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Once again my column this week finds me trying to learn more about Percy Talbott, the ex-convict who has decided to make Gilead her new home. I know I am not alone when I say that although Gilead is a wonderful town, it is not a place for criminals to start over.
In this week’s edition, I speak with Shelby Thorpe, resident of Gilead and long-time friend of Hannah Ferguson, who hired Ms. Talbott to work at The Spitfire Grill, which Mrs. Ferguson owns.
EK: Shelby, you seem to be deft at quietly observing people. Tell us, what are some of the things you have learned from observing Percy Talbott, Hannah’s newest staff member and the newest resident of Gilead?
ST: Oh, I don’t really know...
EK: Well in following Hannah’s wishes, you now work with Ms. Talbott at the grill, don’t you?
ST: Yes, I mean, I suppose you could say that. I do help out at the grill from time to time.
EK: So wouldn’t you say I am correct in assuming that you have come to know Ms. Talbott fairly well, since you two work together?
ST: I couldn’t really say…
EK: Shelby, do you think you could give an answer that actually means something? This interview is shaping up to be quite the bore. You have been working side by side with Percy Talbott for quite some time now; surely there must be something you have discovered about this woman.
ST: Well… she is a much better cook now than she used to be. Before I was asked to help her, I couldn’t tell the difference between her hash browns and her bacon.
EK: Yes… I am somewhat aware of her talents in the kitchen… You must have your work cut out for you at the grill: cooking, cleaning, keeping track of the money. What exactly are Ms. Talbott’s responsibilities?
ST: She does most of the work; I am just there to help out with whatever I can. I’m glad to do it.
EK: You can’t mean that she handles the large responsibilities, like the financial aspects of running a business. Hannah would be off her rocker to let a criminal run the fiscal side of things.
ST: Percy does a wonderful job in whatever she is asked to do. I think she is a terrific asset to the grill, and to Gilead.
EK: Rumor has it that your husband, Caleb, is not very keen on the idea of you working at that grill.
ST: Well… no… but he, he doesn’t realize how much of a help it is to Hannah, I don’t think.
EK: Rumor also has it that he is not a fan of Ms. Talbott, either. In that I think we have something in common.
ST: Perhaps if you both took the time to get to know her, she would surprise you both.
Stay tuned; next week I will be talking with Shelby’s husband, Caleb Thorpe, who will no doubt give us the angle on Ms. Talbott that I am sure we have all been craving.
Editor’s note: The following is part of a series to promote the Los Alamos Little Theater’s next production, “The Spitfire Grill.” The interview, writer and mugshot are fictitious. Brenna Moore wrote the story. The photo is by Larry Gibbons. The Spitfire Grill will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 as well as at 2 p.m. May 9 and 16 at LALT.