January

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THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

This is the PALESTINE story—until October 7, 2023

GENESIS 11:31

They set out from UR of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan

LAND INHERITANCE ---IN THE ANCIENT WORLD

GENESIS 16—21

According to Scripture:

Sarah’s Egyptian slave servant Hagar—with her permission—bore Abram at age 80 a son—whom he called ISHMAEL. For ten long years, Sarah considered Ishmael her son [Hagar was her property and so was that son].

Then a miracle happened: When Abram was 100 years old, Sarah conceived; and he called his son ISAAC.

There was competition between the two women and their sons.

Abram had loved Ishmael all these ten years, so when Sarah demanded that Hagar and her son leave their home, he was distraught. He consulted God what to do. God told him to leave this decision with Sarah [family matters were the domain of women].

Well, Sarah told Abram to ‘get rid of that slave woman and her son’—BECAUSE that slave woman and son would NEVER SHARE with her son ISAAC Abram’s INHERITANCE.

In the ancient Near East it was the custom that the FIRST BORN SON inherited his father’s power/authority, livestock and land. ISHMAEL had birth-rights.

Then in 70 CE the temple in Jerusalem [Judea] was destroyed by the Romans.

Emperor Constantine proclaimed to be a Christian and the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as the state religion. PALESTINE was The Holy Land.

Then an army of Prophet Mohammad entered Jerusalem. They took hold of the city: building on top of the ruined temple the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque. The Jews were told to convert to Islam or face death. They could stay alive and worship their God if they paid a “head tax”. The rich Jews were willing to pay. The Jewish peasants converted to Islam so they could continue tilling their land.

When ancestors of Ishmael entered Palestine there were skirmishes. Christian monks begged the pope for help. That’s when the Crusades started: From 1096-1098 and on. The Holy Roman Empire finally abandoned the crusades; too costly.

In 1948, the UNITED NATIONS resurrected PALESTINE [former colony of the Ottoman Empire/then a British mandate] and determined that the ancestors of Isaac and Ishmael, Jews and Muslims, must SHARE the LAND.

Because Sarah insisted that Isaac would be the SOLE HEIR [but unable claiming to be firstborn], the maternal line became the criteria: To be a Jew, one’s mother has to be a Jew.

IMAGINE – if the Book of Genesis had not been written . . .

THE --OCTOBER ---MEMOIR

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I WASN’T BORN TO BE A WALLFLOWER

A MEMOIR BY OLGA PITCAIRN---------COPY RIGHT

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A wallflower girl is she who sits by the wall at a dance or other social activities—often for want of a partner because she may be shy, reserved . . . or a plain-Jane.

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St. Petersburg, Florida, 1962

I took this photo while we were visiting Laren’s parents: Marijke, his mother (57), and his father (69), a man-of-the-cloth, Theodore Pitcairn.

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CATALOGUE NUMBER: 363

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 This is the remarkable story of how I, Olga Pitcairn, at the age of 26, obtained ownership of “Wallflowers and Forget-Me-Nots in a Ceramic Vase” by Philippe Smit, a Dutch/French painter. Philippe was the step-father of my mother-in-law.

     I still remember her saying—with a chuckle in her voice—“Liefje (Dutch for dearest), you are unforgettable!” So, cherishing memory, and as a token of my gratitude, I thought it would be a novel idea to title this memoir: I WASN’T BORN TO BE A WALLFLOWER.

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Forget-me-nots symbolize true love and respect. When you give someone these tiny blooms it represents a promise that you will always remember them and will keep them in your thoughts.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,

May 1964

     My heart was pounding as I was telling Doctor Goldfarb about the family’s mentally-handicapped children, three generations, and the “unconvential” sex I had had to endure these past four years. My gynecologist leaned towards me across his desk and asked why I had not disclosed this to him before. Now shaking, all worked up, I confessed that it had taken all my courage. I wiped my eyes dry, hands trembling, with a handkerchief I took from my purse. Then, heaving a deep sigh, I blurted out, “I’m ashamed, Doctor. Terribly ashamed!” Tears flowing freely, I whispered that I felt humiliated being used for his own pleasure; that he didn’t care how I felt about it.

     As I kept wiping tears away, the doctor stared at me in silence until I had composed myself.

     “Get a divorce,” the doctor said calmly.

     For a few seconds I was unable to breath. Then my heart raced. My voice cracked when I repeated his words.

     Dr. Alvin Goldfarb rose, extended his hand saying, “And get yourself a good lawyer.”

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 I drove in a zombie-like state, my inner compass guiding me direction Meadowbrook: home. Being told to divorce, I had to face the music. I thought of confessing to my parents first and discuss my situation.

     It was late afternoon when I parked my car at their house in Bucks County. Mama was, of course, very surprised to see me, but noticing my somber face she ushered me into the living room and we sat on the sofa. Hesitantly, Mama inquired about my visit with the gynecologist. I broke out into tears. She went to the kitchen and returned holding glasses with sherry. She nodded—and we drank in silence.

     “The doctor told me to get a divorce,” I said, still choking on the word, as I put my empty glass on the coffee table. I took from my handbag a book: Masochism In Modern Man by Theodore Reik. “I told him about our sex life, and about the family secret, those simpletons.”

     Mama held the book as if it was a poisonous snake.

     “Kinky sex.” I wiped away more tears.

     Mama left and returned with a tissue box. “What goes on in your bedroom is private,” she said and sat in a nearby armchair “I’m your mother. Please make it short.”

     I had no wish to dwell on the subject either, so I explained that masochism connotes a person who enjoys the pleasure of being trod upon. Laren liked being a good-for-nothing and reinforced this by having breakfast in bed, getting up at ten, and at eleven in the morning making phone calls for a luncheon date. He abhorred “work”: He was a good-for-nothing man. Laren enjoyed/provoked verbal lashings; and physical beatings—reminding me of St. Sebastian on the cross. Humiliation was his middle name. His foibles: He worshiped an idol—a fetish of his choice so he could “perform”—having sex; the fetish, his equipment/sex enhancement, supplanted the female. Fetishism is an aberration/disease/illness = it is a paraphilia/parapathia and the end is homosexuality. Fetishism is a kind of religion: repentance and pleasure together. Another memoir will discuss in detail what perversion is all about: The inflicted person fears nothing more than to be “cured”.

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     The following day Papa summoned Laren to the house. The dirty word divorce, recommended by the gynecologist, was repeated over and over until I broke down. Laren was to consult a psychiatrist at Abington Memorial Hospital, a stone’s throw from Meadowbrook/Huntingdon Valley. Mama called her sister in Austria. Two days later they took me to the airport.

     Six weeks later in Vienna, I opened with trepidation the letter from the psychiatrist with his evaluation of Laren’s paraphilia. At least he had showed up and tried to get a grip on his condition. I consulted my aunt and uncle.

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     My parents and Laren were at the airport in Philadelphia to welcome me “home”. The stress during my Austrian stay had affected me and I had developed a very bad sore throat. A few days later I had a tonsillectomy, I believe at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

     A week later we flew to the Bahamas. Laren didn’t take along the special case that contained the necessary equipment; so I relaxed.

Bridges Cay - Abaco, Bahamas

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      We returned to Philadelphia after Labor Day. Together we paid the psychiatrist a visit. Laren was told not to use his fetish idol when “making love”. Well, as I had feared: no idol no love. I wanted to inform the doctor but on second thought refrained—hoping that Laren would inform him. However, on October 9, my 26th birthday, I made up my mind to divorce. I asked Papa to get me a reputable lawyer. He chose Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll of Philadelphia. I looked for an apartment to rent; and early November I moved out, informing Laren that he was not a “husband” but merely a bank account and I could not accept that.

     Needless to say that Laren rang my doorbell every day? We had long talks; because he could not relate to his psychiatrist, I suggested that he talk instead with our bishop—if he would be willing. Bishop Phillip Odhner was “willing”.

     Christmas 1964: we reconciled; though I would stay in my apartment until he had established a routine of visiting the bishop. And we made a “pact”—he swore on the Swedenborgian Bible—that if after two years our situation had not improved satisfactorily we would divorce amicably.

     I still regret to this day that I did not insist of putting his promise in writing as I paid dearly for this: Veritas odium parit. There was no remorse. He became a sadist—a cannibal.

     This episode in my life, starting October 1967, (letters from the bishop to me about the predicament of the church’s religious view on divorce) will be another memoir: TRUTH IS THE DAUGHTER OF TIME.

     My final memoir, THE FINGER OF FATE, will be a review of my life.

     Thanks to my mother (financial aid) and my aunt Olga (Nur weiter schreiben: Keep on writing)—their encouragement—I became an author.

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     April 1965: I returned officially to the marital home. One morning I visited my mother-in-law. She and her husband were in the “sun-room” having coffee. After some chit-chat she said, holding out her arms, “I’m so happy to have you back into the family fold.” We embraced. She whispered into my ear that she had missed me.

     I went to my chair, happy to know I had been missed. All smiles, she looked at Theodore. She pointed to the wallflowers painting and said that he should take it down and give it to her. Mother winked at me. I held my breath as Father, a frail man, did as was bidden.

     Mother smiled at me and said, “Olga, I know you love this painting.” She waved at me to join her. I took the painting as she continued: “It was a peace offering from Philippe. We made up. I want you to think of me when you look at our painting.” She blew me a kiss.

“Wallflowers is my peace offering to you.”

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Wallflowers and Forget-Me-Nots in a Ceramic Vase

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A CAR WAS PARKED—June 2019--AT MY FRONT STEPS

PENNSYLVANIA LICENSE PLATE;

DSL 2013

STAY TUNED FOR FEBRUARY!

Email your feedback about the story to the author at rosecamelia@verizon.net.

Febuary

THIS IS THE BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE

SUMMER 2014

A BARGAIN SALE”

(A Documented Curtain Call)

B-sale

by Olga Pitcairn [copyright]

CITIZENS OF THE BAHAMAS

do not pay on income, inheritance, gifts, or capital gains. The Bahamian government uses revenue from sources like VAT and STAMP TAXES. There are strict laws prohibiting illicit financial activity: such as money laundering.

