Chapter 18: Wall Street Swastika: The Prince Assaults Dora:
Edward, Dora, and Churchill scurried about the Ocean Terminal in Southampton looking to buy tickets on the cruise to Hamburg across the English Channel and across the North Sea. Dora did not have any luggage with her. The little she had brought across the Atlantic had been sent ahead to Ware Hall. And now it did not look as if she were going there. And there was nothing to buy in the terminal building.
Dora promised herself she would hit the shops in the lobby as soon as she boarded the ship to find a change of clothes and a nightgown at the very least. She could not let the wastrel Prince interfere with her whole routine and her life, too.
They tried to stay clear of the German party and the Prince, and of course the Prince of Wales was attracting all sorts of attention particularly from the ladies who were crowding around him asking for his autograph. Dora did not even bother to see their cabin first. She dashed over to her favorite dress shop that also sold handbags, scarves, and jewelry. She began trying outfits on in the spare dressing room area that was squeezed in between two shops on this deck. She usually wore only Elsa Shaparelli originals. But this time she was going to have to compromise. Otherwise she would have to wear her old clothes the whole voyage and she had already worn them across the Atlantic.
Not long after she started to try on a white chiffon dress with folds in the lower skirt half and a white net attached to the casual straw hat, than she heard shrieks of laughter. She peered out at crack in the curtain of her stall. To her horror she could not help but notice Frau von Wessel squeezing her her into own dressing stall right next to her.
Even worse, Dora heard a male voice, too. She could not believe that she looked out of the stall to observe the Prince of Wales.
“You should get the low-backed gown with the flower prints,” the Prince insisted.
“Way too expensive!” Frau von Wessel exclaimed. “My budget won’t allow it.”
“I could never permit such an injustice! Since I am devoting my fortune to Herr Hitler the least I can do is to make certain that his assistants dress properly.”
“But I couldn’t impose on you!” Frau von Wessel leaned out of the dressing room in the most provocative, flirtatious way imaginable. She poked the Prince in the nose as if they were already on intimate terms.
Dora was more than horrified. She would have to remember what was going on and who said what to whom to report back to Edward and Winston Churchill as soon as she could get out of here and reach her cabin and safety. The Prince and Frau von Wessel should not see her. That would not be proper. Winston and Edward certainly would not like it.
The shop assistant bustled back and forth handing clothes to Frau von Wessel to try on and handing clothes to Dora. Dora silently tried to warn the lady off. She shook her head and tried to discourage her.
“We want you to dress right. Herr Hitler deserves to have his representatives look like they are in the pink of fashion. The workers should vote for him and sweep away that corrupt Weimar government!” The Prince asserted as he waited outside in the hallway where he must be squeezed because there was not much room at all. He must be bumping into the assistant on all occasions.
“You are so kind, Prince!” Helga gushed. “If only we had other supporters like you. Herr Hitler’s path towards saving Germany and its workers would not be so long and hard.”
“I will do everything I can to help and more!” the Prince promised.
Dora clapped her hands over her mouth and gasped. The Prince was reaching into her dressing room and grabbing hold of her instead of Frau von Wessel. She was being catapulted out of the stall and into the Prince’s arms. Before Dora could stop him, his lips landed on her own. Dora felt the shriek rising from the bowels of her being. Then she screamed and screamed and screamed.