Obligation (part 2)

When Mr Hightower came back from his meeting, it was as Gilbert had said it would be. He had a bag with him and he asked Jack to carry it back to the hotel and have the concierge lock it up for him. Mr. Hightower had an errand to run but would take Jack to dinner later that night.

Jack did as he was asked and took the bag to the hotel. Just before he went inside, he slipped the red flower into the bag as Gilbert had asked him. But before he did he took a petal from the flower and put it in his pocket.

The concierge was happy to lock up the bag for Mr. Hightower. He gave Jack a claim ticket to retrieve the bag later. Jack placed the ticket in his pocket with the flower petal. Then he went to his room and lay down on the bed to take a nap.

When Jack lay down the afternoon sun was shining through his window but when he awoke, the room was dark. He heard a low growling in the corner and there were two green glowing eyes staring at him in the darkness. Jack reached in his pocket and pulled out the flower petal. It was glowing red and the creature with the green glowing eyes quit growling and started whimpering piteously.

Jack heard a commotion in the hall. Abruptly, the door to his room opened and the light from the hall spilled in. Mr. Hightower entered and turned on the light. Jack looked at his hand and the flower petal was gone. He looked in the corner and it was empty. Mr. Hightower told Jack to hurry and get ready. It was time to go to supper.

When they got to the restaurant Mr. Hightower introduced him to the gentleman that he had been meeting with earlier. “Mr. Edward Templeton, this is my charge, Jack. Jack, this is Mr. Templeton.”

“I’m pleased to meet you sir. A very good evening to you sir,” Jack said.

“I’m pleased to meet you as well my young sir. Let me introduce my wife, Lettie Templeton, this is Jack. Jack, this is Mrs. Templeton,” Mr. Templeton said. With that Jack bowed over Mrs. Templeton’s hand and shook Mr. Templeton’s hand. Then, he pulled out the chair for Mrs. Templeton to be seated.

The gentleman were seated and Mr. Hightower spoke briefly with the waiter and then turned to the table and announced, “Tonight is a special night. Mr. Templeton and I have reached a very special agreement today. We will both make a fortune from our deal.” Jack and Mrs. Templeton congratulated them and the waiter brought champaign for everyone.

Jack lifted his glass and said, “Long life and profitable business to all.” Everyone lifted their glasses and drank the toast. They all had a wonderful dinner. Mr. Templeton told stories of his adventures in foreign lands and Mr. Hightower told stories about business deals he had made in half a dozen different cities. After dinner they said goodnight and Mr. and Mrs. Templeton got a cab back to their rooms.

Mr Hightower looked in all his pockets and then said, “I’ve forgotten something. I’ll be right back. Wait for me here.” Jack nodded and Mr. Hightower ran back into the restaurant. When Jack turned around, there was Gilbert.

“Did you do as I asked?” Gilbert said.

“Yes, I did,” Jack said.

“But did you put the entire flower in the bag?” Gilbert asked.

“It was such a beautiful flower I took on petal and put it in my pocket,” Jack admitted.

Gilbert shook his head. “I’m so disappointed in you,” he said. “I told you to put the flower in the bag. Next time you must do exactly as I tell you.”

“I will.” Jack said.

Gilbert nodded and asked, “What is your next favor?”

Jack thought for a minute. “I’d like to meet a beautiful girl and marry her.”

“Remember, you owe me another favor.” And then he disappeared.

[To be continued.]

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.