The Cauldron by Charles Goodwin Chapter 2

The Founding of Chiron

Chapter 2

Destiny or Coincidence

That same auspicious Saturday morning, thirty year old Paul Ravenscroft flew into the foggy Schiphol Amsterdam airport from Austria.

‘Good morning Herr Ravenscroft. Allow me to take your bags. The car is right this way.'

‘Good morning Hendrikus,’ replied Paul in German.

The chauffeur-cum-bodyguard directed him to the awaiting armor plated black Mercedes and was immediately driven the ten kilometres to the Amstel Hotel.

The Amstel, circa 1867, set on the banks of the beautiful Amstel River was Paul’s favorite hotel.
The hotel’s VIP service, and its grand palatial rooms, luxuriously furnished with expensive antiques, had attracted over the years an impressive guest list, including the Dutch Royal family, Winston Churchill, Isadora Duncan, and hundreds of other former crown heads, celebrities and tycoons. Having withstood the horrors of two world wars and their aftermaths, the Amstel fastidiously guarded its high standards against the backdrop of the gloomy rapid changes occurring throughout the world.

Today the famous Inter-Continental Amstel Hotel, in Professor Tulpplein 1, once more attracted the multi-millionaire businessman Paul Ravenscroft.

It was still only 6 AM when Paul arrived bleary eyed at the hotel.

A complicated arms deal had been organized for the ‘Syndicate’, with one of the Ravenscroft’s off shore subsidiaries being used as a front. The Syndicate was a pivotal key piece in the sinister global jigsaw.

‘Paul. Good to see you. Hey, you’re looking terrific! Now every thing has been arranged.’
Paul was met in the Amstel’s grand lobby by his aid, an expatriate American lawyer, and well groomed watchdog called Donald Ormsby.

‘The meeting is set for 8.30 in your suite. I’ve taken care of all the loose ends. The exchange should be a mere formality. All you will need to do is to play host for an hour while I go over the settlement papers.’

Don’s efficient over zealous manner is too irritating so early in the morning, thought Paul bitterly.

‘As a matter of fact, I feel tired Don. Hell knows why I’m needed here,’ he answered brittly in English. ‘I’ve read the brief for the meeting in the plane. I’m sure you could have taken care of the exchange alone.’ Paul paused significantly, glanced at his Rolex and added, ‘Look I’ve had less than five hours sleep and had to get up at 4am to make this damn meeting.’

‘I understand how you must feel. Your presence here certainly wasn’t my idea,’ countered Don in his usual polished US accent. ‘Your father insisted that you attend the necessary exchange of signed documents and banker’s guarantees this morning. I’m sure Heinrich had his reasons.’

‘I’m sure he did. But I would prefer that he’d let me in on his reasons occasionally,’ grumbled Paul.

‘Look, how about I get some strong coffee sent up to your rooms. You have over two hours to relax before the exchange takes place.’

Paul nodded reluctantly and remained tight lipped. ‘I’ll take another shower to wake myself up. In the mean time, see that my bags are sent up.’ He walked three paces towards the lifts, stopped and then turned. ‘Oh, and don’t forget to ring me first from the lobby when they arrive, before you rush on up.’


The giant Ravenscroft conglomerate, the daunting empire created by Paul’s Grandfather, Heinrich Ravenscroft the first - who seemingly had the magical touch of Midas - was built principally on the esoteric pyramid structure. From the all encompassing one is born the trinity. From the trinity- the creative force of the many.

The cone of the pyramid - the all encompassing one - being the powerful Ravenscroft Trust based in Vienna. The second level consisted of a triad - or a trinity - of corporations. These three companies, incorporated in Switzerland and fully owned by the Trust, comprised an influential and international merchant bank, an insurance company named Marduk Provincial and a commercial property holding company named Osiris Inc.

