The minister sends for Miss Emily's relations (female cousins) because of her seeminly inappropriate behavior with Homer Baron, a carpet bagger-type from the North. They are seen riding in carriages without a chaperone which is not considered proper behavior for an unmarried Southern lady like Miss Emily.
Homer Baron is a northerner who is spending time with Miss Emily. They are seen together in public and the rumors fly that maybe they will get married. Miss Emily has bought a set of gentleman's toiletry items engraved with Homer's initials, and he disappears shortly after Miss Emily is seen buying poison for pole cats and rats in the local apothecary's shop. Not long after that, the local men are having to spread lime in Miss Emily's yard because of the horrible smell of death that has gathered around the home. Unable to investigate because it's not right to tell a Lady that she smells, the men did this under cover of darkness.
Later, after Miss Emily's death and Toby's disappearance, the corpse is discovered with a long, iron-gray hair on the pillow beside it indicating that Emily and Homer had actually "married" in some sense of the word.