There was a large scaffold across the
front of the building and a sign directing guest traffic to parking
spaces away from the building. Workmen were replacing the caulking
around the windows with a crew of painters following them up. When I
entered the lobby, I could see that a full scale refurbishing was in process.
A temporary check-in desk had been erected to the
right of the door, and a young man with his back toward me was busy
typing on the keyboard of a reservation computer that was sitting on
top of one of the apartment sized refrigerators that had become standard
features in the rooms of many motels. The busily engaged room
clerk was not yet aware of my presence but as I waited from him to complete
the reservation he was making, I was enjoying the view of tight fitting
trousers and attempting to visualize what the thin cloth concealed. He had
neatly trimmed sandy blonde hair and was wearing a dark blue blazer,
khaki trousers and a light blue shirt. A dark blue tie with wide
red stripes and penny loafers completed what could be taken as typical
Ivy League college attire. Leaning over the computer tightly stretched
the fabric of his blazer revealing the breadth of his shoulders and
his torso that tapered to a small waist and narrow hips. He was
probably in his early twenties, one hundred fifty-five pounds or so and
around six-feet tall.
When he turned and saw me, his azure blue eyes
widened in surprise but then quickly recovered. Pursing his lips, his
Adams apple danced as he swallowed and said, "I am sorry, Sir, I didn't
realize you were behind me."
"I should be surprised if you had been aware of
my coming in, what with all of the clatter," I replied, glancing
around the lobby and rolling my eyes in feigned amazement. "I
have a reservation for tonight; the name is Collier, Steven Collier."
"Collier, Collier, Collier," he mused in a subdued
singsong tone as his fingers flipped through the cards of an obviously
cumbersome temporary registration system. "Yes, Sir, I have it,"
he said in an almost triumphant tone, smiling and reading the card
before continuing in a suddenly crestfallen tone. "Oh, I am sorry,
Mr. Collier. You asked for a double bed; but unfortunately,
we have discontinued that style and upgraded to queen or king size,"
he said apologetically, hesitating before sliding the registration card
with a pen toward me.
"That shouldn't be a problem, Darryl," I replied
reading his name from the tag pinned to his lapel as I took the pen
from his fingers. "A queen size bed is just a little larger playpen,"
I said, bolder than it was my normal wont to be.
"A wha...,what, oh yeah, yeah," Darryl stammered
briefly, his eyes twinkling and a hint of pink appearing in his
cheeks as he absorbed the meaning of what I had said. "I've
never thought of it that way."
"Really...," I said, feigning surprise and hesitating
for a moment. "I wouldn't think that of a good looking young
man such as yourself," I said in a sensuous tone.
"I'm sure some men do think in that vein, Sir;
but it usually depends on the time, the individuals involved and
when the opportunity presents itself," he replied softly, the hint
of a smile playing at the corners of his full succulent lips and an impish
glint in the depths of his blue eyes. Extending his hand with a
small envelope between his fingers, he said, "Room eleven ten in the rear,
Mr. Collier; you shouldn't have any difficulty finding it. I hope
you enjoy our new accommodations, especially the remodeled restaurant and
the new all-weather spa and the pool which have been added to the recreation
"I'm sure that I will, Darryl, particularly the
spa. I enjoy hot bubbling water and its invigorating properties
after a long strenuous day of traveling," I said, holding his eyes
with mine and enjoying the lingering intimacy of our fingers touching
as I took the magnetic door-key pass card.
"If you need anything don't hesitate to call,"
he said in a demur tone as I turned to leave.
Glancing back, I said, "I will not hesitate."
