Niles called Lute.
“Hello,” Lute said.
“Got a bit of bad news,” Niles said. “Lucinda just resigned. Came up all the sudden. Said she didn’t feel safe. Can’t say as I don’t blame her.”
“That really leaves us in a pinch,” Lute said. “Hiring somebody in the winter is tough to do. Did you try to talk her out of it?”
“There’s no talking to her when her mind is made,” Niles said.
“You got that right,” Lute said.
“You know, something funny just struck me,” Nile said. “You know Mildred’s cleaning girl?”
“Yeah,” Lute said. “Jessica Webster. She looks a little rugged for the job, don’t you think. She might do better on a lobster boat.”
“You know something, Lute,” Niles said, “I think of all the people in this town, Mildred might have picked Jessica, personally, as her replacement. I think you might be surprised what a trip to a salon and some stylish clothes might do for the girl.”
“Okay,” Lute said. “Why don’t you give her a call and I’ll interview her tomorrow afternoon.”
“Thanks,” Niles said.
“Goodbye,” Lute said.
Niles called the Harbor Inn.
“Harbor Inn, Shelly speaking.”
“Shelly, this is Niles. “Do you know Jessica Webster?”
“Yes,” Shelly said, “she cleans rooms for us when we need her, good girl, Charley and I love her.”
“She’s going to interview for the clerk’s job tomorrow,” Niles said. “Lucinda just resigned. Can you work a little magic on her, sort of bring out the feminine side, you know, do her hair and nails. And do you have something feminine she could wear, I don’t even know if she has woman’s clothing.”
“She’s bigger than me,” Shelly said, “but I can do some networking with some of the gals around town and find something for her.”
“What if I send her to you tomorrow?” Niles said.
“I’ll be ready for her,” Shelly said. “9:00 AM.”
“Thanks,” Niles said.
“Glad to help,” Shelly said.
Niles dialed Jessica.
“Jessica, this Chief Quinn.”
“Yes, Chief Quinn,” Jessica said.
“Jessica,” Niles said, “I’m a little rushed right now, but real quickly, how would you like the job as the town clerk. Lucinda quit immediately and I think you just might be the one for the job.”
“I don’t think I qualify,” Jessica said.
“I can’t imagine Mildred taking such an interest in you without having something in mind,” Niles said.
“I did take a lot of business courses in school,” Jessica said, “and I remember she asked me if I was familiar with the programs they use and told her I was. But I still don’t have any experience.”
“It sounds to me like you already have a foot in the door, experience or not,” Niles said. “The mayor would like to interview you tomorrow afternoon.”
“Oh my goodness,” Jessica said frantically, “my hair is a mess. I don’t have the clothes.”
“Jessica,” Niles said, “slow down, I have everything under control. See Shelly tomorrow nine in the morning at the Inn. Can you do it?”
“Yeah,” Jessica said. “but…”
“But just be there,” Niles said, “Okay.”
“I’ll be there,” Jessica said.
“Have a nice evening,” Niles said, “goodbye.”