The Ed Waller Stories: Book One - Algeria Here I Come

Chapter Twenty: The Traitors

Brahim and I were walking toward the elevator and we could hear a different sound coming from the engines. We had just entered the room when there was announcement. "Transportation is waiting for the Waller and the Whitney parties. Please report to the disembarkation point."

We made a quick stop in the bathroom and made our way to disembarking station where Allie received his trusty slingshot as we checked out. As we were entering our respective vehicles, Dr. Whitney called out. We'll see you people later. Have a good lunch."

We toured the city with Leif, our tour guide and driver, explaining what we were seeing. I think, Allie would liked to have stopped and looked around, but the only stop we made was at the beach, because the boys needed to get out and exercise. We watched as the three young guys ran around on the beach. Allie must have seen some perfect pebbles for his sling shot because he would stop every so often and pick them up.

When we were waiting for the boys to return, Dr. Roberts was thinking out loud. "What I wouldn't give to have a grandson like Allie. He is so interested in everything. Look, he's picking up some shells and examining them."

Leif walked up to me, "Mr. Waller, we need to leave, if we are going to be on time for your luncheon reservation."

Khalid whistled and got the three boys' attention. We made our way to the plush hotel. Leif let us out in front of the hotel. "I'll be waiting for you when you come out."

Allie wasn't buying into that, "Leif, park the vehicle and join us. We need for you to explain what we might like to eat."

Khalid threatened, "You heard what the boss said, Leif, We'll be waiting inside for you."

When Leif arrived, we were seated immediately."

Allie looked at the menu, "Leif, this is why we needed you to eat with us. You need to tell us what's on the menu."

Leif looked at Allie, "Sir, this menu is written in both the Finnish and the English languages. Why can't you read it for yourselves?"

Allie looked up from the menu, "Because, my brother, and the two gentlemen sitting across from us aren't Americans and sure aren't from Finland."

Jim, John and Dr. Roberts were enjoying Allie's theatrics as were the rest of us.

Leif explained the menu in detail. Allie looked at Leif, "So what are you having?"

"I think I'll just have some smoked salmon with new potatoes some cheese and some fresh fruit."

Allie nodded to the waitress, "I'll have some fresh fish soup for an appetizer and the Hunter's Steak Sandwich with roasted reindeer and for dessert, I'd like the Karelian pastry, please."

The young waitress raised her eyes, "And what would you like to drink, sir?"

"I think I would like a glass of milk, thank you."

Jim and John echoed what Allie had ordered. Dr. Roberts decided he would have the blazed salmon instead of the sandwich. The two ladies, Brahim, Khalid, Amir and I followed Dr. Roberts' lead and we had tea."

Leif looked at Allie, "I thought you said you couldn't read English?"

"Mr. Leif, I didn't say that at all. I said some of us weren't Americans. We all speak and read English very well. Now, enjoy your meal. We need all the nourishment we can get for the rest of our tour."

As we were eating our delightful meal, Leif told us stories of when he was growing up in Lapland. He had the boys eating out of his pocket so to speak. When we finished, Khalid took the bill and went to pay. Leif excused himself, "I will go get the van and meet you in front of the restaurant in ten minutes so everyone has time to use the toilet facilities since there won't be any facilities available for the remainder of the tour."

That sent the three ten year olds scampering. The rest of us made a pit stop before we exited the restaurant. Leif was waiting for us a short distance away from the restaurant entrance. A car stopped along side of us and Khalid saw a gun coming out an open window. "Everyone, get down!"

Everyone ducked down and two shots whizzed over our heads breaking a window in the restaurant. Allie stood up and fired two pebbles at the tires of the vehicle. They had to have been the perfect shape because the vehicle quickly had two flat tires. Doctor Whitney climbed out of the vehicle. He started toward us waving his gun and shouting, "You're dead meat Waller and Allie. I'm going to collect the bounty that has been offered for your demise."

Allie stood again, and fired another pebble that caused the gun to drop out of Dr. Whitney's hand. Allie fired another shot and Dr. Whitney was writhing on the ground in pain. He was trying to retrieve his gun, but Amir kicked it out of Dr. Whitney's reach.

The local police arrived and took control. Khalid nodded to us, "Leif, take these people back to the ship. Amir and I will take care of the details. Once you are back on board, don't leave the ship for any reason. Is that understood, Allie?"

As Allie was climbing into our van, he yelled, "General, you know I don't understand English very well. You did say you wanted us to walk around the dock area, right?"

We hadn't realized it but a tour bus loaded with passengers from the Paradise had been delayed by the activity, and passengers had witnessed everything that had happened. We wouldn't find out about that until later, much to Allie's chagrin.

Leif pulled up to the ship and there were security personnel waiting for us. I dropped two twenty dollar bills on the seat next to Leif as I was walking away, escorted by the security people. Leif never had a chance to refuse. I had learned my lesson in Stockholm.

After we were processed on board, the Captain met us. "Honestly, I can't trust you people to go anywhere. We'll probably be quarantined to the port for the rest of our lives. Allie, I am glad that you know how to use a sling shot. I thought young people gave them up a long time ago in favor of knives and guns."

Allie hugged Captain Brower, "At least we brought your lovely daughter back in one piece. I think I need a couple of drinks to settle my nerves and my stomach. I probably won't be able to eat for the rest of the voyage."

Captain Brower wasn't going to let Allie get the best of him. "Allie, we were rather hoping that you would lose Katie so she wouldn't be costing us so much money."

Kate complained, "Dad, how could you say such a thing? You know that I make more money than you do."

Captain Brower didn't respond to Kate. Instead he turned to Allie, "

"I'm glad that you won't be able to eat for the rest of the voyage, because that will mean that there will be enough for the rest of us, now."

Captain Brower took Allie's hand, "Come on, gang, it's tea time and I need some nourishment since my lunch was interrupted by a frantic call from the Helsinki police."

We were sitting in the lounge, having our tea and a few snacks while the three boys were on the veranda having a bunch of snacks and something to drink.

We were having a nice conversation when there was an announcement over the public address system. "Captain Brower, you have an important phone call on the bridge. Dr. Darryl Roberts, please report to your cabin immediately. There has been a problem."

Allie came in the door from the veranda followed by Jim and John. Allie questioned, "Captain Brower, what's happening?"

"Allie, it's nothing too serious. I'll tell you at dinner. Why don't you help Dr. Roberts to his cabin?"

Allie and Dr. Roberts left and the Captain looked at us. "There's going to be an explosion, shortly. I wish I didn't need to take that stupid call. It must be important though for me to have to take it personally."

We were to find out later what the explosion was going to be. Allie and Dr. Roberts went to his cabin and the door wouldn't open when Dr. Roberts put his key in. Dr. Roberts looked at Allie, "But it worked this morning."

Allie saw a steward, "Sir we can't get Dr, Roberts' cabin door to open. Can you help us, please?"

"Yes, but that's not Dr. Roberts' cabin. We were told to take all of his things out of the cabin after we docked. A newlywed couple is now occupying the cabin. You should go check with the Purser's desk to see what is happening."

When Darryl explained to the young person at the Purser's desk what the steward had told them, the lady answered, "Let me get the Chief Purser."

The Purser came out of his office, "Good afternoon Allie and Dr. Roberts. We had to change your suite, Dr. Roberts. Let me call your new steward so he can come get you and take you to your cabin."

Allie looked at Dr. Roberts, "What's happening, Radio Rancher?"

Darryl put his arm around Allie, "I haven't the foggiest idea."

Doctor Roberts and Allie were met by Albert. "Good afternoon gentleman, I understand you need my assistance. Dr. Roberts, if you will follow me, I will take you to your new cabin."

Allie looked at Albert, "Albert, I thought you were assigned to our cabin."

Albert smiled, "I am."

"Well then how can you be Dr. Roberts' steward as well?"

Albert wasn't about to give the secret away, "I don't know. I guess because he's brave enough to associate with you."

Albert brought the two guys to the tenth deck on the staff elevator and lead Allie and Dr. Roberts around the corridor to Cabin 1002. He handed a new key card to Dr. Roberts. "Here you go, sir. Make sure you let Daniel or me know if you need anything. We're just a call away."

Allie looked at Dr. Roberts, "Grandpa Darryl, something seems fishy to me. Maybe you should ring the doorbell. We probably shouldn't just walk in, just in case there's someone already inside."

They did as Allie suggested and the door opened. A deep voice from behind the door said, "Please enter the Lion's Den. They are in desperate need of some nourishment."

Dr. Roberts recognized the voice, "Tom, is that you?"

The voice answered, "No it's not me."

"Tom, are you decently dressed. I have a young friend with me."

"Bring Allie in and he can decide for himself if Mr. Waller is the winner of the size competition."

Tom came out from behind the door, "Allie it's a pleasure to meet you. Would you please not use your sling shot on me? I can't stand being hurt. You can get to your cabin by way of the balcony. Albert opened the door in wall so we can walk back in forth even though we're nude."

Allie shook the gentleman's hand, "What would you like us to call you, sir?"

The Tom person looked at Allie, "You sure a cute one. Why don't you call me Uncle Tom. It's much easier and less confusing than calling me Grandpa Tom."

"Okay Uncle Tom, I need to go tell Dad Waller and Brahim that you're here."

