Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
A Very Productive Luncheon ...
Erhard Huber and Dominic LaRue sit facing each other at the Peregrine Espresso in Washington. They both seem to be in a rather pensive mood.
“Okay Erhard, are you going to tell me what this is about or are we going to have a staring contest?” Dominic puts down his cup of java, suddenly breaking the silence.
“Excuse me, my friend. I was just thinking about—” Dominic finishes the thought.
“You were just thinking about Diamond. I thought you agreed that the separation was for the best. The both of you get involved in some very risky shenanigans. It wouldn’t have been fair—”
“Yeah, I know but it doesn’t keep me from sometimes wondering. So, how have you been?” Erhard attempts to change the subject.
“Keeping fairly busy—what about you?” Dominic quizzes.
“The same, which brings me to the subject of Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost.” Erhard sees that he has Dominic’s undivided attention.
“I was wondering when you’d get around to seeking me out. That was a very interesting turn of events with that compost. At first, it seems to be taking Europe and the Far East by storm, then ...” Dominic allows his voice to trail off.
“Then, when Müller and Schmidt Ltd takes over, it completely does an about face.” Erhard smiles.
“Hmm. Do you suspect it could have been a set-up?” Dominic asks.
“That would be my obvious guess. Also Müller and Schmidt were too smart to be left holding the bag. You know, at one time they were very savvy, legitimate businessmen. Until things started to go sour.” Erhard replies.
“I never realized how many people go hurt over that fiasco with Colonel Schneider. A lot of good businessmen fell for his line.” Dominic shakes his head.
“This is so true. However, the Baron never counted on those boys catching on so quicky. That fire seemed to be more than just a coincidence.” Erhard retorts.
“They have a foolproof alibi. They were at the Emerson’s Tavern. Eric Singleton and a few others vouched for their whereabouts.” Dominic reminds Erhard.
“I have it on good report that Andreja Šušter bought a gallon of gasoline the same night of the fire.” Erhard informs him.
“Hmm, didn’t that fellow lose everything after he got caught trying to burn down a rival’s warehouse? That wife of his ran through every dime that poor rascal had.” Dominic remembers being told regarding the entire affair.
“That’s right. Why would he be needing a gallon of octane?” The two men look at each other.
“So, what do you want me to do?” Dominic is intrigued.
“I want you to return with me to interrogate Andreja Šušter, Everett Müller and Luis Schmidt.” Erhard lays his cards on the table, so to speak.
“You know where we can find them?” Dominic counters.
“Yes, somewhere outside of Düsseldorf. At least, that’s what my sources tell me.” Erhard answers.
“Johannes!” The names is not spoken above a whisper and Erhard nods in agreement.
“Dr. Abigail Huber is married to my Uncle Albrecht. Although I don’t approve of what she is doing—still she is family. Baron Heinrich Schröder would easily eliminate anyone who crosses him. If she makes a wrong move—” Erhard raises his shoulders.
“She could have refused to help him.” Dominic replies flippantly.
“Could she have?” Erhard gives his friend a knowing look.
“Hmm, maybe not. Have you cleared this with Colonel Broadnax?”
“I had a conversation with him first. He will also be contacting General Kit Weinberger and the President.” Erhard reveals.
“I see. So when do we leave?” Dominic finishes off his coffee.
“I have reservations for us for the first thing in the morning.” Erhard replies.
“You’re pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you Ed?” Dominic smiles as he rises from his seat.
“I know you, Nicki. Your sometimes questionable DGSE tactics are well renown. I am confident that U.S. Military Intelligence hasn’t been completely able to purge them from you. You’ve been itching for an opportunity!” Erhard laughs.
“I will see you in the morning.” Is the only response that Dominic will offer.
Sophia Balogh has returned from visiting her father Nicholas Schröder. Marko has been nursing his vodka while Sophia sips genteelly on her sherry. She finds Marko’s attitude disturbing.
“Darling, you have been in a pensive mood all evening. You didn’t ask me how either father or our son was.” Sophia chides.
“Forgive me my dear. I have a lot of things on my mind.” Marko apologizes.
“Does it have anything to do with Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost?” This questions brings a surprise look on Marko’s face.
“What do you know about Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost?” Marko asks rising from his chair to sit closer to Sophia on the davenport.
“It is the talk all over Europe. My darling, I don’t live in a vacuum. Besides, there is very little that gets pass my father or Andor for that matter.” Sophia clarifies.
“Ah yes. How is your father, Nicholas?” Marko tries to divert the subject from himself.
“He and mother are well. However, he is concern about you, Mark. You have never been the same since your close encounter with Colonel Schneider. Now, you are up to your neck with Heinrich, aren’t you?”
“So, you know everything?” Marko unconsciously rubs his wife’s wrist with his thumb.
“My father has been able to uncover a lot of information. There are a lot of advantages to being a duke.” Sophia rejoinders.
“Well, I didn’t want you nor your father to find out. It seemed like such a good scheme at the time.” Marko lays his head in Sophia’s lap.
“Heinrich is reckless. However, he always manages to get out of any difficulty smelling—what is the saying—like a rose?” Sophia massages her husband’s temples.
“What must I do?” There is a sound of desperation in his voice.
“Get out of it!” It’s almost like a command. “Heinrich is on a destructive path and will take down everyone foolish enough to follow him. I love my brother dearly but he has been indulged since birth. My father wanted to be strict but my mother won’t have it. This can only end badly.”
Marko looks at his wife in sheer admiration. Never has he heard her speak with such vehement—with such wisdom.
“You are right. It is not like I need the money. All of my dealings up to now have been above board. You’d think that I’d learned my lesson with Colonel Schneider.” Marko reprimands himself.
“The Colonel could be very persuasive. Especially, to those who only looked at the surface.” Sophia once again shocks her husband.
“I am seeing you in a new light, Sophia my love.” Marko gently brings down Sophia’s head so that their lips meet in a sweet kiss.
“Come, we have guests to entertain within the hour. Have courage my husband. The folly of Heinrich’s choices will soon come to fruition.” Sophia remarks.
Marko rises from the davenport bringing Sophia up with him. He feels more confident now than he ever has. With his devoted wife by his side, he knows that he will be able to divorce himself from the evil clutches of his brother-in-law Heinrich.
To Be Continued ...
Spores: The Final Assault 14
- Spores: The Final Assualt 14
Secret meetings abound. Johannes is confiding in both Erhard and Dominic. While Baron Schröder is having serious discussions with Eric. However, one is relatively friendly while the other is threatening. There is so much at stake!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS