FIFTH INSTALLMENT OF...THE LAKE...by b. Malin
MORE OF CHAPTER 2
"I've got an idea, Robert said setting his champagne glass down on the coffee table, let's dine out tonight". "Sounds good to me" Sarah replied, realizing that she hadn't had any food since breakfast, and was starting to feel light-headed. "Yeah, let's unpack when we get back" he said as he stood up to stretch. "Just give me a few minutes to freshen up" Sarah replied back as she headed for the bathroom in their bedroom. In five minutes she was back. "I'm starving", she said holding her stomach. "I know just the place...he said smiling as he opened the front door, we're going to The Wellington Inn". "Robert, she said sounding puzzled, how do you know about this place, were you ever there before"? "No, no, that guy, what's his name, oh yeah, Mike from the gas station told me about it when we stopped for gas...maybe I just forgot to tell you...anyway, what's the big deal"? They drove in silence to the Inn. It was a lovely place all warm and cozy with white tablecloths, and light beige candles lit on each table.
Once they were seated and Robert had ordered a Martini for himself and lemonade for Sarah, he went to hold her hand, she stiffened for a moment, he felt it. "Hey, honey, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you...I guess I'm tired too". "I know you are" she said smiling back at him. And then he was telling her about the inn. "This place is one hundred years old, lots of history here, and the towns people are really quite proud of it, and the food is supposed to be excellent". Sarah sighed, as she listened, while looking out the window, she could see a working water wheel above a waterfall, and near by was a covered wooden bridge. She felt quite comfortable as she sat in a pillow like chair. "I am so comfortable Robert, I may never get up again". Robert laughed, as their waitress wearing a long flowing gown, seemed to come gliding across the room, carrying two handwritten menus, along with a large pitcher and two small bowls, along with two small towels. They both sat staring as she silently set a bowl down in front of each of them and proceeded to fill them with a perfumed scented water, and then she spoke. "I am Maggie, your maiden for evening. "Would Madam and Sir like to freshen their hands before dinner"? Sarah silently lifted her fingers and placed them in the warm water gentle wiggling her fingers back and forth in the bowl, before lifted them out to have Maggie gently pat them dry. Sarah looked across the table at Robert who was patting his own hands dry with a funny smirk upon his face. Maggie efficiently scooped up the pitcher, towels, and bowls and handed them each a menu. "The special tonight is "Lobster Newburg, and a large Health Salad to share...you will start with our homemade New England Clam chowder, followed by our own home grown garden health salad, with our own secret house dressing, followed by your main dish. After, you will wash again, and then you will be served our own famous dessert of Cobbler Pie, with mint tea or coffee. Having finished her repertoire, she picked up the menus, pitcher, bowls, and towels and was now gliding back across the floor, seeming to disappear into the shadows of the room.
"Mmmm Robert said, I'll rib her when she gets back, she forgot to ask us what kind of wine we would like with our meal". "Oh Robert don't...Sarah started to reply. Here she comes with our soup and rolls, and I have a feeling you may be eating your own words when you see the cart that she is pulling with her free hand". Robert turned to look as Maggie approached their table and his mouth literally dropped open. Maggie was pushing the largest assortment of table wines that he had ever seen, with every expensive label one could only hope to sample in a lifetime. "I took the liberty sir of just bring out our finest white table wines for you to sample with your meal. Of course, she went on, I would drink only our house wine with the meal that I have selected for you". Having said that, she selected a beautiful hand decorated bottle with no label on it, placing it in the middle of their table. "Well now, enjoy your soup with the delicious hot homemade rolls that I have selected for you". And Madam, I feel you are with child, so here is a natural flavored lemon and lime water drink from our own Artesian Well". "How do you know"? Sarah replied softly. "Oh madam, I see it in your eyes". And with that she was gliding back across the floor pushing the wine cart.
"Do you get the feeling that we are eating at your mother's house? I mean do you think we really had a choice on anything? She selected everything for us...although, I've got to admit, so far so good" he said as he slowly sipped the hot soup. Sarah laughed, she felt so happy and content. Maggie was back twenty minutes later to serve them the main course. "Hey Maggie, what if I had wanted to order Frogs Legs"? Robert said playfully. Maggie stepped back as though she had been struck. "We don't serve Frogs Legs here sir, we respect those little creatures...we feel it's bad luck to eat them. She looked at him sternly. I will return in approximately one hour with your dessert. Madam, I trust you will have the mint tea and sir, you will enjoy the coffee, with just a touch of cream, our own cream, and some brown sugar, just enough to give it flavor. She seemed to have returned to her old self again, and even managed a smile, before she glided back across the room once more. But had either of them been able to see her face, they would know that she was still upset.
But for the two of them, it was a wonderful evening out, one of many they would enjoy, and they would return to the Wellington Inn numerous times that spring and summer...and Maggie would always be their service maiden. Sarah felt like she was always watching over her, and it felt very comforting.
To be continued...