The Cauldron by Charles Goodwin Chapter 4

The Founding of Chiron

Chapter 4

Shattering Through Barriers

My awareness and senses feel strangely expanded! But where am I?

Rebecca’s sleepy eyes drifted around the elegant hotel bedroom. Bright rays of sunlight, shimmered through the part open window - momentarily blinding her. Her sense of hearing felt amplified, as she heard the bird’s early morning raucous cacophony.

Beautiful sweeping scenes of the Amstel River, the picturesque gardens of elm and linden trees, and the quaint old Amsterdam step-gabled buildings, legacy of the great Dutch sea faring and trading era, greeted her.

‘You are in a suite of the Amstel Hotel. Remember, yesterday morning? The Singel canal - you swam across to escape from the demonstration.’ Paul spoke gently in English, as he sat on the edge of the bed.

Rebecca remained silent.

An amnesiac stare of bewilderment welled in her eyes. She gazed at Paul reflectively.

And her mind was desperate to understand.

She re-connected momentarily with those alert Prussian eyes. God he’s handsome, and so steadfastly ‘Austrian’, she thought, admiring his almost arrogant Germanic features. His hair was more brown than blonde, and his distinct cheekbones and high forehead gave him an ‘officer of the regiment’ bearing.

He was grinning at her cheekily, and displayed a set of strong teeth that any dentist would be proud to own. His presence radiated a healthy glow of spiritual (or perhaps sensual) energy. He wore an expensive Italian wool and silk blend suit that served to remind her of those strong arms and secure shoulders. And she noticed his opened necked shirt partly exposing his chest. An inviting chest - a chest revealing just her preferred amount of sexy hair.

She swooned silently and with her swooning she felt her own nakedness. Rebecca caught Paul’s admiring glance at her breasts. Her ‘out of character’ expanded sensual awareness changed to pure embarrassment. She realized she was wearing only a new white satin petticoat that only just touched her nipples. She modestly pulled the soft cuddly eiderdown up under her chin.

‘How did I get here? Who undressed me and put me to bed?’ she whispered.

Rebecca was well educated and liberated, but her conflicting attitudes relating to her strong willed father and her rigid Protestant upbringing, still resulted in her feeling inadequate, alone in the presence of men who were intellectually her equal.

Especially in this situation - feeling so vulnerable - and so damn sexual.

Relationships had always left her with a confused and empty, lonely feeling For reasons she didn’t understand, she attracted partners into her life, who she could control mentally and emotionally. Unchallenging men - men she’d end up resenting - or pitying. The lack of lasting love in her life had left Rebecca defensive and insecure - but stubbornly independent.

Paul found Rebecca’s modesty a sharp contrast to the girls with whom he’d previously associated with.

‘We drove to this hotel in the back seat of my car. Do you remember? You were soaked to the skin from the filthy canal water, and virtually unconscious from shock. You have bruising from the rubber bullets.’

Rebecca did remember and could feel the bruises. She nodded.

Paul continued. ‘I arranged for the house maid to clean you up and put you to bed. The hotel doctor gave you a strong sedative. He said it’s best that you be allowed to sleep it off.’

‘And where did you sleep?’

Paul grinned and feigned surprise. ‘Who me? Why, I slept in the other room all night of course - restlessly alone with my weakening self discipline! So as you can see, your honor has in no way been compromised, I assure you.’

Rebecca’s eyes displayed utter relief and she risked a slight smile. ‘I obviously have a lot to thank you for. How may I show my gratitude?’

Paul’s eyebrows lifted with optimistic anticipation.

‘That is - I mean,’ she stumbled, ‘at least allow me to help pay for the room for the night?’

‘No, certainly not. That would be an insult to a gentleman’s hospitality. However, you may repay me, by being my guest for breakfast. I bet you feel hungry and I can most definitely recommend the food here at the Amstel.’

Rebecca hesitated demurely.

Paul spoke with enthusiasm and confidence. ‘I’ll book a table for two, for let’s say, thirty minutes. Then you can repay me for my squash buckling heroic actions of rescuing the fair damsel - no, ‘fair’ is the wrong word,’ he paused and eyed Rebecca’s face and her covered body, ‘beautiful damsel in distress.’

Rebecca blushed. ‘It’s my clothes Paul. I have nothing to wear other than my wet clothes. I would love to have breakfast, but...’

Paul stood to attention, clicked his heals with Teutonic precision and snapped his fingers. ‘Oh madam, I completely forgot to tell you! I arranged with the house maid to have your clothes especially cleaned and pressed. They are in the wardrobe, ready to wear.’
Rebecca shrugged with happiness. She shook her head. ‘Paul, I’m lost for words.’

Paul’s expression cut slightly from the jovial to the serious. He momentarily studied her. She felt his edge of apprehension. ‘By the way your name. I don’t know your name?’

‘Rebecca - Rebecca Childs.’

‘Rebecca, yes I do like that name. It suits you. Thirty minutes then in the Spiegelzaal.’ Paul strode to the door.
‘By the way,’ he said turning, ‘when you awoke, you spoke my name; even my surname. Perhaps over breakfast, you might explain how you came to know who I am!’


‘Morning Don - Paul here.’

‘Yes Paul, how are you this fine Sunday morning?’

‘Fine thanks. Listen, I want you to find out, as soon as possible, as much as you can about a woman by the name of Rebecca Childs. English I think, and connected with the peace movement.’

‘Rebecca Childs,’ repeated Don slowly, writing the name on his message pad. ‘And may I ask, why you want to know about this woman?’

Paul hesitated and felt a little defensive. ‘Just a bit of fun Don. I happened to pick up a semi unconscious girl escaping from the demonstration yesterday. When she awoke in my suite this morning, the first words she uttered happened to be my name - surname and all! Can you imagine how shocked I was? There may be an innocent explanation, but just the same, I’m curious about the girl.’

‘I take your point. Only a select few know you are in Amsterdam.’


‘Hey Paul, did you say you went to the demonstration yesterday. After I advised you to avoid the area?’

‘And what if I did? That was my decision! Why are you getting your knickers in a knot?’ snapped Paul.

‘Hell, you may have been hurt. Your safety and security is my first priority. Naturally I’m concerned.’

‘Don, you should know me better. I stopped the Merc in the next street at a safe vantage point. There was even a canal separating the two streets.’

