The Adventures of Chartan: Option Revealed

                (Last Sunday: Chartan drives Mrs. Minerva to San Francisco where she hints that she has an option for him.)

            Chartan drove Mrs. Minerva to her mansion a few minutes before six p.m., two hours later than scheduled. The delay was due to an unexpected stop at the end of the trip—the millionaire widow wanted to explain her so called “option” to Chartan at a Sacramento coffee house.

            It had been a one-way conversation with Minerva carefully revealing how she intended to buy Sloan’s Limousine Service and install Chartan as the general manager.  She said the key to the investment was replacing the gas limos with vehicles powered by electric motors invented by a friend of hers she called Thor.

            “Your limos use 40 gallons of gas to drive six people round trip from Sacramento to San Francisco and back—at $7 per gallon that’s $280 plus $11 in tolls—and then there is the cost of the driver. These new lightweight, electric limos can do the same trip on one charge—a cost of no more than $24. The math is good Chartan.  We can raise the driver fee 50 percent and still turn a nice profit.”

            “Can I count on you?” she asked.

            Chartan hesitated before responding “certainly.”      

            He opened the apartment door, prepared to tell Gina the news about Minerva’s business venture, but, instead, he was greeted by a candle-lit kitchen table and his wife smiling with pen and paper.

            “Tonight we pick a name,” she said.

            He was supposed to have selected two boy names but that challenge had been completely forgotten with the talk of how he was to be the general manager of a new limousine service. He recognized his error immediately. Gina’s smile would be short-lived if he didn’t have names.

            “Well, my husband, what have you got?”

            He sat down slowly, the names he had thought about briefly while waiting for Minerva in San Francisco flashed before him like six-point type on a gigantic billboard.

            “Okay, there’s…Jake…and…Thor.”

            He hadn’t considered ‘Thor’ before but it was the name of the man behind the electric motors that Minerva raved about.

            “Thor!” shouted Gina as she stood up. “That’s perfect!”

            Chartan tried to smile while he watched Minerva say the name.

(To be continued next Sunday)

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