13 “Hello, I’m”

by admin on October 26, 2011

The large wooden entrance door swung open as three men appeared.  William Jennings, the station master, accompanied the two other men past the check-in desk and into the Great Hall.  The elderly man paused momentarily and turned to Jennings, “Thanks for all your help, Will” the old gent said.  With that William Jennings shook hands with both men, turned, and left the hotel.  The room was deafeningly quiet.  Only the occasional crackling and popping of the wood on the fire disturbed the silence.  Harold and Ida rose to their feet as the two men made their way across the Great Hall floor.  Charles and Samuel moved slowly toward them.  Ida searched their faces as they moved closer.  She was stunned to see the remarkable likeness between Samuel and her father, Samuel Dunwell, Jr.  She could easily picture what her father would look like in another twenty years.  Although he was into his 90’s Samuel moved with the confidence of a man of power and wealth.  Next to him walked Charles. Tall and well built he, too, resembled her father.

As he extended his hand to Harold Charles was the first to speak.  “I’m Charles and this is my father, Samuel” he said as the two men shook hands.  Then Harold and Samuel nodded at each other as they shook hands.  Fumbling for the right way to introduce themselves, Harold finally said, “I’m Harold, and this is, uh, your grand-, um, uh, my wife, Ida.”  Awkward smiles gave way to nervous chuckles.

Charles smiled and gestured toward the seats by the fireplace with a broad wave of his hand.  The hotel’s wine steward had been requested to stay after hours in case he had been needed.  As the four of them took their seats the steward came with four glasses and a bottle of the best 35 year old brandy the hotel offered.  As the steward carefully poured the brandy Charles began the conversation.  “Well, Dad has been filling me in for the last eight hours or so, but I doubt that his perspective will quite match up with yours” he said, holding back a grin.  A faint smile came to Ida’s face.

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