“Do these people know they’re being taken by a charlatan?” Her double-chin shook furiously as she looked around at his bemused group. “Do you even know how old this kid is?”
As if shaken suddenly from a trance, the group began to mumble and stir. Quickly noting the unexpected turn of events, Edgar brusquely shook everyone’s hands and pushed them off into the night.
“That’s the end of the tour, then. I hope you enjoyed your trip back in time tonight. There you go, quickly now. Go find a toasty fire somewhere, and please tell your friends!”
“Yeah, tell them that a 15-year-old kid has been feeding you a bunch of bull!” cried Cora from behind him, causing more rustlings of disapproval from the group. “Edgar, I told you a hundred times. Get off my side of the street and get your butt home where it belongs!” Her thick New England accent sounded like she was spitting gravel.
Side-stepping any further embarrassment, Edgar dashed by Cora’s squat form, deftly sliding into one of the small alleyways narrowly dividing the surrounding Colonial structures. His trenchcoat curled behind him as he sidestepped muddy puddles and trash cans, and took off toward home.
A few minutes later, in the privacy of his grandmother’s own light-blue Colonial three-story on Tulane Avenue, Edgar counted the night’s take with satisfaction. It had been a good evening overall. There were some genuinely enthused cemetery lovers in the group, which made it delightfully easy to play up to their expectations.
Damn that Stelton woman, though. She had completely soured the mood. There’d be scant return customers from tonight’s group. But it was like that sometimes, Edgar conceded as he stashed away his loot.
Tourism was a cut-throat business.