Happily ever ending Valentine.
I know I can trust you not to come back here and blab. Do you want it or not?"
Was this a test? Did she want to know if he would run back and tell everyone that he was driving her to an affair? Harold didn't know what to say. "Yes, Mrs. Penworth. I'd like to be your driver and escort." "Good! I suppose that you have a black suit and tie. Meet me at this address," she handed him a slip of paper, "at 7 sharp." She went back to her paper work. Harold put the slip of paper in his pocket and left. She never looked up as the door closed. At 7pm, he was standing at the door of the address he had been given. He looked around at the manicured lawn and was impressed when a white butler opened the door. He met Mrs. Penworth as she came out of a doorway.
She looked him up and down. Then told the butler to go and bring a black bow tie. She had Harold put it on then the butler opened the door. They went in her towncar. Harold drove and Mrs. Penworth sat in the back. During the ride, she gave him his instructions. He was to speak when spoken to, listen carefully and just sit quietly. They drove up to the gates of a mansion even bigger than Mrs. Penworth's. Mrs. Penworth handed him a card and he slipped it into the box at the gate. The gate swung open electronically and they drove up the long driveway. Harold jumped out to open the door but a tuxedoed doorman had already opened her door. Harold gave him the keys and taking Mrs. Penworth's arm led her inside.
To say that it was luxurious, would have been like saying the Grand Canyon was a ditch. Harold had never seen such expensive surroundings. They were led into an intimate restaurant. The tuxedoed waiter led them to a table where a woman in her 50's was already seated. Mrs. Penworth introduced Harold as they sat down. The woman's name was Mrs. Cotton. Harold had the presence of mind to pull out Mrs. Penworth's chair. The two women talked over drinks. Harold had ordered plain club soda. Dinner was more than Harold could have ever expected. The steak was a thick as his wrist, and so tender, it melted in his mouth like cotton candy. After dinner Mrs. Penworth insisted that he have a brandy with them.
Harold did as he had been instructed. He didn't offer anything to the conversation between the two women as they talked. Whenever anything was directed at him, he answered politely and honestly. Mrs. Penworth smiled at him a few times. But Harold noticed that Mrs. Cotton kept giving him secretive glances. She was not a bad looking woman. In fact, she looked damn good for her age. "Harold! Would you mind going to the men's room?" It might have sounded like a question, but he knew it was his cue to leave them alone. Harold went to the bathroom and when he finished he found them still in conversation.
A waiter came over and set a chair before him. Harold sat in the chair and tried not to look stupid as he waited for the women to finish. The waiter tapped him on the shoulder and directed him to join his table. No sooner did he sit down, did Mrs. Cotton get up and go to the ladies' room. When she left, Mrs. Penworth leaned close to Harold. "How would you like to make $1500.00?" She said it the way someone else would ask if you wanted cr__me in your coffee. Harold didn't know what to say. "What would I have to do, Mrs. Penworth?" Mrs. Penworth motioned to the waiter for another round of drinks. She waited until they had been delivered before she addressed Harold again.