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.
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