guess the song
|clue... a crowded room at twilight?|
She sat somewhat prim and proper at one of the small marble tables tucked into a neglected corner of the bar. Attractive, well-dressed and forty-something, she made sure to look aloof.
He could tell she had come alone. Well-to-do single women all had that certain look. ‘Don’t you dare buy me a drink. But please, please, rescue me.’
“Pardon the intrusion. For a moment I was transported to another time. I thought I was seeing Marilyn Monroe.” Shamelessly corny, it was delivered in his best Eton-tinged accent. It always worked. Everyone in the San Diego area knew the old classic ‘Some Like It Hot,’ filmed on location at the world-famous Hotel Del Coronado.
Accepting another glass of wine from him, Helen opened up like a rosebud. She was soon caught hook, line and sinker by his continental charm. That she was far from a bleached blonde with a thirty-six-double-D bust didn’t matter.
What mattered to the temporarily homeless Edward was that she owned a townhome in the canal-crossed Coronado Cays, where you parked your car in front and tied up your boat in back. Hers was a sleek twenty-seven foot Catalina. Life couldn’t have been better. Edward’s silver Jaguar Coupe sporting the older-model rapacious hood ornament befitted the pricey neighborhood. Helen arranged and paid for his sailing lessons. On Sundays, they sailed up the Bay for brunch at the venerated San Diego Yacht Club. During enchanted evenings, they strolled hand-in-hand along the beach to watch the sun sink below the whale-hump of Point Loma.
To show his appreciation for her delightful company and comfortable abode, Edward took Helen to Jessop’s Jewelers down-town ostensibly to buy her a bauble. The lady blushed. Might it be something for her finger? But, to her bewilderment, with Edward virtually in tears, they had to leave.
“Heavens, what’s the matter?”
Between sighs and mumbling ‘terribly sorry, dear,’ Edward pointed to a window display. There, on gray velvet, reposed a pair of gold and diamond cufflinks. The discretely noted price evoked another sigh.
“Those are like the ones my departed papa left me,” Edward sobbed. “They were the only thing I had from him.”
Helen touched his arm. “What happened to them?”
“They were stolen.” A dramatic pause. Then, “Would you mind terribly, my love, if we don’t do this today?”
Helen’s heart skipped a beat. He had just called her ‘my love.’
That Friday evening, the intuitive woman surprised Edward with the precious cufflinks. He took her in his arms and they spent a perfect evening dining on her boat as they watched the peach-colored dusk slip into its indigo cloak.
On Saturday evening Helen, a high-powered executive and consummate professional when not enthralled by tall Brits, informed him she had an early morning flight to Europe and that her generosity, alas, could not extend to her home, her Mercedes and her treasured sailboat while she was away.
Edward understood. He returned her key, kissed her good-night, promised to call, and left to spend an undignified night at a flop-house in Imperial Beach.
Sunday morning the normally fastidious Edward did not shave. Dressed in midnight-blue silk pajamas and leather slippers, he drove to affluent Coronado. A couple of homes down from Helen’s, he expertly scooped a Sunday paper up. Then he stopped at a lone beach emergency-telephone and called a locksmith. The man met him in front of Helen’s within thirty minutes.
“Can you imagine? Here I am in my pajamas. I come out to pick up my Sunday paper and the door slams behind me.” Edward’s speech was colloquial and friendly.
“It happens a lot,” the locksmith commiserated. “I’ll have you back in your house in no time.”
“Oh, while you are here,” Edward suggested, “could you change the lock for me? Ex-girlfriends, you know.” He winked at the pot-bellied man.
The locksmith winked back. He might not have first-hand experience with ex-girlfriends, but he understood. He ground a couple of extra keys for the new lock sure they would be handed out again in due course.
Edward’s delightful set-up came to a crashing end when Helen returned early. When the lock gave her problems, she went through the side-yard to the back. There, she found her former guest on her boat wooing a star-struck matron. Helen sent the apoplectic woman packing and called the police.
Edward took his suitcase outside. Pulling the pudgy officer aside, he quietly, man-to-man, explained the situation. Ex-girlfriend, emotionally unstable, pretending this was her house.
“Here is my own key. See, it fits.” He cautiously opened and closed the front door. “I admit, Officer, I dated the woman. But she turned out to be a stalker. I have no idea how she got in while I was away on business. See, I haven’t even had a chance to take my suitcase in.”
When the officer assured him that he could easily remove the female inside, Edward said, “I don’t want to press charges. Who knows what she’ll do. Let me handle this myself. You know how it is.” The sweaty man grinned. At the end of his shift he was only too glad to let the rich bastard deal with his own woman troubles.
As usual, the foresighted Edward had a fallback plan. He drove across the elegant span of the Coronado Bridge. To the north lay La Jolla, the Jewel of Pacific Coast communities.
There, one enchanted evening another lady was soon to fall victim to his charm ...
© Inge H. Borg
song: Some Enchanted Evening - from South Pacific lyrics by Richard Rodgers
While the flagrant charmer seduces more ladies around San Diego in Edward, Con Extraordinaire, he eventually winds up in Cairo. In Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea, Book 2 of the Legends of the Winged Scarab series, Edward’s ambitions turn sinister. In Books 3, 4 and 5, he becomes downright murderous.
