Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pollyanna

    Encounter for good or ill

      Lenore often accompanied Judge Sutherland into court, so she was knowledgeable of judicial proceedings and comfortable in that setting. Alan Ashley, however, was not. His barely-concealed anger on the first day of the lawsuit interfered with his carefully cultivated authoritative demeanor. That fueled the fires of his anger to burn even hotter.
     "Would you like to walk out and stretch a little?" Lenore asked during a recess at mid-morning.
     He jumped at the sound of her voice in his ear. "You startled me. Be kind enough to announce yourself before you speak."
     "I'm sorry, Mr. Ashley. I did tell you before we began that I was sitting next to you at the table." she hesitated. "I was thinking of going to the porch at the end of the corridor. Cortrooms are rather stuffy sometimes."
     "Yes, all right." He rose. "I'll have to take your arm."
     "Certainly." She offered a slender arm. "This way."
     "Perhaps you're wondering where my white cane is," he said abruptly as they exited the courtroom.
     "I didn't know you had one."
     "Every blind man has a white cane."
     "I see." She pushed open the door at the end of the hall. "We're at the porch. There isn't a step down."
     They moved outside into the warm autumn sunshine. "We're on the west side of the courthouse. Are you familiar with the large red brick building across the street?"
     "It's the bank," he said promptly. "My great-grandfather founded it."
     "So the Ashleys have been in Rumers Crossing for a long time."
     "Since before the Revolution."
     "How interesting."
     "Is it, really?"
     "Oh, yes, I love history. My father used to read aloud from A Child's History of the World when I was a little girl. I always wanted to travel and see the places he read about."
     "But you didn't."
     "Not yet, but I hope to someday."
     "Travel requires money."
     "Have you traveled widely?"
     "I spent six months on the continent before entering Harvard in 1913."
     "Is the Acropolis as magnificent as it appears in pictures?"
     "More so, actually."
     "I should love to stand there and soak it all in."  Lenore sighed. "The sun is nice this time of year, isn't it?"
     "A hard winter is predicted."
     "Yes, but until it comes, we have this lovely weather to enjoy."
     "Are you always so optimistic?"
     She laughed. "My brother Teddy calls me Pollyanna. That's the name of the title character in a children's book for girls, so I'm sure you're not familiar with her. She always looked for the good in everything.:
     "And you follow suit?"
     "Not always, Mr. Ashley, but I'm happier when I try to find some good in every circumstance."
    "I suppose you think I should try to find some good in my blindness?"
     "Not at all, but you have a great many advantages despite that, and Judge Sutherland  feels that this lawsuit will be thrown out."
     Sam Bernard put his head out the door. "It's almost time to reconvene," he said. "I'm going to find the facilities, Alan. Would you..."
     Alan dropped Lenore's arm. "Yes, thank you, Sam. I'm sure Miss Seldon would be mortified to lead me there."
     "Alan..."
     "Lenore smiled at Sam and shook her head to stall his defending her. When the men had gone, she closed her eyes and turned her face to the sun, breathing in its warmth.

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  • Finding Papa's Shining Star
  • The Showboat Affair
  • Dancing with Velvet
  • The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall

all coming soon.

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