watch to see what time it was. It was only five fifteen. The plane did not leave until eight forty five. I could smell food cooking. I wondered who was preparing breakfast. I dressed and put on a face in record time. I grabbed my two suitcases and carried them down stair with me. I went into the kitchen. Linda and Pamela had the table set and our breakfast was waiting for us. I heard someone bumping something. I heard Bill said, "Let me help you with that."

I walked out into the living room and looked down the hall. Millie was carrying a small makeup suitcase. Bill was following her with five suitcases. I said, "How long are going to stay in Seattle?"

With a surprised look on Millie face, she said, "Just a couple of days. Why?"

I replied, "You will be prepared for anything and everything."

Millie said, "Yes I am. How many suitcases are you taking?"

I said, "Only two. If I need anything else, I will buy it."

Millie replied, "I don't have a rich husband that lets me buy anything that I want."

Bill was coming into the kitchen and said, "Millie, I don't have to give Molly anything. She has more money than I do."

Linda broken in and said, "Please come in and have your breakfast before it get cold."

We all sat down and Pamela walks in with a plate full of biscuits. Linda said, "We have a gourmet chef in the family. Pamela prepared your breakfast for all of you."

We all helped our self and complemented Pamela on our breakfast and she thanked us. With a very sincere look on Pamela face, she walked over to me and said, "Linda and I had our breakfast while we were waiting for you all. I have already packed my suitcase. All I have to do is put on some clean clothes."

Bill always wanted to be on time. He hustled us and we were forth five minute earlier that we had to be. This gave us time to show Pamela the airport and watch the planes taking off and landing. These joyful moments with Pamela took my mind off of the fear that I had for Matt.

After we were seated on the plane and fed again, we all took a long nap.  Fortunately, we all were rested when we arrived in Seattle. I picked up our rented car and headed for our hotel. It was after dark when we checked in. I dialed Matt phone number. I listened to his sweet recorded voice. For a moment I felt that he was safe. When reality set in and I realized that it was just a recording. A jolt of fear came over me. I left another message to him and asked him to call us at the hotel or my cell phone. I dialed my home phone with hopes that Matt had called me at home. No such luck. I thought, "Matt, where in hell are you?"

Millie loved to care for Pamela and Pamela love being with Millie. The same fear that I had with Linda came across me. Again I was afraid that Pamela would love Millie more than she loves me. Bill cuddled up to me and whispered, "You did not say goodnight to Pamela."

I jumped out of bed and went into the joining room and climbed in bed with Millie and Pamela. All three of us cuddled together. It was a tiring day and we were asleep within minutes.

The following morning as I slowly started to wake up, I was wondering where I was. Like a shot in the arm, I realized where I was and why I was in Seattle. I quietly climbed out of bed and went back to my room. Bill was awake and he smiled at me, and he said in a frightened voice, "You girls left me all alone. I have been here all night waiting for you to come back."

I said, "To hell you have. You kept me awake all night with you snoring. It a wonder that no one in the hotel did not complain about your snoring."

I grabbed the phone and the pad with Matt telephone number I dialed the number. The phone kept ringing. Disgusted, I slammed down the phone. Bill said, "Temper, temper, don't take your frustration out on the phone. Honey, I hate to see you in this type of mood. We will find Matt. I am sure that he can take care of himself. After breakfast we will drive out to his home, if he does not come to the door, we will question his neighbors. If anyone has seen him within the last couple of months, we know that he is ok. Look at your list of Max Malone's and see when the phones in Oregon were disconnected."

I got out of bed and picked up my briefcase. Fear was still running through my body. With my haste I fumbled with the sheets of paper. I found the list and ran my finger down the list. I could not believe my eyes. The oldest date was six months ago. I told Bill and he said, "Let's all get freshened up and put on some casual clothes. We will have breakfast. After breakfast we will drive out to Matt home."

I said, "Darling, please forgive me for being hysterical. I have a strange feeling that something has happened to Matt since he did not answered our message."

"Molly, be patient. Try to relax and enjoy the day with Pamela and Millie. Try not to show your fears to them. I am sure Millie has some question in the back of her mind about Matt and we don't want to upset Pamela."

With baths in both of the adjoining room and Millie helped Pamela take her bath and getting dressed. Millie and Pamela were in a delightful mood. Listening to them put my thoughts of Matt to the back of my mind. We had finishing our breakfast within an hour.  We lost another fifteen minutes going back to our rooms and doing our things. If it had been up to me, I would already be out at Matt’s home.

Bill called the valet parking and asked them to get the car and give us instructions to Matt home. When we went to pick up the car, it was waiting for us with the engine running. But, no one knew where the street was that Matt live on. Millie said, "Can you tell us where we can purchase a GPS system."

The valet told us that there was computer store only a block down the street. We drove down the street to the computer store. Bill let Millie select the one that she thought was the best. We all went back to the car and Millie set up the GPS system and put Matt's address on the system. Within moments a map came up on the screen. Between Millie and the voice on the GPS device, we were in front of Matt's home within a half hour. We were on the outskirts of Seattle in a wooded section. The house wasn't as big as our old home. I got out of the car and Millie said, "No one has picked up the mail in some time. It is jammed full with a plastic bag lying on the ground and it is full."

Bill said, "Stay here, I am going up to the house and see if anyone is in the house. Millie, please get in the driver's seat and keep the engine running. I am not sure what we are going to fine."

The fear that I had earlier, returned. I wanted to yell out to Bill to get back in the car. The words would not leave my mouth. For the first time, I saw fear in the faces or Bill and Millie. I watch Bill walk up the front steps and knock on the door. He waited for a few moments and no one came to the door. He reaches above the door and slid his finger along the door frame. He paused for a moment and pulled his hand down. He turns around and held out a key. He unlocks the door and calls Matt. There wasn't a reply. Bill unlocks the door and opened it. Again he calls for Matt. There wasn’t an answer. Bill opened the door all the way and walks into the house. He was gone for about five minutes. When he returns to the front door, he calls to us to come on in. There isn't anyone at home. Not knowing what I would find, I hesitated for a few moments. Millie motioned to me and Pamela to come on. Once we were in the house and had a chance to look around, my fears subsided. Matt home was very neat. It did not look like there had been a struggle. In the corner of one of the bedrooms was a computer. I turned it on and sat down and waited for it to load up. I put in a search for documents. I could not believe how many documents popped up on the monitor. They all had medical titles. I called Bill. He came in, I pointed at the titles. Bill said, "I think that Matt is studding to be a doctor or he is already one."

Millie was standing behind me. She said, "I can't believe that little weasel is a doctor. The last time I saw him, I had to correct his homework."

I looked for an email address. After pulling up everything but. I finally clicked the icon for his email. While I was searching through the email, there were thousands of junk emails. A column came up with dozens of emails from Gilda. I said to Bill, "Go get the mail and bring it in. I think we have a lead. There may be some return addresses on them that will give us a lead to where Matt is."

I took the latest email that was from Gilda and hit reply. I wrote, Hello Gilda I am one of Matt's sisters. I flew in this morning from the east coast to find Matt. I am at his home in the country. Please call me on my cell phone, 555-327-0012."

Millie came in with a fearful look on her face. She said to me, "I found some old dried up blood splatter on the kitchen floor."

My whole body collapsed. I felt like a balloon that exploded. Bill walks in with the pile of mail with Pamela and said, "Some of the mail was postmarked only a few days ago."

Pamela saw the shock in Millie and my face. That sweet little child of mine knew that something was wrong. Millie took Bill's arm and led him into the kitchen. Pamela with a sympathetic look on her precious face said to me, "What's wrong? Daddy said that we will find Uncle Matt soon."

Moments later Bill walked in and said, "That could be anything. I think it looks like ketchup,"

I said, "Don't play games with me. Are you sure that it is ketchup?"

Bill replied, "I have seen thousands of blood stains that came from the animals that that we slaughtered. The stains are much darker from age."

I think I had been holding my breath since Millie mentioned the stains. I tried to shake the fear off. My mind would not let it loose. I tried to put on a happy face for Pamela sake. I could not fool her. She caressed me and said, "We will find Uncle Matt."    

We split the mail up between the three of us. We put all the advertisements into one pile and the bills in another. We were only half way through the pile and no one had found any personal mail. Pamela was also shuffling the stack of mail and said, "This looks like a birthday card."

I asked her for the card. I looked at the return address and it was from a hospital. I picked up the phone and dialed information. I gave the operator the name of the hospital. She gave me the number and asked if I wanted her to dial it for me. I said, "Please do."

While the phone was ringing, I wrote down the hospital telephone number. When someone finally answered, I asked to be connected with Matt Malone. The short time that I waited felt like eternity. The voice on the other in of the line said, "May I help you, I am Doctor Malone assistant. He is not in his office. He is in Africa."

I burst into tears with joy and said, "I am Doctor Malone sister, Molly Malone. How can I get in touch with him?"

She said, "I can connect you with Doctor Simmons, she is his contact here at the hospital."

A sigh of relief ran through my body. I said, "Please do."

I was put on hold, there was a long pause. I said to myself, damn it, hurry up. I prayed that they would not hang up on me. A woman finally answered and said, "Molly, I am sorry that I kept you waiting. I was with a patient. I am Gilda; I am a close friend of Matt. Matt told me about his family. He gets the Sunny Ville newspaper. I am sorry that you missed him. He should be home in a couple of weeks. He has been in Africa for the last couple of months."

I asked, "Can Matt be reached by phone?"

Gilda said, "Yes, it depends on where he is at the time you call. It is best that you call him when it's midnight in Africa."

I said, "Gilda, I don't want to hold you up. I would love to meet you. Are you available this evening. I would love to have dinner with you."

Gilda said, "I would love to meet you. I am not tied up this evening."

We agreed to meet at the hotel at seven. It was a short goodbye. I had taken up too much of her time. I wanted to tell her about the other Matt Malone’s. I was afraid that the bastard was bleeding my brother finances and there was nothing I could do about it.

We all were ready at a quarter to seven and waiting in the lobby. We had asked the clerk at the desk to let us know if a lady came in looking for us. We would be waiting in the lobby. We had positioned our self's where we could watch everyone entering the hotel. We played a game with the guest. I said that I would give the one that point out Gilda a present. Every woman was scrutinized as they entered the door. Later a woman came in. Pamela said, "There she is."

Neither one of us adults though that the young girl was Gilda. We all shook our heads. She was a beautiful young lady and looked too young to be a doctor. We watched her go up to the clerk. The clerk pointed at us. Pamela slid out of my lap and ran across the lobby. We all stood up and I waved at Gilda. Pamela grabbed Gilda's hand and led her to us. I said, "How can Pamela be so smart."

Millie said, "She takes after her mother. No one else in the family is as smart as you are."

I hugged Millie and said, "At times I think I am the stupid one in the family. It was just luck to have met Bill."

Pamela introduced us to Gilda. Later, we found out that Gilda had cancelled all of her appointments and said that she did not have anything that would interrupt our dinner. Gilda was a beautiful well educated young lady. She and Matt had been engaged for about six months. They had not planned to get married until Matt had finished his studies on rare diseases. He had been given a grant from the federal government. Matt feelings were that millions of people were dying because there has not been enough research done on the unknown reasons for their deaths. Most of the diseases had originated in the far reaches of the world where there wasn't any medical help. Some of the deaths could have been prevented by a few aspirins taken at the height of infections. Some of the victim's family immune systems had prevented their deaths. Gilda gave us a short brief summary of Matt research.

After dinner Gilda had a surprise for us. Her cell phone rang. She excuses herself and answered the phone. She listened for a few moments and hands the phone to me. I heard a familiar voice saying how is my baby sister. I said, "I have been trying to round up our family. Every one of you abandoned Mom, Pop and me. I did a search on the internet and found five Matt Malone. The other four has been using your identity. Has anyone been trying get into your credit card or any other financial institutions?"

Matt said, "I think that I know who it is. I had a patient that was beaten up by a street gang. Before I left for Africa, I was notified by the credit card company that someone had been trying to use my credit card number. They changed my card number and I have not had any trouble since."

I said, "He is still using your name. He used it three times in Oregon and one time in San Francisco. The police in San Francisco told me that they went to his apartment and it looked like he is on the run again."

I explained to Matt how I found him and we had broken in his home. I told him that we had brought in all of his mail. I ask Matt if he wanted to speak to another member of our family. Matt asked, "Do I have a preference?"

I said, "Yes, but we will pass the phone around the table."

Matt said, "I would love to speak to Mom and Pop, but I read about them passing away in the Sunny Ville Times. The reason that I did not get in contact with you, I was too ashamed of not keeping in contact with you, and Mom and Pop. I was flat broke and I did not have enough money to pay my bills. I was doing everything just to get into the medical field. I wanted to become a doctor. Molly, I would be happy to talk to anyone in the family."

I handed the phone to Millie and she said, "How is my little wimpy brother. Is Gilda correcting you homework."

I could hear Matt laughing. He said, "I wish she would, if would save me a lot of time. Like you, she is the one that encourages me to work harder. Like you Mil, she spears me along."

I was surprised that Pamela was not afraid to talk to Matt. She told Matt how much she loved him and Gilda.  Pamela gave the phone to Bill. Bill said, “Matt I am the lucky one that married your little sister. Our marriage has been like living in heaven. We get along better than I ever expected when we first met. I fell in love with her the moment I met her. I even had a crush on her in grammar school. When we get together, I will tell you how we found each other. Go luck in your research. I am giving the phone back to Gilda.”

The phone had gone around the table for the second time. Pamela handed the phone to Gilda and said, "I love Uncle Matt, do you love him as much as I love him?"

Gilda took Pamela little hand and crested it. She said, "Yes darling, he is a very nice man. I have known him for three years. I have loved him since I first met him. I hope he loves me as much as I love him."

Pamela said, "I know he loves you very much. Mom and dad love each other very much. I know Uncle Matt loves you as much as Mom and Dad love each other. I saw the love and kindness on your face when you walked in. I knew that Uncle Matt would only pick someone like you."

I said, "We were guessing which women that came through the door would be Matt's sweetheart. The only person that Pamela picked was you Gilda."

Gilda talked to Matt for a few minutes and the hung up.

Before we parted, we agreed to go out to Matt home and see if any of his bills needed to be paid. Gilda usually goes out on the weekends, since we were planning to stay a couple of days, she change her appointments so she would have the next two days with us. I had met a number of very nice women in my life. Matt could not have picked a better bride.

Bill was right, the red spots on the kitchen floor was ketchup. During the two day we were together, I got the impressing from what Gilda said, Matt was deeply in debt and that was the reason that he did not want marry her and to burden Gilda with his debt.

I wrote a check for twenty thousand and put it in an envelope. I told her to make sure that Matt gets it when he returns. I knew from her reactions that she knew that money was in the envelope.

Our departure was quite pleasant. Gilda was a very likeable young lady. I never asked her how old she was. I think Matt is about eight year older than Gilda. Before we got on the plane, we all hugged Gilda and told her how lucky Matt was to have a beautiful woman she was.

The trip home was exhausting. The weather was the worst than I have experienced. We all were glad to be back on the ground and in our own beds.

We all went back to our daily duties. Sunny Ville had not change. It still looked like a junky little country town. The shouting and screaming about our City officials had slackened off. Things seemed to have returned to normal. The county police and taken over Sunny Ville police department. All the dead bodies had been removed from the police station. Stan was put in charge of the police department. He hired Chuck to be the new Police Chief. Within a month after we returned from Seattle, the police department was back in operation. All the departments were filled and the emergency operation was running.

Matt had returned home. He called me and thanked me for the money that I had given him. He and Gilda had set their wedding date and invited us to the wedding. I had a long talk with Matt before we went to his wedding. He thanked me for the money. And wanted to know how I could afford to give him this much money. I did not want to tell him that I had won the lottery. I told him that with the help of Bill and the right investments that we made has left us quite well off. It seemed to satisfy Matt. I also told him that if he needed any more money, I would lend him some more.

Before the wedding I had a chance to be with Matt without anyone else being around. We talked about our life together and all the crazy things we did. When it came to our parent dying, Matt broke down. I could feel the shame he had about leaving us and leaving me alone when our parent were in such poor health. I told him that I understood that it was a very difficult time in his life as well with all of our family. He thanked me for forgiving him. We all went through a very difficult time in our lives and we survived.

The wedding was simple. I gave Gilda and Matt another twenty thousand for their wedding and asked if they were going to buy another home. I told them that I could get them a long term loan with an interest rate of only two percent. They said that they were not going to invest into another home. The home that Matt owned was paid for and they loved living there. It was a mixed reaction for us all when we left Seattle. We hated leaving as well as the desire to go back to our own lives.

When we got home, life in Sunny Ville had not changed. The entanglement of the City council and the murder of unknown citizens' had not progress to a point of who was responsible for the both incidents.  Since I still could not find my two sisters, I put out a search for Bill's brothers, George and Paul Johnson. This time I put in their birth date, where they were born and where they graduated from.  Bill had told me that Paul was not a leader. He always followed George and if you found one of them, the other one would know where his brother was. They stuck together like they were glued together. After a couple days the results started to come in.  A number Paul Johnson's came up. On all the different Paul's one of the descriptions were missing or different. When George's results came in, the results were very similar to Paul's results. I started dialing the phone numbers that were the same on both searches. When I questioned the person that answered the phone, I told them that I was looking for my husband's two brothers and asked them what their parents' names were; their parent's name did not match Bill's parents' name. I was about to give up when the person that answered the phone said, "I have a friend that has the same name as mine. He came from somewhere down south and we were born on the same day."

I was so tired that I could not remember if I was searching for Paul or George. After a short pause I asked, "Does he have a brother?"

The person on the other end of the wire said, "Yes he does. His name is Paul."

What Bill had said flashed through my mind. A flash of relief came over me. I had found them. They stick together like they were glued together. I said, "What does George do?"

George said, "We both work at a company that distributes goods for a number of different companies. Paul is the manager of the company and he hired the both of us."

I said, "Can you give me the name of the company that you are working for and Georges telephone number?"

George said, "No, but I can give you the company's telephone number."

George gave me the telephone number of the company. I was so excited that I asked him to repeat the number. Oh shit, I have screwed up the last three digits. I said, "I screwed up the last the digits. Will you repeat the number again?"

 George said, "Sure."

Thank God, now I have a link to Bill's brothers. I called Bill. He said, "Did you come to another dead end?"

"No honey, I think that I found both of your brothers. They both work for the same company and a friend that works with George has the same name as George and has the same birthday as George. Not only that, Paul is the manager of the company and hired the two Georges."

Bill said, "I cannot imagine that. George is working for Paul?"

"Yes honey, the man that I talked to did not have Paul or Georges home phone number. He gave me the company's phone number. I will call it tomorrow."

Bill said, "I just cannot imagine George working for Paul. I think their friend has it mixed up."

"Honey, we will find out tomorrow who is working for whom."

We got ready for bed and Bill kept giggling to himself. I was wondering what he was laughing about. When we were finally in bed and we cuddled up to each other, Bill let out another giggle. I said, "Sweetheart, you have been giggling since I was on the phone. What is so funny?"

Bill rolled over on his back and pulled me on top of him, and then he said, "Living with them for almost 18 years and watching George boss everyone around. I just cannot imagine how George feels with Paul as his boss. Since you told me about them, I have been living my younger life over. I cannot imagine what George is going through."

We finally went to sleep. When we woke up the next morning Bill was still letting out the silent chuckles. I could see it on his face. Bill saw me looking at him and he said, "Molly my beautiful bride. I know why you are giving me that funny look. You cannot imagine how many times Paul and I had to do Georges chores and when pop gave us all chores to do, George would take the easy one that pop had assigned me to do. With two older brothers, I always got the worst of the chores."

I asked, "How did Paul get the job as manager with George still around?"

Bill shook his head and said, "Your guess is as good as any. Maybe we will find out in the near future."

With Paul living in out west, the company would not open until about nine or ten o'clock. I will have to call Paul at work.

It was another day like all the rest. Nothing had changed in Sunny Ville in the last two months. Everyone was waiting for the windfall of money we were going to get back. The safety deposit boxes were still in the vault, and from the information that was given to me, they would still be in the vault for another year or more.

I hurried and finished my duties. I kept looking at the clock. Time was dragging. Why in hell does this always happen. When you are waiting for something to happen, the damn time drags! When you want the time to pass slowly, time flies by. Instead of sitting at my desk, I got up and went into the lobby. Mabel looked at me and said, "Are you finished already?"

"Yep, I am waiting for the time to speed up. I think that I have found Bill's long lost brothers."

Mabel said, "Between the two, I liked Paul the best even though he was younger than I was. George was a little stuck up."

I chuckled and said, "Bill has filled me in on George's character. He was the bossy one of the three. Bill said that he was the one that got the worst chores to do."

I headed back to my office. The phone was like a magnet. I could not keep my hands off of it. I picked it up and dialed the number. To my surprise a young woman answered the phone. I told her that I was Paul's sister-in-law, I married Paul's brother Bill and my name is Molly Malone. Is Paul around? She said, "Hi Molly, I am Crystal. Paul and I were married about a year ago. He has told me all about his younger years. I had asked him why he hadn't invited his family out for the wedding. He and George are afraid that Bill and his parent's will kill them."

I said, "Crystal, like Bill's parent's my parents passed away about nine years ago. I have forgiven my brothers and sisters. I know that Bill has forgiven George and Paul."

Crystal said, "I will get Paul. He is always wondering around the company making sure that everything is running smoothly."

I heard Crystal page Paul. After a few minutes I heard a phone rang. Crystal must have switched lines. A happy voice rang out. Hello Molly, how in hell did a scrawny kid like Bill convince the most beautiful girl in Sunny Ville to marry him?"

 I said, "Paul that scrawny kid turned out to be the best looking man in the world. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him and he is getting more handsome every day. Crystal sounds like a beautiful young lady. You and Bill lucked out. How is George doing? Is he married?"

Paul said, "No, George is still single and plays the field. He said that he has not found the right woman. I think that he turns them off with his bossiness. He has always been bossy and he still is. I got him down a few notches over the years; I hope I can get him off of his old ways. Ask Bill, he will tell you how bossy George can be."

I said, "Bill has already filled me in on his younger years. Is it possible for me to talk to George?"

"Sure Molly. Give our best to Bill and give me your phone number and your address."

I gave Paul my phone number and address and said, "Now give me your phone number and address. If you have computer, give me your email address."

After we gave our information and best wishes. I waited for a few minutes and heard a gruffly voice say, "Hello Molly, Paul said that you married my kid brother. How did he get so lucky?"

I said, "We are all growing up. You will never recognize him. To put the way you guys would say it, he is built like a beautiful brick shit house. Why haven't you gotten married?"

George said, "I have not found the right one for me."

I said, "George let me give you a few tips. You have to treat a woman like you would treat you own children. Love them and be gentle with them and they will love you back. Be this way with all the women you meet. We all want to be loved."

George said, "Molly, all women are too stuck up. They make you think that they are too damn good for you."

I said, "Don't get pissed off when you meet a woman like that. We all think that we are a gift from heaven and expect men to bow down when we meet them. It's a front that we all put on. Underneath this blanket of importance, we are the same little kids that our parents brought into this world. Try it and don't let them know that you are piss off with them. I had a long talk with Paul and Crystal. They will fill you in on the history of Sunny Ville."

After George groaned about his life for a few minutes, he said, "Give Bill our love and thanks for trying to help me with my love life. I will give it a try. I hope it works. I am getting to old not to be married and having a dozen kids. I love those little fellows."

I said, "Don't you like those little girls?"

"Molly, I love little boys and girls and I envy my friends that have a family."

I said, "Don't envy your friends. Get started on your own family. Keep in touch."

I hung up before George could say anything else. I let out a puff of air. I don't know if it was because of my conversation with George or that I had found the rest of Bill's family.

I dialed Bill's cell phone. He opened it in seconds and asked, "Molly, did you find them."

I said, "Yes darling. Paul is the manager of the company that George works for. They did not seem like there was any resentment between them. I think George is lonely because you and Paul are happily married. I will fill you in on the conversation that I had with Paul when you get home. From what I gathered from the conversation with Paul, Crystal inherited the business and she had already fallen in love with Paul. They had been seeing each other for some time. Her father wanted Crystal to wait. Paul felt that Crystal father did not want her to marry a laborer at the company. After talking with Paul, I called the company again. Crystal answered. I said, "Crystal, I don't want to bother you. I wanted to get back to you. I felt that the easiest way to get you was to call the company. Welcome to the family."

Crystal said, "Molly, I don't think that there is any other family in the world that I would choose. I fell in love with Paul the very first time I saw him. I went down to the office and the parking lot in from of the building was full. I knew there would be plenty of space in the rear of the building. I think this was a gift from heaven. From a distance, I saw this man lifting a huge cargo package. Usually it takes at least two or three men to lift it. It was like something had driven my body over to the truck that he was loading. I said to him, "Next time you have to load a cargo package, get someone to help you."

He said, "It is easier for me to load it alone than to have someone on the other side trying to lift his side. Molly, when I finely looked at his face and listen to him. I fell in love with Paul. I knew that he was the man I wanted to marry. If Bill is anything like Paul, you have one of the two best looking husbands in the world."

I said, "Honey, You just described Bill. I fell in love with Bill the first time I saw him. I know how you must have felt."

Crystal said, "My father must have had someone watching me all the time. One day he said that I should not associate with the employees. It is not a good practice for the management to associate with the employees. I said to my father, don't you associate with your employees. You go on fishing trips, play golf and the fall you go hunting with them. You do the things that you and the employee like to do. Paul and I have the same likes in life. We go to the movies, play tennis together and swim together. Not only that, I fell in love with Paul the very first time I saw him. My father said OK, you have made your point. Paul and I had discussed marriage. He told me that he could not think of marrying me because he could not afford the life I had enjoyed. I said to Paul, I am enjoying the life that I have. I have never enjoyed my life as much as I enjoy it now with you. Just being with you makes me happy."

I said, "Has it been as enjoyable as you expected?"

"Molly, it has much better than I expected. Every day that I am with Paul reinforces our love for each other. The poor thing works his butt off. He has a heart and understands the problems his workers have. He feels that they are a part of his own life. We had been dating for almost a year when my parents were killed in my father's airplane. This tore me apart. If Paul wasn't with me I don't know what I would have done. For about a week I could not go back into my home. The hell that I had gone through came back every time I came in site of my home. I told Paul that I could not go on alone. He had proposed to me a few months earlier. We had to get married. I could not live in my parent home alone. We had a simple wedding with just our close friends. We went to my parent's summer home. The week that we stayed there settled my emotions. Paul and I started living again. When we went back home, entering my home wasn't the same as it was before we got married. I think emotionally I had grown up."

I told Crystal that I had gone through a similar period. When I met Bill, he brought me back to reality and since then, I have had a wonderful life.

We wished each other the very best and we had to get the family together.

After I hung up, my life went back to the days when my parents died. Even though I was in my office, I closed my eyes and I felt like I had gone back in time. The emotions that I felt year ago returned. I went through the same emotional experience when my parents died. This had accrued a number of times until I met Bill. I tried to pull myself out of that period of my life, but I couldn't. I tried to bring myself back to reality. My mind resisted my thoughts. Tears would flood down my face. I forced myself to get up and go into the bathroom. This did not help. I washed my face hoping the thoughts would vanish. It did not help. I heard the girls in the lobby laughing. Suddenly the thoughts stopped. I was wondering what they were laughing about. I could feel the emotions that I had before trying to return. I did everything that I could to block the thoughts from returning. I tried to concentrate on putting a new face on. I kept getting flashes of my past. Once I had finished putting on makeup, the thoughts seamed to fade away. I have never had this experience before. I have had moment similar to this, but I could come out of the mood when something else caught my attention.

I looked at myself again. Everything looked normal. I headed for the lobby. The girls were still giggling. The moment I walked into the lobby, the giggling stopped.

I said, "Hey, I like dirty jokes as much as anyone does. Don't stop now."

Peg with her cocky attitude said, "I am sorry Molly, we were not telling dirty jokes. We all were laughing about Mabel and Gloria new boyfriends. I think you are going to have a few newlyweds working for you and it's all of Bill and your fault."

I said, "Wonderful. At least there is something good that is coming out of all of the bank robberies."

I looked over a Mabel and said, "Have either of you set a date for the wedding. Please invite me."

Before Mabel or Gloria could say a word, Peg said, "The guys haven't asked the question yet."

Mabel and Gloria sung out at the same time saying that the guys have come so close to asking them to marry them, that they are certain the guys will pop the question soon. I said, "Don't sleep with them until they do pop the question."

There was silence. I could tell from the looks on their faces that they had already slept with the boys. Peg with that mischievous look on her face, I knew they had already slept with their boyfriends.

Looking at Peg had tickled my funny bone. I quickly turned around and headed for the front door. I saw a middle aged woman walking up to the front door. Mabel had been working at the bank long before any of the other girls had. Without looking at Mabel, I said, "Mabel, do you recognize the woman coming in?"

Mabel said, "The sun is hitting the glass on the door. I will nod my head if I know her."

I opened the door for the woman and welcomed her in. She had a very large pocket book. She said, "I have not been in the bank for a number of years. I got married and move out of town. I had left a few trinkets in my safety deposit box and forgot that I had left them here. I would like to close out the account and get my things. She continued to Mabel desk. Mabel shook her head and said, "May I help you."

I said, "I am not busy now, I will help her."

I looked at the woman and said, "Please give Mabel you name and box number.”

Mabel looked for the name on the freeze list and shook her head side to side. After we got the box number, the woman followed me to the vault. I open the vault and went over to her box number. I unlocked the box gave it to her. I said, "Just call me when you are finished."

I hurried down the hall to the security room. Dave had heard the conversation. He aimed the camera on the woman. I looked over his shoulder and said, "Have I missed anything."

He said, "She opened her box and dumped whatever was in it into her pocketbook. She quickly looked at the numbers until she found the number she was looking for. Let see what she is pulling out of her pocket book."

As we watched, she looked around the room as if she was looking for a security camera. The cameras are enclosed in the base of the lights and she would have to stand on something to be able to see them. She reaches into her pocket book and pulls out a portable drill. She started drilling out the lock on another safety deposit box. The guard said, "Should I go in and stop her?"

I shook my head and said, "No, call the police department. There is an FBI agent on duty over there. Ask him to come over and tell him what is going on."

I watched the woman. She was getting pissed off. The drill was not powerful enough to penetrate the lock. I continued to watch the woman until the agent arrived. I invited him into the security room and pointed at the monitor. He said, "She will never open that lock with that drill. She will spend all day trying."

I said, "I know, I want to send a message to whoever sent her here. As you may know, they tried to open the vault will a bulldozer. When you arrest her, see if you can find out who visits her at the jail."

The agent said, "OK, can we go get her now. She is beating the drill against the floor of the vault."

I said, "Sure, go get her."

The guard and I watched the monitor. When the agent came into the vault, the woman reaches for her pocketbook. The agent kicks the pocketbook across the room. The woman dives for the pocketbook. The agent grabs her jacket at the back of her neck and she falls to the floor on her back. She screams and curses at the agent. I told the guard to go help the agent. The guard walks in and said, "Need any help?"

The agent said, "Help me put cuffs on her. Be careful she may try to scratch your eyes out."

She said, "You two are going to get into a lot of trouble. I am going to sue the pants off both of you."

The agent said, "When are you going to file the lawsuit? Today or the day you get out of jail?"

She said, "To day, as soon as my lawyer gets me out of jail."

The guard said, "There have been a number of people arrested for trying to rob this bank. All of them are still in jail. Who sent you over here to rob the bank?"

She screams, "None of your fucking business."

The agent said, “Someone did ask you to open their box. Who was it?”

Again she said, “It is none of your fucking business.”

As they were leaving the vault, the agent said, "When the interrogation crew gets through with you, you will wish that you never saw the person that hired you or requested that you do them a favor. Even if they were not paying you, you will be charged with armed robbery and resisting arrest."

As the agent was leaving he said to me, "You know the procedure. Came when you can, there is no hurry."

I made a casual wave at the agent as he was leaving. The guard and I went into the vault to see the damage. In the agent haste to get it over with he forgot to pick up the woman's pocketbook and so did the guard. We both looked at the door where the box was stored. She had gone through three drills and hardly made a scratch in the box door. I told the guard to put on a pair of rubber gloves and take the drill over to the police station. They may need it for evidence. After the guard left I looked around the vault. In a dark corner of the vault was the woman pocketbook. I took it into my office and put on a pair of rubber gloves and returned to get the woman's pocket book. When I got back to my office, I dumped the contents on my desk. There was a stack of love letters neatly wrapped up. The trinkets she had were not worth $100.  The gun that slid out of the pocketbook was fully loaded with extra bullets in a plastic bag. At the bottom of the pocketbook was a wallet.  In the wallet were six different credit cards, her driver's license, a couple of thousand dollars in large bills and two, one-way tickets to Brazil. Looking at the love letters, they were dated years ago.  Oh, how I wanted to read them.  I started to remove the rubble bands that held the package together.  The rubble bands crumble.  The love letters were addressed to Elizabeth Peterson.  This rang a bell, Peterson had a sister, I had read in the paper that she had attended Peterson's funeral.  In one of the letters it appeared that she was having an affair with a married man.  At the end of the letter it said, “I will always love you Roger.”

 I looked at the envelope; it was postmarked at the state Capitol Post Office almost 20 years ago.  My next question was who in hell is Roger.  Does Rogers still work at the state Capitol? My mind was a blank.  I picked up the phone and dialed Mabel’s extension. When Mabel picked up the phone, I said, "Honey, is there anyone working at the state Capitol whose name is Roger."

Mabel said, "Let me put my thinking cap on and asked the other girls."

I heard the three girls talking to each other. Peg started to say something.  Suddenly she stopped, and then said, "Our beloved secretary on the state, Roger Clemens was having an affair with some bitch and his wife divorced him. The name of the bitch that was fucking him name was never released. There were a number of rumors; I don't recall the names that where leaked out. Of course he wasn't secretary of the state then. He was one of the top honchos gopher."

I walked out to the lobby and said to Peg, "Does Elizabeth Peterson sounds familiar?"

Peg said, "Yes, she is the sister of that cop Peterson that was killed recently."

I said to Peg, "I think she is the woman that was having an affair with Roger. Mabel who owns box is number 732."

Mabel said, "That's belongs to the Captain Charles Parker. That one should have been put on the freeze list."

I said, "Parker is not on the freeze list and he should have been. I don't think the FBI has sent us an addendum to the list. Has any of you seen an addendum."

The girls all looked at each other. Simultaneously they said that they had not seen any other correspondence from the FBI since the freeze list arrived and no one had told them about a second freeze list. I said, "Some people will put their life on the line for a few bucks. Call the police department and tell the agent that he forgot to take the woman's pocketbook with him. When he gets here, I will ask him to check to see if the Secretary of State is involved in this mess and is there an addendum to the freeze list."

Within minutes the agent popped through the door and said, "Where is the pocket book, I am in a hurry."

I said, "Slow down, what is the hurry?"

The agent said, "We let her call her attorney and soon as she hung up, we got a call from the Secretary of State. He wants his department to handle the employees of the state."

I chuckled and said, "I bet he does, in Miss Peterson pocketbook there were two one-way tickets to Brazil. One was for him and one was for Miss Peterson. Has there been any addendums to the freeze list been issued."

The agent said, "Yes there has been. Why have you asked?"

I said, "Do you have copies of all the freeze lists?"

The agent shook his head and said, "No, but you should have a copy of all of them."

I laughed and said, "Before you take Miss Peterson to the Capital, please get us all the addendums to the original list. Please call your headquarters and ask them to fax copies of all the of freeze lists to us. I think that the Secretary of State is on the list with Elizabeth Peterson, if she hasn't changed it."

 The agent did not want anyone to listen to his call. I took him into my office and pointed at the phone. I also pointed to Miss Peterson's pocketbook and left the room. I went to an empty office down the hall and shut the door behind me. I looked at the phone. He was using line number nine. I gently lifted the phone. The line was ringing. It seemed like no one was there. An automatic answering device come on the line, it gave a list of offices and the number to press. I think that there were dozens of them. I don't know which one he pushed. A woman answered. He gave her his name and asked to speak to Preston. When Preston answered, he said, "David, what your problem?"

David told Preston about the robbery and wanted to know what to do with the women. Preston said to book her and send her to headquarters. David was about to hang up and I yelled, "David, ask Preston about the freeze list."

Preston said, "Lady, who are you?"

I filled Preston in on what had happened this morning and ask if there were any addendums to the original freeze list. He said that there were a number of them that popped up after the original freeze list was issued. I gave Preston my fax number and told him to fax the original list and all of the addendums to me. Preston asked, "Didn't you receive the original?"

I said, "I have what is suppose to be the original and I don't think it is complete and I have not received any more. Does your department send out the new names that are going to be added to freeze list?"

Preston said, "We just add names to the list but we send the names to the state Attorney General."

I said, "Agent Preston, sending the list to anyone that is a top state official, is like telling everyone in the state. They have sworn to keep their mouths shut, but they only tell their close friends and their close friend only tells their best friends. This goes on and on and on until everyone in the state knows. Please fax me all the information you have added to your list. I don't want to be locked up for letting someone on the list get into their safety deposit box. If you still have any more questions you want to ask me, please call me. But, please have someone fax everything you have on the freeze list now and do not let Elizabeth Peterson get into the state's hands. Her associates in the state department are as guilty as the cops and the members of City council in Sunny Ville."

While I was still on the phone, the fax machine started printing out pages of documents. Mabel said, "Holly shit."

Still with Preston on the line, I said, "Don't hang up. I think we have a big problem. I will call you back when we filter out the garbage."

I took the portable phone and walked over to Mabel. The documents being faxed in were not in any order. I thought, "What a fucking mess."

I said to Preston, "Whoever faxed these files screwed up the files so bad that it will take an hour if not more to straighten them out. I will give you a call when we clean up the mess."

I hung up the phone before Preston could say anything. I picked up a pile of the documents and told the girls to help us. We spent the next hour trying to arrange the document in order of the dates they were written. Then we tried to separate the frozen accounts from the rest of the junk that had no bearing on the frozen accounts. We all gave Mabel all of the pages that we thought that were related to the frozen accounts. Mabel was comparing the frozen accounts that were on Preston list against our safety deposit box accounts. Mabel mumbled "Holy shit" a number of times. I wanted to know why she kept saying it. But, I did not want to interrupt her concentration. Getting more anxious by the minute, I started to tell Mabel to give me the list. But I bit my tongue and I waited silently. Mabel cleared her throat and said, "Molly you will not believe how many more customers of the bank that are on the freeze lists."

Mabel handed me the stack of documents. She had highlighted all the new accounts that had to been frozen.  I started to count them, Mabel said, "There are 21 new accounts to be added to the original frozen account list."

I took the list that Mabel gave me and wrote down the box numbers. We spent the next hour transferring the 21 boxes to the small vault with the other frozen accounts.

I picked up the portable phone and called Preston. When he answered, I said, "There were 21 additional accounts that had to be frozen. Guess who is on the list."

Preston did not say anything for a few minutes. I could hear him moving things around on his desk. He cleared his throat and said, "Molly, I have the list in front of me. Give me a hint. I said, "Elizabeth Peterson and Roger Clemens."

Preston said, "Molly, hold on for a moment."

I could hear Preston talking to someone; I could not make out what he was saying. When he came back, he said, "Molly, we are holding Elizabeth Peterson and we are putting an arrest warrant out for Roger Clemens."

I said, "We have an attempted bank robbery against Elizabeth Peterson. What are you going to charge Clemens with?"

Preston said, "We can always hold someone for questioning.  If the Secretary of State has been given copies of the freeze list and he has not distributed them to the local banks, we can find something to keep him around until we build a case against him. Molly thanks for your help. If I had turned over Miss Peterson to the State and later they found out she was linked to the case, my ass would be in hot water."

I said, "Preston, thanks for your help. Please keep me in mind when you get new individuals that are added to the freeze list. Bye."

 I closed the bank and all of us spent the rest of the day transferring the boxes to the small vault. Of the 21 names on Preston's list, seven of them had safety deposit boxes in my bank. Packard was the most recent name to the list. With all of these names on the list, which one was of them was controlling all the others. The 14 names that did not have accounts at my bank, did they have someone else's name on the boxes in my bank? When I purchased the bank, I was surprised at the number of people that had safety deposit boxes in this small town and what was so valuable that they had to lock it up where no one else in their family would be able to put their hands on the items. I made a copy of all the names that had safety deposit boxes and compared it with the ones that were frozen. There were three accounts that had the same last names as the names on Preston's list. The bank had a ledger that listed the owner's name of the box and the box number. It also dated the day that the owner visited the bank and had access to their box. I wrote done the names and the last time they had access to their boxes. All three of them had access to their boxes on the same date. That was a week or two before the original freeze list came out. That has been some time ago. All of them were women. I gave the girls the three names and asked them if they knew these women. They all had seen them in the bank a number of times over the years. They did not know them personally. But, for some unknown reason they had not visited there boxes lately. I said, “They must have emptied their boxes already. With this in mind, I told them to notify me when they came into the bank. I did not expect to see them again.” Like Preston, I wanted to cover my ass. Some fat headed prosecutor would try to prosecute me or Bill if they found out that we owned the bank.

The guards, the girls and I were glad the day was over. The night shift guards were briefed about the day's events. They told us not to worry; usually they don't try the same thing again. I said, "I am sure that they want to get into the vault, but they may try anything to get their funds out of the vault. They are very desperate. Good night, I hope you have a quiet night."

