On The Road Again: Observations By Cheops Books
When Cheops Books looks to be on the road again this summer researching locales for novels, it seems to meet with a more hostile environment than before. Disney may have started a trend where the management of hotels like to invade the rooms of their guest for no particular reason. Also there is a problem with hotels and debit cards. Now in addition to all these woes, we have metal detectors forcing lines to form to get into major attractions. It is not a friendly environment for booking your favorite road trip.
It used to be that Cheops Books could just book a hotel and NOT have to ask questions. Now you need to know if they are going to pre-charge your credit card. Or if they intend to butt into your room every day searching for terrorists with guns behind every pillow and inside every bathroom shower stall. In addition if it is a very popular attraction such as Disney World, the Colosseum in Rome, or the Tower of London, you may be out of luck all together unless you want to stand in line in the sun or rain for a couple of hours. You will have to do your touring online instead of in person.
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Helga In The Tower of London:
“Edward,” Churchill exclaimed, “you did not let me know about Helga von Wessel!” He threw out his arms to take in the whole dining room at the Savoy. “She surprised me by barging in here. I didn’t invite her. She invited herself.”
Edward tried to get hold of himself. He had not been expecting this at all. Even his wife hung back in the shadows unseen by Helga, bracing herself for she did not know what would come next. But he had to think fast.
“I did not have a chance to tell you, sir,” Edward forced himself to step into the room though his wife continued to hang back in the shadows beyond the doorway. “I was imprisoned in an Ice Palace in Denali National Park. I could not communicate with anyone until I managed to escape. You got one report from me then. But basically I was trying to get back here as fast as possible to talk to you first.”
Helga threw back her head and laughed. “You know you cannot escape me, Edward. You should know that by now. Just because you slipped out of Igor’s reach and evaded Dr. Frankenstein’s grasp, you cannot think that you evaded me! That would be too simpleton-like.”
Out of the corner of his eye Edward watched Lady Ware slip back into the shadows. He hoped she could read his mind. He could only keep his fingers crossed.
He took a seat beside Churchill so he could keep an eye on the door to the room without making Helga suspect anything.
“You must give me your latest map, the one you are hoarding,” Helga leaned across the table. “Khrushchev wants to know what you are up to. And I would not suggest you thwart me or even attempt to do so. I showed you what I almost did with your wife and could easily do again,” Helga looked at Edward with a barely concealed threat in her eye.
Edward exchanged looks with Churchill.
Churchill was a past master at this sort of thing. He took out a map from his desk that Edward knew to be a fake. He kept it there for that express purpose. He thrust it in front of her with great drama.
Helga began to pour over it. She was so absorbed that she did not hear the door opening from behind with barely a sound. Edward did not move an inch. Neither did Churchill as Dora, Lady Ware, approached Helga from behind with her pistol at the ready. She stuck her in the back and said, “The game is up.”
Helga gave a little shriek. Edward did not give her a chance to recover before he grabbed her. Churchill pushed a button and spoke into the microphone installed for him at his table at the Savoy, the one reserved just for the Prime Minister. “Send me the sergeant at arms back at Whitehall. I keep him around to make sudden arrests.”
Helga was marched off to a holding cell in the Tower of London.
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