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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!

Too many cooks ...

Too many cooks ...

A Substantiated Rumor …

Benito receives a phone call from his second, Elke Huber. Unfortunately, it is not good news.

“Patrocinare, I have heard from Ditmer Jansen. He was unable to reach you so he gave me a call.” Elke sounds almost breathless.

“What is the matter? Did he run into any problems?” Benito can’t hide the concern in his voice.

“Yes, it seems that the information he had on Friedrich Bauer was tampered with.” Elke explains.

“Tampered with? How was that possible?” Benito looks around his suite frantically. Never, in all his years of handling sensitive projects has he been faced with such breaches in protocol.

“Ditmer—the Dutchman doesn’t know. He had the briefcase secured in a safe at the hotel that was just minutes from where Mr. Bauer was staying. When he went to retrieve it, he noticed that the lock had been compromised. Important paperwork was missing—schedules that would have put him into proximity of Mr. Bauer at just the right time.” Elke details.

“What about you? Are you safe?” Benito queries.

“Better than that. I have done a bit of espionage of my own. I changed some of the information you gave me and the accurate data, I destroyed. Don’t worry—you know what a memory I have for detail. When our Silent Assassin comes to heist another assignment—ha, ha, he will have the wrong information!” Elke retorts triumphantly.

“Fantastic! If there is any doubt why I selected you as #2, this should clarify it. Be sure to let Antonio Martinez and Haruto Suzuki know the changes in plans. They will either have to memorize their target’s schedule or devise some other method.” Benito surmises.

“If you can get the names of the Americans—” Elke lets her voice trickle off.

“Elke, you’re a genius!” Benito shouts, releasing the call.

Elke smiles brightly as she puts her cellphone down and prepares to gingerly go downstairs to the front desk. There, a young man, perhaps a couple of years younger than she, busies himself with paperwork. As he looks up and witnesses her approach, this is not the only thing he sees.

From out of the shadows a gentleman seems to materialize, whisks the satchel from her hands and then vanishes again. It happens so fast that Elke temporarily loses her balance. The Rezeptionist rushes to her aid.

“Madame, geht es Ihnen gut?” The young man states, inquiring if she is alright.

“Ja, mir geht es gut.” Elke tells the young man that she is fine as he helps her to her feet.

“Manche Leute sind so unhöflich.” The young man remarks, stating the rudeness of some people. However, Elke assures him that no harm is done as she brushes herself off and moves toward the outer doors.

“Just let that fellow try to keep up with Finn Schulz following that schedule.” Elke chuckles softly to herself as she exits into the bright afternoon sunshine outside.

When she finds a comfortable place where she can talk, she places another call to Benito.

“The rat has taken the bait! I’ll be heading toward my luncheon with a few friends.” Elke asserts.

“And, I assume that one of your associates can arrange a chance meeting with Finn Schulz?”

“As the Americans would say—Bingo!”

A beautiful view ...

A beautiful view ...

Playing with a Stacked Deck …

Hilda and Emma Becker position themselves on a plush sofa looking out of a window from a penthouse view. They have traveled to Toronto because things were getting much too hot in Europe. They knew that Benito Rossi would be looking for them, however, it would be better if they connected on neutral ground. As they await his telephone communication, there is yet another announcement overheard on the television.

“The body of German Billionaire Friedrich Bauer has been found outside his bathroom in the Goralska Résidences Hôtel Paris Bastille. He was clothed only in a robe and there was one small bullet hole in the back of the head. No one heard anything and there is no motive for the assault. There are also no suspects. It should be noted that Mr. Bauer was a close associate of the late Colonel Schneider. This makes the third person murdered who had connections with that madman!”

Hilda looks at her sister who gives her a brief nod. “Looks like the work of one of the Patrocinare’s associates.”

“Yes, I would wager the Dutchman.” Emma rejoinders.

“Ah yes, he does favor the silent but lethal weapon.” Hilda responds and there is the ringing of her cellphone.

“Hilda Becker speaking.” She answers.

“Good morning, Hilda. This is Benito.”

“Yes, Patrocinare! Good job! The Dutchman is not one to botch an assignment.” Hilda remarks.

“That is true—this is not the work of the Dutchman, however.” Benito asserts.

“What?” Emma exclaims as her sister has the phone on speaker.

“I can assume that you are Emma?” Benito inquires.

“Ja!” Emma affirms.

“To answer your question—no. The Dutchman had his briefcase containing all pertinent information on Friedrich Bauer tampered with. We seem to have another fish in our pond. I am wondering if you would know anything about others who had a grudge against the Colonel’s men?” Benito queries, wondering who this new assailant might be.

“Yes, apparently, there is someone else who is working undercover. Elena has informed me regarding the other deaths. This is why my sister and I left Europe. We are not exactly, uh—” Hilda is interrupted by Benito.

“You don’t have to spell it out. I understand. Just continue to lay low and I will try to visit you ladies soon. Email me your whereabouts with Auntie Bailey in the subject line.” Benito decides.

“There is only one other organized group of vigilantes with the muscle to pull off such capers.” Emma interjects.

“And who might that be?”

“Have you ever heard of an elite group called S.T.O.P.?” Emma asks.

“Damn! I would have never thought of them in a million years! Emma, you are brilliant!” Benito proclaims.

“Sometimes what is more obvious is what escapes us.” Hilda adds.

Then, on a more personal note, Benito replies. “Now please, lay low until you hear from me.”

“I will do just that. Be careful Patrocinare!” Emma adds.

“Yes—we all need to be.” The call is disconnected.

To Be Continued ...

Silent Assassin 8

  • Silent Assassin 8
    Once again, the plans of Benito Rossi's Team have been foiled. It is becoming more obvious that a Mastermind is in charge. This time, it is Elke Huber who has received a payoff. However, she doesn't remember what the man looks like.

© 2022 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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