On the way home my thoughts were about my earlier life and how I wished to become wealthy. Deep within me was a battle between today and the past. Was it really worth the change or was this the life that I had been destined for. What kind of life will I have for the rest of my life? Will it be better or worse than it is now? I started crying. The tears flooded my eyes and I could not see the road. A shot of fear exploded inside of me. I quickly wiped my eyes and pulled to the side of the road. With the fear mixed in with my thoughts, was this an attempt to end my life? If I had not stopped would I have crashed and killed myself.  My thoughts vanished and I started thinking about Pamela and Bill and the love we had for each other. More tears flooded my eyes. They were brought on by the happiness that filled my sole in my present life. A part of me shouted, "You have a wonderful life. Everyone has dips and highs in their live. This was a dip that came with the fortune that I have today. I told myself to stop crying and to go home. My eyes finally cleared up. I turned on the car and headed home. The road did not look familiar. For a few moments I felt that I was lost. I saw a car coming. It looked like Bill's car. It was Bill's car. As we passed, we both slammed on our brakes. Within a blink of an eye, Bill back up and was next to me. He said, "Hello honey, this is a pleasant surprise. You have never come out here to see me. I hope you came to see me and not someone else."

Lying, which I hated, I said, "We closed the bank and I thought you would still be out here. We are blocking the road. I will turn around and follow you home."

I followed Bill down the road and parked my car next to Bill's.  Bill opened the car door for me and reached for my hand.  I took this hand and he pulled me tightly against his body.  All of the crap that has been flooding my mind quickly faded.  To brighten the moment more, Pamela was running out of the door to meet us.  It was a toss up to whom she would come to.  With hopes in my heart, I wanted her to come to me. To my surprise Pamela came over to me.  With the love that was written all over her beautiful face tears again flooded my eyes.  Pamela said. "Mommy, why are you crying?"

I said, "These are happy tears. You make me so happy when I see your beautiful face.  Just seeing you when I come home makes me happy."

Pamela gives me a kiss on the cheek and looked over a Bill and said, "It makes me happy when I see you and daddy come home."

I could feel the urge in Pamela body that she wanted to go over to Bill. Bill reaches for Pamela and said, "Just being with you and mom makes me very happy. I wish we could always be together."

Pamela said, "Daddy that's impossible. Mom is at work at the bank and you are out in the fields working. I can't be in two places at the same time."

Bill said, "I know darling, it is just a wish that I have. Some day we will have more time together."

Millie called and said, "Hey, where have you two been. I called you at the bank and the guard told me that you had already left. What have you two been doing? Come on in, your supper will get cold."

I said, "What are you doing over here. I thought that you would never come home after you got your apartment."

As we walked up the steps, Millie stretches her arms out and wraps them around all of us and said, "I cannot thank you and Bill enough for what you have done for me. I don't know when I can ever pay you back."

Bill said, "You just paid us back. All we wanted from you was to see you happy."

We all went into the house together. The dinner was wonderful. I told Bill and Millie what had happened at the bank today. After we went to bed, Bill said, "Sweetheart, why don't you hire someone to manage the bank for you. Mabel has worked at the bank since she got out of high school. She knows more about the banking business than you will ever know."

I said, "Don't you think that I am a great bank manager?"

"Honey, you are a great bank manager. You have told me over the years that if Mabel was not at the bank, you would be lost."

I laughed and said, "I know, I was just kidding. Mabel had been a blessing to me. That is the reason that I told Ben I wanted the same employees to continue working at the bank. I would have been lost without all of them. They all are quite intelligent. They all know a lot more about the business. The knowledge that they have acquired over the years working with Ben is a great asset to me and the bank. I don't want to put all the pressure that I am getting from this mess on someone else's shoulders. I won the money, I bought the bank and it is my problem. The problem was there before I purchased the bank."

Bill asked, "Did Ben ever mention anything about the mess that is going on now?"

"Honey, when we were going through the bank and Ben was telling me about all the different things that the bank had. When we were in the vault he said something about the safety deposit boxes and the activity, it kind of nudged me slightly. I did not quite understand what he was talking about. After I took over and the activity concerning the boxes slacked off. But, later the activity started again. I have thought a number of times, what in hells are they hiding from their family that they do not want the family to know about. A number of things crossed my mind, but I never thought about what is happening now. Like a fool that I am, I have always thought that politicians' were honest and could be trusted. How naïve I was."

Bill did not say a word. He cuddled up to me and kissed me. Within minutes he was fast asleep. I felt sorry for him. He has been working twice as hard as the field hands.

Another day came and went. Then weeks and months had come without any more surprises. Since everything had cooled off, I no longer needed the guards at the bank and at home. I terminated the guards. They seemed happy about leaving. They felt that this was the most boring job they had ever had. Fortunately, I could write this off as an expense at the bank.

Without any more surprises at the bank, I started looking again for my two lost sisters. I often wondered if I would ever find them. If I could not find them would they come home someday looking for us? I had tried every combination of their names, birth dates and where they were born without any success. The hopes of finding them continued to haunt me. Without any luck, I would stop for a few weeks and then try again. This had gone on for almost a year. During that period, the Federal government had made quite a number of charges against the state and local officials. Multiple murder charges were made against Captain Charles Packard. In this mess twelve bodies were found. Somehow the FBI tied all of the murders to the embezzlement of Sunny Ville tax money.

I ask attorney Bob Wilson to file a claim for the citizens of Sunny Ville and have the funds return to the citizens of Sunny Ville, not to the county or to the state. There had been pressure from different Federal, State and County officials to have the safety deposit boxes be opened and turned over to them. I used the document that the FBI said the boxes were evidence and they could not be opened or transferred out of the bank. So far this has quieted down the request for the boxes.

After the FBI released the bodies, the town had a combined funeral for all of the Sunny Ville residence. I had never seen this many of Sunny Ville residence together for any event in my life time. I did not know which one of the victims that they were mourning. As much of a bastard Steve Miller was, I felt sorry for him and all the others. The funeral services lasted for more than an hour. Most of the residence left after the Reverent finished. As I was walking out with Bill, some of the locals gave me a dirty look. I knew that they would blame me for the death of their love one, not the murderer, Captain Charles Parker.  Parker got lift eight times and the Mayor and all of the City Council members got twenty years to life. The Lieutenant Governor and Miss Peterson both got 10 years with possible parole in five years for attempted bank robber. There was a least a dozen more that were charged with various charges. The prosecutor charged Margaret Stone with masterminding the embezzlement of Sunny Ville taxes. Someone that had worked with her in the local tax office years ago plea-bargained with the Prosecutor. He was put into protective custody for the rest of his life. He was also stripped of the fortune that he had accumulated and his huge home in the City.

I often wondered how many more were involved and had gotten away with the embezzlement. I will probably never know.

The new City Council with the help of Bob Wilson won the embezzled money for Sunny Ville residence. It took almost another year to calculate the amount each tax payer would get. The money that could not be distributed because the tax payer could not be found was put into safety deposit box at M&B Trust. The boxes could only be opened by the new Mayor and four members of the new City Council. They all had to be present when the boxes were opened. Thankful, I did not have to pay interest on the five million plus that was in the boxes.

 

Christmas is coming:

When I did not have anything to do, I again tried to find Martha and Mattie. I had gone to my wits end without any trace of my two sisters. I wanted to invite them with the rest of the family for Christmas. I had already invited all of Bill’s family and my family for Christmas. We sent all of them round trips ticket to Sunny Ville; I rented cars for them so that we did not have to make a dozen trips to the airports. They could pick up a car at the airport on the outskirts of the City.  I chuckled to myself and wondered if any of them had forgotten where they had lived. We had plenty of space for all of them. With the empty apartments and homes that we had purchased, the summer home at the lake and our new home, no one had to sleep on the floor. Lillie made sure that the apartments and homes where our family would be staying were supplied with all the essentials they would need during their visit. She also hired house keepers to keep the living quarter clean and neat. Down deep inside me I wanted all of my family to stay in Sunny Ville. That would never happen. They already had their lives to live. Their homes and businesses were already established. Like me, I would never give up my life to live near them.

I made arrangements with Liz and a few of the waitresses to prepare all of our meals at my home. Not only would they prepare all the meals and eat with us, they would sleep over so they would not be exhausted running back and forth to their homes. Liz and the girls were as much a part of my family as the Bill’s and my family. I had shared many years with all of them. I did not want any of our family to stay in our new home. I knew we would never get any sleep. We would be reminiscing about every moment of our lives.

 I had to count the noses of Bill’s and my family to see how many guests that we were having. My three brothers, their wives and Millie make seven in my family. Bill’s two brothers and their wives raised the number to eleven guests. With Bill, Pamela and I, we had to make arrangements to feed eighteen people just in case we left out someone. With Pamela being eleven years old and growing like a weed, she would eat as much as any of the men if not more.

As Christmas approached and the guest started to arrive all hell broke loose. I could not believe how much booze that Bill’s and my family drank. I had to get Linda to let Pamela spend the nights with her. Before the quest got to high, I asked them if they knew where Martha and Mattie lived. The next half hour they discussed where she may be, but no one knew for sure where they were. I thought what a messed up family I have. It sounded as if they did not give a damn. It looked like Martha and Mattie were no longer a part of our family. No one had mentioned their names since they first arrived this morning. My guests were up all night celebrating and getting to know each other. I was afraid to send them home when they were this drunk. The sober ones were the dedicated drivers.

After the morning after syndromes did its job. The consumption of booze slacked off. We had a chance to reminisce about our past. Bill’s and his brother’s life was a carbon copy of my brother’s life. They all had a lot in common. With a caravan of cars we all visited Bill’s old home and our cottage at the lake. George could not believe that Bill had accomplished so much over the few years that they had been gone. I said to George, “It is surprising how much you can do in 15 years working 18 hours a day."

Hopefully this will take George off of Bill’s back. George had been belittling Bill since he arrived. All of the rest of our family were amazed at what we had done. I was wondering what they would say if they knew that I had won the lottery jackpot. Would they change their minds? At that moment, I said to myself, “I will never tell them.”

We all celebrated Christmas Eve together. The consumption of booze had dropped to a glass of wine. We waited to open our presents until Christmas morning. Pamela was on the edge of not believing that there was a Santa Clause. During one of her conversations with Bill, Bill told Pamela that Santa only visits those that believe that Santa is a real person. With a slight smile on her face, Pamela said, “I believe, I believe and I will always believe that Santa is real person.”

Bill looked up at me trying not to laugh. We both knew that Pamela must have discussed this subject with her friends at school. With an ovation from our guest, they sang out, I believe, I believe and I will always believe. Everyone laughed. Pamela said, “I don’t think Santa will come to see any of you. I don’t believe that any of you believe there is a Santa.”

Since George arrived, I had noticed that Millie and George were always together. At first I did not think anything about it. As the day passed, I noticed the congeniality between the two of them. I mentioned this to Bill. He said that since most of us are already married, there wasn’t anyone else to associate with. Inside of me I knew that there was more than congeniality between them. Millie and George had left the party together. I saw that certain glow in Millie’s and George’s faces. Millie had her arm wrapped around George’s arm.

I looked across the room and saw Paul and Crystal looking at George and Millie. They both had smiles on their faces. I walked over to them and whispered to them, “What are you two smiling about.”

Crystal with a broad smile on her face said, “I think that I am going to have another sister-in-law. I have never seen George with a loving smile on his face. He looks like a completely different person.  I think he is in love with Millie.”

Paul said, “That is not the mood that George is usually in when he is with a woman. All the women that I seen him with look like they wanted to slap him.  Something nice is going on between him and Millie.”

For the rest of the evening I could not stop taking glance at Millie and George.

The Christmas Eve party was over early. I was shoving everyone out of the house and wishing everyone Merry Christmas. When George and Millie were leaving, I had never seen the glow that Millie had in her face and the sincere love she had in her voice when she spoke. Millie hugs me and whispers, “I will see you tomorrow, but please don’t call me.”

I nodded my head and said, “Have a good night sleep.”

Millie with a broad smile across her face, she rolls her eyes and said, “I know I will.”

Paul and Crystal followed close behind. Crystal said, “I have never seen George this happy since I met him.”

Paul said, “I think Millie and George are enjoying each other company. I hope it last. I haven’t seen him this happy in years.”

Matt and Gilda were the last in the line. Matt thanked me and Bill for sending him so much money. He said that someday he will pay me back.  I told Matt that it was a gift and not a loan.

 After all of the family thanked Bill and me for a wonderful evening, and had driven out of the yard, I let out a puff of air. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I said to Bill, “Go and get ready for bed. I want you in bed and asleep by the time I get there.”

Bill pecked me on the cheek and headed for our bedroom. 

I had ended the party so Liz and her crew would not be exhausted on Christmas. I told Liz and the crew to go upstairs and go to bed. We will clean up the mess tomorrow morning. I will not expect anyone tomorrow until about nine. They had been on their feet since early this morning. I saw the enjoyable expression on all of their faces. By the time they got up the stairs, I was brushing my teeth. I took a quick shower and partially dried off my body. I climbed into bed with Bill and he said, “Why didn’t you dry yourself off?”

I pulled my damp body against Bill and said, “Now you can dry me off. Take your time.”

Bill said, “I don’t have a towel.”

“Bill, shut up and use your hands before all the water evaporates.”

 Bill chuckled and started rubbing my body. I said, “Don’t stop when I am dried off. You can give me a dry massage.”

To make it simple, we had a quickie and fell asleep in each other’s arms.

 

Christmas Day:

Pamela was awake at the crack of dawn. She came into our bedroom and silently slid into bed with us. I had heard her moving around in her bed room. I thought that she would still be over at Linda’s. I pretended that I was still asleep. She cuddled up tightly to my back. I think her body was half way out of the bed. She was clinging on to me as if she was hold on to save her life.  I spun around and moved over closer to Bill and pulled her onto the bed. I whispered to her, “Have you open all of you Christmas present’s yet?”

Pamela whispered back, “No, I want to open my present when everyone else does.”

We cuddled together for a few minutes until Bill said, “What are you two whispering about?”

Pamela said, “Poppy, if I knew you were awake I would not be whispering. I wanted to join you and mom. Don’t you know that I am part of the family too?”

I could hear Liz and the crew working in the kitchen. Bill, Pamela and I had a slight snack before the guest arrived. After all the guest arrives we would have our breakfast and open the present’s afterword.

Without knocking, Millie popped through the door with a smile on her face.

 She had Pat with her. With all the commotions going on I had forgotten about Pat. Her parents had kicked her out of their home. I did not have her on my list of gifts. Fortunately I had bought a few extra things and wrapped them just in case I had forgotten someone.

I asked Millie, “Where is George?”

Without thinking Millie said, “He dropped me off at the condo.”

She slaps her hand over her mouth and looked at Pat and then at me. Pat saw the predicament that Millie was in and said, “We wanted to show George our apartment.”

I turned around and headed for the kitchen. Millie came up behind me and said, “I think I am in love for the first time in my life. George is so precious. I could not leave him alone in that empty apartment.”

I looked into Millie’s eyes and said, “Love is wonderful. I felt the same way the first night I was alone with Bill. It a wonder I didn’t rape him.”

Millie said, “If Bill is half as nice as George. I know how you must have felt.”

I said, “Why don’t you and Pat go into the kitchen and get a snack.”

 I knew that she wanted to open up her life to me. The glow that Millie had on her face created a few tears of happiness inside of me. If Millie and George plans to get married would they want to live here or go back home with Paul? Was George taking advantage of Millie just to get a quickie? I think that Millie would go ape if I asked her. Should I talk to Bill about the romance or just let it play itself out. For the moment, I could not think of anything else. Pamela ran into the dining room. All of my thoughts about George and Millie were flushed out of my mind.

Pamela was setting up the table for our guest. She asked me if I wanted to decide where the guest sat. I said, “Pick a spot for Millie and place your Uncle George next to her.”

Pamela with a smile on her face said, “I heard what she said in the kitchen. I think that see likes Uncle George very much.”

“Honey, you are growing up too fast. You select where everyone sits. I think you will do a better job than I would.”

I headed for the kitchen. Before I got into the kitchen Millie was telling everyone how much in love she was with George. Just as soon as I stepped into the kitchen it became deadly quiet. I looked at the faces. It looked like everyone had frozen for a second

The sadness look on Liz’s face changed as soon as she saw me. Liz said to me, “Take a seat, I will get you a fresh cup of coffee and some delicious muffins.”

Millie and Pat walked out of the kitchen without saying a word. As Liz was filling my cup with coffee she said, “Millie is in love with my old boyfriend.”

I did not say anything. I recalled that Millie and Liz were the best of friends when they were in high school together. Since Liz is still single, was she still in love with George. Had George seen Liz before he saw her here in my home? Did George stop in the restaurant the first day he got in town? He did not come in on the same flight that Paul and Crystal came in. When did he arrive?

My thoughts went on hold. The rest of the family started popping in.

 Liz and the girls were offering the early guests coffee and pastries that were freshly made. As before, clusters of the family gathered together and were reliving their lives. Liz had asked me to tell her when all of the family had arrived. I had counted noses a couple of times. Bill’s brothers George, Mitch, Mike and his wife Sue also were not here. I looked at my watch. It wasn’t nine yet. I look down the hall. Pat and Millie were standing there looking out the door. I walked over to them and said to Millie, “Where are our brothers?”

Millie said, “George is not here either.”

Millie had only one thing on her mind, George. I said, “How are you and George getting along. Is he as nice as you expected him to be?”

“Molly, I have never met a man as nice as George. I am almost certain that he is going to ask me to marry him before he goes back home. With Paul managing the company that he is working for, he said that he could never get another job anywhere that would pay him the salary that Paul and Crystal are giving him.”

I said, “George has another life at home. If he is as nice as you say he is, he must have a dozen girl friends.”

Millie spun around and looked at me as if she was stunned. I knew that I had hit a nerve. Without saying anything for a few minutes and still giving me that stunned look, Millie said, “Damn it Molly, why did you have to say that he must have a dozen girl friends? I was feeling wonderful. I had never felt this way before in my life.”

Millie turns around and heads for the dining room. Pat started to follow her. I put my hand on Pat’s shoulder and said, “Leave Millie along for a while. Life doesn’t always give us everything that we want. Let her get off of that pedestal that she is on. Let her come back to reality.”

Pat said, “I have never seen her this happy. When George dropped her off this morning, I think that she thought that she was in heaven. I just listened to her and did not want to be the one that burst her bubble. I have been down that road a number of times.”

I put my arm around Pat and said, “I lived with Bill for two years worrying when he would dump me. It started the first night that I met him. I had fallen deeply in love with him. It was two years frustration before I gave in to Bill. We were married shortly afterward. I still have times that I feel that he will drop me any time he wants.”

We headed for the dining room. I heard a voice calling. I returned to the door and saw Mitch, Mike and his wife Sue waving at me. I open the door and wished Merry Christmas. We hugged and kissed each other. Mike said, “I have the best sister in the world. If I wasn’t married to Sue and being your brother, I would marry you in an instant.”

I was about to close the door and I heard George wishing everyone Merry Christmas. He said, “I am sorry I am a little late. I wanted to clean up for the party. Is Millie here?”

I nodded my head and said, “If I had not scared her away, she would be right here waiting for you.”

I said to Pat, “Go tell Millie that George is here and he wants to see her.”

Pat hurried down the hall.”

As George was walking through the door, Millie stuck her head out of the dining room. I saw the love in Millie and George’s face. Millie ran down the hall to George. They embraced. I passed Millie and whispered, “Go get him honey.”

I went into the kitchen and told Liz that all of the guest had arrived. She told Pamela to tell everyone where they should sit. Pamela hurried out into the dining room and started direction the guest to their places around the table.

After everyone was seated, I looked at the facial expression of my guest. I had most of our family together after all these years. Tears started to trickle down my face. I was still standing. Bill pulls my skirt and whispered sit down. I put a finger across my lips and said, “It has been a very long time since Bill’s and my most of my family have had Christmas together. I have yearned to have us all together since my parents pass away. I still miss them very must, but I am grateful for having you all here with me and my family, Merry Christmas.”

They all wished Bill and me a Merry Christmas and thanked us for inviting them. Pamela came in from the kitchen with Liz and said, “Dinner will now being served.”

Pamela bowed and thanked them all for coming. Pamela sat down between Bill and me. I gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, “Honey, you are perfect lady.”

Pamela kissed me and started helping herself. Her plate was overflowing. I was amazed how that slim daughter of mine could eat so much.

There was a moderate discussing during dinner. Most of it was about their lives and the hell they went through. Bill and I did not discuss our earlier years. We just listening to the hell everyone went through. Crystal and Gilda only listen and showed their concern. When everyone had finished their desert and was waiting for everyone else to finish. Liz and the girls got up and started clearing the table of the soiled dishes. Surprisingly everyone pitched in to help them even after Liz said, “Please don’t bother. The girls and I will clean up.”

I was even more surprised when Gilda and Crystal told their husband to help also.”

With all the help we all had a chance to relax when Pamela handed out the presents. When she was finished she said, “Now I will see what Santa has brought me.”

Even though most of us had not opened all our presents, everyone watched Pamela. She was so appreciative of all the gifts that Santa and the guest had given.

I had made out $10,000 checks for each one of my guest and added a note to please remember my two sisters that are not here. Please keep Martha and Mattie in your heart and mind, Love you all.

