Maggie and Tucker took Sammie with them into the library to get the lists up and start looking in the basement, while Gracie walked with Billy Ray over to Momma Sue.
"How ya doing this fine day, Momma Sue?" asked Gracie.
"I’m a doin' fine, even if I do have creeky old bones. Listen up girl. I know you got yore head on straight and now tell me: are ya stocked up on cures?" asked Momma Sue in return.
"Well now, everything me and my sisters know, you taught us, so what do you think?" replied Gracie.
"Don't you get all sassy on me girl!" said Momma Sue, "I knew you when you were toddling around in napers"
"Yes ma'am. You know I can't resist funning you Momma Sue" said Gracie as she gently kissed her cheek. "You sure gave them the book today and I wanted to thank you for what you gave to the town. I know that the town hasn't always been there for you. You're a good woman Momma Sue."
"I did what any other good Christian would do, weren't no big deal. Gotta show Christian love, or where would we be? But, I wanted to tell you to come over one day soon. I've got sometin for ya. Can ya do that? Can ya come visit your poor Momma Sue?" crooned Momma Sue.
"You know I would be over there anyways, I visit most every week, so yes, how about Sammie and I ride over there tomorrow afternoon? We'll bring dinner." asked Gracie.
"I'll be lookin for ya. And don't forget to bring any meat that you need dried." And with those words The Baxter Boys and their Momma Sue roared out of town.
Gracie went back into the library grinning. Momma Sue was gruff outside; but, she was all soft and mushy inside.
When Gracie's parents were killed in a car accident, which is most of the reason she doesn’t like cars; she and her sisters practically lived at Momma Sue's. Momma Sue taught them all about herbs and growing plants. From her they all not only got their green thumbs; but, a head full of common sense. The sisters had been split up into different foster homes; but, they were always able to get together at Momma Sue's. One thing they could never figure out was why everyone BUT her natural boys learned common sense from her. Privately, Gracie thought they had it; but, just liked being contrary.
The whole town did have respect for Momma Sue and nowadays would come running if needed; but, everyone knew the story of how the town let her down when she really needed them.
See Momma Sue really had three boys. Billy Ray was the oldest, Bobby Joe the middle boy by just about three minutes and 10 years later came little Ben. Now little Ben was born about 2 weeks late and since Mr. Baxter had suffered a heart attack and died shortly after (some say while) little Ben was conceived, folks in town didn't take to little Ben like they should of. Some thought maybe he wasn't Mr. Baxter's (not true) and some think the stress of conceiving him killed Mr. Baxter. Some people are just weird that way.
Now little Ben liked to play jokes on people. It was his way of getting attention from them since he could sense they treated him differently. A lot of people didn't like being fooled. So when little Ben was only about 8 years old and he was hit by a car; no one stopped to help him. Everyone thought he was fooling around. See, no one had seen him be hit. No one knows who did it even till this day.
Sadly he died. It was very hard on the Baxter family especially Momma Sue because little Ben was her strongest link to her dear husband.
Gracie carefully walked down the steps to the basement to see what her friends had found.
Maggie and Tucker had lit some oil lamps that Gracie had and were way in the back corner of the basement. Gracie called to them as she walked through some piles of boxes.
"Find anything yet?" she asked.
"Sure did" replied Maggie. "An old mimeograph machine with about a dozen boxes of that ink it takes. Remember the old days when we would volunteer to make copies, just so we could inhale that scent, Gracie?"
"We were SO bad back then" laughed Gracie. "What else did you find?"
"We found those books you were talking about and we found about 50 boxes labeled VHF, we haven't opened any of those yet"
Tucker added "we even found a couple of bull horns. And I wanted to let you know I'd be trying to reach your sisters again tonight. I won't stop until we get a hold of them."
"I appreciate it Tucker. It will be nice to know for sure that they are ok."
"Come look what I found" exclaimed Sammie and she started giggling and dancing around a huge box with VFW in big letters on it.