Twice during the last year of the project i had

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Unformatted text preview: ntence before the other started another one. "We sell it to you . . ." "For a hundred thousand ..." "We take the money . . ." "And move to Florida . . ." "Florida?" I asked. "We have a cousin there ..." "She lives in a retirement village . . ." "It's very lovely . . ." "And they take such good care of you . . ." "And Melberta is nearby." Melberta? I thought she was still around the house somewhere, sneaking through the shadows. They explained that they had placed her in a "home" a few months back. The "home" was somewhere north of Tampa. That's where they wanted to go and spend the rest of their days. Their beloved mansion was simply too much for them to maintain. They had bad hips, bad knees, bad eyes. They climbed the stairs once a day—"twenty-four steps" Gilma informed me—and were terrified of falling down and killing themselves. There wasn't enough money to make it safe, and what money they had they didn't want to waste on housekeepers, grass-cutters, and, now, a driver. "We want you to buy the Mercedes too . . ." "We don't drive, you know ..." Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, "Max always took us ..." Once in a while, just for fun, I would sneak a glance at the odometer of Max's Mercedes. He was averaging less than a thousand miles per year. Unlike the house, the car was in mint condition. The house had six bedrooms, four floors and a basement, four or five bathrooms, living and dining rooms, library, kitchen, wide sweeping porches that were falling in, and an attic that I felt certain was crammed with family treasures buried there centuries ago. It would take months just to clean it before the remodelers moved in. A hundred thousand dollars was a low price for such a mansion, but there were not enough newspapers sold in the entire state to renovate the place. And what about all those animals? Cats, birds, rabbits, squirrel...
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