Don flinched slightly. ‘Well all right. It’s just that - well, is it wise to be getting involved with these Radicals? Associations of that nature can hardly be of benefit to you - now can they Paul?

Paul’s fired answer conveyed resentment at Don’s over patronizing manner. ‘You said yourself, the peace movement aren’t connected with the Radicals. Anyway, I haven’t the time or inclination to argue with you! When can you deliver Rebecca’s file to the hotel?’.

‘By two o’clock this afternoon.’

‘Right. Two o’clock it is then. I’ll be waiting.’ Paul slammed the phone down angrily in Don’s ear.


Don Ormsby was certain he smelt trouble brewing. His nostrils quivered with odorous expectation. At the CIA headquarters in Langley he’d been taught to first study the facts - and then above all else, trust that gut feeling. Even as he replaced the phone, his analytical mind weighed up the potential problems that may occur over this woman - this Rebecca Childs.

And that feeling in his gut was there - stirring - wriggling like fat tapes worms.

He clamored from his bed and allowed his half read morning paper to fall to the carpet Perhaps the smell of fresh brewed coffee might sweeten the air. He cursed out loud - angry that his Sunday morning relaxation had been destroyed with one bloody phone call.
‘Rebecca Childs,’ he held the message pad and stared blankly. A worried strain appeared on his trained poker face. He trudged to the kitchen of his Amsterdam serviced condo. He knew that if events ran out of control he’d be held personally responsible. The thought of a violent confrontation with Paul’s father made him gulp. He spooned nearly double the amount of coffee in the plunger and added extra sugar. If he made the brew strong enough, the coffee would kill the worms.

His head thumped with a tension headache.

And his mind attempted to understand.

Sure Paul is the heir to the Ravenscroft Trust, but he’s been raised so differently. Especially in his relationships with women. From the start Paul’s mother all but disowned him and hired a coldly efficient craggy nurse to be his nanny. He then attended a harsh boarding school, somewhere in Switzerland.

Most Syndicate members, protected their families from the nastier realities of their business, but in Paul’s case, the contrary happened. As a teenager he’d been encouraged to experiment with mind altering drugs. Escorts and sex parties were often arranged. Paul had indeed, been conditioned to accept, that women were at the most, play things to be used, abused and dumped. Women wandering into Paul’s life, capable of offering love, were quickly bought or scared off.

Don poured the boiling water into the plunger. The aroma of the fresh brewing coffee cleared his nostrils and lightened his head. He swallowed two aspirins and gulped some water.

And his thoughts continued searching for a logical explanation for Paul’s unruly upbringing. And the tape worms in his gut still wriggled.

He remembered vividly one unfortunate girl who happened to fall in love with Paul. She didn’t scare easily and refused to be bought. She was found dead a short time later with an overdose of heroin injected into her veins.
Oh yes! Paul had certainly received a letter from her, prior to her death. She ‘admitted’ that her interest in him had only been motivated by money to feed her drug habit. He hadn’t suspected for a moment that the confession had been gained through torture. Even the coroner’s report named her falsely, as a known prostitute and addict.

The news had shattered Paul’s heart.

Heinrich Ravenscroft gave new meaning to paternal protection. He played and ‘slayed’ to win!

After careful deliberation, Don reached for his mobile and dialed a special number - the Amsterdam intelligence wing of the Peace Keepers.

He spoke directly into a message machine.

‘Donald Ormsby speaking - number 42-66-51 F.L.’ He waited for the computer to accept the code and voice pattern reference.

‘Hans, look I’m sorry to hassle you on a Sunday morning, but I need an urgent dossier on an alleged English woman. Her name’s Rebecca Childs and is an active member of the peace movement. Have the file sent round to my Amsterdam office within two hours.’ He replaced the phone.

‘Tread warily Don old boy,’ he murmured to himself, ‘Trust your instincts. There’s a smelly pile of droppings on the road ahead so best watch your step.’

And he decided against ringing Paul’s father in Austria for guidance on a Sunday morning. ‘Perhaps he’s still asleep - and perhaps I’m too scared,’ he snickered.

He drank the first of three cups of hot black coffee - and the wriggling began to ease.

‘First I’ll study the report, and then - well, we’ll just have to wait and see.’


‘Life can be so magic. If only I would always feel this alive!’ purred Rebecca as she made her way to the famous Spiegelzaal at the Amstel.

She was ten minutes or so late but time wasn’t at all important. Paul would simply have to wait. A poetic sensual awareness engulfed her being. She felt attractive and for a change, felt good about herself.

The vibrant dance of creation flowed into her spirit like the play of the Divine through the symbolic flute of Krishna. And like the beautiful parable of Krishna’s flute, Rebecca also was a soul on the path of experience to enlightenment. The painful experience of being cut down and removed from her place in the forest - hacked, chipped, carved, burnt and drilled - through the long dark night of the egoless soul, until finally emerging, as a channel and instrument for the spiritual music of the Divine.

The promised destiny for all souls. Yet the long dark nights can seem insufferably unending - and occasionally like today, blissful!

As soon as Paul had left the suite, some forty minutes earlier, Rebecca had slithered from her bed with exuberance. Her bare feet touched the soft piles of the carpet, prompting an exquisite tingling sensation to rise slowly up her legs. She shuddered with stimulation. She stood in the warm light at the end of the bed and gazed out of the open window. She lifted the white petticoat seductively over her shoulders. The delicate silk caressed past her sensitive nipples, and initiated waves of chilling sensuality to flood her being. Her reflection in the mahogany cheval mirror revealed her sunlit cameo nakedness. And she cupped her breasts in her hands with delightful self admiration..

‘I feel so damn horny. The visions must have induced this heightened state,’ she whispered, and then added cheekily, ‘Or perhaps it’s the result of awakening in a strange bedroom with an exciting man like Paul, sitting beside me.’

She tiptoed to the bathroom, turned the tap on full and added scented crystals to the steaming bath water. It had been a long time - too long in fact - since Rebecca had truly experienced the joys of being a total woman. Wonderfully relaxed, stretched out in the soothing fragrant water, her head resting against the rim, she gently lathered her body.

And her mind began to erotically imagine Paul again sitting on the bed beside her.

