CHAPTER 25 Rosie sat in the carriage watching the dark, dry, desert scenery and illuminated railroad stations go by. She watched as the scenery changed to luscious vegetation as the train moved more north-eastward, out of the desert. Through Santa Fe to Topeka, Kansas on to Illinois, changing trains at Chicago and through Columbus, Ohio, her journey finally ending at Washington DC. She felt tired and hungry, she wished now that she had eaten something at the cafE9 in Albuquerque. She dare not close her eyes, for fear of missing her stop. She was so close now, she couldn't afford any more mistakes. One phone call, that was all it would take to see her father again, she was hoping that he would forgive her lapse of reasoning. After all she was family. She gazed out of the window, there was not a full moon tonight and the skies seemed even darker, not so many stars. Was it only last night she had seen her father? It seemed much longer, an age ago. Just one more stop, she sat watching though the window as the lights from the last station faded and disappeared. It was a long journey and one she need not have made if she'd kept her cool, but even now when she thought of Sam, her pulse quickened and her heart ached. She could not keep her head when he was around, he drove her crazy. It was not her fault that she hungered for him, she started reasoning, Sam was responsible for her feelings, if it were not for him she wouldn't be in this situation at all. She would be living a simple life with no complications, no risks. No that wouldn't do at all, she wanted Sam Beckett, wanted him for her own. She sat back and sneered to herself 'and I'm going to get him. One way or another.' The train started slowing down, blowing it's whistle as it entered Union Station and finally came to a standstill. Rosie, even before she'd left the train, was looking for a telephone, she looked anxious when she couldn't see one nearby. As she left the platform she caught sight of a kiosk. She dialed the number carefully, a voice answered on the other end of the line. "Vice-president Peter Saint-James please," Rosie paused as the other spoke, "Yes it is Rosemarie, his niece." There was a silence and the line crackled, as though she were being redirected. "Rosie, did you get the information?" Saint-James demanded. Rosie rather garbled, quirked, "Can I see you, I need to talk to you., I'm in DC and I need a place to stay. I had to leave New Mexico. I'm at Union Station now." "There's a small hotel just up from Union on Massachusetts, the Hilton Embassy Row, 2015 Massachusetts Avenue. I'll make the reservations from this end." "Thanks, but there is some news though, why I had to leave New Mexico. Sam Beckett's in hospital. He was unconscious when he left." "What happened? Which hospital is he in?" "I don't know." Rosie paused, "they had me locked up. You see, er, I-I'm the reason he's in hospital." There was another long pause before Saint-James responded, "You mean you've blown it, your cover I mean?" "Sorry but, but they don't know everything. I had no idea, he was so weak, I didn't know my own strength." "We can't say any more here, I'll meet you over at the hotel later. Be desecrate and don't get into any more trouble. Oh and Rosie." "Yes." "Don't use your surname, use your mother's maiden name, Marie Willis, for heavens sake do something right Rosie. I didn't spend all that time and money on your training to have you give anything else away." "Okay." Rosie was nervous, "I-I'll see you later." "And don't go anywhere until I've seen you. Understand?" "Yes, I understand. The receiver clicked and Rosie put down the phone. Rosie looked about and saw a sign for Massachusetts Avenue. She headed out of the station, after quite a long wait a taxi arrived and she hailed it. "Massachusetts, the Hilton Embassy Row." she told the driver. The taxi sped away along the long, wide roadway. Rosie looked out of the windows at the buildings as they passed, she did not know Sam was in one of the buildings she was gazing at. * * * * * Saint-James picked up the receiver and made reservations for Rosie at the hotel. Even before replacing the handset, he was shouting. "Rickland! Get in here!" Saint-James yelled, the large man from the Black Rock entered Saint-James' study and hesitated in the doorway. "I want you to get over to the Hilton Embassy on Massachusetts, I've booked a room for a Miss Marie Willis. Get over there, I want to be able to get in through the back door." He