The Diary Of Pamela D. (Chapter 3, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 3

To Pamela's surprise, Theo said nothing more about what she'd done to his word processor. In fact, after breakfast the following morning, he led her to his study and opened the closet. Sitting on the floor was a large cardboard box.

'Do you have any idea how to set up a fax machine? I bought the infernal thing almost a year ago now; it's hardly been out of the case.'

Pamela took a cursory look at the writing on the box. 'I can't promise anything,' she said carefully. 'All I can do is give it a try.'

He nodded. 'Well, do the best you can.' He left her to manage on her own.

After twenty minutes or so she came downstairs and found him speaking with his mother and three of their business associates. She was about to leave them to it, to choose a better time, but he noticed her presence.

'No luck?' he said brusquely, as though certain her efforts hadn't met with success.

She swallowed, intimidated by his abruptness and by the subtle but intimidating way he communicated to her that he was quickly dismissing her presence because she was a distraction to the meeting. 'I think it's working,' she said quickly, hoping he wouldn't require an explanation, 'but I won't know until someone tries to send you a fax or an e-mail.'

He quirked an eyebrow, unable to conceal his surprise. 'E-mail?'

She shrugged. 'You're set up for it now. At least, the line was already hooked up. I tried it just to be sure. And the computer says everything checks out . . . '

She thought he looked annoyed as he said to his guests, 'Would you excuse me a moment, please?' Then, taking Pamela firmly by the arm, he said, 'Now, suppose you show me what it is that you've done.'

After she had shown him how to operate both fax and e-mail, he said, 'Would you kindly stop hovering and sit down! I don't make you that nervous, do I?' Taking in her visage, he sighed. 'No doubt, now that you've seen fit to display your hidden talents, you'll be wanting to make use of these. So we'd better set some rules so that there are no more unfortunate misunderstandings.'

She looked a question at him.

'When you contact your family-'

'I haven't got any family!' She hadn't meant to blurt it out so bitterly, and found herself at once embarrassed and angry for letting her unruly emotions get the better of her.

'Oh, for pity's sake! Would you stop crying? What do you mean, you haven't any family? Surely there must be someone!'

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