She would have struggled - probably screamed - if Paul had attempted to seduce her. But in the quiet privacy of the locked bathroom, safe from conventions and obligations, her powerful inner urges would be allowed to soar free.

In her imagination, Paul once again admired her breasts, but now there was no rush to cover them from view.
Instead she gazed deep into his eyes. Her body trembled with longing. Paul’s slender hands slipped slowly under the quilt.

She gasped!

An instant sharp electrifying feeling consumed her, as his cool hands touched and caressed her heated inner thighs. His gentle exploring fingers, exquisitely probed and massaged. His lips kissed and suckled at her now firm nipples.

And she held on to him securely - as if she wanted her hold to be permanent - as if that inward seeking, and intense feeling of alone-ness could be satisfied at last. Her eyes closed tight to enhance her fantasy. Her breathing became heavier as her busy fingers under the soapy water, stimulated her willing clitoris.

‘Paul, for god’s sake take me, I want to feel you deep inside.’ Rebecca pleaded into the steam, in more than a whisper.
And now she felt Paul’s warmth throbbing within her. His muscular body against her pulsating skin securely embracing her.

‘Yes!’ she cried. ‘My darling, yes!’

And Paul continued his thrust of pleasure. Her intensity increased like a pregnant volcano ready to explode.
With a final peak of stimulation Rebecca’s whole person erupted in an exhilarating ecstasy of love and passion longing for itself.

In the breakfast room Rebecca glanced around. The elegant Spiegelzaal opened onto a wonderful terrace overlooking the canalized River Amstel. The room seemed full but relaxed and friendly.

Paul waved, to gain her attention from a table by the far window.

She returned the wave, and grinned with the innocent eyes of a cheeky little girl who’d secretly eaten a chocolate cookie from her mother’s cookie jar without asking. ‘Paul, if you only knew how much pleasure you gave to me,’ sighed Rebecca under her breath as she glided so ethereally towards him.

‘You look absolutely enchanting!’

Paul politely rose out of his chair as Rebecca took her place at the table. Seeing her for the first time with clean clothes and brushed hair, he could now partly understand why he found her so hauntingly attractive. He’d admired the way Rebecca sauntered across the restaurant floor. She exhibited a rare natural grace and style. Her shining hair swayed so seductively as she moved.

And her alert face radiated an aura of unique vitality.

‘Thank you Paul,’ she replied sparkling.

For a few eternal seconds, Paul focused into Rebecca’s eyes. He felt his pulse and heartbeat quicken, followed by an embarrassing adolescent hot flush. Never before had he experienced such nervousness in the presence of a woman. ‘Well, what would you like?’ he asked, picking up the menu to break the agonizing silence.

‘I would like, yogurt and fruit salad, followed by scrambled eggs with tomatoes and plenty of toast and marmalade. I certainly do feel hungry.’

‘No bacon with the eggs?’

‘No thank you. I’m part vegetarian. I eat seafood and eggs but I don’t eat meat or chicken,’ answered Rebecca.

‘Ah, I see. Well I’ll have the croissants instead of the yogurt, and bacon with my eggs,’ decided Paul summoning the waitress.

‘What, no ‘schinken, kase und brot,’ I thought all Austrians preferred their cheese and cold cuts for breakfast,’ she smarted playfully.

A whip cracked! His ears heard the word Austrian - his heart stopped a couple of beats - a knot of mistrust tightened in his stomach.

‘Do you speak German?’ asked Paul a little fidgety, once he’d placed the order.

‘I’m a school teacher. I used to teach German. I’m a little rusty though now. I suppose if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ Rebecca paused, peeped around at the other guests to satisfy herself that she didn’t quite look out of place, then grinned. ‘It’s funny really, isn’t it Paul?’

‘What is?’

‘I mean, here we are having breakfast at the Amstel - I’ve just slept in your bed all night - yet we know nothing about each other. Where should we start?’ She gleamed at Paul teasingly as she spoke.

The tone of Paul’s voice lowered to a more business like level. His forced smile disappeared momentarily. ‘Perhaps we could start with you explaining, how you knew my name. And for that matter, how do you know I am Austrian?’

Ah, I’ve put my foot in it, she thought, I knew I was making a mistake the second I mentioned ‘schinken, kase und brot.’. Rebecca had tried rationalizing as merely dreams, the visions she had experienced. But in her heart she was sure they were somehow ‘real’. Indeed, she too wondered, how on earth could she have known Paul’s name? She needed time on her own to reflect.

‘I’m afraid I can’t give you an explanation, right at this moment. I don’t honestly know.’ She shrugged lightly. ‘Perhaps I heard your driver or the house maid - or for that matter, I might have even over-heard the doctor speaking while I was semi unconscious.’

Paul interrupted, his voice defensively serious, ‘I’m sorry but I’ve considered that possibility. No one mentioned my name or the fact I’m Austrian from the time I picked you up. I’ve never had a photo in the papers, and other than my closest aids, nobody knows I’m in Amsterdam!’

Rebecca was startled. She again peered apprehensively at the other guests. She felt cruelly attacked.
‘I’m sorry Paul!’ she defended strongly, ‘I simply do not have a rational explanation for you right now. Why is it so important? Am I a threat to you in any way? Or perhaps you suspect a sinister plot!’ She could feel the anger in her voice mounting. ‘Look, I had no way of knowing you were driving past yesterday. What on earth are you worried about?’

Paul back peddled only slightly. He glanced out of the window at the river and relapsed into momentary silence.
A frail man with the appearance of ill health and self neglect, trudged past on the terrace and returned Paul’s stare with an unfriendly snigger. His olive yellow skin reminded Paul of Fernando. Perhaps she’s working for Fernando, he thought and then instantly chastised himself. No - now I am being over suspicious and illogical. Besides Fernando may be dead by now!

‘Basically I don’t trust people,’ he said turning. ‘And when it comes to females I’m even more cynical. One of the problems of being wealthy, is that I have to watch out for the potential ‘gold diggers’ or worse.’

‘Your breakfast madam, sir.’

Stony silence prevailed while the waitress served the meal and poured the coffee and tea.
Rebecca felt more than agitated by Paul’s remarks. God, he’s like my father - making me feel guilty even when I’ve done nothing wrong! Who the hell does he think he is? She gulped her hot tea. The boiling water burnt her tongue. She locked her lips and shuddered inwardly to avoid revealing her painful discomfort.

