The Cauldron by Charles Goodwin Chapter 11

The Founding Of Chiron

Chapter 11

The Mantles of Hell

‘Hello Paul. I trust your dinner was an enjoyable experience?’ Sonia spoke with an alluring softness and seduction as Paul opened the door of his palatial rooms high in the castle buildings.

A distinctive whiff of perfume wafting past his nostrils reminded him of Rebecca.

‘Guess what? I’ve brought you a bottle of Bollinger so we can celebrate your visit here,’ she added, her green eyes sparkling.

Paul replied with a defensive note of reluctance in his voice. ‘Sonia, I need to ask you a few questions before I arrange to see my father again. You may come in, but perhaps another time for the Champagne.’

Sonia sidestepped past Paul without taking her enchantress eyes off his. She came close. Too close. Lightly brushing up against his shirt with her covered breasts. She wore a full-length white dress. He noticed too that the dress was semi transparent. Sonia was braless.

Paul closed the door and slumped weakly on to the Nordic style settee. Sonia sat gracefully down opposite.

‘The meal was excellent thank you.’ Paul placed his palm over his perspiring forehead. ‘Although I feel a little giddy right now. I laid down and drifted off for a while. Perhaps I’m coming down with a flue or a cold.’

‘You need rest Paul. It’s just as well your father had to leave. It will give you time to recuperate.’

‘What do you mean leave? When will he be back?’ snapped Paul.

‘Hey, don’t bite my head off. All I was asked to do was to covey his apologies to you and tell you that he’s been called away on a matter of urgency. He will back tomorrow afternoon.’

Paul grunted unrepentant and acted a trifle spoilt.

‘Look the time is already 6.15 and you’ve had a stressful day. Discussions with your father can surely wait a day. I can show you around tomorrow morning,’ soothed Sonia maternally.

She’s right, thought Paul, I feel bloody awful. I certainly don’t want to traipse around all evening feeling so damn miserable.

‘So all things considered, perhaps you do need a champagne to cheer you up. Shall I get the glasses?’

‘More like drown my sorrows you mean,’ brooded Paul. And then he said fatefully, ‘Yes you can get the glasses.’

Sonia cracked an unseen satisfied smirk and rose to her feet. ‘Here, you may open the bottle. I’m sure you’re an expert. If I try my nails will break.’

Sonia found the flutes and Paul popped the cork and poured the Bollinger.

‘By the way what is the name of that perfume you are wearing?’

‘The fragrance is Opium. Why do you ask? Does it remind you of anyone in particular?’

‘No, not really...well perhaps,’ admitted Paul, taken off guard by the directness of the question.

Paul had attempted to ring Rebecca in Amsterdam several times but her phone rang out on each occasion.

Sonia gazed at Paul with acceptance. It’s ok Paul. I understand. You are missing someone?’

‘Yes as a matter of fact I am.’

‘And do you want to talk about it?’

‘No Sonia I don’t!’ Paul was emphatic.

‘As long as you know, I want to be your friend,’ replied Sonia with tenderness. ‘How is your dizzy spell? It could have been brought on by the chopper ride.’

‘Perhaps, but I don’t think so. It’s getting worse. But I’ll get over it.’

Paul gulped down the first glass of champagne and poured another. His mind immediately became incoherent and hazy.

Sonia frowned with concern as she sipped. ‘Paul are you all right? You are looking pale. I’m worried about you.’

‘I’ll be fine in a moment. Just give time for the bubbles to work their magic.’

Paul finished the second glass. Sonia refilled.

‘I’m not tipsy... I often drink two bottles of champagne... without getting drunk! excused Paul, slurring his speech.

The room began to darken and sway - and swirl.

After a few minutes Paul spoke again. ‘It’s as if someone is dimming the lights. I feel bloody terrible.’

‘I’ll ring for the doctor Paul.’

‘No.. No please don’t.... I’ll be fine.’

Paul attempted to finish his third champagne. The glass slipped from his hand to the carpet. ‘Sonia where are you. The room is spinning. I can’t see! Help me,’ he pleaded.

‘I’m here Paul. Let me help you to your bed.’

Paul reached out and grabbed Sonia. He became delirious. ‘Rebecca is that you?’

That knowing satisfied smirk appeared once more on Sonia’s face. ‘Yes darling I’m here.’

‘Oh Rebecca I love you so much! I tried to ring you. You feel so wonderful.’

‘I love you too Paul,’ replied Sonia feeling comfortable with Rebecca’s role.

