The Rendezvous…

on November 4, 2013 in Misc

For the remainder of 2013, my posts will be from Layla Daltry’s perspective.  She’s the hero of The Compass Master, a daring antiquities hunter, and while on the trail of a rare, precious artifact is living undercover in Denver as Helena Soister…

When I walked into the Art Institute of Chicago, there was a knife in my boot, a stiletto up my sleeve, and the hatpin in my elegant black hat was tipped with poison.

I wasn’t taking any chances.

The moment I had read the professor’s note that told me the rendezvous point was in the museum, I knew I was in trouble.  How had those smugglers discovered that Annie and I planned a visit to it this afternoon?  Had they discovered my blog? I really should be careful about what I posted.

“Tell me again why you know where to go,” Annie said as we walked past hordes of tourists and up the museum’s grand staircase.

“My master’s thesis that I wrote at the University of Chicago…”

“You mean that Layla Daltry wrote.”

“Hush!” I whispered.  “I’m undercover.  Anyway, the thesis was about the Book of Revelation, and there’s only one painting here that depicts the author John.  If those criminals know about me and why I’m here, that must be the rendezvous point.  So let’s split up.  Keep your distance from me, and keep an eye out.”

Moments later I saw the painting—Landscape with St. John on Patmos, by Nicholas Poussin.  I didn’t like the painting, but I liked the look of the man standing in front of it.  He was wearing an expensive dark suit and was built like an Egyptian god.

I walked over and stood beside him.  From the corner of my eyes I saw his profile.  Damn, he was handsome.

“Interesting picture,” he remarked.

“I never liked it.  I only like that it shows John writing on a scroll of vellum.  Or papyrus.  I’m interested in papyrus scrolls.”

The stranger seemed perplexed.  “Perhaps there are scrolls in another wing,” he said, and walked away.

Oh hell, the gorgeous man wasn’t my contact after all.  But maybe he’d like to have a drink in the museum’s bistro followed by an intimate conversation in a dark corner…

“Interesting painting,” growled a voice behind me.

I turned around.  I was facing a man who smelled like old cigars and looked like a mangy rottweiler.  Of course he was ugly.  Contacts in these situations were always ugly.

“I’ve got a scroll,” he said.

“I’m interested,” I said.

He made a crookedsmile.  I began to get a very bad feeling…


14 Responses to “The Rendezvous…”

  1. Too bad it wasn’t the other guy!

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – Sigh. So true.

  3. I love Layla’s voice. She’s so snarky, it’s like she’s got a drop of Asperger’s.

  4. ann says:

    Aaaag! This is tense. Layla is in trouble now! You need to update your blog more often if you’re going to tell a “to be continued” story.
    I love the way you described the contact… ‘mangy rottweiller’

  5. Helena says:

    Michael – That could explain some things about me.

  6. Helena says:

    Ann – Even I don’t know how this story is going to end ’cause I’m making it up as I go. Thanks.

  7. That poison tipped hatpin could be dangerous. Be careful, Layla.

  8. Helena says:

    Carol – People should never underestimate the danger of jewelry.

  9. I think I have Asperger’s too. I have clients who have it, and it’s characterized by blurting things out that you don’t think are harmful but end up hurting someone’s feelings. People with Asperger’s tend to socially isolate themselves because they are aware of this fact. And there’s really no treatment…no magic bullet…you just have to think about what you are going to say probably a lot more than another person before you say it. Also, you have to be cognizant of how your personality interacts with others.

  10. Helena says:

    Michael – For people with full-blown Asperger’s, life really has to be tough. In print at least, you strike me as being socially pretty sharp and savvy. Maybe you’re just compulsively honest rather than an Asp. person.

  11. Old Kitty says:

    A stilleto? I was thinking stilleto shoes up her sleeve!! But they are lethal weapons when used properly! Yay! Awwww hope Layla does finds gorgeous man in a dark corner..! Take care

  12. “Like a mangy Rottweiler” — nice!

  13. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – Some of these heels women wear really are deadly!

  14. Helena says:

    Milo – Thanks, darlin’.