The Christmas wrapping paper and boxes had been cleaned up moments after the presents were opened. Pamela was collecting all the ribbons and bows. She neatly folded the wrapping paper and stacked the boxes.

If was about five in the afternoon when everyone started leaving. I was wondering who Millie would be leaving with, George or Pat. George left alone. He got into his car without anyone else. Pat and Millie left together. Millie still had that glow on. When all of the guest had departed, Bill took me out on the porch. I told him that it was too cold to be outside without a warm jacket on. Bill said that we will be outside for only a few minutes. Grudgingly I went with Bill. He pulls me tightly against his body and said, “I had a talk with George. He showed up a day early and rented a motel room. Somehow he knew that Liz was working at the restaurant. Liz as lonely as she was, spent the night with George in the motel. When Millie saw George, she went crazy about George and would not let him out of her sight. Of course Millie spent the night with George. Now George has two women around his neck and he does not know what to do. George is blaming it all on you. What the hell did you do and did you do. I could not believe it. Was it the spill that I gave George over the phone that causes this? “Honey, I guess I am to blame. I asked George why he had not married. He said that all women think they are the greatest thing on earth or something like that. I told George that all women think that way. You have to treat them as you would treat a child.”

Bill laughed and said, “No wonder Millie thought he was so nice. It is his problem now, so don’t worry about it. One of the girls is going to be disappointed and hate his guts. Let’s go to bed, Liz and the other girls must be exhausted.”

I went into to the kitchen and gave the girls their gifts and paid them for their time with a very nice bonus. They all seemed to be very appreciative for the extra money on Christmas. I ask them to please don’t tell the other waitresses at the restaurant about the bonus. This would hurt my relationship with them and I already had given them a bonus. They all said that they would not discuss the bonus with anyone. One of the girls said that if she told anyone in her family, they all would want a share.

I said good night and headed for my bathroom. It was one of those nights that I did not want to take a bath and spent an hour soaking in warm water. I washed off the makeup and brushed my teeth. I climbed in bed with Bill. He was snoring so loud that it just might keep the girls awake. I think that I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Linda had gone to the City to spend Christmas with her kids. I sent Pamela to bed before all the quest had gone home. The following morning I was trying to get a few more minutes of sleep. I did not expect Pamela to come into my bedroom, but she did. She climbed in bed on my side and pestered me to get up and see her Christmas presents. I have given her some clothes that were more her age and a little more feminine. She wanted me to see her other new outfits.

As I watched Pamela try on the outfits, tears flowed down my cheeks. My baby will be a teenager soon if she isn’t now. The boys will be all over her. Will she know how to control them?

Liz came in and asked us if we wanted a snack and a cup of coffee before breakfast. I told her no and said, “From all the food that I consumed yesterday, I will weight ten pound more than I want to weigh.”

As I looked up at Liz, I felt like she wanted to say something. With that look on her face, George popped into mind. What in hell can I tell her? Tom had given me the job that Liz deserved and Millie is stealing her long lost boyfriend. I was thankful when she turned around quickly and went out of the room.

As yesterday my guest started arriving. They all had eaten as much as I had it not more yesterday. They were in the kitchen filling their stomachs before breakfast. There was no way that they would spoil breakfast for the late comers. I had more food than they could ever eat.

It seemed that the late comers had all came together. When Mitch came in he said, “I had forgotten that our lost sisters had called us when we were not a home and left a message on our answering machine. That was some time back. I think Mike wrote down their telephone number and almost certain they both had gotten married. That was a number of years ago. I don’t know if Mike remembers where he put their telephone numbers. If I am not mistaken they both had children. How many, I do not remember.”

I told Mitch that I would talk to Mike when he shows up.

I looked down the hall and saw, Pat and Millie. They both had a cheerful look on their faces, but where was George. When I welcomed them in, I did not ask about George and neither did they.

Bill had gotten up and was in the kitchen talking to Liz. With everyone talking at the same time, I could not hear what they were talking about. I was hoping that he would mention George.

Again George was late and he came with Paul and Crystal. I did not want to mention Liz or Millie. George seemed quite happy about something. I had never seen him this alive and cheerful. I pulled George and Paul up close to me and I said, “I wish you all could stay for New Year Eve. Paul said, “I wish we could too. We have been away to long now. This is the busiest week in the year. God only know what is going on at the plant.”

Liz and the girls told us to please be seated. The warm breakfast dishes were being brought in. Everyone took the same seats that they had yesterday. I watched Millie and George. They both were casual and friendly. Millie did not have the same glow on that she had almost all day yesterday. I took a deep breath and hoped that they would not be an explosion between Liz, George and Millie. Liz even had a cheerful look on her face. It was driving me nuts. I expected an explosion. I was startled by Bill saying, “Smile, they all will be out of here in a couple of days.”

I could not clear my mind. Thoughts of George, Liz and Millie kept popping up in my mind. It was ruining my day that I had wanted for years. To get this mess out of my mind I asked Pamela to model her new outfits. Excitedly she gets up and leaves half of her breakfast on her plate. Within minutes she appeared at the dining room door wearing the most feminine outfit. Pamela said, “This is one of the dressed that Mom gave me for Christmas. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Liz said, “Pamela darling, please walk around the table so everyone can see how beautiful you look.”

I could see on everyone faces the same image of Pamela that I had. She was no longer a child. She was on the doorsteps of being a woman. Pamela only modeled three of the dresses. All of the guest said that she was as beautiful like her mother. I did not see me in Pamela. She had some beautiful feathers of both Bill and I, but she was much more beautiful than I or Bill were at her age.

After Pamela came back with the dress that she had worn earlier, some of the guest took their coffee into the family room and watched the world go by on TV. Paul and Crystal, Mike, Sue and Mitch, and Matt and Gilda all had to go back to work. They had booked their flight to leave today and had already headed to their temporary home in Sunny Ville. In a way if was sad to see them leaving, yet it was nice to settle down with my friends and family. The reunion was not what I expected. Like Bill and I, we all had grown up. Somehow I had visioned the reunion like a bunch of kids in their teens celebrating together. At least I may have a lead on Martha and Mattie. Pat and Millie had gone with the ones that stayed in the empty apartment near them. George and Bill were still watching TV. As Liz and the girls were leaving they passed the family room. Bill and George both got up and thanked the girls for a wonderful Christmas. They hugged all the girls and Liz. They did not look like there was any animosity between Liz and George.

 George’s flight was tomorrow morning. He did not leave until about eight and said he would stop by tomorrow morning.

As we were eating the left over’s we saw Linda drive up in front of my old home. I ran outside and asked her about her Christmas. I should not have asked. It took almost an hour to get her off of my back. I asked if she wanted some of the left over that we had. She declined and pointed to the rear seat of her car. There were bags on top of bags. We all went to bed a little early. I had to go back to work tomorrow. Like last night everyone was asleep instantly. 

When we woke up Linda had breakfast ready for us. She was surprised at how neat the house looked. After I finished eating, I gave Bill and Pamela a kiss and yelled goodbye to Linda. As I was passing the restaurant, I had an urge to go in and see how Liz and Millie were getting along. I fought with my inner self and did not stop.

When I walked into the bank, all the girls shouted good morning and how my party went. With a little white lie, I said, “Wonderful.”

I continued into my office. I plopped into my desk chair and looked out the window. George was coming into the front door. I heard him ask the girls where I was and he told them that he was my brother-in-law. I heard Mabel telling George where I was. I got up and met George at the door. He pushes me inside my office and shuts the door. He puts his arms around me and kissed me on the lips. I pushed him away and asked when his flight was leaving. George appeared a little anode because I pushed him away. I was wondering what the hell he had in mind. He said that he was leaving a three. I told him to have a seat and pointed to the guest chair. It looked like he was in slow motion as he approached the chair. I sat down across from him and said, “How did you enjoy the reunion.”

He did not answer immediately. He paused for a few moments and said that it was nice. He immediately said, “Where in hell did you Bill get all the money.”

I smiled at George and in stern voice and said, “Bill and I worked our fucking asses off for it.”

George pulled his wallet out said, “I want to cash this check.”

I said, “I think it is best that you deposit the check in your bank account when you get home.”

With frustration running across his face, George said, “I want to see the money now.”

I picked up the phone and said, “Mabel, please go into the vault and get me ten thousand dollars in one hundred dollar bills.”

I hung up the phone and looked over at George and did not say a word. He was staring at me. We did not say a word to each other. Mabel knocked on the door and eased it open. Mabel had a stack of bills in her hand that looked like a brick. I said to George, “Give Mabel the check.”

George pulled the check out of his wallet and handed it to Mabel. Mabel hands George the banded stack of bills.”

Mabel said, “Would you like me to count the bills for you?

With an amazed look on George’s face, he said, “No.”

Mabel gave George the money and asked me if there was anything else that I wanted. I shook my head and Mabel left the room. I said to George, “It is very dangerous to carry that much money on you. As you sure you want wont the cash.”

George said, “Don’t give me any shit. Did you rob the tax dollars that were in the vault of the bank?”

I said, “George, I told you where we got the money. We both worked our butts off and save every penny and invested it, end of conversation. Take the money and get the fuck out of here. If you continue this conversation, I will have the guard kick your ass out of here.”

I had already pushed the button under my desk one time. It signals the guard to come into my office. The door opened, and the guard said, “Mrs. Johnson, I hope you had a nice Christmas. Welcome home.”

I thought that George was going to faint. He stuffs the money inside his jacket pocket. He stands up and stuck his hand out to the guard. The guard did not respond. George slowly lowers his arm.

The guard said again, “Welcome home. If you need anything just buzz me.”

With a completely different expression on George’s face, he slowly sits back into his chair. I said, “George, how are things back home. Are you jealous of Paul?”

In a somber voice, George said, “He is always getting all of the breaks. I never get the breaks that he gets.”

I said, “Your brothers have worked their asses off to get where they are today. Have you really put your heart and soul into everything that you do? I have never seen Bill slacking off on anything that he does. The two farms are like they are because Bill has worked almost around the clock on every project that he gets into. Can you say the same for yourself?”

George bows his head and almost a whisper said, “No Molly, I think I screw up on everything that tried to do.”

“George when you go back home. Put all your heart and strength into everything that you do. You have to build a better life for yourself. Don’t expect Paul and Crystal to hand feed you. Make an impression on them that you are part of the team and mean it.”

George got up and said, “I am sorry I fussed at you. Please don’t tell Bill. He will beat the shit out of me.”

George got up and headed for the door. I said, “Are you sure that you want to take all that cash with you?”

George reaches for the packet of bills and hands them to me. I gave him the check and said, “It for any reason you lose the check, call me and I will send you another check.”

On our way out of the bank, I asked George how was his life with women. He looked at me and said, “As I said before. All women are bitches. They think they are too good for me.”

I said, “George, you are wrong. It’s you not them. You expect them to bow down to you. You should at least give them equal consideration. Most of the women want a husband that respects them as they are and hates the men that expects everything from thing and nothing from their mate.”

As George was walking out the door I took him in my arms and said, “Try harder. You have the same blood in your veins that Paul and Bill have. They have worked to make their lives better. You can do it too and it is not too late to try.”

George looked at me with a half smile and said, “I will try.”

I stood at the door and watched George get into his car. As he drives away we waved at each other.

I went over to the desk and handed Mabel the stack of bills and said, “I convinced him not to take the cash.”

Mabel said, “Is that Bill’s brother?”

I nodded my head and said, “He is a troubled man. He is the oldest of three boys and hasn’t put it all together yet. I had a long talk with him and I hope it helped.”

I looked at the girls and wondered what they were thinking when I gave Mabel back the ten thousand dollars. I asked everyone if they wanted anything from the restaurant. If was too early for lunch and they all usually bring their lunch. They all said that they wanted a cup of Stan’s special and ask Stan how he makes it. I shook my head and said, “I have asked Stan a number of times and he never gave me the recipe."

The guard stuck his head around the corner and said, “Can I have a Stan's special also?"

I went back into my office and picked up my pocket book. As I went out the door I said, "I will be back soon."

I took my time walking to the restaurant. I was wondering what I should tell Bill what happened this morning. I thought it was best not to tell him anything. Why open up another bag of worms. Yet, I felt that I have to tell him what happened this morning. If I do not tell Bill and George mite brings it up I think I would be in a lot of trouble. To hell with it, I will tell Bill everything that happened.

As I walked into the restaurant everyone asked about the party. I said, "Didn’t Liz and Millie tell you about the party?"

Liz said, "Millie and I told them how we felt at the party, they want to know how you felt about the party.”

I said, “To be honest with you. I was a little disappointed. Somehow I felt that it would be like a bunch of teenage kids getting together. We have all grown up and created our own lives and families. They all had to go back home to their job and their homes. I am no different. Whenever Bill and I go somewhere, I cannot wait until I get back home. My home is my home and there is no other place in the world that I would rather live, I love it.”

Liz said, “My home is just a small apartment and Sunny Ville is where my friends are. I enjoy going to other places. But, I fell so much better when I am in my own bed.”

There was an echo from most of the waitresses. Some said that they wanted to get the hell out of Sunny Ville and never come back. So be it, we all have our own lives to live and we are all are different. I went over to Millie and said, “How did you like the reunion?”

Millie said, “It was nice to see everyone, but everything wasn’t a bag of cherries. I became very disappointed with George. He is nothing like his brother when I was alone with him. At first, I thought that he would be more like Bill and Paul. Frankly, he is just the opposite. After I slept with him, his attitude changed for the worse. I wanted no part of him. I felt sorry for what I had done to Liz. I have known for years that she was deeply in love with George and like a fool slept with him. I did not know that he had spent the night before with Liz. From the little that I got from Liz, she had mixed feeling about George after she slept with him. His whole attitude had changed. I felt the same way as Liz felt.”

My order was waiting for me. I went over to Liz and told her to put it on my tab. I whispered to her, “I just had a long conversation with George before I came over here. He is a troubled man and it was the best not to get involved with him now.  Maybe in the future he will change.”

Liz whispered, “I know exactly want you are saying. I was a little pissed off at him when he showed Millie all the attention. I have had a crush on George since we were in high school. That feeling was flushed down the john after I slept with him. There was no love or affect from him. I felt like a whore and did not get paid for it. It is amazing how ones feeling can change in a moment. I am glad that George is out of my life.”

I pulled Liz close to me and kissed her on the cheek and said, “I know it is hard to change your feeling. I know you will be better off without George memories haunting you. Love you.” 

I took my order and headed for the bank. I was afraid the coffee had cooled down. I felt the containers and they still felt quite warm. So be it, what can they expect when they are not paying for the coffee?

I passed out the coffee and no one complained, thank God for that.

I went back to my office and my cell phone rang. I answered the phone, Mike was on the line. He said, “I called the phone numbers that I have for Martha and Mattie. I thing I have had them for five years at least and they do not work. I tried them after I got home. Sorry.”

I said, “Didn’t they give you their married name?”

Mike said, “Martha married name is Stratford and Mattie name is Hunt. Will this help you find them.”

“I hope so. How was the trip home and how was the reunion? Would you like to live in Sunny Ville?”

Mike said, “Molly, the reunion was great. I loved being with you all. But, Mitch and I have worked our asses off getting where we are today. I love the area where we live and we have friends and family here. It is nothing like the Sunny Ville. I enjoy the visit, but home is home, there nothing like being in your own home.”

“Mike, like you and Mitch, Bill and I have made our home here and we would never give it up. Maybe when Pamela finishes’ high school; we will see a little more of the world. Thanks for the information on our sisters. If I find them I will let you know. Love you; I think Sue is a wonderful lady. You found yourself a brilliant wife. Kick Mitch in the ass and get him a wife as nice as Sue. Thanks again for the information. Love you, bye.”

I hung up the phone and turned on the computer and the search program. I plugged Hunt. I could not believe there were this many people named Hunt. I added Mattie Hunt to the program. This wasn’t any better. There was still hundreds of Mattie Hunt in the country.  I plugged Martha Stratford in to the program with no luck. I dreaded the next things that I had to do; I had to call all of the numbers with hopes that someone knew them. I would have to spend the whole day and many nights looking for my two lost sisters. It was getting close to closing. I knew that the businesses would be coming in to turn in their daily receipts. I looked out the window in my office and saw two familiar faces that deposit there funds six days a week. Not far behind them was an elderly lady. She wasn’t familiar. I hit Mabel’s number on the key pad and she picked up instantly. I said, “Honey, I hope that ghosts from the past don’t show up any more. There is an elderly women coming in the front door. Do you still have the list of questionable customers?”

Mabel must have had a customer; in a muffled voice she told someone to forgive her and that she had a caller on the line. I heard the woman say, “Surely.”

Mabel said, “I am sorry, I have another customer, my I help you?”

I said, “See the elderly woman coming into the bank. I have not seen her in the bank before. When you finish with your customer, call me back.  Better yet leave your phone off of the hook.”

I could still hear the chatter in the lobby. Mabel finished with customer she had and I could hear her say, “She is come up to my desk.”

I could hear the phone scraping across the desk and Mabel opening the cash drawer. Within a moment Mabel say in a soft voice, “I have the list.”

I listened to Mabel and the elderly woman. She wanted to get into her safety deposit box. I felt that I was becoming psychic. She gave Mabel her box number. Mabel said that she had to get the key for the vault and the boxes. She asked the woman for her name and the number for the box. The name was familiar. Where in hell had I heard that name? I looked at my list of the frozen accounts. The name and the number were not listed on the frozen list. I looked at the list of relatives. Sure than hell she was an aunt of the governor. I thought how many more of the accused had relatives that owned boxes. I pushed the outside line button and dialed Tom Henderson cell phone number. When Tom answered, I said, “This Molly Johnson, a ghost of the past. We have a relative of the governor that wants to get into her safety deposit box. What should I do? She is not on any of the list. Tom said that he did not have the slightest idea. The case has been closed for over six months. There is nothing legally that I can do. I could hold her on suspicion of attempted bank robbery. I don’t know how long that would hold up. We cannot go out and arrest every relative of everyone that is guilty. Watch what she is doing and I will see if I can get someone in the area that will drop bye and question her.

I said, “Keep me posted. I don’t like this any more than you do. There is one thing that you could do is follow the money and see where it goes.”

Tom said, “That’s a good idea. I will look into it. Bye.”

Mabel must have taken her into the vault. I hurried out into the hall. To my luck, the old lady was slowly walking down to the vault. I called to her and Mabel and said, “If you are uncomfortable we can get a wheel chair for you.”

The old lady said, “Would you please?”

I said, “Of course, give me a moment.”

I rolled the wheel chair into the hall and helped the lady get into the chair.  As Mabel was opening the vault, I introduced myself and asked what her name was? She said, “I am Elizabeth Howard. I have been ill and had not had a chance to get down her. The medical bills have been outrageous.”

We helped her to her box and opened the bank lock. I said, “We will have to leave you now so you can have some privacy.”

Mabel and I hurried down the hall to the vault monitor. I asked Jack the guard to go outside. I closed the door behind him. Mabel and I watched the monitor. The box was one of the larger boxes. At first I thought that she was only taking a small amount out of the box. After she put some money into her coat pocket, she turned grabbed a hand full of bills and neatly stacked them in her large pocket book. She filled the pocket book. The box still looked fully. I could see the frustration on her face. She tried a number of times to stuff more money into her pocket book. She tried to close the pocket book. Still frustrated she removed enough money so she could close her pocket book. She tries to get up. The poor thing tried to use the wheel chair to stand up. The wheel chair scooted across the vault. I told Mabel to go help her. When Mabel reached the vault, she called Elizabeth. Elizabeth yelled back, “Please come and help me.”

I watched on the monitor. Elizabeth had not closed or locked the box. I saw Mabel walk in and quickly turn around and said, “Please close your box and lock it. I am not allowed to see what our customers have in their boxes.”

Elizabeth quickly turned around with fear across her face and slammed the box closed and locked it. Elizabeth said, “You can look now. Please help me up.”

Mabel being half Elizabeth size could not lift her. I went out into the hall and told Jack to go down to the vault and help Mabel and the old lady. I watched Jack helping Elizabeth. He had a hard time lifting the old lady up. Jack asked Mabel to hold the wheel chair. Mabel put on the wheel chair brakes and still held the chair. The woman must have weighed two hundred pounds or more. Jack was straining and almost dropped her.  Fortunately Mabel pushed the wheelchair under the woman. Mabel locked the box and the vault then followed Jack and the woman down the hall.

 I went out into the lobby with them. During the confusing I noticed that they did not pick up the woman pocket book. I asked Elizabeth where her pocket book was. With a flash of fear, she said, “I don’t know.”

I said, “You must have left it in the vault. I will go and get it for you.”

With fear still on her face she said, “Please take me back into the vault.”

I motioned to Jack and he turned her around and Mabel followed them down the hall. I went and watched the monitor. Next to the boxes was her pocket book. Jack wheeled Elizabeth over to her pocket book. The guard started to pick up the pocket book. Elizabeth said, “No I will pick it up.”

