Jeremias continued. "Well, me not showin' up for the very first time caused a great fuss and many a worried face. I heard that many a cook stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips and without a second thought let the meal burn on the stove. They would run to another house and ask, Have you seen the Egg Man? Have you heard where he is?"
"My husband tells the truth. Many a house mistress fussed at the cook for not callin' her while the Egg Man was there."
"Even that pastor's wife took action, first goin' to her husband and then to the sheriff, and when nobody could help, she her ownself went around the neighborhood after supper to find out about her Egg Man. She was all out of eggs, she said, and had wanted to make the pastor a omelet, but had no eggs, just imagine," said Jeremias.
"I've been told," began Esther solemnly, "That the whole following week a certain emptiness darkened the whole town. And then on the following Saturday he come back, he surely did. That was the only time we slept in separate beds. Praise the Lord."
"Well, it might of been better for me if I had stayed myself at home, what with all them questions I was asked."
"What did you tell them?"
"I told them the truth, of course."
"I told them that I had gone to a funeral."
"Whose?" I asked.
"That's the same thing that pastor's wife asked," said Jeremias.
"It was his sister's," answered Esther.
"Who was she and where was she buried?" I again jotted down a few notes describing a very strange expression on both of her hosts' faces.
"It was Huldah. My only sister what had left bare footed for a better life so many years before," said Jeremias.
I quickly thumbed through my notes and read. "The sister that went off to work for the rich man in Atlanta?"
"The rich white man. That would be the one," said Esther.
"And?" I coaxed.
"And, come to find out, it was the brother of a cook who caused such a stir because after the death of the rich white man, it turned out that my sister, Huldah, had been his wife and because of that, his heir. But then she died too all of a sudden like right after he did."
"That's too bad," I said.
"Well, come to find out, I was her only survivin' heir."
"How much did you inherit?" I asked.
"Right at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and after the word got out, none of them people in Alabama could understand why I was still goin' around sellin' them eggs."
"Why did you?"
"Why not?" Jeremias answered. "I didn't have the money yet and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
"Tell me the whole story, please," I pled.