"Grace?" Honey asked.
Grace turned from where she was washing the lunch dishes.
"Grace... what do you think of Max Sutton. I mean what do you think of Him and me. Do you think it is rushing things with my falling in love with him so soon after Jack's death?"
"Honey. It has been two years since my brother died. He would have wanted you to be happy. If it means falling in love again so be it." Grace said as she dried her hands.
She went over to Honey who was sitting at the kicten table. She sat down next to her and put her right hand over Honey's hands; in which Honey was clasping tightly.
"... but ..." Honey began.
Grace smiled an gentle smile "But nothing. What you are feeling for Max is totally healthy."
Honey smiled softly back at her sister~in~law. "But what about my children and your mother."
"Hub, Fat absolutely adore Max. Violet will love him also once she comes home again. You know she will Honey. No matter how hard Mother tries to stop it."
"Yes my little baby girl will be home where she belongs." Honey said in an lovely determined voice.
"Mother will get used to the idea of you and Max... in time. She always does." Grace fistened.
Honey nodded her head in agreement.
"I will change my mind about what Grace?" May Bailey said suddenly from the kicten doorway.
Both Honey and Grace looked started at each other than on one accorded looked over at May.
About getting Violet back home where she belongs, Mother" Grace said.
May huffed. "Violet is just fine where she is."
Honey suddenly stood up and shouted "NO SHE IS NOT. SHE NEEDS TO BE WITH HER MOTHER; WHICH IS ME." she rushed from the kicten.
"Mother!" Grace said shocked.
That woman has no business shouting at me in my own home!" May huffed as she walked out of the kitchen toward the parlor.
After shouting at May and leaving the kicten Honey went into the parlor and sat on the couch. She put her hands on her face and weep bitterly.
May enters and says "Honey you have no right yelling at me in my own house!" Looking at Honey "Stop that weeping now. You have no reason why you should be weeping."
Honey didn't answer just got up and left the parlor and went up the staircase to her room.
May is left in the parlor and she goes to sit in her favorite chair by the fireplace. She angrily rubs her hands down her dress but after a bit she calmed down and looked thoughtfully towards the staircase.
Grace sat in an shocked silence. Her mouth was still dropped open after saying "Mother". *Poor Honey. I can't believe what Mother is putting her through. And for what? Violet is her granddaughter after all. She always loved the boys more than me. I didn't want to admit
it when I was a wee girl but it is true. Even now I am an grown woman in my thirties and she still treats me like an inferior child. Poor Hub and Fat. I must not allow Mother to get much control on those two sweet boys. I must get Violet back.*
"Aunt Grace.... Aunt Grace..." suddenly a boy of about twelve's voice broke through. Grace closed her mouth and looked and saw Fat at her side with an concern look on his face.
"Aunt Grace?" Fat asked his aunt.
Grace brought herself back to herself and closed her mouth.
"Aunt Grace?" he asked again when she didn't answer him.
"Yes Fat?" Grace replied distracting.
"Why was your mouth hanging open?" Fat said.
Grace looked an little confused at the question. "Ummm. ummm..."
Fat shrugged his shoulders "Yea yea. I know it's not for children to know."
Grace put her hand on Fat's left arm. "Oh Fat. It's not that. But I can't really say." She got up from the table and went back to the sink to finished the lunch dishes.
"Oh. So grandmother Bailey was after Mother again!" Fat said a little angerly.
Grace didn't say anything. Her back just stiffened and she contiuned washing the lunch dishes.
"I am going to check on Mother." Fat murmured to himself as he left the kicten.
*Grandmother Bailey has gone to far this time if Mother is very upset* Fat grumbled to himself as he head up the stairs to go to his mother's bedroom. *I'm sure glad Hub isn't home right now. He would sure fry of the handle on this. As he always does when grandmother and mom go at it.* Fat reached Honey's door and heard his mother weeping softly inside. He didn't brother to knock he just opened the door.
"Mother it is going to be all right. You will see." Fat said softly and lovely as he shut the door and walked over to where Honey was sitting on the side of her bed with her head in her hands.
Honey brought her hands from her face and looked and saw her youngest son standing so lovely over her. "Oh Fat." She cried pulling him into an hug.
"It's all right now Mother. I am here. I will make things better. You will see." Fat said in an soothing voice patting his mother's back.
"Where did you learn to do that?" Honey asked as she pulled away from the hug and started to wipe away her tears.
Fat smiled "Why from you Mother. That's what you always did for me whenever I was in an bad; sad mood or sick. I knew that is all you needed was and kind and loving hand."
"You are right about that Fat." Honey said getting up and going to get an Kleenex to blow her norse.
"Do you want to tell me what you and grandmother are mad about?" Fat asked walking over to stand next to Honey.
Honey looked down into her innocent son's eyes. She shook her head. "No son I do not."
"It's about Violet. Grandmother won't allow Violet to come to us." Fat said with an little hardness in his voice. "I don't understand her. I know she favors Hub and me because we are boys and
we are to take over the mine someday. But grandmother has another granddaughter; Doris. Doris leaves here in town still. Grandmother hasn't made Uncle Bob and Aunt Toppy send her away. Why won't see allow Violet to come home. Especially now that you are living here for good." Fat mused out loud.
Honey shook her head. She knew the real reason behind May Bailey's stubbornness but she would never tell her sons the reason. She didn't want to come between them and their grandmother.
"Hello Grandmother." Hub said as he walked into the parlor.
"Hello Hubert. Where have you gotten yourself off to?" May said as she looked over at her eldest grandson.
"I was at Mr. Sutton's getting tutored." Hub replied. He turned and started out of the parlor.
"Hubert where on earth are you going. I want to talk to you." May said with an little command in her voice.
Hub stopped and May saw that he took an deep breath and exhaled.
Hub turned back to face his grandmother. "Yes grandmother?"
"Come and sit on the couch Hubert." May pointed her left hand to the intended seat.
Hub walked over to the couch and sat down. He looked over at his grandmother. "What did I do this time?"
Grace contiuned to do the dishes once Fat left the room. She suddenly stopped doing them and leaned her head down onto the counter and wept silently.
Honey hugged Fat one last time. "Now Fat don't worry about ol' mom I can take care of myself. I was just missing your sister very much today is all and I allowed your grandmother to get to me." She pulled him away. "Now I am going to go down to the kicten for an bite to eat. Care to join me?"
Fat shook his head. "Naw. I have to go and get my homework done. I have an English paper due to mower."
"Oh do you need any help?" Honey asked.
"Nope. I have it all covered. Thanks anyway mom." Fat pulled Honey's down so he could kiss her cheek. "Bye for now." He said as he left the room.
Honey smiled softly after her son. She followed him out the door and went downstairs from the backstairs.
"Grace my God what is the matter?" Honey asked as soon as she saw Grace with her head down on the counter her shoulders heaving uncontrollable. She rushed down the few remaining steps and rushed over to her sister in law. She put her hand on Grace's back.
Grace jerked up and pulled away from Honey forcefully.
"Grace honey what's the matter." Honey asked softly and gently trying to calm Grace down.
Grace saw Honey through her tears. "Oh Honey I'm sorry. I didn't realize it was you." Grace brought her hands up to her face and tried to wipe away her still following tears.
Honey pulled Grace into an hug. She patted her back as Fat did just an few minutes ago for her. "Shh now Grace. Everything is all right."
Grace pulled away from Honey after an few minutes and exceeded to wipe her tears from her face. Her tears finally stopped after Honey hugged her. She walked over to the Kleenex box and pulled one out to blow her nose.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Honey asked still standing where she was.
Grace nodded. "Yes but not here. Do you care to go for an walk?"
Honey nodded and led the way out the kitchen door into the beautiful late fall day. They remembered to grab their coats from the kicten chairs.
"Hubert I am not at all pleased with you flunking out of your grade. Not one bit." May tapped the end of her cane on the floor to make her point. "How on earth do you expect to run the mine when you don't get decent grades in school."