The dismal silence continued throughout the breakfast. Rebecca refused to look up from her meal. She sensed his brooding lost eyes studying her. And she suspected she might melt if their eyes re-connected.

And Paul knew he’d planted his fist into his own mouth. He was angry at himself, but he also felt an inner resentment towards her for re-opening his past hurts and wounds. One side of his jaw twitched erratically as he fought to find the right words to break the deadlock. His thoughts jabbed at his mind. She’s so bloody confusing, yet so hauntingly attractive. Why do I react to her like this?

Rebecca placed her knife and fork to one side on the plate to signal she’d finished eating. Her eyes remained downcast as she spoke. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t eat anymore.’

Paul grasped the opportunity. ‘Rebecca,’ he asked gently, almost timidly, ‘If I’ve said anything to upset you, then I am sorry.’

‘Sorry!’ exclaimed Rebecca out loud.

‘Sorry! she repeated, her face turning crimson with pained anger. ‘Understand Paul, I will always be grateful to you for rescuing me, but in this whole world, the one type of individual I despise the most is an arrogant chauvinist!’ Her moist eyes flashed with saddened loss as she continued. ‘Yes! I do find you attractive. For some stupid unknown reason I feel close to you! So you can put another feather in your oversized cap.’

She stood up tears now streaming down her cheeks.

Paul stared up at her, aghast at the sudden and over reactive outburst.

‘And as for your money, your little boy’s play paper - if you would have bothered or cared enough to get to know me first - before making up your mind I’m a ‘gold digger’ - you would know that, because of your so called ‘wealth’ and the way you gained it, I couldn’t possibly have entertained any ideas of romantic involvement with you!’ Rebecca glared at the other guests at the adjacent tables and realized they were more than intrigued at the goings on.

‘Good bye Paul, and I’m sorry for embarrassing you in public.’ Her voice lowered as she regained some composure. ‘You know? I really feel sorry for you - a spoilt little boy possessed by his possessions. Well I hope you enjoyed your weekend’s entertainment!’

She turned, nose up - and strode to the door before he could utter a single word. He glanced at the dumb-struck other guests and shrugged as if to say, ‘I wouldn’t have a clue what all that was about!’

Paul remained seated and stared blankly out of the window. The river traffic was limited to the occasional water taxi and the cold wind now began to blow across the surface of the water creating a stream of ripples. He downed several cups of coffee and brooded over Rebecca’s fit of raw anger. He tried unsuccessfully to come to terms with his own bewildered feelings. Can she be that over defensive against men in general - or did my remarks alone precipitate her outburst? Such a high strung lady. I know I was wrong suspecting her but... Oh well, why should I care? Women and relationships only ever bring pain and disorder into a guy’s life.

Paul’s protective walls were like a dyke shutting out his vulnerable emotions. A resolute barrier against the flow of insecurities within. Yet all of a sudden there it was - a gaping hole in the dyke named Rebecca. Paul’s only solution was to plug the hole with the proverbial finger - unless that is - he was prepared to let the dyke burst and take his chances swimming with the unleashed torrent!

His mind drifted back to the previous afternoon. He could feel her body clinging wantonly while he lifted her into the Mercedes. So warm - so soft -so damn positively lovely. He sulked his way to his rooms. He crashed face down onto the made up bed vacated by Rebecca, angry that even the sheets upon which she’d laid had now been replaced by the sterile smell of starch.

He waited impatiently for the file to be delivered.

‘I’ll find you Rebecca. You haven’t seen the last of me yet. My elusive mermaid isn’t slipping away that easily!’


‘Come on in Hans. You didn’t have to deliver the file personally.’ Don Ormsby showed surprise. The 240 pound frame of the huge granite faced Dutchman stood puffing out of breath at the door of Don’s unassuming second floor office.

‘Well, I had to come this way anyhow,’ grawed Hans Van der Hyde unconvincingly, as he flopped uninvited into the teak visitor’s chair to the side of Don’s desk.

‘I’ll get my receptionist to bring in the coffee. How are you these days Hans?’

‘Oh, as well as can be expected in these unsettled times. Of course if I knew the overall strategy, instead of these bloody rumors and the flood of disinformation, I’d be able to do my job more effectively, that’s for certain!’
Hans patted the sweat beads from his warted cheeks with his stained un-ironed handkerchief. ‘Amsterdam, nothing but damn staircases. Old buildings and stairs. Anyone would think that lifts were never invented.’

Don spoke into the intercom as Hans caught his breath. ‘Yennie, bring up some coffee please.’ He turned back to his visitor, ‘You look like you could use a cup.’

Don didn’t take to the ugly hulk slouching opposite. But then again, no one liked Hans Van der Hyde. The mere energy of his presence inculcated evil. His forehead protruded as broad as it was high, and his penetrative gaze signified debased alertness. Hans was the Director of Amsterdam’s Intelligence wing of the Peace Keepers. He was both respected and feared - he was efficient, coldly cunning and absolutely ruthless - but certainly not liked.
His interrogation methods were as infamous as they were barbaric. And he’d often boast of his proud one hundred percent success rate in obtaining information from his detainees. Hans could extract information and confessions from his victims that would have done a Spanish Inquisitor proud.

‘Here’s the file you asked for on this Rebecca Childs woman.’ Hans unceremoniously threw the thick manila folder onto the desk. The file landed with a thud and slid across to Don. ‘Being a renegade teacher with the peace movement, the bitch deserves her category one rating.’

Don opened the file but then quickly closed it as Yennie tiptoed into the room with the coffee tray. Hans stripped naked the slim 17 year old, with one perverted stare. His thick hungry tongue slurped at the sides of his lips.
He stooped forward and panted loudly on purpose. The teak chair creaked from his weight. He ogled up Yennie’s short skirt as she leaned over at the desk to pour the coffee. She felt his hot breath on her thighs.
‘Why Yennie, your pretty little knickers are half way up your bottom. You know if you play your cards right you could win me, that’s for certain,’ he scoffed in Dutch.

Yennie froze, and glanced at Don, her eyes pleading for help.

Don motioned to the door. ‘That will be all Yennie thank you, off you go then,’ he interrupted, saving her from further embarrassment.

