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The Absence of Mr. Glass Chapter 2

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During breakfast in the morning after the eventful day of discovering Mr. Todhunter’s profession, the gentleman spoke.

“Maggie, would you be interested in a walk by the sea this fine morning”, he asked with a smile.

“Yes, I would be delighted. I will get dressed directly after breakfast,” she replied, glancing at her mother who was deep in thought. After Maggie left the table, Mr. Todhunter moved over to sit next to Mrs. MacNab, and began to speak.

“As you may have already guessed, your daughter and I are deeply in love. You did not approve as you thought that I procured money through a back-alleyway method as I could not tell you myself of my line of work. However, yesterday yourself, the Reverend Brown, your daughter, and the esteemed gentleman Dr. Orion Hood all discovered my profession, which indeed is not one to be ashamed of, but is one of elegance and talent—that of a magician. Because now you can see that I can truly support a family, and as you husband is no longer alive, I feel it necessary to ask you this important question. Mrs. MacNab, I am asking for your daughters hand in marriage.”

“My good man,” Mrs. MacNab replied, “I do apologize most earnestly for the distrust that I allowed to come between you and me and do approve of your profession. In answer to your question, my daughter is yours if she chooses to accept your proposal. For her sake I hope she does, as you are a gem among men.”

Flattered, Mr. Todhunter blushed and walked away to his room to don his winter garb in preparation for The Walk. As he did so, he saw a letter on his dresser. There was no return address. Puzzled, he put it in his coat pocket to read later and finished getting dressed. After putting his umbrella on his arm, he walked into the dining room where Maggie was ready and waiting.

“Shall we,” he asked as he held out his arm?

“Certainly,” she replied laying her hand on his arm.

They strolled down the lane and then traversed a path that led them to the edge of the North Sea. Gazing out into the gray, misty blanket of fog, Mr. Todhunter turned and began his proposal.

“Maggie, I love you and you love me, I believe. I want to grow to be an old man with you, and spend the rest of my life with you. I know this is sudden and if you want time to think it through that is fine with me. You’re worth waiting for. Maggie, will you marry me?”

“Your elegance is enough to convince me of your whole-hearted sincerity, and as a result, yes. I will marry you,” she said before she fell into his arms.

They walked and talked and planned for almost two hours. After that they went back to the village and strolled through the park. After sitting down on a bench, he remembered the letter he had found.

Maggie spoke, “Darling, I must go to the post office for a second. I will be right back.”

“That’s fine dear.” Pulling the letter out of his pocket he opened it with his penknife and began to read. His crease in his forehead deepened drastically. Whatever was in the letter was NOT good news.
It read:



Dear Mr. Todhunter,










It has recently come to my attention that you owe my establishment a large quantity of money. This came about because of a transaction a few years ago when you were employed by me. After finding out how we did business, which is through a profitable dealing called “borrowing funds”, you left the company, taking with you important papers that would have led to a large “bonus paycheck”. This caused us a loss of several thousand pounds, and we want it back. You were hard to track down! Meet us at the old well on the south side of town tonight with €7,000, and come alone. I would regret to inform your darling Maggie that you had “disappeared”. You get the point.












Regards

Mr. Todhunter didn’t know what to think. It was true. A few years ago he had fallen into company with some racketeers, but a good friend showed him the light and got him out of that lifestyle. He had learned to be a magician. Now…he ran a hand through his hair in desperation. Where was he going to get €7,000? Wait. Maybe there was a way out of this. He and Maggie would elope, and the money-hungry racketeers would never be able to find him. That was his only option. Maggie’s voice startled him out of his reverie.

“Darling, is something wrong? I came back a minute ago and have been sitting right here on the bench. You haven’t seemed to notice me at all. Is something bothering you.”

He thought about saying no, then thought better of it.

“My love, you must listen closely. You cannot tell anyone what I am about to tell you.”

Then he told her everything: How he had once been part of a more sinful lifestyle, and cheated people out of their money. Then he told her about the letter, what it asked of him, and how they must leave. She agreed. The next day found them on a stage coach bound for France, where they were to be wed and would make a new life. Suddenly, a cloaked rider rode up next to the cab and jumped from his horse onto the driver of the stage, who immediately stopped. The rider opened the door of the cab.

“You can run, but you can’t hide Todhunter!”



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

magnesart said...
Apr. 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm:

Well done! I'm intrigued as to what happens next.

Overall, quite well-written.

However, the dialogue falls a bit short of...I guess I would say emotion. It's a bit flat. I looked over G.K. Chesterton's "Mr. Glass", and while the diction is the same - rather formal - the dialogue still packs more of a punch. For example, in Chesterton's version it goes as follows: "I hardly understand you," replied the scientist, with a cold intensity of manner.

It would be much more ... (more »)

 
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AnimalLover10 said...
Mar. 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm:
Very well written! :) Well done!
 
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