Part Five – Harold’s Aunt



Lord knows what that young man was thinking bringing his Dutch mistress home with him – bless his heart.  He just doesn’t always use what the Good Lord gave him in the brains department.


To think.  The look on my sister’s face when he said, “Ma, I have someone important for you to meet,” and everything looked promising until she opened her mouth and thick words tumbled over her lips – bless her heart.  Just a simple young broad I thought, and you know how impressions are. The first ones always count they say.


And when it came out this Miss Adolf was married, well my poor sister, she about fell down on her face in horror, she did. What on earth…?


And to think she’s his ladyfriend.  My word.  My sister, she put her hand on her throat and I thought maybe she was choking on something so I patted her on the back some.  “Ma, we’ll be using one of the rooms,” he said and her eyes popped out of her head.


“One of our hotel rooms?” she said, thinking maybe she’d heard him wrong. But oh no, he meant it just like that!  One of the hotel rooms for this philanderessin’ Dutch-girl. My word.

Oh it didn’t stop there, oh no.  She was a mother, too.  But sure as anything, she left her child to be with Harold.  Well, I just don’t know any mother that would do something like that – it’s just not proper.




I was discussin’ with my sister, and she decided to find a way to show Harold how to best manage this situation.  And we came up with a glorious plan that I’m sure will work just fine as pie, yessum.  We give him an allocation, you see, and since that’s how he makes living, we figured he could spread it out just a tiny bit longer every time.  I mean, there’s just no way we’d be plannin’ on supportin’ this girl and her abandoned child, too!

Well, we know Jesus wouldn’t want us putting my nephew out on the streets in St. Petersburg.  No, we were kindly to him, still, and he kept his ladyfriend and him in Room 412, just like that, there. But my word, I got down on my knees each night and prayed my little heart out to keep that information away from pryin’ ears. Times were hard enough these last ten years – what with all the soldiers being housed here durin’ the war.  The Butler Arms was a fine establishment, fit for the finest clientele, and it just wouldn’t do to have that sort of information going around.


What shame.




And you’d think that someone with that background would be willin’ to put on a face a tiny bit more charming than she was.  The very least she could do! But no, they behaved like devil children, and she made no qualms about laying it all out on the table for everyone to see.  In front of everyone!  Guests and all.


I thought my dear sister would just die!  The words and thick throated screams.  Well I just wasn’t sure there wasn’t a dog out there bein’ tortured.  Right there, in front of everybody.  And I said, “Hun, you just stop right there, you can’t be making a scene here in the foyer. You just get yourself together now and let my nephew do the talkin’ for you.”


Her face grew shades of red right before my eyes!


“Missy, I don’t know who you think you are, but this is no way to treat a lady,” my sister said to her. And before I knew it our little Dutch friend was spitting like a mad cat.




We didn’t see Harold or his ladyfriend for a while after that… A relief if I’m going to be right with you.  I tell ya, she was nothing but trouble and I’m just not sure what to think about it all myself, but bless his heart, he sure did put up a heck of a fight for her.




Sure enough, that Harold and his ladyfriend came back one day, and just like the forgiving Jesus himself, my good sister let them have a room again.  Thank heavens those two gallivanters kept a low profile this time.  Harold showed her what a proper southern lady ought to behave like and so we just didn’t see her much after that. God’s right mercy.




As much as we hated to see him doting on a woman like that, she stuck around for a few years.  I don’t really know what all happened in there because we were busy running this hotel and all – without the help of my nephew, mind you – but I’ll never forget the day Harold dropped an absolute bomb on my sweet sister.


“Ma, we’re getting married.”


And of course as much as it pained us, we both did the good Christian thing and threw a big ole’ party for that boy, though God knows we didn’t appreciate him putting us in that position one bit.  He really was a good boy, and I just… He had so much more potential if you know what I mean.


It was a lovely little party – we held it in the gardens because Lord knows The Butler Arms was plenty big for weddings. I just made sure to carry my little gold cross in my pocket just to make sure the Lord knew I was right with Him first and foremost.  And I wasn’t really inviting this girl into the family. I was just doin’ right by my nephew.




Real shortly after the weddin’, and you’d think this boy had done enough to his mother already – given her such a heartbreak, one after another – and then he told her he was havin’ a baby with this girl and I just… I just couldn’t.


His mother had to give it a real hard thought and decided it was high time her boy found himself a home away from The Butler Arms. He was a married man after all.  Gettin’ ready to start his own family.  So off they went and good riddance I said.




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