The Penniless Man, part 2

A story by Yordie Sands
Copyright © 2012

Annabella Portabello (née Gallachi) was far too young to be a widow. She had immigrated to America with her husband in 1880 and he died in 1882.

Annabella Portabello 1884

She was an educated lady, schooled in the manner of young women of her class. In university, she had special interests in languages and religions, and wrote papers about religions of the world.

She was petite and had classic Italian features with naturally wavy, brown hair, and brown eyes. She was a beautiful woman.

Her marriage had been a marriage of love, yet her parents arranged the meeting of the couple.

The loss of her husband left Annabella with significant personal wealth including vast land holdings in Florida. However, her own family remained in Italy, and her husband family consisted of his aging mother only. She had few friends due to her trustee attorneys and servants dedication to protecting her from the unscrupulous. In a deep sense, her wealth and protection left her lost in the cold anonymity of New York City.

Her church became increasingly important in her life, and advisors introduced Annabella to various groups catering to the wealthy. In time, she found enjoyment is the work she did for charitable causes. And increasingly her interest in helping others led her to a group she identified with strongly, an organization established to assist promising immigrants in finding a sound beginning in America. It was in her work with this group that she found her purpose.

On June 4th, 1884, Annabella and her attendants waited at a New York port of entry station for a well-educated young Serbian man, Nicola Tesla. The man came to her attention through a business associate of her husband, Charles Batchelor. They had made arrangements to provide the young man with a paid room for a full week. Nonetheless, Annabella had taken to meeting her beneficiaries personally, greeting them, and giving them information and useful items, plus a small stipend.

The moment Annabella found Mr. Tesla, it was clear that he was profoundly exhausted from his trip. And in a moment of compassion, she took personal responsibility for the weakened man. Instead to taking him to the hotel, she directed her entourage to escort him to her home in Manhattan.

The chef prepared a fine meal and Mr. Tesla and his host dined quietly. Nicola was very hungry and as he ate, his strength and spirit improved. Servants treated him as an honored guest, and after his meal he was encouraged to bathe in the luxurious spa. Nicola, being a man of cleanliness, welcomed the opportunity to bathe. And he found the bath cool and soothing in the heat of summer. After his bath, the butler escorted Nicola to the guest room which had been prepared for him. A cool breezes freshened the room and for a moment he felt recovered, then his sense of exhaustion hit again. He went to his bed, collapsed and fell quickly into troubled sleep.

And this story would be of no significance, except what happened that night.

{the final part tomorrow}


About Yordie

I'm an avatar in Second Life where I star as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life. In the real world, I'm writing my debut sci-fi novel.
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2 Responses to The Penniless Man, part 2

  1. Pam says:

    waiting with bated breath or is that baited?


  2. Yordie Sands says:

    is that what I smelled, that baited breath…ops, “bated”


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