Jack stepped back and Elizabeth tried to lift the pocket book. She could not lift the pocket book. She tried a number of times to lift the pocket book. She looks up at Jack and said, “Would you please get my pocket book?”

Jack lifts the pocket books. I could see that he was straining. He started to lay the pocket book on Elizabeth lap. He paused for a moment then hanged it on the handle of the wheel chair. I waited for them in the lobby. I was wondering when the Federal officer would arrive. I wanted to stall them, but could I. As they were walking out to the car, a young man jumps out of the car and runs in their direction. An unmarked car was parked next to the young man’s car. Two men were inside the car. Elizabeth almost jumped out of the wheel chair when she saw the young man running towards them. Elizabeth yelled, “Take me back into the bank. Jack pulled out his pistol and yelled, “Stop where you are. If you came any closer I will shoot you.”

Elizabeth pointed to the other car and said, “Don’t shoot my grandson shoot those two men in that car.”

Jack aims his gun at the car, he did not fire it. The car burned rubber backing out of the parking lot. The car was out of sight in seconds. Jack holsters his pistol and turns around and heads for the bank. The young man froze in his tracks and yelled, “Granny, they are gone now we can go home.”

I opened the bank door and waited until Jack said, “Shut the door. I don’t know who to believe.”

Elizabeth looked like she was about to faint. She lowered her head slowly backward. He eyes closed. Jack lifted her arm up and checked her heart beat. He looked at me and said, “Her heart beat is going to damn fast. You better emergency. Mabel said, “I have already dialed it. They should be answering. … We have an elderly lady at the bank. Her heart beat is too rapid. Please send an emergency vehicle. Please hurry.”

Mabel was still listening on the phone. Slowly she puts down the phone and said, “They just sent the ambulance to a three care accident about a quarter mile down the road. Someone at the restaurant just called them. The woman that answered the call said to lay the woman down and let her rest. If she stops breathing, give her CPR.”

I ran down the hall and open the supply room. Bill and I left single folding beds with a mattress there. I told Jack to bring her in my office. I opened the bed and laid a blanket over the mattress. Mabel and I each took a leg. Jack took her by the shoulders and we laid Elizabeth on the bed. Thank God she was still breathing. Jack said, “I think that the young man standing on the sidewalk is her grandson. Should we let him in?”

I said, “No not now. Tell him that we are waiting for an ambulance and does his grandmother have a local doctor.”

Within minutes jack was back and said, “Her doctor lives up in the state capital area.”

I looked over at Elizabeth and she had her eyes open. I walked over to her and asked how she was. She said, “Where is my grandson?”

 I said, “He is outside waiting for you.”

She said, “Please go and get him and bring him inside. Those men will kill him.”
I nodded to Jack. He mouthed OK. Within seconds the young man was next to his grandmother. He said, “We can go now. Those guys have gone.”

Elizabeth shook her head and said, “Darling, it is not worth all the money in the world. There are going to be questions about the money and where it came from. We will have to tell them.”

I said, “Who were the two men in car next to your grandsons.”

She said, “Those two are the governor’s body guards. They do all the governors dirty work.”

Elizabeth looked up at me and said, “Please take my pocket book and put all the money back into my box. The key is somewhere in the pocket book.”

The young man shook his head and said, “No grandma, they will surely kill you if you don’t give the money to them.”

Elizabeth said, “Killing me would not get them the money. That has been the reason they have not killed me. If they killed me the money would be sitting in here for years. They will be dead before they or their children could get the money. The money is in my name and I will never leave them a cent.”

Elizabeth sits up in bed and said, “Please help me into the wheel chair. I want to put the money back into the vault.”

We helped Elizabeth into the wheel chair and took her into the vault. She watched me stacking the money in the box. I locked the box and gave the key to her.”

I asked Elizabeth what she wanted me to do with the money. She said, “I will decide later.”

I said, “I don’t think that I can ever give you the money after what has happened today. I would be putting myself in danger of spending a long time in jail. I would be as guilty as all the others that robbed the citizens of Sunny Ville. It is not your money or my money. It is the property of the citizens of Sunny Ville. Also, I have already notified a federal officer about your safety deposit box.”

We locked up the vault and headed for the lobby. Closing time had come and gone. Someone was knocking on the front door. I went over to the door and looked out. A well dressed man showed his badge and identification. I unlocked the door and said, “My I help you?”

He said, “I am John Richards. Mrs. Johnson, Tom said that you had a problem. What can I do for you?”

I looked over at Elizabeth and said, “I will get back to you in a few minutes.”

I told John to follow me. We went into my office and I told him what had happen and ask what I should do. John looked at me and said, “Mrs. Johnson, I don’t have the slightest idea what can be done. Give her the money and let her go. We don’t have any evidence that she has done anything wrong. Tom looked into the files and there is nothing that we can charge her with.”

I said, “When she was leaving with only a fraction of the money that was in the box all hell broke loose. Two men were waiting in the parking lot for her and her grandson. She saw the two men and all hell broke loose. Jack aimed his pistol at the two men. They took off and headed south. Elizabeth wanted to put the money back in the safety deposit box and decide later what she wanted to do with the money. With what I know, I cannot let her take the money until the Attorney General decides what he wants to do with the money. After discussing the problem with Elizabeth, she decides to admit that she did not know where the money came from. Twenty years ago when the Governor was the lieutenant governor, he asked her to open a safety deposit box in Sunny Ville and put the money he made from his investment in the safety deposit box. The Governor had recently asked her to remove all the money in the safety deposit box and take it home with her. She said that the box has been full for fifteen years or if not loner and she had wondered why he did not invest the money.

John said, “Since she put all the money back into the box, I will take her to Sunny Ville police station and have her charge with causing a disturbance at the bank and then escort her and her grandson home. I will tell her that I am going to send a report to my supervisors and let them decide what should be done.”

I watched John escort her to the parking lot. I could no longer hear what was said. It appeared that John told the grandson to follow him. John helped Elizabeth into his car. I watched them drive away.

When I turned around and Mabel said, “I have a call for you.”

I picked up the phone in the lobby. Bill was on the other end. He said, “Sweetheart, I am lucky that I am alive. I went into town to pick up feed for the animals. I was in Betsy. This bastard came up behind me going a hundred miles and hour, if not more. I think he must have been looking through the rear view mirror and at the last moment he change lanes and ran into an old tractor that was crossing the road. I had slowed down to let the tractor get across the road. The damn car caught the rear end of the tractor and spun it around. The guy that was on the tractor was thrown off of the tractor. He gets up and curses the two men in the car. When we got over to the car, they were knocked unconscious. I called the medics. When they got there the two men was still unconscious. The medics took them to the City hospital. The way they looked they will not be driving again for some time. The highway is a mess. I think the City is coming out here and clean it up. Do you want me to come pick you up?”

“No honey. I am going be late we had an elderly woman that has a box full of money in the bank for the last twenty rears. I’ll tell you about it when I get home. Love you. See you soon.”

I told the girls not to discuss the problem we had with Elizabeth. As soon as the Governor hears about what happen today, all hell will break loose. Oh yes, Bill said that there was an accident on the highway a little past the restaurant. From what he said, I think it was the two men that were parked out front.”

We all pitched in and we were out of the bank in about fifteen minutes.

On the way home, someone had cleared one side of the road. It did not take long to get through. As I passed the wreck, I looked at the car. It was no question; it was the same car the two men were in.

Linda had a wonderful dinner waiting for us. Bill and Pamela were already sitting at the table. I excused myself and went into the bath room and brushed my teeth and cleaned my face. As I was standing their looking into the mirror at myself, I asked myself, what in hell is going to happen next. Should I sale the bank or wait until someone kills me. God only know when this mess will end. I tried to put on a happy face. Linda was a wonderful cook and nanny. Every time I thought about the hell I gave her and how it affected her, I wanted to cut off my tongue.    

When I went back into the dining room Bill get up and hugs me and said, “You had a rough day again.”

I nodded my head and said, I will tell you about it later. I reach down and stroked Pamela beautiful head and said, “How was your day, honey.”

Pamela said, “Linda and I got stuck on the way home. There was a terrible accident. I think two men got killed. Daddy said that he saw the accident when it happened.”

Bill said, “Let’s change the subject. What else did my darling do today?”

Pamela gave us a step by step of the events that happened when she went to Sunny Ville today, including the accident, I knew that Bill was trying to change the subject, yet he made it worst. We did not want Pamela to grow up in the hell that we went through. With all of the sheltering that we went through, I think she has already been through more than we went through. With the new media interrupting the children’s programs, she saw all the crap that was going on around the world.

After dinner we helped Linda clean up and put all the dishes in the dish washer. I can imagine how she must feel when she gets out of our home and alone in her home.

As usual, Bill, Pamela and I went into the family room and watched TV and discussed the events of the day. We only discussed the happier things that we did. At nine we sent Pamela to get ready for bed. Being thirteen, Pamela wanted to stay up later and hinted that her friends were allowed to watch TV until eleven. We tried not to pressure her. We left her in the family room and went into our bedroom. Being alone in the family room, she did not stay there until eleven. We could hear her taking a shower and getting ready for bed. She had a small TV with a headset. There was no sound that would keep us awake. Many mornings Linda or one of us had to go in and turn the TV off.

As we were getting ready to go to work, Linda said, “I am sorry; there was a call for you after you went to work yesterday. I told him that you had gone to work and could I take a message. He said no and he would call you again. I am not sure, I think that he said that he was your brother, but I was not sure what he said.”

Not knowing which one of my brothers called and they were all living on the west coast. It was too early to call them now. I thanked Linda and said that I would give them all a call later. It must not have been important. Whoever it was could have called last night.

I gave everyone hugs and kisses and headed for work. My thoughts went back to yesterday. What in hell is going to happen today? Will the Governor show up today and demand that I turn over the money in his aunt’s box or will someone else try to force their way into the bank?

I got to work and everything was normal until I got a call from John Richards. He told me that he had discussed the problem we had with Elizabeth Howard with the Attorney General’s office and all the big wigs in the FBI and it bowels down to giving her the money. I said, “John, she told me that it was the Governor’s money and he had told her to take it out of the bank and to keep it at her home.”

John said, “I told all of them what she said. They all said that it was hearsay and it would not stand up in court. I think the big brass got to them and told them to shut the door on the Sunny Ville’s embezzlement and don’t bring it up again.”

Again I said, “John get someone in the Attorney General’s office or the FBI to send me a letter stating that I cannot hold the funds that are in Elizabeth Howard safety deposit box. Otherwise I will use the document that states that I have to freeze any and all funds that may be linked to the Sunny Ville’s embezzlement. Everything that you have said to me regarding Elizabeth Howard box is strictly hearsay. A phone call from you or anyone else is strictly hearsay. I want it written and notarized. Also, I am going to have my attorney give a notice to all the departments that were involved in the SV embezzlement.”

John said, “I don’t blame you Mrs. Johnson, I will send a memo to all the departments. I want to “Pardon my French” cover my ass.”

I said, “John, I am on the same wave link. I don’t trust anyone anymore.”

John said, “Me to Molly, goodbye.”

 I hung up the phone and dial Wilson office.  His secretary answers the phone. I told her who I was and that I would like to speak to attorney Wilson. When Bob answered the phone, I told Bob about the conversation that I had with John and what I wanted. Bob told me that he doesn’t blame me and I have no idea how much money is involved. I thanked Bob and told him to fax me a copy of the document when he had finished and don’t rush it. I wanted it to cover my ass without anyone trying to take any of the money that I had won in the lottery. Bob said, “Molly I haven’t thought about the money that you won. I will state that the only moneys that are in

Elizabeth Howard safety deposit box.

I thanked Bob for his troubles and hung up. The phone rang. Thinking, who in hell could this be? Mabel said, “I have one of your brothers on the line. Pick up on line three.”

I pressed number three and said, “Hello brother, which one is this?”

He said, “Molly don’t you recognize my voice?”

I said, “Yes Mitch, I did not hear your voice until you spoke.”

Mitch said, “Just kidding Molly. I think that I have a lead on our two missing sisters. I found the scrap of paper that I had written their phone number on. The area code on the phone number is for an area about two hundred miles from here. This may narrow down the area you are looking for. The town is Minden, CA. I hope this helps you.”

I said, “I hope it helps also. I got thousands of Martha’s and Mattie’s Malone I may be exaggerating. But, any help may save me hours of searching. Thanks Mitch. How did you like the reunion?”

Mitch said, “It was great to see the rest of the clan and all the new additions. You and Bill are very generous. Mike and George had grown up together and they were surprised at how much money you and Bill have to give us all a check for ten thousand. I will not tell anyone about you and Bill’s wealth. I did not know about the embezzlement until I came home. I hope you and Bill are not involved in this mess.”

“Mitch, I am and was involved in the embezzlement. The bank that I manage held millions of dollars of the embezzled money. But, I don’t have any of the embezzled money, not one penny. I have had six or seven robbery attempt, and been shot at. I think everyone in Sunny Ville thinks that Bill and I were involved and so does my family. Mitch just trust me. Someday, I will explain how Bill and I became wealth. Don’t guess, I will not tell you if you are right or wrong. It is all honest money that we accumulated, OK.”

Mitch said, “Molly forgive me for asking. I will never ask again. I hope you find our lost sisters. If you do give them our phone number and I hope they call us. Bye, it was nice talking to you.”

The line went dead. I slowly hung up the phone and asked myself. Mike, George and Mitch think that I was involved in the mess. How many more think that Bill and I are involved. I shouted to myself. Stop thinking about the damn money, I was the one that wanted it and I got it. When I tell George and Mike that I won the lottery, they will tear down Bill by saying that they knew Bill could not have accomplished this without help from somewhere. It increased my desire not to tell anyone about the lottery. Go look for your sisters.

I plugged in the names of my two sisters and the town where Mitch said that they may live. Bingo, both of them came up in their maiden name. I was wondering if they had gotten divorced. I took down their addresses and phone numbers. Which one should I call first? I flipped a penny that had been sitting on my desk for a couple of years. It was just a reminder of how much I want a penny in the earlier part of my life. Heads was for Martha and tails was for Mattie. I flipped the penny and looked at it, it was tails.

I looked at the time. It would be about ten in the morning out west. I dialed Mattie’s number, it ran and ran until the answering machine come on. I did my spill and left my phone number. The voice on the answering machine did not sound like any one in my clan. I hung up the phone and then I dialed Martha’s number. This time a young voice answered. I asked if she was Martha. She said, “No, Martha is my mother. Who is calling?”

I told her that my name was Molly Malone and I was looking for my two sisters, Martha and Mattie.”

The girl on the other end of the line sounded like she was going crazy. She yelled, “Mom, Molly Malone is on the phone.”

I heard a dish splattering the floor and a gasp and then rapped footsteps running. A nervous voice said, “Molly where have you been. It has been over ten years that Mattie and I have been looking for you.”

I said, “I have been doing the same. With help of Mitch I found you.”

Martha said, “Where do you live. There isn’t any Malone’s living in Sunny Ville.”

I said, “There is a Molly Johnson living in Sunny Ville.”

Martha said, “Oh my God, I never thought about you getting married. You didn’t get married to one of those Johnson boys that lived down the road from us, did you?”

“Yes Martha, I married the best one of the litter.”

Martha let out a slight gasp, and said, “It wasn’t George was it?”

“No it wasn’t George. I married Bill.”

Martha said, “That little kid. He was the runt of the litter.”

I said, “Do you remember Spot?”

“Yes, what about Spot?”

I said, “Spot was the runt of the litter and he turned out to be the best one of the litter. That little Billy Johnson turned out to be the best of the litter. Paul is almost as nice as Billy.”

Martha said, “How did George turn out. He was an ass hole.”

I said, “He still is. I don’t think he will ever change.”

Martha wanted to use her nickel on the phone and said that she would call me back. I told her not to worry about the money. Bill and I don’t have any money problems. I finally asked her about Mattie. Martha said, “That poor thing, she has had one husband after another. I don’t think she will find someone that she really likes.”

We talked for about everything that happened since she and Mattie left home. I told her about Mom and Pops Will. She said that the farm wasn’t worth a dollar. I told her to give me Mattie phone number and the best time to call her. Martha said that Mattie has two jobs and she doesn’t know when would be a good time for me to call her. From the conversation, Martha wasn’t much better off than Mattie. She had three kids that were in high school and a husband that was a wino. He had a minimum wage job and so dud Martha.  We continued to chat until I told her that I had to go back to work.

I hung up the phone and dialed Mitch’s number. Mike answered. I told Mike that with Mitch’s help I found Martha and Mattie. Mitch wasn’t at the garage. He was delivering a car to a customer. I gave him a short version of Martha and my conversation. During the conversation Mike hinted about the money we gave him and Mitch. I told Mike the same thing I told George. Bill worked 18 hours a day for 15 years and never spent a dime on himself. I asked Mike how many beers does he drink everyday and the packs of cigarettes had he smoke over the last fifteen years. This must have hit a nerve. Mike snapped back, “OK, OK, I got you point. I don’t like to live that way. I like to live my life the way I enjoy it.”

I did not want to listen to his bull shit. Mike wasn’t his cake and eat it too. He is like the millions of poor soles. They don’t know that you cannot have it both ways. I said, “Just tell Mitch I called.”

I hung up before Mike could say a word. My thoughts went back to the conversation I had with George the day he left. Two of a kind, Bill and I both have one in the family. Do all families have at least one kid in the family that is like Mike and George?

The morning was shot. I still had my work to do. I loved having the money, but I hated keeping track of it and I could not think of anyone that I could trust, so, I have to did it myself.

I started working on the books. Lunch came and was gone. I thought I would not die if I didn’t eat lunch. As the day slid by my stomach started to growl. I called Liz and told her what I wanted and ask Millie to bring it over. I wanted to tell her about her lost sisters.

I continued working on the books until Millie came in. I could hear her talking to Pat and the other girls. She asked where I was. Mabel must have pointed down the hall. Within seconds Millie opened the door and said, “I hear that you have found our long lost sisters. Where are they?”

While working on the books, eating my lunch, I shortened the conversation I had with Martha. Millie listened attentively not saying a word. When I finished, Millie asked, “Are they going to move back to Sunny Ville?”

I told her that her guess was as good as mine.

After I finished eating my lunch and bringing Millie up to date on the remainder of our family, I asked her to please leave. I had to finish the day’s work. Millie appeared to resent the fact that I was asking her to leave. I looked up from the books and said, “Do you want to give up your apartment and pay the rent.”

Millie said in loud voice, “What do you mean? You know that I cannot afford it.”

I said, “If you don’t go back to work and let me do my job, I will have to hire an accountant to do my job. Where am I going to get the money to pay the accountant?

Millie said, “Oh, I leaving.”

Millie stopped at the door and said, “Do you have to rent my apartment so you can pay for an accountant. If you do I will move out and find another place to rent.”

I said, “No honey, I will be up all night if I don’t get these books up to date. Too many people in this government don’t like to half ass jobs on the book keeping. Good bye.”

Millie said, “I am gone.”

She eases the door shut.

I called home. Pamela answered the phone. I told her that I would be late getting home and I spent the morning looking for her aunts and that I found them. I had to do the books before I came home. Pamela wanted to know if she and daddy could come to the bank and keep me company. I said that with you and Dad being here, I could not do my work. From the tone of Pamela voice she realized why she could not be here while I was working. Pamela said that she understood and told me not to work so hard.

With my mind thinking about everything that happened today, Time flew by. I thought that I would never finish the books. It was a job that I had to do at the bank. All the data was on the computer and I could not log on from home.

On the way home I wondered if someday I could find some honest sole that would not rob me and have enough trust in him or her to hire them. The way I felt now, there wasn’t anyone but Bill. He is loaded down just like I am, if not more.

It was late and Bill had sent Linda home. After dinner Pamela told Bill and me to go to bed. She would clean up the dishes. I told her not to worry about the dishes and do her homework. Pamela said, “I did my homework while I was waiting for you to come home. Dad helped me when I had a problem. He is a good teacher. I think he is better than any of the teachers I have at school. If things get worse, Dad can get a job teaching.”

I took Pamela and hugged her and said, “I am a very lucky girl. Finding your father was the greatest thing that I have done. I would not have had you. With Bill being your father, that is why you are so smart. Good night darling.”

By the time I got upstairs Bill was already in bed. I hurried and only took a quick shower. Like other emergencies, I went to bed with a wet body and said, “Warm me up honey.”

He pulled me against his warm body and kisses me a dozen times. I knew what he wanted to do. I whispered, “Pamela is still awake. I am sure at her age she knows what parents do in bed. I knew at her age what Mom and Pop did. Mom told the us girls that making love is part of being a parent. If your father and I did not make love, you all would not be here.”

Bill said, “Well we all knew what Mom and Pop were doing. They never brought up the subject.”

I said, “Speaking about families, as I told you, with the help of Mitch, I found Martha and Mattie. They live it California about two hundred miles from Mitch. To my surprise Martha had been trying to get in touch with me for years. All of her searching was for Molly Malone, not Molly Johnson. Martha said that every six months or so she would try again without any luck. Once things cool down, I am going out to see them. I think Mattie is having troubles making a living for herself. With all the cash we have neither one of our brothers and sisters should have to suffer when we can make their life pleasant.”