The accommodations were greatly improved
from my last stay. Walls were painted a pastel green
with chestnut brown moldings, and the floor length forest green drapes
were imprinted with a waving sea grass design. The furnishings
matched the chestnut brown trim, and the bed was, as Darryl had said,
a queen size with a coverlet that matched the drapes and the thick
dark green carpet. The double sliding glass door panel opened onto a
small concrete patio with two all weather heavy-duty chairs and matching
tables. A compacted gravel pathway circumvented the, unfortunately, fenced
in swimming pool. The chain-link fencing was very likely a local or state
requirement for safety purposes, but it did detract from the attractiveness
of the landscape. Flower beds had been geometrically placed in the four
corners of the rectangular courtyard, and azalea bushes had been planted
adjacent to the fence in an attempt to hide its ugliness, but the bushes
did not hide the children's play area that had been constructed adjacent
to, and with access to, the children's swimming pool. One of the
reasons that I preferred traveling in late autumn was the lack of children
cluttering up the dining and recreational facilities with their incessantly
inane caterwauling that parents or guardians seem to so conveniently ignore
much to the chagrin of the other patrons.
I was surprised to see that the sun lounges, chairs
and tables with folding umbrellas were still available. Evenings
would be a little cool for bathing, but since the afternoons were
still warm enough for the more hardy travelers, that could be the
only reason the equipment had not been placed in storage and the
pool drained for the winter months. In any case, I wasn't a big swimming
fan although I have found during my travels that swimming pools did
provided a wide variety of eye candy of which I was a devoted fan, and
there was at the time a delightful and excellent example taking advantage
of the Catskill facilities.
A balding over-weight middle aged man wearing knee
length shorts with a crumpled white shirt and a woman whom I assumed was
his wife were seated at one of the tables talking. Between talking,
and sips of what was probably iced tea, they would occasionally glance
at the two well-developed young men frolicking in and out of the water.
The young men appeared to be five feet eight or nine inches tall,
and, from their lithe appearance, somewhere around one hundred forty-five
or fifty pounds. If the amount of hair that could be seen in their
armpits when they dove from the low board was any indication, they
both were in their middle teenage years, probably sixteen or seventeen.
Although the water darkened it, it was easy to see each of them had
thick blond hair. That led to the obvious conclusion that their eyes
were probably blue. Their skill levels at diving from the board and
the pool coping suggested they were perhaps athletes in school, and more
than likely they were training in swimming or some of the other water programs.
They both cut through the water like knives, and their glistening muscles
rippled beautifully when they left the pool in one athletic movement,
shaking the water from their hair.
Their tight fitting Charles Atlas style swimsuits
were probably made of a spandex material. There was no "pinch
an inch" at the waistband, but even at the distance they were from
me, there was an impressive bulge where a bulge should be that was clearly
noticeable. It was difficult to make a more definitive assessment,
but that didn't forestall the tingling feeling that erupted in my
groin. I am not a pedophile, but what intelligent person could
classify young men, gorgeous or not, who were in the mid to twilight of
their teen years as being children. Prepubescent children however
are, for the most part, incapable of responding to, or intelligently
understanding, the mysterious urges that, with proper training and supervision,
will eventually lead to vast new physical experiences. In the case of
the two young vibrant male specimens frolicking in the pool, I had no doubt
they were more than aware of their physical and sexual abilities.
Unconsciously while admiring the two swimmers, I
had been staring appreciatively, but the quick glances of one and
then the other in my direction brought me back to reality. In
an attempt to not be obvious, I turned my head away and, pretended
to be examining the exterior of the motel while covertly trying to see
what their reaction was. They appeared to be grinning and whispering
to each other but as one dove into the pool the other seemed to deliberately
move his hand over his crotch before following his companion. It was
difficult to determine whether he was being a tease, but his not unsubtle
actions were ages old and designed to get one's attention. He had gotten
mine, and there was a definite swelling in my crotch as I watched his slim,
gorgeously muscled body disappear into the depths of the pool.
Both boys emerged from the water onto the pool coping
with the grace of the dolphins at Water World in Southern California.
After quickly adjusting their equipment, they accepted large bath towels
from the adults, and started to vigorously dry off. As they were
drying off there seemed to be an animated conversation between the
four of them, which was suddenly and very obviously concluded by a swift
downward chop of the man's hand as he turned and moved toward the fence
gate. Although the two boys were still talking and drying themselves, the
woman followed the man. Upon reaching the gate, she turned, and I distinctly
heard the name "Bryan" followed by another name, which I didn't hear
distinctly. Throwing their towels around their shoulders, they
walked quickly to where she was waiting. They spoke for a few
moments until she opened the gate and walked in the direction of the
man who was quite a distance ahead of them. The boys followed,
but the one whom I believe had made the suggestive motion lingered and
looked in my direction. The devil got the most of me, and improving
on his earlier motion I deliberately readjusted my testicles and the
hard length of my cock straining against the khaki fabric of my trousers.