And from the trinity - the creative force of the many.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth layers (but not seven) involved a vast complicated labyrinth of 62 other inter-related companies, spanning the globe, with questionable interests - including manufacturing, armaments, the media, finance, shipping and air freight.

The death of Paul’s grandfather, eighteen months previous, had resulted in Paul’s dramatic initiation into this vast business empire. Paul’s previous ‘playboy’ existence had ended abruptly.

Absolute control of the Trust still rested with his father, Heinrich Ravenscroft the second, but Paul had been launched - almost thrown - into the super league of the world’s business moguls.

Paul possessed most of the qualities of a successful business leader; intelligence, entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a fierce competitive nature - and a deep and inexhaustible hunger for power - or knowledge?

However, unlike wealth, love cannot be possessed.

And to Paul, LOVE was a word symbolizing an unexperienced concept only. A deep heart longing imprisoned behind barriers of suppressed pain.

He’d been fanatically indoctrinated from a child that money represented power. And the acquisition of ever increasing assets cemented that power. Power, which combined with the syndicated power of other similar conglomerates, now had financial control over much of the world’s economy.

Paul’s initial initiation revealed to him just a few of the dark secrets of this huge power base.
He'd learnt how countries’ economies were manipulated like ‘snakes and ladders’ via their central banks, by the Syndicate. Depending on the Syndicate’s game plan, the unsuspecting target governments are lured - or forcibly encouraged - to negotiate ever increasing loans to balance their billowing budget deficits. The security for the debt is the ‘balance of terror’ perpetuated or created by the Syndicate. A neighboring country, (or countries) is financed to expand its defense capabilities, agricultural or industrial base. The consequence of this expansion, results in an even greater threat to the first country’s security.

Higher massive loans are thus required, to pay for higher defense costs or much needed infrastructures. Both countries are caught in their own mini arms race, or developmental spiral.
Much to the satisfaction of the Syndicate.

The larger the debt, the greater the Syndicate’s control. The interned population having mortgaged their futures, standards and freedoms. Currencies are manipulated to make repayment even more difficult.

With the ‘balance of terror’ principle, governments out of line, found themselves with neat little wars or strikes to contend with. The media and the country’s internal intelligence service, often being used to remove anyone from power who refused to conform to the Syndicate’s ‘advice.’

Paul accepted these principles as simply good business practice. Nationalism was after all, an insecure weakness to be exploited.

He’d observed nations make valiant efforts to repay the loans, by raising agricultural or industrial production for export, at great hardship and sacrifice to its population, only to see the world price for the commodities tumble, when a fluctuation suited the Syndicate.

And in the Syndicate’s closet, hid other black secrets. Secrets of events past and events planned, that would make the science of economic manipulation, appear as mere child’s play.

Unbeknown to Paul, the Amsterdam liaison was arranged in part, for Paul to gain acceptance with the other moguls of the Syndicate. In comparison with his more senior associates, Paul was an innocent and naive novice. Heinrich Ravenscroft had lobbied his Syndicate colleagues tirelessly to accept Paul’s higher profile. He’d taken a particular interest in this transaction and had supervised the deal personally from Austria.

The other Syndicate chieftains were left suspicious of his motives. They had a right to wonder, why after 28 years of virtually ignoring his son, Heinrich was now anxious to see Paul promoted to the inner Council of the Syndicate.

Heinrich Ravenscroft’s awesome reputation was infamous. His power and wealth was matched only by his temper and stark ruthlessness. Don Ormsby had made sure that this meeting was to go strictly according to plan. He didn’t dare do otherwise. Heinrich Ravenscroft accepted neither failure or disloyalty.

But the best laid plans can go astray.

Another’s destiny can not be so easily manipulated by the logical plans of another.


Paul all but drowned himself under the shower before methodically unpacking his bags.
Analytical Virgos worship tidiness and cleanliness. Their thoughts too need to be tidy. All Virgos feel that panic attack of nerves that looms when their minds become disordered. Especially when a dosing of ‘moon in Cancer’ sensitivity is added to the sun sign.

