When Miss Emily Grierson begins to carry on an open relationship with a northern laborer named Homer Barron, the townsfolk consider their relationship a disgrace and believe that Miss Emily is dating below her social status. The older generation of Jeffersonians also believe that Miss Emily is setting a bad example for younger people and feel that Miss Emily is much too good for Homer. They initially petition the Baptist minister to speak to Miss Emily in hopes of dissuading her from marrying Homer Barron. After failing to change her mind, the minister writes to Miss Emily's cousins in Alabama. The townsfolk hope that Miss Emily's two female cousins will be able to prevent her from marrying Homer Barron and described them as being "more Grierson than Miss Emily had ever been," which implies that they act superior, aloof, and prestigious. Homer Barron ends up leaving Jefferson for the brief time while Miss Emily's cousins are visiting and returns once they leave. Despite Homer's return, the townsfolk feel relieved that Miss Emily's cousins from Alabama are gone.