Anyway, so John thinks that now is a good time to sell: right when the store has turned the corner. Whereas Moira expressed surprise that Elly chose this time. Hope Moira didn't talk herself out of an affordable price.
Panel 2: John has a very androgynous body. And he says Lilliput's is a "good LITTLE business". Now, I remember a time when Elly would have been outraged at the suggestion that anything she does is "little", as in, not to be taken seriously, and taken back her offer to sell, just to show John who was "little".
Panel 3: But not today. And I wonder what kind of hand she'll keep in, and for that matter, HOW she can keep it in, when she'll have no status. Everything is so black-and-white nowadays (except on the Yahoo! page, ha ha): the idea of retaining ownership but dialing back on her responsibilities was probably dismissed, if it was ever brought up, as too complicated and hard to bring across in the strip.
Panel 4: Okay, I'm lost. Meaning, Moira will have to pay on the mortage to Elly?