Hans roared with mocking crazed laughter. Yennie rushed to the door, her face about to break into tears.
‘I hope we meet again Yennie,’ he yelled brusquely.

Don glared at Hans, disgustedly. ‘Behave yourself for Christ’s sake. You scared the poor girl. She especially came in this morning on short notice to help me tie up some loose ends.’

‘You wouldn’t begrudge me a bit of fun Don, would you?’ he asked sneering. ‘I bet you give her a length across your desk now and again - especially on Sunday mornings, yes!’

Before Don found the words to protest, Hans abruptly changed the subject. He snorted green phlegm back up into his nostrils. ‘Does the file contain the information you need?’

Don shook his head with abhorrence and reopened the file. A passport photo of Rebecca, five or six other candid photos obviously snapped without her knowledge, and a dozen or more double sided pages of laser printed computer information were neatly arranged within plastic covers inside the folder.

‘She’s a pretty piece, that’s for certain. Would you like me to pick her up?’ asked Hans, his left eye quivering as he spoke. ‘Having her as a house guest for a few days would be a pleasure. I could teach her a thing or two in the bargain.’

Don wondered if Hans purposely acted obnoxiously for shock value, or whether his beastliness just came naturally. Either way Hans succeeded. He was by far the most loathsome creature Don had ever had the misfortune to meet. ‘No at this stage that won’t be necessary. I need to get instructions first. For now, keep her under surveillance and have her phone tapped for me.’ Don closed the file and then added,’ but don’t allow her to suspect anything.’

‘Is your interest in this Childs woman in any way connected to Paul Ravenscroft? I heard he flew in yesterday.’

‘You cunning bastard! So you just happened to be in the area, were you?’

Hans’ face showed displeasure at being called a bastard. ‘It’s my job to know what’s going on in Amsterdam. When a chauffeured Mercedes stops at a demonstration and the owner helps a peace activist escape. I naturally have to make enquires.’

Don leaned forward and lowered his voice to a whisper. ‘Look to be honest I am a little concerned. Paul admitted picking up the half unconscious woman. And it seems she stayed in his suite last night.’ Don paused.

‘Well go on, there’s more,’ sneered Hans.

‘When she awoke she somehow knew his name.’

‘I see, that’s interesting,’ replied Hans, and stroked his blemished nose with his thumb and forefinger. ‘I would be the first to know if the Peace Movement had found anything out about Paul. Their leaders are working for us undercover.’

‘Yes, I’m aware of that. By the way, thanks for forewarning me about the demonstration.’ Don continued in a normal voice. ‘But that’s the mystery Hans. They met by chance. She was only just conscious. When she awoke she uttered ‘Paul Ravenscroft’. Paul felt intrigued enough to order the file on her.’
‘Are you reporting the matter to Heinrich Ravenscroft?’

‘Later. I want to scan her file first. Obviously, there could well be a logical explanation. To make matters worse though, Paul seemed antagonistic and off balance this morning when he rang. I think he may be falling for her.’
‘Picking up some slut in a canal and fucking with her, doesn’t mean he’s falling for her,’ spat Hans.

‘Your words Hans, not mine - however my instincts tell me that he’s interested in her. As you know, the ramifications could be a damn nuisance. I don’t want to be held responsible for any stuff ups relating to Paul’s relationships.’

‘Better to be safe than sorry, that’s for certain. I’ll get my most efficient men to watch her closely.’ Hans grunted, snorted once more and then stood up. ‘You will have my report within 48 hours. We’ll soon see if she’s up to no good.’

‘Or earlier, if any circumstance arises which you feel I should know about.’

‘But of course!’ sniggered Hans. ‘There is however, one other matter.’

‘What might that be?’

‘Don, you know I value our friendship. And naturally I am willing to help you at any time, even Sunday mornings - but I’ve always thought that one special favor deserves another.’

‘Oh, and what is the favor ‘this time?’ asked Don, showing his disapproval at the hulk’s crawling manner.

‘Are you at liberty to tell me any news on the rumored big operation? Surely there must be some factual information you can pass on.’

Don’s mind flashed quickly. If he wanted the surveillance carried out on Rebecca efficiently he’d have to feed Hans. ‘Fair enough. I’ll tell you what I’ve been able to find out.’ Don stood up as he spoke. Hans listened intently.

‘All I’ve heard is that they are pushing for the project to commence within the next two months - maybe even earlier. An international coup! Global Syndicated Government! To be followed by a drastic five year plan.’

‘So the rumors are right. And what does the plan entail?’ enthused Hans.

‘The scientists, the economists, the bankers... they’ve all been intensely involved. They’ve created computer models, for the future of the planet; sustainable population levels, different world zones, one army, one currency, and so on.’ Don paused as Hans slowly nodded in understanding. ‘They can prove that the world’s reached maximum population. Basically the Earth is stuffed. A new social order will be introduced and rigidly enforced.’

‘How will the new order work?’ asked Hans, hiding his enthusiasm.

‘I don’t know any of the details yet. Headquarters is keeping a tight lid on the project. All I know is that it will happen soon. Nothing can stop the changes now!’

Don marched to the door ushering Hans to follow. ‘You’ll keep me informed then on Rebecca Childs.’

Hans nodded. He smirked satisfyingly and shook Don’s hand with a painful vice like grip, before plodding off muttering, down the stairs. ‘That will teach that smart arse. Calling me a cunning bastard and having the cheek to tell me to behave myself. Hah! He’ll think twice next time, that’s for certain.’

‘You sadistic uncivilized animal, you belong in a zoo.’ Don spoke out loud to himself, nursing his squashed aching hand. Locking his office door, he sat down and began to study the contents of the folder. He shuddered at the fearful prospect of contacting Paul’s father, Heinrich Ravenscroft the Second.

‘You were instructed to keep an eye on him. Where the hell were you at the time?’ roared Heinrich into the phone. Don’s heart slammed into his ribs.

‘With respect sir, my instructions were to let Paul complete the transaction,’ defended Don, ‘He picked the girl up on the way back to the hotel after a drive. I had no way of foreseeing that he...’

‘Now listen hard, I don’t want your lame duck excuses. You have no idea what’s at stake. I’ve been warned to be on my guards that a meeting of this nature may arise!’

