In which our heroine explores the city of Istanbul.
Previously Mata Hari escaped, the House of Lords debated, and Quills went for a swim.
Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott stepped off the Orient Express. She was in Istanbul, Constantinople and Byzantium all rolled into one. After checking in at a hotel, she went directly to the British Embassy to report the Mata Hari incident. After telling her harrowing tale to the British ambassador, she concluded, “I wanted you to know that there are spies out there. And they want to hurt people. People like me.”
“Duly noted.” The ambassador scribbled something on a notepad on his very large desk in his very large ambassador’s office. Looking down upon him was Queen Victoria, Empress of India with her dour, mourning look. Her husband, Albert, had been dead for quite some time, and he was still dead. She would never smile again.
The white-haired ambassador with his white mustache straightened his Rule Britannia tie. Then he rose from his desk and walked over to her ladyship. He took her by the hand and escorted her out of his office. After all, it was getting late in the morning and he needed a nap. He hadn’t had this many visitors in weeks.
In every embassy no matter the country, there is an officer, or should we say a clerk, whose primary responsibility is to handle those citizens the ambassador thinks a bother. Some are called Mission Executive Secretary, some are the Ambassador’s Assistant, some are the Secretary in Charge of Propriety. Whatever the position is called, many foreign service people begin their careers with this position. They are the ambitious ones, the fawners who will use it as a springboard to more lucrative responsibilities. On this springboard, future secretaries of state and foreign ministers, even a Prime Ministers or two, have been born. Others end their careers in this position.
Nyles Chowder Rucket of the Sprucket Ruckets, the Ambassador’s Gofer, was the latter. He had a small desk in a very small space outside the ambassador’s office. It was a closet. The Ambassador gently pushed her ladyship over to Nyles’ closet and opened the door.
“What did you say was the nature of your trip to Istanbul?” the Ambassador asked, his hand pushing our heroine inside the closet. “Here. You can tell my assistant.” He glanced over at the bureaucraft with gopheresque face and asked, “What was your name?”
Nyles burrowed out of the ton of paperwork on his desk and popped his head out of the hole he created and went to say his name.
He was cut off by the Ambassador, who said to no one in particular, “I have so many employees in the embassy I can never remember their names. Anyway, he is very capable. After all, he is British. You can tell him your business in Istanbul. Or is it Constantinople?Oh, well, never mind. I have some very urgent matters to attend. The Prime Minister and the Queen, you know.”
He closed the closet door and returned to the nap in his office.
The near-blind Nyles stood and reached across his desk. Lady P. P. grabbed his hand to avoid him the embarrassment of missing hers.
“Nyles Chowder-Rucket at you service, Madame.” He returned to his chair. ”What is the nature of your visit? Perhaps I may help.”
“First, there was this…,” our heroine said, almost telling him of the Mata Hari incident. Then she stopped herself. She was not up to another brush off. “Oh, never mind. I am here to do some travel journalism. Seeing the sights and writing them up for the newspapers back home. So, the homefolks may live vicariously through my adventures.”
“Well, I am afraid I am no good at sights.” Nyles straightened his glasses. In the best of days, everything was a blur, and this was not a day that had been going well for him. He could barely see his nose, much less the woman before him. She could’ve stood there a la Godiva and she wouldn’t have gotten a stir from the small man behind the very small desk in the very small closet. “But if I can be of any other service, please feel free. I am at your disposal.”
“Perhaps you can, my dear Rucket,” she said. “Give poor little moi the benefit of your advice on some of the high points of the city not to miss.”
“Of course, Madame,” Chowder-Rucket said. He began a description of the city that droned on and on and on, and then on some more.
After three minutes of this tedium that seemed like three hours, our heroine was ready to leave the bureaucrat’s cupboard screaming.
She interrupted his monotone voice. “Thanks for the tour, my good fellow,” she said. “Think I’m getting the hang of the city.”
She shook his hand and came out of the closet. Then it was off to her hotel. She dusted herself off and donned a new attire and a new hat. She had heard from Two Ems that Istanbul’s bazaars were the place to go.
“And always wear a new hat,” Two-Ems finished her advice. “A lady is never seen without a new hat.” It was advice Lady P. P. took to heart. She had a hat case filled with hats for every occasion. She opened the case and pulled out her bazaar-shopping hat, fitted it on her pretty head and tied it on with a perfect bow. “There,” she said, admiring herself in the mirror. “I feel better already.”
On her way to the Le Grand Bazaar, she took a hankering for lunch. She came to a small brasserie named the Big Salami. She entered and found a table. Lo and behold, behold and lo, the waiter before her was Dilly O’Jones.
“Well, ain’t that a how-do-you-do and a skip-ta-ma-loo-my-darling,” she said when she gazed upon his muscles flexing before her. It was enough to give a girl the blushes. So she blushed, then continued, “If it ain’t a small world. Dilly, it’s me.”
Dilly leaned across the table and kissed her ever so succulent lips, then said, “I missed you a bunch, hon. Would you care to bonk?”
She hesitated. After all, she had already disappointed one man, her former husband. Doubt and confusion gripped her deeply. What if she wasn’t a real woman? She held back.
“An English lady does not bonk,” Marye spoke with a slightly affected English accent. But the hair on his chest showing through his open shirt and the bulge in his pants were simply irresistible. Perhaps … perhaps. Well maybe. Maybe Dilly was the one man who could save her from a life of virginity. After all, he was a red-blooded American male, not a stiff-upper-lipped British lord. Yes, he would save her from a life of spinsterhood and virginity. “Oh, what the hell,” she said.
Dilly handed his order pad over to the gray-haired waitress at the next table. He retired to the room above the eatery with his darling, ready for some daring do. There in his bedroom she undressed. Off came her dress and her hoop skirt, then, with Dilly’s help, her corset. Onto the floor fell her chemise. Her breasts were de-breasted. And her holy grail was unveiled.
“What nice melons you have, baby,” Dilly complimented.
“Why, thank you, dear,” she said, a smile filling her face as she stood before her fellow Brooklynite in her all-togethers.
Then Dilly fainted, overcome by her seductiveness.
“I never knew he was that kind of guy,” she said out loud, stunned at the turn of events. “The first sight of my bosoms and he’s out. What a mistake this was.”
He shook himself awake. “No, no. It wasn’t you. I mean, it was you. I was overcome by your … I mean, you. Baby, please stay. I want you, and you want me. You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted. Look at you. You’re amazing.”
She looked at herself in the mirror. “Yes, you’re right. I am amazing.”
His “please stay” turned into his feeding at the trough of love and the big fellow planted one for his gipper.
After an afternoon of foreplay, afterplay and in the middle-of-it-all play, each of the two were lost in their own thoughts. Dilly lit a cigar and misquoted Kipling, “A Cuban is a Cuban, but a woman, now that’s smoking.”
“Are you saying that I am a woman?” She didn’t feel like a woman. The earth had not moved. The stars had not twinkled. And where were those fireworks Two-Ems had promised? What a letdown this sex business had been. Dilly just had not been up to the dallyinng she expected.
He blew a smoke ring through another smoke ring. “Did you ever doubt it?”
Later that afternoon the two kissed goodbye. Dilly went back to his brasserie; Marye made a quick exit stage left for her streets of adventure. She had decided that the back of a motorbyke wasn’t much of a ride. Much later, much much later, our heroine would remember the time she bonked in Turkey. Then there would be an enormous smile on her face, glad she escaped the pickle a life with Dilly O’Jones would have put her in. But not that evening.
Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed-Prissypott of Haggismarshe, formerly Mary-Mary Smith of Brooklyn Heights, New York, decided Istanbul was not her cup of Yorkshire Gold after all. She went to the pier, looking for a slow boat to China. Instead she took the first boat out of town and went on the ship bound for Egypt, the Pyramids and all points beyond.
“Perhaps I will change my name to Jayne and find Mister Tarzan,” she mused thoughtfully. “I could really use an ape man right about now. Dill’s fainting about did it for me.”
Next Week: The Queen makes an appearance.