The phone opened to the picture he’d requested of her feet. People had all sorts of fetishes, and she didn’t mind indulging this one of Glen’s. Phoebe was very familiar with the paraphilias, having been schooled through the Kinsey Institute. She searched the phone for any clues that might tell her where Glen had gone and why. She needed details.
There was much too much money for the sale of her father’s house. Glen knew she was struggling financially, but she hadn’t asked him for anything other than a fair price for the house. What was he thinking?
The phone search turned up next to nothing except for a number that was not hers listed under the Dialed Calls directory. It was an international number, to Germany, and she called it straight away. When the German Cancer Clinics answered, she knew what she had to do next.
Mattson was waiting for her when her train arrived in Oklahoma City. Glen had told her a little about Mattson and their enduring friendship that had begun when they served together in the Navy. If anyone knew the details of Glen’s situation, it would be Mattson. What Phoebe didn’t know was that Glen had confided to Mattson his relationship with her; they both shared an interest in feet, and Glen had mentioned his curiosity about Phoebe’s small feet to Mattson. After that slip, he had told all, even though Phoebe had asked him not to.
“Miss Williams,” Mattson greeted her, “I trust your journey was not too difficult?”
“No, Mr. Mattson, the trip was very pleasant, quite soothing in fact.”
“Very good. After we collect your bags, I will take you to the cottage and introduce the staff to you.”
“Yes, Miss. There is just myself and my wife. She’s the cook and housekeeper. I double as your driver and gardener.”
Phoebe sat stunned. She’d always longed for such a life, and here it was. But what of Glen?
“Just Mattson, Miss, if you please.”
“Mattson, is it far to the cottage?”
“No, Miss. We are about thirty minutes away.”
“What is your wife’s name?”
“If I am to call you Mattson, will you please call me Phoebe?”
“My pleasure, Phoebe.”
They drove the remainder of the short distance in silence, Phoebe wondering if she could get the information she wanted from Mattson and Mattson wondering what she was going to ask. She was everything Glen had told him and more. Direct, clear-eyed, poised. He understood his friend’s affection for this lovely woman.
The “cottage”, designed by architect Robert Roloff, sat on a little more than four acres of land in a private setting that offered exquisite views of the outdoor living spaces, that included a pool.
Overwhelmed by the enormity of the gift she’d been given, Phoebe wept tears of gratitude, then turned her teary amber eyes on Mattson and asked him, beseeched him to tell her all he knew of Glen. Mattson happily obliged.
“Did…did his wife go with him?” Phoebe asked.
“No, Miss,” he answered, slipping back into formality. “In fact, Bernard and his wife were divorced about a year ago, shortly after he understood his condition.”
“Do you know where he is exactly, Mattson?”
“Would you please make arrangements for me to go be with him?”
“At once, Phoebe, at once.”