He stretched out on the bed wearing only his briefs, to avoid creasing his silk shirt before the meeting. He wanted to relax and switch off his mind but his rambling thoughts insisted on reflecting the basic principles of the deal.

The transaction is simple in its complexity, he thought, and he wondered how many tens of millions of US dollars, or Swiss franks, profit were actually at stake.

Paul scanned the dossier. His logical mind listed the relevant stages in sequence.
This central South American Republic’s economy has rapidly expanded through its newly acquired oil and gas wealth. The inexperienced military Junta in power unwisely ‘insist’ on repaying their outstanding loans to the Syndicate.

And repayment would upset the balance of control in the region.

The Syndicate would disallow any scenario to develop that would undermine its control.
‘And besides, I’ll wager the Junta’s huge oil profits needed to be ‘re-channeled,’ sniggered Paul, managing a portentous grin.

A huge surplus of dairy produce in Western Europe had been purchased at dumping prices by the Syndicate, to be on-sold to the hungry Russians. In return the Russians, via their usual middlemen in the Middle East, would sell arms to the Junta’s opposition, the terrorists freedom fighters based in the western mountains of the South American country.

Just enough arms to create havoc with the cashed up Junta - and more than enough to expand a local conflict into a financially draining and bloody war.

Divide and profit!

The scenario being beautifully completed with the Ravenscroft armament subsidiary selling even more advanced weaponry and helicopter gunships to the Military Junta to counteract the now well armed freedom fighters.

Russia needs the Syndicate’s money, as does the freedom fighters.

We win all round, thought Paul gleefully. A healthy profit is made on the dairy produce. We make a small fortune on the advanced weaponry to the Junta. And we reap the long term interest payments on the loans to all parties involved.

The Junta would be allowed to remain in power until it became more profitable to remove them.
Ah, the balance of harmonious terror, Paul reflected as he laid the file on the bedside cabinet. Nature’s wonderful exploitable law of the jungle.

Paul had been conditioned well. Beginning at the most basic level.

‘Make sure the peasants never forget the rules, Paul,’ his father used to say. ‘Tell them, they work or they don’t eat. They pay their mortgage or the house gets repossessed. They pay their overseas loans or they lose their country. It’s the same principle, just higher stakes, that’s all!’

The balance of harmonious terror.

Definitely no place for conscience or sympathy for the underdog.

‘If God didn’t want them shorn, he wouldn’t have in his infinite wisdom made them such dumb insecure sheep.’ His father’s clichéd word’s echoed through Paul’s mind.

He found himself often repeating the phrase, when he knew that sections of the public had once again been fleeced or manipulated by the Syndicate.
Ironic though, he thought, father was a devout atheist.

He’d told Paul that supernatural powers most certainly existed - and were to be used unashamedly. But he should never confuse those powers, which are now only just beyond present scientific understanding, with any stupid notion or concept of a God. Indeed, his father accepted that death was only a transition into higher levels and dimensions of an ever expansive universe. But again, these were natural scientific laws. Part of man’s eternal destiny.

‘The illusive God won’t be there when you cross to the other side,’ he’d instruct with fired passion. ‘Any God that exists is right there inside you! You are the creator, preserver and the destroyer. The unawakened are merely your meat to devour as you will.

Remember always the first law of the esoteric, ‘As above - so below’, he’d hammer at Paul.
‘Just as we eat dumb animals in the physical realm, we psychically feed of the un-awakened in the spiritual realms. All of existence struggles for ascension over itself in the same manner.’
And he’d often add, ‘Remember always that God has only ever filled in the gaps of science. Concepts or beliefs of a God recede as knowledge and science expands!’

So life was an exciting challenge to Paul. He hoped eventually to earn the right to attend with his father the mysterious Syndicate meetings held every two months in various parts of Europe. Each rendezvous was held under immense security and absolute secrecy.

