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Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

silent-assassin-8

Just Sit Pretty …

Luis Wagner rests comfortably in a lounge chair in Baron Heinrich Schröder secret chateau. He is very please with himself and looks out over the formidable coastline. As if on cue, his cellphone rings. He recognizes it as the private phone owned by his friend and savior.

“I was just thinking about you.” He whispers.

“How are the three of you holding up?” Heinrich queries.

“As well as can be expected under the circumstances.” Luis replies.

“Just be careful my friend. I have it under good authority that S.T.O.P. is the mastermind behind these assassinations.” Heinrich informs him.

“S.T.O.P.!” Luis retorts in utter fear and dismay. “They are notorious for getting their quarry in whatever means necessary.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Heinrich laments. “However, I never forget a friend or a favor. If it had not been for my family and you—”

“We have been through a lot together. This is a true fact. However, it was your family’s influence that keep you from facing prison or worse regarding that Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost fiasco.” Luis chuckles.

“I am glad you can laugh my friend.” Heinrich rejoinders in disgust. “That fiasco, as you call it, costed me my freedom!”

“Only temporarily. You are still able to transact your legitimate enterprises without any interference.” Luis reminds him.

“Yes. My brother-in-law Marko welds a big stick in international circles. Even bigger than mine.” Heinrich confesses grudgingly.

“Nevertheless, it got you out of a bad situation. Being a prisoner at Castle Luchsinger is not a really bad thing.” Luis again reminds his comrade.

“No matter how grand—a prison is still just that. Now let us change the subject. For the present, it would seem that you and your fellow cohorts have dropped off the face of the planet. However, as we well know, S.T.O.P. is not without resources.” Heinrich replies.

“What are we to do?” Luis puts his drink down on the wicker table and gives his full attention to his friend.

“The organization must be convinced that you are no longer a threat to the security of the world. That your involvement with Colonel Schneider was extremely minor.” Heinrich determines.

“But how would I be able to convince S.T.O.P. of this fact?” Luis questions.

“In the beginning, you will not. This is why you must separate yourself from Jonas Fischer and Finn Schulz. Their involvement was much more intense. Not only did they supply funds, but they were also responsible for that village raid. Maybe not directly, but their influence was felt nonetheless.” Heinrich explains.

“You surprise me, Heinrich. People think your main interest are the women, but you are a mastermind extraordinaire!” Luis proclaims being totally impressed by his friend’s knowledge of the past situation.

“My family makes it our business to know what goes wrong and what goes on.” Then both men laugh simultaneously.

“I know you have been on the phone much too long, but do you have a plan for me?” Luis begins to feel anxious.

“Yes, it involves getting you off my island. The others need to remain there for a while so that separate arrangements can be made for them. Then after that, they are on their own.” Henrich asserts.

“So, you believe that soon it will no longer be safe to remain on this island?” Luis asks incredulously. “It is so isolated!”

“It is only a matter of time before S.T.O.P. discovers a link between the two of us. Perhaps, not immediately but in time.” Heinrich cautions.

Then again, what must I do?” Luis presses the point.

“Just sit pretty for now. No one knows about this cellphone. It was specifically designed by me to block any and all intruders.” Heinrich boasts. “I will be in touch with what you should do next. In the meantime, see if Jonas can connect with his cousin Johannes. That’s another fellow with excellent connections. That may be a way out for him. As for Finn, he’s strictly on his own. auf Wiedersehen!”

The call is disconnected.

What seems like an ideal location can still prove to be disastrous!

What seems like an ideal location can still prove to be disastrous!

Out of the Frying Pan ...

Jonas Fischer and Finn Schulz return from their excursion on the beach. They are chatting and feeling relieved until they meet with Luis on the back deck.

“You look troubled.” Jonas is the first to acknowledge the look of his comrade’s face. “This is a perfect setup, what could be wrong?”

“I just had a rather enlightening conversation with Heinrich.” Luis asserts grimly.

“What’s wrong?” The other two men respond in unison.

“Heinrich feels that at some point it will be unsafe to remain here at the chateau.” Luis explains.

“I was afraid of that.” Finn laments as he and Jonas find seats near Luis.

“And what is more, it would seem that S.T.O.P. is behind the assassinations.” With this bit of information, Jonas leaps to his feet.

“Then, there is definitely very little time before we are discovered. We all know that this is one organization with eyes and ears everywhere.” Finn agrees.

“Why don’t they just leave us alone. The Colonel is dead so the rebellion is done.” Jonas sighs, wishing he had never became involved in such a harebrained scheme.

“Because they are not so sure that the rebellion is done. It only takes a remnant to start the beginnings of a quilt.” Luis reminds him.

“What has the Baron suggested is the best course of action?” Jonas queries.

“You need to see if you can locate your cousin Johannes. He has connections on both sides of the fence and can be depended upon to be discreet in all matters.” Luis suggests.

“What about me?” A nervous Finn questions.

“I don’t know Finn. Outside of your business connections, Is there anyone you can trust?” Both Luis and Jonas look at Finn.

“My daughter by my first wife!” Finn decides. “Her husband and I are in communication constantly—that is until this mishap. Then, we all agreed that it would be best if they just accepted the fact that I had disappeared. You don’t think that S.T.O.P. would resort to torture.”

“No. They may at times use unorthodox methods to obtain their goals but torture has never been one of them.” Luis informs a much relieved Finn.

“Still, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be approached.” Jonas reminds them.

“The only alternative we have is to come clean regarding the Colonel’s schemes. Give them the information regarding the American conspirators and try to redeem ourselves. Luis, you were fortunate enough not to have any involvement in that German village raid. Although Jonas and I played important financial roles—our hands ...” Jonas interrupts.

“Are still dirty.” Jonas finishes the statement. “I agree that we need to strike a bargaining agreement but it won’t be easy.”

“And if the American conspirators suspects that we are going to as they say, rat on them then we will still find ourselves in quite the predicament.” Finn determines.

“However, with S.T.O.P. on our side, then it makes the odds a wee-bit in our favor.” Luis counters.

“Ja, let us see what cook has prepared. It started out to be a most beautiful day, let us see what we can salvage.” Jonas concludes and the three men walk back into the chateau, bring their appetites with them.

To Be Continued ...

© 2022 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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