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Robert A. Mills

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· Wall !

· Tycoon!

· Well !

· Circles !

· 'Mate !

· The Better Angels


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· Robert's Angels by Dani R. Bellflowers


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The Better Angels

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Blogs by Robert A. Mills

DIPLOMAT OR DEMOCRAT, PART THREE
4/3/2010 7:19:41 AM

Without saying another word, the two embassy officials in the front of the limo—Merrill and John—glanced at each other, raised the Plexiglas partition and turned away, as if no longer interested in their bogus charges.

“What the hell did you tell that girl?” my companion insisted.

“Nothing,” I said. “She asked me if I was a Democrat, so I said yes.”

“You idiot. She probably asked if you were the ‘diplomat,’ the person she was supposed to meet.”

“Oh.” I stared at my hands that were clasped in my lap. “I may have misunderstood—my ears were still plugged up from the altitude. I wondered why she cared what my party affiliation was. Besides, she had that silly British accent.”

“You idiot.”

We rode on in silence for a few minutes. I saw the Jefferson Memorial rush by on my left. “I wonder where they’re taking us.”

“Probably to prison.”

When the embassy men had asked whether our preference was the White House or the embassy, I had simply shrugged and said, “I think we’d prefer your National Airport in time to catch United’s 3201 to Rochester.”

“I beg your pardon, sir,” said Merrill (or John.) “Why in the world would you want to go to Rochester?”

I gestured with both palms up. “It’s where we live.”

At that point, John (or Merrill) maneuvered the limo to the side of the road and stopped by an emergency ramp. Both men turned and looked at us. “Who, if we may be so bold, are you people? You are certainly not Sir ******** ********* from London.”

I sighed and shook my head. “No,” I admitted, “my name is Bob Mills. We are travel agents, sort of. This is my associate—”

Merrill (or John) cut me off with a wave of his hand. He reached for the car radio/phone and punched in three numbers. “Louisa, this is 724. . . . No, we’re just outside the city. . . . Well, the problem is, neither of these blokes apparently is Sir ********. Didn’t you ask to see some credentials? . . . Good lord, I have no idea who they are. Did you ask him anything a’tall? . . . Just that! Good lord, he’s no diplomat! I think they’re both Americans. . . . Hold on a sec.”

He turned away and again raised the Plexiglas. His conversation with Louisa (who I assume was the gorgeous lady in the Vecci suit back at Dulles) continued for several minutes, after which he seemed to have an animated argument with John (or Merrill.)

Finally, Merrill (or John) snapped the limo’s shift-lever into gear and we spun off the ramp and back onto the parkway. In the distance I could see the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome as we sped across the 34th Street Bridge. The tires actually screeched when we skidded to a stop in front of the United terminal at National. John (or Merrill) popped the trunk open and retrieved our luggage before Merrill (or John) opened the side door and motioned us out. They indicated our suitcases.

“Here’s everything,” John (or Merrill) said, his tone flat and noncommittal. “Have a safe trip home.”

My companion, totally frustrated, went to find a skycap. I turned to Merrill (or John,) “Can I ask you something?”

“No.”

“I was just curious. . . . Who did you all think I was?”

John (or Merrill) regarded me as if I’d just slithered from beneath the debris in the gutter beside the limo. “It hardly matters at this point.” He started for the car, then turned back. “Just a word of advice. Never—ever—tell anyone of this. Not verbally or in writing.”

I puckered my lips, my eyes cast down.

“I promise,” I said, meekly.

Copyright©2010 by Robert A. Mills

* * *

This will be my last twice-weekly Blog for a while. My readership has, according to my Webmaster, grown to a remarkable size, and it has been suggested I limit my offerings to once a week, no more than four times per month.

I am willing to try. Starting soon, this space will be cluttered with scribbling on each weekend, with the basic Blog accessible for about seven days.

Some have said I should serialize my novel, DANTE’S CIRCLES *, chapter-by-chapter on intervening Wednesdays, but I don’t know if that is a good idea or not. What do you think? Let me know at robtmills.comcast.net

* DANTE’S CIRCLES: It might be the most unusual covert operation ever undertaken by the OSS, the CIA, or any U.S. para-military organization; but when Fidel Castro attempts a bloody, disastrous take-over of the Moncado Barracks in Cuba, the OSS, about to be closed down and restructured as the CIA, selects a band of mercenaries, primarily Americans, to thwart the young rebel’s intentions ---- and, if possible, assassinate him.


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