Paul suspected that the agendas included such items as the oil and gold price, commodity and currency prices, wars, media policies and changes to governments. He’d often observed the satisfied ‘knowing’ face of his father, when shortly after a meeting, some major world event appeared ‘accidentally’ to conveniently occur:

Resulting in yet another huge profit for the Syndicate.

And perhaps a few incidental deaths.

But after all, business is business!


‘Paul, I would like you to meet Bashar,’ said Don, with an proficient smile, as he introduced the first of his three visitors.

‘I am most honored to meet you Mr. Ravenscroft.’ The two metre high lean ‘Russian’ spoke in a cultured but strong accented voice. He was bearded and dressed in a conservative well cut suit. His shoulder length black hair, parted in the middle, contrasted starkly with his anemic white complexion.

Paul detected the strange scent of aromatic oils on Bashar as he gave the customary bear hug.
And he felt a mysterious connection with Bashar. As if he’d met him before - or had known him in a previous lifetime.

‘And this is Fernando, who is taking care of the South American freedom fighters interest.’
‘Fernando meet Paul Ravenscroft.’

Paul shook Fernando’s limp hand. Fernando’s opium glazed eyes hissed total distrust. His slight stature bore the evidence of deprivation and abuse. His olive skin around his eyes had a tinge of unhealthy Hepatitis yellow.

Paul eyeballed him, unsympathetically.

The third visitor, Fernando’s well dressed portly legal adviser, wasted no time in taking out a stash of documents from his black leather briefcase.

‘Don can take care of those.’ Paul pointed to a table as he spoke and motioned with his eyes for Don to start checking the papers.

‘Come let’s have a drink while the lawyers earn their keep.’ Paul invited Bashar and Fernando to sit on the leather chesterfields.

‘What will it be?’ He asked, picking up the phone for room service.

Bashar shook his head politely. His shiny hair waved across his shoulders. ‘No thank you Paul. I never drink before breakfast.’

In contrast, Fernando twitched his nose with a sneer. His voice had a strong Latin American accent and a distinct tremble. ‘I do not wish to drink so early, either.’

Paul reluctantly replaced the receiver and sat down next to Bashar. He would have gladly ordered a drink. Preferably champagne - a few breakfast bubbles may well have cheered him up. Dragged out of bed at 4am. Flown to Amsterdam just to attend a simple exchange of contracts and bank certificates; this is absurd, thought Paul. A knot of outrage rose in the pit of his stomach.

The documents took about half an hour to be assessed and verified. Don insisted on a few minor changes, which were grudgingly agreed to by the South American’s lawyer.

Fernando sat perpetually nervous and distrusting, on the edge of the second chesterfield, displaying obvious discomfort.

I don’t trust you either Fernando, Paul thought, still lusting after his French champagne. He sensed Fernando’s disapproval of the terms of the arrangement. You’d sooner slit my throat, than to shake my hand!

Paul had been taught never to trust any one. Trust is relative and never absolute. Merely a calculable response of another to a given situation at a given time. And ‘trusting’ was an unnecessary gamble - and gambling should be left to the fools. Much better to take calculated risks.

Paul knew well the difference.

You calculate the deal so the punter takes all the risks.

Bashar on the other hand, thought Paul, was much harder to read. He wasn’t hooked on any idealistic mission like Fernando seemed to be possessed by.

Bashar had a mystical energizing presence. Yet out of character, he talked too openly about the double commissions he would receive from the purchase of the dairy produce and upon the sale of the arms.

‘Keep me in Vodka for a while at least,’ he mused. ‘Perhaps even a woman or two, yes?’

Paul studied Bashar without replying. He stared directly into the Russian’s magnetic brown eyes. He wanted Bashar to know that he wasn’t taken in by the frivolity.
You just don’t look the part, thought Paul. Truth be known you probably don’t even drink alcohol.

