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Spores: The Final Assualt 14

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

It's coming to a head!

It's coming to a head!

It’s Only the Beginning ...

Erhard Huber and Dominic LaRue arrive at the Düsseldorf Airport early Monday morning. A friend of Johannes Fischer is there to greet them.

“Guten Morgen Erhard. Das muss Dominic LaRue sein. mein Name ist Derek.” Derek replies. (Good morning Erhard. This must be Dominic LaRue. My name is Derek.)

“Ja ist es. Aber haben Sie etwas dagegen, auf Englisch zu sprechen?” Erhard responds. (Yes, it is. But do you mind speaking in English?)

“Aber natürlich.” Derek answers. (But of course.)

“Danke, Derek. Ich spreche zwar Deutsch, aber ich bevorzuge Englisch.” Dominic retorts surprising both Derek and Erhard. (Thank you, Derek. I do speak some German but I prefer English.)

“Tell me Derek how is Johannes?” Erhard queries.

“I am afraid that having to wear so many hats is finally getting the better of him. We will meet him at his private chateau where he has taken some time off.” Derek responds with a worried look on his face.

“Yes, I can understand that. I don’t see how he has made it this long.” Erhard answers in sympathy.

“It has only been lately with the advent of Dr. Bamberger’s Miracle Compost. It has obtained so much notoriety that people have been bombarding him with business and questions.” Derek rejoinders.

“We will not be long with him, Derek. He has some important information for us and well—” Derek interrupts.

“You do not have to explain. I am well aware of the dilemma. The European Union is quite concerned regarding this problem. The compost comes on the scene by storm. Then it turns bad. An now it has dropped out of sight.” Derek remarks.

“Dropped out of sight?” Both Erhard and Dominic chime in chorus.

“Yes, no one has heard from it since the fire at the Müller and Schmidt Ltd Warehouse. Now, those two are setting up shop right outside of Düsseldorf and Baron Schröder is renovating the warehouse minus Baron Balogh.” Derek informs the two men.

“Without Baron Balogh?” Erhard responds in complete surprise. “I wonder what happened?”

“I am not sure. Johannes will be able to fill you in on the details. If you can believe this—he and Sophia are good friends.” Derek asserts.

“You are just a treasure chest of information.” Dominic manages to smile briefly.

“As you know, STOP has its fingers in a lot of pies.” With this comment, all three men laugh.

The trip to Johannes’ chateau is a pleasant one. Dominic sits in the back while Erhard is up front with Derek. Looking out the vehicle’s window is like observing a pastoral scene. Then, Derek receives a phone call.

“Ja Johannes, ich kenne den Ort. Ich werde sie sofort dorthin bringen. Wir sollten in einer halben Stunde da sein.” Derek concludes the conversation. (Yes Johannes, I am familiar with the place. I will take them there immediately. We should be there in half an hour.)

“What was that about?” Erhard inquires.

“There are quite a few people at his chateau. You know, concerned regarding his health and all. He doesn’t want our conversation observed. Anyway, he wants us to meet him at his Quiet Place.” Derek finishes.

“Ah, he has a Quiet Place!” Dominic is impressed.

“What would we fellows do without our time alone.” Derek exclaims. “I try to tell this to my wife Bethany, but she thinks I am just being unsociable.”

“Ah, if you were single like Erhard and me—” Erhard interrupts.

“Hold on there, Nicki. Don’t you sometimes wish there were a Mrs. LaRue to tuck you in at night?” Erhard teases.

“There is but my father discourages my mother from desiring to do it.” Dominic retorts and the three men laugh for a good seven minutes.

“That is a good one, my new friend but I definitely enjoy the companionship of my wife even though she worries too much about it.” Derek grudgingly admits.

A Quiet Place ...

A Quiet Place ...

Erhard and Dominic sit pensively for a few moments as if deep in concentration. Erhard is thinking with regards to Diamond while Dominic contemplates the moments he had alone with Shirley. As if Derek understands completely, he allows the two men time with their thoughts before pulling up into a very lovely yet secluded spot.

The grass creates a charming green carpet that leads to a rustic cottage. Derek parks under a European silver fir and the three men exist the Black Porsche.

Meanwhile ...

Construction is going well on the Stäfa Industrial Complex. Baron Schröder decided to obtain clearance in naming his establishment after the small town. Not only would it be profitable for the Baron, but for the community as well. There would be employment opportunities for many of the residents. Still, Heinrich is slightly perturbed that Marko has existed from the partnership.

“What do you suppose that brother-in-law of mine is really up to?” The Baron asks Eric Singleton.

“I don’t know but Baron Balogh has a knack of leaving a situation just prior to things becoming really bad.” Eric asserts, thinking back to when Marko left Colonel Schneider just before events turned sour.

“He’s like a frighten child—always bailing out when matters begin to get interesting.” Heinrich remarks, sipping generously from his flask of vodka.

“Well, I don’t know.” Eric continues until the Baron gives him a grim look.

“Don’t tell me you’re getting cold feet? I’ve invested a lot in you, Eric.” The Baron’s smile is completely gone.

“No, I’m just saying—” A nervous Eric is interrupted by the Baron.

“You need to weigh your priorities, Eric. You are in this pretty deep yourself. Marko is family and my sister Sophia would tie me to the stake if anything ever happened to him. But you are just one of my closest associates—valuable but not indispensable.” Heinrich flips his hand in a dismissing gesture and Eric hurries out of the door. Outside, he murmurs to himself.

“Baron Balogh is right. Heinrich takes far too many risks. It’s not like I really need his money. I have a couple of legitimate businesses that are bringing in a steady flow of currency. Besides, he did have Ian Schmidt assassinated. I need to arrange an audience with Baron Balogh.” With renewed determination, Eric rushes to his car. Unaware that all the while he has been observed.

Baron Schröder pushes a button to summons one of his henchmen. Henri appears.

“Follow Eric Singleton and report to me your findings.” The Baron decides.

Johannes opens his eyes as he hears footsteps. He then smiles when he sees that it is Erhard and Dominic. Derek moves toward a small table where tea and biscuits have been laid out. Erhard speaks first.

“You look a little weary, Jonny. Are you sure you’re up to this meeting?”

“I will be alright. Tabitha has been pushing me to shut things down for a while and I am inclined to agree with her. Nicki, how are you?” Johannes extends a slightly limp hand toward him.

“I am well, Jonny. I am beginning to think that Tabby may be right.” Dominic replies after giving him the once over.

“Please.” Johannes retorts in fringed disgust. “Avail yourselves of some of my special blended herbal tea and those wonderful honeysuckle and spice biscuits.”

“That wife of yours will make an Englishman out of you yet.” All three men laugh. Then Dominic speaks soberly.

“What information do you have for us, Jonny?” Dominic continues the pet name of Johannes’.

“Plenty. To begin with, it was Sophie who had the long talk with her husband Marko, convincing him to opt out of his agreement with her brother, Heinrich. She confided that tidbit to me herself.” Johannes smiles.

“Wow, that lady has great instincts.” Erhard marvels.

“And Sophie knows how foolhardy Heinrich can be when it comes to something he covets.” Johannes persists. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Both Erhard and Dominic listen intently as Johannes maps out Baron Schröder future plans according to reliable sources.

To Be Continued ...

Spores: The Final Assault 15

  • Spores: The Final Assault 15
    Eric Singleton has gotten himself into some really deep poop! So much so that he scurries to Baron Balogh for assistance. However, the Baron has some surprises in store for Eric as well. Duplicity is definitely in the air.

© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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