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The Magpie Oculus Part 1 Acte 3

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posted by Chatwick Harpax alias Subsequent Wickedness on Saturday 9th of February 2019 06:50:09 PM

The Magpie Oculus Part 1 Acte 3 In for a Penny Later that same early evening. I turned without a glance back to where the diamond bracelet lay, waiting for our partner Sammy to retrieve, and slipped my way out through the thin tree line out onto the sidewalk, then briskly hoofed back along the 15 blocks to where my fair wife would be waiting. My destination was quite similar to the one I had just left, for the annual festival the Bal de l'Eté ( Summer Ball) and which lasts from a from Friday evening (open-air reception) to a Sunday brunch at various posh locations in Monaco, will have several similar locations set up as open aire venues, complete with a bar, dance area , live music, and not very far from casinos and the rather murky downtown atmosphere. This year's theme for the soiree was “Golden Age of Hollywood”, which is what had caught my wife’s lovely eye, and imagining the jewels that would be worn was a driving reason we decided to do a trial run here. I entered at the food end of the large outdoor courtyard. My wife would have come in this way but should be waiting for me on the other side at one of the bars. In between were two large dance areas, divided by a high wall of old hedges that line both side of a wide cement walkway, complete with fountains. On this side of the courtyard, the band traditionally played mostly rock, while on the other side it was the music of an even older fashion, brassy sound, jazz, blues, and tango rhythms. The type of music my wife absolutely adores. I had stopped for a second to catch my breath to take it all in when the band started to play “Long Cool Woman” by the Hollies. Being one of my favourites, I stopped to listen. As the song was ending, I was suddenly bumped into from behind by a young lady walking backward, we both turned around, making eye contact. She was a rather fetching lass, herself most noticeably adorned with small bright diamonds and a fetching chiffon gown with frills of her own. Oh, I am so sorry she apologized with a rather faint accent I was not immediately able to place. I took her hand, fingers down, in accepting her apology and, taking my eyes from her rather vivid green ones, stole a quick once over of this enchantress. She was rather becomingly attired in a striking fuchsia silk chiffon gown with a tight and rather noticeable bodice, slightly puffed at the shoulders, that relaxed into loose chiffon sleeves which flowed into a satin border wrapping around the elbows, a very 1930's noir look. Almost like she had stepped out of the olde BW movie “Trouble in Paradise”. The band had now started in a rather heavy bass filled version of The American singer Greg Allman's “ I'm no Angel” which for me was why that rather intriguingly roguish black and white movie was brought to mind. That song was one that my wife like to tease sometimes that it described my feelings for her when she was dressed up to the occasion. But, also, in truth, it was something along those lines that put the thoughts in our heads for our joint partnership with the ever-skilful Sammy after crossing that amusing fellows path. This lass’s fuchsia frock also had a little black velvet bow set with a few sparkling rhinestones. Which reminded me of a strikingly similar adornment on the gown my wife recently bought back at home. She was sporting a rather nicely diamonded pendant that hung down from a thickly braided platinum chain that was draped around the silken folded neckline of a flowing gown. From the white diamond pendant, fringes of curling strings of the most delicate and sparkling diamonds were cascading down like tiny teardrops in varying graduated lengths, dripping down from the sides and bottom of the kite-shaped pendant. A rare, eye-shaped tanzanite formed its magnificent centrepiece, gleaming like a sharp-eyed Eurasian Jay. The whole glittering jewel certainly bounced and swayed from her chest in a quite merry fashion, sparkling pinpricks of sharp colours as it performed its hypnotic dance. Quite a notable piece, in anyone’s eyes. Her only other jewel was a largish glittering cocktail ring that happily adorned the finger of the hand she had extended for me to take. It was a magnificent rare rubellite which had a reddish-pinkish hue that changed its colours as the lights and various colourful gowns bathed and teased its’ jewel in passing! The stone itself is supposed to bring love to a person, both self-love and the soulmate kind. A quite beautiful piece all around, surrounded by intricate pave diamonds that surrounded the “eye” in its’ centre! Leaving thoughts of my wife by the wayside, I automatically seized the opportunity and asked her to dance. Not really a dancing song my dear sir she said with a smile that enveloped her whole face as she stood and continued looking at me with her quite startlingly pure green eyes. For whatever the reasons we both seemed to strike it off, far better than I had been able to do with most of the ladies I had met whilst prowling about the past week. She may have been single, or not. It did not matter to either one of us, even to the point that no names or histories of the other were even given out. It was apparent as we exchanged small talk that she was there to have fun, and, as it happened, I was, of course, there to practice finding a rich looking lady out for a spot of fun. Though this one may not have been actually been one of the wealthy class, she, like my Canadian lass, would be ripe for a spot of practice. And then as we chatted, the next song started up. It happened to be a rather old love balled that I had danced properly with my wife many times. Apparently so had she, danced to it that is. For she chirped happily in her winning accent, “now that is proper dance music!”, and offered her hand, with its sparkling ring. I whirled her to the dance floor and we kept beat to the music, the rather flimsy material of her gown swirling about in quite nice, distracting fashion, though I had to step lively to keep it out from under foot! I had planned on just the one dance, then leaving this vexing lass to enjoy the rest of her evening, while I enjoyed mine once I located my errant wife. But I certainly did not plan on what happened next. I swear it was not by design this time, but It was difficult avoiding treading on the hem of her long flowing gown, and I accidentally (I swear) did end of stepping on it! She stumbled against me, laughing like it was something she was used to having happened to her. But then, almost like they were acting on their own accord, my fingers reached up around to the back of her neck as her head was bent down, her hair in her face, and the next thing I knew, her fancy necklace was off and curled up in my hands. Blame it on Greg Allman and his damn clever song still floating about in the back of my head, that was all I could think at the time… We laughed over me causing her to stumble as I apologized. Meanwhile, I quickly stashed her necklace into my pocket. I was a bit stunned and was wondering what to do next, when it was decided for me. The song was ending, and my partners smiled sweetly thanking me for the lovely dance, but she had other obligations and must keep going. I bowed and watched as she headed off in a windy flurry of her quite stylish gown. When she had disappeared safely away into the crowd, I melted in with the crowd, heading in the opposite direction towards to where my wife would probably be, by now, quite expectantly waiting! There had been no time to collect Sammy and have him be prepared, So I just kept the diamond necklace in my pocket. It was not by our book, but then I guess all rules must be bent a bit sometimes… I made it to the hedge and crossed in the intersecting sidewalk, looking both ways at the few small groups and single people muddling about the long corridor, I saw a quite lovely, albeit familiar, figure solitarily standing by a fountain, admiring the roses that grew there. I briskly walked up and joined my wife. “Hello luv,” I said, and she turned facing me. “Hello, we finally meet again!” she murmured happily. I noticed her cheeks were a little flushed, like a robin's red breast, but assumed it was from the strong the fragrance of the rose bush. “Luck?” she asked, though it was not really a question, for I knew she could read the answer in my eyes. “Indeed, we did luv, indeed we did. But now, since I’m finally here, would you care you want to dance a bit?” I added as I happily took up her waiting hand. “Rather would, in a bit though, just finished one while I was waiting on your tardy no show of an excuse!” she lightly scolded. Then she asked, looking into my eyes... “No troubles then luv?” “No, I ran into someone on the other side who wanted a dance,” I said reassuringly. “Oh, was she pretty?” was, of course, my wife's investigative reply. “Yes, almost as sparkly a personality as this!” I replied while triumphantly reaching inside my pocket and showing her the necklace, I kept the gems shielded in my cupped palms. The reaction I received was both unexpected