Bashar grinned enigmatically and his grin seemed to answer in agreement - as if he was able to read Paul’s thoughts.

The legendary Rasputin. Damn it, that’s who you remind me of!

Bashar grinned once again in the same ‘knowing’ manner.

Fernando was now perspiring. His shakes were becoming noticeably worse.

‘Are you OK?’ asked Paul. ‘You don’t look at all well.’

Fernando’s face showed strained disgust. ‘We need these guns desperately. I am doing this for my people and you, all for a stinking profit.’ He waved his arms with wild Latin gusto.
His outburst of passion caught Paul off guard.

‘The Junta, they are destroying my beloved country. My heroic comrades need these guns to win freedom. You must understand this. My people, they are dying!’

‘I am sure your cause is noble and just,’ replied Paul condescendingly, after allowing a few prolonged moments to elapse, ‘but business is business. Please, don’t be offended by our detachment. We prefer not to think in terms of nationality or race. Just business.’

‘Mr. Ravenscroft is right Fernando. The world is one big market place. Boarders mean nothing. Certainly nothing worth dying for,’ added Bashar comically.

‘No, you are both wrong. Some causes are worth fighting for. I would quite happily die for my country, any day,’ protested Fernando. He stood up shaking with restrained anger and his body craved for its overdue snort of heroin.

‘As I said, we need the guns. But I am not a fool. Your organization is like a multi headed monster. I deal with one head and the Junta deals with another. I know you sell to both sides!’

Don looked up, startled at Fernando’s emotional eruption. Fernando’s lawyer spat out a sharp reprimand in Spanish.

Fernando realized he’d said the unspeakable. He lowered his craggy face. ‘I am sorry gentlemen, for my remarks. Now please excuse me. I need to go the bathroom.’

Bashar gleamed sardonically at Paul, as if glad to be rid of Fernando. He tapped his peaked nose with his finger, leaned over and spoke softly. ‘And his death wish will come true. The Syndicate needs a patsy to hand over to the Junta. Fernando’s prized scalp will keep their military off the scent of our arms supply to their opposition.’

Jasmine that’s what I smell. Why on earth would Bashar use a fragrant oil as an aftershave? thought Paul curiously, without giving a second thought to what Bashar was saying.

‘Fernando is his code name,’ continued Bashar. ‘He sees himself as a Cuban trained revolutionary - the Junta knows him as a terrorist. He really can’t be trusted. His drug habit has become a huge problem. And too nationalistic, yes?’

Paul flinched in half agreement, noticing Bashar’s serious nature, but knowing he was still for some reason playing a comic opera role.

Bashar continued but now with added cabbalism, ‘Paul, meeting you at long last has been an enlightening experience. I look forward to working with you, and helping you, in the imminent future, yes?’

Paul wanted to ask, ‘Who are you? And what are you really here for? But instead he remained non committal. He intuitively knew that Bashar had been checking him out for the Syndicate. But there was something more. A strange uncomfortable inner feeling. As if Bashar was reading into his soul.

And Paul didn’t give a second thought that Fernando’s life would soon be terminated.
After all, business is business...

‘Everything is now in order Paul.’ Don stood up from the table and closed his attaché case as a calmer Fernando re-entered the room. Paul’s Virgoaness felt a little disgusted at his bathroom being used to snort drugs.

Bashar gazed penetratingly into Paul’s eyes as he gripped his hand to leave.

‘We’ll meet again Bashar,’ said Paul, returning the stare and acknowledging the intriguing power that Bashar’s presence generated.

Don stayed behind to brief Paul as the trio left.

‘That was easy,’ sighed Paul, still glad the exchange had taken place without a hitch and his minimal obligations over. ‘Although I still can’t see why I was needed to be present.’

‘Perhaps this transaction has more significance than you imagine,’ Don replied cryptically.

‘Who is Bashar really working for?’ challenged Paul.