NASSAU: THE BAHAMAS

SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2007

Meet me at the POOL, Pilot House Club, at 11:00 on Sunday—Anneke Van Veen. The private detective whistled softly as he reread the email; the previous one inquired if he had done real estate research jobs. His work was mainly getting spouses caught “in flagrante”, illicit affairs: adultery. However, he was eager to widen his horizon; real estate sales were on the up. He had connections: a sister-in-law in banking and a good friend at the courthouse.

     A waiter approached his table holding a small tray. “Mr. Erickson?” He nodded. “This message is for you, Sir.”

     The detective read the note from the front desk that Mrs. Van Veen was detained, and if he’d be so kind to wait for her and order a beverage. He smiled at the waiter and asked for a beer. When the drink arrived he ordered a plate of conch fritters; waiting time could be long. He put the note and email in his briefcase.

     Forty minutes later the waiter escorted Mrs. Van Veen to the table. The detective rose. They shook hands.

     “Shall we have lunch at that corner table”—Anneke pointed—“so we can really talk?” Face flushed, she asked the waiter for the menu and a pitcher of planter’s punch.

     The table overlooked the pool and the traffic at the open double doors of the Club. Anneke sat facing the pool—the detective sat across. “You should know”—she leaned over—“that Lucian was cunning as a fox.”

     The waiter came with the menus; followed by a boy with the punch.

     They ordered a Pilot House club-sandwich.

     The detective leaned over, eyeing her. “Foxy husband Lucian?”

     Anneke giggled. “Lucian Peppercorn was the ex-husband of my sister Kitty. I’m here representing her. Kitty is getting a hip operation, and convalescence will take long.” She took a deep breath. “After her divorce, Kitty moved to Curacao, the Antilles. We are Dutch, born in Amsterdam.”

     Anneke took from her handbag a folder. “Here are the details of what Kitty wants you to do,”—she handed him the folder—“and also her permission that we collaborate on her behalf.”

     The detective put the folder in his briefcase.

     Anneke winked, saying, “By the way, Carl Erickson . . .”—she raised her glass—“better we are on first names.”

     “Here’s to Kitty and Anneke!” Carl said with a nod.

     With a keen eye Carl Erickson sized up his client. Sisters. This one had to be in her early sixties: hair short, blond; eyes blue; fair skin. Good appetite; enjoyed the punch. Drank like a fish. He chuckled.

     Anneke gave him a big smile. “Are you married, Carl?”

     “Regina is her name.” Carl topped her glass. “We are childless.” He leaned back in his chair. “Do you have children?”

     “I have two grandchildren,” Anneke said as she summoned with a wave of her hand the waiter. “Ice cream?” She nodded at Carl. “I’m having coconut with a dash of Tia Maria.”

     He gave her his biggest smile. “Make it two.”

     As they waited for the dessert, Anneke stared at Carl. She opened her mouth to say something but then firmly pressed her lips. After some seconds she took a deep breath. “I have to tell you,” she stammered, “something private.” She swallowed. “Kitty had a miscarriage at seven months on their yacht. Lucian didn’t listen to her when she told him that it wasn’t a good idea to take a trip to Puerto Rico. My sister never forgave him.”

    Anneke took from her handbag a handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes. “It was so sad, Carl.” Her voice broke; she sniffled. “Lucian was an amateur opera singer. When they married, he sang the song I’ll think of you until I die.”

     Carl Erickson held his breath. This case involved a long ago miscarriage?

     Anneke’s chest heaved as she wiped her eyes. “But when Kitty divorced him,”—she gasped, balling her handkerchief—“Lucian showed his true colors. He became real crafty.” She put the soaked hanky in her handbag. “Lucian died last year. Kitty wants to buy a townhouse in Willemstad with the sale of Mai Tai Cay.” Fired up, Anneke guzzled her punch until the last drop. She pointed at his briefcase. “Everything you need to know is in that folder.”

     Dessert was served. Anneke would contact him. They’d meet again in person.

     Carl took his briefcase, got to his feet, and said with a chuckle in his voice, “I can’t wait to find out what Kitty wants me to do for her.”

     Anneke folded her hands as if in prayer. “I have a hunch it will be complicated.”

     Carl raised his eyebrows and nodded. On his way leaving the Pilot House Club he took a free copy of the local newspaper from the lobby. Complicated? In that case, he’d make a copy of Kitty’s wish-list.

     Resolutely, Carl went to his office. He made two copies. The original briefing he put in his safe. Patting his briefcase, he grinned; he’d have to involve Gina—her hunches were often accurate. Walking home, he called her on his mobile.

     Carl went to the terrace of their villa and put his briefcase on the large table. Then he went to the kitchen and made coffee. He returned to the terrace. Opening the briefcase, he retrieved the two copies. The one for Gina he put on the other end of the table. Then he sat in his chair—ready to read what Kitty wanted him to do.

     **Dear Mr. Erickson,

I am upset!! I smell real estate laundering! Lucian, my ex, died last year. I contacted Philippa Ladova, his private lawyer, with whom I correspond about the allowance I receive every year from Lucian—until I die. I received a copy of his will—filed June 2006. I have first and preferred charge on his Estate. Not mentioned in his will was Mai Tai Cay; though he bequeathed to his wife Beth the large Abaco property. This land he bought one year after our marriage. That’s when, 1961, Lucian also added a codicil to the title of the island he had bought prior to our marriage—my name was added to the title. In case he died, he flew his own plane, I would own the Cay. And in case we had a child, I would transfer the title to our child when he/she turned 21. Well, I had a miscarriage. I divorced, and moved to Curacao.

     When did Lucian sell our Cay without my knowledge?**

     Carl sipped coffee. Contemplating the question, his eyes drifted to Gina’s copy. Violet? He smiled. Violet was Gina’s best friend; wife of realtor Mark Campion.

     **Mr. Erickson, for your information, Lucian was a con-man, a Judas. He would sell his soul for money. He and Beth have two children. Philippa once confided that those kids are swindlers, even craftier than their dad.

     Anneke is coming in person because I don’t want Philippa or the children to find out that I’m making inquiries. They never met my sister. I’m looking forward hearing from Anneke about your meetings.

     Mr. Erickson, I’m very grateful for your help.** it was signed Kitty J. Peppercorn.

     Carl went to the kitchen for a refill of coffee when Gina rushed into the hallway. He called out her name. Entering the kitchen, dark-haired Gina threw him a kiss, saying she was intrigued that this time she wasn’t to spy on couples but a case of a mysterious real estate deal. Carl handed her a cup of coffee and told her that a copy of the inquiry for her to peruse was on the terrace table.

     Gina sat in her chair. Sipping coffee, she took her copy and, with a wave at Carl, started to read. Carl watched her face. When she giggled he tapped his fingers on the table. Out of the blue she covered her face with the wish-list and pealed with laughter.

     Carl got up and walked over. “What’s so funny?”

     “Because”—Gina waved the copy—“I met Philippa”—her chest heaved from laughter—“at Happy House!”

     Carl’s jaw dropped. He peered at his wife. “What was she”—he swallowed—“doing at that mansion for escort services.”

     Gina put the wish-list on the table. “How about . . . looking for clients?” Her brown eyes twinkled. “Philippa is the lawyer to contact when you want a divorce.”

     “Are you sure she’s . . . Lucian’s lawyer?” Carl’s eyes narrowed.

     “Lawyer Philippa Ladova is well-known at Happy House.” Gina poked a finger at the copy. “She’s a regular.”

     “Aahh!” Carl’s face lit up. “Now I get it why Anneke came and not Kitty.”

     “Darling”—Gina blew a kiss at the copy—“shall I ring Violet to come over for a chat . . . today?”

     Carl fondled her earlobe. “And ask if Mark can also join us for happy hour.”

*******

It was happy hour

     Mark, Violet, Gina and Carl sat at the terrace table drinking daiquiris while perusing their copies of Kitty’s inquiry.

     “Violet,” Gina said, “who started this escort service?”

     Violet shook her shoulders. “I’ve no idea, but”—she waved her copy at Mark—“I’m sure Rose knows.”

     Mark grinned, showing a gap between his upper teeth, and took his mobile: ready to give his sister a ring. Listening he snickered, nodding. Finally he put the mobile on the table and gave thumbs up. The threesome raised their glasses. Joining them, he cheered, “Here’s to Rose!”

     They toasted.

     “According to my beloved sister, wine merchant Fred Bethel owned the mansion when he met Philippa at one of our tourist information parties. They clicked. He opened Happy House for tourists so they could get to know local business owners and invest.” Mark took a sip. “To attract overseas investors, an ad was placed in the International Herald Tribune. Rose giggled when she said that it had been Philippa’s idea. Soon the word got around about the mansion’s escort services.” He chuckled. “Carl, Happy House is your bread and butter.”

     Blue-eyed Violet whetted her lips, saying, “For lawyer Philippa Ladova . . . Happy House is her base.”

     “Ladova.” Gina tapped on the inquiry. “She’s Jewish?”

     “Jews,” Rose said with a nod, “who left Russia for the Crimea, bread-basket of Europe.”

     “Let’s get back to Kitty.” Mark waved the wish-list. “She wants to know when he sold Mai Tai Cay without her knowledge. She’s worried about title-laundering.”

     “Mark,” Carl said, “a good friend of mine works at the courthouse. We know that real estate files are open to the public, but a court clerk will not attract attention. Anneke told me to be careful. No attention. That’s why she came in person. No correspondence either. Post office clerks are known to gossip.”

     Mark looked at his wife; Violet was scribbling . . . “Carl, I’ll take care of the cay issue. Your friend can look into the purchase of the Abaco tract after their marriage. We need names.”

     Violet pushed her note toward Mark. She winked at Gina while whetting her lips. Carl craned his neck to glance at the note Mark was reading.

     “I’ll be darned!” Mark smirked. “Colin Stoneberger made the valuation of Mai Tai Cay?” He opened his eyes wide. “Violet?”

     Violet held up her glass for a refill. Carl went around topping the daiquiris.

