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Ghak: "Does that mean there isn't a collection of Esmerelda fan-fiction somewhere?"

Bridge: "We could always start one."

Esmeralda Unbound

John "Bridge" Martin

The svelte black woman made a striking figure as she opened the door, crossed the carpet of the receptionist's office and presented her card to the gum-chewing blonde behind the desk.

The Girl Friday let her eyes pass—not too noticeable, she hoped—over the lady's well-tailored black dress, accented by the leopard skin belt, cuffs and collar.

"Have a seat," she said. "He'll see you in a minute."

The woman moved gracefully to the row of chairs and sat down, folding her hands. The blonde went on with her regular business, which amounted to filing...her nails, that is.

The intercom buzzed and a tinny voice was heard to say, "Send her in, Marge." The blonde looked at the lady, motioned toward the ornate door to her left, and got up and went over and opened it up. The lady passed through.

"Please be seated," said the slightly overweight, balding man, as he snuffed his cigar out in green, ceramic ashtray.

She adjusted her skirt and sat down. The man, whose name placard said J. Worthington Wellington, cast seemingly approving glances at her and her attire while alternately reading through her resume.

"You've come up in the world...uh...Esmeralda," he noted. "I see you started out as a maid."

"Yes sir," she said. "My mother was a maid and I learned the business from her. I was fortunate enough to be employed by a fine Baltimore family, and I'm still on friendly terms with them. You'll see their letter of recommendation attached to my resume."

"Yes, I see. Professor A.Q. Porter. Fine man. A bit of an odd duck at times. But, yes, very fine family."

"So, why did you leave the maid business."

"Well, sir," she said. "I had some life-changing experiences. I went with the family to Africa. We had some amazing adventures and there were times when I was actually in danger of being killed by wild animals. It made me realize how short life really is, and I did some thinking like never before about what I'd really like out of life."

"So you worked your way through school," said Wellington. "Let's see...English, grammar, public speaking, history, biology, health, algebra, political science."

"My mother and father would be proud of me," she smiled. "They never thought they'd have a college graduate in the family."

"And you cut a fine figure of a woman, too, if you don't mind my saying so," said Wellington.

"Thank you sir," she said. "Actually, I used to be quite...er...hefty. I've worked hard to lose a lot of weight and I have an exercise regime to keep it off."

"Well, you certainly meet all the qualifications for the job," said Wellington. "When can you start?"

"I've got things pretty well tidied up," she said, "so I could be ready to go in just a few more days."

"Great," said Wellington. "We'll book you on an ocean liner at the end of the week"

"Thank you sir," said Esmeralda. "I'm looking forward to being your pharmaceutical distribution representative in British East Africa."

The Editor hopes that Mr. Martin will soon return to the Adventures of Esmerelda!