Remember The Alamo
Disclaimer: This is fan fiction. It is not meant to infringe on the rights held by the estate of Agatha Christie, or any parties that have an interest in her works. Binky is mine.
"Mon Dieu, c'est absurde!"
Poroit leaned back against the wall , as he gingerly shifted from one foot to the other.
I must have taken leave of my senses, to have purchased such shoes, and to wear them for this occasion.
He glanced down with no little irritation at the gleaming patent leather assassins. Ah, oui, he smiled, they were handsome indeed, and they did make his feet look pleasingly petite. It was not the fault of the shoes, that he had insisted on purchasing them one size too small.
When he righted himself, he was assaulted by the heavy, warm scent of the bouquet he was holding. Gardenias…what was he thinking?
The mantle clock chimed, making him start.
He closed his eyes, and composed himself. Bon… when I end up with the peg legs, at least I can curse like a sailor. Why must it be so hot in here? To his horror, he felt a trickle of moisture on his upper lip… he hurried down the hall to the bathroom. He breathed a sigh of relief, as he sat the flowers on the sink, and looked into the mirror ."Ah oui, ah oui", he said, gently dabbing at his moustache. He hurried back, and resumed his station in the hallway, smoothing the front of his jacket.
He hurried back down the hall to retrieve the flowers.
"Perhaps the good father will take pity on me because I have gone mad," he said, returning to his post. "Bon… now I am talking to myself."
He stood stock still, and held his breath.
The clock, it has chimed…yet I hear no footsteps. How has it come to this?
It came with the footsteps…
It was a week ago when he first heard them… echoes not of the solid, sensible shoes he was used to, no, he had taken note of something very different…a cadence more lively, coming from stylish pumps that were not obsessed with filing systems.
She is early…this is good.
He decided not to wait for her to knock; he would open wide the door, and bid her…
Oh, la, la.
He stared up at her, and tried desperately not to stare down at her.
"Mr. Poroit?" she smiled brightly.
Oh, la, la.
He started. "Where are my manners?" He waved her in, smiling awkwardly, and catching himself in a half-bow he did not understand.
She gazed around the little hallway transfixed. Poroit was trying very much not to gaze around her. He wavered a bit, then his little grey cells pulled his eyes safely up to the vicinity of her earrings.
"You are Miss Bodsworth, n'est pas?"
"Binky?" he was pleased to have something to think on. "Oh, 'binky'… it is like the blanket a child would have?"
"No sir," she said, smiling too brightly again, "that's 'blanky'. A'binky', is what an infant puts in its mouth."
He leaned in a little, and stared…
"Ah, oui. I may call you Miss Bodsworth?"
"That would be lovely , sir."
"Bon." He would concentrate on her earrings. He concentrated, and smiled.
"Oh,ah. You are from America, n'est pas?"
" Very good , sir! I'm from Texas."
"Oh, well, you know what they say… everything is bigger…"
"You would like perhaps to see your office?"
Poroit sat comfortably behind his desk with no little sense of satisfaction. The agency had chosen wisely; Miss Bodsworth had assumed the mantel of Miss Lemon with ease, and how pleasant it was to speak with someone so different, so full of joie de vivre.
He smiled to himself. Yes, this will be pleasant.
He had taken some correspondence to her before lunch, and had spoken with her a bit while he straightened a few things on her desk. She seemed interested in what he was doing… it was rather flattering.
A little later he summoned her. "Miss Bodsworth?"
"Please enjoy your lunch." Oh, there is that smile again.
After he had taken his own lunch, he found he had just enough time to re-arrange the items on her desk in logical order…a small , thoughtful thing to do. He knew she would be pleased.
She carefully surveyed the desk on her return. He of course, said nothing. What needs to be said of such little gifts.? He had merely enjoyed her look of surprise , while inquiring about her lunch.
He assisted her in the same manner at lunchtime the next day, noting that she had been busy indeed, to have left her desk in such disorder. But she was lively and industrious, and how nice it was to be of help. When she returned from lunch, she nodded politely at him, and strolled into her office, giving her desk a searching glance. As he was about to speak, she opened a little paper sack, and put a small…something front and center on her desk.
Again, she seemed pleased when he walked into her office for a small chat. It was very pleasant indeed, he though, glancing only briefly, now and again at the small something.
The next day, when he straightened her desk, and heaven knows, it had needed it, he was careful not to touch the …whatever it was. She had returned, smiling pleasantly, and with much ceremony laid another…something…
…front …and …center, on the desk.
It was not as though he had asked for thanks, no..no…by the end of the week, he had known better. Her desk, which she had covered with these absurd things… which he did not know what they were, was beyond hope of ever being put in logical order, and he was…how do you say it?…fed right up to here with all her chatter about Texas, and the Alamo, and how Americans do not like to be invaded.
…WHAT HAD THAT TO DO WITH ANYTHING!
And now he was standing in the hallway, hoping against hope, losing all feeling in his feet, and being slowly asphyxiated, while waiting for the object of his most fervent desire.
His eyes came alight, as he heard the sound of sensible shoes, and the click of the opening door. He did not bother to compose himself; it was joy to him unbounded to look again on that not-at-all beautiful, beautiful face.
He proffered the bouquet, and nearly leapt forward, as his eyes welled with relief.
"My dearest, dearest Miss Lemon!"