Jack Anderson was an ass.
He had always been an ass, too. Ever since he could walk, Jack Anderson was nothing but trouble. Oh, sure, children will get into trouble, but in general they tend to grow out of it.
The man reveled in it. When he moved away from Cross in early 1903, I thought the town had seen the last of him. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.
By the time the stock market crashed, and the country was in the throes of the Depression, Jack was back. He’d made a tidy amount of money, and he was a well-to-do bachelor with no interest in any sort of marriage, much to the disappointment of some of Cross’ more eligible young women.
No, Jack was only interested in Jack. So much so, that he began to plan for his demise almost as soon as he arrived back in Cross. He lived in a modest home on a large piece of land, and on a slight rise, he had his tomb built. He modeled it after a chapel in Cambridge, and he strutted about town with pictures of the damned thing, showing everyone exactly where he would be buried in the tomb.
I felt it was in poor taste, given the fact that a great many people had a hard enough time planning for their next meal, let alone where they would be buried.
In 1946, the construction was finished, and by 1955, so was Jack.
He passed away peacefully, in his sleep, but his body does not lie in his massive tomb. No, that is a small orphanage now, run by a dedicated group of Cross mothers whose own children have grown.
Surprisingly, Jack changed his will on the night of his death. I am the sole witness on this addendum, just as I alone know that his corpse rots beneath marker 42 in the pauper’s section of Old Cross Cemetery.
While his personality was a disaster in its own right, his death was not.
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