Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Applying the Brakes …
The Duke of Castle Luchsinger, Nicholas Schröder, sits in his comfortable leather chair behind his mahogany desk. He looks first at his son-in-law Baron Marko Balogh and then at his grandson, Andor. Finally, Nicholas speaks.
“I thought an end had been put to this nightmare when Colonel Schneider was eliminated.” Nicholas sighs heavily.
“I know, grandfather. You must not allow Heinrich to disturb you so.” Andor tries in vain to console Nicholas.
“Why couldn’t he be more like you, Marko. You settled down with a good woman even though she just happens to be my daughter.” With that comment all three men laugh.
“But seriously Papa Nicholas, Marko can’t seem to help who he is, being indulged since childhood.” Marko tries not to point an accusing finger but it is inevitable.
“I know, I know. My dear Audrea Sophia has ruined Heinrich and I stood idly by—allowing her to do it! I am going to have a talk with Andrea later today. She needs to know what is going on and why. Mind you, she will put up a protest. However, when she understands that the alternative could possibly be incarceration—she will renege.” Nicholas retorts.
“What is the next move, Father?” Andor inquires of Marko.
“Our next move—let the drama unfold. He is moving Dr. Huber and her staff into the new facilities. However, Dominic LaRue and some of STOP’s best men will be waiting. We already know that the serum is located in a depository near the Stäfa facility. This is also where the original formula is housed.” Marko informs his son.
“For such a smooth operator, it looks like Heinrich risked so much to achieve so little.” Andor shakes his head.
“It happens every time a person becomes over confident. When they begin to take advantage of people who work for them—even people like Eric Singleton. I’ll admit that the man has been involved in some very shady dealings but he had always been a loyal confidant.” Marko rejoinders.
“And now he is working for you, father. Using his influence and expertise for productive and legitimate means. Who would ever have thought?” Andor marvels.
“And let us not forget Johannes Fischer. A man who wears so many hats that it’s a wonder he knows which one to put on next.” Nicholas chuckles.
“From sources close to him, I hear that he is getting a much needed rest at his chalet outside of Düsseldorf. His lovely wife is taking very good care of him by all accounts.” Andor advises.
“Ah wives! What would we do without them. Someday Andor I hope you will be fortune enough to have one like your mother.” Marko asserts.
“Until then father, I am content to relish in my bachelorhood. I may not be as notorious as Andris but I enjoy the company of lovely ladies—when circumstances permit.” Andor chuckles warmly.
Nicholas rises from his seat behind the desk and stretches like a contented feline.
“If you gentlemen will excuse me, I’m going out on the veranda for a vodka with tomato juice and spices before having an online game of Chess. Then later today I’ll have that talk with Audrea.” Both men watch Nicholas as he meticulously fixes himself a Bloody Mary and exit.
“Now that’s a real smooth operator!” Marko boasts.
“Yes indeed. Some of the stories that mother tells about grandfather would make a sailor blush.” Andor surmises in amusement.
“Indeed they would.” Then both men head for the mini-bar to imbibe in their favorite refreshments.
Meanwhile at the Stäfa Industrial Complex ...
Baron Heinrich Schröder pulls up to the entrance of the facility. Following close behind are two other cars. One has Dr. Huber and a few members of her elite staff. The other, Henri Zupan and a few of Baron Balogh’s loyalists.
The Baron exists from his vehicle first.
“I am looking forward to commencing production of Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost.” Heinrich boasts. However, he soon notices a group of men in dark blue suits moving toward him. Leading them is both Erhard Huber and Dominic LaRue. For a second, Heinrich freezes. Then he regains his composure.
“LaRue! What the hell are you doing here?” Heinrich barks viciously.
“Good to see you as well, Baron. However, this is not a social call.” Dominic replies as he hands several sheets of paper to Heinrich as two other gentlemen move to escort him into the Executive Suites.
“What is the meaning of this—I have done nothing wrong.” Heinrich sputters.
“Oh really? How about flooding the market with your so-called miracle compost and then using another to cause a mild panic?” Erhard responds smiling.
“You have no proof that I had anything to do with it.” Heinrich ripostes smugly.
“Hmm. How about a signed affidavit from Eric Singleton?” Dominic counters and the Baron’s eyes widen in disbelief.
“Eric Singleton? I thought—” But the Baron is interrupted by Erhard. The two men seem to be playing a tag-team match.
“That Eric had dropped off the face of the earth? No Baron, he is very much alive, well and more than willing to cooperate.”
Why that dirty—after all that I have done for him.” Heinrich shouts.
“No Baron, after all he did for YOU.” Henri holds up a powerful accusing finger. This really unhinges the Baron.
“Henri? Don’t tell me that you’re in on this too.” Heinrich stammers in incredulity while Henri breaks it down to the man. The measure of loathing that Henri displays toward the Baron even makes Dominic flinch. When Henri c0ncludes his oration, Baron Heinrich Schröder is a totally broken man. One of the STOP Agents helps him to his chair behind a stained oak desk.
After Henri and his associates leave, Heinrich manages to meekly reply, “What’s going to happen to me now?”
“If I had my way—we’d lock you up and throw away the key. However, STOP has made a deal with your father, the Duke. I believe that in the end—you may wish that we hadn’t.” Dominic predicts.
“Ha, my mother will—” Heinrich objects but is silenced this time by Erhard.
“Your father plans to have a long talk with the Duchess. When it’s over, you will be well on your way to facing it alone in Castle Schröder.”
“Castle Schröder? That place is barbaric. Even with the renovation it’s still not up to the standards of Castle Luchsinger.” Heinrich whines.
“Plus, you will have to sign all rights to this complex over to your brother-in-law Baron Balogh.” Dominic loves rubbing salt into an open wound.
“And what if I refuse?” Heinrich seems to have gathered a small amount of his arrogance.
“I think your father will have no problem with persuading you. After all, he does have holding shares in Heinrich Ltd. He could make it even more uncomfortable for you in that regard.” Dominic offers.
“And by the way—we want ever blasted copy of that accelerated ALZ-903 formula. This is the last time anyone will ever use it again. Dr. Huber here will be working on a safe and completely effective counterpart that will that give unfair advantage over any competing firm. Isn’t that true, Dr. Huber.” Erhard queries.
“You are absolutely correct, nephew!” Dr. Huber exclaims. Heinrich looks from the doctor to Erhard and then to Dominic. He knows that he has been outfoxed. He shrugs his shoulders and sits back in his chair knowing that he is in for a long and bumpy ride under his father’s mandate.
Thus ends the tale of yet another man who would rule the world market.
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on November 14, 2020:
Thus, a fitting end for the Baron!