Sunday, December 28, 2008

Farewell My Cadence (3)

The Frenchman sat opposite me. His face was half hidden in shadow, but even the half I could see looked like a face to be careful of taking your eyes away from for too long. He smiled and joked, but I could tell he wasn't too much of a giggler.

"Classical Music? Yes, I knew her," he drawled, in a voice as smooth as a silk stocking and twice as dangerous round your neck. "She was - how you say?- quite a dame, yes." I tried to moderate her behaviour, but she had a tendency to run away to... get in touch with people, non?"

"So you didn't like the way she acted with other guys, huh?" I asked. The guy had a charm, sure, but you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him, I could tell. Maybe you'd find yourself stuck in the Bastille with the kind of kiss-off that brought the house down.

"Pfff, it's not my concern what she does with... other classes. I know she did the right thing when she was with me, that's all. I made sure she kept up to date, dressed her well... what more could she ask for?"

"Maybe to be shown a little slack every now and then?"

"Ah, I have always been open minded, no matter what... some people may say."

"What about the German, were you open minded enough for him?"

"Oh, I doubt anyone would be. I hardly spoke to him in recent times. We fell out since our days when we plotted to bring the Professor's plans to fruition."

The Professor. I'd heard of the guy, not that people liked to talk about him. Some said he was responsible for the whole mess. Nobody'd ever caught him in the act, but they said you could see his fingerprints all over if you looked. I wondered aloud if I should speak to him.

"Speak to him?" The Frenchman's face cracked into a smile, and a laugh I didn't like the sound of. "Mon Ami, you won't find that easy to achieve."

"Why not?" I was getting a bad feeling.

The Frenchman sat back with a grin across his face like a cat that's inherited the whole damn dairy. "Why, haven't you heard? He's dead."

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