Knock….Knock was the sound that made them both turn their heads and when they did there was a large man leaning against the doorway. He seemed to be just on the tip of his forties with a shaven head and not quite a weightlifters build. The way he evenly shifted his weight on the balls of his feet showed he was not easily caught off balance. Grey eyes kept searching up and down Abraham. His one size too small off the rack suit did not compliment his body nor did the thin white scar that ran from his cheek to his ear. He tilted his head almost as a way to hide the scar. He was sizing Abraham up.
“Sorry, sir I was trying to imagine you in a different way.”
“Maybe in a stove pipe hat and a beard?”
“Not so, I was thinking this man never wore dungarees or got so much as a nail dirty. So it seemed kind of funny that you grew up here as hired help.”
“I did, when I was a Jackson, and let me assure you that there isn’t a milking stall, barn chore or garden plot front or back that I haven’t done many times over.”
“I just thought I would never live to see this day. It..is..really you.”
“In living color and a tailored suit, you know who I am now who are you?” Abraham asked.
“My name is Ed, ” the man said then leaned forward to shake hands, still giving Abraham the once, and even twice over with those grey eyes. Being one to face intimidation in or out of a court, Abraham didn’t blink while looking this man straight in the face. What was he looking for came to Abraham’s mind just before Ce Ce spoke up.
“Ed is the president two years running of the National Preservation Register of historical places, Hildene Estates. He was to be your personal aid.”
Ed interrupted, “It’s in the historical by laws. It’s been amended three times, the last time was in 1950. If a place so decreed historical should have a living biological resident, then so shall they fall under the guidelines of faithful preservation by any and all means possible.”
Abraham listened then said,” I am a lawyer and that means, you are my body guard?”
“Yes sir, Mr…,” Ed hesitated, the next words were almost reverent, “Mr. Lincoln.”
“Now Ed I think you should be leaving. You remember that you promised, if you met Mr. Lincoln, you would leave quietly.”
“Just a moment more, Mr. Lincoln can I be straight forward with you sir?’
“Only if it is better than what we are doing right now Ed. I could tell you had something to say at the first knock.”
“Earlier today I was relieved of my position, although I have not broken any rules. The vice president of the historical register is being appointed to take my position.”
“Well, for now it doesn’t sound fair Ed, why don’t you tell me the reason. There is always a reason.”
“It’s not what I have done, sir. It is just who I am. I was not given this position, I earned it and worked very hard for it.”
Abraham could see that he needed coaxing, “Okay, cut to chase, just who are you?”
For a moment Ed had trouble talking until he noticed Ce Ce shaking her head at what she knew he was going to say.
Abraham looked away then back at the man with the grey eyes, as he had done with coy jurors not yet convinced of his arguement. “Is that as in Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth’s brother?”
“Yes, my great, great grandfather.”
“You have to leave now,” Ce Ce reminded Ed.”
“Just a minute Ce Ce, let me handle my own affairs. So Ed, tell me how you got that scar on your face?”
Ed reached up and touched the usual reminder of his teen years.
“It was a fight.”
Abraham the lawyer asked the next question.
“And just what was this fight about, Mr. Booth?”
“Well, I was never very popular in school, so two older class men didn’t like my name and said some things, then they thought it would be fun to break a bottle across my head.”
Edward Brutus Booth looked at Ce Ce who now was not going to stop him from what he was going to say because she wanted to know about the scar too.
They said my family was a bunch of killers and if I had the chance I would kill a president too.”
“Did you win?” Abraham threw it in as an after thought.
“I always win..sir.”
“Your great great grandfather killed no one Ed, it was his brother.”
“I’ve lived with that fact all my life, but most people don’t see it that way.”
Just then two state troupers reached the top of the stairs a moment behind a thin man in an impeccable suit, he was pointing a bony finger at Ed.”
“That’s him officers, remove him from the premises.”
They started into the room and Abraham looked back at Ed while he held up one hand to the men entering the room. “Wait, do you think you can handle this job, Mr. Edward Brutus Booth?”
“Mr. Lincoln, I will not disappoint you, even if my life depends on it.”
“If you’re going to work for me, then you are going to call me Abraham or Mr. Lincoln. Never call me Abe, because I didn’t like it either.”
Edward Brutus Booth became the bodyguard, or personal assistant to Abraham Lincoln the third at 4 pm on one very pleasant afternoon.