Sonia helped Paul to stagger to the bedroom. She opened the bed sheets. Paul flopped without ceremony onto the bed.

‘My mind it’s...! Are you Rebecca or Sonia?’ Paul’s slur was only just comprehendible.

‘Shush! Paul, just relax. ‘I’m taking off your shoes and trousers so you can sleep it off.’

‘Oh, that sounds promising, who ever you are,’ he mumbled with an intoxicated cute giggle.

Sonia sat on the edge of the bed and admired Paul’s athletic body, as he lay doped in front of her. She felt in control and aroused. ‘Oh Paul if only it were possible?’ she murmured to herself. ‘I could really fall for you.’

She undid his shirt buttons and sensuously stroked his tanned chest and squeezed at his nipples.
Capricorn people with Scorpio ascendants often need to be in control at a manipulative, secretive level.

'Oh that... that... feels wonderful,’ purred Paul.

Sonia felt Paul’s awakening penis through his hipsters and gently massaged. She felt his penis extend and become hard - and warm - a fertility phallus that was now at her command.

Paul murmured with bewildered protest, his eyes remained closed. The room still spun.

‘Shush Paul, relax,’ she repeated.

With both hands, Sonia pulled his underwear down a few inches. His manhood stood up like a proud soldier. She put her mouth over the soft mushroom head and lowered her moist lips to slide up and down the shaft. She used her two salivated hands to assist in Paul’s pleasure.

‘Come on Paul. I want it. I want it all! she whispered. She sucked harder. Her hands massaged firmer. Come on I want it. Give it to me.

Paul groaned. ‘No please don’t. Please stop it.’

Sonia was relentless. ‘Yes! Paul I want it. Let go... You must!’

He held back in exquisite agony, ‘Oh God Sonia. I can’t stop.’ Paul released.

Sonia swallowed the sweet sour fluid victoriously and she heard herself whisper, ‘Rebecca, who ever you are, I too carry your lover’s essence within me!’

Sonia grimaced conceitedly.

‘Rebecca please forgive me,’ begged Paul with distant mumbled sadness. Within seconds, Paul fell into a deep cavernous, snoring sleep.

Sonia covered Paul over with the sheets and blankets. She kissed him on the forehead. ‘Don’t worry. You won’t remember a thing tomorrow. And your Rebecca will never know. Sleep tight now,’ she whispered.

Sonia stood in front of the dressing table mirror and stared. She became mesmerised at her own reflection in the soft light. The exalted astral vision of her master Marduk smirked at her with pleasing but unsatisfied satisfaction.

The kinetic presence in the room grew ever more intimidating.

Sonia’s face radiated with a salacious knowing and obedience. She slowly unzipped her dress at the back and let it drop to the carpet. Her entranced eyes stared devotedly into the mirror. She lasciviously removed her panties and ran her hands over her warm breasts. She fondled her erect nipples and stroked her inner thighs. Her breathing became deeper. She sat on the vanity chair, leaned back and placed her legs apart, upon the dressing table.

‘Am I pleasing you Master?’ she teased, her face wreathed with lustful adulation.

The seducing image scrutinised Sonia with a lecherous pride.

Sonia breathed deeper and faster. Her willing fingers played and stimulated her nipples and aroused her succulent vagina.

The energy vortex in the room increased. Marduk willed her on, vampiring her psychic energy and power for his own sinister purposes. Her fingers probed and vibrated vigorously - her perspiring face glowed pink. Her breathing intensified.

Marduk knew when the ethers in the room were at the right concentration and polarity. His image in the mirror affirmed approval. Sonia squealed with a fervent devoted passion, her orgasmic call creating morbid excitement as it rippled through the dark underworlds.

Behind the two-way mirror - heavy breathing - the surveillance camera was switched off. Heinrich Ravenscroft sniggered with relieved satisfaction at the spellbound exposed Sonia.

Sonia’s naked body was death pale.

Her life essence temporally drained.


2 a.m. and the moon was dead.

Deep in the lair, the physical form of the robed black master sat rigid, legs crossed, within a double circle of green and black candles.

Glyphical evocation symbols burnt onto tanned leather hides were placed in a cabalistic semi circle on the floor around the flaming circle. Powerful black panthers and spotted leopards stared guardedly from the mouldy walls, their spirits entombed by their master in their taxidermic heads. Wafts of strong spelling incense smoke hung in the mephitic air and drifted lazily upwards to the spear tipped dripping stalactites.

