Table of Contents
The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.
-- David Starr Jordan
After the soft intimacy of their wedding night conducted in the privacy of a cave fragrantly prepared by the Indian women, Cu quietly enters the boarding house late in the evening, again climbing in bed with Despina, wrapping his arms around her possessively.
They make quiet, comfortable love, then spoon. Soon Despina again hears cautious steps on the stairs. Frantically, she pushes Cu toward the downstairs door.
“In with Vi!” she whispers urgently.
Roger shows up in person this time. “I don’t know what your game is, but it is now officially up. You are harboring a fugitive.”
“I hope this conversation is being recorded by your goons!” Deliberately, Despina raises her voice. “Are you going to murder me in cold blood, too?”
Forcing her to the floor, Roger puts his hand over her mouth. She promptly bites it. “Vi, call Mickey!”
Cu slips outside, lifting the cellar door and entering without use of a light.
Grabbing Despina by the arm, Roger drags her to the closet and down the stairs at the back of the closet. Violet, in her nightgown, is just setting the phone down.
“Where’s the Indian this time?”
“What Indian? What are you doing with my boarder and a gun? Let me see your warrant for her arrest! I don’t allow loaded guns in my house. This is a clean establishment, or it was before you began to trash up the neighborhood.”
Pulling a cell phone from his pocket, Roger checks in with the agents outside. Mickey’s squad car rolls up, siren silent. He pops out just as Roger escorts Dee outside at gunpoint. He motions for Mick to join them.
“Lift up that door,” Roger instructs, nodding toward the cellar door. “Dietrich says he went in there.” Despina, heart jumping, stumbles on her way down the steps, so Mick takes her arm. Cu is nowhere in sight. Roger, standing in the doorway, commands, “I’ll need a flash light.”
He enters, then the door slams shut.
“Mickey, I didn’t have my cell phone in my hand. It’s upstairs, in my purse. Do you have yours?”
Wordlessly, he hands his phone to Despina, who calls Brandon Gannon. Roger tries to grab it from her hand but she successfully dodges behind Mickey until she’s done with the call. “He’s sending the TV helicopter at once. Chortling with glee all the way! I told him it was the triple story white house with the sheriff’s car parked out front.”
When Brandon arrives with his Hispanic cameraman, he first films the two on the roof, then they go into the cellar, getting trapped in there with Mickey, Cu, and Roger, the top dog agent.
Rustling on the handles can be heard.
Roger is livid as he listens. “A bomb? (pause) Oh, so when it blows, the rest of the neighborhood OUGHT to be fine? (pause) That’s remarkable thinking… Whose bright idea was that? (pause) I see. ZIMMERMAN told you your bomb expertise would be sorely needed before this was all said and done, did he? Did he receive a promotion and new mission orders after I entered this cellar?” Roger’s voice has gotten syrupy, with an underlay of viper. “‘Get him at all costs’ does not mean to kill the local sheriff, a top TV anchorman with his cameraman, broadcasting live as we speak, several civilians, and ME with him, you imbecile! I AM NOT PLEASED. Call in a bomb squad and get that thing off!”
One cell phone contacts Brandon’s friend in Washington, D.C., an Ombudsman, while a second phone is used to call Tony to unlock the cellar door, which has been set to explode if messed with. The bomb squad has been called in, but is still en route.
The neighborhood is evacuated, while the news helicopter hovers. Soon, more TV station helicopters join it.
Despina and company, finally freed around 3:30 am, says, “Un verano vivace for sure!”
The story of Alberto in the library is relayed as all recover from the rigors of the night.
“Can we declare tomorrow a Saturday and cancel school?” she inquires wistfully, yawning.
An official flies in from D.C. and personally calls Roger off the chase, publicly, compliments of the Ombudsman.
Mickey hugs her chastely and says, “That almost makes it worth it.”
Violet comments fondly, on camera, looking at Mickey and Cu, talking quietly with the Ombudsman, “Those two always were trouble whenever they got together, even as youngsters.”
Last updated 3/15/10 Changed Pull to Lift, is to has been. MIssing words supplied: is used, the cellar; 3/6/10 Corrected to Vi in conversation and Violet in narration mode. Strengthened the believability of the bomb. (Where’sMeKilt) (Or did you mean DROP IT COMPLETELY???) 12/17/09.
Word Count: 761