After we had taken care of the clean up, everyone except Ludmila and Karol went to see what the ten young guys were doing behind the barn. It was a sight to behold. Allie was conducting a class in the art of making and operating a slingshot. Each of the other guys had a branch in the shape of a "Y", and Dawid and Alexsy had found some rubber somewhere. Allie was cutting it to be just the right length. He showed the guys how to secure the rubber to the branch.
When the other nine slingshots were finished, Allie began instructing the guys on how to select the perfect pebbles to use. After they had enough pebbles, Allie was like a drill sergeant on a rifle range. He stopped behind each of the guys. "It takes a lot of practice to be able to hit the targets. You just need to keep practicing until you feel comfortable."
Dawid challenged, "I bet you ten euros that you can't hit ten tin cans with ten shots."
"Dad, may I borrow ten euros if, per chance, I should lose the bet which I am not planning to do."
Alexsy had a smart comment, "In case you don't have any euros, thirteen U. S. dollars will work just fine."
The other nine guys were having a ball teasing Allie. They put ten cans on the wall. Allie was so calm; he started and methodically knocked all ten cans off the wall with ten shots. He turned to the guys, "That will be ninety euros or $117.00 U. S. dollars in case you don't have enough euros, please."
The banter was broken up by the return of Ludmila and Karol. Ludmila announced, "There are some snacks and drinks in the house. We need to leave in about fifteen minutes."
Alexsy and Dawid led the charge to the house. I spoke for the group, "Ludmila and Karol, thank you for sharing your time with us."
Karol grinned, "It is we who should be thanking you all for keeping the boys occupied. Usually, on a short layover like this, we have no time alone."
As we were getting ready to leave, Allie, Jim and John were saying goodbye to the boys' five young friends. When we were riding back to Gdansk the five guys were giggling and laughing. It was so good to see Allie having fun and acting as if he were a ten year old.
As we pulled up to the embarkation point, Ludmila announced, "Don't even think about trying to tip anybody or I will make your life miserable when I get on board."
We all climbed out of bus, except Ludmila, and said goodbye to Karol, Dawid and Alexsy. The mini bus disappeared and we went to the entry point. Officer Del Rio was standing there and he held out his hand. He didn't say a word, but all three boys pulled out their slingshots and handed them to him. He started to laugh, "I think these things are multiplying."
"By the way, Allie, the Captain wants to see you, your brother, Mr. Waller, Mr. Khalid and Mr. Amir on the bridge. I'll meet you there as soon as you have a chance to go to bathroom and I can secure these weapons."
Allie turned to the others, "I guess we'll see you at dinner if we aren't thrown off the ship before then. We always seem to be in trouble."
We stopped at the cabin and made a pit stop before we went to the bridge. Pietro met us. "So, did you have a good day?"
Allie was so nonchalant, "Yep, we went skinny dipping and then we had target practice."
When we went into the conference room, President Michaels, Captain Brower, Mr. and Mrs. Summers and Officer Del Rio were already there. Allie looked at me, "Dad, I don't think this is going to be a fun meeting. Something must be wrong."
Scott Summers looked at Allie, "Allie, we just want to update you all on what has been happening. The information has been pouring in from Miami, Helsinki and our interrogation of the prisoners on the ship. We have identified the country who has been masterminding this plot to kill you. In fact, as we are speaking, the President of the United States is announcing that a plot to undermine the economy of the United States and its allies has been uncovered. He is going to announce that the United States is imposing a complete embargo against receiving any goods from that country or going into the country from the United States."
"The United Nations is also discussing the situation at the request of the Algerian government and the United States. One last thing, the President of the United States has requested that the three of you fly to Washington, D. C. as soon as we dock in Fort Lauderdale. A military transport plane will be waiting to take us to Washington."
It was dead silent and Allie was sitting with elbows on the table with his chin on the his folded hands and he was digesting the information. "What you haven't said is that the threat to the three of us has been stopped. Are you saying that we can go anywhere we want now without someone trying to kill us?"
Scott went and put his hands on Allie's shoulders. "Allie, we certainly would hope so. If anything would happen to you, especially, the countries of the world would be sure to isolate the country that was behind what has been happening. I don't think the leaders of that country can risk any more adverse publicity."
Captain Brower added, "We have made arrangements to have the prisoners picked up by ships of the British navy, tonight, so they can be transported to Great Britain to make sure they are no longer a threat to you or any of our other guests. A helicopter should be landing on the forward deck just below your cabin about eleven o'clock tonight. I have arranged for Officer Berger to be your personal tour guide tomorrow when we reach Bremerhaven.
Allie took exception, "So, you're saying that you still aren't sure that the threat to us is over. Right?"
President Michaels interrupted, "Allie, I thought you enjoyed your private excursion in Estonia. Didn't you have a good time today?"
Allie threw up his hands, "President Michaels, we had a fantastic time today. But we shouldn't always be imposing on the officers to take care of us."
I interjected myself into the conversation, "Allie, look at it this way; yesterday, you three guys provided Natasha and Pietro an opportunity to be alone because you, Jim and John had their sons occupied. Today you provided Lulu and Karol the opportunity to be alone, while you were teaching the guys the fine art of making and using a sling shot."
"But Dad, what if Officer Berger has only girls. What do we do then? I'm not going play with dolls and dress up in costumes."
Angela Summers started to laugh, "Allie, believe it or not, not all girls like to play with dolls and play house."
Captain Brower had a twinkle in his eye, "I don't think that Officer Berger has any children, since he's not married. Let me introduce him to you."
The Captain made a call and immediately there was a knock on the door and the door opened. "Did you want to see me, Captain?"
"Yes Fredrick, I want to introduce you to some of the people you will be escorting tomorrow."
An extremely handsome young man entered and started, "Captain, didn't you mean babysitting instead of escorting. I heard that the Slingshot Kid can be a handful. I heard that he whipped the Estonian boys' butts in soccer yesterday, and that today he forced some poor Polish boys to go skinny dipping."
Allie looked at Captain Brower, "Captain, did you really mean it when you told us to make sure that Officer Berger got lost and couldn't find his way back to the ship, tomorrow?"
Allie got up and went to the young man and extended his hand. "I'll make you a deal; you stop picking on me, and I'll be nice to you. Please call me Allie."
Officer Berger, "I agree to the truce, and please call me Rick."
Everyone was laughing and it was apparent that Rick and Allie were going to be good buddies. After the introductions were completed, Officer Berger looked at us, "I haven't had an opportunity to finalize the plans for tomorrow. I should have all the arrangements made by about nine this evening. Where can I meet you and tell you what the plans are?"
I looked at everyone, "Why don't we plan to meet in our suite at nine. We'll have all the people involved, there. That way everyone will know what the plans are."
Rick asked, "How many will be in your party?"
I looked at the Summers, "Will you be joining us?"
Scott answered, "We're still going to keep a low profile until we're sure that the threat has been totally neutralized. We think it best that we not be connected to you people other than that we eat at your table."
Khalid agreed, "Scott and Angela, I agree that you should keep your distance other than at meals and special meetings. Allie, you haven't said anything to Jim and John about who they are, have you?"
"No sir, I didn't want to scare them."
Khalid nodded, "Good thinking."
"Officer Berger, I think that there will be eleven in our party tomorrow, We'll check at dinner tonight and make sure. We'll let you know when we see you at nine in our cabin."
"Great, Mr. Waller. See you later, Allie."
Khalid stood, "I want to thank everyone for their cooperation. We'll see you later. Amir and I have some business to take care of."
That was the signal for everyone else to leave. Allie went and hugged Captain Brower and President Michaels, "Sirs, thank you for taking care of us. We're sorry to take so much of your time."
Both gentlemen held him tight. Captain Brower spoke for the two of them, "Allie, it is a pleasure to be able to help you, Mr. Waller and Brahim. You have asked for nothing. You are some of the most refreshing people that I have ever met."
We went up the service stairs. When we entered the suite, Allie walked right by the snack food that Michael had put in the cabin for us, went to the veranda and sat down in a lounge chair. I looked at Brahim, "I think we need to find out what's bothering Allie."
We went to the veranda and sat down on either side of his lounge chair. "Son, is something bothering you?"
Allie sat up, "Dad and Brahim, it's as if we have been living in some sort of fantasy, ever since you took me to stay with you in the hotel back in Oran. We have had so many different things happen. Is it always going to be like this?"
I hugged Allie, "I don't think so. Once we get settled in Houston, things will settle down. I'll be working much of the time and you and Brahim will be going to school."
Brahim reacted to the last comment, "What did you just say?"
Allie was giggling, "Brahim, do we need to have your ears checked by Doctor Sorenson? Dad said that you and I would be going to school. Dad, what kind of school is Brahim going to go to?"
"I haven't decided yet. We have plenty of time to decide. First, I need to find out what my new job is going to be. There are lot of things that are still up in the air. Now let's go get ready for dinner."
I guess Allie just needed to talk because I noticed that he stopped and collected a plate of snacks to take into his bedroom with him. Brahim and I did likewise.
Brahim and I had just gotten out of the shower when Allie yelled in the door, "Dad and Brahim, I'm going to go find Jim and John. We'll meet you in the dining room."
I was to find out later that Allie had a scarey experience as he was leaving. It seems that he had just rounded the corner to go to the elevator when this person knocked Allie down. The person stopped and helped Allie up. While he was doing so, the man put a piece of paper in Allie's trousers pocket. "I'm sorry young man, I wasn't watching where I was going. I'll try to be more careful the next time."
