Glass Curtain by Thaddeus Hutyra

chapter 84

 

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THE WILL OF ANGELA BUTTERBY...

Author:Thaddeus Hutyra

 

Tadek Vangard always arrived with a great pleasure in the villa of Helene and Herman Van Veenen.They told him to come anytime he wished so he did it occasionally.The morning was beautiful,with all sort of flowers opening themselves to the rays of the sun,the rays of life.Yes indeed,life seemed to be like that rays of life,eternal.The rays of eternity,thus.The trip in his car,the GSI 16v,was unusually comfortable and the CD music of one of the Phantom of the Opera songs an absolute delight.He was already getting to the villa in which his friends lived.
He saw Helene van Veenen in front of the house but…in the arms of an unknown,blond haired man who kissed her on her cheek.It looked too erotic to suppose the man was perhaps Helene’s cousin.Tadek Vangard suppressed his thoughts.Helene Van Veenen was beyond any suspicion in his eyes.She was a perfect wife,great mother and a fantastic woman.He would give a slap in the face to anyone who would say otherwise.
He turned his car into the villa’s driveway.Both,Helene Van Veenen and the mysterious man jumped off themselves what again seemed strange to Tadek Vangard.He got off the car and looked at them.There was something decisively alarming in the way the man looked at him.He gazed at him with such an enormous dose of enmity Tadek Vangard shuddered.But then the guy just grinned at him and Tadek Vangard could only be lost in his guessing.Perhaps his first feeling was a pure illusion.
-“Hello Tadek,it’s nice to see you!”- It was Helen Van Veenen who greeted him as first but looked a bit embarrassed.
-“Oh,hello Helene,I hope I don’t disturb you.”- Tadek Vangard hurried himself with a welcome answer.He should have been the first one to say anything.
-“Tadek,this is our friend,John Ruchter.He is a Jewish businessman,dealing in diamonds.”- Helene Van Veenen introduced the man which stood at her side.Only then did Tadek Vangard had opportunity to have a thorough look at the guy.There was definitely something strange in him,something strange especially in his eyes.He grinned to him but the eyes said something else or rather said nothing:they were expressionless this time.
-“Hello,my name is Tadek,Tadek Vangard.”- He extended his hand to the blond haired guy.
-“And my name is John,John Ruchter.”- The guy answered in the same fashion.
They shook their hands.Strange images engulfed Tadek Vangard’s mind,the ones he thought were forgotten,the images of his desperate escape from Carlos,there in New Zealand when he was chased by the assassin up Mount Victoria.Tadek Vangard threw himself then with the Range Rover down into the abyss the moment he found himself on the top of the Mount,and only the parachute which lay on the back side of the van saved his life.It all happened in a split of seconds.
Tadek Vangard looked sharply at the man.He saw nothing but a grin.Why then that horrific images? Was he hallucinating? He was suddenly seized with a desire that his six sense gets awoken.No,that was not possible.His six sense emerged only in ultimate moments.It was certainly not an ultimate moment.But he still felt himself intriqued and uneasy.There was something familiar in that guy.
What was it?
-“It's time for me to go.I have appointments in my office downtown Antwerp.See you,Helene and…see you my friend.”- The Jewish businessman said to them and approached his silvery Mercedes.He gave yet a show of his mastership of turning his car around and smooth departure,pressed horn and speeded down the street.
Tadek Vangard followed Helene Van Veenen into the house.Strange was this world,he thought.He did not have to seek examples.The Jewish businessman for example,he was from Israel most probably.In Tadek Vangard’s eyes the Middle East was a house of madness.Why the Palestinians and the Jewish people in Israel were so terribly against themselves? Why was it not possible for the Palestinian women to get married to Jewish men or for the Jewish women to get married to the Palestinians? They all opted for terror and an endless revenge cycle instead.Was the Middle East not a madhouse?! Helene Van Veenen had her roots in the Netherlands,the country which cherished royalty,a monarchic system which fuelled and supported unequality.When a royal baby got born there was a thorough media coverage and limelight of the newborn.But when a poor baby got born,the baby of the street,there was absolutely nothing but a sorrowful reality.The royals did not have to do anything and they had everything.The poor on the contrary were left out,there in the street.And finally,if you were poor you were nothing and if you were a royal you were everything! What a differatiation of people into all sorts of ones! With the blue blood on top of that. No,Tadek Vangard did not like that sort of system.If it were up to him he would abolish any form of monarchy and establish a presidency instead.
-“Tadek,do you want a cup of coffee?”- Helene Van Veenen asked him when they found themselves in the kitchen.Tadek Vangard already knew Helene Van Veenen enjoyed the most sitting at the kitchen table in the morning hours.
-“Yes,thank you,Helene.”- He smiled to her.She looked to him astonishingly beautiful,as always.There was,however,something else,an incredible amount of radiation,a radiation of happiness.The sort of happiness people expierence only in a love story.Was it possible she and the businessman…No,no no,he suppressed that thought.
Helene Van Veenen brought two cups to the table and they sat down comfortably,ready to have some relaxed chat.The phone suddenly began to ring.Helene reached for the handle.
-“Hallo,Helene Van Veenen here….Oh,it’s you!…Charles and Marillion! “- She bursted with joy.
-“What?..What are you saying?!…No,it can’t be…I don’t believe it…It can’t be,it absolutely can’t be!”- Tadek Vangard began to feel concerned because Helene Van Veenen abruptly was changed beyond recognition.There was an expression of a pain on her face and especially in her eyes and then there were even tears pouring down her face.Something happened.Something very bad.Was it her husband? Or perhaps her daughter?
-“Helene,what happened?”- He asked.
-“Angela…Herman’s mother…died…”- She bursted with a cry.
-“ Angela Butterby? Oh,no! When did it happened?”- Tadek Vangard felt himself as if struck by an enormous stone.
-“She died three hours ago.”- Helene Van Veenen continued to sob.
Tadek Vangard stood up,came to her and put his arms around her.He loved Angela Butterby as much as Helene did.The mother of the klan was greater than life but the last years of her life,since she was paralysed as the result of an assault by Carlos,she suffered a lot and her life was reduced to a never ending torture.Her desire was to die and she was awarded so in the end.Perhaps Helene Van Veenen got to the same conclusion because she stoped crying.
-“Poor Angela,she had such awful the last years of her life! I think she wanted to die.May God bless her.”- She whispered with exhaustion.
-“I also think so.”- Tadek Vangard expressed aloud what he thought.
Helene Van Veenen began to telephone to all the members of the family.She began,naturally,with her husband for whom the death of his mother was the most devastating news.
Yet the same day,late at night they flew to New Zealand.Tadek Vangard with them.
They attended the funeral ceremony in Wellington,the ceremony which was never to be forgotten.All the family members attended,from Marillion and Charles Van Veenen to Hans Van Veenen,the great grandfather of both,Charles and Herman.There were also officials and a number of businessmen present,the ones who dealt with Angela Butterby in the times of her activity.New Zealand newspapers reported about the Angela Butterby’s tragedy of life,her great achievements and the losses of her two husbands as well as the circumstances which brought her son,Dick Butterby to commit evil crimes.
After the funeral all the members of the family gathered in the courtyard of Angela Butterby’s estate.It was possible because the sun shone and it was quite warm.An official arrived and the will of Angela Butterby was read by him.Everybody expected to get something from the vast premises of their great grandmother’s and mother’s business empire,of which they were just entitled to run so far in her name.
