Andrea's Correspondence Course: on line story
Jay stopped by the Lake Hotel to take Andrea to lunch. The registration desk was piled with magazines from the lobby with a range from Harpers to Police Gazette. “What’s going on? How about going to lunch?”
“Jay. You look a bit wet. Is it raining hard?
“Not too bad. Wear a cape so your pretty hair doesn’t get messed.”
“Alright, "she brushed her hair back with one hand and pointed a finger at a magazine page. "I think I’ll take one of these correspondence courses, Jay. Look at all these advertisements. Here’s one that teaches you how to be a gunsmith. Here’s another one on how to fix carriages.”
Jay wiped his face and wet hair with a rag. “You don’t want to do any of those things, do you?” He had learned to not be surprised at anything Andrea might want to do.
“No, but maybe you want to learn something new.”
“Not one of those, Anything there on business and accounting? That might help me get a better job. What are you looking for? ”
“Here’s a business school. You can take a course in banking, or accounting and lots of other things. Hey, maybe I should take a secretary course.”
“I don’t know, Andrea. I can’t see you as wanting to do letters and other stuff for some guy not as smart as you.”
Andrea looked up from the magazine advertisements and smiled. ”You really think I’m smart?”
“I know you are. I’m not given to flattery. I usually mean what I say.”
She got a glint in her eye, which made the blue even bluer. “When you told me I’m beautiful, you meant that too?”
“Anybody can see you’re beautiful. Your the most beautiful girl I’ve ever known.” This time Andrea leaned over the counter and kissed him, a little longer than usual.
“Now that beats all, “ Jay said when he caught his breath. “I’ll have to say that more often.”
“You really should,” the look on her face was enigmatic. “Actually I rather like my job here. How about this one? ‘Be a writer. Learn to write news, fiction and articles.’ Maybe I could work for our paper here, you know the ‘Lakeside Press’”
“You might be good at that. Why don’t you talk to the publisher?’
“Good idea. Where’re we going for lunch?”
“How about the Miner’s Café?”
“Good. I like that place.”
It was only a short distance but halfway there the rain increased. Thunder clapped and Andrea’s eyes were drawn to the direction of the thunder, which was over Lake Superior. With another roll of thunder lightening flashed and danced over the water. Both Andrea and Jay were soaking wet by the time they got to the café. Jay was glad that he was wearing work clothes that now clung to his skin. He ran his hand back over his head to squeeze water from his hair. Andrea’s hair hung down in wet strings. She tried combing it out but it was useless. When she looked out the window she saw that the cloudburst had passed. Doing the best to squeeze some water from her clothes she headed for a table. Despite the discomfort of being wet, the interior of the café gave her a good feeling, from the plain handmade tables, brightly colored chairs and the red and white tablecloths. The Miner’s Café had a feel of being plain, strong, and comfortable. It was a welcome feeling.
Their friends Roald and Karolina were eating together at a table near them. “Are those two attracted to each other again?” Jay asked.
“They sort of look it, don’t they?”
Andrea started doodling on a piece of paper that she found on the table. “What are you drawing?” Jay asked her. Andrea dropped it on her friend’s table when they left. Karolina looked at the picture of a young woman with long hair and a man with carefully combed hair. It resembled her and Roald walking together hand in hand. Scrawled at the bottom it said;” remember what I said Roald.” It was a reminder that she would be an avenger if he hurt her friend Karolina.
“What does she mean by that Roald," Karolina asked.”
“It’s nothing,” he said. “It is a conversation we had last year. She wanted me to know that you are her best friend and she wanted me to treat you well.”
“You are a good artist,” Jay told Andrea.. “Maybe you should take a course in art to get even better.”
It was weeks later that Andrea was working on an art lesson.” Did you talk to the newspaper?” Jay asked.
“He told me that he might be able to give me some part time work as a correspondent and help me with my writing skills. He thought the art course was a good idea because they can use pictures sometimes.” It was another rainy day. Remembering how they both got soaking wet during the last storm, they both felt thankful that they were inside and dry. Thunder crashed and she looked up and saw lightening strike a tree across the way. She gasped. “It’s only a tree,” Jay said. Her face looked frightened.
“Jay, I thought I saw that man looking in the window.”
“You know. That jewel thief, Alexander Jones. He’s supposed to be in jail.”
Jay ran over to the front door and looked out but saw nothing. With the storm and all it could be an illusion, but maybe not. I’ll stay here and watch the door. Is the back door locked?”
“Jay, I don’t think that man likes me.”
“He doesn’t like any of us much. Let’s check the back door.”
When they got back there was a piece of paper on the desk that said, “You will pay for what you did to me!” There were wet footprints leading to and from the door. While they discussed what to do next, a policeman came in. “Not meaning to disturb you Miss but you should know that Alexander Jones escaped from custody and might be a danger to you.”
“I thought I saw him looking in the window,” Andréa said.
“We will try to keep an eye on you. Be careful.”
Early the next morning Andrea stopped by the newspaper office She had drawn a picture of the man along with a story about her contacts with him. Both appeared in the next edition of the paper and the paper gave her a small fee for the story. The newspaper also got to print posters for the police with the picture of the wanted man.
“How’s the art course coming along?” Jay asked.
Andrea picked up her sketchbook and pencils as they walked down to the lake. “Not too bad,” she said.
Copyright 2012 Don Hoglund
© 2012 Don A. Hoglund
More by this Author
The Turtle is a children's story based on our own children and dogs that we had at at one time.
This is a fictional western short story told by an anonymous narrator about the publisher of the town newspaper. It starts with a local business being vandalized and she investigates.
African Americans have been conspicuously absent from histories of the west. They are not much represented in fiction either. Many people think they ere not there, but they were.