A surfeit of lampreys

Started by Teddy Henderson at Jun 26, 2020 3:13 PM
March 15, 1924
306 Views
19 Posts

Teddy Henderson

Professional Widower
240
?Years Young
17 Posts

"Now do eat up all of your broth, dearest, it's good for you."


At least they were still in South Beach, Evelyn had been positively blindfolding him on this, mercifully short, drive over to the mystery eatery, and she made him promise to keep his eyes closed when they finally arrived, which made parking the Bugatti a bit iffy, and no mistake!

Still, now that she was leading him to the door of the place with his eyes closed he could certainly detect some tasty smells in the air. Was that Chinese? French? Outer Mongolian? He suddenly realized that he had absolutely no sense of smell.

"Oh come on, old girl" he cajoled her "These blighters are going to think I'm Helen Keller trolling around like this! You could at least have given me a white stick, or brought Lavender as a guide dog!" 

Although it was annoying not being able to see where he was going, it was also fun. He could hardly imagine his miserable wives or Evie's grouchy husbands carrying on in this manner. It really was a titter, having one's silly old sister as a murder accomplice.

Eventually they reached the door.

"Oh, come on Funny Face, can I look now?" Teddy pleaded.

 


Evelyn Whaley

Evil Stepmother and Gold-digger
142
?Years Young
20 Posts

I'm headed straight for the castle;
They wanna make me their queen;
And there's an old man sitting on the throne
That's saying that I probably shouldn't be so mean.


Evelyn was giggling in pure glee by the time she opened the door to the restaurant. Teddy's mention of Tso Long had made her choose Chinese; but this was a classy Chinese restaurant, one where all the businessmen in South Beach seemed to congregate for lunch, or in this case, dinner.

"You could at least have given me a white stick, or brought Lavender as a guide dog!"

She stopped laughing abruptly. "Lavender a guide dog? For you? I wouldn't wish that on her, Teddy, and I certainly wouldn't force her into it." She looked down at their feet. "Whoops, there's a step," she said blithely, making sure to wait until the last possible moment to warn him. It would serve him right if he knocked his foot on the step.

When they finally got inside, she edged in front of him and spread her hands wide in a dramatic manner so that the first thing he saw would be his beloved sister. "Not yet...not yet...now!"

She held her pose for the count of ten and then dropped her arms, moving back beside her brother to get a panorama view of the restaurant and its occupants. Oh, merciful heavens. Was that...she narrowed her eyes, feeling her heart beat faster suddenly as she recognized an old flame.

Eric Richards? Here? She glanced quickly at Teddy. Would he recognize Eric? There was no telling. Sometimes his memory was not the best when it came to names and faces - she had a suspicion it was only names and faces that had something to do with her - but other times he had a mind like a gator trap.


Loved 1

Teddy Henderson

Professional Widower
240
?Years Young
17 Posts

"Now do eat up all of your broth, dearest, it's good for you."


She stopped laughing abruptly. "Lavender a guide dog? For you? I wouldn't wish that on her, Teddy, and I certainly wouldn't force her into it."

“That dog loves me, you wouldn’t have to force her!” Teddy protested, reaching out with his free hand. He had a funny feeling that Evelyn was just about to walk him straight into a brick wall. "If I was a Daddy Doggie, we'd run away together and have puppies!" he added.

She looked down at their feet. "Whoops, there's a step," she said blithely, making sure to wait until the last possible moment to warn him. It would serve him right if he knocked his foot on the step.

Oh, she got him with a step instead. “Ow, thanks for the warning!” he said sarcastically “Dammit, that’s the foot I use for kicking beggars and children, too.” He only half-joked.

When they finally got inside, she edged in front of him and spread her hands wide in a dramatic manner so that the first thing he saw would be his beloved sister. "Not yet...not yet...now!"

Teddy immediately tried to look around his sister, which was easy as she was a typically skinny flapper vamp, and he was obviously impressed with what Chinesey bit of décor he could see. “Out of the way old thing: no offence, but you’re blocking the view rather. Is this the place I’ve heard of where you get proper chopsticks to eat with, and if there are four in your party they’ll bring you a Mah Jongg set to play with?” he seemed more interested in these extras than the food itself.

She held her pose for the count of ten and then dropped her arms, moving back beside her brother to get a panorama view of the restaurant and its occupants. Oh, merciful heavens. Was that...she narrowed her eyes, feeling her heart beat faster suddenly as she recognized an old flame.

Teddy stared at her narrowed eyes “I say, old girl, are you pretending to be Chinese?” he asked in all seriousness, maybe that was a thing you had to do here.

Eric Richards? Here? She glanced quickly at Teddy. Would he recognize Eric? There was no telling. Sometimes his memory was not the best when it came to names and faces - she had a suspicion it was only names and faces that had something to do with her - but other times he had a mind like a gator trap.

He followed her eyes until he reached the spot in the restaurant that they were boring a hole into. “Good God, is that Derick Pritchard, the fellow you had that awful crunch on?!” he blurted “It IS! I’d recognise the back of his head anywhere, a little fatter and greyer perhaps, but the overall shape - unmistakable!” then his eye drifted further still “And have you seen who he’s with?!”


