SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr.Naomi Jackson reclined leisurely on the sofa as she thumbed her way through one of Sara Manchester's movie magazines.  She plopped the last bit of an oatmeal cookie into her mouth and casually lifted an eyebrow as she read about the latest off-camera activities of Marlene Dietrich.  Reaching down to pick up her glass of lemonade, she frowned when she realized that it was empty.

"Helga!  Helga!" she called out urgently.  "Helga, come here!"

"What is it?" Helga Grimm asked in annoyance as she stepped into the room.  She'd been busy dusting in the front hall and had been trying to ignore Naomi's presence -- not as if that were ever easy.  "What's wrong?"

"I'm out of lemonade," Naomi explained casually.  "Fetch me some."

Helga Grimm"Fetch?"  Helga cocked an eyebrow and scowled.  "Did you say 'fetch?'"

"Well, yes."  Naomi looked at the housekeeper curiously, not quite sure what her problem was.  "My glass is empty and I need more to drink."

"I'm the housekeeper, not the family dog," Helga said dryly as she turned to walk out of the room.  "You're supposedly pretending to be the maid in case anyone asks what you're really doing here.  I suggest you put your role to good use and get it yourself!  The kitchen's that way."  She held out her hand and pointed down the hall.  "Not that you've ever set foot in it, of course."

"Why, you...."

Joyce Preston"Helga, would you please leave us alone for a moment," Joyce Preston spoke up as she appeared in the doorway.  "There are a few things I'd like to discuss with Naomi."

"Gladly!"  Helga shot Naomi another angry look before pulling the large wooden doors of the library shut behind her as she left.

"Naomi, dear, we need to talk," Joyce began as she walked over to the sofa and sat down, causing Naomi to move from her reclined position.

Naomi Jackson"Am I about to get the money you promised me?" she asked as she quickly closed the magazine and tossed it aside.  "I've been stuck in this house for months and it doesn't seem like we're any closer to getting our hands on that inheritance than we were when I first moved in."

"Patience, dear.  Patience."  Joyce paused and smiled.  "We're both about to get everything that we want."

Meanwhile, out in the hallway, a sly and suspicious Helga had her ear pressed against the doors, trying to listen to every word.


CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE

Agnes MartinThe Offices of Callison Publications & the Daily Post"Agnes, I want that letter typed up and mailed out as soon as possible," Charles ordered as his new secretary, Agnes Martin, hurried towards the door.

"Yes, sir, Mr. Callison," she replied as she turned the knob to exit only to run right into Trevor Callison.  "Oh...um...Trevor -- I mean, Mr. Callison -- I'm...sorry."

"It's okay, Agnes," Trevor laughed.  "I should've watched where I was going."

As Agnes closed the door behind herself, Trevor walked over and sat down in one of the chairs in front of his father's desk.

"So, how's Agnes doing?"  Trevor asked, making conversation.

"Well, she's just getting started and she's a little nervous, but I think she'll do okay," Charles replied as he carefully went over the reports that were on his desk.  "Now, if I can just convince her that, even though she's got a business degree, she's got to start at the bottom, she'll do even better."

"She's not too keen on being a secretary?"

Charles Callison"She seems to have had it in her head that she could just wave a degree in front of me and start out at the top."  He let out a laugh as he recalled his first meeting with Agnes.  "I tried to explain to her that's not the way it works.  I think she's going to settle in just fine, though.  It's good to have a regular secretary again.  I've been through so many of them from the steno pool since Lorraine quit to have the baby."  Charles paused and looked up from his paper work.  "You know, son, you should have been at the house this morning.  Your grandmother decided to leave town a little early and came by to say good-bye."

"I know," Trevor laughed.  "She and Dorothea stopped by my apartment on the way to the train station."

"I should have guessed as much."  Charles went back to going over sales figures, but when he noticed that Trevor was being unusually quiet, he looked up at him again.  "Trevor, is something wrong?  You act like you've got something on your mind.  Is there something you'd like to talk about?"

"Well, Dad," Trevor began awkwardly, "actually, there is.  I...I want to talk to you about Grace."

"Son, I thought we discussed that already."  Charles leaned forward onto his desk as he spoke to him.  "If Grace has decided that she doesn't want to see you anymore, you should respect those wishes.  She's left town and if you keep obsessing about this, you're only going to end up making yourself sick over it."

"I'm already sick over it!"

"Trevor, leave this alone.  There are plenty of other girls out there to...."

Trevor Callison"I don't want anyone else, Dad," he tried to explain.  "I love Grace.  I just can't...understand why she left so suddenly.  It just...doesn't make any sense."

Charles leaned back in his seat and sighed.  "A lot of things in life never make sense.  We just have to accept them and...."

"I will not accept this!"  Trevor paused and took a deep breath.  This was definitely not the way he'd intended on bringing up this topic with his father.  "Dad, I have to know what happened.  I have to know why she left."  He paused and looked down at the floor, unable to meet his father's intense stare.  "That's why...I need to ask you a favor."

"A favor?"  Charles eyed him curiously.  "What kind of favor?"

"I need to you to get in touch with your private detective in New York," Trevor explained.  "I want to hire him to find Grace."


ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL - THIRD FLOOR - MEETING ROOM

Albanyville General Hospital"Francis, I need you to get that taken care of as soon as you can," Corinne Campbell said as she gathered up her things.  "The 4th of July Ball is only a few weeks away and there's still a lot of work to do."

"I'll get it done just as soon as I can."  Francis tucked the stack of papers under her arm and began to head for the door.

"Are you sure that you're going to have the time to get it done?"  Corinne eyed her suspiciously.  "I know you've had a lot going on lately what with your son's wedding and the move into that big new house of yours."

"Corinne, you know full well that the wedding was days ago and Charles and I have already finished our move.  If you don't think I can get this taken care of, why did you give it to me?"

Corinne Campbell"Simply because I don't have the time!"  Corinne glared at her, annoyed that the reason wasn't immediately obvious.  "Do you expect me to do all the work?  I've still got to talk to the florist and finalize the arrangements with them and contact the orchestra and...."

"I get the picture."  She nodded and sighed.  "I'll get everything taken care of.  Don't worry."

"Well, you better!" Corinne snapped.  "If this fundraiser doesn't go off perfectly, this auxiliary is going to be the laughing stock of the hospital and I refuse to go through that kind of embarrassment because of you."  She paused and glared at Francis again.  "Of course, after this past year, I'm sure you're used to being embarrassed in public."

Francis's jaw tightened and she opened her mouth to fire back a response, but immediately thought better of it.  She was in no mood to get into verbal altercation with Corinne today.

Francis Callison"I said I'd take care of it."  Without saying another word, Francis turned on her heel and stormed out into the hallway, nearly running right into Dr. Fred Rutherford in the process.

"Francis!" Fred exclaimed as he opened his arms wide so that he could give her a big hug.  "It seems like it's been ages!  Leticia and I barely got to say two words to you at the wedding because you were so tied up with the reception.  How are you doing?"

"I'm...fine," Francis stammered, unable to look at him.  She'd been working to avoid him for months and, for the most part, she'd been successful.  The last thing she'd wanted to be reminded of was her separation from Charles and her brief romantic involvement with Fred.

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Are you all right?"  He asked as he watched her closely.  "You're acting...a little strange."

"I'm fine," she muttered softly, still unable to look at him.

Not taking what she'd said as an acceptable or believable answer, Fred gently reached out and took her chin into his hand, turning her face so that he could look into her eyes.  The gesture caused Francis's breath to catch in her throat as her head began to spin with a thousand different conflicting thoughts and feelings.

Why did the mere sight of Fred still make her feel so strange?  Why did she really feel so uncomfortable around him?  She wasn't sure and it was the realization of those unanswered questions that suddenly made Francis feel more uncomfortable than before.



 


TOMORROW

The walls of Springhill Manor have ears




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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