Bill said, “I know what you mean. As much as I hated George stepping all over me, I feel sorry for him. I know he dug a hole for himself and he is going to have a hard time getting out of it. His attitude about everyone’s life stinks. He feels that if someone is better off than he is, they did something illegal to get where they are. That includes us. He pressured the hell out of me trying to get me to tell him who I or you stole the money from. I told him that if he thinks that we stole money from someone to get ahead; I wanted him out of our home and not to ever come back. Did George presser you?”

I did not want to lie to Bill and said, “When he came to the bank to say goodbye, he kind of hinted that he knew we could not have gotten where we are without getting money from someone. I told George that we pinched our pennies all winter to beef up the number of animals we had and sold them in the hot blazing sun in the summer.”

I heard Pamela coming up the stairs and she said, “You two go to sleep. You both have a hectic day tomorrow and you need your rest.”

Bill said, “Yes mommy, come in and tuck us in.”

Pamela came and climbed into bed between us and said, “I will always tuck my two lovable kids in bed because I love you both.”

The tone of her voice and listening to her words brought tears to my eyes. After Bill and I flooded her face with kisses we all went to bed.

When I woke up, Bill and Pamela were both downstairs. Pamela had finished her breakfast and was leaving to catch her school bus. Bill and Linda were discussing what we all wanted for supper tonight. I kept quiet so I could hear what they were going to feed me tonight. I usually had lunch at the restaurant and I never knew that Bill and Linda planned our dinners.

They never mentioned their daily discussion about dinner. I always thought that it was Linda’s choice of what we ate. I chuckled and thought how wonderful the dinners were, why interfere with their decisions. 

I did my morning usual and thanked Linda for a wonderful breakfast. She sounded like she was quite pleased that I enjoyed her cooking. Linda helped me get my things and gave me her daily inspection to see that I had everything that I had to take to work with me and my clothes were nicely arranged. In a way, I liked this, Linda had seen me over the years looking for everything I had to take to work with me and it made my day a little more pleasant.

I took off for work and got there at the same time Mabel arrived. She said, “I have been expecting someone to come to the bank to get Elizabeth money out of the vault. When I was helping her put back the money in box, there was a hell of a lot of big bills in it. It has to be at least a couple of million if not more in it.

I looked at Mabel and said, “I hope you haven’t mentioned this to anyone else.”

Mabel looked over at me and said, “Molly, I learned the very week that I went to work for Ben that you never discuss the amount of money with anybody except your boss, and usually when there is a problem.”

Mabel had gotten my attention, “Mabel, what did you learn?”

Mabel said, “Do you remember that big home that was where the new development was built.”

This had stretched my memory. I could not recall the house. We unlocked the bank and went in. I said to Mabel, “Give me a hint.”

Mabel said, “You must have heard about the huge haunted house up in the woods where a real witch lived. There were at least six dead bodies found on the property. The medical examiners could not find any evidence of how or why they died; the examiners said that they all were in good health and the examiners thought that they died from fright.”

I said, “I remember one time when dad had taken us all to a big gathering and on the way home we passed the house. Dad told us that we should never go onto the property because it had a witch living there and she had frightened a number of people to death. What about it.”

Mabel said, “One of the clerks at the bank told us that she was the wealthiest person in town and she was the meanest person in the world and she was constantly depositing very large sums of money into her account. At times she would bring in a heavy suitcase and open an account for another large safety deposit box. The woman was out of the bank and the front door was closed. When the clerk started telling us about the woman, the woman spun around and stared at the bank with a look that could kill. Guess whose body was found a couple of days after she told us the story.”

I said, “The clerks.”

Mabel said, “How did you know. You must have heard about the story.”

I said, “It was obvious, but it was a wild guess.”

Mabel continued, “A couple days before the clerks body was found the old woman had an armored truck come to the bank, she closed out all of her accounts including a number of safety deposit boxes. She sold the haunted house and moved out of town. After she moved out there, there weren’t any more dead bodies found up there.”

The rest of the gang walked through the door. I whispered to Mabel, “You better not tell anyone else about the witch. We may find your body up in the woods.”

Mabel gave me this weird look and said in a spooky tone, “Oh my God. Me and my stupid mind, that bitch will come back and kill me.”

I told Mabel not to tell any of the girls about the story. She looked at me and said, “I have already told them.”

What a way to start a day. I would bet my last penny on this was the beginning of the Sunny Ville embezzlement.  The curiosity was getting the best of me. As the day passed the witch problem kept popping up in my mind. It seemed like the witch was listening to my thoughts. It was like hell all over again. Was Elizabeth the witch that scared the life out of all those poor souls or another one of the Governors relatives?”

I shut the door and started working on the books. Every few minutes my thoughts were drawn off of the books by my thoughts about the haunted house. I would force myself to continue working on the books. The internal press of the haunted house was haunting me. I could not think of anything else but the haunted house. I closed my books and got the key for the vault. I sneaked across the hall to the vault. I knew that Jack would see me in the vault and he would not know the reasons that I had to be in the vault. I went to the desk where the records were. There were dozens of ledgers. They were in the order of the dates they were used. I pulled all of the ledgers out of the desk trying to put them in the correct order. I open the bottom ledger and the dates the boxes were open was forty years ago when the bank was firsts opened. Mabel was eighteen when she started working at the bank. With her being thirty six now, the woman that lived in the haunted house lived there about eighteen years ago. I subtracted eighteen years from today date and got the years that the woman had withdrawn all of her money out of the bank. The woman that had visited the vault the largest number of time was Patty Miller. She had opened a safety depot box account twenty five years ago. She had accessed the box every week after she opened the account. All of the other customer’s visited their boxes randomly and not very often.  

 Patty was the only person that had opened their box every week. Patty purchases another larger box almost every month. My thoughts, where in hell did she get all the money from to keep filling up the larger boxes? I sat there thinking about Patty. What was her background? How old was she when she had the account for the boxes. I returned all of the ledgers neatly back into the desk drawer. I made sure that I had returned everything to its proper place. When I got back in my office I dialed John Richard. When he answered he said, “What can I do for you. As I told you, no one wants to stick out their neck. There isn’t enough evidence to have anyone locked up.”

I said, “John, I know that. I want you to do me a favor. I may have another link to the SV problems. Would you see if you can find out who Patty Miller is and where she may be living or if she is living?”

John said, “Where in hell did you dig her up?”

I said, “When and if you find out about her, I will tell you where I found her. I don’t want to link her with anyone else or anything else until I find some information on her.”

John said, “Can you give me a hint?”

I said, “John, if I told you why I wanted to know about her, it would side track your investigation and may taint it. Please do this for me, it is driving me crazy. I cannot get it out of my mind. It is interfering with my business and my home life.”

John said, “I will put someone looking for Patty…….what was her last name.”

I replied, “Miller, Patty Miller. She has to be sixty years old or older, but don’t let her age interfere with your investigation. She may have a relative that was named after her.”

John said, “We are packed down with work. I don’t know when I will be able to squeeze it in.”

I thanked John for his efforts and hung up. This did not stop me from thinking about Patty Miller. I remembered that Matt had subscribed to the Sunny Ville newspaper. I went to school with a young girl that worked at the paper. I wonder if she is still working there. I called the paper and asked to speak to Judy. I was connected to Judy’s phone almost instantly. Judy said, “This Judy Morris, can I help you.”

I said, “This is Molly Malone I haven’t seen or talked to you in years.”

Judy said, “Molly, are you still using your maiden name?”

“No Judy, I thought you might not know me by my married name.”

Judy said, “I have been following you and Bill’s lift since you won the lottery. You and Bill have turned this little burg around. We have wanted to write a story about Bill and your success over the years.”

I asked, “How did you know that we won the lottery?”

Judy chuckled and said, “All news papers have ways of digging out information. Since our source said that if we let out the information, we would never get any more information from them. We get most of our inside information from the one that told us that you had won the lottery.”

I said, “Judy, please don’t tell anyone about us winning the lottery. Our country girl life would be destroyed.”

Judy said, “No one will ever get it out of me. Now what can I do for you?”

“Judy, as you well know how many attempts we have had with someone trying to rob the bank and the Sunny Ville embezzlement. A few more individuals’ names have popped up in the Fed’s investigation that may tie to the embezzlement. Does your paper keep track of individuals that have been published in the SV newspaper?”

Judy said, “A few years ago business had dropped off some much that no one had anything to do. As you know, the paper is a family business and we computerized all the news since the paper was open. It makes our research very easy. Who do you want to know about?”

I said, “As you well know about the embezzlement, a new name just popped up. This goes back twenty years ago. Her name is Patty Miller.”

Judy said, “Hold on Molly, I will put a search on Patty Miller and see what comes up.”

As I waited, I could hear a printer running. I said to myself, what have I gotten myself into? I bet there have been a hundred pages printed.

Judy said, “Patty Miller has a history in SV. I haven’t had a chance to look at it. The printer is still printing. Where did you get her name from?”

“Judy, she was a customer of the bank twenty years ago. I think she was quite wealthy. For some unknown reason she closed out her account at the bank. I am just curious why she closed her account.”

Judy said, “We have a young boy that works here, I will send him over with the results of our search. Are you at the bank? If a story comes out of this let me know. “

“Yes Judy, I am at the bank. I am walking on thin ice. I have the Feds looking over my shoulder. I will have to talk to Attorney Wilson before I tell anyone about Patty Miller. Most of the information about the embezzlement has already been published. Anything that has comes out of the courts is public information. I am sure you know that. I have seen it all in the papers. If anything new comes out of this and I am allowed to give the information to the public you will be the only person that I will give it to. Thanks again.”

I was mentally locked in with Patty Miller that I could not do anything else but look out the window and wait for the young man to arrive. Each second felt like an hour had passed. All of a sudden my bladder felt like it was going to burst. I took one more look out the window. I did not see anyone coming. I ran down the hall to my bathroom. Oh, what a relief it was. I thought that it would never end. Where in hell did all the fluids come from? Once I was finished and washed my hands, I went out to the lobby. I heard a young man say, “Where is Miss Malone. I have a package for her.”

Before Mabel said anything, I blurted out, “Here I am.”

The young man handed me the package and I said, “Follow me.”

I opened the door to my office and invited him in and shut the door. I saw that look of lust in his face as we walked over to my desk. I had not had anyone that young look with lust on their face since high school. I smiled at him and said, “Thank you very much. I want to give you something for bringing the package to me.”

There was no question about what he was wishing I would give him. I open my pocket book and took out a $10 bill and gave it to him. He reached with both hands and clasped his hands around my hand. While still smiling at him, I slowly pulled my hand out of his hands.  Damn it my libido was fired up. I could not believe the way I felt. Usually, when some bastard looks at me the way he looked at me, I want to slap the look off their face. In a way it made me feel good about myself. Having the young man look at me the way he did made me feel I was still a young girl.

I walked him to the door and again thanked him for bringing the package. As he walked down the hall to the lobby, he turned with the same look on his face.

The moment I shut the door, my thoughts went back to Patty Miller. I picked up the phone and called Judy. When she answered the phone, I thanked her for the documents. Judy said, “Did that little wimp flirt with you?”

I said, “No he did not flirt with me, but he had a hungry look on his face. I think is coming of age. He must look at all women the same way.”

Judy said, “No, just the older ones. He keeps us alive. I have to kick him out of my office. I am afraid that I just might rape him. He is only 16 years old.”

I said, “It is nice to know that when you are over thirty, there is someone out there that wants you.”

Judy laughed and said, “How nice it feels when we know that we are still wanted, no matter what age we are.”

Again I thanked Judy for the documents and hung up. I opened the package. The list of stories were arrange from the present to the past. I thumbed through the pages. Patty Miller had been in the headlines for a long time. She had been in politics almost since she was born. I searched the page until I found articles about her twenty years ago. It appeared that if you wanted to get elected for any office in the state. You had to have Patty Miller blessings. I search to see if I could find where she lived 20 years ago. Sure as hell she lived in Sunny Ville. It did not give her address. The paper only said the event were at her estate in Sunny Ville. I continued searching; I found an article about a birthday party for her son Steve. I had a flash back to the funeral for Steve and the other. That was the first time I had heard Steve last name. Now I knew how Steve got away with all the crap that he pulled. He always thought that he was the King of Sunny Ville. As I continued to read through the files, it wasn’t Margaret Stone that started and controlled the embezzlement. It was Patty Miller. Margaret Stone was not employed by the tax department until about ten years ago. Those bastards had framed Margaret Stone. I spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon reading about Patty Miller. From the news articles Mrs. Patty Miller controlled everything that the State did and her husband. Her husband was one of the six bodies that were found on Patty Miller’s property. This was the problem that I thought should be investigated. Patty Miller wasn’t a witch, she was a rotten bitch. It was no wonder Steve turned out the way he did. His mother trained him well.

I called John Richards. When John answered, he said to me, “Molly, you did not give me enough time.”

I interrupted John, and said, “You don’t have to look up Patty Miller. I know all I need to know about her. She is the one that started Sunny Ville embezzlement, and had six people killed, one of the victims was her late husband. The prosecutor convicted the wrong woman for starting the Sunny Ville embezzlement. The embezzlement was started years before Margaret Stone went to work for the State. Put some paper in your fax machine and give me the number. When you don’t have anything better to do, please read about life in Sunny Ville, in the Sunny Ville Press. If you want more information please call Judy at the Sunny Ville Press.”

I hung up the phone before John had a chance to reply.

I gave Mabel the stack of documents and John’s fax number and told her to please fax these to John. When things slacked off, I read about Steve and his mother’s life. My best guess Steve’s mother Patty Miller was the witch that killed all of those people or had someone else kill them.

I went back into my office and said to myself, “Let the Feds straighten out this mess.”

I dial Judy’s number. When she answered, I said, “Honey, I cannot thank you enough. Mabel is faxing the files to the Feds. They are the ones that started the mess. The State and the Feds should have investigated this mess years ago. Frankly, I think everyone in the top echelons of the State and the local Federal agents were involved this mess. I think the Feds were aware of this mess, but they did not have enough information that the Attorney General could build a case against the top echelons. With the money and influence that Patty Miller had, she could scare the living hell out of the top echelons.”

Judy said, “Molly, every since I came to work at the SVP, we were told not to get involved with any of the politicians. SVP is a local news paper that keeps the citizen of SV informed about the local events. I don’t know what the bosses at SVP knew or did not want to know what the politicians were up to. When the shit hit the fan, we were given the right to write what we pleased without any interference from the top brass. Otherwise, I would not have been allowed to give you the information that I sent you.”

I said, “You might get a few calls from Agent John Richards. There are a few things that have to be straightened out. Margaret Stone wasn’t working for the State at the time this mess started. The bastard that said she started the embezzlement was probably the one that ran the embezzlement when she was hired. Down deep in my heart, Margaret Stone was framed.”

Judy said, “Molly I think you have given me a story that will hit the headlines across the state. I have been wishing that I could get into a story that would keep me busy for a long time.  I will do my best to get Margaret Stone released and cleared of starting the embezzlement, thanks Molly.”

I leaned back in my chair and let out a deep breath. I prayed that Judy would be able to pressure the Attorney General to review Margaret case.

I hit Mabel’s button. She answered and said, “I finished sending the fax. Is there something else that I can do?”

I chuckled and said, “Yes honey, I have to finish working on the books. Don’t let anyone disturb me for the rest of the day.”

Mabel said, “Have a nice day. We will not need you here today.”

I could hear Peg say, “I did not see Molly leave.”

With nothing else on my mind, I found the spot where I left off and buried my thoughts into what I was doing. Time seamed to fly bye. The inside phone line rang. I picked up the phone and Mabel said, “It’s time to lock up. I have logged all the clerks’ receipts. Is there anything else that I can do for you?”

I said, “No honey, with your help, I am almost finished. Have a good evening and lock up the all of the outside door. Thanks again. Good night.”

I went back to the books. I was finished in less than an hour. I let out a sigh of relief and looked outside. There was no one around. There was almost no traffic on the highway. I picked up the phone and started to call home. I saw Bill’s car driving into the parking lot. I watched him walking up to the bank. He glanced at the window in my office. I knew that he could not see into my office. The bright sun reflected off of the window. I don’t know why I just sat there and did not run to the front door. Bill tried to open the door. Then he looked at the parking lot. He turned around and tried the door again. Like a flash, I came out of my trance. I got up and ran to the front door in my bare feet. Bill had turned around and was leaving. I quickly opened the door and said, “Can I help you young man.”

With a weird look on his face, he stared at me for a few seconds. With a bright smile on his face, Bill said, “Yes mam, I am looking for a beautiful young lady that would go home with me.”

I took Bill’s hand and pulled him into the bank and locked the door. I jumped up and landed on Bill with my arms around his neck and my legs wrapped around his waist. I planted kisses across his face and said, “I don’t have to go home with you, I have a bed here. Do you want to join me?”

Bill said, “Do I have to answer that? I will go to hell and back with you.”

I said, “Give me a moment. I want to brush my teeth and a few other things before you can join me.”

Bill said, “Do you have a spare tooth brush?”

I said, “Go into my desk drawer and take all you want.”

With the load of the books out of my mind and also the embezzlement temporally out of my mind. Bill and I had the most enjoyable moment together since we first made love. I did not want it to end.

I locked my car and went home with Bill. On the way home I told Bill about the old issues of the Sunny Ville Press. Bill had remembered his father and his friends talking about the Witch living in Sunny Ville.

When we finally got home, Pamela wanted to know where we had been. Bill said, “Your mother is a very busy woman. She is loaded down with being the manager of the bank, and the restaurant. “

Pamela told Linda that she could go home and she would clean up after we had eaten. Linda and Pamela had eaten earlier.

For the next months of so Judy wrote a continuing article about Sunny Ville and the people involved in the embezzlement. It looks like she had put pressure of the Attorney General office to take another hard look at the history of Sunny Ville. She had written an article about me and how much I was involved in the settlement of the embezzled money and the share that everyone got.  Also Judy said that if I had not researched the records, Margaret Stone would have never gotten out of jail. Margaret was acquitted  

Of all charges against her and received a large settlement for the aggravation and time she spent in jail.

With Sunny Ville out of my mind, I went back to rounding up my two older sisters. I flew out to California to see Martha and Mattie. With Mattie working two jobs at minimum wage and not having any other income, poor thing, she doesn’t have time for any relaxation. How well I know how that feels. Martha wasn’t that much better off. With the three kids and her husband, Sandy, making only minimum wages and hooked of booze, it was a wonder the kids had anything to eat. Well, with Martha working, it may have given them a chance to enjoy other things in life. I thought about my life for a moment. All I have been doing in my life was working. Did I want more? Yes I did.

Visit to Martha and Mattie:

The plane was landing. I had called Martha before I left and told her where I would be landing. It was quite late at night and I did not want to be alone in an area that I don’t know anything about. Mattie and Martha with her family were all waiting for me to arrive. With all the hugging and kissing I missed my luggage. When I looked for my luggage and did not see it, I said, “Oh shit.”

Sandy said, “Molly, what’s the matter?”

“They lost my luggage.”

Sandy said, “Don’t worry about it. If it came in with you, it will be in that stack over there. After the luggage goes around the loop, they take it off and stack it on that wagon.”

We all went over and at the bottom the pile was my two suitcases. The attendant gave me a hard time for not taking it off.  With a pissed off look on his face, I handed him a ten dollar bill. I had never seen anyone change their mood as quickly as this attendant. Mattie pulled over a luggage cart. Sandy put the two bags on the cart. I told them that I had rented a car and I had to go and pick it up. Sandy said, “We have enough room in our station wagon.”

I said, “When you all of you are at work, I would like to see your City and do some shopping.”

Sandy said, “What should I expect out of you. Your two sisters are always shopping. That is their favorite pastime.”

Mattie said, “Good, you will be living with me. Between jobs, we can go look at the City.”

Martha said, “Are you hungry?”

“No honey, they filled me up on the plane.”

Mattie and I followed Sandy and Martha to Mattie home. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. With a lot of hugging kissing and we will see you tomorrow, Sandy took off with his family.

Mattie helped me with my suitcases. Her home was small but nicely kept. The furnishings were not cheap and not extravagant. As a matter of fact they were better than the ones that I had at home. It was a two bedroom home in a very nice area. From what Martha had said, I had a complete surprise. Mattie was well dressed and had a very nice wardrobe.  She pushed her things aside so I could have some room to hang my cloths. We did not waste any time getting ready for bed. Mattie had to go to work early tomorrow.

The following morning I was awaken by the toilet being flushed. How well I know that sound. I got out of bed and went into the bath and did my thing. I quickly got dress and went into the kitchen. Mattie said, “Oh, you are awake. You can sleep as long as you wish.”

I said, “I did not see a car outside. I can give you a ride to work.”

Mattie said, “I am in a car pool. I don’t want you to have to put up with the traffic. I think everyone in the City goes to work at the same time. On the dining room table is my schedule and where you can get in touch with me. Also, there is Martha address and phone number. Martha will be working until about 3:30.  Two of the girls may be home. Give them a call and find out when you can join them.”

