Jack Morgan was a common name.
It could be a coincidence.
It might not be ‘this’ Jack Morgan who was killed in
the pile up, though Amos Barclay was close to certain.
For extra safety, Amos tossed the section of the newspaper
which contained the names of those who died in yesterday’s
accident, into the basket, in case Mr. Wagner might see it.
As Amos stood in the vestibule waiting for guests, he
marveled at fate. Surely some Hand was writing new
scenes in a life that had congealed for fifteen years.
At about nine that evening a young man entered. He
didn’t have the full cost of a room. Amos appreciated
the chap had a girl waiting in the car.
He debated whether or not to let the fellow have
the room for half cost when he was asked;
“Is that car there, yours?”
“Well, I’ll tell you what. You let me have the room and
I’ll duco that car for you. I have some blue paint and
some yellow left over from previous jobs and I could
give you a really smart green.”
Amos’s mouth went into his usual frown.
“Look, I work at Simpson’s garage, I’m Andy Beggaly,
everyone knows me. I’m not trying to rip you off.
Amos looked at the fellow. He was about twenty, give
or take. Probably had gotten a girl drunk or maybe she
was hot for him and he didn’t want to lose the chance.
Though Amos personally had never been in such a
situation he could imagine that Jack had. Yeah,
Jack was once young and flirty, and every so often
“I’ll take a chance on you.” Amos said, feeling warm
and runny inside, and gave him the key to Villa Twelve.
“You won’t be sorry.” Smiled Andy.
Amos, of course, wouldn’t have considered this,
but Jack was a laid back generous guy.
He knocked off at ten when old Mr. Perkins came,
explaining why he was late. ‘Jack’ didn’t chew him
out, and could see it was appreciated.
Amos walked to his room, suppressing the impulse
to whistle a tune as he thought about his day.
It had been a really nice one. He could not recall
another day he’d felt so at peace with himself.
As he entered his room, he saw the box
of hair dye and smiled. Why not?
He decided to put a few streaks in, see how that
went. He had to stay up until midnight until his
hair dried but he liked the clever highlights,
made him look younger and better.
In fact, with his tanned skin, white teeth, bright
short beard and longish blondish hair, Amos looked
at least five years younger.
In the morning he reached the lake front at eight.
“I wondered if you were coming.” Connie said brightly,
looking better than she had yesterday.
She wore a deep pink two piece bathing suit which
suited her golden skin and hair.
They swam, tanned, and she admired his streaks.
“I should of had patience,” Connie decided, “instead
of going blond all at once.”
“I’ll probably add another streak tomorrow.” He replies.
Then Andy came up.
“Mr. Morgan, will you bring your car over? I want to
work on it as soon as possible.”
“Sure. Right after breakfast.” Amos replied.
“It’d be better if I had it now so that I can do it
before my boss comes in.”
“Okay, where’s the garage?”
“It’s right across the road.” Connie contributed.
“We can drive over and walk back.”
Amos liked the ‘we’.
He and Connie drove across, walked back to the
restaurant for breakfast as if it were the usual thing.
It became the usual thing.