“Miss Evangeline, these were not Sir Jarrett’s intentions.” Solomon Brownell, Esq. interrupted. “Please allow me to organize the sale of the estate and set up a trust to your benefit.”
Miss Evangeline clasped her gloved hands in her lap and tried to explain once more. Mr. Brownell’s brow furrowed. He’d already heard too much at the last church social.
“Miss Evangeline,” a scowl spread across his face, “How do you intend to support the estate not to mention these, these, women.” No, Mr. Brownell was not asking in earnest. Nor was he listening to her nonsense about her grandmother’s cookbook.
“What you describe sounds dangerously like a house of ill repute,” Mr. Brownell cautioned. “You will invite all manner of difficulty.” What did she not understand?
“I know that I can establish a self-supporting enterprise.” Miss Evangeline repeated.
“What are you proposing? An application for a…a…home for wayward women?” An exasperated Mr. Brownell was relieved that her dear mother could not witness this turn of events. Maybe that was the problem: Miss Evangeline had been left too soon without a proper guiding hand.
“What’s a wayward woman?” Eric called out.
“Eric, we raise our hands and wait to be called upon.” Mrs. Lampore then thought the better of the scolding. At least the students were paying attention. “Who can tell the class what wayward means?”
“All right, Mr. Brownell,” Miss Evangeline looked squarely at him. “If that is my only alternative then so be it. Please submit the application for Miss Evangeline’s Home for Wayward Women.”
Mr. Brownell’s mouth fell open as he stared incredulously. Miss Evangeline smiled and collected her pocketbook. “I’ll see myself out.”
She paused outside on the wood walkway. Maybe he was right? Perhaps she’d only invite trouble to her doorstep. Well, that may be the price she’d have to pay. The return would be well worthwhile, she was certain.
“It means that Olive’s relations were prostitutes!” Mrs. Lampore’s class exploded into laughter and Olive’s face burned.
“It means,” the class quieted at Mrs. Lampore’s warning tone, “that Olive’s great-great aunt was a founding mother of the great city of Jackson.”