This is the 9th vignette for the book, A Twinkle in the Eyes of God, A Monk Buttman Mystery. In it are characters from the book, and is meant to add a little backstory to it.
Chester Jenkins called me over. His son Farrell, and my daughter Rebekah, were engaged and soon to be married. Apparently, this gave him license to pester me about my affairs. I knew of Chess and his boys, Carroll and Darrell, from the feed store they ran in town.
“Looks like we’ll be family soon, Will,” he said, stating the obvious.
“Looks like,” I said.
He offered his hand as a token of that abiding soon to be connection. I noticed his hands were clammy.
“Jude Martindale was in here the other day,” he said.
“Yep. Askin’ about this and that…” He raised his eyebrows.
“Most of us, do, Chess.”
“I spose.” He looked up at me from the counter where he was shuffling papers. “Asked me what I thought about Farr marrying Becky, something about whether she had her father’s temper…” He grinned at that.
I grinned back. “What’d you tell him?”
“Well, I don’t think Becky’s quite as ornery, that’s all. I mean, no offense, Will, but sometimes you kinda worry folks.” He continued to grin.
“Sometimes,” I agreed, “but Farrell’s not marrying me, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“That’s good cuz I don’t cotton to men marrying men.” He thought that was cute.
“Not many around here do, Chess. Did Judah Martindale have any other concerns about me and mine?” I was no longer grinning. I was hearing more talk from folks than I wanted to about what might be going on with Astral and Judah Martindale.
“He did mention you had an attractive wife…”
“Just brought that up did he?”
Chester Jenkins’ grin grew sheepish as he took a step back. “I may have mentioned Farr found him a good looker, that’s all. I mean Lilith is an good looking woman, Will.”
“Yes, she is, Chess.”
Darrell wandered in from the back of the store. “Load’s in the truck, Mr. Bohrman.”
“Thanks. Anything else?” I asked.
“No,” Chess said as Darrell walked away. “Pell says just about everything’s ready for the weddin’. Weather’s sposed to be good and all. I guess we’ll see you then?”
“I guess.” I turned to go.
“You know I don’t mean nothin’ by any of that, just talk, that’s all.” He was still a step back behind the counter.
“Sure, Chess,” I assured him.
“Goin’ be good eatin’, Will,” he said, as I opened the door to leave.
“Probably the only reason he going,” I told myself.
©2020 David WIlliam Pearce
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