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Forbidden Fruits 5: The Worthington Emerald

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

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And Now It Begins ...

Nathan makes his way to the City National Bank and requests to speak to the President. He is greet by one of the bank officials instead.

“Good to see you as always, Mr. Worthington. Your father wired you the funds necessary to start reconstruction of your hotel. I can’t say that I totally agree—” Mr. Westley is interrupted by Nathan.

“It’s not necessary for you to see, Mr. Westley. I did ask to see Mr. Brewster.” Nathan conveys.

“Oh, I am sorry. Mr. Brewster is out of town on business. I was hoping that I could be of assistance.” Mr. Westley feels disconcerted at the condescending way Nathan is looking at him.

“Are you at least the General Manager?” Nathan interrogates.

“No, Mr. Theodore Abernathy is.” Mr. Westley informs.

“Then please—may I speak to him?” Nathan is having a hard time remaining calm.

“Of course, Mr. Worthington, right this way.” Mr. Westley replies, realizing that it is futile to attempt to be of any service to Nathan.

Mr. Westley knocks on the door twice, opens it and informs Mr. Abernathy of his guest.

“Of course, come in, come in my boy. Please—have a seat. How is your father and brother?” Mr. Abernathy inquires, ushering in Nathan and then dismissing Mr. Westley.

“They are both fine. I want to talk to you regarding this.” Nathan takes the ring case out of his pocket and hands it to Mr. Abernathy. The gentleman looks at the case and then opens it. He is rivetted to his seat as he stares at the infamous Worthington Emerald.

“By all that is holy—how on earth did you get this?” Mr. Abernathy replies not being able to take his eyes off the stone.

“My wife and I found it at the site of the theatre. It was covered in soot and debris.” Nathan informs him and then hands Mr. Abernathy the appraisal from Kowalski’s Jewelers.

“My stars—2.5 million dollars, Mr. Worthington? You honor my bank with such a treasure. You do know that there are rumors of a curse— “Before Mr. Abernathy can finish his question, Nathan erupts.

“If I hear one more person telling me of that damn curse, I am going to lose all sanity.” Nathan roars.

“I do apologize, Mr. Worthington, but there isn’t too many people in New York who don’t know about the fire at the Worthington Theatre and Mrs. Daphne being found dead in the bathtub of the Grand Worthington Hotel.” Mr. Abernathy tries to explain turning a slightly bright shade of red.

“It’s I who should apologize to you, Mr. Abernathy. I don’t know what got into me. I am normally not such a curt person.” Nathan says sheepishly.

“I understand. Now what do you wish to do with this prize? Put it in one of our safe deposit boxes? This item will need to be heavily insured.” Mr. Abernathy suggests, feeling a lot better now that Nathan has calmed down.

“Of course, Mr. Abernathy. Please make sure it is insured for its full value and secure it in your finest boxes. I will come back later to sign all the necessary forms—I’m late for an appointment with Steve Crenshaw.” Nathan is now standing up and extending his hand to Mr. Abernathy.

“I will make sure that all the necessary forms will be available for your signature, Mr. Worthington.” Mr. Abernathy takes Nathan’s hand and gives it a firm shake.

“See you later, good-bye.” Nathan says, feeling relieved that he no longer has the emerald in his possession. He hurries out the door and heads for the Grand Worthington Hotel where Steve Crenshaw is waiting.

The deal is sealed ...

The deal is sealed ...

Reluctantly Agrees To Contract ...

“Ah, Mr. Worthington, I thought that you may have decided to change your mind.” Steve rejoinders.

“Not at all, Mr. Crenshaw. I had some business to transact at the bank.” Nathan informs. “Now about that estimate—”

“Yes ... well I had to do a lot of persuading. My men weren’t too happy about working on this project. However, I was able to subcontract some of the work to another company who is not as familiar with the history of this hotel as my crew is.” Steve says.

“I see.” Is Nathan’s response.

“Now here are my estimates of the labor, manhours needed and a projector of how long it will take to complete the assignments—given there are no unforeseen problems.” Steve hands Nathan several pieces of paper with charts, diagrams and columns of figures. Nathan is extremely impressed.

“My father said that you were the best in the business.” Nathan admits looking over the figures again. “I’ll confess that it is a bit over my original budget, but it will be worth it.”

Nathan and Steve shake hands and Steve tells one of his men to start setting up boundaries for the demolition crew to finish clearing the land so that construction can commence.

What's that ...? In the shadows!

What's that ...? In the shadows!

An Unforgettable Night ...

As the day wears on, Bert Singer begins to wrap up the work that he is required to do for Steve. Bert walks around the area to insure that he hasn’t missed anything when he sees something glittering in a pile of rubble.

“I wonder what on earth that can be?” Bert inquires as he comes closer to the spot. “It looks like a ring of some kind—that can’t be possible because I got a lot of that stuff up.” Bert bends over and feels something like a hand on his shoulder.

“You looking for something?” The voice says but when Bert spins around there is nobody in sight.

“I must be getting a little touched in the head.” Bert chuckles as he notices that there is nothing there. However, as the sun begins to sink into the west, Bert notices what seems like two ladies heading his way. It seems as if they are floating in his direction. Without waiting for a second glance—Bert turns arounds and moves with the speed that would be the envy of a man half his age.

When Bert reaches his truck he locks his doors, starts the motor, throws the vehicle in gear and speeds away never looking back for a moment.

To Be Continued ...

Forbidden Fruit 6: The Worthington Emerald

  • Forbidden Fruit 6: The Worthington Emerald
    It's starting already. Bert is the first to see the return of the Bonaparte sisters. It doesn't take long before the word is out that there may be a repeat of the 1920s incident. However, Nathan is determined to resurrect the fame of the hotel.

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

Comments

Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 03, 2019:

It's starting …