Previous our heroine arrived in Barcelona.
It was easy, easier than the assassin thought.
The carriage carrying the Crown Prince of Portugal arrived at the restaurant late. He had been expected at nine o’clock in the evening. It was already eleven when he pulled up in front. The coachman stepped down from his seat atop the carriage and opened the door to allow the prince to exit.
A man stepped from the shadows on the street called Prince Henry the Navigator. His black cape and dark mask kept him camouflaged until he stepped into the light by the carriage. He had brought three mudpies but only one would be needed to do what was required.
The Mighty Paddington, the Iranian Cubist Assassin, pulled one of the pies out from under his cape and raised it. The prince’s face smashed right into it. The mudpie man cried, “Long live the Wah Wah.” Before either of the prince’s three retainers could do anything, the prince keeled over and fell to the street. He had died of embarrassment.
Mighty turned to flee. He ran smack dab into the coachman. The coachman grabbed him by the mask and the cape. Mighty reached under his cape and pulled a second mudpie from its sheath. Another of the prince’s retainers grabbed Mighty’s cape. Mighty raised the pie and rammed it into the coachman’s face. Before the second retainer could stop him, Mighty dropped his cape and jumped over the coachman. Then he was back into the shadows.
The Mighty Paddington, the Iranian Cubist Assassin, hurried to the house of an underground supporter. Before the army could get itself organized and block off all exits to the city, Mighty was dressed in the dress of a fancy-dancy nobleman and in a carriage and on the road to Spain.
To say the least, the King of Portugal was peaved. He was royally pissed. He called his War Council to a meeting. Pacing back and forth, steam came out of his ears. “The Spanish did this,” he said pacing. “I know it. They have been trying to do something like this ever since the Pope gave us Brazil. Well, they won’t get away with it. We will have our revenge on that arrogant Aragonist, Alfonso.” He meant the Spanish king’s son, His Royal Highness The Infante Alfonso. Not the father, Alfonso, who was old and senile. Though only the heir to the throne of Spain, Junior was the one who ruled over the Cortes and the country.
At that moment, one of the Portuguese king’s courtiers entered the War Council room. He approached the king’s person and bowed.
“Yes, flunky?” the king asked. “What do you want of His Divine Majesty, the King?”
“Your Wonderfulness,” the kneeling servant said, “the British ambassador is here. He has news about the attack upon the prince.”
“Then show the B. A. in.” The king stopped his willy-nilly pacing and turned toward the door.
The courtier escorted the B. A. into the room. The B. A. bowed a bow that was quite civilized. It showed that the B. A. was not the king’s subject, yet it showed respect for the king’s person.
“Your Majesty,” B. A. said, “you have Her Majesty’s most gracious condolences.”
“Yes,” the King of Portugal said, “yes, we know that. But you have news of the perpetrator?”
“My government does. It was not Spain.”
“Not Spain,” the king said. “Of course, it was Spain. It is always Spain, rubbing my people’s nose in its ass. We don’t even have our own language. It’s half Spanish, and not the good part, do you know that? How dare you tell me that it isn’t Spain.”
“Your Majesty, my government has proof that it was not Spain. It was an organization known as the Wah Wah League. They are trying to stir up trouble between the countries of Europe. They want us to go to war with one another. Once the war starts, there will be no stopping it. We will wear ourselves out. Then this organization steps in to take the proper governments’ places. First they create anarchy, then they create revolution, then the whole damned thing falls in upon itself. And pretty soon we’re out of a job.”
“Are you sure?” the king wanted to know.
“I am indeed. The assassin killed by mud pie, did he not? He wore a dark mask and a black cape, did he not?”
“Yes, that is true. That was him.”
“Then it was,” the B. A. said, “the Iranian Cubist Assassin. This has all his markings on it.”
“Hmmm,” the king hmmmed. “What would you have us do?”
“Have the army stand down.”
“Are you sure that it was this Iranian Cubist Assassin?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. I am sure. And we will catch him and bring him to justice. This I promise you.”
“Oh, I was so looking forward to taking on that Alfonso and his hoity-toityness.” The king turned to his Council. “Very well, gentlemen, order the army to stand down.” Then back to the B. A. “We want to see justice, and we want to see it soon. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Next Week, The Mighty Paddington