When Allie got on the elevator, he and the other gentlemen were the only people on. He pulled out the note and read it.
I have been assigned to follow you as if I were glue, especially when you are not in the company of an adult. Just ignore me. I will be taking a lot of pictures of you; but don't worry, the camera isn't loaded and anyone will think twice before they do anything to you because they won't know that there isn't any film in my camera.
Allie gave the young man a thumbs up and winked.
Brahim and I stopped and picked up Kate and JoJo and escorted them to the dining room. We met the Summers as we were about to enter. When we sat down, Scott was sitting next to Allie, "Allie, I trust you had a good time today?"
Allie caught on immediately to what Scott was doing, "Yes, we had a great time today. It's too bad you weren't with us. We're going to have our own tour guide tomorrow. Would you like to join us?"
"Thanks for asking Allie, but we have some things that we need to do tomorrow."
Jim giggled, "I guess newlyweds have better things to do than hang out with three ten year old boys."
I deflected attention away from the Summers, "We're to meet our tour guide for tomorrow in our cabin at 9:00, so he can tell us the agenda for tomorrow. We have already informed him that we would probably have eleven in our party."
Angela Summers laughed, "It sounds as if you are in for another good time, tomorrow."
We were assembled in our cabin at five minutes until nine. It was almost exactly nine o'clock when the door chimes sounded. Allie answered it then turned and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce Burgermeister Berger."
Rick grabbed Allie, "Look Alexander Graham Safi Waller, you just broke the truce, and I'm now declaing all out war."
"I apologize, Mr. Rick. I'll be good."
"Well, if you promise. Now here's the plan for tomorrow. My brother-in-law and my two nephews will be picking us up as soon as we are cleared to disembark, which should be about ten o'clock in the morning. We will be going to Hamburg for the day, since that is where my home is."
Allie started to giggle, "See, I told you he was the burgermeister."
Rick pointed at Allie, "I wouldn't be caught dead eating a hamburger."
John was doubled over from laughing so hard. "I can believe that, since dead people aren't usually able to eat."
That comment made everyone including Rick start to laugh. He sputtered, "I think I'm in trouble. I guess I will just have to tell Captain Brower that I will be unable to take you on your tour tomorrow. Just for that, I'm not going to tell you anything about what I have lined up. I need to make sure that you three young ones pay for being so ornery. Meet me at the disembarkation point at ten."
Rick stood to leave and announced, "I'm going to Starlight Lounge to get drunk after this encounter. Anyone care to join me?"
Dr. Roberts and Uncle Tom declined, but the other six adults decided to go for a drink and a couple of dances. The three boys were waiting for the nightly ration of desserts.
When we arrived in the Starlight Lounge, we were approached by a young female officer. "Leisel, these are some of the people who will be accompanying us on our trip to Hamburg, tomorrow."
After the introductions, Rick announced, "Leisel and I are engaged to be married in December. She is going to be meeting my parents for the first time, tomorrow."
Kate grinned, "You two are in for a rough time tomorrow when the three boys find out."
Khalid and Amir excused themselves after one drink because there was almost no one in the lounge. It was about 10:45 when Kate, JoJo, Brahim and I decided to call it quits. When we walked into the cabin, I checked the boys' room. Jim and John were asleep, but Allie was missing.
I had a sinking feeling until I saw something move on the veranda. When Brahim and I stepped onto the veranda, we were greeted by a sight. Allie was standing between Amir and Khalid and Amir had his arm around Allie and they were talking. They were dressed in only in their briefs.
Allie was pointing to an object that seemed to be getting closer. Brahim and I moved forward to see what they were watching. Sure enough, it was an aircraft of some sort coming toward the ship and the lights on the ship's helipad were on."
A helicopter landed and we watched as six persons were loaded onto the helicopter. It was obvious that they were handcuffed with their hands behind their backs and that they had some sort of leg restraints on their legs. We watched as the helicopter took off and headed back in the direction from which it had arrived."
Allie looked at Khalid and Amir, "At least that threat has been neutralized, right?"
Khalid leaned down and kissed Allie, "Yes, my young friend, we no longer need to worry about those six people."
Amir hugged Allie, and the two generals disappeared through the opening in the wall.
Allie looked at Brahim and me, "I think tomorrow is going to be another exciting day. Good night, I love you."
Well at least six bad guys are no longer going to be lurking and trying to do bodily harm to our friends. Hopefully, things will go well for everyone, from now on. I am glad that security surrounding our friends is not being disbanded, simply because the people who were directly involved with threatening them have been removed. We don't yet know whether there are other people who are still intent on doing something to them. Let's hope that no one allows something bad to happen.
I am eager to read the next exciting chapter of this wonderful story.
Please hurry, E Walk.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher