woensdag 25 maart 2015

The Woman in Red: Chapter 20

20. Champagne and syringe

           Katarina had tried to contact the General, but he hadn’t answered her call. She hoped he was busy taking measures to get her mother free. He knew his way in that world and would certainly know a good lawyer. Her mother was tough. She wouldn’t talk about their organization. She firmly believed that. But were there still more arrests than she knew off and if there really was a mole in their midst, should the police not look after herself or the other members of the Board of Trustees? She had to try to reach Frau Bertha Hofmeister, Thérèse Dupont or Monsieur Charles. Maybe they knew something more.
            Unfortunately, all her efforts were in vain. She began to think they were arrested too. Were they really safe here? Tomorrow morning she would try it again, maybe with more luck.
            Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre had settled down in the second new residence in a few days. The room was spacious and luxurious. She was modernly designed, with everything that it implied. The only thing he thought was a little strange was the mirror on the ceiling. It just felt odd. If he looked up, it was if everything could any moment fall out of the sky. He supposed this was an attribute to show the bed adventures even better and to enlarge the sexual arousal still more.
            At this moment, such things were not in his mind. What was really happening? He was asking himself if he had made the right choice. It was obvious he was in dangerous fields. His new job wasn’t legitimate, that’s for sure. But he had weighed the advantages and the disadvantages and made his choice. Would he regret it? He didn’t know. Jean-Pierre decided to go to Katarina’s room and ask her a few questions.
            Putting his money where his mouth was, he just went to the room of Katarina. At the moment he just came around the corner of the corridor, he saw Jacques with an ice bucket and a bottle of champagne sneaking into the room of Katarina. What the hell was that?
            He tried to approach the room as silent as possible and put his ear against the door. Jean-Pierre usually would never act this way, but this was an exception. Who knows, maybe in this way he got some answers to his questions?
            ‘Jacques, what are you doing here?’ he heard Katarina saying.
            ‘I would love to rekindle the flame in our relation. A glass of this stuff will do miracles and after the tension of the last hours it could be good for our nerves.’ He put the ice bucket on the surface of a little cabinet and started to open the bottle.
            ‘I don’t need this, Jacques. Our relation has died with your staged death in Ibiza. You could at least given me a call with some explanation or ask the General to leave a message. I’ll never forgive you for that.’
            Katarina obviously was furious. Jean-Pierre heard it in her voice that she didn’t appreciate Jacques’ visit at all. Did she have a love relation with Jacques before? It hadn’t been explicitly pronounced, but it looked that way considering the emotions.
            ‘It was the General himself who convinced me not to make contact. I thought he was right. Maybe they would be able to find me through you. That sort of people are not easily frightened, and they would find a way to make you talk. Then I would be really dead.’
            Jean-Pierre started profoundly to dislike this blond guy with his artificial smile. Obviously he was very pleased with himself and didn’t care about what somebody else was thinking. A downright real egoist and he hoped Katarina wouldn’t let him convince her.
            ‘You’re only thinking about yourself,’ Katarina confirmed his hope. ‘And that look at Jean-Pierre, this evening. If you think he’s the mole, you’re completely wrong. He’s a plain and simple accountant who would like to make some progress in life, and I have him this opportunity. We’ve screened him. He has in no way any contact with the police.’
            ‘You can never know for sure, Kathy. I’m saying that I don’t trust this fellow, and I’ve got a real good nose for such matters. Anyway, I’ll handle that. I’ve already given certain orders to Helga and Irene.’ A short and cruel laugh sounded from behind the door.
            ‘What have you done?’ Katarina shouted,’ you will not lift a finger to him, you hear me!’
            Jean-Pierre was startled by a sound behind him, but it was too late. Someone had put a syringe in his neck, and he could just turn to see a burly guy and the two ladies in leather behind him. Almost instantly, he felt sleepy and fell down in the arms of the man who caught him as a professional.

© Rudi J.P. Lejaeghere

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