If anyone knows the whereabouts of Josh, last name unknown, contact Miss Edith Plotke on 6th Street.
Josh the cad got sweet young Edith pregnant and skipped.
Or, sweet Edith wasn't so sweet and bashed Josh's head in and left him in the mine.
If Edith was pregnant in 1960, her son would be in his forties now!
Did you do any more checking on Ed and Edith Plotke— the people from the 1961 newspaper—and missing Josh the miner?
Dean pulled out the photocopies of the old newspaper ads requesting information on Josh published first by Edith Plotke and later by her father.
Was he involved with Edith Plotke?
One logical candidate was the offspring of Edith Plotke and Josh Mulligan: someone forty years old, perhaps a red head.
Josh and my mother were involved—she was Edith Plotke.
He claimed that he had left Ouray "for business reasons" and had no idea Edith was pregnant.
Edith Shipton appeared, as Cynthia had described, to be more nervous than a fifth-grader on speech day.
Cynthia introduced her as Mrs. Edith Jones, drawing a slight smile but no offered hand.
Edith Shipton looked concerned.
There was no further sign of either Edith Shipton or the boy.
He was talking to Edith Shipton who was nodding and biting her fingernails, when she wasn't wringing her hands.
I was telling Mrs. Edith about these here letters and how the two ladies from Boston will be coming to Bird Song.
Edith smiled, and in Dean's judgment feigned interest, but she made no further move to leave the room.
Miss Worthington's a big mucky-muck in the historical society, he said, for Edith Shipton's benefit.
As he rose to answer it, he couldn't help noticing Edith Shipton's alarmed reaction to the ring.
"That's nice," Edith answered unconvincingly as she rose to leave.
Edith Shipton took the garment and held it against herself.
For the first time since she'd arrived, Edith Shipton had a peaceful look on her face.
Edith smiled but shook her head.
Edith ignored him and sat back on the sofa, the dress still spread in front of her.
Edith began to unpile the rest of the clothes, half-slips, long drawers and top coverings that Dean assumed were forerunners of bras.
There were a dozen articles of clothing in all and Edith examined each carefully.
"They're blonde," Edith said, sounding disappointed.
Edith looked once more at her son and then picked up the garment and the comb.
However, she said nothing in deference to Edith Shipton's son who remained engrossed with his puzzle.
They all looked up as Edith Shipton tentatively entered the room, dressed in Annie Quincy's antique dress.
"I almost feel I'm she," Edith said, sounding embarrassed by her admission.
Edith stood there, neither following her son, nor making any move to enter further into the room.
Edith hesitated, as if embarrassed but then sat next to Cynthia Dean, adjusting the dress behind her.
The answer seemed to please Edith Shipton and she appeared to relax.
Edith shook her head no, much to Dean's relief.
Edith looked up at the ceiling once more but in a few moments there was only silence.
Cynthia took the opportunity to push Edith a bit further.
Edith seemed to slump down in her seat.
Edith looked up, rubbed a sleeve across her eyes to dry them, then brushed her hands down the white dress, smoothing the fabric against her legs.
Edith closed her eyes as tears seeped down her cheeks but she wouldn't answer.
Edith kept shaking her head 'no' as he spoke.
Edith allowed herself to be led back to her seat.