Don noticed the nervous agitation as well the anger in Heinrich’s voice.

‘I don’t care how you dispose of her. If they contact each other again, buy or scare this Rebecca woman off. And if that fails arrange an accident. Or let that Hans Van der Hyde fellow down there, get rid of her. From what I’ve heard, that would be right up his alley. Do you understand Don? You’re finished if you fail. Indeed, we all could be finished! Be sure to keep me informed.’

The phone was crashed down violently.

Don reached for a glass and poured himself a double brandy from a decanter. He felt those worms awakening inside. ‘What on earth was he talking about?’ he wondered, his hands still trembling, ‘Who advised him of the meeting? How could anyone have known about a chance meeting? And what the hell did he mean by, we all could be finished!’ Don’s inquisitive mind grappled for answers that weren’t forthcoming. He knew it was out of character for Heinrich Ravenscroft to be so paranoiac and intimidated - especially over an unknown woman.
‘If they contact each other again - buy or scare her off - or dispose of her!’ He grimaced as he pictured the attractive young woman in the photos, in the groping hands of the sadistic Hans.

Don clutched the glass of brandy and leaned back into his chair to steady his nerves.

‘Oh well, orders are orders. Make haste slowly Don old boy. The plot’s only starting to unfold. The outcome may well yet run in my favor. That is - with a little managed manipulation!’


‘Two twenty.’ With an impatient eye on the clock, Paul anxiously paced the floor of his suite. Rebecca’s tearful face taunted him. The file now meant far more than simply a means to satisfy his natural curiosity. The file would have an address - a phone number. It had become the only link to Rebecca.

Paul’s apprehension turned to worry.

‘There must be problems. Don Ormsby is never twenty minutes late. He’d ring if there was a delay.’

Paul twice reached for the phone to check with Don. Twice he gingerly replaced the receiver before dialing, his better judgment overriding his impatience. ‘If he’s reported this back to my father, I’ll...’
The phone rang. ‘That must be him now!’ And he leapt for the phone in anticipation.

‘Mr. Ravenscroft, good afternoon. It’s the concierge calling. We have a package marked ‘urgent’ here for you at the desk - delivered by special courier. Would you like the package sent up?’

‘Yes of course. Send it up straight away. I expected it twenty minutes ago.’

‘Please accept our apologies. A terrible mix up I’m afraid. The courier in fact came 15 minutes ago. We have been rushed off our feet with a bus load of guests checking out.’

‘Oh....all right. Look, just send the file up immediately.’

‘I hope the delay hasn’t been an inconvenience to you, Mr. Ravenscroft.’

Paul hung up and took two mighty breaths. Excitement now replaced his nervousness. Pure excitement at the prospect of seeing Rebecca again. Intuitive excitement of destiny unfolding. ‘An Amsterdam address. The file must include her current address! Calm down, I must be calm. How can she get to me like this? In one day I’ve felt so depressed and yet so damn exhilarated!’

‘Thank you sir.’

Paul tipped the smiling porter a few euros and immediately collapsed onto the chesterfield. He fervently untied the string securing the package and opened the folder. Rebecca’s photos jumped out at him. For the second time that day, he felt his pulse and heartbeat quicken.

He gazed at the unposed pictures of Rebecca.

A sharp conflict began to arise from deep within. His excitement was part sexual or sensual, yet for the first time Paul felt uneasiness and a little shame. A passionate voyeuristic curiosity had empowered him to order such personal details on Rebecca’s life without her consent or knowledge. He remembered an occasion, when he was out for an evening stroll and saw through a part open curtain, an attractive scantily clad girl, making her final preparations for a bath. Where is the line drawn, he’d pondered, between an admiring interested glance and the perverted and licentious stare of the voyeur? Like the eventual outcome of that evening, Paul realized that his actions ordering the file, certainly exceeded ‘an admiring interested glance’.

He scanned the pages.

Under the heading ‘FAMILY BACKGROUND’ he noted that Rebecca was the only surviving child of her parent’s marriage. Her older sister had died when Rebecca was seven years old. He studied the extensive information with total alertness. Birth details - education profile compiled from old school assessments - university subjects and grades - her political affiliations - financial and taxation details - even confidential health and dental records. Paul sniggered as he read of her ‘radical tendencies’ when teaching. And her constant refusal to keep to the new global education programs and curriculum.

‘Ah, here we are ‘PERSONALITY PROFILE’. Now let’s see!’

‘Intelligent - independent - motivated - and non conformist.’ ‘Yes I certainly agree with that,’ he said as he scanned the primary words in each paragraph. ‘Tendency for over emotionalism - too idealistic - vegetarian - follows weird spiritual cults - associates with reformers and radicals...’

He turned to the next section heading.
‘SEXUAL PREFERENCES AND TENDENCIES’ ‘No current boyfriends.’ ‘Hmm - that’s handy.’
Lives with female flat mate - presumed non-lesbian relationship. (unconfirmed) Flat mate: Monica Laatum: 25 years old, blonde hair, blue eyes. Born: Dordrecht Netherlands. Occupation: Shop assistant. No known convictions. Refer Report no. 336 4206. Category Three: Due to association with Rebecca Childs.

‘Former known boyfriends...’

Paul felt unmistakable twinges of irrational jealousy. His face flushed hot as he read details of Rebecca’s previous three relationships. A school teacher named Dieter, 7 years her senior. The relationship lasted 2 years. Before that an unpublished ‘ageing’ writer named Frederick - lasting 18 months. And before old Fred, there was Lyndon - an astrologer - again an older man?

Paul’s fierce competitive nature ignited a fiery challenge. He now struggled with an even stronger desire for Rebecca - and he felt spoilt resentment towards her. She had dared allowed others to taste her delights before him!


Yes, here it is!’ Paul reached for a pen and notepaper and nervously scribbled down Rebecca’s address and telephone number.

‘Rebecca Childs!’ he hollered - like an excited schoolboy at the annual college regatta - ‘You fantastically beautiful - and tormentuous - creature you. I’m coming after you!’

But first I’ll send her the largest and most colorful bunch of flowers in Amsterdam.


Rebecca peered aimlessly out of the window of her small second story apartment. The cloud laden, gray skies gradually claimed the remaining light left in the day. The street lights sadly illuminated the glistening rain drops that fell in streams to the slippery cobbled road and footpaths below. People, some with umbrellas, shuffled briskly with purpose, as if making their way home to their warm cozy fires and families.

