Blessed Admiration, Accursed Foreboding

“I lived in the back country until fairly recently,” I invented.
“Really? I’ve never seen records.”
“I’d run away as a young boy,” I continued, catching myself before I said girl. “After a while, my parents assumed me dead, so I disappeared from record. I changed my name & took to wandering. I gained experience through my travels.”
“Queer method of education,” the younger noted.
“Would you get lonely?” the elder asked.
“Quite the contrary. I took to singing, & people say I’m fairly good.”
“Could you sing something?” they asked eagerly.
I took a deep breath and launched into “Puttin on the Ritz” complete with dance steps.
I must admit I drew quite the crowd. When I finished officials erupted into applause.
“I thought I’d find you here!” The crowd parted for Henry, who briskly approached me. I nodded in acknowledgment.
“I hate to draw you away, but I have to speak with you of an important matter. Privately.”
“Certainly sir.” I followed, noticing an odd glint in his eye. I gulped in spite of myself.

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