The elderly couple often uses their century old residence on Main Street as an impromptu police headquarters where Les a retired Land Surveyor assists the law by applying his knowledge of the surrounding forests and mountains.
Marcy has a habit of off keyed singing as she parades her baked goods and meals for anyone who shows up at her table.
Both characters add comic relief and sobriety to the story line and are two of my favorite personalities in the novels.
Here’s an excerpt:
“The white clapboard Victorian house was located within the village of Roxbury and was recognizable by a large hand painted sign hanging in the front yard. The sign was a proud proclamation that the occupants were the ‘TOWN HISTORIANS”.
The house once was a handsome declaration of wealth and privilege but through current negligence, it seemed now as though it was the poor stepchild of its neighboring residences. The town had once been the home of the railroad magnate, Jay Gould who married a wealthy woman who was a Shepherd. The past elegance of the town was evident from the styles and construction of the homes that lined the tree lined street. All the homes had been erected during the 18th century and the majority of them had been renovated to recapture their earlier charm.
Corey parked his vehicle in the snow-covered driveway behind an older model Saturn. The untidy car seemed out of place in this town where everyone drove either a pick up or SUV. He walked up the three steps onto the porch and noticed the aged wicker furniture arranged as though it was more of a decoration than a functional thing.
He tapped the knocker against the well-worn front door and could hear the voice of a man summoning someone to get the door.
He could hear the heavy thump of footsteps resounding louder with each subsequent step until the door was opened by a woman who was both short and round. Her gray hair was combed in a Buster Brown style was neatly attired in a dated dress and it was obvious to Corey that her appearance could be considered as frumpy. “Hello Mrs. Cambridge, I’m Corey Manion . Thanks for letting me meet with you today.”
Marcy ushered him into a vestibule furnished with antique beveled wall mirrors framed with mahogany that had coat hooks attached to it. The inner door was propped open with a cast iron cat that replicated a sleeping feline. The aroma in the house reminded one of musty papers with a hint of mildew. Corey immediately liked the elderly lady; she reminded him of a person who was incapable of harming a soul and sensed a naïve streak in her.
As he entered the formal parlor he was greeted by a heavyset man who was seated in a recliner surrounded by stacks of reading material sitting in piles atop of two snack tables. He had a comical look especially with the two pairs of glasses that were squeezed onto his flabby face. Corey noticed the contradiction in appearance of this man from that of most of the local population in these hills.
The locals had a hardy weathered look and Mr. Cambridge appeared not to have spent much time outdoors. He was wearing a rumpled plaid shirt and a pair of equally rumpled blue chino pants held up by suspenders that seemed to have been stretched beyond the point that they were designed. The sparse hair that topped his head was as messy as his clothing looked yet seemed apt for this man. Lester did not budge from the chair but squinted through his glasses at the young visitor who had extended his hand to shake that of the proprietor of the residence who seemed unaccustomed to the ritual.
He moved his chubby hand into Corey’s but offered little in way of a manly shake. Corey was taught by his pop that a man’s character was reflected in the way he shook another man’s hand. Next to the recliner that supported the enormity of Lester was a Wing Back chair that Marcy asked that he sit in. The parlor was neatly kept if you ignored the immediate vicinity that surrounded Lester. The furniture was aged, but it was apparent that at least one of the home’s occupants was a person who took pride in the way the place was kept and it did not take much of an imagination to guess who that person was.
Marcy sat on the large high back couch that faced the two chairs. “Mr. Manion would you like a beverage as we sit and chat?” she asked in a neighborly way. “I’ll take a cold drink Marcy since you are offering,” piped Lester in an excited voice. “Maybe some snacks too!” he added. Corey declined the offer and asked the folks to address him by his first name. Marcy ignored Lester’s request and asked Corey to tell them something about himself and since he was a recent addition to the area, they held a special interest in other people’s life story”