Statement of Margaret Anne Rochester,2:00 pm, November 3

Was this visit with yourhusband the first time you had met any of his relatives?

Yes. I was very excited and eager to meet his two aunts, his only two living relatives. George Edward's parents died when he was in college, so he talks endlessly about his aunts and their lovely homes. I just loved Aunt Julia and Aunt Beatrice when I met them-two such sweet ladies. And Julia's house was everything George told me about and more. I'm glad I was able to spend this week with Aunt Julia; I won't let this tragic ending spoil the only memories I'll ever have of her. I never had any aunts myself, so George Edward's are particularly dear to me.

Did you notice any tension between any of the other people who spentthe week at Miss Rochester's house?

I wouldn't say so. Everybody seemed to be going out of their ways tobe agreeable to me, and George Edward and I are still floating around ina little bubble of happiness.

I'm a little curious about the assortment of . . . stuff in your bedroom,Mrs. Rochester. What are all those things?

Oh, that's just my arts and crafts box. I love working with my hands, painting, and using unusual materials to make things. This week I was working on a little something for Aunt Julia's birthday. I gave her a card I had made; I wasn't able to give her the present before her death.

Tell me about the fire at the motel.

Oh, it was dreadful. I didn't sleep well that night, what with the death of Aunt Julia and all. So about 3 am I began to smell smoke and saw flames breaking through the wall of our room. I woke my husband immediately and we ran outside. Once we gathered our wits and breath, we went to the door of Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Simon's room and shouted and knocked to alert them. Oh, that was scary, getting up close to the burning building. But we're not heroes, just regular people helping family.

What about Deborah Forsythe?

Deborah Forsythe joined us later. I don't know how she, well any of us, survived that fire. The Lord was certainly looking out for us that night.