‘I only know that today, he officially represented the Russians. I’m only ever told what is necessary.’

Paul sensed Don was at least half lying.

‘Bashar said that Fernando will be compromised,’ motioned Paul, attempting to stir Don’s interest.

‘We are only the Brokers. Concerning yourself with such matters is most unwise,’ responded Don.

Don rarely showed even a hint of an emotion, positive or otherwise. Neither would he discuss his past. Paul knew he was a 37 year old American investigative lawyer, born in Galesburg, Illinois, and ex CIA. He knew also, that Don had risen quickly up the ranks in the Central Intelligence Agency, both by his talents and from knowing the right political contacts.

Don was a choice recruit for the Syndicate.

One of Don’s duties included, reporting back to Paul’s father on his progress (or lack thereof). He was both ever reliable and capable. And yet Paul harbored lingering doubts as to where Don’s ultimate allegiance lay. Paul respected Don’s fastidious eye for detail. Don always methodically crossed every ‘t’ and dotted each ‘i’. And his express computer like mind had helped Paul on several occasions to avoid making embarrassing errors. He had access to computer files on virtually any noteworthy individual. Files that contained such details as personality profile, financial status and bank details, religious and political leanings - and other important items - like exploitable weaknesses and sexual preferences. Combined with his regular advise and instruction on company policy, Don proved handy to have around.

To Paul, Don was ‘the devil you might think you know, against the devil you don’t’ principle.

Don turned to Paul inquisitively, as he was about to leave Paul’s suite. ‘What do you intend doing this morning, if I may ask?’

‘Nothing particularly interesting, I thought I might visit the Rijksmuseum. As you know, art is one of my passions. I particularly wanted to view Rembrandt’s Nightwatch again. Why do you ask?’

‘Don’t go near Spuistraat, that’s all.’

‘Is Spuistraat on the way to the museum? What’s happening in Spuistraat?’

Don paused before replying, and lifted his eyebrows feigning indecision.

‘Why shouldn’t I go near Spuistraat?’ Paul prompted, his voice now sounding determined.

‘I’ve received a report. There is to be a disturbance. The Peace Keepers - they intend clashing with the peace protesters today. To go near the vicinity will be inadvisable and highly dangerous for you.’

‘So the peace movement has been infiltrated as well?’ responded Paul, framing his words as a question rather than a statement.

Don answered indirectly. ‘It’s important that this civil unrest continues until the Peace Keepers are accepted by the general population. The media needs the ammunition to sway the public mind. The peace movement, unlike the Radicals are gaining public sympathy. They have to be stopped.’

‘So the aim is to make the peace movement look as crazy as the Radicals,’ said Paul, his curiosity now firing on all six cylinders.

‘But of course! The peace movement must not be allowed to sabotage the primary objective.’

A nagging ball of impatient frustration began to bind in Paul’s chest. The secretive ‘cloak and dagger’ mentality of those associated with the Syndicate made him angry. Even after his 18 months of peripheral involvement, a conspiracy of silence remained in force, restricting him to a perpetual state of ignorance.

‘Don, surely I have a right to know. What exactly is the primary objective?’

Don scrutinized Paul and spoke guardedly, ‘All right. I’ll tell you the whispers, but for God’s sake don’t tell your father that I told you! He’d have me castrated.’

‘Hell no. You can trust me Don!’

Breathless excitement replaced Paul’s frustration. He listened with the acute intensity of a hungry panther in the black of night.

‘It isn’t far off Paul. One Global Unified Government!’

And imprisoned in Don’s next statement was the nucleus - or destructive seed - of the horrific nightmares to come.

‘Ultimate control for ever, Paul! And you are destined to be one of the leaders!’

‘And you are destined to be one of the leaders.’

For a protracted time after Don had left his words reverberated with sheer disbelief in Paul’s mind.

As did the unanswerable nagging question.