The seductive evilness of the damp catacombs extended into abysmal blackness beyond the haunting candlelight. Etheric ghostly sobbing and cries of entrapped anguish could be heard emanating from the stained megalithic sacrificial altar.

Marduk’s consciousness, * as is the destined birthright for all humans to attain, was not restricted to the unreal peripherals and limitations of the physical body. While deep in trance his consciousness was free to ‘tune in’ to where his will, empowered by his desires, directed.

And Marduk now ‘tuned in’ to Rebecca.

Rebecca awoke on the plane, startled. She felt a voice - an urgent and authoritarian voice - warning her to awake.

Marduk shrieked a heinous telepathic growl into the lower hells. ‘She is still alive!’ he hissed in deep, low speed monotones. ‘She is insulated and protected from my powers by those meddling creatures of light.

Damn them. Damn them all!’

Tormented, beguiled spirit entities began to arouse in the nightmare states of the dimensional Hells. They cussed out execrable and vile blasphemies as they felt the terrifying damnation of Marduk. The wave of hatred swept through the Hells akin to a violent hurricane on the physical plane. A tempest perpetuated and energised by their fears and lusts.

Energy that Masters of the dark know well how to utilise.
Marduk sneered with derision as he ‘picture formed’ Paul in his powerful will. ‘I’ll play my knight to block the check. And I’ll hasten the attack on her mate!’ he scoffed.

* The magicians of the black arts however, out of freewill and for dark intent, master only 6 of the seven bodies, (the physical, the etheric, the astral, the mental, the spiritual and the cosmic). The seventh, nirvanic, is the consciousness’ surrender into the totality of non-duality. The seven corresponding mind states are the soul mind, the primal mind, the social mind, the ego mind, the conscious mind, the super conscious mind and the God (non- duality) mind.
Thus the esoteric meaning of the temptation by the devil of the Master Jesus; that when he realised (attained) the sixth body and its corresponding mind, he understood that if he chose, all the world, the lower astrals and the denser spiritual worlds would be his to command. As not even a trace of desire or attachment remained in his being, he was able to surrender himself upon the cross of sacrifice into non-duality and realise the Christ consciousness or Buddha hood.

Paul became restless in his anaesthetised half sleep.

A depressive hellish fear swept through his body from the toes up. He felt feverish and hallucinatory. He sat up with a start, the salt from his perspiration penetrating his tongue.

‘Who’s there? What do you want with me?’ he whispered plaintively into the lost blackness.

And the answer came sooner than he’d have wished for.

Out of the dark void, a demonic thought form materialised before him. The hideous alien entity expanded as it came nearer - spitting and cussing at Paul with mocking ferocity.

Paul slumped back in mortal paralysis and locked his eyes shut, his thumping heart about to rupture. The rhythmic chorus chant began like a pounding drum in his temples. It continued with maniacal monotony, yet steadily expanded in velocity.

Paul’s head hammered like a foundry. ‘Stop it!’ he yelled. ‘Stop it!’

He held his closed fists to his forehead and strained his face in pain. The tempo and volume of the chant increased.

He was sobbing now. ‘For God’s sake, stop it. Please, I beg you.’

But of course the psychic attack and the lacerations to his spirit did not stop.

Instead laughter.

Mocking, haunting, wailing, hideous laughter. Mass laughter that came from within and from without his body.

He was spinning - whirling. And as he spun those grotesque blood engorged laughing faces, like carnivorous corpses, leered up petrifyingly close to his eyes.

His last hold on limited ‘reality’ suddenly snapped. His consciousness catapulted into an expansive, but dangerous, state of awareness. Past the discerning mind - past even the will.

But the dimension was not one of the myriad heavenly states. Nor was it one of the purgatory astral states - or a limbo dream state of apathy. As the Master said, there are many mansions in the kingdom - but there are also many, many hovels - or worse!

Waves of morbid despondency engulfed his soul. He became sucked into a collective conscious of darkness - a shadowland of dimensional menace.

And his will was now totally non-existent.

Paul stood naked, shivering, bitterly cold, at the entrance of the candle lit lair. Vaulted ceilings. Water dripping. The stench of human excrement. And those same carnivorous, moving, gawking corpses.

‘Come!’ ordered Marduk from under his dark hood, beckoning with his long thin finger. ‘Come to me.’

Marduk stood next to the raised sacrificial blood stained altar. The megalithic slab was of marble and a deep channel had been grooved around its circumference. The channel drained to a spout to allow the victim’s blood to trickle into an earthenware pot.

