Previously, the Prime Minister executed a plan and it wasn’t pretty. Not pretty, at all. Quills has followed the Mighty Paddington to the Convent where Lady P. P. is being held hostage.
Quills heard the dandy’s voice as it threatened someone at the top of the stairs of the convent. He would have liked to race up the stairs but Hector would have said, “Wait, mi hermano. Bide your time. Your patience may save your life.” So, Quills held back at the bottom of the stairs.
A woman’s voice came down to him. “Leave me alone,” she said. Quills recognized the voice as someone he had heard before. But when? Who? He couldn’t recall.
On the top of the stairs, the dandy, The Mighty Paddington, The Iranian Cubist Assassin, grabbed the woman by the arm and pulled her down the hall.
“Leave me alone,” the woman, Mary-Mary Smith also known as Lady Marye Caterina Wimpleseed Prissypott, said louder, wandering why the nuns on the second floor did not burst out of their bedrooms and come up to rescue her from this villainous man. Then it came to her. The nuns were all on a week’s retreat at their sister house in Madrid.
“What are you doing?” she said to the man who was dragging her to Mother Superior’s office.
“Never you mind,” the villain said. “The question is not what am I doing. Rather it is what were you doing?”
“I heard voices,” she said, struggling to loose her arm from the man’s grip. “They woke me up. I came up here to see. When I realized it was Mother Superior and Father Jerome, I was on my way back to bed. Let me loose so I can go back to my room and go to sleep.”
“None of us may get any sleep tonight,” he said, pulled open the door to Mother Superior’s office and pushed Lady P. P. inside. He followed. “My friends, I caught a spy. This little thing was listening at your door.”
A breeze eased through the latticework of the office as a full moon stood outside unaware of the danger inside the convent. Father Jerome, Mother Superior, the Doctor and Mata Hari were raising their glasses of wine to toast their success. They all stopped.
Mata Hari saw her ladyship; her ladyship saw Mata Hari.
“You,” Mata Hari said.
The fog of our heroine’s amnesia cleared, and the sun of her memory returned. Her ladyship remembered Mata Hari on the Orient Express, and her threat. She remembered that she was an English lady. She remembered the British ambassador refusing to believe her tale in Istanbul. She remembered Smythie Smathers’s words on the S. S. Twit. She remembered the sinking of the S. S. Twit. She remembered all that she had learned from her daddykins about self-defense.
“You,” Lady P. P. said, now free from the dandy’s grasp.
Mata Hari gave The Mighty Paddington, The Iranian Cubist Assassin, one of her come hither looks that seemed to say, “Take care of this bitch and I will give you some.” His legs almost gave in but he held his stand. He knew he could never trust a woman who carried a Wise & Heimer the way Mata Hari did.
Before Mighty could stop her, her ladyship was across the room. She formed a fist and drew back and rammed that fist right into Mata Hari’s nose, knocking the fatale out of her femme and off her feet. She turned and jumped in the air, like a martial artist, and slammed her left foot into The Mighty Paddington’s groin.
The priest, Mother Superior and Doctor Qwackers cowered in the corner. This was more than they had bargained. Her ladyship was like a lioness protecting her young. She had caught her Wah Wah League’s adversaries unawares.
Then Marye Caterina Wimpleseed Prissypott made for the door. She grabbed its knob. Quills pulled the door open and the momentum threw our heroine out of the room and down the hallway. She crashed through the latticework and off the ledge. She grabbed the ledge with one hand.
Quills rushed down the hall and over to the window. “What happened?”
“You threw me down the hall when you opened the door,” her ladyship said, hanging on for her life. Quills suddenly remembered where he had heard that voice. Gibraltar.
He went to reach for her hand. Behind him, he heard a noise. He turned and saw The Mighty Paddington coming for him. Mighty threw the first punch. It missed Quills. Quills threw the second punch. It hit Mighty squarely on the chin. Mata Hari drew her Wise & Heimer. She took aim but across the room came a knife to take out the gun in her hand. It was Pip, a chip off the old Flip of Flip, Fop & Flimby, Solicitors at Law. He ran up behind Mighty and knocked the dandy out with his pistol.
As Pip forced Mother Superior, Father Jerome and the doctor into a closet and locked it, Quills returned to the ledge to rescue her ladyship. But she was gone. She had fallen. He looked below to see a man throwing her body across his shoulders and hurrying off to a carriage.
“That must be 007,” Pip said from behind Quills. “We have to stop him. He’s working for The Times and he means to either kill her ladyship or ship her off to God-knows-where.”
“Let’s go,” Quills said rushing out of the office. “I’ve been to God-knows-where and that’s no place to be sent.”
Pip was right behind him as he took the stairs three at a time. They ran out of the building.
“I have horses waiting,” Pip said. “They’re around the corner.”
They made for the horses and rode down the cobblestone street where James Bond’s carriage had gone. The carriage raced toward the piers of the port of Barcelona. He was heading to a ship owned by The Times.
The horses came closer and closer to the carriage. From the carriage came gunshots. Bullets whizzed by Pip and Quills, barely missing.
“I thought this Bond was supposed to be a good shot,” Pip said to Quills as the two raced their horses nearer the carriage. One of the bullets breezed past an inch from his ear.
“He’s getting better and better,” Pip yelled back at Quills.
Quills and Pip closed in on the carriage. More bullets, and they realized that it was the driver that was firing. Seemed that James Bond 007 had his hands full, fighting her ladyship in the carriage. Pip aimed his revolver. He dropped the driver.
Now the carriage was a runaway. Quills pulled up beside the carriage and past it until he reached the horses. He was about to jump onto the carriage horses when they swerved in the opposite direction and turned up another street. As they did, the carriage came crashing down on its side and slid half a block further.
“Oh no,” Quills halted his horse and wheeled it around. “Oh no.”
Pip was already thinking what Quills was thinking. Her ladyship was dead in the carriage, or at the very least badly injured. Pip jumped down from his horse.
“Get off me, you turd,” Pip heard from inside the carriage. “I mean, you cad. Oh shit. I meant what I said the first time. Turd. You’re an incredibly bad turd too.”
Whack, whack came the sounds from inside the carriage. Quills and Pip were at the carriage door at the same time. Popping out of the carriage door was her ladyship.
“Would you kind gentlemen help a lady out of this carriage please?”
Next week, true love.