"Allie, I've already met them. They know I'm here. We'll see you at dinner since two of your table companions are going to be missing."

When Allie entered the suite through the veranda door, he plopped down on the sofa, "Dad and Bra, I'm really upset. How come you let me and Grandpa Darryl be bushwhacked by Uncle Tom?"

I sat down and put my arm around Allie, "Allie, we didn't know that he was here until after you and Dr. Roberts left to go check his cabin. How could we have told you?"

"Why don't you take a nice hot shower while Brahim and I do? We had a lot of excitement again today. I think we all need to relax. Maybe we should order food and eat in the room tonight."

Allie shook his head no, "Dad, we can't just pull our heads into our shells like a turtle. We need to make the most of everything. This may be the last cruise that we ever go on."

We were getting dressed for dinner after our showers when the door chimes sounded. Allie went to answer in his bare feet. "I have an invitation from the Captain. He requests the honor of your presence at his table tonight for dinner with your brother and Mr. Waller."

I walked out just in time to hear Allie say, "Pietro, why is it just the three of us. What about the rest of our table?"

Pietro was very polite, "Jim and John are going to have dinner with their parents and grandparents tonight since it is Doctor and Mrs. Sorenson 40th wedding anniversary. The Captain's daughter and her friend, Jocelyn, as well a Dr. Robinson and his friend, Tom will be there. The Whitneys will not be rejoining the cruise, and Generals Khalid and Amir will be rejoining us tomorrow in Tallinn."

Pietro wasn't finished, "I have been instructed to arrange a tour of Tallinn for you, since that is where my family lives. We'll talk more about that later. I suggest that you get some shoes and socks on before you go to the dining room."

After Pietro had departed, Allie looked at me, "How come no one ever tells us anything? Why are we having dinner at the Captain's table again? The last time we did, we met Dr. Whitney and look what happened. He tried to kill us."

I was as confused as Allie. "Guys, I guess we should put on a dress shirt and tie and wear our blazers, even though it's a casual night."

When we were dressed, Brahim and I went to see if Kate and Jocelyn were ready while Allie went to collect Dr, Roberts and his Tom. When the seven of us walked into the dining room. The people in the dining room applauded.

Allie turned to me, "Dad, I'm so embarrassed."

Philippe took us to the Captain's table and Allie was seated next to the Captain. Their were two seats vacant next to Mrs. Brower. We had just gotten seated when an extremely handsome couple arrived. Philippe brought them to the Captain's table and even the Captain stood until the lady was seated. The gentleman introduced himself and his wife.

"I'm Greg Michaels and this is my lovely wife, Gwen. Thanks for granting us the priviledge of dining with you."

He looked at Allie, "So you're the Sling Shot Kid? It's a pleasure to meet a hero. I was expecting to see someone a little older."

Allie shook the man's hand, "Sir, I'm no hero. I just do what I can to make sure people don't get hurt."

Mr. Mitchell laughed, "Alexander, why don't you introduce the rest of the gentlemen at the table to us. We already know Kate and our daughter, Jocelyn."

Allie started with me and everything was going fine until he got to the new person, Tom. He looked a Mr. Michaels, "Sir, I'm sorry, but I don't know Uncle Tom's last name, yet. He just got here today."

Mr. Michaels nodded, "Yes, we were on the plane together and caught the same bus to the ship. Tom, it's good to see you again."

Mr. Michaels looked at Dr. Roberts, "I guess that you must be the notorious Dr. Roberts who thinks he's superman."

Allie answered before Dr. Roberts could, "No he wants to be a Maritian flying through space to save the Earth from becoming extinct."

The entire table was laughing, "Well, if he's a Maritian, who are you when you are always bringing the bad guys to their knees with your sling shot?"

Allie had a comeback that surprised me. "Mr. Michaels, I'll send you one of my cards. My motto is, 'Call Allie, he can take down the biggest giants.'"

The laughter coming from our table was causing a lot of heads to turn. The fun was interrupted by the sommelier taking drink orders.

After a fun filled dinner, Alfonse was bringing the desert cart when, Allie looked at the Captain, "May I please be excused, Sir? All of a sudden, I'm feeling very tired."

The Captain nodded and Allie stood, "It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Michaels. I'm sure I'll be seeing you around the ship."

As Allie was leaving the dining room, he stopped and said something to Josef. After Allie left, Dr. Roberts looked at us, "Shouldn't one of us go and check on Allie? He shouldn't be alone. What if there are still others on board who are after him like that Whitney person?"

What a downer!

Editor's Notes:

Downer Indeed! I hope Allie feels Better soon, I know he has been under a lot of stress. He is a fine young man and I believe he will be very successful in his life. I guess we will find out more in the next exciting chapter.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher