Chapter 35

This entry is part 36 of 44 in the series Smile

Chapter Thirty-Five — A Lady Comes To Town

The following afternoon Chuck, Jock and I were in the airport station. The rain had stopped and the bright sunshine was a welcome change.

“Sure is hot,” Chuck said. “Wish I could take off this damned necktie.”

“You’ll wear that tie,” I said, “or I’ll choke you with it.”

I studied Jock a moment. He too looked very neat and without a tie he wouldn’t. I ran my fingers around my own collar thinking of what a great relief it was going to be when I took the damned thing off. But this was a special occasion for a very special lady who was coming to town, and we mustn’t look like a trio of hobos.

Four o’clock had come and gone and the flight was late. I’ve often wondered what would happen if a plane arrived or departed on time in this country. If so, probably no one except the crew would be on it. Why they bother to set a time schedule I can’t imagine.

Around four thirty we heard the thunderous approach of the plane’s engines. I said to Chuck and Jock, “You fellows wait here in the lobby and I’ll bring her in and introduce you.”

There were some things I had to tell Juanita before she met anyone. I must tell her who she is supposed to be, her complete role in the play acting she was about to begin. Nobody must learn about her past.

The aircraft came gliding into a perfect landing. In a minute or so she would come walking down the ramp. The other people waiting with me all looked expectant. One or more persons very special to each was surely expected on that plane.

The plane glided in and landed smoothly. The engines were cut, the big ladder was put down and the passengers began coming down the ramp, waving greetings. The line of passengers was dwindling and I was a little worried. Had Juanita missed that plane? Had something gone wrong? Finally she stood at the top of the stairway with a small traveling case in each hand glancing from face to face as though a little scared.

“Juanita, Juanita!” I cried quickly. I held out my arms and she dropped her bags and ran to me like a frightened child. I caught her and held her tight a long moment. She was sobbing, and even my own eyes developed quite a stinging sensation.

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