niddering-cowardly person, a wretch
amanuensis-person employed to write what another dictates, secretary
tyro-a beginner in learning anything, novice
Sam Smith escorted people from their cars to a circle around the casket at Peaceful Rest cemetery for the burial of James Hasten. The steady softly falling rain added to the somberness of the small group. There were no voices, all that could be heard were only the rain drops hitting the umbrellas, and soft sobbing accompanied by twittering of the birds. Breaking into the quietness was a large gasp and "He can't be buried there, that is my plot." The voice heard was that of Mary Ann Ross, cousin of James Hasten.
Sam Smith quickly went to talk to Mary Ann. The more they talked the a more agitated Mary Ann became. Frank Short's name was repeatedly thrown out. After fifteen minutes Sam suggested that the group go to a local restaurant on his tab, while he went back to the funeral home to check on the facts.
People who become funeral directors should go into the business to want to serve someone in a time of need. That was not niddering Sam Smith's reason for becoming an undertaker. Funeral directors make good money, and he inherited the business from his father, so there was little outlay at the beginning, the building furnishings, and reputation were establish.
Sam did not do the work, it was done by a tyro Frank Short. It was March and Frank came down with the flu, and Sam had to do the work involved in the Jim Hasten funeral. To make matters worse Janice Huff the amanuensis had caught what Frank had, she also was gone.
Paper and charts were pulled out and thrown around as Sam searched for the information. Sam took out his anger on the absent Mary Ann. She should have just kept her mouth shut. What difference where she would be buried make? He finally had all the paper work to find she was right. He called in the gravediggers to make another burial spot for James. He contacted the family to make arrangements for the funeral the next day.
The next day had better weather and James Hasten was laid to rest. Frank short and Janice Huff returned to work. Janice turned to Sam after she restored the office to order," Did you know that James is now resting in your plot?"