Horace was bored... He'd taken all the pictures he could inside and outside the clock shoppe. He had been watching the new girl behind the counter for some time now. He knew her name, Penelope, that was all. He wanted to know more. He wanted her picture. But how to get it was the question?
He couldn't come right out and ask her... that would not be proper. They had not been formally introduced. His father had left the shoppe in such a rush that he had forgotten to introduce them. Something about a rush onsite grandfather clock repair. He should have been back by now.
Penelope smiled at him... a shy smile... but a smile just the same. He was just about to say something to her when the door's bell rang and a woman entered the shoppe. She was well to do, he could tell that by her wide brim hat. A hat that fine was not cheap. She wore an overcoat and a brooch on her crisply pressed blouse. Penelope seemed to know her right off.
"Hello Mrs. Langdon. How may I help you," she asked?
"We need a new clock," Mrs. Langdon said to Penelope.
"Yes m'am" said Penelope. "Any particular size or style?"
Oh how he loved to hear Penelope talk. She was well schooled and her words were very business like and professional. He tried to make himself look busy as the two ladies talked. He didn't pay attention to what they said... he had his own work in front of him. The camera had a few plates left to expose. He was still trying to figure out how to get a picture of Penelope when Mrs. Langdon turned and said... "Young man... Do you have any plates left in that camera of yours?"
"Why yes m'am I do," Horace answered quickly. "I have 3 exposures left."
"Do you take pictures for a living?" Asked Mrs. Langdon.
"No m'am.. This is a new camera.. I am just practicing getting to know the controls. This is my fathers shoppe and I told him I'd take some pictures for him to use for advertizing. I've only had it for a few weeks."
"I see," said Mrs. Langdon. "And how are you doing? Are your pictures good?"
"Yes, m'am. I have taken quite a few pictures already would you like to see some? I have them here in my camera box."
Horace showed Mrs. Langdon the pictures he had practiced taking. There was one of his sisters dolls. They had ganged up on him and begged him all day to take a picture. He set up a nice background and they layed the dolls were they wanted them so carefully. The setup looked so nice he ended up taking 4 pictures... of Dolls!!! What a waste of good plates. He chuckled to himself at how they managed to manipulate him.
A few pictures were of the tile shoppe up the road that his friends father owned... and he even managed to get a few pictures of the local scenery and the new taxis appearing more and more on the roads. He showed Mrs. Langdon his favorite photograph of his mother with his 2 little sisters. She smiled and made a remark about pretty the girls where.
Mrs. Langdon looked up from the photographs at Horace. "These are quite lovely. Would you be interested in making some extra money? I am having a dinner gathering for my family in a week and I'd like to have some photographs taken for the occasion."
"Yes, m'am I would. I have plenty of plates. I just need the day and time.. oh.. and the address of course." said Horace smiling.
"Not so fast young man," she said sternly. "I need to see if I can depend on you. If you were to take a photograph of me now... How fast could I have the print?"
"A few days m'am. I will have to take them to the chemist shop to get them made into prints... I have a favorite that I take my plates too and they know me well. They are pretty fast."
"Let's do that then. I'd like a picture of me please for my father and mother's anniversary next week. But it has to be perfect," said Mrs. Langdon.
"Yes m'am," said Horace as he set up his camera. "Now... You will have to stand very still," he said as he clicked the button. The shoppe had a nice big window so the lighting was perfect. He even manage to get Penelope in the picture too... He would have the chemist crop her out though for Mrs. Langdons print. He used all 3 plates just to be sure he got a good portrait.
"Very good," said Mrs. Langdon. "Here is my address. I will pay you when the print is delivered." She turned to Penelope and carried on with her clock purchase.
Horace packed up his camera stuff and hurried home to develop the days plates. He knew his father would be proud of him when he told him of Mrs. Langdon and his first photographic "job".