stood up from his chair and walked over to the window, "Oh Rick, make her feel comfortable, tell her I'll be along shortly, I've some business to take care of first. Looks like we've got another freeloader on our hands." "Right Sir, make her feel welcome." Rick gruffly replied. "On your way out tell Ruben I want to see him." Saint-James looked out of the window as Rick left and Ruben entered a minute later. "Get on the blower, find out which hospital they've taken Dr. Samuel Beckett to, and do it fast Ruben, no loitering." "Okay, sir, Saint-James." Ruben ran out of Saint-James' study as fast as his stumpy legs could take him. Saint-James heard Ruben on the telephone in the other room. Fifteen minutes later he was back in Saint-James' study, Ruben stood watching him. "Well don't just stand there man. Where is he?" "He's in the Government Employee Hospital, sir, Saint-James." Ruben stuttered. "Christ, that's the one place I was hoping he wouldn't be." "Why's that, sir, Saint-James?" "You flaming nincompoop, can't you think of anything yourself," Saint-James growled, "Security, man. The damned security there's as tight as a duck's ass." "Too right, sir, Saint-James." "Are you packin' Ruben?" Saint-James turned to his fool of a companion. "Yes, sir, Saint-James, sure am." He patted his left breast. "Sometimes I think that's the only reason you're still in my employ Ruben, least you can shoot straight." Ruben grinned at what he thought was a complement. "Come on, we'll put that skill of yours to some use." They headed out of the study, Ruben turned to the main entrance, "Not that way, you want everyone seeing us leave, the back way man." Saint-James growled. In the doorway Saint-James pointed down the hill, "Take the car and wait down there for me just a couple of blocks, I don't want anyone seeing me leave." "Okay, sir, Saint-James." Ruben headed for the car, drove it out of the driveway and turned to the direction Saint-James' indicated. Saint-James went back inside and made his way upstairs. Once inside his dressing room he opened the closet and pulled out a large metal case and lay it on the dresser. He fumbled around his inside pocket and took out a key. Inside the case was an array of wigs, makeup and other facial appendages. He made his selection and carefully applied his disguise. When he was satisfied with his appearance he went back downstairs, out of the back entrance, cautiously through the grounds and made his way to where Ruben was waiting in the car. He opened the door and climbed in. Ruben pulled out his Magnum and aimed it at Saint-James, "This aint no taxi." Ruben squealed. "It's me you idiot, now drive!" "Where to, sir....." "Drive man!" Saint-James snarled, "I'll tell yer when to damned well turn!" Ruben drove off tyres skidding on the tarmac surface. "Sorry, sir, Saint-James. I didn't recognise you there." "Damned it Ruben you weren't supposed to recognise me, and call me erm, er, Dolby when I'm in this disguise, I've not taken the trouble to do myself up like this and then you go on callin' me by name. That wouldn't do now, would it Ruben." "No sir-re, that wouldn't do at all, no, sir, Saint-James, erm I mean Dolby, sir." "Just Dolby, eh, Ruben. Keep it short and simple. Turn right here and next left." "Where are we going, erm Dolby?" "Massachusetts, Ruben, I've got some business at Massachusetts Avenue." "And you need me for your business right?" "I sure will Ruben, I sure will." They accelerated along Massachusetts Avenue, large buildings rose on either side. "Stop here, in front of this next building, pull in round the back." Saint-James suddenly snapped. Ruben stopped a little too late and had to reverse up the driveway. Saint-James pointed, "Right over there, near the bushes." The two men carefully picked their way around parked cars to the rear entrance to the building. Once inside Ruben checked the reception, it was all clear. They made their way up the staircase making sure no-one would see them. "Which floor?" Saint-James whispered. "Fourth." Ruben answered. They crept up a further flight, they held back when someone's reflection passed the frosted glass in the door. "Which room, Ruben?" "Four-ten." Ruben answered. Ruben opened the door slightly, his right hand poised inside his jacket, ready. He peered through the gap and waited until no-one was around. "Ready..... now." The two men charged though the corridor and pushed open the door to room four-ten and slid inside. Ruben's pistol poised ready.