Study Guide

Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories The Ballad of the Sad Café, Part 3

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The Ballad of the Sad Café, Part 3

  • Though the store transformed into a café, the upstairs three-room apartment remained the same as it had been when Miss Amelia's father had been alive.
  • Everything was cleaned carefully and straightened by Miss Amelia's housekeeper, Jeff.
  • Cousin Lymon stayed in the front room, where Marvin Macy had (briefly) stayed, and where Miss Amelia's father stayed before that. It had a large four-poster bed, crocheted linens, and a chamber pot in the corner.
  • Miss Amelia stayed in another room.
  • The third room was a parlor with a curio cabinet, in which there were family objects, as well as an acorn and a velvet box of stones Miss Amelia herself had added.
  • The stones were her own kidney stones (ouch) and she thought they were valuable.
  • After two years living with Cousin Lymon, she had the kidney stones set in a watch chain for him.
  • Cousin Lymon wondered why the acorn was special, and Miss Amelia said she had picked it up the day her father died. Cousin Lymon couldn't understand.
  • Even though Miss Amelia didn't like to talk, she loved rhetorical questions, the natural world, and riddles that couldn't be solved, like the best treatment for cancer, or the stars.
  • Cousin Lymon loved to chatter.
  • Miss Amelia liked to talk about her father, waxing poetic about their life together, during which Cousin Lymon would pipe in whenever he could.
  • In return for this company, Miss Amelia made sure Cousin Lymon was comfortable and well taken care of.
  • Miss Amelia also showed her love by telling him her secrets, where she kept her keys and money, and Cousin Lymon took cash from the store's register when he wanted. The only thing Miss Amelia kept hidden was her marriage to Marvin Macy.

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