and rather unsettlingly surprising. “Describe the girl!!” she sternly asked, in an almost scolding voice. I did so, and a light began to lite up in my wife's eyes, unfortunately for someone(me) a rather fiery one. “You complete Ninny that necklace belongs to a girl I met and hung out with today! Her name is Tatiana, I met her at the casino, quite a wonderful lady!” “We are meeting for brunch in the morning and I was to introduce you..! And then you go an…!” She left her words to hang menacingly in the air a minute, then continued once she the effect took hold over me. “Brilliant! Leave it to a man to muck things up! This is quite a sticking wicket you put us in, luv, most awkward indeed! Here now, give me the necklace before Sammy gets a hold…” “Sammy is not here, “I said thoroughly subdued. “Just give it to me wise guy!” And she briskly took it, then turning pushed me up along the walkway, rather like one pushes a disobedient child. “I will feed her a story, tell her it fell off or something and I spied it on the ground...!” she sputtered in my ear. “Meanwhile You sir, better toddle off and meet me by that small café outside our hotel!” She commanded! Go out this way now, while I go back attempt finding her…. And darling...?” I turned to see she was looking at me all too familiar devils own gleam in her eyes, I just looked at her questioningly…a scolded pup couldn’t have been anymore downtrodden than I at that moment. “Do a better job of sticking to our script in the future!” She lightly chided me, gracing me with a wicked little grin before she moved away. Meekishly , I watched her sway off, her dress swishing nicely, though I was in no mood for such voyeurism quite yet! I then turned tail and obediently followed marching orders (I did not dare salute to her back). ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I reached the spot in 20 minutes, taking the same outside table where we had had brunch earlier that same day. I found myself waiting about 30 minutes more, with a good half of a pipe worked through when I heard clicking footsteps coming up behind me…. An arm goes through mine, as a figure bends over me, and I catch a whiff of my sweet wife’s perfume while her hair falls softly into my face. “Hello luv” she said brightly from behind. Mission accomplished. Tatiana innocently never suspected what I feeding her was a load of “mentir.!.” “Apparently this sort of thing, losing her jewellery, has happened before, In New York and other places.!” I turned and faced my wife. “That’s good luv, I said, she did appear to be rather a cracker…Russian, or German, I thought?” “She is rather a mix, mudblood she called herself when we were trading life histories back at the casino by our hotel. I told her she reminded of a movie star, and she said she wasn’t, she was just Tatiana! ” My wife answered most matter of factly. “Lost jewels in New York City eh, sounds a bit ominous!” I suggested. “I know doesn’t it! That may give you something to talk about tomorrow.” My wife smirked “Is Tatiana staying at our hotel?” I questioned. Shaking her head, (her hair flying fetchingly out side to side, earrings notably not, my wife must have taken the pretty things off I reasoned!) She answered “No, she is at the Hotel de Paris, we are meeting her there at the Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, for brunch.” “Mouthful” I stated, then asked, casually, “Speaking of our hotel? Was Sammy boy back yet?” She looked at me with perplexed eyes that held no clue to my questions meaning. Trying to make myself more understandable, I went on. “I thought you went back to our suite after the casino?” Shaking her head again, “No, I left Tatiana at the casino and came straight to the ball floor to wait for you? Then she added, “What made you think that luv?” “Took Your earrings out, “ I said touching my ear, “ I figured you had gone back to our sui……” I stopped abruptly as I saw the shocked look in wife’s suddenly startled, wide-open eyes! Needless to say, the horrified look that had suddenly lit up and flashed across her hazel green eyes was so unexpected that, for a second time in an hour, it made me step back like I had been pushed. “I didn’t….” she started to say as She heedlessly felt her naked earlobes for the errant jewelled earrings “Pour tout le nerf!” She then swore in French under her breath. as she briskly moved over the cafes’ dark window to make a visual confirmation of the reality of the situation! “What happened?” I asked, rather shocked now myself! But she started to talk to herself like I was no longer there, and she was off somewhere else … “I knew that man was