In Chapter Twelve: Parker poses as a servant while providing security at a very important gathering for a friend.
“Very well. You will report here, as Columbus Clanton, as soon as is possible after your shift at your — other job ends. For the first few days I will train you myself; as soon as you are ready, you will join the other footmen in learning and performing their duties. For now, though …”
Thus, my training as a footman began.
April 22, 2001:
The past five days consisted of the most intense period of training I had ever experienced for any job. The intensity surpassed the training I received in “A” School and Power School when I was in the Navy. And back when I was in Power School, the stress level was second only to that of Harvard. This however was different. Each day I would report at around 6 pm, to leave at Midnight or shortly thereafter. After two days, Roberts pronounced me satisfactory, and I took my place with the other footmen, in instruction specific to the dinner party scheduled for today.
As for today, the day itself, dawned clear and cold. I was actually shivering as I hurried through the streets to the house on Eaton Square. As before, I varied my route and chose a different location to don my disguise, which, by now, I had become adept at doing. In fact, each time I put on the disguise, I kept thinking of Bruce Wayne, in or out of his Batman costume. Mainly, how he was always able to use his talents of disguise and obfuscation to solve his many cases. He was named “The World’s Greatest Detective”, after all.
I arrived just as the long case clock, in the main hall was chiming the hour. Roberts bestowed an approving glance before issuing the first of a seemingly interminable string of commands. He did make one minor last minute modification to the disguise and commented that even with Miss Mathers’ extraordinary perception; she wouldn’t be able to realize whom I really was.
The day flew by. I was so busy I had to be reminded in between tasks to eat lunch, which was light but adequate. Eventually, like a great symphony orchestra under the command of a virtuoso conductor, order came together out of chaos. John Williams had nothing on this particular symphony though.
And the guests began to arrive.
My first task was to accompany Roberts to the front door to receive the coats and hats of the guests as they arrived. It is perhaps, Roberts said to me near the beginning of my training when we had a chance to be alone, the most dangerous time for you.If you can pass muster here,they will not see you as anything more than a footman. It also gave Roberts the opportunity to identify for me the guests I didn’t know.
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