What A Strange Little Man (Chapter 9, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 9

As I pondered these thoughts I heard the door at the end of the long hallway open and close. I wiped my face with my hands and proceeded to the entrance and was stunned as I noticed who it was. Mary had never been here before, so I knew there must be a real good reason for her appearance. She greeted Captain Antonio and made her way over to me.

"Michael," She whispered, "You forgot your lunch."

I had never done that before, but then I had never had a visitor to stay all night at my house either.

"Thank you, honey. I guess the excitement has really affected me," I said as an excuse.

"Are we getting old, Michael?" Romy teased.

"Very funny Romy. I'll beat you in a foot race any day of the week!" I bragged.

I really didn't know if I could or not, but I wasn't going to let him know it. Romy and I had the kind of relationship that allowed competition without offense. He was an aggressive opponent in any situation. His passion for sporting events was much deeper than mine, but then he wasn't married either.

"I brought our new friend some refreshment as well," Mary said, interrupting our skirmish.

"I'm sure he will be thankful," I said as I took the bundle.

It looked as if there was enough food inside of it to feed several men, and the wine flask could not have held any more drink. Captain Antonio slid up behind Mary.

"Aren't you going to introduce us?" He asked pleasantly.

"Uh, sure, sir. Mary, this is Captain Antonio Farbus. Captain, this is my lovely wife Mary," I said. I was still uneasy about the change in the Captain's demeanor.

"So nice to meet you, Captain," Mary said.

"The pleasure is all mine, I'm sure. Would the two of you like to use my office to talk?" He gestured, extending his arm towards the entrance to his office.

"That won't be necessary, Captain," Mary said, "I can't stay, and I wouldn't dream of disturbing the routine of your day. Besides, I must get to the marketplace before all the fresh fruit is gone."

"Well, then, all right. Please come again anytime. We don't get many visitors that are as easy to look at as you are," He complimented.

I didn't know the Captain knew such words, let alone use them in this fashion. I always thought of him as a faithful married man. Come to think of it, I really didn't know if he was married or not. How can you work with people and not know things like this?

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