‘Paul Ravenscroft, welcome to your initiation.’

Paul obeyed the command of the wicked Master and inched forward like a sacrificial lamb. Grotesque, naked spirits from both sides of the vile cavern now fondled and pulled at Paul’s sexual organs and hair. Many arrogantly showed off their ugly part animal heads and their own organs and hissed and spat menacingly. Others renewed the chant in cultist celebration of their cadaverously faced candidate.

Paul approached the altar and stopped.

‘Look Paul! Your sacrifice,’ taunted Marduk in a gravelly, desiccated voice.

Paul turned, and what he saw made his face crack with wrenching horror.

A lean talcum pale young woman, her head and pubic hair shaved, was being led submissively to the altar by two of Marduk’s devil spirits. She stepped slowly, purposefully like a bride walking down the aisle. She held in her hands an inverted wooded cross in a symbolic act of blasphemy. Her exposed flesh was white yet blue with cold.

And her sterile eyes were the eyes of one possessed.

She gaped blankly at Paul as she was lifted and laid out naked upon her back on the altar. Her feet were bound together. Her hands stretched out above her head and tied to a steel ring protruding from the chilling marble slab. A length of stained timber was placed under the middle of her back, arching her pointed breasts and heart.

Paul could not move.

His chest felt gripped with oscillations of painful angina. Total silence now prevailed other than from somewhere in the frigid catacombs, water continued to drip like a metronome onto rocks.

Marduk roared at the victim. ‘By the power of the underworld and the Sons of the Earth, are you ready to offer your physical life as a sacrifice for the exalted mission of Paul Ravenscroft and thus gain eternal life as my disciple?’

The condemned woman’s demoniac eyes glared at Paul. She answered with screaming venal devotion, ‘I do my Lord!’

Marduk drew a jewelled dagger from a sheaf under his cloak. He held the handle with both hands clasped firmly. The sharpened blade sparkled in the candlelight. He raised the dagger over her heart.

She closed her eyes.

He chanted an ancient mantra of Druidic Gaullist origins - once, twice, three times - then plunged the blade deep into her white chest.

A throated groan. Her body jumped - then slumped - as if an electric shock had been applied to her heart.

He wrenched the dagger out. The crimson blood oozed. He repeated the strange mantra thrice more. Then lunged it in again.

Marduk ritually twisted the post-mortem sharp blade in full circle to widen the cavity. Then extracted the dagger. Blood and fluid spurted from the gaping wound in her exposed heart and lungs and trickled down each side of her splattered breasts to the collecting channel in the stone altar.

‘Drink from her blood Paul,’ Marduk commanded. ‘And you are conjoined with us forever.’ And as Marduk roared a reddish subterranean phosphorescence began to illuminate the cavern.

Paul wavered on the brink of abeyance. His eyes burned and watered from the sulphuric fumes now wafting up from the glowing abyss.

‘I said drink from her blood!’

'No I... I can’t do that!’ stuttered Paul at last, the imposed spell gradually weakening.

Marduk with truculent vampiric showmanship acted offended. ‘Drink Paul. This is your right of passage, your vision quest to immortality. Why, this young woman has just given her life for you!’

‘No...No!’ he cried louder. ‘No!’ he screamed over the shrieks of the devil entities. Marduk’s spell shattered as Paul regained his own will.

Marduk hissed instructions with barbaric ferocity.

The grotesque devil entities crowded in at Paul with nauseating menace. Some slithered on all fours. Mouthfuls of lumpy green spittle showered into his face and over his body. His organs were yanked and squeezed. The room stunk with obnoxious wind.

Paul was lifted and forced down over the body. He winced with pain as his hair was grabbed viciously. His face thrust into the bloodied gaping wound and rasped between the victim’s breasts. The dagger was placed in his hand.

And Paul struggled like a bloodied drowning demon.

The chanting recommenced with crescendo and echoed through the catacombs. Marduk’s underworld spirits grew despicably hysterical.

‘Drink the blood. Swallow it!’ Marduk ordered.

‘Drink the blood. Drink the blood,’ echoed the chant.

Bloodied hairy fingers prised at his closed lips to force the warm blood into his mouth. He felt it slur on his tongue - trickle down his throat. His nostrils were clamped together forcing him to open his mouth to breath.

‘No! ‘Stop it!’ he screamed. The dagger dropped to the stone floor. His mouth opened. Paul wailed hysterically. Icy hands were now smearing blood over his face. The taste of the sticky fluid filled his mouth.

He stared into her vapid white face.