Visit Inge H. Borg’s Amazon Author Pages here:
Note: There is copyright legislation for song lyrics but no copyright in names, titles or ideas
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The Full List of Authors
1st Philip K. Allan
2nd J J Toner
4th Helen Hollick
5th Richard Tearle
7th Nicky Galliers
9th Katherine Pym
10th J G Harlond
11th Anna Belfrage
12th Richard Dee
12th Richard Dee
13th Inge H. Borg
14th Annie Whitehead
15th Louise Adam
16th Charlene Newcomb
14th Annie Whitehead
15th Louise Adam
16th Charlene Newcomb
17th Alison Morton
18th Kathryn Gauci
19th Helen Hollick
20th M.J. Logue
21st Helen Hollick
22nd Cryssa Bazos
23rd Jennifer Wilson
25th MERRY CHRISTMAS
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Ah! Dear Edward! I can understand how the ladies fall for him; one cannot utterly despise him!! My first guess was 'How to Handle a Woman' from Camelot, but that's a bit naughty of me to do so, then I thought 'This Charming Man' by The Smiths, but I'd be surprised if you knew that one! Well disguised, Inge - I got conned again!!!ReplyDelete
I don't know where my first reply to you went, Richard. Perhaps "our Helen" has to approve it (it wasn't naughty, I swear). Thanks for being such a stalwart supporter here.Delete
What a 'dirty, rotten scoundrel' Edward is! Just like Michael Caine in that film set on the French Riviera. Beautifully told, Inge. When you used the word 'enchanted', I thought 'Aha!ReplyDelete
I love 'Some enchanted evening' especially when the delightful and wonderfully sexy Rossano Brazzi sings it.
Thanks for stopping by, Alison. I love that movie. Yes, Edward would have fitted right in with those guys.Delete
What an utter bar-steward! Had he gotten away with it I would have been FUMING! Helen totally had a lucky escape. Great writing to evoke such strength of emotion in me.ReplyDelete
Ah, but you should read about his other conquests - and I promise you you'll be FUMING all right.Delete
Loved this enchanting story Inge. What a charming yet conniving rotter! But as a character - brilliant! You have a lovely way with description: "they watched the peach-colored dusk slip into its indigo cloak" ooh, that is so evocative. I was there watching it with them.ReplyDelete
One can't really blame the ladies (nor blame me for enjoying my bad boy). This 'conniving rotter,' as you rightly say, even weaseled his way into "Shadow Love," another short novella (albeit only as a regretted memory).ReplyDelete
Thank you for stopping in, Angela.
I was stuck somewhere between grinning and frowning. What a cad!enjoyed this immensely and liked your interpretation of one of my favourite songs. Live the book on which the musical is based even more...ReplyDelete
Hi, Anna. Mitchener is still one of my favorite authors. Luckily, the heart-throb worthy Rosanno Brazzi (with Giorgio Tozzi's deep baritone) was unlike my cad of a man.Delete
I still haven't made up my mind whether I like Edward or I'll throw him to my pirate to sort him out! *laugh* Except he only (I assume?) picks on rich ladies who are daft to fall for his charms, so really only get what they deserve for responding to the flattery. Were they poor or 'damaged' ladies my opinion of Edward would be different. Good story Inge, good song!ReplyDelete
First, 'Thank You' for another platform for us, Helen. Tremendous job looking for all these songs. Somehow, deep down, there must be a wicked streak in me since I seem to delight in blogging about my 'bad boys.' They are such fun to expose.Delete
Yes, Edward only zeros in on lucrative victims; it's how he makes his living. Oh, BTW, this Helen of his here came into being long before I knew you. You, smart lady that you are, would never have fallen for his BS (as we say here in the States).
So much effort, so much to remember scamming like that. I became exhausted reading and wondered when the lady would figure it out. Then off he went to another. Well done. Goodness. Need a nap.ReplyDelete
Smitten women often listen only to what they want to hear. It's one of Edward's trump cards. Others are his amiability. He never acts aggressive or even denies anything if caught in a lie - until he runs into my other characters in Egypt! Then, the gloves come off.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's a lot of effort, Katherine. But he is clever - and utterly without scruples.
What a con man! So glad it worked out for Helen - I was worried there for a moment. Great story, Inge and a beautiful song, though I was completely clueless until I got to the end.ReplyDelete
If he's too good to be true ... But you know, Char, how women often squash those little red flags flapping around in the head. Glad you enjoyed my charming Brit (perhaps he was lying about that too).ReplyDelete
Well, even though it's only 7 PM my time, I see that "...Tomorrow is another day" and already another story. But who else better to 'oust' Edward than Annie Whitehead.ReplyDelete
Helen, again, many many thanks again for doing a mammoth job in gathering this interesting group of storytellers.
Lol, never trust a charmer, eh? They're too in love with themselves to care about anyone else.ReplyDelete
What a cad and a bounder! Excellent story.ReplyDelete
What a rotter! (And that comes from one who also writes about a rogue.) But as you say, the ladies themselves have a lot to answer for. Great story - must read the Egypt novel now to see how Edwards fares there. Thank you, Inge.ReplyDelete
I won't have to worry about you, Loretta, JJ and Jane - you saw through Edward right away. Alas, many women don't - or they do too late.ReplyDelete