Thursday, May 18, 2017

death in the rain - 27. the invitation

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part twenty-seven of forty-four

sonia and joe were approached by an elderly woman with a long neck.

“sonia, my dear, who is this handsome young devil with you?”

“good evening, countess. countess, this is joe b. joe, this the famous countess de c————.”

joe did not know who the countess de c———— was, but acknowledged the introduction courteously.

“and what do you, joe?” the countess asked.

“i’m a filmmaker,” joe answered, expecting a reprise of his conversation with cleve.

but the countess replied, “a filmmaker, how nice! you know, i need a filmmaker to film the little get together i am having the weekend after next. sonia, you must convince your dashing friend to come down. with yourself, of course.”

“why, that sounds like a wonderful idea,” sonia responded, giving joe a quick glance that said , go along with this, “and i am sure it would be a great opportunity for joe.”

“yes, it would,” joe agreed, with just the slightest hesitation to show he was not “jumping at the chance.” “thank you so much” he added.

“that’s wonderful,” the countess smiled. “i will have an invitation sent to you, “ she told sonia. “are you still at the same address?”

“i think so,” said sonia. “but anything you send will find me.”

“perfect. i look forward to seeing both of you. i see mr f—————— over there, i have to pay my respects. carry on.” and with that she left them.

“don’t worry about it,” sonia told joe in a low voice. “i will explain everything later. let’s keep moving around.”

“but - what about being a filmmaker?” joe asked, in a lower voice. “will i have to make a film for her?”

“oh, that’s nothing. we will get you the cheapest camera we find and you can be a primal or primitive filmmaker or something like that.”

“all right.”

just then they saw commissioner morton enter the room. spotting sonia and joe, he immediately made his way to them.

“bad news, i am afraid,” the commissioner greeted them. “well, annoying news, anyway. mr madison will not be with us tonight.”

“but it’s his party,” said joe.

“yes, but he won’t be here. the butler or somebody will make an announcement to the guests. it can’t be helped, but there will be other opportunities, don’t worry.”

“we may already have one,” said sonia. she described the countess’s invitation to the commissioner. “there is a pretty good chance mr madison will be there, don’t you think? and other people it might be good to meet as well.”

“why, of course,” exclaimed the commissioner. he glanced around, in case he had spoken too loudly, but no one seemed to be paying them any attention. “he is almost sure to be there! this is perfect, almost too perfect.” he looked around again. “let’s assume he is going to be there, and i will let you know if he is not, how is that?”

“we are going anyway,” said sonia. “i suppose it will work out. it does push things back a little. at least ten days.”

“pooh,” said the commissioner. “that is no problem. we have waited long enough as it is.”

“and it will give me a chance to brush up on my filmmaking, “ added joe.

sonia and the commissioner both laughed at joe’s remark.

28. empire

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