Jack Morgan was three years younger, an inch shorter
and twenty pounds lighter than Amos Barclay. He was
also divorced with no dependents listed.
Amos considered the consequences of his masquerade.
It would only be a spot of embarrassment, being thrown
off the premises the ultimate penalty. If he could pull
off Jack Morgan he had a two week semi-vacation.
Better than sleeping in his car and scrimping on meals.
He completed the application, balled up and tossed the
original in the bin, making sure to tear off the signature,
for there was no way he could copy that scrawl.
Amazingly, Wagner entered with two cups of coffee
just as he’d gotten rid of ‘the evidence’.
Wagner was impressed he typed the application, and
ran his mouth for a while in the vein of ‘good old days.’
Coffee completed, it was now a walk about.
There were the rooms, then the little restaurant,
a few shops, the pool to the left and the lake ahead.
A life guard was on duty from nine to five, a groundsman
from seven to three. The restaurant opened at six thirty
in the morning and shut at eight in the evening. The bar
section opened at one p.m. until eleven.
Amos was introduced to the waitresses, shop attendants,
then brought back to the office and directed to his room.
It was a nice room. Clean and large with a television, phone,
and private bath. Amos chuckled at his good fortune, though
expected the real Jack Morgan to stand up before sunset.
That night, lying in bed, rubbing his stubbly face, Amos
could not believe his luck. It was as if fate was opening
doors and he had the courage to enter.
The next morning he was up at six and after a shower
went to the shore. He plunged into the water and began
to swim as if he were still on the Midwood High team.
It had been too many years since he had swum so he
was exhausted when he made it back to land, collapsing
on the shore.
He must have slept for the voice came from a distance.
“You really shouldn’t lie in the sun without protection.”
He opened his eyes, sat, turned, and there was a pretty
blonde girl not five feet away.
Instead of pretending he hadn’t heard or dismissing her
remark he replied; “You’re right.”
“Here, try this.” She said, tossing him a tube. He didn’t
read it, as Amos would do, he began to use it, for Jack
was an easy going careless fellow.
“You’re the new manager.” She said. “I work in the gift
He gave her another look.
“I was a brunette yesterday.”
Uncharacteristically for Amos, Jack said;
“That colour is beautiful on you.”
“I bought Summer Blonde, rich gold.” She blushed.
“I like it. I always wanted to be a blond myself,” he smiled,
then went to hide his teeth, for they were yellow and
At the last second he remembered they were blinding white.
Now wasn’t that fate? To have gone to the dentist before
meeting a pretty girl and smiling?
In Amos’ life things were reversed. Amos Barclay would
have smiled with ugly teeth, the girl would have curled
her lip and found another place to be. But Jack had his
teeth cleaned before meeting the pretty girl.
The girl smiled back, replying; “There’s another box
of Rich Gold,” her blue eyes very deep in his.
“I’ll pick it up.” He replied, then, boldly, “have you
had breakfast yet?”
“Let’s go, shall we?” He invited rising, sucking in his
belly, which was not as vast as it had been considering
his near starvation of last week.
“My name is Connie Janelli,” She said, “in case you didn’t
He put out his hand and pulled her up.
She was a bit shorter and plumper than he’d expected
but still very nice.
He dropped her hand belatedly then recalled leaving his
wedding ring and watch in his room. Another bit of the
Jack style contra the Amos.
When they entered the restaurant the clock admitted
He ordered a good breakfast for himself, she only wanted
coffee for she was dieting. He signed for the meal and they
shared light conversation.
At ten fifty five she went to the cabana to change, he
bought the last box of Rich Gold and carried it to his
room. He showered, dressed in jeans and a sports shirt,
brushed back his hair and admired the beginnings of his
He took up his post, looking through the newspaper.
The victims of the accident were listed.
Dead, one Jackson Morgan.
There would be no comeback.