Mattie came over to me, she hugged and kissed me and said, “You don’t know how happy we are that we found you. We both felt terrible about leaving you alone with Mom and Pop.  I have spent so many sleepless nights wanting to kill myself for leaving you. This weekend I will have two days with you. The three of us will have the whole day together without Sandy and the girls. Help yourself to anything in the house.”

I heard a car horn blowing. Mattie said, “That’s my ride.”

I walked out to the front door with Mattie. Someone in the car yelled, “Bring Molly out here. We want to see if she is as beautiful as you are.”
Mattie yelled back, “I did not want you guys to see her. She is twice as good-looking as Martha and me.”

With the carpools persuasion, I walked with Mattie to the car. Mattie had some very nice friends.  They complemented me and said I was better looking than Mattie and Martha. This I denied and said that they were nicer looking than I was. I watched them drive away waving at me. I knew that they were just being nice, but it lifted me a notch or two.  

I went back into the house. For no know reason, I felt so alone and depressed. I was in a strange City that I did not know a damn thing about. What the hell am I going to do? I sat down on the couch and turned on the
TV. I could not find anything that I wanted to watch. I fell asleep on the couch and I did not know how long I had been sleeping. I was awaken by a gruff voice yelling, he said, “Get up you lazy fucking bitch. What in hell are you doing a home? Get your ass up and go to work.”

I was frightened out of my wits. I jump out of the bed and ran into the kitchen. I open the drawer looking a knife. I grabbed one before the bastard got into the kitchen. When he walked into the kitchen, I held out the knife and said, “Get the fuck out of here. What are you doing in here?”

He snapped back, “What the fuck are you doing in here. Where is Mattie?”

I said, “She left for work early this morning.”

I had my left hand resting on the pocket of my house coat. I felt my cell phone in the pocket. I turned around slowly eased my hand into the pocket and open the phone. I dialed 911. I prayed that I had punched the right numbers. When the operator answered I said, “A man broke into my sister home and he is threatening me.”

The intruder yelled out, “You crazy bitch. Who the fuck are you. What in hell are you doing here?”

I said, “I am visiting my sister, who the hell are you.”

He takes a step closer to me. I lunged at him with the knife in my hand. He jumps back and trips on the door and falls to the floor. I raised my arms as to throw the knife at him. He raises his hand as to protect himself and yells, “Please don’t do that lady. I will get out of here. Just don’t throw that knife at me. “

I yelled, “Get out of here and don’t come back.”

He quickly gets up and again lunged at me. I slashed at him as if I was cutting a corn stalk down. The tip of the knife cut into his forearm. The sight of the blood coming out of the cut and the pain must have scared the hell out of him. He turns and runs to the front door. As he pushes open the screen door, he was face to face with two cops. He stops in his tracks and yells, “That bitch is trying to kill me.”

I laid the knife in the sink and turned on the water. I grabbed a couple of paper towels from the dispenser and quickly wiped the blood off of the floor in the kitchen. I put the bloody paper towel into the garbage can and headed for the front door. I got their in time to see him tell the cops that some bitch had broken into his ex-wife home. Calmly I said, “Officer, this is my sister home. I got here last night. My sister and her carpool left around seven this morning. About five minutes ago this man came into the house. I had fallen asleep on the couch. He assumed that I was his wife. He cursed and harassed me. Not know who he was I ran into the kitchen and got a knife. He followed me into the kitchen. He came at me and I swung the knife at him. The tip of the knife nicked him on the arm. He backs up quickly and trips. He fell to the floor. He gets up and ran to the front door. I think you know the rests.”

One of the policeman said, “We are well aware of his antics, we have been out here a number of times. There is a restraining order to keep him a mile from this house.”

I said, “From what he said when he saw me sleeping on the couch, he did not expect to find anyone at home. He thought that I was his wife and wanted to know why she wasn’t at work. I think he was going to ransack the house and I spoiled his plans.”

The officer asked, “Would you like to press charges against him?”

I shook my head and said, “The only thing that he did to me was to scare the hell out of me. I had no idea who in hell he was and his intentions. My brothers had warned me not to be in a house alone. If I did, I would be a target for some unscrupulous bastard. How right they were.”

The policeman laughed and said, “We do have a problem here.”

He glances at Mattie ex-husband said, “I hope you don’t do something like this again.”

They took Mattie ex-husband and put him in the back seat of the cruiser. They waved at me as they pulled away. Thank God that was over. Or is it, I hope it is over for Mattie and me! Poor Mattie will have to put up with his shit.

I took a shower, put on a face and unpacked my suitcases. Thankful there was plenty of room and hangers in the bedroom closet. I had planned to go on a sightseeing tour of the area and go over and see Martha two girls. I looked at my watch and said that they would not be home from school. Instead, I fixed myself a sandwich flipped through the channels on the TV. I had not watched the daytime shows in a long time. None of the ones that I had watched before were still playing. I was wondering if the three hour time difference changed the programs. Just in case I fell asleep again, I went to the front door and locked it. I looked at my watch. Pamela would be home from school. I dialed my home number. When Pamela answered, I felt like I had won the lottery again. I hardly ever get to talk to Pamela; someone else always answers the Phone. When she heard my voice she went crazy. She wanted every detail of my trip and information about her new found members of our family. I spent the next hour answering questing about the flight and our family. I did not tell her about the incident with Mattie ex-husband. About the time I was hanging up with Pamela, Bill walks in. He wanted to know who she was talking to. I had to spend another half hour telling everything that I told Pamela. I asked Bill if he would like to come out here. He said, “I have had enough of families. Enjoy yourself and stay as long as you want. The frugal side of me said, “I will have to pay a fee to have the return date changed.”

Bill said, “Stop worrying about money. You won it, now enjoy it. You will never spend it all or give all of it away.”

I said, “We lived on the edge for so long that my frugalness is part of me and I cannot get rid of it. Love you, Bye”

I did one of my usual; I hang up before Bill could say a word. I want to end the money conversation.

I took out my notebook and looked for Martha’s two girls’ names. Penny was the youngest. She was16 and Pamela was 17. Like Mom, Martha did not have very much time to rest between births. What else did Mom and Pop have to do to get a little excitement out of life? I should never say anything about anyone else’s life. I was so damn horny that at time it was driving me crazy. God bless Martha, she did not forget her past. She named her oldest daughter after Mom.

I dialed Martha number. The phone was ranging for a long time. Oh shit. They are not at home yet. Not that I am thinking about others personality. My vocabulary is almost as bad as Bill’s. I was about to hang up when it sounded that one of the girls was out of breath. I said, “Don’t say anything. Get your breath and then we will talk.”

She said, “This must be Aunt Molly. You have a southern accent.  Can we come over to Aunt Mattie? We did not have a chance to talk to you.”

I said, “Can I come and pick you up?”

Penny said, “It will only take us five minutes to get over to Aunt Mattie home.”

No knowing how to get to Martha’s home it was a blessing. I said, “Come on over. I will be waiting for you.”

While I was waiting, I started comparing the difference between my three sisters and me. Millie and was about my size, and she was beautiful. She looked more like Pop’s side of the family. Martha, Mattie and I resembled Mom side of the family. Mattie was taller than Martha and me. Mattie with that tall slim body and beautiful face made her stand out more than the rest of the girls. All the boys were carbon copies of Pop. I did not get enough time last night to see who Penny and Pamela looked like. When they popped in the door, there was no question which side of the family they resembled. They were definitely Malone’s. I stood up to welcome them. They both were very affectionate. The affection they gave me made tears trickle down my cheeks. For a moment they thought they had done something to disappoint me. I told them these were happy tears and I was so happy to see and be with them. I explained to them that I had been looking for the rest of family for a long time and I was very glad that I had finally found all of our family. They wanted to know everything about the rest of the family. I started with Mille and ended with them. I told them about the Christmas party that we had. They wished that they could have been there with the rest of the family. I was about to change to another subject when Mattie drove up with her carpool. We went to the door to welcome Mattie. She was surprised to see Penny and Pamela with me. I explained to Mattie that I called them and I did not know how to get to their home and I would still be lost trying to find my way to Martha’s.

Mattie gave all of us a soft drink. We sat and told stories about the past and they brought laughter and tears to all of us. It was a very pleasant to hear what Mattie life was like. She has had very difficult times during her life. Comparing it with mind, she has had a more difficult life than I had. The lottery money could have made her life a lot more pleasant. I had second thoughts; money would not have solved a number of her difficult times. It may have made it worse.

Martha broke up the gathering. She called and asked if her babies were with us. Mattie said that they were and we all were going out to dinner and to get Sandy to take a bath and rinse his mouth out before he sets foot in her house. I could hear the jolly voice of Martha saying, “I made him take two packages of mints with him last night. He will have to take three packs tonight.

After the girls went home I told her about the encounter that I had with her ex-husband. Mattie said that I should have butchered him and feed him to the hogs when I went back home. While we were taking a shower we discussed her three marriages. The first marriage only lasted for about 6 months until she found out that he was having an affair with two other women. He had screwed up his evening itinerary. He had invited Mattie to a dinner downtown at a very nice restaurant. When Mattie arrived her husband was already having dinner with another woman. Mattie said that she was furious. She waited in her car until they had finished their dinner. She followed them to a motel. She gave them a few minutes to get started, Then she walked up knocks on the door and said, “Room service, I have the towels that you ordered. The woman came to the door necked and put her arm around the door. She pushes the door open and saw her husband necked lying on the bed. She took out her cell phone that her husband had given her and took pictures of the two of them. The divorce was simple and quick. Mattie got the house, a car and fifty thousand dollars.

The next marriage was with the asshole that came in to day. He ruined the car, stole most of the money that she had gotten from the earlier divorce. Like a fool, Mattie married her first husband again. She forgave him and he promised that he would never cheat on her again. The second time with him, it only lasted for three months before she caught them doing it in the back seat of his car only a couple of blocks from their home. The second husband has harassed her so much that she had to pay a fortune to have a restraining order slapped on him. He doesn’t have a pot to piss in and he sneaks into her home stealing things to sell or see if Mattie had money hiding in the house. Thankful, today was final time that he could have a reprieve and not go to jail. He will be out of her hair for at least five year and have a parole hearing. And I thought that I had problems. Bill is a blessing. I think I would have killed both of Mattie husbands.

Martha arrived with her family. She wanted to ride with me and Mattie. If Mattie hadn’t driven I would have been lost. The restaurant that they picked was a nice restaurant. Not to lavish, but a little expensive. Looking at the menu the price were double the price at home. We spent the evening eating and talking about the happy times in our early lives. Fortunately neither one of us complained about the way we were brought up. We all understood that the times we were together, it was a very difficult time in our lives.

I excused myself and went to the ladies room. I only had to tinkle. On the way back to the table I gave the waiter my credit card and said to please put it all on this card and please do not to tell my guest. Since the check did not show up at the table. Martha told Sandy to go and get the check. I said, “Don’t bother; Bill is paying for my trip.”

After Martha grumbled with Sandy for a few minutes, nothing more was said about the check. It was quite late and the girls had to go to school tomorrow. Martha got in the car with Sandy and the girls. There was still a little tension about the check. When Mattie took off she said, “Sweetheart, we are not broke and we have debit cards. Martha and I could have paid the bill.”

I said, “Bill is quite well off. He is quite a good business man. He told me to pay for everything and do not leave you and Martha in debts that have to be paid for after I leave. Also, he has sent a gift to all of you. Bill wants me to give it to you on the last day that I am here. I plan to leave next Monday evening. It will not be as late as it was when I arrived.”

Mattie said, “What kind of gifts are you going to give us?”

I said, “Money, all I am allowed to give without you having to pay taxes on it. All of you are getting the same amount.”

Mattie said, “Sweetheart are you sure that you and Bill can afford a gift of that amount.”

I said, “Honey, you all can open up accounts with your checks. I will give you yours tomorrow to see if we have any trouble opening an account.”

I do not know what was going on in Mattie mind. I could see something was bothering her. As we were walking into the house, I said, “Something is bothering you. Please tell me what you are worried about.”

With a very serious look on Mattie face, she said, “Where did you get all of this money? Did Bill rob a bank?”

I chuckled and said, “No honey; Bill did not rob a bank? We both worked our butts off and carefully managed our investments. Please do not worry about the money. We gave the rest of the brood their share at the Christmas party we had last year. Call Matt, Mike or Mitch and ask them if they had any trouble with the checks.”

I could still tell that Mattie was bothered. We hurried to bed. She had to go to work tomorrow. I could hear Mattie tossing and turning most of the night. I did get a little sleep before the sun shined into the window. I heard Mattie working in the kitchen. I wrapped a robe around me went into the bath room. I took a shower and did my usual. Mattie called to me, “Breakfast is ready.”

I went into the kitchen. On a small table was our breakfast. I could see that she was concerned about the gifts. I said her, “What’s bothering you. You look upset. Is there something that I have done to upset you?”

She immediately said no. I could see that she was still troubled. I said, “Mattie I know that something that I said or done is bothering you. I knew it last night and I heard you tossing turning all night. I could not fall to sleep either.”

Mattie turned and stared at me for a few moments without saying anything. I said, “Get it the fuck off of your chest. Say it.”

Mattie yelled out, “Where the fuck did you and Bill get all the damn money. I am on probation. I did a stupid thing last year. I picked up a cheap necklace in a shop that I had purchased junk jewelry before. I walked out of the store without paying for it. The store reported it to the police. If I admitted that I stole it, I would not be sent to jail. I had to return the necklace. I have to report every three months for counseling. If I get involved in another incident, I could go to jail. I could be in jail for up to five years.”

For a moment I had a flashback to the day George came into my office. I knew that it was a great leap in our financial status in such a short period of time. Even though we did work our asses off, how could anyone believe that we had made that amount of money? Even Mike and Mitch thought that I stole it from the bank. I said, “Mattie, I assure you that the money is Bill’s and mine. It has not been stole from the bank that I manage or from anyone else. If you can go to a bank with me today and open a saving or checking account with the check that I am giving you. It will take about a week or two for the check to be processed. I am positive that the check will go through.”

Mattie said, “I work at a company that manufactures food products. They do not want you to come to work if you have a sniffle. They will fire you if knowing have a problem and still come to work. I have a slight sore throat. I will tell the carpool when they come to tell them that I have a sore throat. I am not allowed to associate with the other employees if I have any indications that I am sick.”

“Great, what time does the bank open?”

Mattie said, “Nine, we can spend the day together without Martha and her family tagging along. They all are tied up with work or school.”

We had a leisure breakfast together. Mattie wanted to know what happen at home after everyone left me alone with Mom and Pop. She felt ashamed that they all had abandoned Mom and Pop. I knew that she was truly concerned. She flooded her face with tears when I told her about Mom and Pop’s death. Just remembering Pop’s death and the month before Mom died shook up the both of us. Mattie pulls her chair up to mine and hugged me for a long time. Then she said, “Molly please forgive me and Martha. We were just kids that wanted freedom. A gate was opened and like all of the animal, we were looking for greener pastures. We did not realize what we had done until years later.”  

After putting on another face we got in the rented car and Mattie drove. She wanted me to drive. She no longer had insurance on her car in the garage and she could not afford insurance or the money to repair the car. I told her that I would pay for any problem that we had.

Mattie parked the car and we walked into the bank. I told her to open a checking or saving account and put all the money in the account. She said, “I already have a checking account. I will put half of it in checking and the other money in a saving account.”

Mattie filled out the deposit slip and the clerk wanted to know what she wanted to do with the remaining five thousand. The clerk excused herself for a few minutes and came back with another woman. The other woman said, “I am sorry, I cannot deposit this check.”

I spoke up and said, “Willy you please tell me why?”

She said, “We have never done business with this bank.”

I saw the look of Mattie face. I would probably do the same thing. I replied, “How many banks in this country have you done business with.”

She said, “Thousands,”

I said, “You are going to add another one to the thousands.”

I asked her for the phone number of this bank. She gave it to me and I dialed the number. The phone at the desk rang. I said, “Keep me connected and dial the number of the bank that is on the check. When they answer, ask the clerk if the person’s name on the check has enough funds to cover the check. You talk and I will just listen.”

I listen and Mabel answer the phone and said, “M&B Trust, I am Mabel may I help you.”

The clerk asked if a Molly Johnson had enough money in her account to cover the ten thousand. Mabel said, “Yes she does.”

The clerk started to bagger Mabel. Asking where the bank was located and a dozen other questions. When the clerk stopped talking, Mabel said, “Mrs. Johnson owns the bank and she could cover thousands of ten thousands dollar checks. Would you like to talk with Mrs. Johnson? I have her cell phone number. She is in California now.”

The clerk said, “No thank you. Thanks for the information.”

The clerk’s demeanor change drastically. She told the clerk that it was alright to accept the check.

I could not believe the change in Mattie’s face. The clerk opened the saving account and added the remainder to Mattie’s checking account. As we were leaving the bank, Mattie looked like she was walking on a cloud. She held her head high and sashayed out the bank. I did not say a word to her. I just watched her actions. We were in the car before she said a word. She turned to me and said, “Molly, I can’t believe what happened. I cannot explain how wonderful I feel. It’s not the money that you gave me. I am so happy for you and Bill. You have completely turned your lives around.”

Tears were covering Mattie’s eyes. She turned on the ignition and I said, “Don’t drive. You cannot see where we you are going.”

I reached over and turned the ignition off and gave Mattie a peck on the cheek. See wipes the tears away and said, “Let’s go and celebrate. I don’t care how you and Bill got the money. I am so happy for the both of you. I can’t tell you the number of night that I cried myself to sleep thinking about the way Martha and I left you alone with Mom and Pop. It was our selfishness that drove us away. I don’t think Martha took it as hard as I took it. Why don’t you and Bill take the money that you are giving us and take a cruise and live it up?”

I hugged Mattie and told her that we plan to retire when we know the rest of our families are comfortable and I would go crazy sitting around doing nothing. Do you like shopping? Mattie said, “I love shopping, but I don’t want to be tempted to walk out without paying for something.”

I said, “I have a bottom less credit card. You can use it.”

Mattie said, “Darling, you have given more than what I deserve.”

I said, “Let’s go for a ride anyway. I want to see the town where you and Martha live.”

As we cruised through the town Mattie was describing the different shops. I saw a nationwide department store that I had wanted to shop in for years. My frugal mind had stopped me from going in for years. I pointed at the store and said, “I want to go shopping in there. There is one in the City, but I have not had the carriage to go in.”

Mattie pulled into the parking lot and said, “Let go shopping.”

For next three hours I encouraged Mattie to purchase something for herself. I had an arm full of things that I always wanted. But, for some unknown reason I never bought them. I paid for my items with my credit card. The clerk said, “May I see your driver’s license.”

I showed the clerk my driver’s license. She said, “I am sorry I cannot accept your card.”

I was pissed to no end. I asked to see the manager. She holds up her hand and waved at someone. I knew that it wasn’t the manager. The bastard came over to me and nudged me with his body. I haled off and slapped the hell out of him. I yelled to the top of my voice, “Take your fucking hands off of me.”

I think that it scared the shit out of him. I looked around the room and saw everyone staring at me. I yelled and said, “I want to see the manager.”

I saw two more nuts coming in my direction. When they got close enough to hear me, I said, “If you don’t want to go to jail with this bastard keep you fucking hands off of me.”

I saw a group of men heading in our direction. When they got close enough to hear me, I pointed at the guy that nudge me and said, “I want that man arrested for sexual assault.”

One of the men said, “Please come with me.”

 I took the items that I had with me. We followed the man, another man was following us. We went into his office. He offered us a seat. I glanced at Mattie. She looked like she about to faint. I asked, “This was a very shocking experience. Would you please get us some cool water and a damp towel? I think my sister is about to faint.”

After Mattie and I freshened up, I said, “Your Company makes it very difficult to shop in your store.”

The man said, “Would you please tell me what happened.”

I told him the sequence of what happened. The young man came over and put his arms around me. He pulled me tightly against his body and I slapped him. What started the whole mess the cashier would not take my credit card for the purchase of these items. Without giving me a reason she called the man to come over to cashier’s desk.”

The man went on the defense. Telling me how many customers purchase items with a fake credit card. I told him that I was going to file a lawsuit against the employee and the company. He pleaded with me and tried to convince me of the problems that the company has had. I looked into my pocket book and pulled out my check book and handed it to the man and said, “It is so easy to validate a customer by a simple phone call. Please call the banks number that is on the check and ask the young lady about the person’s name that is on the check and let me have an extension so I can hear what she is telling you.”

I glanced over at Mattie, I think she was about to faint. I handed her the damp towel and she thanked me. I heard Mabel answer the phone. The man asked about my credit rating. Mabel said, “Mrs. Johnson owns M&B Trust and most of the town. Why are you asking?”

He quickly hung up the phone and did not say a word. He whispered to the man that followed us into the office and whispered something. The man said, “Please follow me. The items that you were going to purchase are complements of the store. I will escort you out of the store.”

