Charlie gave the butler a grimaced smile, the bandages being slightly tighter than what Madam Bailey had done. “Thank you, my good man. I do hate to bother you further, as I am sure other patrons require your assistance, but could I get you to help me dress in my evening wear? I’d hate to over-extend myself and cause the ladies to wait even longer because I need my wounds redressed.“
Harold had no qualms with this as he got up and went to the closet, seeking out his evening suit. Finally, he produced a fine looking dark gray evening suit, which still looked freshly pressed. “Would be my pleasure to assist, Sir.” he motioned for Charlie to stand and begun undoing his belt and removing his trousers so that he could put on the fresh clean pair. Refastening the belt on the clean belt loops, he had him sit back on the edge of his bed as he changed Mr. Gablou’s socks, adorned his feet with his evening dress shoes, then proceeded to put his shirt on, the pinstriped waist coat, then the jacket over. “Would you stand once more, Sir. I just need to button you up, and you’re ready to go.”
Charlie obliged, thanking Harold, “You’re a fine butler, Harold. Madam Bailey is lucky to have you.“
The butler buttoned up the waist coat and was positively beaming, “Why thank you, Sir. My family has always served the masters of the inn, Sir, it is our duty and our pleasure to do so. Now you are positively perfect for your evening luncheon with the ladies, Sir.” Harold paused, “Is there anything else I can do for you, Sir, before I resume my duties?“
Charlie extended his hand to Harold, “No, my good chap, that is all I think I shall need. I am grateful for your assistance.“
They shook hands and walked from the room, Charlie closing the door behind them. He allowed Harold to lead the way back downstairs where the butler showed him to the patio that overlooked a garden. “Ladies, I present to you, Mr. Gablou.” the butler bowed to the company and excused himself as he went off to go about his duties.
“I do apologize for keeping you, ladies.” Charlie took Madam Bailey’s hand then Janielles, giving each a gentlemans kiss, “I was foolish and ended up bleeding through the bandages you so carefully put on, Madam Bailey.“
“Well, you missed the danishes, but you’re just in time for evening tea.” Madam Bailey chided, “I do hope you aren’t in too much pain, Mr. Gablou. Mrs. Laikos and I were worried, you were up there for almost an hour.“
Janielle nodded, “We were, indeed.“
Charlie sat at the table with the ladies and picked up his cup of tea from the saucer, “Well, I am fine, and here. Nothing to worry your heads over.” he smiled at them as he took a sip of the tea. It was still warm, and was a light fruity tea with just a hint of lemon and honey. He closed his eyes as he let the taste linger on his tongue, enjoying its taste. It had been some time since he last had a nice cup of tea, and Charlie planned to savor every second of it.
Janielle saw the look on his face and stifled a giggle, “Mr. Gablou, are you sure you’re quite all right? You seem to be in the clouds.“
“Come now, let the man enjoy himself for a moment before you accost him again, Mrs. Laikos.” Madam Bailey said quietly, lightly tapping her foot with her own under the table.
Charlie laughed, and it was a hearty laugh, “Tis fine, Madam Bailey, she is right, my head is in the clouds. I cannot remember last when I had a fine cup of tea like this. Business can wait for tomorrow, after I’ve finished settling in.“
Smiling, Madam Bailey nodded, “Fine, Mr. Gablou. Are you attending the gathering tonight? Most of the men who are home from the war will be there. I’m sure they could offer insight as to Mr. Laikos’ whereabouts.“
A faint frown appeared on Charlie’s face, “I have not yet decided whether I will attend or not, the mystery is quite confounding. It would be nice to have something resembling answers, but until I hear from the Captain, I think I will abstain. Maybe as a leisurely visit with the rest of my former comrades, but definitely not for a direct line of inquiry.” he sipped at his cup some more before draining the tea and setting the cup back upon its saucer.
Stiffening up at the mention of her husband, Janielle looked at her hands in her lap, thinking to herself before quietly speaking, “I hope you find the answers you’re looking for, Mr. Gablou. Though I am direly hopeful they are positive, I know that there is a chance that the news may be dreadful.” She fussed with her skirts as she tried to hide the worry that now failed to be concealed from her face. “I much rather have a welcoming home ball than plan a funeral, you know.“
Charlie saw a tear start to trickle down Janielle’s cheek and he quickly grabbed his kerchief from his breast pocket and wiped it away, “Now, Mrs. Laikos, there is no need to fear the words. Your husband is a most brave and noble man. He is a genius, as well as a strong man.” He paused, thinking for a moment, “I believe faithfully that he is alive and well, most likely hunkered down in a bunker waiting for the firefight to end so that he can reunite with his men. The Corporal is more than likely fine.” He said, trying to dissuade her fears.
She looked up and smiled lightly, “I certainly hope you are right about that, Mr. Gablou. It has been several weeks since I last saw him, and I’ve feared the worst since I found out no one had heard from him.“
I know, I know, it’s been a while since I posted something for my story, but finally today I had both inspiration and desire to write for my story and boy is it a long one! For those who haven’t read the original, please click here !!! I hope you enjoy. 🙂