being far too charming!” she cursed, mostly to herself, stopping and pulling back her hair in the window to make absolutely sure on the matter. “A man?” I said, questioningly, trying to keep any unrealistic jealousy out of my words. “Oh, meant to tell you,” she admitted with a touch of guilt “I got a bit bored waiting for you at the bar, didn’t I,” she said unhappily… Then came free with the whole tale. “There was this charming young French lad who was trying so awfully hard in his insistence in making my acquaintances that I found it quite cute!” “Then I made the mistake of speaking to him in French!” she sighed. “And you know how Frenchman can be when they think they’ve found a compatriot, or at least that was my assumption at the time over his reaction. Kissing my hand, calling me Cherie, putting his hands on my shoulders and hugging… all very typical and nothing outta the ordinary to me for a Frenchman!” “We had a drink together while I tried to explain that I was not French, but Irish. She smirked a bit at the remembrance.” “Then we did the tango, he was, is, and an incredible dancer, so light on his feet… and obviously very light with his fingers also, she sighed, dejectedly looking her ears over one last time…” “Oh well easy come I guess, should not have let him hug me!” She sighed…turning to look at me, her turn to have a rather sad puppy sort of gaze on her face! “So, you are not upset then?” I asked, though I silently knew I was … She gave my arm a squeeze “There, there my luv, a pair of old worthless trinkets in payment for an hour of false adoration, free drinks and a quite lovely bit of tango dancing?” “Sorry you had to miss out on the tango, but you also got in a nice bit of dancing with Tatiana, yourself now do not correct me, sir, admit to it?” She accused merrily But I was not ready to let it go, wanting to wring a certain young weasels’ neck and roughly search his bloody person for my wife's lost jewels!! So, I asked. “But your ears are pierced and so were the earrings?” She answered, quite coyly now. “Yes they were luv, but the rhinestones were on hooks, I guess I was supposed to be too liquored up to notice, and apparently I was, but I really didn’t, not even so much as prickling of my lobes!!” She pulled an earlobe to see if she could feel anything… “The bloody things could have at least done that much, pricked me, to warn me they were being stolen!” She let out a snort of disgust as she stomped down on the heels of her gold shoes! I must unintentionally have been looking a bit sceptical. For my wife added in. “Honestly luv, I couldn’t even guess any moment during the time that young laddie was drooling over me that my pretty earrings and I parted company unless it twas the hugging?” Then she thoughtfully added... “But I will say this, that conniving French boy has quite the future with his subtle touch, sorry luv present company, In my book, no one has a chance in your capable hands.” She smiled sweetly, trying to diffuse my brimming displeasure. It worked... “Well played darling!” I said thinking aloud as I quite willingly accepted the compliment with a smile and a nod. Then, with a deep sighing to myself, I wrapped my arm around my wife's waist as we moved off from the pool of light cast by a street lamp. I then, quite willingly, changed the subject, for obviously, it was now going to be all water under the bridge anyways. (But I was quite wrong on that point, which will come out in the next chapter of our tale!) And since me being late was the reason my pretty damsel of a wife fell victim to that French lad, it was partially my own fault. I thought of Tatiana’s returned necklace. Crime, indeed, sometimes never pays! Not that I felt any real pity, for living just within the fringes of the criminal underworld will not always be pretty! “So, luv, how did you make out at the casino then?” I asked. ” Actually, I won this time, a few hundred pounds into the date night fund!” my wife winningly replied! “And you laddie, sounds like you had a bit of something to tell me, besides Tatiana's jewels that is?” “A second bracelet, diamonds again, definitely much nicer this time around!” I answered her. I was looking into her rather happy eyes. “Most definitely nicer, so I wonder then how Sammy did for us then? I thought to myself, then asked the question out loud… “Let’s go back to the suite and ask him then!” responded my wife, twittering happily at her little bit of a witty joke while trying hard to lighten up the dark atmosphere that was stubbornly still wafting over the discovery of her earrings being pilfered! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ We sanguinely walked along till about the halfway mark back, arm in arm, quiet in thoughts of our own. My wife was the first to intrude upon the silence. ““Oh, bye the bye luv, Tatiana has asked us to come with her!” “With her where?” I asked, suspiciously for my wife is widely known for her rather flighty habit of changing plans on a minute’s notice “She is inviting us to Paris next weekend to attend a Fancy-Dress ball!” She chirped in happy reply. “A Fancy Dress?” asked I with interest. “Not business luv, strictly pleasure.” She answered assuredly less my own ideas took root. “Besides, Je suis fini avec ce den de voleurs !!” she spat out the words on the ground “Thieves den?” I repeated, “I say Cauldron calling the kettle black are we now!” “But I have no decent jewellery to wear now that my earrings are gone!” She pleaded. “Really now, haven’t!” I said, giving her a rather 'whose leg are you trying to pull' look! She just looked at me, with that puppy wide eye stare that always pulled at one’s heartstrings. “Oh, alright then, We can buy you some more in Paris, rather convenient though?” I said with a calculated sigh. She just gave me that rather devilish look which means that I correctly guessed she was planning mischief… and that the loss of her jewels may not have been...? well I suppose it was all water under the bridge now... I thought to myself as I smiled back. “Mmmm Paree! It’s been a while.” she murmured licking her lips in thought. Having been together for 8 years, the last 5 married, I only knew all too well that look. So, I went ahead and read her mind… “Right, let me wildly guess where your mind is going…And new jewellery means new gown!?” I stated as if I had finally solved some sort of puzzle. “Well, Tati did say that one should get right back up on the horse after falling, didn’t she now,” she admitted. “Calling Tatiana, Tati is it now? I think your new friend may be a bad influence on you luv!” I teased smiling “Yes, Isn’t it wonderful!!” She gushed, smiling back, the devil’s own look in her now quite green Irish eyes. And I swear she skipped the whole rest of the way back to our hotel. Where we found dear Sammy had delivered, hopping happily over the gleaming jewelled bracelet as he waited for a nice reward on a job well done! ^^^^^^^^^ It was later that next evening, my wife and I had spent our last evening in the casino, gambling, and dancing. Our plane was leaving for France the next afternoon, so we decided on one final date night fling. Breakfast with Tatiana had gone well that morning, and we had spent the day with her as our guide exploring the city. After supper, we had both headed back to our respective hotels to rest before the next leg of our joint adventure in France, before heading home to England and beginning our new venture. But my wife (or was it me) could not settle down, so we left Sammy sleeping and headed off to the casino and it’s attached ballroom. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Our sojourn to France was a rather fine interlude before our journey home. Tatiana was a most superb guide, and with her help, my wife picked up a smashing new outfit and sparkling rhinestones for the Fancy Dress. But that trip was mostly for our pleasure and is a rather lengthy tale that would take too long in the delightful telling, and since no thievery was in the works, would not really add too much to this story. So, after a week, Tatiana and us parted and went our separate ways home. Though Tati did become dear friends with us and over the years, both of us having now visited the other quite often with lengthy stays. And she does have a part in the next chapter (part 2) of our story! As it turned out, after returning home and taking calculations into expenses, including the inexpensive earrings lost, and the new jewellery/gown purchased as a replacement) the Monte Carlo experiment found our partnership to be something to the tune of 15,000 pounds to the good. So, It would seem then, that the literally almost 3 years of time and training that Sammy and I had undergone in our small Welsh garden and a few other isolated spots on the mainland, all under my wife’s firm and informative tutelage, was possibly going to pay off! But that begs the question, did it pay off? Well, my friends, that is the answer that will be found in part 2 ‘In for a Pound’! Fini.. Part 1 of the Magpie Oculus Please watch for part 2 of our story, taking place 10 years later! Here is a link to the Ball in 2013: A good write-up in English for the Indian-themed Ball in 2012 (click on read more):

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