     “Some time ago, Colin’s wife Minerva mentioned,”—Violet took a deep breath—“they have a working relationship only, that Colin had done a valuation of Mai Tai Cay without being asked to also do a title search. Most owners have this done if they want to sell the property.” She sipped. “However, the American wanted only the valuation. It was three million dollars.” She laughed. “Now we know it was Lucian Peppercorn.”

     “Great to know,” Carl said. “But we need more names.” He pointed his pen at Mark. “Can you pump Colin?”

     Mark shook his head. “We aren’t exactly on good terms. He said I stole one of his clients.”

     “Rose is on excellent terms with every realtor.” Violet spoke up. “She’ll get more names.”

     “I think that’s a job for Gina,” Carl said, looking at Mark. “Everyone knows that she’s involved with adultery cases and not with sleuthing on real estate transactions.”

     Violet clapped. “Gina, this is now your territory.”

     Gina blew her a kiss. “And I propose that my sister Eleanora Hastings inquires about the money. She has been promoted to the international department of Nassau Bank.”

     “Nora has the nose of a bloodhound.” Carl laughed. “She’ll dig up the dirt.”

     “Kitty mentions”—Mark put his pen on the copy—“that Lucian has two children. Get their names.”

     “Gina can do that.” Carl looked at her. “Anneke doesn’t want direct contact with me. However . . .”

     “Easy!” Gina’s brown eyes danced with mischief. “I’ll carry a shopping bag and tell reception that I’m delivering her purchases. I’ll knock on her door . . . and, voila, get their names.”

     Pointing a finger at her friend, Violet laughed. “No wonder you are known as Pushy-pushy!”

     “Okay,” Carl said. “Let’s meet tomorrow for lunch. Type your report, ideas and information: copies for everyone. We need answers.”

*******

Lunch on the terrace

     Gina served ham-and-cheese sandwiches and freshly made limeade. They talked about the latest gossipy news of Nassau. Gina cleared the table. Then she went around with the typed reports.

     “Okay,” Carl said. He looked at Mark. “You want the names of the kids. So I suggest we start reading Gina’s report.”

     “Amen!” Violet giggled. She took the two double-spaced pages Gina had provided. “Our Pushy-pushy did her homework.”

***

Report by Regina “GINA” Erickson

When Anneke opened the door I said: Regina is my name. Her face lit up and she took my arm and pulled me inside. We clicked right away. She opened the small refrigerator and made us mimosas.

She was eager to talk. Through the years, Kitty had given her info about the family; she had always been on good terms with Philippa.

About the kids—they are in their early thirties. Cleopatra is two years older than her brother Cyrus. Cleo is still single, and makes her living selling musical instruments. Lately, her specialty is harpsichords.

Cy dabbles investing in airlines. He has a pilot license. He is engaged to his high school sweetheart Cecily.

Anneke served more mimosa. I told her I had to do more sleuthing, so no thanks. Flushed, she got cozy—telling me that she and Kitty were alarmed when a week after their divorce Lucian married Beth Piper, his secretary.

She told Kitty that for sure Lucian had planned her miscarriage—thinking of the codicil. He didn’t want being stuck with her and the kid. And that for sure Beth must have demanded this ‘drastic accident’ or she would leave him.

Philippa wrote Kitty that Lucian had died of cancer; and five days prior to his death he had made a new will. She sent her a copy.

***

An accident!” Violet shrieked. “I bet she conveniently slipped on a banana peel.”

     “A new will . . .” Mark said with a snort, “days before he gasps his last breath sounds fishy. V-e-e-ry fishy.”

     With a nod, Carl said, “Like it or not, Lucian was obliged to file a will because Kitty had first and preferred charge on his Estate.” He pointed his pen at Violet. “Let’s read your report.”

***

Report by Violet Campion

The Nassau grapevine is flourishing! I “managed” to bump into Minerva at Nina’s Boutique. Knowing that Colin’s real estate deals are at a low, I invited her for brunch.

That’s when Minerva told me about the exciting news Nina confided to her. Matt Roboson, the investor of shady deals, had offered to buy her boutique! Nina had whispered to her that Matt seemed to be flush with money. He wants to rename the boutique Paradise Place—intending to sell perfumes and “friendship bracelets” designed by jeweler Otto of West Palm Beach. He plans to compete with Happy House!

I saw my chance to ask Minerva to find out more from Nina about Matt’s cash flow.

***

Paradise Place!” Gina pointed her pen at Violet. “Tell Matt”—she giggled—“that I’m interested working for him.”

     “For making deals, a pick-up place,” Mark said, “is always a magnet.”

     “I’ll do some investigating,” Carl said, “on mister Roboson. Is he a native Bahamian?”

     “Matt’s father came over from England,” Mark said. “He started buying out-island properties for a song. He married Ann Leslie, a woman from Hope Town. Matt was born in Nassau. Violet, please get back to Minerva regarding the cash flow.”

     “Mark,” Carl said, “I’m curious to know what you found out about Mai Tai Cay.”

***

Report by Mark Campion

I went to the Bahamian Government Ministry of Finance Valuation Section. I’m known as a realtor so I had no problem with the clerks. Lucian purchased the Cay on December 5, 1959, for $20.000-. When he sold the Cay, and to whom, has not yet been recorded. I predict that the codicil Kitty mentioned was written at the lawyer’s office as a short will. And most likely is filed with the purchase of the Abaco properties.

***

Your turn, Carl,” Mark said. “By the way, Colin also made the valuation of the Abaco purchase and the 69 acres are now worth one million.”

     Carl held up his report, saying, “I’ll read aloud what I wrote.” He looked around the table. “My good friend told me that Lucian purchased April 14, 1961, two tracts at Settlement Bight Land known as New Creek Bay on island Great Abaco totaling 69 acres valued at $38.000-. Postal address: Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Matt T. Roboson’s company, New Roboson (Holdings) Inc., owned the land.

He learned that the two tracts had originally been the property of a William H. Malone who sold the land to a Dr. Costenbader and cronies. When the doctor died the thread of info became thin. He had a funny feeling that the doctor bought the land from Matt. Once the Estate of Dr. Costenbader was settled, Matt was free to sell it to Lucian.

***

Carl, I have a feeling”—Gina blew him a kiss—“that Nora will be able to snoop the financial trail regarding the cash flow. Banks have access to info outsiders don’t.”

     “I have a better idea”—Mark smiled from ear to ear, the gap between his teeth prominent—“Rose has her way with men because she runs a preschool. She once told me that . . . “

     “She”—Violet interrupted—“seduces them with her charming ways.”

     “In that case, we’ll set her up at Nina’s”—Gina waved the wish-list—“about the cash flow.”

     “Okay,” Carl said. “Violet, you contact Minerva, or better yet, have a chat with Nina.”

     “I’ll pump both”—Violet whetted her lips—“and set up Rose for a meeting. She’s a pro at rolling her baby-blue eyes.” She pointed at Mark. “How many men has your sister wrapped around her little finger?”

     Gina clapped. “Violet, I’ll see you at Nina’s. I can’t wait meeting Rose.”

     Mark chuckled. “Ladies, we men are suckers. Carl and I are confident that we’ll get at the bottom of this cash flow deal.”

     “I’ll have a chat with Nora,” Carl said. “Let’s meet again tomorrow for breakfast.”

*******

Breakfast on the terrace

     The four investigators were sipping coffee and munching orange-marmalade croissants while reading each others’ report.

     “Nora,” Carl said, “was unable to see me yesterday. We’ll meet for lunch.”

     “I ran into a guy who’s an old buddy of Matt,” Mark said. “We’ll meet at noon for a beer.”

     “Violet,” Carl said, “you wrote that Minerva told you that according to Colin, Matt Roboson’s cash flow is suspicious. Colin assumes it has to do with shady real estate sales in the out-islands. You decided not to invite Minerva to Nina’s because we can’t afford her getting involved as she has a sharp tongue.” He chuckled. “So . . . Rose entered the boutique. You and Gina were chatting with Nina. Rose held out her arms. You gave her a hug. Then you introduced Rose to Nina. Conveniently you had a dentist appointment and quickly left. And Gina took over.”

     “Mark,” Gina said with a chuckle in her voice, “your sister should start a public relations academy for young ladies. Rose is absolutely delicious. In no time Nina was like soft butter, hanging on to Rose’s lips: telling her, fluttering her dark lashes, that Nina’s boutique is a girls’ fantasy land—peaches and cream. I didn’t want to spoil the rapport and I sneaked out.”

     “She’s a born flirt,” Mark said with a slow smile. “Our grandmother called her Miss Coquette.”

     ‘Have you heard from her?” Carl waved the report.

     “I’ll give her a ring.” Mark took his mobile. “Hello Miss Coquette. We are eager to know what’s up between you and flush-guy.” –“Oh, Nina asked him to come after lunch to discuss the boutique sale so he’ll be in a good mood.”—“So . . . you’ll walk in casually and Nina introduces you.”—“You’ll call me around five?”—“Oh . . . you plan to have dinner with him or a nightcap?”—“You play it by ear. Smarty one, we’ll be all ears.” Mark blew a smacker, and put the mobile on the table.

     “So Rose will call you around five.” Carl took his stack of reports. “Let’s have happy hour at six.”

*******

It was happy hour

Humming a tune, her brown eyes twinkling, Gina put a carafe of rum punch on the table and snacks for nibbling. Then, all smiles, she sat in her chair. Violet and Mark would meet . . . surprise . . . Anneke! They were going out for dinner and Anneke would pay! Nina had been obliging; she had been given the green light to hide in the boutique’s lavatory to have a peek at Matt. She overheard that they would meet at nine for a drink at CONCH—a smart beach bar on the outskirts of Nassau. Next to the bar was a popular fish eatery, NO-BONE, where illicit couples would come to smooch. The owners knew her. She had booked a table for five.

     Carl escorted Violet and Mark to the terrace. Gina waved, saying, “I feel it in my bones that tonight will be full of surprises.”

     Mark snickered. “You bet, Gina! Rose called. She’s meeting flush-guy at nine at CONCH.”

     “Let’s play peeping-toms.” Violet whetted her lips. “I’m dying watching Rose perform!”

     Gina got up, and as she poured punch, said, “Mark, how did your meeting with Matt’s buddy go? Did he give away secrets?”

     Mark laughed. “He told me that as a teenager Matt already played crooked games. He learned from his father, who always was flush with paper money, spreading it around, but was never caught doing dirty tricks like money laundering. They used an intermediary by the name of Billy Malone.”

     “So Matt has a reputation,” Carl said. “That’s plenty to go by.” He took his notepad. “Gina, Nora has your genes for snooping at places nobody would think of.” Carl tapped his finger on the pad. “Nora said it’s easy nowadays to follow the money trail. However . . . cash is difficult . . . unless it’s deposited. And there she was able to help me.”

     Carl gulped punch; then, with a snort, said, “Matt has an account with Nassau Bank. He has to; otherwise it would look suspicious, considering his occupation. He has the habit of depositing every month $30.000- Nora had a hunch that he had another account somewhere in some other name with power of attorney. And voila,”—Carl waved his pad—“Matt’s great aunt Penelope Brace of Hope Town has lately become fabulously rich. Two deposits were made, each for $150.000-.” Carl chuckled. “Nora wonders if the old woman knows.”

     “Can Nora send a letter from the bank”—Violet’s blue eyes twinkled—“asking Penny Brace to verify this is her money?”

     “Let sleeping dogs sleep.” Mark grinned. “If we need this appetizer, we can always tell Kitty’s Dutch lawyer.”

     “Kitty’s question,”—Carl looked at Mark—“when did Lucian sell the cay without her knowledge is still unsolved.”

     “I booked a table for five at eight at NO-BONE,” Gina said. “I’ll fetch Anneke and we’ll meet at the restaurant.” She pointed a finger at Violet. “And you,”—she laughed—“can play peeping-tom!”

*******

At restaurant NO-BONE

The party of five, enjoying their rum drinks, sat at a table close to popular beach bar CONCH.

     “There he is,” Gina said, putting her hand on Anneke’s arm—Matt was at the bar talking with the bartender, “the guy with the blue-beaded collar-band.”

     “Minerva told me,” Violet said with a chuckle in her voice, “that he wears this band on dates. And if he’s enamored, he puts the beads around her neck.” She whetted her lips, and with a wink, said, “He calls it necking.”

     Covering her mouth with her napkin, Anneke’s shoulders shook with laughter. Holding their drinks, the men cheered. “In the out-islands,” Mark said, “Matt is known as the carrier pigeon, inflaming the local beauties.” He snorted. “Here in Nassau, he’s the local Necker.”

     “Gina,” Carl said with a nod as he gave her a ten dollar bill, “please have a chat with mister pigeon.”

     “Okay, boss.” Gina got up drink in hand, and strolled toward the bar. A good friend of Carl the private detective, the bartender welcomed her. “Hello, Gina. Matt Roboson is waiting for his date.” He topped Matt’s mai-tai.

     “Who’s the lucky girl?” Gina leaned over to admire the blue beads.

     “I think your date has arrived,” the bartender announced.

     Wearing a white, low-cut dress, Rose got out of her white convertible.

     In a wink, Gina put the tenner and her glass on the bar—and winking at the bartender—she strode, eyeing Rose, to the entrance of the restaurant.

     Two minutes later Gina joined the party.

     They were eating grilled grouper. Loud shouting from the bar made them sit up and look at the commotion. Matt was holding up his collar-band. The bartender shouted something as he grabbed the beads. Rose held out her hand, saying something. The bartender gave her the beads. Rose gave him a big smile. Then she turned to Matt and gave him the necklace.

     “I’ll be darned,” Mark said with a snort. “I hope Rose knows what she’s doing.”

     “Buttering him up,” Violet whispered. “Rose is as smooth as sweet whipped cream. For sure she has a plan.”

     The pantomime continued when Rose said something to the bartender—who nodded.

     Matt, holding his beads, said something to Rose. She took them, all the while smiling, and put them in her purse.

     The bartender uncorked a bottle of champagne. With a big grin he served the couple, saying something.

     “Bubbles and mai-tais?” Mark’s shoulders shook. “Clever girl.”

     “She has experience.” Violet whetted her lips.

     The party continued eating the fish, served with Bahamian peas and rice.

     “Look,” Anneke whispered, elbowing Carl. “They are leaving.”

     Arms linked, Matt and Rose were slowly moving to her convertible. When Matt was seated, Rose turned around—waving toward the party! Then she drove away.

     “Knowing my sister,” Mark snickered, “she’ll drive to his place.” He folded his hands as if in prayer. He looked at Carl and Gina. “Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow at your place and I’ll give her a ring.”

     “How about me,”—Anneke put her hand on Violet’s arm—“I’m dying to hear about her adventure.”

     “Sure,” Violet said. “I’ll pick you up at eleven-thirty.”

TO BE CONTINUED!!-----STAY TUNED !!

 *******

Since we cannot escape reality, let us change the EYES which see reality.

[Nikos Kazantzakis: writer]

A four-year-old girl took some raisins from her younger sister’s plate. Her mother said: ‘Are you stealing your sister’s raisins?’ The girl replied: ‘No. I’m teaching her to share.’

We live in a universe where reality is what we construct with WORDS.

[Wittgenstein]

WORDS are the most powerful DRUG used by mankind.

[Kipling]

The TONGUE has the power of LIFE and DEATH.

[Proverbs 18:21]

*******

Email your feedback about the story to the author at rosecamelia@verizon.net.

March

Continuation of February

5195740_031519-wpvi-fyi-playhouse-new-vid

"A BARGAIN SALE"

[A Documented Curtain Call]

 

     "Carl, it's urgent, it's about Mai Tai Cay.  Meet me for breakfast." Nora Hastings put her mobile in her handbag. All smiles, clutching a file folder under her arm, she closed the door of her apartment.
Carl was sitting at the corner table of their coffee shop when Nora sidled up.
A waitress served coffee.

     Nora opened her folder and took a page, saying, "Carl, I think I struck gold. After you left, I called Henry, and I told him about our case, of Matt's cash-flow, and that we have a hunch it's related to the possible sale of Mai Tai Cay." She sipped coffee, perusing her note.

     Slowly moving his head side-ways, nose sniffing the air, Carl looked at his sister-in-law the bloodhound. "You discovered the money trail."

     "Perhaps." Nora softly bit her lower lip. "When I mentioned Mai Tai Cay, Henry told me that a Nassau lawyer friend had recently mentioned of having drawn up a sale for the cay in question for one million dollars. He called it a steal because included were two fully furnished villas."

     "You asked Henry for the name of his lawyer friend?" Carl leaned over, a bagel in hand.

     "Paul Queen has an account at Nassau Bank. I decided to see him at his office on Charlotte Street. I introduced myself." Nora smiled. "Paul said Henry often mentioned my name. Carl, I was bold. I asked him about the cay. And straightaway he pulled out the Mai Tai Cay file." She reached for her handbag.

     "I'm listening." Carl took a bite from his bagel.

     "Lucian signed the sale on March 4, 2005." Nora waved the page. "Paul told me he thought it peculiar that the vendor, mister Peppercorn, was specific about the date. It had to be the 4th of March." She nodded. "The purchaser was New Roboson Inc., a registered Bahamian corporation. The price was listed as one million dollars in the currency of the United States of America. I was startled because the valuation was for three million. Carl, something...didn't click." Nora softly bit her lower lip. "So I asked Paul if he knew about the payment--if cash was involved. He said that the vendor acknowledged receipt of payment but...didn't specify if by check or cash."

     "One million dollars in cash?" Carl wiped his mouth with his napkin. "What happened with the remaining two million?"

     "Indeed...those two million." Nora sighed. "Let's hope Rose will have the answer."

     "We'll find out when Mark calls her. Gina is serving lunch. Can you join us?"

     Nora consulted her mobile. She looked up, saying, "I'm having lunch with a client. As soon as the meeting is over, I'll join you." She put the mobile in her handbag, rose to her feet, and clasping the file folder under her arm went direction Nassau Bank.

     Carl followed his sister-in-law with his eyes. He liked and admired Nora. She was twelve years older than his Gina. Same velvety-brown eyes; wore her dark hair in a sophisticated French twist. Divorced. No children. Henry, her boyfriend, a banker in West Palm Beach, often came to see her. The sisters were great at snooping. Gina's specialty was personal relations--'playing it by ear'. Nora was a 'senser', following the path of cue words, passwords, watchwords--those were impressions feeding her sixth sense. She had said that something didn't click?

     Softly whistling, Carl paid the waitress.

     "What were you and my sister talking about?" a voice behind him whispered--Gina pulled his arm.

     Carl stopped. "Gina..."--he took her hand---"nothing illicit. Nora wanted to talk about what she discovered regarding our case. Kitty wanted to know the date. Remember?

     "Yes," Gina breathed, linking arms.

     "Nora found out that Mai Tai Cay was sold by Lucian Peppercorn on March 4th of 2005 for one million. We solved her question, Gina!" Carl squeezed her arm.  "Let's celebrate!"

     "We must celebrate success with fanfare!" Gina laughed. "I'll go to Jimmy's and have him deliver fiesta fare!" She blew a kiss in the air--as she went on her mission.

     Carl waved, shouting, "And I'll get nectar of the gods!"

     Carl whistled walking to his office. His mobile rang. "Anneke!"--"Splitting headache?"--"I'll inform Violet."--"You'll call again around four?"--"Take care, Anneke!" Frowning, Carl notified Gina not to count on Anneke for lunch. He rang Violet with the message of cancellation, and the exciting news that they would celebrate at lunch that the cay was sold on March 4th, 2005. Then he called Mark and left a message that Nora discovered the date of the cay sale, March 4th, 2005, and they would all celebrate at lunch.

 

*******

 

     Mark was pacing in his drive way when Rose drove up in her convertible. "Thanks for coming," he said as she got out. Beaming, they embraced--then they entered the house and into the kitchen.

     Holding the coffee pot, Violet pointed at the table set with mugs, creamer, sugar, and a green bamboo plate loaded with pastry and cake. "I can't wait," she breathed with excitement.

     Giggling, Rose sat in a chair; Mark joined her.

     Violet poured coffee, saying, "Your favorite red Danish, Rose." With a deep sigh she finally sat down facing her sister-in-law--ready for a conspiracy tale.

     With a slow smile Rose took from her purse a notebook that she put on the table. "This is my journal. Last night, I jotted down what was important. At times, Matt was incoherent."

     Mark and Violet stared--hypnotized.

     Whetting her lips, Violet whispered, "Did he give you much trouble driving to his house?"

     "Of course not," Mark said with a grin, "he thought of necking."

     Rose giggled. "I have a plan that works most of the time when I'm dealing with fuzz-headed males." She took a bite of Danish and munched, opening her journal.

     "I stationed Matt on his comfy couch, saying I'd make us drinks. He got fresh, grabbed my arm and pulled me close. I stroked his head and whispered that we had"--she winked--"all the time in the world." Mark and Violet snickered.

     "I went to the kitchen," Rose continued, "and made coffee. Hungry, I looked around. I opened the breadbox, and imagine...there was a stash of one hundred dollar bills totaling three thousand!" Mark and Violet were holding their breath, eyes glued on Rose--who softly said, "I laced his coffee with brandy, mine sober, put the laced coffee pot and mugs on a tray and joined him in the living room."

     Rose turned the page--and heaved a sigh.

     "Matt was snoring. I shook him. When he saw me he smiled, and said: my lovely Rose. I sat next to him and gave him his mug. I smiled as I softly said: You wise guy, when he grabbed me. Eyeing me, he drank coffee. I waited for him to put the mug on the side table and quickly took his arm. Squeezing him, I sprang the question,"--Rose laughed--"Why he kept a fortune in his breadbox? His eyes opened wide. But before he could utter a word I told him"--she winked at Violet--"that Nina had said that...he had told her that his cash flow to buy her boutique was a godsend."

     "A godsend!" Violet shrieked, folding her hands.

     "His loaves and fishes!" Mark doubled over with laughter.

     "He was dumbfounded. You should have seen his face." Rose took a bite of Danish, turning the page.

     Chuckling, Violet got up and poured more coffee, saying, "He was lost for words!"

     Mark leaned over to look at her journal. "I hope we'll now get the picture of his cash-flow, dearest sister." He pointed at the capital letters GODSEND.

     Rose rolled her innocent-looking baby-blue eyes. "I asked Matt to explain the word godsend. Was it a blessing bestowed by angels or was it a windfall from heaven?

     Violet and Mark laughed--tears running down their cheeks.

     "Matt," Rose said, "took his mug and nodded at the coffeepot. Obligingly, I filled up. He drank greedily--eyeing me. I could hear his sluggish brain trying to give me a story to believe." She took the journal and scrutinized her hand-writing.

     "When he finished drinking I said: Now Matt, what did you tell Nina about the cash-flow?" Rose looked up. "Knowing he felt very uncomfortable, I had put my hand on his shoulder, squeezing him. Contact is important." She nodded.

     "Did you tell him"--Violet leaned over and looked Rose in the eyes--"that another little birdie told you about the bank accounts?"

     "Violet, let's say that I had an inspirational moment?" Rode giggled. "I asked if he had recently gone to see his auntie Penny."

     "We have to thank Nora," Violet said, 'for this little morsel. Shall we celebrate your inspirational moment with a small glass of your favorite bubbles?" She went to the refrigerator.

     Mark took the bottle from her. "Let me do the honor. You get the flutes."

     Face flushed, Mark poured.

     "To Nora!" Rose held up her glass. "To Nora!" They laughed.

     Violet whetted her lips. "So...Rose...did Matt own up?"

     "I have a hunch"--Mark put his glass on the table--"that he got up as fast as he could,

     "He stumbled"--Rose laughed--"and fell flat on his butt. I said I'd get brandy so we could have a nice old fashioned chat, and left for the kitchen. When I returned he was in a chair, holding his mug. So I pulled up a chair and sat next to him. I poured him coffee and added a dash of brandy. He eyed me, so I smiled encouragingly." Rose looked at Violet. "I asked if his auntie Penny still resided in Hope Town." She consulted her journal. "I saw fear in his eyes, and decided to really play cat and mouse." Puckering her nose, Rose squinted at the page.

     "I put my hand on his knee, and said that Minerva had told Nina"--Rose giggled--"that a cay called Mai Tai had been evaluated by her Colin for three million dollars for an American by the name of Lucian Peppercorn." Rose winked at Violet who was whetting her lips. "You should have seen him gulping coffee." Rose shook her head. "Matt held out his empty mug. I filled it halfway, then asked, spoon-feeding him,"--Rose looked at Mark--"if he wanted more brandy. He whispered yes. So I filled the mug to the brim." Perusing her notes, Rose sipped.

     "I squeezed his knee, and asked if he had anything interesting to tell me, like a tip-off. I knew he'd stew over my question. Well, he broke down--slumping in his chair, he groaned." Rose sighed. "He didn't struggle when I suggested we sit on the couch." She flipped the page. "Here is his story. Listen carefully."

     "Rose, I'm sure you don't mind if I top the flutes." Mark went to the refrigerator, got the champagne bottle, and fulfilled his mission.

     Savoring Rose's favorite beverage, they sipped in silence.

     "Okay, here goes." Rose gave a nod. "In 1961 Matt sold Lucian Peppercorn 69 acres on Great Abaco--across from cay Mai Tai. The American wanted privacy. He said Lucian came to him with a proposal. They plotted at the Pilot Hose Club, Lucian's favorite hangout when in Nassau."

     "What was this proposal?" Violet breathed, her bosom heaving.

     "Lucian told Matt that his two adult kids were very busy professionally and had little time to be on their cay. So they thought of starting a rental business. They would rent not only their two villas but also other homes and even apartments. Island hopping, they called it--the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Malta, even the Hebrides. However,"--Rose took a deep breath--"that would mean paying income tax in the States and wipe out their profit." She put a finger on her journal.

     "We Bahamians,"--Rose looked at Mark--"we do not pay income tax. So, to escape paying American income tax, Lucian and his kids needed a Bahamian associate or buy a registered Bahamian corporation. Actually,"--she pursed her lips--"Matt said that Lucian fancied getting his hands on his seal."

     "Incredible!" Mark leaned forward, peering at the journal. "Did Matt sell them his New Roboson seal?"

     "Yes." Rose raised her flute. "But that's not all!" Sipping, she looked at her brother. "It's far more devious. Lucian offered to pay him one million in cash!"

     "Are you saying the American made him do something illicit like money-laundering?" Mark held out his hand for the journal.

     "Not so fast." Rose giggled. "I'm not done yet. It seems that before the sale was signed and sealed, the kids gave him the cash. Now, when Matt told me this, he was all worked up--coming up with the goods."

     Mark eyed his sister. "Do you know how those kids managed to get that much cash?"

     Rose sat up straight in her chair. "As a matter of fact, Matt was itching to tell me." She took a deep breath, eyeing her journal. "He said that he had to protect himself from the Americans snitching on him. They were constantly looking for tax loopholes. So he boldly asked the father, who told him that the family's company, Peppercorn Trust, helped out. His kids got on their 21st birthday fat trust funds. To get the money, each child had to buy life insurance, and they used their trusts as collateral. The man who authorized this deal was a Paul Irvine. Matt said that this knowledge protected him from those bamboozlers; in case they might conceal the truth.

     Violet and Mark stared at Rose.

     "Did he tell you"--Mark eyed the journal--"which law firm wrote the sale transaction?"

     "We are in luck. Matt mentioned Paul Queen." Rose turned to Violet. "You know his wife Sara?"

     "Now and then we play tennis, and afterwards we have a drink at the club." Violet smiled at Mark. "I like her."

     "I'll go to Charlotte Street and have a chat with Paul about the notarization as well as Matt's seal." Mark got to his feet. "When we meet at Gina's I'll have additional information."

     Rose also rose to her feet. "I couldn't find a replacement teacher on such short notice. I'm sorry that I can't come."

     "I have to pick up Anneke." Violet said. "See you at lunch, Mark. And, Rose, don't worry, I'll keep you up to date."

*******

     Mark parked his car in front of Charlotte House--where most lawyers had their offices. Queen & Company was on the second floor. Mark entered. On the reception desk were a coffee mug and a cupcake. He shouted, "Good morning!"

     A door opened and a tall, sandy-haired, youngish-looking man entered. He looked toward the desk, then at Mark. "Good morning. I'm Paul Queen," he introduced himself. "My wife probably went for an errand." He nodded at the empty chair.

     "I'm Mark Campion." Mark came to shake hands. "I'm a realtor and want to consult you about a real estate deal you once drew up." He smiled broadly--his gap showing. "By the way, Paul, your wife Sara and my Violet play tennis together."

     Paul's face lit up. "As our wives play together," he said, smiling, 'we aren't exactly strangers. Come into my office, Mark."

     Mark sat facing Paul at his large, uncluttered desk.

     Paul took a notepad and pen. "You want information about a past real estate transaction?"

     "Yes." Mark leaned forward. "Mai Tai Cay."

     Paul stared at Mark, then, raising his eyebrows, he said in a low voice, "What's going on with Mai Tai Cay? Yesterday a woman from Nassau Bank also inquired.

     "Nora Hastings." Mark nodded.

     Paul's eyes narrowed and his Adam's apple teetered-tottered. Without a word he got up and went to a filing cabinet. He returned with a folder, sat in his chair, and looking at Mark said, "So...you know Nora."

     "Yes. Nora is the sister-in-law of Carl Erickson, a private detective, whose wife Regina is my Violet's best friend."

     With a slow grin Paul said, "What we do without our wives, huh? Their territory is public relations." He opened the folder. "The sale of Mai Tai Cay was signed on March 4, 2005." Paul looked up. "I told Nora that one million dollars was a steal because it came with two fully furnished villas."

     "A steal indeed,"--Mark nodded--"because Colin Stoneberger's valuation was for three million."

     Paul's jaw dropped. Resolutely he offered Mark the sale transaction as he said, "Read for yourself. By the way, Nora wanted to know if it was cash. I told her that the wording was ambiguous."

     "It was cash." Mark held the document. "My sister Rose had a date with Matt Roboson, who told her about this devious deal Lucian Peppercorn made with him. One million cash for the Roboson seal."

     "Rose is your sister?" Paul smiled. "How small is this world. Our son attends her preschool."

     "No doubt  my Violet told your Sara about the preschool." Mark chuckled, winking.

     Paul had a belly-laugh. Then, his voice serious, he said, "This transaction"--he pointed at the document--"is fraudulent...if true."

     "Actually, Paul, I came to find out about the notarization. Was Sam Levis the notary public?"

     "I remember that Lucian Peppercorn had had a stroke and was wheelchair bound. They asked for the sale transaction to be sent to their Philadelphia address. Look at page 2." Paul pointed at the document.

     "I see...yes, Lucian signed, and attached is the seal of New Roboson Inc...signed by"--Mark looked up--"Cyrus Peppercorn, President and Director of this corporation, and Cleopatra Peppercorn, Secretary and Director."

     "I feel duped!" Paul fumed. "May I ask... who started this inquiry about Mai Tai Cay?"

     "Kitty Peppercorn.  She was Lucian's first wife. According to her, when Lucian would die, she'd inherit the cay. It was added as a codicil signed in 1961. I think it was more likely a short will." Mark looked Paul in the eyes. "Her sister is now in Nassau consulting Carl. They are Dutch. Kitty wants to buy with the proceeds of the Mai Tai sale a townhouse in Willemstad, Curacao."

     "I'll have to look at the 1961 file." Paul nodded. "I'll let you know about the codicil. In the meantime, I feel like filing a complaint with our government about this fraudulence." He held out his hand to take the sale transaction from Mark. "You said Lucian offered the cash payment to Matt?"

     "Yes." Mark gave Paul the file. "It is important?"

     Paul grunted, "Bribery is a felony."

     "Matt told Rose that he had to protect himself from them snitching on him. So he got the inside dope of how those kids got that one million cash to hand over." Mark snickered. "This knowledge would protect him from the bamboozlers."

     "And what was that knowledge?" Paul leaned over.

     "They used their trust funds to buy life insurance to get the money."

     "Very interesting," Paul said with a nod. "Those kids are set for life. Maybe we can help Kitty get her house, even if there's no codicil."

     "That would be great," Mark said. "Maybe we can use this as an incentive for them to share their rental profits with her?"

     "Rental profits?" Paul was all ears, looking at Mark.

     "Matt told Rose why they wanted the Roboson seal. These false-faced kids were going to start a world-wide rental business with Mai Tai Cay as head quarters."

     "Tricksters are swindlers." Snickering, Paul put the file in a tray to his right. "I'll have Sara investigate the exchange of the seal. I doubt that this transaction was reported by either party."

     Laughing, Mark got on his feet. "Carl and I are having lunch together. We'll discuss how to approach this issue."

    Paul escorted Mark to the door. "Please keep me posted."

      A blonde sat behind the desk.

     "Sara, Mark Campion is the husband of Violet, your tennis pal." Paul winked at her.

     Sara smiled. "I'll invite Violet for cocktails next Sunday." She winked at her husband. "We have much in common."

     Shaking hands, Paul winked at Mark.

*******

Lunch on the terrace

     "Splitting headache?" Violette giggled entering the terrace followed on her heels by Carl and Mark.

     "Just as well she's not coming." Carl waved at Gina sitting in her chair sipping mimosa.

     "She wasn't  intoxicated when I took her to the Club." Gina said, putting her glass on the table. "As a matter of fact, we had an espresso at the bar."

     The doorbell rang.

     In a wink Gina got to her feet. "Our lunch has arrived," she announced, and sashayed to the hall.

     Laughing, Violet rumbaed around the terrace table, saying, "I'm dying to hear what our pushy-pushy, known around town as that snitching romance woman, will tell us.

     The men clapped, all smiles.

     "When Gina dances,"--Violet also clapped--"she has an entertaining story for us in store." With a shake of her hips, Violet rumbaed into the kitchen, Still clapping, eyebrows raised, the men followed her.

     "Wow, what a spread!" Violet blew Gina a kiss as she filched a stuffed green olive, "Shall we eat first or ... listen to your scoop?"

     "Gina, I can't wait to hear the glad tidings." Carl took her by the hand and went to the terrace. Shaking her hips, Violet snatched a handful of cashews and followed Mark outside.

     They sat in their chairs.

     Gina leaned back, crossed her arms, and with a slow smile said, "I was at Jimmy's selecting our spread when behind me someone said in a low voice: What were you talking about with Anneke Van Veen at the bar last night?" Gina uncrossed her arms and leaned forward. "For a second, I froze. But then I turned around and...there she was...Philippa Ladova!"

     "Oh, boy!" Mark yelled; Violet was in stitches with laughter.

     "Good grief!" Carl leaned over to look at Gina rolling her velvety-brown eyes. "Anneke's splitting headache, huh?"

     Gina nodded, fluttering her eye-lashes. "I had to think fast. I told Philippa that Anneke suspected her son-in-law of having an affair here. So she consulted Carl. She wants to confront him in Amsterdam. That's where they live."

     "A darned good yarn." Mark snapped his fingers.

     "Did Philippa inquire after Kitty?" Carl's eyes narrowed.

     "She did." Eyes glinting, Gina sucked her lower lip. "So I said: Kitty? Who is Kitty? Philippa stared at me; then she smiled and said: Anneke's sister." Gina snickered. "I opened my mouth like I was surprised, but then I shook my head and said: Anneke has a sister?"

     They doubled over with laughter.

     "When her mobile rang I was saved from more interrogation so I dashed for the door." Gina laughed.

     "That was a close call!" Violet nodded her head.

     Gina reached for her glass. "Carl, I deserve a refill!"

     Mark and Violet cheered. Beaming, Carl took her glass.

     With a grin, Mark joined Carl to the kitchen.

     Mark was holding a tray with flutes and Carl the corked nectar when they returned.

     Gina and Violet, waving a sheet of paper, were talking rapidly.

     Mark put the flutes on the table. "You typed up what Rose told us this morning?"

     Gina rose to her feet, took the paper, and said, "I'll make copies."

     By the time Carl had poured the bubbles, Gina returned. In silence she gave copies of Violet's report to Mark and Cark. Then she gave Violet hers, and sat in her chair.

     "Friends, we did it! A toast to Kitty's successful inquiry!" Carl held up his flute.

     They toasted.

     "About Kitty's codicil, Paul promised to take care of that." Mark took a sip. "By the way, he fumed when I told him that Colin had valuated Mai Tai Cay for three million but that Lucian sold it for one third." He looked at  Carl. "Unheard of, Paul said. He'd look into that issue as well. Cash deals are often fishy. He mentioned the word bribery."

     Violet waved her report. "Matt told Rose that evasion of American income was the issue. Remember? The dirty words are...American income!

     Gina beamed. "Bahamians do not pay income, and no gift taxes either."

     "And no tax on inheritances." Carl said as he looked at Mark smiling from ear to ear.

     "That's why the Peppercorns wanted that seal," Mark said. "If their dad had given them the cay as a gift, the American tax would have been big. I did wonder why daddy didn't bequeath the cay in his will, because on three million dollars the American tax would be minimal, about fifteen thousand. I noticed reading the sale transaction at Paul’s office that the Stamp Tax was $100,000-, a whopping ten percent.”

     “By owning a Bahamian corporation they would become filthy rich.” Violet whetted her lips.

     ’Indeed,” Mark said. ‘Dad sold the cay on paper but in reality it was a title transfer--as Kitty suspected."

     "Acquired is the proper word. Cheers!" Gina sipped.

     Carl's mobile rang. "Nora!"--"You can't join us?"--"Nora, there was never mention of the cay's real value so there were no hidden two millions. Lucian bought the island for twenty thousand. The IRS will accept the one million sale price at face value."--"Listen, Gina will type a report for Kitty and she'll give you a copy. Okay?"--"Nora, we thank you for your input and hope to see you soon."

     Mark clapped. "You got it in a nutshell. I'm salivating for the curry chicken, so let's eat first. Then you and I do Kitty's invoice, while you girls come up with the story line." He got to his feet. "And tomorrow afternoon you'll meet Anneke and hand over a nice file-folder for her Kitty."

     Violet jumped out of her chair and ran to the kitchen, shouting, "And I'll have their yummy green turtle pot pie!"

***

     They were on the terrace eating chocolate mousse and Jimmy's famous pistachio cookies when Carl's mobile rang.

     "Anneke! How you feel?"--"We have good news for Kitty."--"Gina and Violet will have our report ready by lunch time tomorrow." "Shall we meet at the pool at four for tea?"--"Yes. Gina and Violet will take you to the airport. Don't worry.'--"Bye-bye, Anneke." Carl laughed and nodded at Gina. "She's on ginger tea! No punch."

     "I'll give Paul a ring in the morning," Mark said, "about the codicil," He turned to Gina. "Add a P.S.: she should consult her Dutch lawyer regarding her inheriting the cay after Lucian's demise. He may want to give Paul a ring." All worked up, he turned to Carl. "Paul told me that he was thinking of reporting the Peppercorns to the IRS for misleading Matt--for hoodwinking the cash deal. Matt was a victim, them dodging the IRS."

     "Violet," Gina said, 'how about..." she smiled at Carl---"if we go to Carl's office where we can concentrate doing our report?"

     Whetting her lips, Violet sprang to her feet. "Pushy-pushy, let's not waste a second!"

 

*******

     Carl parked his car at the Pilot House Club. He took his briefcase and got out. As he shut the door, his eyes narrowed. At the open front doors stood Philippa--talking with the bell boy. Danger! She should not witness him giving Anneke a folder. He went to the trunk of the car and put his briefcase inside.

     Softly whistling, he walked to the entrance. He entered the lobby. He canvassed the surroundings. No Philippa. He frowned. Ladies room? He strolled to the pool entrance. And there she was, standing next to Anneke! In a flash, he dashed to the table stacked with newspapers, took one and, unfolding it, hid his face. His eyes skipped the lobby. The bell boy came toward him. Hastily he took a ten dollar banknote from his trouser pocket. He gave the tenner to the bell boy, saying in a low voice that he should tell Mrs. Ladova that a client wanted her advice and was waiting in the lobby. With a big smile, nodding, the bell boy went on his mission.

