HOME - DINING ROOM
what's going on?" Trevor Callison asked as he rose from his seat and walked
over to the unexpected guest. "What's so urgent that you've got to
barge in here, like this? Not that I'm not grateful for the interruption."
He shot Annabelle Lake a hateful glance.
"Yes, what is
going on here, Mr. Lamont?" Charles eyed him cautiously.
could clearly tell by the intense look in Burt's eyes that something of dire
importance was on his mind. But what? "Does this have anything
to do with your mother's recent passing? I had intended to pay you and
your brother a visit at the house to pay my respects, but things have been so
hectic at the office lately, that..."
Burt snapped with a sneer. "Oh, I can just imagine how this family
can get so caught up in their own lives that they can just easily forget the
people they've hurt...the people they've stepped on...to get where they
Lamont, I think you better explain yourself!" Reginald Callison spoke up as
he quickly joined his father and brother as they stood facing Burt.
"What's so all fired urgent that you had to barge in here?"
"Mr. Callison is
right," Burt muttered before taking a deep breath. "This is
about my mother. You see, I was with her when she took her last
"Burt, I'm so
sorry." Trevor extended his hand in hopes of showing sympathy, but
Burt promptly yanked his arm away.
"I bet you're all
sorry!" As the events of the past week began to get to him, Burt felt
his face flush with anger. How dare they just cast him and his mother
aside like they were common trash? How dare they deny him everything that
was rightfully his?
in god's name are you talking about?" Charles eyed him closely as he
tried to figure out what had gotten the caretaker of his stables so upset.
Burt took several long,
labored breaths before finally speaking again. "As most of you know,
my mother passed away several days ago. She was one of the most kind
hearted, good natured human beings that I ever had the privilege of
knowing. I feel honored to be her son."
"I'm sure she was a fine
woman," Charles nodded. "I just wish I'd have gotten a chance to
know her better."
"But you did know
her!" Burt turned his head sharply to glare at him. "You
knew my mother long before I ever brought her back here to Albanyville!"
Stunned with the announcement,
Charles took a couple of steps back. He had known Penelope
Lamont! He'd been sure of that the moment he'd met her that one time at
The Gardens. He'd just never been able to place her. That
uncertainty had haunted him for days and he'd hired a detective to find out
exactly who she was. However, he'd never received a report and had allowed
it to slip from his mind. After all, there had been quite a bit going on
in his life, lately.
"However, I believe you
knew her by a very different name," Burt continued. "Would the
name Nellie Burgess ring a bell?"
Burgess?" Charles quickly began to search the darkest corners of his
mind for a hint of memory concerning that name. It did sound
familiar. Who in the devil could Nellie B... "Oh, my
"Ah! So you do
remember her?" A self-satisfied smirk quickly covered Burt's face.
"Father, you knew Burt's
mother?" Trevor asked as he looked at him intently.
"I...I was only acquitted
with her, actually," Charles confessed as he hung his head. "I do
remember liking her very much. She was such a sweet girl."
was Nellie Burgess?" Maggie
Callison spoke up as she joined the rest of her
family. "What's going on?"
Charles slowly ran his fingers
through his hair as he was forced to remember a period of time that he'd tried
so hard to move past. "You see, Nellie Burgess...Burt's mother...was
your uncle Landon's girlfriend. They would meet out at the stables to go
horseback riding and I would trail along behind them. Landon was never
too thrilled about that. He always wanted to be alone with her. Of
course, it was quite understandable that he didn't want his little brother
hovering over him and his girlfriend."
"Your parents did not
approve of my mother!"
"No, they didn't,"
Charles confessed with an embarrassed shake of his head. "I...I never
really understood that. Nellie was so sweet and kind, but Mother and
Father were very insistent about Landon marrying the proper girl. He was
heir to the entire Callison legacy. They just didn't...think that your
mother was of the right class. I often heard Father and Landon arguing
"Your parents forbid them
to see each other! Your father even bought my grandfather's farm and
threatened to have them evicted if Landon and my mother ever saw one another
"I...I never knew
that," Charles muttered as he hung his head, more than a little embarrassed
by his own parents cruelness.
Jillian Stokes spoke up as she joined her fiancÚ at his side.
"What's going on?"
Reginald held his finger up in front of his lips, not wanting to interrupt what
appeared to be a gravely important matter. Soon, Grace
Davis had joined the duo
as they stared at Burt with curiosity and confusion.
"I bet there's a lot you
didn't know!" Burt continued with his tale. "Do you remember
that day out at the stables? The day your brother died?"
remember?" Charles inhaled deeply as a tone of sadness overtook his
voice. "How could I forget? That was the day that my entire
life changed forever."
"It was the day mine
changed forever, as well." Burt lifted his hand to gently massage his
temple. The stress of the entire situation was beginning to get the better
I don't understand?" Charles looked at him as he tried to comprehend
what Burt was saying.
"You see, your brother
was there that day to meet my mother. He was supposed to meet her down by
Spring Lake. There was something very, very important that she needed to
tell him." Burt ducked his head in an attempt to hide his eyes that
were misting over with tears. "S-she never got the chance. He
died before she ever had the chance. She was standing along the
meadow under the trees and saw the entire accident. She saw him die."
"Oh, my," Charles
gasped. "I...I never knew!" He paused and looked at Burt
again, trying to understand what his roll in all of this was. "But, I
don't understand. How does this directly involve you? What are you
trying to get at?"
"You see, Mr. Callison,
my mother had something very important to tell him...something she never got the
chance to." Burt took a deep breath and threw his shoulders back as
he prepared to finally reveal a truth that had been buried for to long.
"You see, my mother was..."
Suddenly, Burt's announcement
was cut short by the shrill ringing of the doorbell. In unison, everyone
turned in the direction of the sound. Now, who in the world could that be?