The Grand Worthington Hotel 7
Beginning Construction ...
It’s early Monday morning when Steve, Speed, Nathan and Bill meet at the construction site. There is also newscaster John P Kelley and his camera crew.
“I bet you’re excited about the groundbreaking of your new hotel site?” John asks Nathan.
“Yes John, I am.” Nathan quips.
“I also heard that you have donated the original Grand Worthington Hotel to the Historical Society of New York.” John is seeking confirmation.
“That is also right. That edifice was erected in the 1920s. Remarkably, it is still in very good shape and will need just minor renovations.” Nathan adds.
“What about the rumors of the supernatural that are tied to this building? The Bonaparte Sisters died in a tragic fire, right?” John queries.
“That happened at the theatre and it has been demolished.” Nathan is trying very hard to maintain his composure. Bill noting this, intervenes.
“We are here to celebrate the construction of a fabulous new hotel, not resurrect old rumors, John. I feel that my son-in-law has experienced enough heartaches from that incident.” Bill states giving John a look that says volumes. After all, he is the main stockholder in Ralston Enterprises—parent company of Station WXYM.
“I apologize. Now, can you give us some information on this new building. It’s in a rather unique location for a hotel isn’t it.” John uncomfortably changes the subject.
“That is the beauty of the New Grand Worthington Hotel. We want to cater to a certain class of businessperson. Our clients are interested in blending a workplace environment with a resort. Here, at the New Grand Worthington, the patron will be able to function in an atmosphere of modern technology and pastoral genius.” Nathan takes a sip of water while his father-in-law takes over.
“You see John, while the entrepreneur is having conferences inside our holographic suites—his wife and children will be entertained in our exclusive game rooms or chatting centers.” Bill proudly states.
“What exactly is a chatting center, Bill?” All attention is now reverted from Nathan to Bill.
“Well, a chatting center is a room filled with wide screen TVs, and available stations for desktop/laptop computers. There will be occasional fashion show presentations, wine tasting, and recliners for total relaxation. Or she can just meet with the girls and talk about the latest episode of her favorite program. This hotel is more for upper middle-class women with a variety of interest.” Bill concludes.
“So, this hotel will be both work and family oriented. Encouraging the more progressive businesspersons to bring their families along. No small children, right?” John surmises.
“Right, John. The New Grand Worthington Hotel is the ideal place for the successful businessman and woman who want to work in a more stress-free environment. Also, keeping the family as the core concern.” Nathan says, happy that Bill stepped in when he did.
“It’s time to get the ceremony started, Nate.” Bill tells him.
There Is Something Amidst ...
The mayor, governor and a couple of congressmen have arrived for the festivities. A golden shovel has been presented along with a large blue ribbon being stretched from one pole to another. Buffy and Stephanie have made it along with Nathan’s parents and brother Michael. Michael’s wife is unable to make the trip to America, having undergone surgery, but she sends her love and best wishes.
Abbie Wilkinson is introduced as a consultant and only Bill along with Buffy know who she really is. Once Bob Morton makes his appearance, he doesn’t recognize her. Without the black veil that she wears that only reveal her eyes—it is impossible to know her identity.
The actual ribbon cutting takes only a moment with every member of the New Worthington Board present, along with Dr. Connie Alexander. Men in white blazers are rushing about putting chairs and tables in place. A local trio—Non-Turbulence provides beautiful chamber music. Everyone seems to be having a good time. There is a man circulating among the crowd that strikes Nathan’s interest.
“Who is that fellow over there talking to Mark Summerfield?” Nathan asks Connie.
“Oh, that’s Jacolby Webster—Percy’s brother. You remember, the man that was found dead at the site five years ago?” Connie whispers to Nathan.
“Why would he be interested in coming to the groundbreaking ceremony?” Nathan queries.
“I’d keep an eye on that one, if I were you. I heard that he took his brother’s death pretty hard.” Connie warns. Nathan glances over at Abbie and she gives him a knowing nod.
“That I will.” Nathan replies and when he looks up, he notices Jacolby staring at him in a very strange way. Then he moves on as if being caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“Did you see that man scurry away like a frighten rabbit when he saw you noticing him.” Buffy says, once again donning her Hercule Poirot cap.
“I wouldn’t call it a scared rabbit, Buffy. I’d say more like someone who has been caught in the act of some mischief.” Connie retorts.
“You two need to find a computer and setup the plot.” Nathan jokes but he is a bit uneasy himself.
It is nearly noon when the crowd disburse, and everything begins to settle down. Nathan tells Buffy that he’s going to have a word with Abbie before she leaves and to ask his family to meet him at their home.
“You going to ask her about Jacolby, aren’t you?” Buffy inquires.
“Yes, love. I don’t think it was just by chance that he is here. I want to know what she thinks about everything.” Nathan whispers back to her.
“Don’t be too long, darling. Your family came all the way over from the Worthington Estate in England. Try not to let this thing with the Grand Worthington Hotel dominate. I’m not Pamela—I just don’t want to see you unduly distracted.” Buffy puts her hand on his arm and brushes her lips against his.
“What would I do without your lovely presence in my life?” Nathan smiles and heads toward Abbie. She is aware that he wants to consult her, so she hesitates until he appears.
“Let us move over to where my car is—away from prying eyes. I’m glad your wife is aware of our connections. There can be no false rumors to spread regarding our business relationship.” Abbie states smiling.
“I firmly believe in a wife being privy to what is going on with her husband. Especially, when everything is above board.” Nathan says following her to the car. Both turn in time to see Jacolby talking with someone—then he stops when he sees them staring.
“That man is definitely up to something.” Nathan supposes.
“Yes, and I believe it will involve the original Grand Worthington as opposed to this one.” Abbie declares.
“How so?” Nathan inquires.
“There is a past filled with misfortune that shrouds the old Grand Worthington. It would be easy for mishaps to happen and spread rumors that the spirits have returned.” Abbie explains.
“But, they are gone—aren’t they?” Nathan is in need of confirmation here.
“Yes, Nathan. They are gone. Once you returned that emerald ring to its original owners—the curse was dispelled.” Abbie reassures him.
“Do you think I need to warn Connie?” Nathan inquires.
“Until something actually happens that is noteworthy—it would not be believed. Bide your time, something will happen.” Abbie then gets into her car and is off toward Mulberry Bend, on the east side of Columbus Park.
To Be Continued ...
The Grand Worthington Hotel 8
- The Grand Worthington Hotel 8
A new victim has been found at the original site of the Grand Worthington Hotel. It seems as if whenever there is an attempt to resurrect that historic old building—trouble follows.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS