False Promises by Deb Waterbury

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False Promises
Series: Painted Window
Deborah Waterbury

This teaching download includes Chapters Four and Five of the Painted Windows book, as well as discussion questions and biblical study and application.

Chapter Four

Elizabeth tried not to look up, tried to convince herself she was still imagining things when the voice was suddenly closer. ''You've aged well, girl. Still as stunning as the last time I saw you.''

Without looking up, she answered, ''What do you want, Humphry?''

''My, my, such petulance,'' he purred. ''I don't want anything, really. I just came by with a little business proposition.''

''I'm not interested.''

Humphry slowly circled her, stopping when he was at her side, then bending over slightly so that he could attempt eye contact. ''Oh, I think you might be. You see, my dear Elizabeth, I no longer deal in the trade you and I were so successful at.'' She could hear the smile playing about his lips. ''No, I do more freelance work, I guess you could say.''

''I'm still not interested. Now leave me alone.''

''Won't you at least hear me out?'' He almost sang the last question to her.

She didn't answer. Humphry jumped on the hesitation. ''Good. At least I can see you aren't ignorant about possibilities. It's all completely legal, I assure you.'' He had continued to circle until he stood in front of her. ''My current clients are upstanding citizens of Comdenshire. I find employees for them as they need. It just so happens that one of my clients is in need of a maid, and naturally, I thought of you.''

Elizabeth ventured a quick look up, just to see if he was teasing her. He didn't seem to be. Still suspicious, she asked, ''Why would you think of me?''

Humphry pouted, bottom lip protruding comically. ''Elizabeth,'' he crooned, ''of course I'd think of my best girl first. Besides, I figured you surely didn't want to be doing laundry at this dump for the rest of your life.''

''What's in it for you?''

''Deep satisfaction, of course, and a small finder's fee. Not much, I can assure you.'' He hooked his thumbs to his suspenders and rocked back on his heels as he said, ''I try to do what I can for the common folk these days.''

''Yeah, right.'' Elizabeth knew better than to believe him, but she couldn't help listening.

''Yes, it is right, Elizabeth. It is exactly right. I'm speaking of a couple that lives in the best part of Comdenshire, Mr. and Mrs. Peters. They have two small children, a boy and a girl, I think, and their maid recently left. Since I've done some business with Mr. Peters in the past, he asked me if I knew of anyone. Naturally, I thought of you.''

''Naturally,'' Elizabeth replied sarcastically.

Humphry's smile faded a bit. ''Are you interested or not? I really haven't got all day.''

Ah. There's the old Humphry. Elizabeth dropped the sodden cloak back in the water ...

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