September and Other Stories (Chapter 3, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 3

November 29, 1924

"We shall surely never be able to sell the damnable place!" declared Mrs. Walters.

"Glenda, please. You will make yourself ill fretting so," replied Mother. She gestured to Samuel to pour Mrs. Walters another drink.

"And there was no reason for it. Caldwell was well taken care of. He should have had a bit more respect for us."

I entered the room and pretended to be looking for something.

"Hello, Mrs. Walters," I said as I lifted up some catalogs on the coffee table. "You seem troubled."

"Oh, Natasha. One of our hired help ... " I caught Mother hushing Mrs. Walters out of the corner of my eye. " ... It's nothing to trouble you with, dear."

"It's no trouble if you want to talk," I replied as I shuffled the periodicals in a false search. "What happened to your man Caldwell? He didn't steal from you and Mr. Walters, did he?"

"No, dear. He ... died."

I sat down next to her on the sofa and patted her hand. "I am so sorry. Was he ill?"

"Natasha, what are you looking for? Samuel can bring it to you." Mother's voice cautioned against unnecessary prying into her friend's quandary.

"I was looking for the Sears catalog."

"I will have Samuel find it and bring it to you."

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