|Act Pleasant and rob Them Blind
Author: MissIrralee PM
James Alexander Robert Henderson was not about to let man or fate dictate his life. Not while he had strength to grasp a pen. A short story set in a bank during the 1800's in New Zealand. Based on one of the black sheep in my family's history.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Words: 876 - Published: 02-05-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3098580
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
James Alexander Robert Henderson, once a manager in the nation's capital, now lowest secretary in a sea port at the far end of the country, stared with glazed eyes out of the window, thoughts marching vividly across his mind.
Mother always said if he did not 'mend his ways' he would end up a thief. Those jumped up clerks in Auckland would regret their decisions to demote him to this back water bank in Dunedin!
James had never done anything really wrong, at least as he saw it, but they still ruined his chances at getting anywhere near the top of the corporate ladder. Opportunity got his hopes up only to spit in his face. But now he didn't need it. A shout that only just stopped short of a scream echoed across the back office, James shot upright.
"Mr. Henderson! When ye finish those oh so enthralling notates could ye get a move on with the remainder of ye work?" Mr McGregor, who resented being lumbered with Henderson almost as much as James hated working here, was one wonderful motivator for getting out of here.
James gave his most charming smile and replied amicably, "Certainly sir."
He had, after a few day of observing the old Scotsman, noted that being calmly polite annoyed him much more than him screaming back. He wielded his new found weapon with a school boy's glee at every opportunity.
Mr. McGregor stood, left eye twitching a few times, he looked about to say something, changed his mind, snarled and stormed off.
The young new Zealander mimed the faces that the manager had made, making a secretary to his left giggle. He glanced at her, she was pretty, but in a way that said it took her two hours in front of a mirror to look this way.
His thoughts drifted to tonight and could go and see Floria at the bar, how she looked beautiful even when she had just woke up, her lovely auburn hair messy and all over her face. He would see little Thomas too now. Sleeping on his little rug in the corner of the bar where she worked. Hmm, he should get around to marrying Floria soon too. Not a church wedding, just them and an officer of the peace.
Only one more day to go, and the S.S TeAnau would carry them away; everything now stood ready and waiting.
The next day he, with hands clasped behind his back to stop the trembling, stood before the desk of the Scot who was working though some cash files. He cleared his throat, "Sir?" silence was his only reply, "Please sir I need to ask a favour." he got a grunt and a wave of a hand. Taking this as an invitation to speak he continued, "Could I please have a week off? This is a slack time, and if you need me back just send someone to get me; please, sir, I have some...personal problems which need solving..." He let his voice trail off now, to see if McGregor would take the bait.
Everyone, it appeared, knew about him and Floria being together, and now little Thomas turning up out of the blue. While children out of wedlock where not unheard of as such, it was still scandalous in quality. While it was of a different nature to the one that had got him sent here it still would be yet another black mark on his already filthy slate. As far as anyone looking should be able to see it was just a man worried about suddenly becoming a father and of the possible problems thereof.
"Need to clean up the mess ye made?" a bark of laughter, "Sure, off ye trot." As James turned stiffly, he heard the grumpy Scots man mutter happily under his breath, "Let's see ye fix this one, boy."
Within the hour the three of them had boarded the ship bound for other lands with close to a years' salary of embezzled money in his suitcase, enough to get then a long way from Dunedin. He grinned about at his cabin.
It was some time before anyone thought to search for them he found out later. Old Mr. McGregor had apparently torn what little of his greying hair remained out over it before the high ups from Auckland fired him.
James felt a little sorry for him, but only a little. The man had cared for nothing but squeezing as much money out of his job as he could.
He didn't start breathing easily again until they were well out of New Zealand waters. Floria had settled comfortably into the room next to his. They had decided that would be the best way to avoid suspicion, that and changing their names. Oh yes, they were on their way to a new world now.
This may stop him from ever going to another family dinner again, but when opportunity stubbornly refuses to knock, the only option left is to build your open door. The newly named Robert Alexander Duncan Moore snorted in amusement and pulled his cap over his eyes. It just so happened that in his case it was a back door, but he didn't see anything wrong with that.