Reception was quiet.Ideal.
After a quick look round to check there was nobody else in the immediate vicinity Solomon approached the Reception desk.
“Good Evening,Sir how can I be of assistance?” Ursulas smile was professionally friendly – and completely false
Solomon affected a well practised sheepish grin. “This must sound real dumb but an acquaintance of mine recommended this hotel to me and said he may be vacationing here about now. I thought it'd be a surprise to look him up if he was”
“And what might your acquaintance's name be?” she enquired.
“There is a Mr Fetterman here, but guest privacy prevents me giving out his room number...............I can take a message though”
A movement registered in Solomons peripheral vision............the docks bruiser he'd spoken to earlier, Terry Fletcher was blatantly making his way behind the desk and into the office. Ursula didn't bat a heavily mascara laden eyelid..........
“No – but thanks I'm sure I'll run into him” - “Probably fatally” he thought.
With a final ingratiating smile which dropped from his face as soon as his back was turned, Solomon turned and left heading towards the Green Mountain ballroom.
The Green Mountain ballroom was splendidly decked out. Whirling through the fug of cigar and cigarette smoke were several couples, Al and Julia included. As the current dance ended Solomon spotted a slightly disgruntled looking Dwight Albert tap Alessandro on the shoulder and presumably ask if he could cut in.
The Ronquist sisters had their hands full with a queue of young bucks waiting for their turn, their exaggerated laughter and bragadoccio clearly an attempt to impress the two young socialites.
Scanning round again his eyes met the almost pleading expression of Alice Albert.......so he sauntered over.
Before the words “Would you like to...........” were spoken his hand was grabbed by two smaller ones and he was whisked onto the dance floor.
Alice was it appeared good company when outside of her brothers sphere of influence.
When the notes of the last dance faded away he spied Julia and Alessandro trying to attract his attention.
Seeing Dwight was still around he leaned in and said “I'll see you tomorrow maybe Miss Albert – its been a pleasure”
Assuming Dwight was escorting Alice back to her room he went and joined Julia and Al for the “private viewing”
A search for Quigley found him half-frozen on the terrace peering myopically at the expanse of darkened forest and listening to only something he could hear.
Julia persuaded him they'd quite like to see his work and it might be beneficially warmer to all involved indoors and he set off at something between a stagger and a stumble towards his room.........
“If thats where embracing the Green Fairy gets you – I'll give it a miss”........