The visitor was at the door … one Stella Jackson.
Nelly said she was an art critic, but when Ken stuck his head out of the pantry to peek, he saw she a stunning blond with a curvaceous
figure in a white blazer and skirt. She had lots of curly hair, and wore high heels, unlike Nelly, who had straight, dark hair, and didn’t
need elevated shoes with her height and straight posture. “Kenneth,” she said, down the hall toward the pantry, “Ms. Stella Jackson is
here. Would you show her the paintings, please?”
Ken walked into the hall, wearing a bow tie with his uniform. “Shall we go to the study?” he asked the visitor, pointing to the
“I’ll stay downstairs,” said Nelly. “I never much cared for painting.”
They headed upstairs. “I heard that you actually discovered the paintings yourself,” said Stella, as the two of them went to the
study. “Is that true?”
“It is,” said Ken, looking over his shoulder. “I found them. They were in a hidden room off the pantry, just a closet, really. I
found a sort of door, and stumbled upon them.” He led her to the study. There were a dozen or so paintings on display. The walls behind
all the abstract paintings were lined with shelves of books, mostly old, adding to the effect.
“Dear boy, these aren’t Davis works,” said Stella, going over and looking at them up close, one at a time, shocked. “I know who
painted these. He’s not Jonathon Davis at all … he recently moved to Australia, because no one understood his abstract paintings.” She
went to the door, and shut it, strangely. She checked to see if it could be locked, and it could, and she left it locked, before she walked
into the study and noted everything that was inside, with a strange detachment, from the window, to the carpet, to the fireplace, and she
went over to the window and opened it all the way, making up her mind about something, and she leaned her whole upper body outside. Then
she turned, with her blazer unbuttoned and open … Ken hadn’t noticed when she had unbuttoned it, but it was some time after locking the
door, he thought. “It’s so hard to get good help,” she said, walking toward Ken with a strange expression. “Nelly’s lucky to have someone
She came up to Ken and put her arms around his neck, very strangely, and then slid her hands to his tie. It was clipped onto his
collar, and she plucked it off, arrogantly, and tossed it over her shoulder.
“What are you doing?” he asked, as she began to undo his buttons.
“Someone ought to tell Nelly these paintings are fakes. Are you going to scream? Because I know because the real artist didn’t sign
his name on his paintings. So someone else signed them.” She had most of his shirt undone, and she moved her hands to his pants, to try to
“What are you doing?” asked Ken, again.
“Scream, then,” said Stella. “Or I’ll scream.” Then she let go and stepped back so she could take off her jacket, and let it drop on
the carpet, and she started undoing the buttons of her blouse. “I’ll scream, then.” She had her blouse open, and she pulled it off, and
dropped it on the floor, and then she looked at him, ready to take off her bra, and the next moment she did, releasing her voluptuous
breasts, and she went over to the window, and leaned as far out as she could, and screamed. He saw her bare back as she leaned through the
window, and waited for an answer, before pulling herself in. She turned around and stood there, grinning, with her red nipples. “You see,
no one can hear.”
Then there was the sound of someone coming upstairs, and Stella started to get dressed, picking up her bra, putting it on, and then
picking up her blouse. “Nelly’s coming,” she said, hurriedly doing the buttons of her blouse. “You might want to unlock the door before
she gets here.”
Nelly reached the door, and knocked, after finding it locked. Stella was rushing to push the shirt into her skirt, having put the
blazer on the nearby chair, and Ken went to the door, as Nelly asked through the door whether everything was all right. Ken unlocked the
door and opened it. Nelly was standing in the hall. “Everything’s all right,” he said, glancing at Stella, who had covered up. “Someone
was just screaming outside, that’s all. Stella went and looked.”
“That’s all?” asked Nelly, giving the door a strange glance, and the lock. She turned and went downstairs, with her reserved
The door remained open this time, as Stella examined the paintings, and Ken realized that he wasn’t wearing a bow tie and his shirt
was undone when he talked to Nelly. He quickly grabbed the tie, and put it on, after doing the buttons again. Nelly must have seen him, he
thought, but she hadn’t said anything.
“Did you know one of these Jonathon Davis paintings has recently sold for a hundred thousand,” asked Stella. “The real artist’s name
was Ronald Cantor and he never sold a painting for more than a hundred dollars, I don’t think. Whoever bought it, paid too much, I think.
Do you like them?” She looked at him as if what happened had just happened.
“This is actually my first time seeing them,” he said.
Stella looked at him, still struggling straighten the bow tie as if he had only put it on that day for the first time, and she smiled,
as if she had just gotten away with something evil, and then she went downstairs to see Nelly. Ken waited upstairs while the spoke, until
Stella left the house by the front door, and then he went and found Nelly. “I’m through,” he said, at the front door. “I’m not your butler
ever again … that woman almost raped me.” He tore off his tie again.
Nelly had seen him with his shirt opened by Stella, and could probably figure out the rest. It was his first time being her servant,
and his last, he thought. She was a handsome woman with straight hair pulled back, but she wore drab clothes, a sweater and grey flannel
pants, which modified her thirty-six inch chest. She was above average height and slim. “Did she, now?” she asked, not particularly
curious to know what had happened. “Have you already forgotten I have you on tape?”
“No. She said the paintings were not real, anyway.”
“I heard that part,” Nelly said, pacing down the hall, and turning around. “Yes, and I heard her take off your tie, too. I would
have let her have you, but I wanted to have you first.” She stepped over and put her hand on his crotch. She smiled, seeing he was
paralyzed. “Let’s go to the video room. I have something to show you.” Then she took her hand off his pants and walked toward the room
with the television. He had never been inside the room with the sofa and chairs … he had only been in the house for less than a day. He
went inside now, and sat down in his strange new servant’s clothes which she had given him that morning. “I want you to see what I
discovered while you were sleeping in the guest room,” said Nelly, taking the remote in her hand.
The television screen came to life all of a sudden, and there he was in her backyard, approaching her window, in the clothes he wore
last night. Then the picture shifted to a different angle, from a camera in the house. The window opened up and he was seen climbing
through into the kitchen, and then the alarm went off.
Nelly looked at the screen with interest, while he winced, because he knew what was coming … she had spent the night hours putting
together this security montage, and that was why she was tired, he thought. When he heard the alarm, he tried to turn around, but his shirt
was caught on something, so he couldn’t. Next, his feet slipped from the kitchen counter, and he ended up hanging from the window. Nelly
entered the picture, fully dressed, which made him think that she was nocturnal, and grabbed the knife which she subdued him, which she
later used to cut him loose, after threatening him with it. She was thinking about the paintings upstairs, he now realized, when he had
broken into the house, and putting together this sequence of tape was a distraction, taking her mind off her other concerns.
Nelly stopped the tape before she freed him, at the point when she was pointing the knife toward his face. “There’s a whole lot
more,” she said, sitting on the chair next to him and putting the remote on the table. “Who are you? Do you have a job? You agreed to
sleep in my guest room, after I caught you breaking into my house. Why?”
“I was tired,” said Ken. “You offered to let me sleep in your guest room.”
“You were my butler when Stella arrived, but you’ll have to serve me in other ways before I can consider letting you off the hook.”
On the TV, he was literally on the hook, hanging from the window.
“Stella said something about the paintings being fake… they were done by some guy in Australia. You know, I like a lot of art myself.
I could help you out, maybe.”
“I’m not ready to sleep yet,” said Nelly, tiredly. “With all the racket, and Stella’s visit this morning, I’ve barely had a chance to
sleep at all.” She looked at the screen, with his frightened eyes looking at the knife that was pointed toward him. “I think I’ll leave it
like that. Come upstairs.” She got up and led him toward the stairs.
Ken was curious. She was a strange, compelling woman, who had spent the night trying to incorporate him into her art scam, whatever
it was, he thought … just so long as she didn’t send her montage to the police, everything was okay with him. He followed her up to her
In her room, she turned, pointed to his uniform, and said, “Take off your clothes.” She went to the dresser, and blended in with the
rest of the utensils he noticed there was a thin black whip … she picked it up in one hand and slapped the palm of her other hand. “Or
would you rather I reported you?”