     Carl stealthily made his way toward a secluded table and sat down. Hiding behind the newspaper, he watched the bell boy giving his message to Philippa; who squeezed Anneke's shoulder, and then followed the bell boy to the lobby.

     Folding the newspaper, Carl rose to his feet and strolled toward Anneke. She waved. Out of the corner of his eye Carl saw Philippa standing at the pool entrance, the bell boy pointing at him. Grinning, he sat across from Anneke.

     "Carl...no briefcase?" Anneke frowned. "I was looking forward reading Rose's report."

     "Anneke,"--Carl put the newspaper on the table next to the teapot--'we have to be careful. Mark decided to hunt down the codicil Kitty mentioned. So tomorrow morning he has another talk with the lawyer who drew up the sale transaction. And his report will be added to the final report."

     Staring at Carl, Anneke sipped tea. "Carl, I'm flying tomorrow to Miami and on to Aruba and Curacao. Gina and Violet will see me off." She took a sip. "I have to wait until tomorrow?"

     "Sorry, Anneke." Carl leaned back in his chair. "You asked me to lay low. No attention." He folded his hands. "Gina wants to enclose a personal letter for you and Kitty. She told me it was one of her clairvoyance moments; she felt it necessary to let you know. That's why you'll receive Kitty's report folder when they wave you farewell."

     Anneke put her teacup on the table. With a nod she stood up. "I'll walk you to the front doors."

     Together they went to the lobby, At the desk the bell boy broke into a smile. No Philippa. They crossed the lobby.

     Anneke said as she put an arm around his shoulder, "Carl, I can't thank you enough for your kindness helping Kitty. I hope we'll stay in touch. You and Gina have become like old friends."

     Holding Anneke in his arms, Carl whispered, "What did you tell Philippa when she asked you why you came to Nassau?"

     Anneke's blue eyes twinkled. "I told her that I came because I suspected that my husband was having an affair here. But I wanted to be sure before accusing him."

     "Smart woman." Carl kissed her on her cheek.

     Then, whistling softly, Carl strode, key in hand, to his car. Before opening the door, he turned around.

     And just like his Gina...Anneke blew him a kiss!

 

COLIN SIGNATURE

COLIN SIGNED

CONFUCIUS: The Great Sage

[circa 550-BCE--479-BCE]

Meet KINDNESS with kindness

but

meet MALICE with the merit it deserves: JUSTICE/Righteousness

BARGAIN SALE---GO TO JAIL!

THE END OF THIS STORY

rose campion

Picture of me

May 2023

LYCHNIS [Rose Campion]

*******

STAY TUNED!

 

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April

CONFUCIUS

CONFUCIUS:

The Great Sage

Confucius was once asked: Should I return malice with kindness? He replied: If you return malice with kindness, what will you return kindness with? Therefore, return malice with justice but return kindness with kindness.

My P.S. ----to the story--BARGAIN SALE

Some fans believe that my story is malicious as “facts” can be manipulated-falsified. I feel obliged—to clear my name—to reveal the facts from the Discovery Documents my lawyers obtained legally and that can be verified.

Real Estate Transactions are: PUBLIC DOMAIN

sale bridges cay dated 2005
STAMP DUTY - TAX
B-sale (1)
high view farm
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SHAKESPEARE

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

Erich Fromm:

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself

[ELVIS * MADONNA * GRACE KELLY * COCO CHANEL/catwalk]

KHALIL GIBRAN:

ON ATTITUDE:

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

CONTINUATION OF MY * JANUARY 2024 MEMOIR

SUMMER 1967—the BAHAMAS

---One ship drives east and another drives west

by the self-same gale that blows,

tis the set of the sail, and not the gale

that determines the way she goes---

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Scan

Gazing over the waves my eyes reach the horizon—with beyond the land of Kismet: choices made that determine one’s journey.

     I’m fed up with Laren’s lethargy. If he isn’t fishing, he hangs around the house sipping rum, doing nothing but stare in yonder. He rarely reads a book; though he will flip through the pages of boating magazines. I wonder if his talking sessions with our bishop makes him shirk talking with me. Ever since, we have seldom had a real conversation; here it’s just the two of us—and the dogs. In the States we had subjects: opera, concerts, trips to new restaurants—social life!

     Two weeks ago I did something “on the spur of the moment” that will change my course of life. Hold your breath: I packed my suitcase!

     “I have had it,” I announced, “I’m leaving!” I pointed at my suitcase. “For good!”

     He nodded, took the suitcase, and we went to the marina. The Miss Mango was ready . . . His face showed no emotion as he steered the vessel direction Marsh Harbour. Now upset, I said, “We made a pact two years ago that you would agree to an amicable divorce.”

     “I don’t recall,” he replied.

     “You swore on our Bible!” I shouted.

     He looked at me, callous-eyed. In his lethargic monotone voice he said, “It’s not in my nature to swear on the Bible.”

     Fear hit me, hitting me with full force. My throat was burning, I swallowed hard. My heart shook violently as, getting hold of his arm, I shouted, “You promised!”

     He swept my hand away, as if it was a nasty mosquito. “Wishful thinking.”

     The abyss floated before my eyes. He was willing to perjure himself!? He didn’t mind going to hell!? I felt as if the ground was pulled out from beneath my feet, and in a rush to escape him, I jumped overboard! I came to my senses quickly because being dressed, shoes and all, I had difficulty keeping afloat. He put out the ladder and hoisted me into the boat. Dripping like a wet rag, now speechless, out of breath, I sat on the bench. He looked at me, calm like a serene swan, and opened his mouth. “I don’t want a divorce.”

     With a deep sigh I turn my interior eyes to the past: Yesterday—a haunting Beatles song on the radio. A tear runs down my cheek as I call back yesterday. The day Dr. Goldfarb told me to get a divorce. How I drove like a zombie to tell my mother. I wrote a poem: “When my world is filled with sorrow and my mind is mid-night blue, for sure that by tomorrow none of the shadows shall be true.” Looking way back . . . I now smile with a sigh: When I was a twelve-year old girl in Vienna, so alone, not able to speak German. How a kind teacher made me copy poems. I learned fast, and fell in love with Schiller and Goethe. As I copied the lines, I’d recite aloud; that’s how I learned to speak German! My aunt Olga had a friend, Maria Eis, a well-known Burg theater actress. Her son Heiki, my age, would come over, they lived around the corner, and we would play theater. On the mansard, above the living area, Aunt Olga kept her opera costumes. We would don those that we needed for our performance; Heiki deciding the theme. I fell in love with the stage; how wonderful to be a stage-actress. I collected poems and would memorize them; my favorite: Die Kraniche des Ibycus—the cranes of Ibycus (Schiller). I giggle, remembering. When I lived in Holland, I won at age 15 a first prize for my poem BALI. “Bali is een eiland oh so prachtig, met vulkanen groot en machtig. In iedere straat of weg een tempel op de hoek. Schilders brengen met hun penseel al dat moois op het doek. De Belgische schilder Le Mayeur schilderde vooral de Balise vrouw in felle kleur.” ETC-ETC.

     Gazing from my perch, my eyes scan the horizon. How I wish Lady Luck will be with me on the journey ahead; that the winds of fortune will blow me in the direction to what I want. Because . . . what I WANT is a life of my own!

     When we made the pact, he had promised to support me to make a life of my own by attending the Hotel Management School in Switzerland: three years in Geneva and two years in Zurich. I wanted to prepare myself making a living managing a resort hotel. I was 27 and healthy. I should have listened to my lawyer and had his promise put into writing. I recall telling him that this idea was undignified. All God needed was his promise on the Bible. I sigh, wondering why he doesn’t want a divorce. He doesn’t really love me! I’ll ask our bishop to consult the Writings of Swedenborg about the divorce issue. Come what may . . . I’d go with the gales of the winds . . .

     I had been determined to make my marriage work. But . . . HOW was I to know that when I left home October 1964, that tongues began to waggle? When people don’t know “the details” about the break-up of a marriage they make up stories: gossip. First wife fled after three months of marital bliss? Second wife moved out? Speculations mushroomed! The taboo subject—the elephant in the room—was the word “pansy/homo”.

     It had never crossed my mind when I returned to the family fold spring 1965 that the gossipers were puzzled, and speculated that I must have been “bribed”; whatever they meant with bribes.

     But . . . HOW was I to know that this notion of “bribery” had been planted by Laren himself? He began to shower me with expensive jewelry from F.J. Cooper; with stores in Philadelphia, Jamaica, and Amsterdam. A sister was married to Douglas the jeweler. Rumors have wings—wings of deception!

TO BE CONTINUED

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!! . . . Rumors here . . . whispers there . . . !!

As a bat does by perception,

Gossip flies all through the air

it’s fragrance a subtle deception!

By Olga Pitcairn

STAY TUNED!

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May

Solar_eclipse_1999_4

April 8, 2024 solar eclipse

TAKE THE UNIVERSE ITSELF AS GOD [“energy”]

AND THERE’S NO DENYING GOD

RUMI:

When the secret of an atom-of-an-atom will become clear—then the secret of all created things will be clear, and then you will “see” God.

pebble

STARDUST

PSALM 104:29

When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

GENESIS 3:19

For dust you are and to dust you will return.

THE (GREEK) ROMAN DEITIES

MARS

VENUS

JUPITER

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RUMORS

All one needs is the seed of suspicion!

Indeed . . . HOW was I to know that Laren had planted the seed of “bribery” to satisfy those prying, wagging tongues spreading half-truths? So I could show off my jewelry, he secured a balcony-box for opera performances—to be seen entertaining friends—at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Finally, we had a real social life!

     Laren opened charge accounts at Tiffany, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord&Taylor, Bonwit Teller and so on. We had an account with the Barclay Hotel on Rittenhouse Square; I often entertained my friends for lunch at the restaurant after a shopping spree.

