Marilee left the Limousine wondering where Tom had gone. He had left her in the airport to follow Norm. They were playing
at the Windsor in Vietnam and Marilee decided to come along as she had not been to Vietnam before, and had heard some
weird stories from Tom and Norm.
She always felt left out when she walked in on them talking earnestly, their heads close together and both deep in a conversation
that Marilee could never be permitted to join.
Once Libby in a confiding moment had explained how Norm used to wake up with nightmares screaming, and how once when a
car backfired near them, he dived into the bushes, and was actually white and shaking when she managed to finally co-erce
He would not discuss what happened in his days there as Tom's Valet and Assistant, but whatever happened left Norm with
scars that surfaced at the most inopportune moments, and Tom refusing to even discuss the subject with her or in her hearing.
She knew they had both had treatment when they returned, and she also saw Thompson who really had it bad. He rejected his
yound wife for many months, and went into rehabilitation, and sometimes she felt there had been another woman, or more involved,
she confided in tears, but she could not even discuss the subject with him, and their marriage was in jeopardy for quie a
while, actually until she had the next child, a strapping son that changed everything for them both.
Marilee booked in alone, and went up to the top floor where there was 360 degree views over Saigon.
She looked down and wondered where the boys were and what they were doing. She hoped Tom would see the note she had
left on the table, and come and join her. Selecting a table overlooking the view, she ordered a long cool drink, changed her
mind, and had a martini which she was enjoying when the tall man sat down next to her, and called for a fresh drink.
Marilee was about to make a comment, when she shrugged, and sat there knowing Tom would be along soon, and anyway it was
company of a sorts.
The Tall European looking guy, leant back in his chair, and studied her carefully. He saw a slender, smartly dressed woman
who even looked tailored in the casual skirt and open T she was wearing. Her pearls gleamed as she moved, and he realised
they were black water pearls she was wearing and the diamond clasp seemed almost incongruous against the casual shirt
and manner. He noticed the light makeup, the excellent skin, the shiny hair and the mock concerned look she was now wearing.
"So, have I passed muster?' she inquired, when he noticed she had been watching his appraisal. " What are you considering
me for...a bride? a gift? or maybe you are going to take me away from all this, and make me a star?"
He laughed. 'I like a girl with style', he casually commented. " I was told to watch out for you and make you feel at home
until your escort arrived."
"Now, who would have told you that?" asked Marilee. I have only just arrivd at the hotel."
" Ah!! You may not have been aware of it, but there were two body guards sitting behind you, and two in front of you, and
because you chose to take the public plane, we were instructed to watch you very carefully, which we did."
He bent over a bit closer, and looked into her eyes. 'Your friends are even now with the Customs as we speak. They have
been very naughty boys."
"What???? What are you talking about?" Marilee asked. There is no way Tom and Norm woukd ever be involved with anything
"Is that so?" asked the the Inspector, as he introduced himself, as local Interpol, " we have been watching your friends
for quite a while now. It was not a good move to come with them this trip."
" I think. you had better do some explaining Inspector, or leave the table." Marilee was not quite sure she trusted this
man. " You have made some very serious accusations."
"Yes, and I must also ask you to come with me back to your suite, for as we have been speaking, your belongings have been
very carefully examined. Tom's luggage was already detained and under examination too."
Marilee reached for her mobile. 'I must call my Lawyer', she said, " I have a big deal waiting for me, and something
like this could certainly damage my opportunities." She dialled Melbourne, and David answered immediately, which was not surprising
as often he worked late, and she was able to catch him when the secretaries had all gone home.
"David, this is Marilee," she started, setting the tone before he could get too friendly, " I have just arrived
in Vietnam, and an Inspector is conducting a search of my belongings, and they are holding Tom and Norm somewhere. I
am telling you this so you can tell em what to do."
" I will check what is happening and call you back." He replied immediately. "just stay calm, and realise something may
be happening that you have inadvertently got yourself involved in. I will be in touch," and he ended the call.
Marilee stood up, collected her purse, and slowly walked along ahead of the Inspector, who gulped down his whisky, and
regrefully eyed her almost full Martini.
"Are you drinkng that?' he asked, and when there was no answer, gulped it down too, and lumbered after her, trailing
his belongings along after him in an untidy array.