Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
A Drastic Turn of Events ...
It’s noon when Anna Maria Russo and Diamond Covington are ready to go into Milan, Italy. Diamond has to admit that this will be her first trip into Milan, and it will be great having someone with her who is so familiar with the customs and the people. Diamond has made only one such trip to Italy and she didn’t stay very long.
Heinrich has agreed to them travelling in his personal car—the Lamborghini Aventador!
“What a magnificent machine!” Diamond exclaims in awe.
“Non è tutti che Heinrich permette di guidare questo bambino!” Anna Maria replies in rapid Italian. (It is not everyone that Heinrich allows to drive this baby!)
Diamond smiles weakly.
“Oh, I am so sorry—I thought you spoke Italian.” Anna Maria blushes.
“That’s okay. It’s just been a while since I’ve used it and I’ve gotten a little rusty.” Diamond admits.
“No, I remember both Andor and Heinrich say that you prefer your native tongue which is quite understandable. However, one does have to make concessions when visiting a foreign country.” Anna Marie explains.
“I agree.” Diamond is quiet as she gets into the car. Anna Maria feels ashamed.
“Here you are, a guest in our country and I have made you feel ill at ease. I will again apologize.” Anna Maria offers Diamond her hand in friendship. Diamond takes it and smiles.
“Let’s begin again.” Diamond suggests.
“Yes, this is a good idea.” Anna Maria gets behind the wheel of the Lamborghini and the Castle quickly slips into the background.
Diamond can’t help but admire the beautiful countryside. Anna Maria has “opened her up” and the landscape quickly passes. She imagines what it would be like to live in such a country and experience the luxury these people seem so easily to take for granted. Then she speaks.
“How did you come to be in the employ of Heinrich Schroder?”
“I met him through a mutual friend, Camillo Esposito. Heinrich was looking for a couple of female assistants to help with the running of the Castle and also act as liaisons.” Anna Maria smiles at Diamond’s uplifted eyebrow.
“No, nothing like that at all. Heinrich has many business projects that acquire someone fluent in various languages. I should have used the term diplomat.” Anna Maria clarifies to the satisfaction of Diamond.
“You Americans are quick to form the wrong conclusions.” Anna Maria accuses.
“It is my time to apologize, Anna Maria. It is obvious that you are an intelligent young woman. I should have not jumped to any wrong conclusions.” Diamond expresses regret.
“If we are going to spend our time in this vein we will get nowhere. Let us just enjoy the lovely countryside and when we get to Milan we will have ourselves an adventure.” Anna Maria decides, and Diamond eagerly agrees.
Once they arrive in Milan, the first place they visit is Milan’s Duomo Underground. Diamond is captivated by the sights of the Duomo di Milano. She is spellbound by the breathtaking view from the cathedral’s rooftop terrace. She sees red lights, marking the Holy Nail and the sundial. Diamond is intrigued by the intricately formed marble floors, the flamboyant stain-glass windows and the baroque statutes. It makes her forget that she is here in hiding instead of a tourist on a monumental journey.
“Oh Anna Maria, thank you so much for bringing me here!” Diamond cries.
“No one should miss the beauty of Milan! If you would like, we could visit the remarkable wine region of Franciacorta before shopping Foxtown Outlet, Serravalle Designer Outlet and Vicolungo The Style Outlet!” Anna Maria proudly proclaims happily.
“I can hardly wait!” Diamond responds joyously. Then she notices two men standing on the opposite side of the street. They are apparently examining a photograph and pointing at her.
“Sie sieht aus wie die Frau, aber der Hut und die Sonnenbrille verschleiern ihre Eigenschaften.” One man tells the other. Diamond is reading their lips. (She looks like the woman, but the hat and sunglasses disguises her features.)
“Lassen Sie uns keine Chancen ergreifen, sie zu ergreifen.” The other man says, and they start to move in Diamond’s direction. (Let us take no chances, seize her.)
Before Anna Maria can say anything, Diamond has her by the arm and they are interweaving with the flow of tourist.
“What is wrong, Diamond?” Anna Maria quizzes.
“Those two men, I think they recognized me.” A startled Diamond acknowledges.
“Il cielo ci aiuti, usciamo di qui!” Anna Maria cries and moments later she is starting up the car. (Heaven help us, let's get out of here!)
The Lamborghini lurches forward, and Anna Maria skillfully weaves through the crowd, barely missing an elderly gentleman.
“Attento a tuo giovane sciocco!” The elderly gentleman shakes his fist into the air. (Watch out you young fool!)
Luckily, the old squire drops his packages and moves with the speed of a much younger fellow.
“Hai vinto la patente in una lotteria?” The elderly gentleman is helped to his feet by two bystanders. (Did you win your license in a raffle?)
“Si tratta di un'emergenza!” Anna Maria waves her left hand into the air. (It is an emergency!)
“Anna Maria, be careful!” Diamond shouts.
“I’m sorry but we are both in very grave danger if what you have told me is true. We must not lead them to the Castle!” Anna Maria bellows back as she realizes that the men have found their car and is following her.
Swiftly, Anna Maria navigates to a shortcut she knows and is soon heading toward the open road.
“Let’s see what this baby really can do!” Anna Maria chuckles as she floors it.
“They must have a very fast car also; they are gaining on us.” Diamond replies as she notices the distance between the two cars vanishing.
“Reach under your seat!” Commands Anna Maria as she navigates the curves with expert precision.
Diamond feels around under her seat until her hand makes contact with cold, hard steel. She pulls back and finds a Heckler & Koch P7.
“Got it!” Diamond yells.
“We’ll use it, sharpshooter!” Anna Maria yells back.
Diamond attempts to situate herself in the car. It is moving at a very high speed and a sharp curve almost makes her lose the gun. She knows that it would be stupid to tell Anna Maria to slow down, so she adjusts her body to lay streamline with the vehicle. Then she fires. The first shot misses completely.
“Die Hündin hat eine Pistole!” One conspirator tells the other. (The female dog has a gun!)
“Wir brauchen sie lebendig nicht schießen!” The other man says. (We need them alive, don’t shoot!)
The second bullet Diamond discharges is a sure shot. It connects with the front tire of the trailing automobile. There is a loud popping sound and the car barrels out of control down the steep slope bursting into fires when it hits a large boulder.
“You hear that? Do you think the two men made it out of their car before the explosion?” Diamond asks.
“Not unless they had wings—anything is possible though.” Anna Maria says as she continues to speed toward the Castle.
In the meantime, the two men are alive. One lands in a large clump of shrubs with a fractured elbow and the other is clinging for dear life to a protruding ledge.
“Ich wusste, dass ich diese Frau hätte erschießen sollen.” One man states. (I know I should have shot that woman.”
“So oder so sind wir tot, wenn Oberst Schneider herausfindet.” The other man retorts as he dangles from the ledge. (Either way, we're dead when Colonel Schneider finds out.)
To Be Continued ...
A Pentagon Piñata 12
- A Pentagon Piñata 12
Considering Diamond’s reputation of being reckless—Major General Adam Weinberger thinks it would be an excellent idea to keep her from knowing the future plans of the Special Ops. However, keeping Diamond out of the mix is like disciplining a child.
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS