All mail for Henry Ellingsworth Junior was directed to my address from the Cross Post Office.
There was blessedly little of it until the fall of 1893. Sometime at the beginning of September, his father wrote to him. When there was no response, the man persisted. By October, Mr. Henry Ellingsworth Senior, and his wife Madeline, informed their unresponsive son they were on their way to visit and would be arriving via the morning train.
This was not news I wished to read.
Henry Ellingsworth Junior had been a son of a bitch, and I had put him in the ground in July of 1892. I confess it had been a spur of the moment decision, but I dislike a man who beats a horse. In the months prior to his demise, Henry and I had gotten to know each other, though I did not want to. He bragged long and often about his prowess in the bedroom and his skill with a gun. He delighted in discussions about Indian fighting, and how he had learned to scalp a man from his father.
His parents, Henry often told any who would listen, had raised him to be the man he was.
Nothing they should have been proud of as far as I was concerned.
Henry had taken up residence in Cross in 1890, and he had worn out his welcome within a year, yet he refused to accept the social shunning for what it was. No woman wanted his attentions, and only a man in need of a drink would sit with him.
On October 5th, however, his parents arrived in Cross to speak with their son and demand an answer as to why he wasn’t writing back.
I alone was in the station when they entered it, and it was from me that they demanded to know the whereabouts of their son.
They were as obnoxious and as arrogant as he had been, and they irritated the hell out of me.
I suppose that’s why I overreacted.
With a little bit of encouragement, both Mr. and Mrs. Ellingsworth discovered they could fit into a steamer trunk. With a great deal of swearing on my part, I managed to get them aboard the train that was starting its run toward Florida.
I doubt either of them lived past Virginia.
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