Edward Discovers A Rosalba Carriera Original:
In Armistice Plot Edward Ware has gone to Venice to discover certain incriminating letters from Hitler to Herr von Wessel in the early 1920s. Instead he invades the von Wessel villa on the Grand Canal, which at first seems to be empty, only to find Helga herself peering down at him from the wall. Her appearance startles him.
Helga von Wessel has always known how to make a dramatic appearance. She knows how to upstage everyone else. Her appearance in a rendition of a classic painting makes Edward wonder what is going to happen next:
Looking down at him was Helga von Wessel posing as the Young Lady With A Parrot. She gazed down at him from a swirl of silks, ribbons, pearls, lace, flowers, hair combs, and buxom pink flesh, dressed in an eighteenth-century court costume. The original was by the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera. This was obviously painted by a skilled imitator — all too skilled.
No one else had such a wicked, knowing expression.
Why had she left the painting there? Was she expecting him to show up? No doubt. Was it her warning to him that she was full of tricks? Obviously.
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Edward Ware’s Intrigue In Venice:
One of Edward Ware’s more memorable intrigues occurs in Venice in 1921. Hitler is on the rise in Germany. Edward and Churchill must stop him. They must track the support that Herr von Wessel provides for the fledgling Nazi leader. Part of that effort is tracking his correspondence and his letters to Hitler. Edward is going after letters that reveal Hitler’s future plans in Germany.
Here is a quote from the Venetian section of Armistice Plot to let you absorb the atmosphere:
In the distance Edward thought he could make out the Bridge of Sighs across the Grand Canal. He knew that the Palazzo Mocenigo should be positioned close to that. Just as he was nearing a hotel right next to the main canal area, two blond men speaking German emerged from the lobby through double glass doors.
Edward made a dash to duck into the darkest street he could find. Then it all ended. A huge expanse of pavement filled with thousands of pigeons unexpectedly opened up in front of him. He felt exposed and naked with nowhere to hide.
The sun came out from behind the clouds and illuminated the broad expanse of St. Mark’s Square spreading out before him in all its Byzantine splendor. A cathedral seemingly made of solid gold glittered in the sun like another lure to distract his attention.
“Ja, Ja! Da ist er! He’s right there!” came a German voice not far behind him.
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