Harriet Lennox, an attractive young woman, started working for Madame Gilda, a psychic (экстрасенс) providing secretarial back-up for her television programme. Harriet was very efficient but she confessed to Madame Gilda that she didn’t believe in the supernatural. The psychic replied that working for her might change the young woman’s mind.
Over the next few weeks I grew very fond of Harriet. She was very sweet-natured, always willing to help find my lost reading-glasses or have my prescription filled. And she handled all my correspondence respectfully. However, I was concerned by her pallor (бледность). She kept a photograph of a young man in her drawer and once I caught her looking at it tearfully. Unhappy in love – you didn’t have to be psychic to work that one out.
Gradually I got the details. She’d been seeingSteve for three months and he sounded the sort of fellow who, in my day, we called a cad. Harriet deserved someone better, and match-making is a hobby of mine. One afternoon I found Harriet in tears.
“It’s Steve, isn’t it?”
“He has dumped me.” Harriet’s natural reserve had crumbled.
“He’s comingto my flat this evening to pick up some things. Oh, Gilda, what can I do?”
I thought quickly. “Try this.” I produced a small brown phial from my bag. “It’s a love potion. Slip three drops in his coffee. He’ll fallin love with the next girl he sees.”
Harriet’s face fell in disbelief. She refused to take the potion.
“Very well, but I’ll leave it here, just in case you change your mind.”
When I arrived at the office the next morning there was a huge bouquet of flowers propped against the door. Then the doorbell rang – someone delivering a box of chocolates. The next arrival was Harriet, looking unhappy.
“It works,” she sat down abruptly, placed the phial on the table and stared at it in horror. “I was desperate,” Harriet confessed. “So, I gave it a try. I’d just givenSteve his spiked coffee when the phone rang in the hall. When I came back he’d turnedthe television on and ...he was watching your show. Afterwards he kept asking me about you. Everything I said fascinated him.” Her voice broke on a sob. “He’s in love with you, Gilda.”
Harriet started crying in earnest. I did my best to comfort her.
“It’s all right, Gilda,” Harriet sat up and dried her eyes. “It’s for the best. I used to think that Steve loved me but now I see what he’s like when he’s really in love…” She looked at his extravagant gifts. “He’s never givenme anything like this.” Harriet blew her nose. “I’m going to forgethim and get on with my life,” she announced.
“Well, they say that work is the best antidote for a broken heart, and there’s plenty of that today. My accountant, Richard, is on the way.” I handed over several large envelopes and a carrier bag. “You’ll be sortingthese out together.”
By the time Richard arrived Harriet was more composed. They worked away all day and I smiled to myself knowingly. It was after six when Richard and Harriet emerged looking tired but happy. “We’re goingfor a pizza,” Harriet said. “Won’t you join us?”
“No thank you, dear”, I replied. “I’m too tired.” I was being truthful as well as tactful. Telepathy is very draining and contacting Steve’s subconscious mind the previous night to get him to turn the television on at the right moment had left me exhausted.
“You go off for your pizza.” I smiled at Harriet and Richard. Before leaving, I popped the phial of love potion into my bag, pleased to see there was plenty left. I hadn’t had to use any to make Harriet and Richard fall for each other. Love potions are all very well, but I always think that natural chemistry does the job so much better.
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