The Woman in Red: 41. The Carlton Paris
The rest was child play. They had put the sleeping Madame Dupont inside the van. Katarina ensured that everyone handled her carefully. After the hard interrogation, with success, it’s true, she had felt a little guilty. She knew the lady in that matter had a predilection for the minister on the tape, but that didn’t mean she was bad.
Helmut and Jean-Pierre had gotten her again in her bedroom without effort, where she could sleep till the anesthetic was worked out. Jean-Pierre didn’t doubt that he would find the tape inside her night table. Katarina had played a masterpiece. He himself would have been brought to his knees by such an interrogation. Without any trouble, he found the third tape under a book the lady probably was reading in her bed before sleeping.
After they were back with Katarina and Frau Bertha, they heard Frau Bertha had to leave them. ‘I’ve got an obligation tomorrow I can’t postpone. I have to be at my husband’s side during a happening with a few European ministers. You can’t say no to these important men and women. If there’s anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate to call me. I’ll answer as soon as possible. I’ve booked you a room in the Carlton in the middle of Montmartre. The Moulin Rouge and the Sacré Coeur are at a walking distance. Maybe it’s an idea to kill some time with a visit to both these places. Just mention my name if you want to book a place for a show at the Moulin Rouge. They’ll give you the best seats.’
After they had said goodbye to Frau Bertha it seemed as if they were left to their lot. The German woman had had such an impact on the situation that now she was gone, they didn’t know what to do.
‘What now?’ Katarina formulated the question both were thinking of at the moment. ‘Normally we have still a few days before we must go to the nightclub where we have a meeting with the kidnappers of my mother. Should we follow the advice of Frau Bertha and relax a bit?
‘Let us go to the Carlton and look for some food and a bed to rest a bit. I’m feeling exhausted with all this tension of the last days.’ He looked at Katarina and saw some lights in her eyes. ‘I really mean a bed to sleep a little bit, Kat… but if you can make me forget my fatigue, I guess anything is possible.’
Katarina smiled. ‘Incorrigible, but I love you so much. Really, I’m very thankful for what you have done for me. I know you didn’t have to and still you have followed me. I’ll never forget that, Jean-Pierre.’
She took him close and kissed him tenderly on the lips. He caressed her long black hair. ‘I couldn’t live without you anymore, Katarina. Let’s go and look what room Frau Bertha has booked for us at the Carlton.’
With the subway, they were in a short time at a walking distance of their destination. Frau Bertha had booked them a twin-bedded room. The employees were extremely friendly and obliging. They even refused the tip Katarina was giving saying Frau Hofmeister had taken care of everything.
After they had inspected the room, noticing that all the luxury they could dream was present, they freshened up a bit and decided to charge their own batteries by making it an early evening. First, they still enjoyed an exquisite meal in the restaurant in the same building.
They agreed to visit the Sacré Coeur the next day and maybe some shopping. The latter was Katarina’s proposition. She just wanted out, doing some things she would do on a normal day too. Just forget for a while what was at stake. A person could lose his mind over it.
Jean-Pierre called to book two places at the Moulin Rouge for the next day’s evening show. When he heard that everything was fully booked he mentioned the name of their benefactress and for a wonder they suddenly had two of the best places available. Without wanting, Jean-Pierre had to smile. You have to be pleased with the little pleasures in life. Take what you could take.
When he was in the bedroom, he saw that Katarina had fallen asleep on the bed, not even fully undressed. She had to be dead tired. Carefully, he shoves the blankets from under her legs and tucked her in. He gave her a soft kiss on the forehead. ‘Sweet dreams, Kat.’