Evelyn Whaley

Evil Stepmother and Gold-digger
142
?Years Young
20 Posts

I'm headed straight for the castle;
They wanna make me their queen;
And there's an old man sitting on the throne
That's saying that I probably shouldn't be so mean.


Evelyn rolled her eyes. Teddy could be an absolute prick sometimes. She chose to ignore his comment about how much Lavender loved him, as it was utter nonsense. The dog was afraid of him. But kicking beggars and children? That demanded an answer. "Oh, dear. They'll just have to survive without your kicks for a while, won't they?"

“Out of the way old thing: no offence, but you’re blocking the view rather. Is this the place I’ve heard of where you get proper chopsticks to eat with, and if there are four in your party they’ll bring you a Mah Jongg set to play with?”

"I don't know, Teddy. I've never been here with four people before. I..." She trailed off as she stared at Eric. It had to be Eric. Even Teddy recognized him...although he didn't get the name right.

Good God, is that Derick Pritchard, the fellow you had that awful crunch on?! It IS! I’d recognise the back of his head anywhere, a little fatter and greyer perhaps, but the overall shape - unmistakable!

"Shut up!" she hissed, elbowing him. "He'll notice us! And it's not Dereck Pritchard!" Right now, the important thing was for Teddy not to make fools out of them both. She grabbed his arm again and pulled him toward a table across from the one Eric was sitting at. But as they passed, she couldn't help stopping at the table.

"Eric? My word, I haven't seen you in years!" Her voice, normally carefully controlled, was high and unsteady. If she'd known she was going to see Eric, she would have been prepared with witty comments and a cool demeanor. But seeing him unexpectedly had thrown her off. She managed a smile, though.


Loved 1

Eric Richards

Businessman
106
?Years Young
12 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


Eric looked up at the woman who had addressed him, and smiled.  Getting to his feet, he acknowledged her with a nod, "Well, I didn't expect to see you here.  Aren't you supposed to be in mourning or something like that?"

He turned to his companions, "Gentlemen, may I have the honour of introducing you to Miss Henderson...no sorry that should be Mrs. Whaley.  Forgive me it has been a while since I saw you last."

Even though he hadn't seen Evelyn in years, he still was aware of her reputation as a gold-digger.  Thankfully, he managed to stay out her way over the years but not the two poor men she had married during that time, not to mention the other hapless men who had fallen under spell.

Back in his college days, he had a dalliance with her but it was never serious on his side. All she was a pleasurable distraction and that had ended when he met Patricia.  Seeing her here now when he was in the middle of business dinner was not good.  The last thing he wanted was another one of his plans to be derailed unexpectedly.

After his companions had greeted Evelyn, he casually looked her up and down, "Well, I must say Evelyn, the years have been good to you.  You're still as beautiful as ever."


Teddy Henderson

Professional Widower
240
?Years Young
17 Posts

"Now do eat up all of your broth, dearest, it's good for you."


Eric looked up at the woman who had addressed him, and smiled.  Getting to his feet, he acknowledged her with a nod, "Well, I didn't expect to see you here.  Aren't you supposed to be in mourning or something like that?"

He turned to his companions, "Gentlemen, may I have the honour of introducing you to Miss Henderson...no sorry that should be Mrs. Whaley.  Forgive me it has been a while since I saw you last."

The two men were a mismatched pair. The fellow sitting nearest to the new arrivals was a slight, pinched fellow in his fifties, who hardly gave the new arrivals a nod. He looked mean and grasping, like a banker. The other man was his polar opposite, an older, and may we say fatter gentleman, white haired and avuncular he sprawled back loungingly in his chair, but sprang up when they were introduced to Evelyn.

“Chester A. Peabody III, at your service Ma’m!” he drooled, and would have tried to kiss her hand, or some other extremity, had he been able to reach. This was the Millionaire that Teddy had recognized: happily married, unfortunately, even if the old boy was still imbued with a sprightly sense of gallantry.

After his companions had greeted Evelyn, he casually looked her up and down, "Well, I must say Evelyn, the years have been good to you.  You're still as beautiful as ever."

“Beautiful, why Mrs. Whaley is gorgous!” Peabody, cut in. “If you’ll excuse my temerity in saying so, Ma’m, won’t you come and join us?” he beamed “You and this, er…” he looked Teddy up and down questioningly “… gentleman?”

The thinner man was getting up anyway. “You can have my seat, I’m leaving now. You did say that you were paying, Richards.” He was a banker! “I’ve got an early start tomorrow, loans to call in, mortgages to foreclose. A good evening to you.” He nodded curtly, and was gone.

“Oh rather!” beamed Teddy at the impromptu invitation, desperately trying to remember what Peabody was famous for collecting, what was it, dominoes? tiddlywinks? No – chess sets, that was it! Rare and expensive chess sets. “I say Mr. Peabody, a dickiebird told me that you have some knowledge of chess. I’ve always been fascinated by the game but never really understood it, or its history, would you mind if I asked you a few questions about it?”

The banker’s seat was still warm as he sat in it, determined to keep the old man engaged while Evie worked on Richards. After all these years, they were still a great double act.


Evelyn Whaley

Evil Stepmother and Gold-digger
142
?Years Young
20 Posts

I'm headed straight for the castle;
They wanna make me their queen;
And there's an old man sitting on the throne
That's saying that I probably shouldn't be so mean.


Evelyn smiled again as Eric introduced her, the smile turning into an amused grin as Mr. Peabody began fawning over her. Well, if Eric wouldn't, this would have to do. And maybe it would make him jealous.

But Teddy rescued her - or derailed her newly-formed plan, depending on how one looked at it - by engaging Peabody in a conversation about chess. How had he known that? Evelyn was just the slightest bit impressed with her brother.

And now Eric's attention could be devoted fully to her. "Well, I must say Evelyn, the years have been good to you.  You're still as beautiful as ever."

She beamed, sticking one foot behind the other so her hip jutted out a bit, and then slid into the seat closest to Eric. "Why, thank you. I could say the same about you, Eric."

She lowered her voice slightly as she said his name and leaned forward, studying him. The furrows between his brows had become deeper, as if he was used to perpetually frowning, and his square jaw jutted out determinedly as it always had. She had to stop herself from reaching out and stroking his face right there in the restaurant.

"How is business?" Maybe the years had been good to him in more ways than one. She cast a quick glance at his clothes. Nice, but not opulent. Although she never would have expected him to go overboard on clothing, even if he was a millionaire like Peabody.


Loved 1

Eric Richards

Businessman
106
?Years Young
12 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


"Business is fine," Eric replied with a hint of humour in his voice.  It would have been even better if Evelyn and her brother hadn't interfered.  Yes, he knew the man she was with was her brother from they way he looked at Peabody.  He had only met Teddy once and the man was full of charm until he found out that his sister's latest boyfriend was stone, cold broke.  After that he never saw Teddy again until now.  Teddy's disapproval, however, was not a deterrent to Evelyn and they had continued their affair.

Knowing he couldn't tell both Evelyn and Teddy to go and get lost in a public venue, Eric decided to tolerate them until he could think of a way to get Peabody away from Teddy.  Once Peabody got talking about his chess collection, it was hard to stop him.  Besides, Peabody owned another parcel of land of he was interested in.

A half-smiled appeared on his face.  Today had been all about land acquisitions and he had failed both attempts.  Earlier, today at lunch, Miss Talbot had derailed his plan and now the same was happening here.  He had a few more options in regard to the two deals but there was nothing he could do about either of them at the moment.

Now, sitting here with Evelyn, he decided to see she still felt anything for him.  Any feelings he had had for her died years ago, but he got the feeling by the way she was leaning forward that there was something on her side.  Finding out what it was exactly was an interesting proposition and something to do while he waited for Peabody.

Slowly moving his gaze from her face to the rest of her body, his smile grew larger and warmer, "I know I've already said but they years have been very good to you."


Loved 1

Evelyn Whaley

Evil Stepmother and Gold-digger
142
?Years Young
20 Posts

I'm headed straight for the castle;
They wanna make me their queen;
And there's an old man sitting on the throne
That's saying that I probably shouldn't be so mean.


Eric's answer was a bit vague, but he seemed in a good enough humor. So maybe business was fine. He repeated the compliment he had given her earlier, this time being more intentional about looking her over while he did.

Evelyn smiled and inclined her head to one side. The coolness Teddy had praised her for earlier that day was returning, and her coyness along with it. She couldn't stop her cheeks from reddening slightly, but there had to be a way she could use it to her advantage.

"And I've already said, but thank you."

Teddy and Peabody were deep in conversation by this point, so there would be no help from Teddy this time. She was in this alone. But that was all right. She wasn't used to having help in charming men. She'd gotten Carl on her own, without any help from Teddy.

"Tell me, what are you doing down here? I didn't know you ever planned to move to Florida." Her tone was light, with with just a twist of bitterness.

When she had first met Eric, they had been inseparable even though Teddy didn't like her hanging out with a college boy. Well, she had been inseparable from him, and she had told him all of her dreams. She couldn't remember him mentioning Florida in his.

She had been heartbroken when he broke off their relationship, but she had recovered quickly enough and had moved on to her manager not too long after. At least she thought she had moved on. But from the way her palms were damp, she knew she had not.


Loved 1

Eric Richards

Businessman
106
?Years Young
12 Posts

To be successful in business, you have to be ruthless.


"If I remember rightly, I was planning on going to New York and trying my luck there when I finished college." Eric smiled, "However, opportunity opened her doors and I ended up here in Miami."

He knew she was fishing for information and she would probably find out sooner or later, especially if she wanted something or someone that badly.  Since it was no secret, he decided to tell her, "I live here in Miami, not very far from your late husband's home.  In fact, I was planning to look him up at some point to discuss some business matters."

"I read in the Herald this morning that there might be some sort of problem with the will."  He placed his hand on top of hers, "Now before you answer I should let you know that I do know the reporter who wrote the story. She has very good and reliable contacts all over town, so there's no use in denying that there isn't a problem."

Taking her hand, he bought up to his lips and kissed her fingertips, "If you need any help in sorting this problem out, just let me know."