OOPS! I forgot that I copied the beginning - Intro - Chaps 1 &2 into SHORT STORIES, back in November.
Had a few hits there, and am now moving Chaps. 3 & 4 here also, will then go delete in the BOOKS section!
Thank each and every one who has helped!
- CHAPTER 4 - THE CHARACTERS -
Copyright: March 25, 2008 - Tom Hyland.
So, who is Wally? From my earliest memory, as a child in a poor neighborhood of Baltimore, he was a Playmate - a Pal, a Buddy. He is about a year younger than me, so we never were in the same class in school. In fact, when I attended P.S. 84, for kindergarten, the teacher was Miss Onion, and a few of the students there which I do remember are: Larry Feehely, Sylvia Insco, and “Inky” Wilkins - but not Wallace.
From First Grade to Eighth, I attended Saint Mary’s Star of The Sea Catholic School, and the walk each day, to and from, was just about a mile or so, and our group was kindly taunted as “Cat-Lickers” - to which we would fondly respond to the opposite groups, as “Pup-Lickers.” And Wally was of that genre - another diversity which made us opposites.
Depending on moods, he could be my very best friend, or my very worst enemy. Neither of us enjoyed losing, and if the stakes were high enough, we often had to defer to fisticuffs to resolve an issue. Whether the game was Cowboys and Indians, War, shooting marbles, playing curb-ball, or even baseball, with a red-stitched hard-ball, the competition between us was always fierce!
Sometimes, one or the other would lose his temper, and - POW! Right in the kisser! Or the next day, one of us might be sporting a black eye, but ultimately, a handshake would ensue at some point, and the next game would begin.
Suffice it to say, that all through early childhood, the terrible teenage years, and High School, and as club members of our Fraternity, Sigma Phi, and playing football, then the Army, and adulthood social events - we had a very deep respect and a brotherly love for one another. Nobody better mess with either of us, if the other was near! Then, who best to be my partner in this serious and deadly game of espionage, but Wally?
Next there was Sandy, mentioned briefly in the beginning of this tale. Ah, here is a true “free Spirit” - sure, we were once lovers, a long, long time ago, and there were still some deep feelings in both my heart and my groin for her - but, for this maniacal mass manslaughter to be successful, and for the three of us to survive - it had to be strictly Business! Oh, yeah - good ole Wally slept with her also, another long time ago, and it resorted us to fisticuffs back then, putting one of us in the hospital - me!
But now, like Edmund Dantes’ - The Three Musketeers - we had each others’ backs! None others could we possibly trust!
This brings us to Alvin - the Culprit - the Enemy - the Back-Stabbing Traitor - none could be a worse Adversary! He was never really of our ilk - only son to a wealthy Jewish Banker, he had all the advantages that none of us had. Born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, living in a huge mansion out in the suburbs of Pikesville, and attending the best private schools, Alvin was the epitome of a spoiled brat! Oh, but he was witty, and had charm - in fact, charisma was his forte’.
When I first met him, at a seminar in Jerusalem, some fifteen years ago, he was the Keynote speaker that morning. While he and I were about the same height, five-six - he was more muscular, compact, and quite fit. Having all of the best advantages that money could buy - he was always tanned, dressed to the nines, and quite successful with the ladies. His cherubic smile just melted them at his feet, not unlike Adonis himself!
Good grooming, impeccable speech, and an absolutely cunning ability to almost read people’s minds could get him into any door - anywhere - at any time! That was the reason for my searching him out in the first place. But, my approach, and my cover story had to be believable - it just HAD to be!
When I originally started my research, in The Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C. it was around 1988, and the Internet, and GOOGLE were not yet even a glimmer in anyone’s mind’s eye. The reference section was the place where I spent hours and hours, scouring through voluminous tomes of: Articles, News Reports, Alumni Yearbooks, and other such materials.
Days, weeks, months - came and went, as I poured through page after page, after page of well-known men. The one I sought had to be: a person of impeccable credentials, someone well versed in both National and International Politics, a person of high intelligence who had access to Intelligence Data, a successful man who was trusted by the Powers that be!
Finally, there he was - on page 222 of “Who’s Who In American Business!” Alvin had been graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, went on to study Law at Yale, passed the Bar on his first attempt - Acing it, and had worked his way into a Full Partnership with the Premiere law firm in the Nation’s Capital - he was PERFECT!
Imagine, if you will, a Jewish 007 - James Bond - but already stinking filthy rich - he did not have to work, but he loved challenges. He was not only proficient in Hebrew, from studying the Talmud, but had also mastered several other languages, including Arabic!
Alvin had traveled abroad extensively, earned a Black Belt in Martial Arts, while studying with the Tibetan monks, and had a definite IN with the Jewish-American League - having run several drives, over several years, and personally delivering Millions of dollars in Bonds to the holy City!
I FOUND HIM! Now, how do I get him to nibble?
What possible plot might be intriguing to him? What plausible challenge would make him take the bait? No small task, this - more months and months of planning would be necessary, and as I wracked my brain trying to conjure up something feasible, once he did nibble - how could I set the HOOK?
Ponder - Ponder - PONDER!
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"The New Jerusalem - Chapter 4 -"