‘Why would I be appointed for leadership? Sure I’m Heinrich Ravenscroft’s son! But at thirty years old, and with only eighteen months experience; the facts just don’t add up.’

He paced his room - the panther was now caged. His forehead felt clammy with humid perspiration. He felt claustrophobic - and utterly alone - but for some intuitive reason there was no excitement.

Paul called the hotel’s reception and ordered the Mercedes to be made available. ‘Oh, and you can throw in a bottle of Bollinger,’ he exclaimed, reacting to a panicked after thought. He replaced the phone and noticed his fingers were trembling.

‘Hell, I need a drink,’ he gasped silently.

Three hurried glasses of champagne later and a purposeful detour on the way to the Rijksmuseum, he instructed his uniformed chauffeur to cruise alongside the far side of the canal that ran parallel to Spuistraat.

‘Pull in here please, Hendrikus.’

‘Certainly Herr Ravenscroft,’ answered unpretentious Hendrikus from under his oversized cap.

Paul relaxed comfortably in the back, lowered the electric windows and poured himself another glass of Bollinger.

He felt a morbid attraction, or perhaps an intuition, to view first hand the demonstration that Don had warned him of.

A sense of voyeurism rose within him, suffusing him in a glow of anticipation. His eyes fixed unflinchingly across the canal, as if viewing the first dramatic scenes of a Hollywood blockbuster. He heard the noisy chants and the derisive cheers of the protesters. Black smoke billowed up over the roof tops.

Paul sipped his Bollinger with amused and vainglorious style and wishing that he’d ordered a dozen natural oysters with the champagne.

His relaxation was short lived.

Suddenly the first shots rang out. Terrified screams of hysteria and anguish echoed hauntingly between the bell and neck gabled buildings across the canal.

The second and the third volleys cracked.

Paul now gulped rather than sipped his drink. The shrieks intensified. The pandemonium seemed unending. A frightening chill swept down his spine as he heard the cries of pain as the clubbings extracted their toll.

Hendrikus cussed in Dutch something about the Peace Keepers, and then spoke in English.
‘Those poor bastards must be really copping a battering. Would you like me to drive on, sir?’

‘No, not yet,’ and his voice could only whisper huskily. Paul felt oily sweat on his hands. His face drained wax white. Not that he felt guilt or the slightest responsibility. Just the realization that a logical business mind mattered little, when one allows emotions of the heart, any means of expression.

Perhaps, he thought, the sheep in the slaughterhouse do understand and are fearful of their impending deaths.

He first saw her flash out of a lane way and jump into the dirty canal water. The vision must have been for only a split second.

Yet she was tall - long haired - and even from that distance he knew she was strong and sensuously beautiful.

She surfaced and struggled valiantly across the canal to the side where the custom built Mercedes was standing.

And he realized he was meant to be there waiting for her. He now understood at a deep, almost subconscious spiritual level, why fate had brought him to Amsterdam that day.

The Peace Keepers laughed as they took pot shots at her. She managed to drag herself out of the water and clamber up the bank, before collapsing.

‘Pull along side her Hendrikus!’ he ordered, and even as he spoke the first word, Hendrikus turned the ignition.

The Peace Keepers lowered their rifles and stared mystified.

He lifted - gently, and with brave pride - his dazed, drenched and muddied mermaid into the back seat. Her arms embraced Paul with gratitude. Her clear blue eyes gazed dreamily into her rescuer’s lonely face.

Paul felt this unmistakable but strange feeling.

No this feeling isn’t sexual - sex I understand - this sensation is warm - alive - and glows with tenderness. What on earth could it be?

And lost boyish tears came to his wistful eyes.

Rebecca fell into a deep restful unconsciousness.
Copyright 2004 – 2006 © Charles Goodwin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, storage in a retrieval system or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of Charles Goodwin.

All characters - other than obvious historical figures - in this book 666 The Cauldron are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Prospective publishers with expressions of interest are invited to contact Charles Goodwin at

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