Jones of Old Lincoln (Chapter 5, page 1 of 17)


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Chapter 5

The next morning I went to Rose Hill Cemetery to do some sleuthing about the gravestones. There was a fine morning haze and a chill in the air. Moving out from Mr. Jones' monument, I found the markers for George and Martha ("Miss Patc") at the foot of his tombstone-actually in its shadow.

I saw in my mind for a moment my phantom-alive and standing with his hat off on that hot July day in 1882, an old man of seventy-six, his face flush, sweat streaming down his face and collar, mortality freezing his imagination. He was in the company of others tending to burying the love of his life…the unrequited love of his life? She was buried at the foot of his grave…no, she died two years before he did, so he was buried within a few feet of her grave.

Prowling around, I also discovered George Jones Stonebreaker's marker-Born Aug. 4, 1843 - Died Feb. 15, 1905. He was the son of George and Martha (Patc)! Excited by this discovery, I felt sure I'd accumulated more questions than answers about Mr. Jones and his landlady, Miss Patc. Circumstantial evidence is still evidence, of a sort: she named her son George Jones Stonebreaker.

My excitement was tempered when I remembered my specter's admonition about love's qualities and his pure love for a married woman. He would have me believe it was no more than platonic love. Was his explanation a subterfuge...a façade hiding something, perhaps adultery? It was not unheard of; no not at all in any era. Was there more to see, observe, to see through? Could it really be as he portrayed it-a quaint, gothic, pure love, uncomplicated by the carnal?

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