He rewarded me by laughing and throwing his head back, the setting
sun reflecting golden-red on his hair as he raced to rejoin the others.
The adults were wearing flip-flop sandals and when
they reached the gravel pathway proceeded directly across the gravel pathway
disappearing through one set of sliding glass doors. The boys
were unshod and walked on the grass rather than the pathway.
They went through the door of an adjacent room. Inhaling the
smoke from my cigarette, I was wishing that I had brought my high-powered
German binoculars with me as the drapes of the two young Adonises's room
were left open.
A feeling of disappointment washed over me as exhaling
slowly, I reentered my room.
"Interesting," I mused as I left the
door open but closed the sliding screen door behind me. The room
was air-conditioned, but while it was in the interim period between
fall and summer I preferred the mountain air.
As I opened my bags to remove clothing and my toilet
kit, my thoughts continued to stray to the two young men in the swimming
pool, particularly the one who had made the erotic teasing motion,
and my cock was pressing against the zipper of my jeans demanding release.
"Dammit," I exclaimed loudly to myself, dropping the toilet
kit on the bed and pulling my shirt off. My fingers trembled with excitement
as I undid the waistband clasp, and in my haste to free my throbbing
cock from confinement I had difficulty opening the zipper. My breathing
had increased perceptibly as I stripped, and my heart was beating rapidly.
My throbbing cock sprang free from the combined restraint of my Haines
briefs and Haggar denim jeans. Grabbing its turgid, pre-cum drooling
eight-inch uncut length, I kicked my penny loafers off and discarded what
was left of my clothing to the center of the room.
Gripping my cock tightly as waves of ecstatic excitement swept over
me, I moved to the bathroom, my hand settling into a slow teasing
tempo. I was horny as hell and didn't need further stimulation, but
in the intensity of the surreal sexual atmosphere I created a fantasy
of two naked blond male Grecian Sprites dancing around me. They laughed,
their eyes gleaming with excitement and their golden gleaming muscles rippling,
as they arched their backs, their hard cocks bouncing erotically to
the movements of their dance.
Feelings of lust, desire and excitement increased
in intensity permeating the erotic fantasy, and leaning over the
commode I moved my hand with the tempo of a piston engine. I felt
my testicles tightening as I raced to the ecstatic pleasures of ejaculation.
In the fantastic brief moment between erotic and the supreme ecstasy of
physical climax I inhaled and held my breath as wave after wave of surreal
exotic fire flowed through the veins of my body. I felt my muscles
straining, sweat running in rivulets from my armpits down over my ribs
and down from my back into the crack between the cheeks of my ass.
Rushing to the ultimate climatic sensation, I felt as if my cock had morphed
from a pleasure-inducing instrument into a living entity gushing thick
creamy streams of life producing sperm. "Oh, Jesus, Jesus," I mused
to myself, gritting my teeth as the creamy nectar flowed from my tight testicles
in a slowly diminishing stream.
Flushed with excitement and breathing heavily, I leaned
forward and flushed the toilet before dampening one of the face
towels and cleaning up the sperm that had missed the commode bowl.
Opening the shower curtain I spread the used towel over the floor
of the tub under the shower head before stepping under the warm water.