Her features began to transform. Her face became distorted - repulsive and wrinkled. Paul gawked with terror centimetres away. Fetid bile expulsion ran from her swollen lips. Her eyes opened. The eyes grew larger, tumescent, black - evil. She screeched a repugnant laugh spraying spittle and blood into his face.

Paul ruptured a ‘blood curdling’ scream...

Paul awoke face down - trembling.

His head throbbed like a jackhammer. He was leaning out of the bed, coughing, spitting, emptying his salivated mouth onto the carpet.

The sun’s healing rays shone through the window. He could hear the birds whistling, celebrating an archetypal brand new dawn.

His face was drawn and white. The bed soaked with nightmarish perspiration. The clock on the dressing table showed 8.25 am. He noticed the hand written note placed along side the clock.
And he managed to drag himself out of bed, and his fingers shook as he picked up the note.

Dear Paul,

I trust you slept well and feeling better this morning. The champagne coupled with your flue obviously didn’t agree with you so I put you to bed and kissed you goodnight. I hope you slept well.
I’ll call you later to show you around.

Love Sonia.

(PS just in case you are wondering. Nothing happened last night. But I can’t help wondering who Rebecca is? Did anyone ever tell you how cute you are when you are tipsy?)

He smiled, then laughed insanely and collapsed back onto the saturated bed, too weak to move.
‘Hell, what a nightmare. Yet it was so damn real,’ he stammered. Frightening images of the experience haunted his mind. ‘This must be what the occultist mean when they refer to ‘accepting or facing the shadow,’ he mumbled cynically. ‘That was one hell of a shadow!’

Within minutes he began to drift. The trembling gradually eased. An unusual peace pervaded his being. His consciousness no longer felt like it was enclosed in a physical body but extended out into the ethers. His senses were clearer and more defined. The minutes drifted...

The telephone rang. The clock now showed 9.33. He’d been suspended in a meditative state for an hour. Paul reached out and lifted the receiver.

‘Good morning Paul. I hope I didn’t wake you,’ Sonia sounded chirpy. ‘How are you feeling today?’

‘Good morning. No you didn’t wake me. I feel better now, but I had one hell of a night.’ And Paul felt pleased to hear Sonia’s familiar voice.

‘You felt ill during the night, you mean?’

‘Yes, and I had incredible nightmares. Sonia, they were so real.’

‘What sought of nightmares?’

‘It’s hard to explain....’


‘Well, I must have been hallucinating. There was this powerful hooded being and these awful lecherous spirits... and a stone altar. I was put through this ritual. A possessed girl was sacrificed and became a hideous monster. It was so grotesque...’ Paul shuddered, ‘I was forced to swallow her blood....’

‘Wow, that sounds sensuously exciting Paul. Was I by any chance in your dream?’ teased Sonia giggling.

‘It was no laughing matter, belief me, it felt so real,’ responded Paul indignantly.

‘I’m sorry. You poor darling. I do understand. When I first came here I experienced the most terrible nightmares also. Most of us do Paul. It’s the power of this castle.’

‘What do you mean,’ he interrupted, ‘the power of this castle?’

‘This castle is centuries old. The psychic energy here is incredible. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people over the years have been executed or murdered within its walls and dungeons. Sonia paused to add a touch of mystery. ‘The walls cry out, Paul.’

The walls cry out! Paul gulped. Any other time he might have found Sonia’s statements amusing. Possibly even hilarious. But not this morning. Not after what he’d experienced. He asked, ‘So when did your nightmares stop?’

‘As soon as I stopped resisting and learnt acceptance,’ she replied with naive conviction. ‘I realised that what ever I was experiencing was part of ‘me’. My darkest repressions were surfacing. Now I’ve surrendered, I simply go with the flow!’

Paul found Sonia disconcerting. ‘You claim to be a scientist, yet you talk like a new age groupie.’

‘I don’t claim to be a scientist - I am a scientist. My path is towards totality. That includes accepting ‘all that is’ as part of the whole,’ she answered defensively. ‘The Gods of the pagan religions were allowed to be angry, violent and vengeful. At least they reflected reality. To accept, rather than repress, the ‘demonic or dark’ side of our nature is an important step towards self realisation.’

‘So what about love? I mean love in the total sense,’ fired Paul, thinking, that is what Rebecca would have asked me. He then added, ‘Or isn’t love scientific enough for you?’

‘Love! Why sir, I wouldn’t have thought that word would be part of your vocabulary. Or did your Rebecca teach you how to spell it?’ countered Sonia with equal sarcasm.