Who will get the castle of Winchester,there was a thought on everybody’s mind when it came to the jewel of the Angela Butterby’s riches.As it was expected the most got the sons of Angela Butterby,Herman and Charles from her marriage to Ghandy Van Veenen.Marcel and Peter Van Veenen,the sons of Ghandy Van Veenen whose mother was an actrice,Amalie Holtman,also could be satisfied with what they got.Jilianne and Damon,the children of Dick Butterby as well as James,Helene and Agnew,the children of Emilie Butterby who died for cancer at young age and Joseph Butterby who abondoned them had guaranteed many millions of dollars on their bank accounts as well as the estate on Mount Victoria.Others received far less but they were content.
The castle in Winchester was still an enigma.Who will get it?
The speaker mentioned the castle in the end:”I,Angela Butterby,wish to award my thirty hektare estate in Winchester,England, with the castle there to…Tadek Vangard,the man who saved the lives of my grandchildren,Damon and Jilianne,from their own father and my son,Dick Butterby.I wish to express this way my eternal gratitude to the man whom I decided to treat as if he were my own son.”
Shock reverberated through the minds of the participants and all looked at Tadek Vangard who stood at the side of Herman and Helene Van Veenen.
He was shocked no less.
He looked at his friends with an expression on his face which suggested he was confused to the uppermost.
-“Herman,I cannot accept this offer.It should rightly belong to you or one of your brothers.I’m an outsider.”- He said. Herman Van Veenen took his hand into his hands.
-“Tadek,it’s not an offer,it’s a will.The estate in Winchester is your and the castle with it.I beg you,take it.I’m happy you got it.”
-“Please,Tadek.Take it.”-Helene Van Veenen joined the plea of her husband.
-“Well,I thank you,I thank you so much!”- Tadek Vangard said and he was probably heard by others because there was an applause heard.
There was a party afterwards,the evening came fast and Tadek Vangard felt he needed a bit time alone for meditation.He excused himself and went to the Botanic Gardens of Wellington.There he sat down on a bench surrounded by all the wonders of the roses' kingdom,such roses as Amber Queen,Nirvana,Lavender Dream,Le Reine Victoria,La Ville de Bruxelles,Chapeau de Napoleon,Golden Wings and thousands of other varieties.He still needed to get over with what his mind was filled with.He was a rich man out of a sudden! An owner of a castle somewhere there in the vastland of England! He felt as if he again listened to the story of his own grandmother:” There in New Zealand,the land behind seven big seas and mountains…”And he had an impression his grandmother crowned her story:”And in the end there in the castle of Winchester,in England”.
Tadek Vangard smiled to himself.Well,the real life could be as much fascinating! He felt he got over with the new situation.He was now the legitimate owner of the Winchester castle! Goodness,how curious he was! He desired to get there to that estate.His own estate!
There was already night with the light switched on on the heavenly sky.The stars shone as never before,the real ones and the ones within his own mind.He was happy,indeed.There was time to go back to the Angela Butterby’s estate on the majestic Mount Victoria so he did it.He entered on tiptoes the house he already stayed in some time ago and went to his bedroom.
The next day he departed New Zealand together with Herman and Helene Van Veenen,their grandfather and a number of other family members who lived in Belgium and the Netherlands.
They were tired when the plane landed in Zaventen,on the outskirts of Brussels.Nevertheless,Tadek Vangard felt reinvigorated and he had only one thing in his mind: to see the castle.His castle!
Just two days later he went by coach to Oostende,a seaport on the Belgian side and from there to Dover by hovercraft.He beamed with enthusiasm when he got off the hovercraft with other passengers.They approached British customs.He waited patiently in the queue.
Finally he found himself before one of the custom officers,a middle aged one and not very friendly.He gave him his New Zealand passport.
-“Why do you come to the United Kingdom?”- The official asked.
-“I’ve got an estate in Winchester,England”- Tadek Vangard answered and showed a document of the will to the man.The official remained cold.
-“Do you have a return ticket?”- He astonished Tadek Vangard with an absurd question.
-“Yes,I do have.”
-“Do you have money with you?”
-“Yes,I do have.”
There were a number of other questions,some of which either utterly stupid or arrogant.
Most of the other passengers were already through with their customs.
-“Please follow me.”- The custom officer said with an unpleasant voice.He looked ugly,was fat and his mouth smelled badly. They went into a small room in which sat a few other people,of dark skin suggesting they were probably travellers from Africa.
Tadek Vangard felt himself alarmed for the first time.There was something not right.He did not need immigration procedures.Another clerk came a moment later,asked him to follow him and they went to another room in which there was nobody else.He demanded to tell him why he was coming to Britain.
-“Please show your money.”- He commanded.
Tadek Vangard did it.The guy went out the room.A number of minutes later the official came back,with yet another guy. They asked him again the same questions and then commanded him to undress.
-“Why?”- Tadek Vangard was dismayed.
-“You do it or you don’t get to the United Kingdom”- There was the answer.
-“But I’m owner of a Winchester estate! I’m not an immigrant,I don’t have to immigrate to the United Kingdom,I have a New Zealand passport and a house in Belgium!”- Tadek Vangard protested.
-“Shut up and do what we ask you to do.”- One of the officials threatened him again.
No,I can't do it.I don't do it! - Tadek Vangard protested
-“Well,you close the door of the United Kingdom to yourself." - The official said.
"It's a shit what you say!" - Tadek Vangard riposted.He felt totally dismayed.How they treated him! As if he were nothing but rubbish!
A half an hour later yet another official came in.
-“You’ve got a deport.You must go back to Belgium.”- He announced.
Tadek Vangard was stunned.
-“But…But I’m a New Zealand citizen! I’m a subject of her Majesty,Queen Elizabeth II ! You can’t do it to me! I swore allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II ! New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth!” – He protested with an utmost agony in his voice.He expected everything but not this.Perhaps other people could have difficulty in understanding what he just said but not the British officials.To deny entry to someone from New Zealand was a sort of treason.
-“I’m sorry,you can appeal at the immigration court but right now you must go back to Belgium or elsewhere.”- The voice of the official remained cold and sadistic somehow.Tadek Vangard recollected at that moment some stories he heard from Polish travellers who were refused entry into the United Kingdom.They were also advised to appeal and never won.The British immigration court was a mockery of justice!
What a bunch of sadists!,he thought with an anger which spread all over his mind.
-“Shit! You can’t do it to me! You can’t humiliate me any more! I demand you let me enter the country.I’m an owner of a Winchester estate,a citizen of the free world and above all a New Zealander as you can see it from my passport.”- Tadek Vangard bursted out with anger.
-“You’re a holder of a New Zealand passport,man.”- The official said and made a sadistic grin.
-“This is your interpretation! Well,holder of not you must accept me as a New Zealander and the one who has all rights to enter the country as the subject of Her Majesty,Queen Elizabeth II. I swore on the Majesty before getting the citizenship!”
-“Sorry,we can’t help you!”
-“I don’t need your help! You let me in!”- Tadek Vangard demanded. The official went out,closing the door noisily.
An hour later yet another official came in,together with two policemen.
-“Please follow us.”- He said.Tadek Vangard stood up and did it.He realized there was no chance this time and he,indeed,had to go back to Belgium.He was escorted to the same hovercraft he arrived in Dover with.He felt once again humiliated when being watched by hundreds of other travellers from around the world.
They could travel,he not.
-“But I’m a New Zealand citizen! I’m a citizen of the Commonwealth! And thus citizen of the world!…”- A deperate thought pulsated within his mind like a tornado storm when he entered the hovercraft,on the eyes of many travellers who looked at him as if he were an offender.
His mind cried…
To be continued...
Author: Thaddeus Hutyra.
e-mail: tadekhutyra@hotmail.com  or: clubbers@funworld.be
Address: Frederik de Merodestraat 1.
2600 Berchem.Antwerpen.Belgium.
All Rights Reserved.

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