Finishing my shower and shaving, I selected
a mint green open throated shirt and dark brown Haggar slacks with
a matching leather belt. Retracting and adjusting the foreskin of
my still partially flaccid cock, I slipped on fresh briefs. I
usually wore a t-shirt when wearing a shirt with an open collar, but
as I was still feeling horny I knew that most men preferred looking at
the throat and even more so if chest hair was visible. Dressing quickly, I
splashed on English Leather Cologne and checked my image in the full-length
mirror on the bathroom door. I never considered my self as being
vain or a Charles Atlas muscle type; but the well built, dark haired,
hazel eyed, thirty-six year old image looking back at me had nothing to
be ashamed of, at least not in normal society or the gay circles I occasionally
frequented. I had frequently been complimented by being compared to Rock Hudson,
but, he had been one of only one in the world, and very few men could ever
hope to compare themselves to him or even try. When he had unfortunately
succumbed to AIDS, it was a great loss to the gay community as well as the
Darryl at the temporary reception desk had recommended
the motel's newly renovated restaurant, but I had made it a long standing
practice to visit The Hanover House restaurant located on highway S9
to the south of Lake George. There were several good restaurants in the
area, but they were there mainly for the summer influx of tourists. The
Hanover House did entertain tourists but primarily catered to the local
residents' tastes in the delicious German cuisine and a wide variety of
entrees that they prepared. I was not a gourmet by any means, but I did
enjoy the food and friendly ambiance of the restaurant.
It was a little past seven o'clock when I passed the
motel restaurant. The dining room appeared to be full, and
even though it would have been more convenient than driving to another
restaurant, I enjoyed dining at the Hanover House. However, having made
my decision for the evening, I decided that the motel restaurant would
do for breakfast before leaving on the final leg of my journey.
The Hanover House sat on a knoll that was back off
of the highway some two hundred feet. The knoll was fully
landscaped with a wide variety of shrubs, pine trees and plants that
were indigenous to the northern regions. A three-tiered stairway
had been cut into the side of the knoll to lead to the wide walkway leading
to the stairway that led to the main entrance. A dark green canvas awning
with interior lights covered the entire length of the stairway. During
inclement weather, patrons could disembark from their cars, and a valet
provided during such situations would park their cars. The walkway
and stairs, with the exception of the final wooden stairs leading to
the entrance, were constructed of black granite slabs taken from a nearby
quarry. The building was constructed of cedar logs and had wide
colonial style lead paned windows. Each of the oaken twin entrance
doors was nine feet in height and five feet in width. The large boulders
and granite used in the construction of two huge walk-in fireplaces
had dictated the dimensions of the doors.
The building had been designed in the form of a large "H" with two dining
rooms and with the kitchens and general serving and public accommodation
areas occupying the central area between the dining rooms. Oversized
cast iron chandeliers hung from the mammoth cedar crossbeams with matching
wall sconces placed strategically around the dining room walls. Slightly
oversized tables and high-backed leather cushioned chairs had been set
in geometric patterns with foot traffic in mind for both patrons and servers.
Each table was covered with a snow-white cloth and a small shaded
hurricane lamp fueled by alcohol was placed in the center of a lazy Susan
which was in the center of the table. If was one available, I had
always dined at an outside table with an unobstructed view of the hallway
between the two dining rooms. My usual table, if available, gave
an excellent view of any eye candy using the conveniences or entering
the dining room.
The drive was about thirty minutes, but as I approached
the Hanover House, the parking lot appeared to be full. I wasn't
really surprised because of prior experiences. On the off chance
there might be a space or two open on the far side, I drove slowly
through the lanes of parked cars and was rewarded by finding an empty
space close to one of the restaurant's emergency exits.
The sun was slowly dipping behind the tree covered
Catskills, but it was still light enough for walking. The circular
walkway around the entire knoll was of concrete to avoid ankle mishaps
that might occur had its surface been made of the same slate material
as the main walkway into the restaurant. Exterior lights had been installed
in great numbers and strategically placed throughout the parking area
and walkways to allow more than enough light for walking or driving
in the inky darkness that would follow the setting sun.
Wide beds of multi-colored pansies had been planted
on either side of the granite walkway leading to the wooden stairs.
Several groups were descending the stairs as I ascended to the wide
podium where Harold, the maitre d', had always been standing
on my previous visits; he was engaged with an elderly couple.
As I approached, he looked up and hesitated for a moment
before his face lit up in a broad smile as he exclaimed, "Mr.
Collier, so good to see you again. How have you been?"
