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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Chapter 5 of Wall Street Swastika: Life on a Chinese Junk Boat
“Dora, they met me at the stage door!” Rita Jolivet exclaimed, throwing her arms around her best friend, Mrs. Byrne. “I couldn’t believe it. They practically dragged me out of the dressing room. I couldn’t even scream. They clapped their hands over my mouth.”
Winston, Edward, and Dora took Rita Jolivet in the tender back across the bay to the cruise ship still docked in the harbor with everybody aboard staring at them. When they disembarked on deck 1 Dora handed a tip to the nearest valet to get a cabin ready for Rita —- whatever was still available it didn’t matter. She was obviously sailing with them the rest of the way to Southampton for the next four days.
Dora took her back to the cabin she was sharing with Edward to change. Edward and Churchill made themselves scarce in the bar next to the dining room before dinner. As Rita used Dora’s shower, Dora searched for anything that Rita might want to wear. The two friends took the same size so it was convenient as far as that was concerned.
At dinner Rita chatted on and on about the way she was thrown into a car that speeded through New York to the harbor and threw her on a Chinese junk boat headed north. it was a regular commercial ship that made deliveries of supplies and materials. The ship’s crew had been all male. She had been caged in the hold of the ship. The crew had tossed her scraps of food to eat when they were finished with their meals. It did not matter how much she pleaded with them to let her go, they could not understand a word she was saying. After all, they spoke only Chinese.
She was hauled off the ship last night in the middle of the night. She had fallen into a restless slumber only to be rudely awakened and manhandled as she screamed and pleaded to be told what was going on, though she knew they could not understand her. She was dragged up to the top deck of the Chinese junk boat and thrown overboard to men in a small craft below. They were the German spies who had captured her at her stage door to begin with! She supposed they had also sailed on the Chinese junk boat. She just had not seen them until now.
They took her across the bay to the lighthouse and kept her in the lighthouse keeper’s old quarters locked up until more German spies came to help them. It did not matter if she screamed and pounded on the old wooden door with rusty hinges. On an island far away from other humans in a deserted lighthouse no one could hear her.
“They must have kept me locked up there until they had your attention!” Rita speculated as she dove into her platter of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding served on a big platter in the main dining room for first class. They saw you on deck eating. I remember now.” She put down her fork for a second as they served her a second helping of wine with her meal. “I know a little German. They were talking about Winston Churchill and Edward Ware. Apparently this was all for your benefit, a show of strength for the Nazi Party leader.” Rita visibly shivered.
Dora nodded. She expected that much. They must have been sent from Germany by Hitler.
“Then they forced me all the way up the spiral staircase to the very top of the lighthouse. When I refused to walk and fell down, they poked me with the butts of their pistols until I walked faster. At that point I didn’t care if I lived or died. I just wanted to escape their malicious, abusive hands.”
Dora could only imagine how horrible the experience had been.
“You poor woman!” Churchill patted her arm. “What we don’t all suffer in the hands of the wily German head of the Nazi Party. “The Wall Street crash was the worst possible thing that could have happened. Now he will take advantage of the world wide panic and fear to push his awful political program.”
Winston winced and asked for a Romeo y Julieta Cuban cigar.
“You don’t have to recount what it was like to be pushed off the top of the lighthouse!” Dora said sympathetically. “I can imagine.”
“I just could not believe that a group of men would do that to a poor defenseless woman such as myself!” She took out her handkerchief and dabbed her eyes.
“The most important thing we need to know from you now,” Edward interrupted her. “Is this. Could you identify these spies if you saw them again?”
Rita nodded right away. She pointed across the room. “There are the rats right there!” She accused them. “They are all gathered around that table at the entrance to the dining room. They are all drinking and having a jolly good time. Even the one you shot seems to be there somehow. The bastards!”
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Third Chapter of Wall Street Swastika:
Dora and Edward retired to bed that night on the ship. They hid the threat from Hitler after sharing it with Winston. Winston wanted to save it to give it to the Prof, his friend from Oxford, to copy so he could keep better track of what Hitler was attempting.
Dora and Edward stayed in their cabin the next day and invited Winston over. They did not want to be seen in public on the ship. They could not be sure that Hitler had not stationed a spy aboard the ship to watch them and report back to the Fuhrer what they were up to.
Dora thought it was particularly eerie that Hitler has attached a note to a skiff at sea and let it crash against the ocean liner. The thing had looked like an abandoned boat and had haunted her dreams last night. It had even seemed ghostly.
The next day they woke up docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their ship was tied up practically underneath an old lighthouse in the harbor. Dora asked the cabin steward. He said it was called the Georges Island Lighthouse. It had been here since 1876. She wondered why or if it was her imagination that she saw somebody at the top of the lighthouse staring down at her looking out her porthole window.
Winston suggested having breakfast on the deck in the deck chairs. Leave it up to the MP to like all the niceties that the cruise ship could provide. Dora did not want to encourage him. But she hardly had the courage to even tell Edward —- let alone Winston —- what she thought she had seen in the tower. She kept her eyes uneasily fixed on it as she sat down.
Dora could hardly study the menu. When the waiter showed up she said she would have what Edward had.
“Dora,” Edward chided her reproachfully, “your mind seems to be somewhere else!”
Winston had asked her a question. She had not heard what he had said.
“Mrs. Byrne, when you get to London, where are you going to stay?” Winston repeated himself.
“Oh, I just thought I’d stay at Ware Hall, I —”
She caught the look in Edward’s eye. He was shaking his head “no”.
She realized that might attract attention. They did not want to tip Michael off where she was. She had given him the lame excuse that she had to sail to England and then Paris because her old shipmate from the Lusitania, her best friend, was getting married.
“Oh, I guess I will rent a flat or stay in a hotel. Who knows?” she shrugged. That was not important now.
“Clementine would be glad to host you at Chartwell in the countryside. We don’t have any nosey guests right now, and that would keep you well away from the city and Hitler’s spies. Your husband also would be damn confused where to find you.”
Just then she happened to glance at the lighthouse across the bay. A gunman was leaning out of the tower aiming for them. Dora screamed as he began to fire.
Edward responded immediately without even seeing what was going on. He shoved her onto the floor and rolled on top of her. He knocked Winston under the table and overturned it. The tea things and trays went smashing to the deck as he used it as a shield. Other passengers farther down the deck screamed as the deck hand came rushing their direction.
A lady screamed and screamed and screamed.
“Edward, look!” Dora pointed up at the lighthouse tower. “It’s Rita Jolivet. They are going to push her out the window.”
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