Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 20

 

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Sing,sing Angels and pray to God...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

They found themselves in the city an hour later.Steven Mac Dantosch was no longer able to walk and at the end of his tether.Tadek Vangard held him strongly and in fact moved him forward with a great difficulty.Melissa Charleroi assisted too.Despite the deepness of the night there were a lot of people on the streets in their regional clothings on them.The Sikhs looked most picturesque,with their turbans on their heads.By the time they managed to stop a taxi,Steven Mac Dantosch lost his consciousness.They put him inside the car with the help of a chocolate faced ,energetic taxi driver.
-“Bring us to the hospital!... He is bleeding…He is hurt!...”- No words had to be repeated to the taxi driver.His used car went off with the sounds of the wheels’ squeak.He happened to be a good driver and drove masterfully among the many passerbyes,rickshas and even a few “holly”cows on the streets,which surely were free of BSE,the mad cow disease.
-“Is he an American?”-The taxi driver asked enigmatically.
-“No…He is an Australian and yes…a holder of an American passport,too…Why do you ask?”-Tadek Vanguard felt incredulously.
-“Well…I am bringing him to one philantropic doctor…Everybody knows him…And ,we,locals,are proud of him…He is an American…”- The answer of the Hindu taxi driver bewildered both Tadek Vangard and Melissa Charleroi.
-“Is it far there…to the doctor…yet?”- Melissa Charleroi asked nervously.She was red on her face from anxiousness.
-“No,not really…Not more than five minutes…” The taxi driver was right.They found themselves in front of a house which looked rather like a first world villa in the ocean of the neighbouring slums.This had to be the house and a private practice of the American doctor.Judging from the earlier reaction of the driver the doctor was probably cherished by the local populations,for his philanthropic efforts.They were lucky to get aquianted by the doctor who could pretend being not at home or refuse dealing with anyone in the middle of the night.He was very tall,well above two meters and could be no more than forty five years old.He was rather light skinned despite living in the tropic.The expression of his face was one of an extremely intelligent man…Of a scientist…Once he saw Steven Mac Dantosch and in what state he was,one time unconscious and the other time appearing in delirium,he took the events rapidly into his hands.Steven Mac Dantosch found himself on the operating table…It was already six a’clock in the morning when the doctor showed up in the waiting room before Tadek Vangard and Melissa Charleroi who were dying from anxiousness.Their eyes locked with the eyes of the doctor and they felt a triumph emanating in themselves when the doctor smiled to them.If the news were bad the doctor would not smile.
-“I succeded.”-He said simply.”After two weeks your friend will be able to live as if he were never hurt.” Melissa Charleroi jumped off the chair,ran to the doctor and kissed him on his hands.
-“Thanks a lot,thanks a lot…”-She repeated the same words.She was visibly happy beyond imagination.Tadek Vangard was also happy naturally,but he managed to keep himself in check.
-“Doctor,we thank you a lot.”-He said,however.-“I am sorry,but we still do not know what is your name?”.The doctor grinned and extended his hand to them.
-“My name is Strauss…Jack Strauss…”- He said modestly.
-“My hometown is Baltimore in the United States.I have,however,fallen in love to the local people,the Indians…I wouldn’t leave this people for all the treasures of the world.My place is here,in India…”-He added.
-“This is incredible!”-Melissa Charleroi whispered.
-“And you,young people,where are you from?” Tadek Vangard and Melissa Charleroi realised they did not introduce themselves to the doctor yet.
-“I am from Poland and she is from Belgium.”- Tadek Vangard answered straightforwardly and with a minimum information.There was time to let the doctor more to know about themselves...
-“An the young man I treated on the operating table?…”
-“He is an Australian…His name is Steven Mac Dantosch…Doctor,we are all in beam-ends…Could you spare us questions for now?…We are deadly tired…Is there a hotel nearby?…”-Tadek Vangard felt he sounded not really in a mannerly way.But he indeed dreamt of a bed…At least that few hours of sleep…He was sure Melissa Charleroi also dreamt of a rest.
-“Oh,I do understand you.”- Doctor Strauss said kindly and grinned to both of them at the same time.-“Why don’t you sleep in my house?!”
-“Doctor…We cannot bother you too much…I am sorry…”-Tadek Vangard answered promptly but it was not what he felt.
-“Don’t be sorry…You both and your friend who needs at least two weeks of recuperation,are welcome in my house…In fact I need to meet people from the far world for my own comfort.I need you.Come,I show you your bedrooms…And feel yourselves at home here.” There was no need to say anything else and the least to object.The doctor actually wanted them in his house.They followed him. As the doctor has foreseen,Steven Mac Dantosch recuperated fast and after two weeks of staying in his villa was able not only to do walks in the garden or nearby park but also began to exercise his martial arts,without strenuous doses he did normally before he was shot.They had opportunities to chat with the doctor during the eating sessions,while having breakfast,lunch and dinner.Doctor Strauss otherwise was occupied till late in the evenings.Streams of local people and even Indians from faraway places in India stormed his practice every day.Where he got so much energy and wilfulness from,nobody knew and certainly those rich snobs around the world who rot in their riches would neither apprehend nor comprehend it.Doctor Strauss was a bright star of the deepness of human rigthfullness,of the American selfneshness in the best meaning…One of the doctors without borders…He was also a great personality man and it was a tremendous expierence for everyone who had an opportunity to share time with him.He was a humanist of a great calibre and there was no a subject he might be less than brilliant in his answers.He was also a great listener and quite soon knew much about the lives of his guests.He was concerned especially about Melissa Charleroi and agreed with Steven Mac Dantosch during one of the very private consultations Melissa Charleroi should be left free to decide when she will return home.As long as she opposed to the idea fircely nothing could be done.There was certainly evolving some mental process in her mind which had to get through all the stages.The question only was how many ones there were.On the third week Steven Mac Dantosch regained his full strength and ability to fight martial arts to his best.He felt for this indebted to the doctor…They had already plans to move away from the doctor’s house.They could not abuse doctor’s hospitability and planned to go to Bombay,the biggest town in India.Just two days before their planned departure there was a party in the doctor’s villa with the participation of some notable friends of the doctor,expatriates who like doctor Strauss found their homes in India.The party lasted till late at night and when was over Steven Mac Dantosch fell instantly into a deep sleep.The same had to happen with his friends and the doctor himself.The innocent night was the award.When Steven Mac Dantosch woke up in the morning he felt something was terribly out of order.He tried to move with one hand and then with the other one…”Do I still sleep and am filled with a dredfull nightmare?…"-He thought.He opened his eyes,which instantly were filled with horror…Such one that no a nightmare could be equall…Above his face was the face of…Carlos,perplexed with sadistic expression.Steven Mac Dantosch realised his hands were tied to the frames of the bed and he had no slightest a chance against Carlos.A fresh scar on the left side of the Carlos’ face was an evidence enough Carlos was only hurt by Tommy,the jaguar.
-“Hi.We meet again…This time I will make sure you get what you deserve…”- He heard Carlos and had an impression Satan himself spoke to him.Every word out of the Carlos’ mouth smelled death.
-“How did you find me?…”- Steven Mac Dantosch asked.Instead of an answer a powerful blow landed on his face like if an asteroid fell on him out of the sky.The light of the morning day went out. When he finally opened his eyes again he realised he was seated on a chair and tied to it as much as Melissa Charleroi,Tadek Vangard and doctor Strauss.
-“I do not have any strategy…I know nothing about a so-called strategy Beehive…”- Tadek Vangard was just saying to Carlos.
-“You lie!”- Carlos shouted.He was walking forward and back in the room.
-“No,I do not lie…I swear I do not have it…This is some grave mistake…”- Tadek Vangard tried to save the situation.
-“Hold your tonque!”- Carlos yelled out at him. There was a dead silence in the air now.When Carlos opened his mouth again he sounded matter of factly.
-“I was unable to get the strategy from you so far,because you were so stubbornly uncooperative…”-He said slowly.Every word he said was like a deadly shot from a machine gun.-“I think,however,you will give the strategy to me sooner or later and I think much sooner rather than later.” He paused for a moment.
-“The girl…What is her name?…Melissa?…Melissa Charleroi?…She will go with me.I kidnap her…I will return her to you soon after I’ll get the strategy from you…-There could not be more grave words as the ones which went just out of the Carlos’mouth.
-“Oh no!…Oh no!…”-Melissa Charleroi began to cry spasmatically.
-“Don’t do it!”-Steven Mac Dantosch warned Carlos.The psychopath began to laugh.
-“You’re not in a position to order me what I can do and cannot do.”- He answered in the interval of his laugh.
-“Leave her in peace.You can take me.”-Steven Mac Dantosch still tried.
-“God,I really don’t have the strategy! If you don’t believe me,you rather take me with you,but please,leave Melissa here…Don’t harm her…”-Tadek Vangard also tried his best. Carlos just kept on his devilish laugh.He neared Melissa Charleroi,untied her and then tied her again despite that she tried her best to free herself from his grip.
-“God!…Steven!…Tadek!…Don’t let him take me away from you!…Oh,no,no,no!…”-Melissa Charleroi began to yell.A black despair and an utter desperation painted her face to a picture of horror,the biggest horror one could imagine.
-“Leave her in peace!…You yokel!!”- This time Steven Mac Dantosch yelled at Carlos.He was as much horror stricken as everyone else.Everything but not this.This girl who was in a grip of devils for too long,should be left in peace…Only monsters could try to harm her again.But Carlos was a monster.And he,Steven Mac Dantosch,could do nothing,tied to a heavy chair,defenceless.He thought life was escaping him. Surprisingly,Carlos had a stoic expression on his face.Only his eyes blinked the way the eyes of the madmen do.
-“I repeat.”- “He said.-“As soon as you deliver the strategy to my hands you will have her back with you.You must leave one at the Poste Restante in Bombay,with the postscript:”For Carlos”.Bye!” Carlos turned away from them and moved towards the exit door,with Melissa Charleroi hanged in his arms and trying to get away from his grip.
-“No!…Steven! Tadek!…Oh,no!…Noooooo!….Nooooooo!….” Carlos disseapeared behind the door with Melissa Charleroi in his arms.And the echo of her deep cry still filled the room and seemed to fill the entire world…Steven Mac Dantosch and Tadek Vangard cried silently…To be continued…Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail address: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com or: tthbe@yahoo.com
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