It always amazed me that for the seven years that I
frequented the restaurant on an annual basis, Harold was able to
remember my name. I had heard that a good maitre d' was
able to memorize certain characteristics that they could file away in
a mental data bank that, even after a long absence, would enable instant
recognition. Being recognized was a compliment that customers enjoyed,
and I was no different.
"I'm doing very well, Harold," I replied as I extended
my hand. "How have you been?"
Harold was an attractive man probably in his middle
to late forties. His well-groomed, dark brown hair had a touch
of silver at the temples, and his clean-shaven, unblemished facial
features were Romanesque. His well-developed and well taken care
of body was clad in an expensively tailored tuxedo with a snow white
shirt front, pearl studs, black tie, and a dark blue cummerbund encircling
his small but not quite petite waist. In his zeal for perfection, the
tailor had, unfortunately, eliminated the excitement of subtlety displaying
Harold's endowment. I had been fortunate enough to be intimately involved
with Harold on my second trip north, and I knew what hidden delights were
concealed by the expensive fabric.
"The winters are becoming harsher, but we endure,"
he replied, smiling brilliantly as we shook hands.
"I shouldn't think the weather would bother a man of
your years and with your energy," I quipped with a twinkle in my
"You are too kind," he replied. Turning to a stunning
dark-haired young man who was standing at his elbow and handing him
the burgundy leather bound menu, he said," Stanley, table number
thirty-two for Mr. Collier. Also, unless he has changed his drinks
since his last visit with us, he will start dinner with a Jack Daniel's
Black Label over the rocks with a light dash of soda water and a lime
"Harold," I said grinning, ''Your memory astounds me,"
With a twinkle in his dark brown eyes," he said, "I
always try to remember what pleases Hanover's patrons and my friends,
especially my close friends."
There was a tingling sensation in my loins, but before
I could make a reply a deep voice from behind me boomed, "Kershimer's
the name; we called for a table for six, four adults and two kids."
A shiver went up my spine at the arrogant authoritative tone of voice,
and I said a quick prayer that they would be in the opposite dining room
from me. An adolescent female voice, straining to be heard, squealed,
"Daddy, we are not kids."
"That is your opinion, young lady, and I'll thank
you to keep it to yourself," the booming voice replied brusquely."
I saw Harold's body tense briefly, and then with a
look of utter disdain in his eyes he glanced over my shoulder.
I moved away from the podium, but not before Harold looked at me and
gave me a subtle wink. Quickly returning his subtle salute as I moved away,
I heard him exhale softly as he looked down at the list of reservations
resting on the podium before replying to the person who had moved up
behind me. "Yes, Sir, Mr. Kershimer, table twelve in the West Wing should
be ready for your party," he said, glancing at me and winking as if he
had read my mind, as he handed several menus to another young man who, from
the pained expression on his face, did not seem to be too happy with
his assignment. "Kevin will be your server."
My favorite table accommodated two persons, and since
Harold had not said anything to the contrary it must be available
or he would have made a comment to the contrary. I breathed a sigh
of relief when the Kershimer party was escorted to the wing opposite
to where I would be dining. Following Stanley was an absolute
delight that verged on being erotic. His wavy auburn hair was
tightly coifed and evenly tapered on the nape of his neck. The tight,
black gabardine tunic and trousers of the uniform he was wearing fit
like a glove, and I had noticed earlier there was the tantalizing hint
of a bulge in his groin. The faint hints of red in his auburn hair
complimented his jade green eyes. In their depths there was a glimmer of
impish arrogance, and he moved with an air of self-confidence. He
was indeed one of Harold's better selections; but the piece de resistance
was the symmetrical beauty of his buttocks tantalizingly rising and falling
in perfect rhythm as he strode, or more appropriately, glided across the
floor. I fought the indelicate urge to reach out and gently squeeze them
as if testing for the freshness of melons.
Moving with a distinctly natural athletic grace, he pulled my chair
back slightly from the table before stepping aside with the menu held
at the ready. He seated me, and then placing the menu on the
table he said, "While you are perusing the menu, Mr. Collier, I'll fetch
"There's no rush, Stanley," I said, glancing up at
his youthful face as I moved the chair closer to the table.
"Yes, Sir," he replied demurely, his soft jade green
eyes holding mine for a brief moment before he moved away into
the steady traffic that led to and fro from the bar, kitchens and
other pantry serving rooms.
There was a distinct tingling in my
loins as I gazed after Stanley. His athletic gait was strong and confident,
and his tunic stretching over his broad back accentuated the breadth
of his shoulders, and the perfectly symmetric beauty of his torso
and narrow waist. The black gabardine fabric revealed the dimples
in his buttocks, and the thickness of his thigh and calf muscles.
"Yes," I mused silently to myself as I took a sip of
water from the glass on my table. "It might be well worth exploring
to see what might lie beneath that cool yet charismatic exterior."
I was so entranced by the masculine beauty of Stanley
and salacious desire-filled thoughts that I had become oblivious to
the other diners in the room. I had spread a snow white napkin
over my lap and under its protective cover was rearranging my swollen
cock and balls into a more comfortable position when the sudden unexpected
scream of a child pierced my thoughts, and I jerked my head away from
the vision of loveliness that had almost reached the bar area.
Three tables removed from mine, a young girl probably
three or four years old was vehemently refusing to eat the salad her
mother had prepared for her at the salad buffet. Several shards
of lettuce, tomato and a fork had fallen to the floor when the offering
had been proffered and promptly slapped away by the little girl.
A sharp slap to the girl's upper thigh had elicited the scream that
had interrupted my thoughts and was followed by the child's immediate
removal from her place at the table by her mother, who headed in the general
direction of the ladies powder room.
There were several sharp gasps from surrounding tables,
and I heard one not very subtlety whispered "well, I never" after which
the room returned to its usual hubbub with the topic of conversation
at most tables probably concerning the scene they had witnessed. It
was apparent that the gentleman at the table in question was embarrassed,
but the two pre-pubescent boys sitting with him continued enthusiastically
eating their meal as if the altercation between their sister and her
mother was a common occurrence, which it very well may have been.
As if timed by the fates, Stanley was at my table with
my drink at the same instant that a young, attractive, blond-headed
busboy appeared with a small hand whisk brush and dustpan to remove
the salad debris from the floor. He seemed to be quite adroit
at his task and in moments the floor was returned to its original immaculate
Stanley startled me when he said, "Clifford is quite
good, Mr. Collier."
"Wha...oh, yes, yes," I replied, gathering my composure
and glancing between the young man cleaning the floor and Stanley.
"From the manner he took care of that chore, I imagine he does most
"From what I know of Clifford, he is an exemplary person,"
he replied with a momentary almost indiscernible twinkle in his
green eyes and the barest hint of a grin flitting across his lips
before he asked, "Have you decided on dinner?"
I was hoping that he had picked up on my play with words,
but if he had I wasn't sure of it. Feigning interest, I gave the menu
a cursory glance before saying, "I'll have the Chateaubriand with a
small baked potato, no dressing or condiments; and I'd like a small house
salad with blue cheese dressing on the side."
"An excellent selection, Mr. Collier; I know you will
enjoy it," he said softly, melodiously. "Will you have coffee with
"After dinner, yes, but I think a room temperature bottle
of Beringer Merlot will be better with the Chateaubriand." I
replied, musing briefly before asking, "Don't you think so?"
His green eyes lightened, twinkling merrily as he said,
"Like minds think great thoughts, Mr. Collier. Beringer wines
are always an excellent choice."
"I agree," I replied, glancing into the green depths of
his mesmerizing eyes while biting my lower lip and quietly inhaling and
swallowing rapidly, to avoid drowning in the flood of saliva suddenly
generated by the tantalizingly mysterious bulge hidden within less than
an arm's reach under the thin covering of his gabardine trousers.
The large linen napkin in my lap covered the throbbing length
of my pre-seminal oozing cock from view although in certain places
and under different circumstances, a steel-hard cock would be a visual
enticement drawing hungry looks, wolfish grins and lecherous smiles.