     Laren liked to ski. I wasn’t fond of snow; my nose would get red like a poppy from the cold and I’d get nose bleedings. However, we made a deal: He’d learn to dance and I would take ski-lessons. He bought me the finest skis money could buy. We went to Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Stowe, Vermont. The scenery was serene/pristine picturesque like the Austrian Tyrolean Alps. You bet that my ski-wardrobe was the latest fashion!

     Well . . . Laren learned to dance at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Jenkintown! Pearl Buck also took lessons. They became friendly. She asked him to be her partner at the inauguration ball of her charity Pearl Buck Foundation. Gosh, such an honor! Their “parquet performance” was super; the lessons had paid off! Pearl Buck invited us to her homestead in Bucks County. We became involved with her Korean Foster children organization. Because I was already heavily involved with Save the Children—having sponsored children in Greece and Lebanon—I eventually declined. But Laren continued his sponsorship. The tall, young, aristocratic-looking dance teacher had moved in with Pearl. He became her “manager”. Their partnership ended with sorrow for her.

     When I was about eleven and living with my parents in Banjuwangi, Java, they gave me a plot near the chicken-coop so I could grow flowers: I adored flowers, especially zinnias. I asked Laren for a small greenhouse to be built next to the kitchen; and, voila, I got my little paradise. My hobby: Orchids! I bought them from an orchid grower in Florida. My favorite, my pride and joy, was a gorgeous Pansy orchid from South America; species from Hawaii; from Indonesia the pink and white Phalaenopsis that grew in our backyard, and of course those showy Catleyas!

     I very much wanted my marriage to work and tried hard to create a “duo-life”. I joined Laren to Wyoming for a brown-bear hunt. I came along on the first day with a well-read Agatha Christie given me by the Lodge’s hostess. With a smile she said that it was to while away the time. I sat beneath a shady evergreen, leaning against its trunk. Brushwood separated me from the hunters sitting nearby watching the bait in the valley—hoping a bear would show up. Well, for me it was boring as the bears didn’t show up! So the next day the hostess took me to Codi, a nearby city. We visited the Buffalo Bill Museum. On the third day she showed me how to fish trout!

     When the bow-and-arrow hunting season for deer started, I came along. The “hunt” was on his father’s 200-acre estate. This time it was a “stalking” trip—me sneaking behind him. When he took aim, and the deer sprinted away, I closed my eyes. We followed the blood trail but lost sight of the animal. In the afternoon we were told that the deer had to be euthanized. That was the end joining him on this sport. How many run-away deer with an arrow stuck somewhere, I wished not to know. He had the animals’ heads mounted—even Bahamian fish were stuffed—and paraded on the basement “trophy-room” walls.

     To learn about the exotic Swedenborgian religion I attended the weekly Bible classes given by the bishop. His flock was small. I met Rebecca, a lovely woman of Armenian descent, who became a dear, loyal friend.

the earths

THE MOON

The congregation was looking forward to the Moon landing scheduled for 1969. Swedenborg wrote that the inhabitants were small, dwarf-like, and that their speech emanated from their stomach. There was much speculation about meeting them. Imagine . . . looking at photographs of those Moon people, taken by our astronauts! It was a thrill reading about folks in the universe! There were skeptics; someone saying: What if there are no inhabitants? Pastor Theodore, Laren’s father, replied that most likely they would be hiding on the other, dark side of their moon.

     I kept myself very busy during the day, but in the evening there were moments I had interior discussions with God. Why, I asked, do you punish me, marrying a man who makes me miserable? The “heavenly” regulations regarding marriage were for better and for worse; until death do us part. I truly believed this and knew in my heart that I had to finish my “term” on this Earth: That’s what would save me from facing hell. Yes, my inner-voice told me that God had a message for me, which I had to fulfill. That there was a lesson to be learned made it easier for me to face the future. I started to feel sorry for Laren; a sick person who had to be looked after by me. I invented all sorts of excuses for him—why he was the way he was!

     I rescheduled our life. I made him attend the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. And I took courses at the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

     As a teenager in Holland, I enjoyed knowing about legendary historical figures—Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot; the adventurous Marco Polo and China: the silk road; famous Queen Cleopatra and her black snake: suicide; Christopher Columbus sailing the Atlantic in search of the Spice Islands. They lived in foreign lands and hence geography was involved. It so happened that both courses were taught by the same teacher. He blended the two subjects; his lessons were stimulating! Needles to say he fanned my flame of curiosity? On occasion he would ask me to write a short report or “commentary” on what had impressed me most. One day he told me that I should consider becoming a journalist because I had the knack of getting to the point of a “story”.

     Never an idle moment—I became engrossed in “digging the past” known as archaeology. My first decision was where to focus my interest. Looking around the museum’s exhibitions, I thought the ETRUSCANS would be interesting. These people (out of Africa) had been living in central Italy for “ages”; a very long time. Their pottery was black; most unusual. Their artifacts made of bronze were coveted around the Mediterranean. They drained the swamps—so Rome could be built on a hill overlooking the Tiber River.

     To be sure of my choice, I thought it would be best that I visit myself this ancient area. March 1967, we took a plane to Rome. A guide took us to the Etruscan tombs near the city. He gave us a short, touristy, printed history of their importance.

     Ancient Rome was founded according to two myths—by twin-brothers Romulus and Remus whose father was god Mars and their priestess mother Rhea Silvia. The brothers had an argument and Romulus killed Remus; naming the city after himself—or the twins were suckled by a she-wolf. This myth seems to have been more popular, and statues of a she-wolf with two suckling infants became the official endorsement. ROME was founded on April 21, 753 BCE.

     We also managed the tourist stuff: city sightseeing, the Vatican, the zoo. Then a few days to Venice: shopping in Murano, the Glass Island.

     On our return trip I decided that the Etruscan civilization, although women were on equal footing with men, was not my cup of tea. I now chose Classical Athens and Rome; lots of ruins to visit!

     As usual, we left in June for Bridges Cay.

Scan

     Gazing from my perch, my eyes scan—for the last time—the horizon, with beyond the land of Kismet. I sigh because my wish for a life of my own was shattered when he said: ‘I don’t want a divorce.’

     I get up. In one hour Frank, our island manager, will take us to the airport in Marsh Harbour where a chartered plane will take us to Miami. A last look—I blow a kiss at the horizon—then I am on the way to the house, singing the song “Yesterday.”

WITHOUT OUR MEMORIES—WHO WOULD WE BE?

AUTUMN-1967

The two-year “probation” had been a fiasco in the making. Laren was a night-owl whereas I was a morning person. I decided to evade being with him alone. In October I moved into the guest bedroom. He did not object. My lawyer, Peter, had told me that if I were to move out of the house that I would receive not a penny as it would be considered “desertion”. So I stayed; a silent rope-pulling.

     At the Museum, I took the course Archaeology 101. Students were told to write an essay, the subject to be approved by the professor. I enjoyed cooking so I came up with the idea of Stone Age foodstuffs. Professor Bernard Wailes gave me the thumbs up. [Eventually, the story Stone Age Cuisine was born] Everyone likes French Fries, and so, before Christmas, I left for Peru—cradle of the versatile, nutritious potato.

THE YEAR 1968

Sometime January I paid Bishop Odhner a visit. He was very sad that Laren no longer saw him. He had advised him to get a job: work, get a paycheck. I talked about the possibility of divorce. Would he please consult Swedenborg’s Writings? After all, kinky sex was not normal.

     My new direction was Classical Athens and Rome. As it would involve traveling to famous ruins, I enrolled at Berlitz in Philadelphia, a language school, to learn Italian and Modern Greek. Never an idle moment!

     Unexpectedly, I received from the bishop his promised letter. This 3-page epistle determined my fate! Quoting Swedenborg, Bishop Odhner explained in detail the causes for a marriage to be physically terminated “without the cause of adultery”. Diseases of every sort: leprosy, psoriasis, halitosis, body odors, anything “odious”. However, the deciding factor was Conjugial Love 252-254.

start letter February 1968
CONJUGIAL LOVE
page 3 February 1968 letter

Philip wrote that Laren’s “disorder” was in the nature of a disease and not of “moral degeneration”. In short, divorce was not an option. But . . . the Church would grant me a LEGAL SEPARATION; meaning “separate households”.

TO BE CONTINUED

MY LIFE A NOVEL IS

STAY TUNEDE!

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June

THE ANKH

The Egyptian ANKH was the “symbol for the tree of life”:

a tree trunk with canopy and the everlasting loop of life.

[Trees create oxygen]

THE QUESTION OF THE SIZE OF THE UNIVERSE

A FINITE UNIVERSE (no matter how constructed) CAN BE CONCEIVED AS HAVING BEEN CONSTRUCTED—BUT AN INFINITE UNIVERSE CANNOT.

An Infinite universe was an abomination

WHERE WOULD HEAVEN (and purgatory) BE LOCATED—

IF THE UNIVERSE WERE NOT FINITE?

THE ANKH

A RELIGION

CANNOT BECOME A GLOBAL FAITH WITHOUT BOOKS TO TEACH

CHAPEL

The Lord Jesus Christ is the one God

The Lord’s New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma is an international Christian church based on the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which its members view as the Third Testament [The Celestial Doctrine]

printout of page 4

In 1939—Rev. Theodore Pitcairn established a non-profit corporation for the purpose of promoting and maintaining the new church.

In 1947—the Church’s international governmental structure was drawn up by a provisional international council composed of the laymen Groeneveld and Anton Zelling, and the Revs. Pfeiffer, Pitcairn, and Philip N. Odhner, and approved by church members in America and Holland later that year.

In 1967—The Lord’s New Church formalized its Episcopal form of government with the Rev. Philip N. Odhner being elected Bishop.

THIRD DEGREE PHILIP
october 1965

On the left pastor Theodore Pitcairn and Bishop Odhner; and me[1965].

Well . . . the Church would grant me a LEGAL SEPARATION that would involve living apart, under separate maintenance, and usually arranged privately, or with some written agreement before lawyers.

DRAFT 1968 - ONE

This is the FIRST-page of the 5-page DRAFT dated April 24, 1968.

TO BE CONTINUED

STAY TUNED!

lotus
POEM - 1

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July

August

November

October

September

December