You little bitch, thought Paul, his ego deflated and now lost for words, she knows how to knife where it hurts!

‘Are you still there? Or are you sulking because a mere woman can match your questionable ‘wit’?’ she continued, her voice now wickedly smoother.

‘I suppose I asked for that tirade. But you are evading the question,’ replied Paul finally.

‘Ah, I sense a hint of an apology... and no, I will not evade the question.’ Sonia chose her words with discrimination. ‘The nature of love is compassionate and free of judgement. And we can never experience real love until we learn to love ourselves. Do you agree so far?’

‘Yes but...’

‘Let me finish Paul,’ insisted Sonia, ‘In our hundreds of previous incarnations we have been both the perpetrator and the victim of just about every experience possible. For example, we have killed and have been killed. We have raped and have been raped. Can’t you see that our consciousness and personality are made up of these millions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experiences, accumulated over hundreds of lifetimes?’

‘Perhaps, but I’m not sure where you are leading.’

‘Well, they are all part of the total you Paul. You can’t conveniently forget them. If you are to love yourself, you have to accept without judgement or repression, your totality. To have love and compassion for yourself, love must encompass all the so-called ‘negatives’ and ‘positives.’ To conveniently repress the shadow of lifetimes and accept only the positives create conflict in our lives.’

‘So what you are saying is, my nightmare is a product of past repressed experiences that need to surface.’

‘Well partly.’ Sonia continued with cautious reluctance, ‘If an entity wanted to psychically attack you, his power of will combined with the energy within this castle, will target your fears or repressions. However, if you accept your dark side, fear dissolves and the link is broken.’

‘Then just go with the flow.’

‘Yes sir!’

‘Where did you learn this esoteric knowledge?’

‘From a mystic called Bashar.’

‘Bashar! You mean the Russian?’

‘Yes sir. But he’s a Romanian Jew - not Russian. And that is one of the reasons I rang. Have you ordered breakfast by any chance?’

‘No, I couldn’t eat right now. But that is not the reason you rang.’

‘Well Bashar will be one of your ‘advisers’ and wishes to meet with you at 11 am in your offices.’

‘My offices?’

‘Yes you heard correctly. I’ll collect you at 10.15 and take you over there earlier so you can get to know your way around. And guess what?’


‘I’m not sure if you will be pleased or upset, but I’ve been seconded to your office, to be your assistant.’ That is,’ she added, ‘if you can cope with a scientist who is capable of speaking her mind?’

‘God you are impossible Sonia,’ responded Paul exasperated.

‘You bet yah! But I can be great fun to be with. And I love sipping champagne.’

‘As long as you always remember that you are only my assistant. And of course, as long as I feel I can trust you,’ he responded. ‘I don’t like people who just suck up to me.’

‘Sir, I would never just suck up to you,’ replied Sonia teasingly. She couldn’t see Paul’s embarrassed flushed face. She didn’t need to.

Memories knocked at the door of his mind demanding an entrance. ‘Sonia?’

‘Yes sir.’

‘Nothing happened last night did it?’

‘Why no sir!’ she lied politely. ‘But you sure are cute when you are tipsy. You really served me up a mouthful... By the way, who is Rebecca?’

Paul cleared his throat. Sonia’s one-liners kept him well offside. He found himself almost answering apologetically.

‘Rebecca happens to be a schoolteacher in Amsterdam. I met her last Saturday.’

‘Last Saturday! Are you telling me sir that you’ve only known this... this woman for four days?’

‘Yes, why do you ask?’ He became defensive.

‘No reason Paul,’ retreated Sonia gleefully, ‘So, I’ll see you at 10.15.’ Sonia hurriedly replaced the phone. A competitive smile flashed across her face. Her eyes gleamed devilish satisfaction.
‘Four days indeed. And you claim you love her. Oh, I’ll soon get Rebecca out of your system. I don’t intend letting you off the hook so easily!’

Paul tried Rebecca’s number. The phone was disconnected. Panic rather than misery hit him with a cold shudder. ‘Where are you Rebecca? I don’t understand. Please don’t desert me.’

He dialled another number in Amsterdam.

‘Mr Ormsby’s office.’

‘Yennie, Paul Ravenscroft here. I need to get in touch with Don urgently.’

‘Don isn’t in Amsterdam, Mr. Ravenscroft. He left for Austria on the red eye special at 6 am this morning.’ Paul hung up without replying. His tormented mind raced for understanding.



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