hello," Sara smiled nervously as
Helga opened the front door.
"I-I'm Sara Manchester. I'm supposed to start work as Mr. Preston's
"Ah, yes," Helga
replied as she carefully inspected Thornton's new employee. "If
you'll follow me..."
Sara stepped through the front
door and quietly trailed along behind Helga as she walked towards the
study. As she followed, Sara's eyes quickly took in the elaborate
trappings of the home. From all the time she'd spend looking at magazines
and the society column of The Daily Post, she quickly recognized the intricate
details in the furnishings that denoted wealth.
"If you'll wait in here,
Mr. Preston will be with you shortly," Helga said as she pulled the large
wooden doors of the study open. "He's a very busy man. Don't
waste his time."
"Oh, I don't intend
to." Sara tried to smile in spite of her awkward feelings.
"I'm supposed to be here to help him since he is so busy. I'm
sorry, I didn't catch your name."
"I didn't give it.
I'm Miss Grimm. I'm Mr. Preston's housekeeper. I've been with him
for many years."
Sara extended her hand for a
warm greeting, but her smile quickly faded when Helga refused to recognize her
display of politeness.
"I don't know why Mr.
Preston had to go to all the trouble of hiring an assistant. I've done
very well on my own. He doesn't need anyone else." Helga
continued to eye Sara closely. There just was something not right about
"Maybe Mr. Preston thinks
it's time to give you a break. Maybe he doesn't want to burden you with
"And that's exactly
the reason!" Thornton's voice announced his arrival as both Helga and
Sara turned to find him standing in the doorway. "Now, Helga, bring
us some coffee and leave me and Sara alone to have a chance to get acquainted."
Helga curtly nodded, walked out of the room, and pulled the doors closed.
"Mrs. Manchester, I'm
Thornton Preston," he smiled as he extended his hand.
"S-so nice to meet
"Tell me about yourself,
Mrs. Manchester." Thornton slowly walked about the room as he
listened to her and analyzed her every movement.
As Sara began to give a brief
description of her background, Helga stood quietly in the foyer with her ear
pressed to the study doors. There was something about Sara that made Helga
uneasy. She didn't trust her at all.