The Hanover House, unfortunately, was not such a place. I could,
however, attest to one Hanover employee who excelled in the erotic arts of
Eros, and, knowing that person, I would wager that more than one of his
subordinates would also be of the same vein.
The meal was beyond excellent; it was
a superb example of culinary art, and in addition to its excellence,
I imagine Stanley's serving it helped the gastric juices immensely. At
least, for a time, I had been able to dispense with the agitated state
of rut that was all but overwhelming. Meeting the strikingly good-looking
Darryl at the motel desk followed by two gorgeous young men wearing
only swimming suits and then being served by an almost irresistible yet
very unlikely unavailable Stanley would stimulate any gay man's libido or
at the very least upset his equilibrium.
While I was twirling the final glass of Merlot by the stem,
Stanley approached with my coffee and dessert. Placing the cup
and saucer with the creamer and sugar containers to my right, he passed
around behind my chair. Placing a portion of Banana Cream Cheesecake
on the table, he said, "Harold asked me to tell you that the cheesecake
is made in our bakery and the coffee is from his private stock."
Inhaling, I hesitated for a moment before exhaling and saying,
"Thanks, Stanley, I really appreciate it. Would you convey my
thanks to Harold, and tell him the meal was excellent."
"Yes, Sir, I will," he replied discreetly placing an embossed
leather check folder to my right and moving behind my chair.
Finishing the last of the Merlot, I slipped my American Express
card in the provided plastic pocket and handed it to Stanley. He gave
a slight almost imperceptible bow of his head before moving away as I
added cream and sugar to my coffee. It was an excellent blend, and it
enhanced the flavor of the cheesecake.
Stanley returned as I was finishing the dessert and delicious
coffee. I quickly completed the transaction he had returned with
and included a substantial gratuity in appreciation for his more than
"It was a real pleasure serving you, Mr. Collier," he said
as he pulled my chair back from the table. "Will we be seeing you again?"
"I really enjoyed my dinner, Stanley. Unfortunately, I only
travel this way in the early autumn. I stay at the Catskill Motel
and make it a point of having dinner at the Hanover. If you and
Harold are here next year, I'll be sure to ask for you."
"We both will probably be here," he replied as I moved away.
Harold was still at the podium taking
care of The Hanover's patrons and, like a good general, quickly assigning
them to his excellent cadre of servers. In the course of an evening,
he would probably have to contend with two or three Kirshimers, but
he never seemed to allow their rudeness to disrupt the efficiency he
was known for among the several excellent restaurants in the Catskills.
He had an uncanny sixth-sense that was attuned to the immediate
area around where he was standing. When I was only a few feet
from him he turned his head, and smiled as he asked, "Leaving so soon?
I was hoping that we might have a brandy together a little later."
"That would be nice, Harold, but I hope you will give me
a rain check," I said as we shook hands. "I want to get an early start
in the morning and hopefully get ahead of the early morning ferry traffic
to Burlington; you know how it is."
Feigning disappointment, his lower lip curled into the perfect
resemblance of a pout, and he said while not missing a beat as he
continued welcoming his guests, "I am devastated, Steven, really. It's
been a year since you were here last, and I was so hoping we could have
a warm brandy, chat a little, and catch up."
"I am sorry, Harold, but I started a little later this year
than last, and after I leave Montpelier I am meeting a friend in Montreal."
"A Canadian friend?" he inquired inquisitively with a twinkle
in his eyes.
"We met in Halifax several years ago, and we've had an on
again off again correspondence," I replied. "It's a long story,
but it will have to wait for another time."
"I'll be waiting on pins and needles," he said, his cheerful
Turning to go around Harold's work area, I saw Stanley standing
off to the side holding a menu with both hands, to cover his crotch.
When I nodded in his direction, he nodded in return. With a twinkle
in his beautiful green eyes, he smiled radiantly and slipped the menu
under his arm, briefly revealing the tantalizing bulge in his crotch
before clasping his hands together in front of him, effectively concealing
the fascinating mystery.
As I drove to the Catskill, my mind was in turmoil, and I
was wondering whether I made a blunder when I refused Harold's oblique