"I don't expect to run the mine." Hub said.
May had an shocked look on her face. "Of course you will Hubert. As the oldest boy you get the mine. It the family way and of course the family pride."
Hub shook his head. "No grandmother I do not want to run the mine I do not even want to work in the mine."
"What do you want to do than?" May sniffed.
Hub shook his shoulders. "I don't know. I'll figure it out when I get older." He looked out the window and saw his mother lead his aunt Grace out the front grate. *What's wrong with Aunt Grace. She looks terrible. I have to get away from grandmother Bailey and go find out.* Hub got up. "I will think long and hard about this; I promise grandmother. But I just remember I have things I must get done today."
"Oh right Hubert but expect that we will talk again." May waved Hub away.
"Oh right grandmother." Hub said as he walked quickly from the parlor.
Fat looked up briefly from writing his book report he saw his mother lead his aunt Grace out of the front grate. "What's the matter with Aunt Grace." Fat wondered out loud. He decided that his homework could wait a bit; that he better go and make sure Aunt Grace is all right. Fat got up and rushed out of the room.
Fat saw Hub getting his coat on and he rushed down the stairs to join him. "Did you see mother and Aunt Grace." Fat asked in an whisper not sure if his grandmother saw out the window. Hub put his finger to his lips and rolled his eyes to the parlor. He nodded and handed his brother his coat. Fat silently put his coat on and waited for Hub to open the front door. After Fat shut the front door the two brothers rushed to follow their mother and aunt.
"Come on Fat hurry up. We have to catch up to mom and Aunt Grace." Hub said urgently as he picked up his walk into an run after they cleared their grandmother's house. Fat ran after his brother. "I'm coming Hub." He huffed as he tired his hardest to catch up with his
They slowed down to an walk as they saw their mother lead their Aunt Grace along the sidewalk.
"Let's stay out of sight. But near enough to try to listen to what is being said." Hub said as
Fat finally caught up to him. Fat nodded. They presided to walk slowly closer and trying to be quiet.
"Where are those boys going in such an rush?" May asked herself as she saw Fat and Hub leave the house in an rush.
May huffed *no matter. I'll go and see what Grace is up to in the kicten." She gets up from her chair and walks out of the parlor.
"Grace what is keeping you so long?" May said as she pushed open the kicten doorway. She stopped short at not finding Grace in the kicten; not finding anyone in there for that matter. *Perhaps she went up to Honey's bedroom to check on Honey.* May thought as she closed the
*First the boys take off without saying goodbye to me. Well Hubert at least said goodbye but Henry never did. Not one word. I must talk to Henry about being polit.* May thought as she headed up the main stair case.
She brought her crane down an little hard on each step *I must have an word with Honey about how the boys behave. First Hubert is flunking and now Henry not saying good bye to me.* "I won't stand for it." TAP TAP "I simply won't." She stepped off the top step.
"Honey Callahan Bailey I must have an word with you." May said in an commanding voice as she opened Honey's bedroom door without knocking.
"What in the world." May said in her normal voice as she saw that not only is Honey not in her room but neither is Grace. "Grace Bailey!" May spoke at the top of her voice.
"Now Grace please tell me what is going on." Honey said in an low soothly voice to her sister in law.
"I can't believe I allowed Mother to behave this way and for such an long time." Grace said furiously.
"Mrs. Bailey is set in her ways always has been and always will be." Honey said in an stubborn voice.
"Mother shouldn't have kicked you out of her house and New Bedford; away from your children after Jack died suddenly." Grace got out angrily. "She shouldn't have sent Violet to live with Hue and Margery."
"Can't change the past. I will get Violet back. Rest and assure." Honey said stubbornly.
"But how Honey. Without Mother's support how can you go up against Hue and Margery?" Grace asked sadly stopping suddenly and turned to face Honey.
"Yea Mother how?"
The two women spun around and looked shocked at seeing the boys behind them.