Chapter 8: Wall Street Swastika: The Queen’s Room
Dora, Edward, and Churchill were foiled in their latest attempts to transfer the Lawrence maps to Professor Lindemann. It was becoming harder than a high wire act at the circus under the big top. They could not risk meeting publicly. They might be seen. And Churchill did not want anybody to know that Lindemann was associated with him. That was why meeting in a darkened theater had seemed like such a good idea. But they had been foiled even at that.
Churchill had idea of meeting in the Queen’s ballroom, the Queen’s Room, on deck 3. The Prof would be one of many men who asked Dora to dance. She would slip him the folder of maps hopefully when nobody was looking.
Dora first of all went to the seamstress. She was surprised that one was available. But so it was. So many of the ladies had brought frippery and finery for the ball that night in the Queen’s Room that the ship had somebody to tend to rips and tears at the last minute.
In her case she wanted the sewing lady to install a secret invisible pocket. She had packed the wrong gown at the last minute. She had been suprised that she was going to Europe at all. But then came the Wall Street Crash, and Edward had to have her sail to deal with the family business that was being left high and dry by the financial debacle.
She had grabbed the wrong gown. The other was better equipped with pockets. She put on her gown and modeled it. The seamstress quickly and neatly concealed a pocket amidst the many of folds of her classical muse costume. She had to go on a diet. The dress itself was unforgivably tight. It followed all her curves exactly without an inch to spare.
This pocket was brilliantly right at the neckline where the gown draped and folded itself over the top of her bosom. This pocket on the inside did not show at all. From the outside no one could tell it was there. In fact, Edward had tried to inspire Dora for the evening in the ship’s ballroom by meeting her in her cabin when Rita Jolivet was tending to buying clothes in the shops downstairs herself. He helped her drape it over herself just so. First of all, this dress had to have its own underwear designed not to show underneath. She had to take off all her daytime clothes and put them on one by one. When she was totally in the nude Edward took her aside to the bed and made love to her. They had not made love since before the Wall Street Crash. It all seemed very fiery and urgent. Times had changed in only a few days. But she got the message. She had to perform as Edward had, and she could not mess up.
But as soon as the dance was underway in the Queen’s Room and they started to exchange partners, an aggressive male dancer seemed to grab hold of her and move her aside right underneath the King’s and Queen’s portraits on the wall. He conered her in one part of the ballroom. When she tried to get away he would not let her. He kept her isolated there dancing just with him. She did not want to break off and run. That would not look right and might ruin their plan.
Edward tried to break in, but just at the last minute another man moved over there and started to dance with Dora, blocking Edward. He got so close he was touching her bosom. Then he started to reach for it as if he had been tipped off ahead of time. In a flash it occurred to Dora that the seamstress had been hired by the Dictator. She was a spy and had revealed the existence of the secret pocket in the neckline.
Dora slapped his face. She could not defend herself unless she created a scene and a big scene at that.
Ladies screamed and stood back. The Captain entered the Queen’s Room and was approaching. Suddenly a male passenger who acted as if he were drunk and tipsy came waltzing along with a laughing lady when nobody else was dancing. He let her go and grabbed Dora by both hands, kissing her on both cheeks. Then he danced out of the Queen’s Room with her. It was the Prof from Oxford! She had the presence of mind to quickly transfer the maps to her hands. He quickly stuffed them into his tuxedo and without missing a beat they danced back. The party seemed to resume. A few looks were cast her direction. But already the guests aboard the Mauretania seemed to forget.


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