Why can’t I fit into this world somewhere? They all look so pre-occupied and contented. Like busy little ants on an ant hill.

Her depressed unforgiving thoughts gnawed away at her heart.

Either I feel I’m in the right place at the wrong time - or the wrong place at the right time. The world seems like a big cold lonely airport - and I’m left alone waiting for the plane that never arrives to take me home.

‘By God I feel empty and lonely,’ she whispered. And yet another tear rolled unhindered down her cheek.
Rebecca turned away from the window and fell with indifference upon the couch.

Oh Paul, why..?

I finally meet in the most extraordinary circumstances, the only man that ever has really excited me, and I stupidly walk out on him. He rescued me - gave me a room without imposing any obligations - and then invited me to breakfast.

Oh hell I stuff everything up!

Rebecca hugged the cushion and sobbed. ‘I’m such a fool. He only asked how I came by his name - even then he tried to apologize to me.’ Rebecca battered away at herself and her emotions. Am I so defensive and insecure, that I had to react with such torridity? Had the whole experience of the demonstration, the canal and the rescue, simply been too much to cope with?

She felt a deep attraction to Paul. He seemed younger and of course he was. He had so much going for him. The last thing she wanted was to re-invite the pain of disappointment into her life.

Her running out in that manner signified an ultimatum to fate. Before she would risk the vulnerability of rejection, Paul had to prove to her that he cared. If a relationship was meant to be, he would find out her address and try in some way to contact her.

Yet the doubts lingered.

Wakonda in the visions, had foretold that I would be seeing a great deal of Paul. Maybe now - by being so immature and stubborn - I’ve ruined any chance of that ever happening.

Rebecca hadn’t given much consideration to the visions. The harrowing emotions she felt over Paul, eclipsed any attempted effort of trying to consider logically, the dreams she’d experienced.

‘It’s only pride. My stupid stubborn pride! Perhaps I should ring him at the Amstel to apologies - before he leaves Amsterdam for good.’

Rebecca heard the downstairs door slam. She could hear footsteps echoing up the wooden staircase to her flat.
That must be Monica returning from work, she thought, and sat up and dried her eyes with a tissue.

A weak tap on the door reinforced her belief that it was Monica. She casually unbolted the door and stepped aside to let her flat mate in.

‘Remember me? I’ve brought you these flowers!’

‘Paul! But how ....’ Her face showed shock and embarrassed dismay.

From behind a huge array of the most exquisite flowers, popped Paul’s audacious grin. ‘Rebecca, sorry for just dropping in like this - I thought if I rang first, you might hang up on me. I desperately needed to see you again.’

Rebecca was caught completely off guard. She didn’t know whether to scream with delight or screech with anger. She was clad in her dressing gown, without make up, and with hair uncombed. Instead she just stood speechless - blushing - as if petrified to the floor. Her heart raced.

‘And I’ve come to apologies for the cross examination I gave you this morning. Please, may I come in?’

Still without uttering a word, she moved two paces backwards - and nodded.

Paul entered and gently closed the door.

They gazed wondrously into each other’s eyes. Both feeling the unhindered outward flow of love from each to the other - enchanted magical bliss - experienced only when the mind is permitted to cease its incessant thoughts.
And with delicate gentleness, he placed the flowers on the coffee table. He reached out with both caring hands to hold Rebecca’s. At that precise micro-second of touch they felt a magnetic radiance enveloping their beings.
Two people of the same group soul - each with resonant unsatisfied attraction for the other - remerging. The circuit of energy instantly re-connecting - linking them as one, in unconditional love.

Oh my God! thought Rebecca. Wakonda knew. I’ve re-found my soul mate. It’s as if I’ve known and loved Paul for lifetimes.

‘Oh Paul, please hold me tight. I’ve missed you like crazy.’ And Paul hugged her longingly. Rebecca leaned her head hard up against his chest. She felt his strong safe arms securing her - his warm body throbbing against her own. And she could feel his arousal. She pressed her body in tighter. Their breathing explosively intent.
Rebecca gazed up lovingly into Paul’s gentle eyes and he kissed her so lightly on her lips.

They smiled.

And she pounced with her lips in retaliation like a devouring cat. With thrusted hunger and passion, she returned the kiss - her desire totally consuming. Her mouth wanting to take of his essence, and to give of her essence, all that was possible.

Paul had never before experienced such natural, almost maternal, loving warmth. A warmth reaching into every recess of his heart and soul. A mature warmth of belonging - and longing. Heart stuff - not mind stuff. A mind that was usually proud of its stiff Tantric control. A mind that ceased to exist at this blissful moment beyond time.

His elevated state of passion seemed to erupt into the infinite.

Rebecca instinctively felt Paul’s ardor close to peaking. She moved her hand with exquisite tenderness to Paul’s erection. Her maternal instincts - powerfully combining with her own sexual desires - erotically massaged Paul. She lowered his head onto her left shoulder.

And she felt a sense of power and control.

Paul clung to her so wantonly. He gasped breathlessly. Her hand moved firmer and faster. ‘Rebecca...Oh Rebecca,’ he gasped. She felt his throbbing climax. A climactic state she was subtly suspended in herself.

Paul rained her with loving gentle kisses upon her face. He felt an all consuming gratitude and thankfulness - a profound experience of complete oneness.

Rebecca led Paul by the arm to the couch.

‘Rebecca, I feel so....’ He tried in vain to convey his confused inner feelings. Shyness and inferiority overwhelmed him. ‘You are just so beautiful - I feel so close.’

‘Don’t try to talk now,’ soothed Rebecca, putting her index finger over his mouth. She paused smiling softly. ‘Could you excuse me for a few moments while I get dressed. I was ready for an early night. And my flat mate Monica is due home soon.’

Paul nodded graciously and symbolically blew her a kiss. ‘Rebecca?’

‘Yes Paul,’ she answered turning, as she tip toed to her bedroom.

‘Thank you. You really are so wonderful.’

Rebecca smiled, accepting the compliment with dressing robed elegance.

