Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Secrets All Around: Eleanor Roosevelt, her Husband & his Valet

Excerpt from HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL
The Deception Series Book 1
by Sherry Morris

Eleanor Roosevelt emerged from the Monroe Room, startled to find her husband in the hallway.

He said, “Babs! Didn’t see you come in. How was the hoop dee doo? Tell me, are the older ladies supportive of my efforts?”

“Um…yes. Yes they are.”

“So’d you get swept off your feet by some handsome Republican?”

“Naturally…a baker’s dozen of ’em.”

“Say, the Secret Service boys told me counterfeit money’s been turning up in the District, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.”

“Oh? That’s…alarming… I’m really tired.”

“I’m on my way for a long hot soak. Care to join me?”

“Um…no, dear. I just want to get out of these shoes and get some shut-eye.”

“So be it. Goodnight… I love you.”

She leaned down. They kissed. “And I love you.”

As she turned away, he grabbed her arm. “Babs, what’s that all along the hem of your dress?”

“Hunh?”

He seized the emerald taffeta near her waist and began hoisting it up. Eleanor’s green pumps were filthy. His gaze ran up her rayon stockings. They were tight at the ankles and baggy at the knees. Franklin examined the bottom of her dress.

The first lady blushed as she looked over her shoulder. “Franklin! What if—”

“Cobwebs. Well I’ll be. Rosie the Riveter must be older than I thought.”

Eleanor pulled away, smoothing the taffeta down. She gave him the evil eye.

Franklin chuckled as she walked off. He followed his pup into the Monroe room. Looking around the sparse spotless room, he wondered what his wife had been up to.

Fala sniffed the paneling along the fireplace wall. Mr. Roosevelt heard a voice in the corridor.

“Sir? Sir? Where you are?”

Fala jumped into his lap. The President rolled into the hallway. “Ah, I was looking for you, good fellow. Come and draw my bath now. So tell me, Fuji, how is that stunning creature you hoodwinked into matrimony?” Tired and aching, Mr. Roosevelt allowed his valet to push his wheelchair to the Presidential bedroom.

“Traveling again. But Mrs. Fuji did send special package you requested.”

“Perfect timing, son.”

Fala leapt from his master's lap to the chair at the foot of the bed. He circled twice and kneaded his paws into the upholstery before curling up to sleep. As was their usual routine, the President began undressing.

The valet stepped into the adjoining bathroom and turned the spigots on. Fuji adjusted the temperature and then told his boss, “Be right back,” as he dashed out of the suite.

Fuji soon returned with a brown interagency envelope. He delivered it to the President then mumbled, “I hope no overflow!” as he ran into the bathroom.

Mr. Roosevelt unsealed the metal clasp on the envelope and emptied the contents onto his white bedspread. He grinned while inspecting the nylon stockings.

“Okay sir, your bath is drawn.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt replaced the contraband, wheeled over to a bookshelf and slipped the envelope behind an original edition of Poor Richard’s Almanac. “When’s the missus due back?”

“Not for month. Wish we get delivery from stork and she stay home.” He pushed the wheelchair into the bathroom. Fuji removed Mr. Roosevelt’s trousers and torturous leg braces.

The President smiled. “Careful what you wish for. Once that old stork finds your address, he might become a pest. He visited the missus and me six times in ten years. First a little girl, then five boys.”

Claude Fuji laughed with the President.

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