I said, “My sister has not had a chance to shop yet. She was helping me.”

He said, “I will escort you through the store. What department would you like to?”

Mattie said, “Every department in the store. First I want to purchase some cosmetics so I can repair the damage your employees gave me.”

Two and a half hour later we walked out of the store with a multitude of items that we did not to pay for. Charles, the man that escorted us walked us out to the car and helped load the car. He became quit friendly with us and asked how many times have we had pulled this. I said, “We haven’t done this before. When we strike the credit card the card company approves the purchase the purchase before it registers on the cash register. Why don’t you let the card companies check the card? They are the ones that lose the money and you lose the business.”

I got in the passenger side of the car and said, “When I get back to east coast, I am going to the companies headquarter and tell them what happened.”

I had never seen a person that had a smart aleck look of his face change to a whimpering child so quickly. Mattie pulled away before Charles could say anything. Mattie laughed and said, “Molly when you were just a child I admired you for the way that you got your way when no one else in the family could. You had a knack that got you what you wanted. Today was an example of what you were like. God bless you. I hope that you never lose it.”

For the rest of the day Mattie and I reminisced about the old times, ate and shopped. That was one thing that we really had in common.

Mattie had called Martha this morning and told her to call us when she got home from work. Mattie cell phone rang. It was Martha. I had told Mattie earlier today that I was going to take them out to dinner. I asked her to ask Martha when she and her family would be ready for dinner. Martha argued with Mattie. Martha wanted to have all of us over for dinner. Mattie said that she and Sandy had been working all day and the girls had been at school. Why not rest for a while. Martha broke down and consented to go out with Mattie and me.

As we were heading for Mattie’s home, I told her that I would be giving Martha and Sandy ten thousand dollars each and the girls ten thousand dollars each for collage. Martha was to be the custodian of the college fund.

 Mattie said, “Molly you will be giving us fifty thousand dollar. Are you sure that you and Bill can afford it?”

I said, “Sweetheart if I could not afford it I would not be giving it to you. Let’s close the subject.”

Mattie said, “Case is closed.”

We both took showers and tried on our new outfits that we got for free. Both of us were quite satisfied with the outfits and the price.

Martha arrived with her brood. She wanted to ride to the restaurant with Mattie and me. On the way to the restaurant Martha insisted that Sandy would pay the tab. With trying to convince Martha, Mattie said, “Molly wants to pay the tab. She is your quest and do not disappoint her.”

Martha said, “But.”

Mattie said, “No buts. Molly wants to pay the tab. If she wants to pay the tab, let her pay the tab, case closed.”

We had a very enjoyable dinner together. After dinner we went to Mattie home and spent the rest of the evening reminiscing. Penny and Pamela wanted to know every detail of our living when we all lived together. It was getting late and the girls still wanted to know everything about their mothers past. Mattie and I filled in what we both remembered. Martha said, “Someday, I will tell you every detail of your father’s life and my life.” Whether she would or not was taken off of Mattie and my shoulders. 

Over the weekend Sandy gave us a royal tour of the area. On both days, there were so many beautiful scenic views. Even though Sandy, Martha and the girls had seen the areas, they seemed to enjoy the beautiful again. We snacked along the way, tasted wine, bought trinkets and enjoyed the company. Thankful there was not quibbling over who would pay for the two day.  

Tomorrow evening I would be leaving. As much as I missed being home with Pamela and Bill, I wanted to stay here. The evening before the flight home we had a farewell dinner. I gave them the envelopes with the checks inside and told them not to open the envelopes until I was on the plane and headed home. I told Mattie to have them deposit the checks in the banks they usually use and if they had a trouble. I will wire the money to the bank of their choice.

The flight home was not eventful. I did not have dinner on board. I slept through the whole flight. Bill picked me up at the airport. It felt wonderful to be home with him. I could tell that Bill was happy to have me home. Bill filled me in on what had happened since I left home. The Fed’s were building a new case on an unknown person. They did not tell Wilson or anyone else who the person was. I told Bill that I hope that I am not involved in the case. He said to me, “Don’t bet on it. You never know who they will drag into the case just to get a conviction.”

I knew why he felt that way. They had tried to tie me and the bank into the SV embezzlement.

It felt wonderful to have Pamela and Bill with me. Even though I enjoyed the trip and my sister, I was very happy that now I knew where the rest of my family was. I no longer had the sleepless night wondering where they all were. The urge that I had before to look for my family kept popping up. It took a few weeks for that feeling to slowly fade away.

Back at work the following morning, everyone welcome me home. Liz sent Millie to the bank with a welcome home cake. Mille and I spent half of the morning talking about Mattie and Martha’s family. I did not tell her about the gifts that I had given them. The money, the car and apartment was worth twice the amount that I had given the rest of my family, if not more.

After Millie left I wanted to ask Mabel how she knew that Bill and I owned the bank. I called her and asked her to come to my office. When she walked in, she said, “I sorry that you had trouble with your finance it California. No one else in the world has ever heard about Sunny Ville. I had the same problem with other customers that lived her and were on vacation. The personal checks were the problem. Credit card wasn’t as much a problem as the personal checks. This has been the problem long before you bought the bank.”

Oh shit, how in hell did she know that I owned the bank? Who told her?

Even though the door was closed, I whispered, “How did you know that I own the bank?”

Mabel looked at me in wonder and said, “All the girls knew. Ben told us just before you took over. He told us who our new boss would be. He said that he did not know where you got the money and when the papers for transferring the bank were signed he saw your signature and Bill’s on the documents. Ben did mention that Tom or one of the lawyers did not want it to be known that you two owned bank. Since you and Bill never mentioned it, we assumed that you wanted us to keep it quiet.”    

I got up and pulled Mabel tightly against me and said, “Thank you and the girls for keeping your mouth shut about Bill and me owning the bank. I feel that everyone would be looking for a handout if they knew that I owned the bank. Pat hasn’t been working her as long as you, Gloria and Peg.  I don’t think she knows that I own the bank. When she came in my office and told me about the robbery. I told her that I would not press charges against her. She said that M&B Trust would fire her and bring charges against her. I assumed that all of you did not know that Bill and I owned the bank. Please don’t tell her. She lives with Millie and I don’t want Millie to know either.”

Mabel said, “I will tell Peg and Gloria not to tell her that you and Bill own the bank. I know how you must feel. Just working here all of my friends think that I can give them all the money that they want. They think that I can take a handful out of the bank whenever I want it.”  

I said, “Since all the girls know that I own the bank.  Please don’t bring it up to anyone else. They will think the same about me.”

Mabel said, “Molly you have been very generous to all of us over the years. We all know where the butter comes from that is on our toast. Your secret is also ours. We all think that you must have won the lottery. We all have been in the shop down the street at the same time you bought your lottery ticket; do you think that we are any different than you are? We all have prayed that someday we would hit the jackpot. We all had noticed your absents at the shop after the big one was hit.”

I said, “Truthfully, I wanted to hit the jackpot again. Bill does not want me to waste the money that I won. I was afraid that if I won again, I would go crazy trying to hide it and not knowing how to spend it without someone killing me for it.”

Mabel said, “There are a lot of nuts out there that would kill someone for a buck. Most of them are thinking about themselves and no one else. With all of the crap with the SV embezzlement, we all were glad that we were not in your shoes. Some of those bastards still blame you for all of the crap”

 I listen to Mabel until Peg came in and said to Mabel, “Someone is out there is asking about you.”

Mabel turned and almost ran out of the office. Peg spent a few minutes with me and wanted to know how Mattie and Martha were. I gave her a brief description of my sisters and the trip. Peg said, “I have to get back out there. It is starting to get busy.”

Peg did not say a word about me owning the bank. Now I wonder if Gloria knows also.

 As I was reviewing my checking account, I noticed that Paul and Chrystal had not cashed their checks. Did they lose the check or had Chrystal felt guilty about taking the money when she and Paul inherited a fortune. I was not sure what I should do. It bugged me for a while until I got deeper into my account. The damn SV embezzlement hit Bill and me personally as well as it hit M&B Trust. Money comes and money goes. But, somehow we still have a lot more money than I won from the lottery. As Bill said that we have more money now than the amount we had won. Somehow I could not believe it. All of the new businesses that we opened are bring in a good profit.

I started to get hungry. I looked at my watch and it was almost three. If I eat now, I will not be hungry at supper. To hell with it, I cannot wait that long. I’m going over to the restaurant and get something light to carry me over. I went over to the highway and headed for the restaurant. I saw a car parked on the side of the road. As I passed it the four men in it did not take a glance at me. I thought that I must look like shit. No sooner had I thought it, I felt hard hands all over my body and lifting me into the car. I started to scream. One of the bastards slapped a callus hand over my mouth. It felt like someone hit me with a boat paddle. He squeezes my nose and I could not breathe. It felt like my lungs were going to bust. My vision started to darken. Within a minute or so, I blacked out.

Jenny a young girl that worked part time at the restaurant saw the incident. She screamed and ran after the car. One of the men in the car saw Jenny running after the car and told the driver. The driver slammed on the gas pedal. The wheel screamed as it pulled away. In the car an argument burst in action. One of the men said, “Stop the fuck car. That bitch saw us. She will call the police.”

The driver yelled back, “The way that gal screamed everyone on main will be out of their shops looking to see what happened, the nosey bastards.”

Jenny continued chasing the car. When she reached the restaurant, she ran in screaming, “Some men just kidnapped Molly. Call the police.”

Stan was on duty at the restaurant. He heard Jenny screaming and yelled to her, “When and where did it happen.”

With tears pouring from her eyes and sobbing, “Just now, four men in a beaten up old black car grabbed Molly and through her into the back seat. They were headed south.”

Stan called the police station and told them about the kidnapping, and then he called Bill and told him what had happened. Bill had just left home and was almost to his old farm. He was driving old Betsy. He pulled across the highway and blocked the highway. He knew that the only places that they could get off of the highway were at home and the lake. Only minutes had passed when he sees a black car coming. He stood in front of Betsy trying to be calm. He felt like killing the bastards. As the car shows down, a man sticks his head out of the car and said, “Move that fucking truck.”

 Bill walks in the direction of the car, and said calmly “The damn thing was sputtering and I made a u-turn to go back into town to get it fixed. But it stalled. I can’t push it and drive it at the same time.”

The driver of the black car cursed Bill. Bill took a couple more steps and saw Molly lying on the lap of one of the guys in the back seat. Bill grabs the door handle and yanks it open. The driver had his arm on the door and is pulled out of the car on to the ground. Bill sees a pistol tucked under the guy’s belt. Bill steps on the guy’s throat and grabs the gun. He aims the gun at the guy who is holding Molly in his lap. The burley bastard said, “You fuck with me and I will kill her.”

Bill told the other guys to get out of the car. With fear all over their faces, they quickly got out of the car and lay face down on the ground. The burley bastard said, “Shoot the sun of a bitch.”

One of the men said, “Cal is the only one that had a gun. That the one the guy has.”

The burley bastard pulls Molly limp body in front of him and said, “I will kill her if you come any closer to me.”

Bill said, “I think you have already killed her. Lay her on the seat or I will kill every one of you.”

The other three men begged the burley guy give Molly to Bill. Sirens were getting closer. The burley bastard glances out the back window. As he turned to look out the window, Bill grabs one of Molly’s arms and pulls her away from the burley bastard. The burley bastard reaches for Molly. Bill fired a shot at the bastard. The bullet hit the bastard in the left arm. With one arm Bill lifts Molly over his shoulder. A police car and an ambulance pulled up behind the black car. Bill carried Molly over to the ambulance and yelled at the police, “Don’t let those bastards get away. I want to kill them with my bare hands.”

The men in the ambulance helped Bill put Molly into the ambulance. Someone asked about the keys to the truck. Bill yelled, “The keys are in the ignition. Please drop it off at my home.”

One of the medics said that Molly was breathing and she had a good pulse and they were trying to see if they could wake her up. Bill said, “Take here to the hospital in the City; I want better attention for her than she can get at the emergency room.”

The medic said, “We only treat those that don’t want to go to the hospital, or those that said they cannot afford what the hospital charges. At times there are patients that need to go to the Hospital and they still do not want to go to the Hospital. We do everything that is possible with the facilities we have and prey.”

On the trip to the City the medics monitored the vital signs and tried to get Molly to talk to them, without any success. Bill had tears in his eyes and was praying that God would protect Molly.

The doctor and nurses tried to convince Bill that they would take good care of Molly and he should go home. They did not want Bill to be another patient. Bill said that he would pay for another hospital room. He lived to far away from the hospital. With Bill’s continuous persuasion they moved another bed into Molly’s room and only charge him for his meals.

 

Kidnapping charges:

The four hoods were brought to trial. Three of them were wanted for crimes in other cities in the state. The fourth hood had worked at the store that sold Molly the lottery ticket. When the owner of the store got his reward for selling the winning ticket, the clerk knew someone in Sunny Ville had won the jackpot. Since Molly no longer purchased lottery tickets like the other lottery customer, he felt that Molly had won the jackpot. When Molly appeared to be the new owner of the bank, he was certain that Molly had won the large Jackpot. For years he wondered how he could get Molly to give him some of the fortune.

On one of the nights that he was on a drinking spree he met the other three hoods. Somehow Molly name came up and he told the three that Molly was worth Millions. The three pressuring him to go along with them; they kidnap Molly and held her for ransom. The courts were not busy. The prosecutor pushed the court for an early trial and no one objected. The defense want to have Molly testify and wait until Molly recovered. With Molly still in a coma and could not testify. One of the doctor, Bill, Jenny, SV police, and the medics testified. Also the clerk that sold the lottery ticket plea bargained and testified against the other three. The three got twenty five years to life and the clerk only got five years. It was and open and shut case that only lasted a week.

 

A happy even:

The days and weeks passed. Molly physical condition had improved and she was gaining weight around her waist. A nurse  that were bathing Molly saw what she had seen on other mothers to be and mentioned it to one of the doctors. This was on one of the days that Bill went home to tend to one his business and check in with Mabel at the bank and Liz at the restaurant. Also, everyone wanted to know how Molly was. They still had not found out why Molly had not regained conscious. Bill let Pamela skip school and took her to see her mother. When they entered Molly’s room, the nurse that saw the change in Molly said, “Molly is doing fine. Her health could not be better, but I think Molly has a surprise for both of you.”

Pamela wanted to know about the surprise. The doctor wanted to tell Bill that he was going to have a son and told all the nurses not to tell him. Since the nurse that started the investigation was on duty when they came in and the doctor was not of duty. She asked Pamela and Bill to take a seat, and said to Pamela, “How would you like a brother.”

Pamela thought that they wanted her parent to adopt a child. Bill went through the roof. Bill said quite loudly, “Don’t kid me. Is Molly pregnant?”

The nurse nodded her head. Pamela jumped up out of her chair and hugged her mother and said, “Mom, I don’t mind taking care of my brother, but please wake up and enjoy this moment with us.”

The nurse notice Molly’s eye lids quivering. Bill and Pamela saw it also. Bill bends over Molly and kisses her on her forehead and said, “Honey, it is time to go to work.”

After a few minutes, Molly slowly opened her eyes and looks around the room. With a bewilder look on her face she said, “Where am I?”

She looks up a Pamela and said, “This looks like a hospital. What am I doing here?”

The nurse said, “You had a very exciting experience. Bill I think we should have a doctor in here to examine Molly.”

The nurse pulled the cord next to Molly’s bed and within seconds the room was filled. One of the doctors came over to Molly’s bed and saw Molly curiously looking around the room. He said, “Welcome home. How do you feel?”

 Molly said, “I am still hungry. What am I doing in the hospital? The last thing I remember, I was on the way to the restaurant to get something to eat. How did I get here?”

Molly looked around the room and said, “Please tell me what I am doing in the hospital.”

Everyone looked around the room at each other and no one said a word. Molly said to Pamela, “Darling what am I doing in the hospital?”

Pamela first looked at Bill and then the Doctor. They both nodded approval. Pamela said, “Mom, I think you fainted from a terrible experience you had and for some reason, you did not want to come out of the experience that caused you to faint.”

Molly said, “How long have I been in here.”

The doctor said, “That is no importance. The important part is you came out of a deep sleep and we are very happy that you returned. Give us a little time to see if you are going to be alright.”

Molly said, “I feel fine. Can’t I go home today?”

Bill said, “Honey, we don’t want a relapse. They want to watch you for a while and see how you respond. Please be patient with us. The doctors know what is best for you. See that bed over there? That is where I have been sleeping for a while. Pamela wants to take it over for a short period. She has a week off from school and she wants to be with you.”

They held off about Molly being pregnant. They did not want to stress her any more than she already was.

For the next few weeks Molly became very impatient. None of the doctor could explain why Molly was unconscious for such a long time. With the pressure from her husband and daughter, they told Molly she was pregnant and it was a boy. Molly could not believe that she was six months pregnant. With the pressure from her doctor, Bill and Pamela, she agreed not to go back to work. They felt that the pressure she would be on and the kidnapping of her was too much for now.

Surprisingly, Molly did not want to go back to work. With Linda watching over Molly everything went smoothly. Molly started to recall things that she had forgotten.  She recalled Crystal telling her to retire and enjoy life.

Bill Jr. arrived on schedule. Molly said to herself, he looks just like his father looked when he was a baby. The woman that looked in on Bill’s parents had kept the pictures that his parents left behind when they passed away. Other than the farm and memories, that was all that Bill had from the past.

After Bill Jr. was old enough to go on long trips and take care of himself, the Johnson family relaxed and enjoyed life. Pamela had more boyfriends than she wanted. The one that she got along with best was a young lad that she went to grammar and high school with. He was Bill’s and Molly’s favorite. From Pamela’s wishes, Molly gave Timmy’s parents enough money to send him to the same college that Pamela went to. Surprisingly he got better grades than Pamela.

From the looks of things between Pamela and Timmy, they did not look like they would ever get married. They looked more like a brother and sister. When they were with their parents, they did not show the affection that young couples usually showed. I told Bill that Timmy was a carbon copy of him. Pamela had told me that Timmy was just like her father and since she could not marry her father, she would marry the next best thing, but she did not tell them when and who she wanted to marry. Pamela had seen the likeness between Timmy and her father since she was in grade school and she always felt more comfortable with Timmy than she felt with any of the other boys. He wasn’t as aggressive as most of the other boys that she had gone out with. Molly could almost see herself in Pamela.

Pamela graduated from college and was learning her parents business. She was very sharp and excellent in managing her parent’s estate. Bill was quite surprised when Pamela told him and Molly that she wanted to marry Timmy.

Both parents knew that they worked together, but marriage had not entered their thoughts. Molly often wonders what they did when they were alone together. Molly wanted grandchildren more than anyone else. Molly did not want to pester Pamela to get married. She recalled how long she and Bill lived together before they consummated their friendship.

The rest of the Molly and Bill’s family kept in touch with them. There were more casual visits to their brothers and sisters. Molly and Bill remembered their simple wedding. They were not sure that they wanted a large wedding or a small one like they had.  If there was going to be a wedding, but when? Pamela and Timmy announced their marriage. Pamela said that Timmy had proposed to her in college, but they did not want to tell anyone until they were ready to get married. When the announcement went out everyone wanted to come. Timmy’s parents, Bill and I got together and planned where they wanted the wedding to be held and who they wanted to invite. Pamela and Timmy resolved the problem. They did not want a fanfare wedding. They wanted their parents and their close friends only. No one else was invited for the services. It was the first time that I had seen Pamela and Timmy looking forward to their honeymoon. I could see the love and affect in both of their faces. After they spent a month on their honeymoon, they came home and took over our business. They had asked if they could live in the summer home at the lake. We gave them our blessing and told them that if they wanted to make it their permanent home we would build another home for us in the summer or build a new home of their likings. They felt that this did not have to be decided now and the future would tell.  

Bill, Bill Jr. and I travel in the summer and enjoyed our home and friends in the winter and we are now looking at what Bill Jr. will do in the coming years. Jr. is a calm kid and does not make trouble at home or at school. He has his friends and they seemed to get alone very well.

Bill and I keep our finger on the business and try to have tranquility in the family. About every six months Pamela and Timmy invited us to see the growth in the business. They were well ahead of the value we started with. We had added a number of new businesses in town. Bill had wanted a car dealership year ago and it has grown. I wanted a shopping mall that includes almost everything that a person may want and a price that everyone could afford. Sunny Ville population had almost doubled over the years. New business had popped up along the highway.  As I sit of my front porch and watched the traffic going bye, when I was growing up I did not see a fraction of the traffic that was passing now. 

I still have Memories of the dreams that I had when I was passed out. At times they flash through my mind. They seemed to pop up at the oddest times. None of the doctors could give me a reason why I was blacked out or what made me wake up. I still believe that my inner self did not want to wake up because of what I feared until I heard them saying that I was pregnant with Bill Jr.

Anyway, I am thankful that I lived through that period of my life. Now I can set back and see my family grow.

 

 

 

 

BooksByWilly@charter.net

 Written and Published

By

William W. Wynne

 Copyright © 2011