FatLand: The Early Days – 34

“She’s so pretty,” Charla observed to Angela as they watched Margaret lift a handkerchief to her cheeks.

“A value judgment,” Angela said, “but I find myself agreeing with it.”

Brenton went up to Margaret and introduced himself.  “Welcome to FatLand,” he said. “Nice to have you here.”

“The honor is mine,” Margaret said, looking around. “It’s beautiful here.”

“As yet unspoiled,” Ronnie said. “Much building will be done and the views will change. But for now- ”

“Come to the Restaurant,” Angela said.  “We’ll have lunch and talk.”

The clapping continued as they headed up the path to the Restaurant, as people now called the Dining Hall since its conversion.

“You’ll live over there temporarily,” Darren said, pointing to a pine and faux-stucco building about two hundred feet away. “Until you’ve decided where you want to be.”

“I’ll see about arranging for office space,” Margaret said.

“That was already done,” Evan said. 

“By whom?” Margaret asked, feeling a slight chill.

“By me and by Bill,” Brenton said. “A newspaper needs a certain kind of space.”

“Thanks so much,” Margaret said, feeling both overwhelmed and relieved. “I would like to thank Bill as well.”

“If he were here, you certainly could,” Evan said. “Unfortunately – ”

“Unfortunately what?” Margaret asked.

“We don’t quite know where he is.”

Seeing Charla’s face, Margaret said, “Listen. Newspapers make it their business to find missing people.  That will be my first headline and mission. We’ll find him.”

“Thanks,” Charla whispered, not able to speak louder at the moment.

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