‘Whew!’ she gasped drawing three deep breaths, and leaning her back defensively up against the closed door in her bedroom. She stared momentarily into nothingness, and her mind struggled to rationalize her surprising actions - and possible motives. It’s so unlike me to be uninhibited, she thought. Paul seems strong and confident, yet has such an incredible need of mothering. And the energy between us - it’s just so phenomenal! Or maybe my motives were more practical. Perhaps I took control of the situation purposefully. We both felt so passionate. And being caught offside looking like a drab in a dressing gown - with Monica returning - hardly the right time or place.

Rebecca composed herself and quickly dressed.

‘Paul,’ she asked, adjusting her silver Aztec earring, ‘Would you mind awfully if we were to go out to a bistro or coffee shop to talk? I’d prefer that Monica didn’t see us together right now.’

Paul jumped to attention. ‘Of course not. My car is parked right outside. I know an excellent restaurant not far from here.’

‘That would be lovely. It’s just that Monica is so curious. And I’d have a devilish time explaining you to her.’

‘I understand completely. The restaurant is a great idea. We can have a champagne to celebrate!’

‘And by the way, thank you for the flowers - they really are absolutely gorgeous. I’ll place them in a vase before we leave. It will only take a jiffy.’

Paul’s expression glowed as he admired Rebecca arranging the flowers.She looks both appealing and homely, he thought. Not that I’d really know what ‘home’ feels like. But being with her sure feels comfortable.

‘All done. How do they look Paul?’ Rebecca eyes flashed seduction as she spoke.

‘Oh, wunderbar,’ he replied, without switching his gaze from her.

She gleamed once again into those Prussian blue eyes.

The love still flowed.

‘Fine. Best we be off then.’


The rain was now heavy.

‘Let’s run for it!’ shouted Rebecca at the steps.

They sprinted and clamored into the black Mercedes and fastened their seat belts. Their gasping breath fogged up the windows almost immediately
‘It’s freezing. Quick, turn the heater on,’ she said excitedly.

Paul turned on the motor and the wipers, and rang the restaurant from his mobile phone to make the booking.
‘All set,’ he said, and leaned over and pecked a kiss at Rebecca’s cheek.

Through the rain they failed to notice the two unobtrusive dark sedans parked either side of the road - and the two male occupants in each car peering intently in their direction. Paul drove off. One of the sedans pulled out from the curb and began to follow. The Mercedes turned the corner and out of sight.

‘Right, off you go!’

The second occupant of the remaining vehicle, jumped out into the rain, and sprinted up the stairs to Rebecca’s flat. He wore a black, tight fitting skivvy that matched his trousers and a dark sports coat. Once at the door of the apartment, he donned a slit eyed Balaclava. His expert fingers picked the lock, gaining entry in seconds.

‘I’m inside the flat, and beginning the search,’ he whispered in Dutch, into his transmitter unit strapped to his wrist.

‘All clear down here,’ came the reply. ‘Proceed.’

The intruder with finesse, system and artfulness probed Rebecca’s bedroom. He examined each drawer and cupboard and rummaged through her personal belongings. He inspected under the bed and searched within pages of books. He took photos of several of her personal letters and communications from the peace movement - and he violated her diary.

Within fifteen minutes he was working his way through to the lounge and kitchen, methodically searching each and every item from the bookshelf to the freezer. He then turned his attention to Monica’s bedroom. Her smiling innocent photo greeted him on the dressing table as he opened the door. The search continued.

‘Finding anything?’ asked the graveled voice from the receiver.

He lifted up a lacy pair of Monica’s knickers from her underwear drawer and ran his fingers over the satin.
‘No, nothing of consequence, but I wouldn’t mind finding the owner of these panties,’ he replied smirking and ogling the photo.

‘Keep your blasted mind on the job. You’ve been in there for over thirty minutes.’

Another six minutes passed.

‘I’ve finished the search.’

‘Then if you’re done, plant the bugs and get the hell out of there. Remember - Hans said - no foul ups!’

‘I’m about to position the bugs now. I’ll slip one behind the corner pedestal in the lounge and one in each of the bedrooms. Three should be adequate.’ Using a skewer, he punched a small hole in the carpet up against the base board, and slid the thin sophisticated listening device into the opening.

‘Mission accomplished!’

He opened the door to leave. His hand reached for the switch to turn off the light. He quickly scanned the room once more to ensure it looked undisturbed.

As if materializing out of a spooky hell, she saw the black Balaclava face in front of her.

‘What.. what are you doing in my apartment?’ stammered Monica Laatum, alarmed and totally frightened in the doorway.

He was startled - but his training and experience had taught him to react with lighting speed. He drew the gun from his shoulder holster and with the other hand grabbed Monica - wrenched her inside and slammed the door with his boot. ‘Turn around. Up against the wall!’ he ordered, almost shouting.

She leaned forward and rested her forehead hard up against the cold plaster. He forced her to raise her arms above her head and to extend her fingers flat against the wall.

‘Spread your legs!’

Her heart began to thump as she obeyed, and she sensed his shallow breath on the nape of her neck..


Monica heard his snigger. He’d now regained control of the situation and had her at his mercy. She felt the cold silencer end of the gun pressed against her bare calf at the hem of her dress. And she knew he was now squatting in a haunched position behind her. Her dress began to lift as the gun rose slowly upwards. His free hand stroked her exposed skin.

His breathing became louder. ‘Your long legs are sure turning me on, sweetheart.’

‘What are you doing? Please stop,’ she pleaded.

‘Just want to see if those knickers look as good on you as they did in the drawer,’ he responded crisply.

‘What the hell’s going on up there?’ snapped the impatient voice from the wrist piece.

‘Pretty knickers is here. You were meant to keep a look out and warn me,’ he answered. And he lifted the gun with her ruffled dress up to her waist.

‘Oh hell! There must be a side entrance. Look, you know what you have to do - fix it and hurry - that’s an order!’

Monica felt his cold hand slither up and grope under her pale blue bikini panties. Her spine twitched and went rigid. Her complexion death white. His fingers and palm now slid slowly around her hip to her tummy, then down to her pubic hair - and then even lower.

‘What a waste. You sure got such a sexy backside.’ ‘I wished there was more time. Sorry love. But orders are orders!’ The gun was released. Her dress fell.

He stood up.

Monica locked her eyes tight and waited petrified for the shot.

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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