Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
As their plane landed at London's Heathrow Airport, Roya was thankful
it was their last trip by plane. Accepted passports and visa stamps came
and went with both Roya and Wes worried at how far their luck would run
before it ran out for them. No one stopped them and they managed the tour
flight out of Tehran's Mehrabad Airport. Now, and two hours after landing
at Heathrow, they boarded a train at Paddington Station to take them to
southwest England. Wes knew they needed to rest, collect their thoughts,
and prepare for a trip to America. He had explained the route. He explained
how men backing the Irish Republic Army would open it to them.
The 0730 train of Britrail made its scheduled departure to Penzance
through Truro. Roya settled in by placing her rolled jacked against a window.
She hadn't slept during the flight out of Tehran and she felt both the
lack of sleep and days of running on emotion. With the two passengers looking
as inconspicuous as the train's punctuality, a mental view of the cottage
they were returning to was in Roya's mind. She longed to be there, in its
bed, with Walker holding her.
Before she drifted into a weary sleep, Roya was glad Wes Walker hadn't
been responsive to her overtures of sex. Out of the time with him, Wes
Walker had become the father she never knew. In addition, with the train
making its swaying motion over its tracts, and with it passing through
Exeter and Plymouth, Roya slept the near entire length of the trip to Truro.
Lin Thi was waiting on the platform for them as they stepped off the
train. She said, "Welcome back. I'm glad you made it."
Roya was as thankful to be off the train as she was to be off the Iranian
flight. She said, "Hi."
Wes added, "We survived it, but we're going to need to rest before
making the trip to the states. Has anyone been around asking for us?"
Lin Thi answered, "No . . . no one. I think you're safe until reaching
America. What will you do there?"
Wes said, "We'll go to Kansas."
Roya turned to Wes and wondered what Kansas offered to protect them
from the man hunting them. She asked, "Kansas? We're going to go to
Kansas. What is this . . . The Wizard of Oz?"
Wes answered, "Something like that. Don't worry. We'll be safe
Roya and Wes exited the station with Lin Thi and walked to her car.
Again, they settled in for the ride to Porthleven and the cottage. Roya
was glad to see the sun shining. At least the day wasn't as gloomy as it
was when they had left England for Iran. As she sat in the back seat, Roya
wondered about the past weeks. She knew the truth about what happened to
her mother. Yet, the world didn't make any sense, and now Roya thought
of the character Dorothy in the story "The Wizard of Oz."
With the BMW turning off the coast road, Roya saw the narrow valley,
and she was glad it was there. The valley offered permanence of the cottage,
and she was glad to be returning to it. As the car followed the road, Roya
thought of the difference between the cottage and the house near the entrance
of The Valley of the Assassins.
Three hours later, with the sun going down, Roya and Wes stood on the
beach after a walk to the English Channel. They ignored a cool wind, and
Roya asked, "I want to know if you love me?"
The question surprised Walker. He said, "I don't know, Roya. I
don't think I can know until this is over and behind us. Perhaps it is
God's way of making us stop and think. I think you're enormously attractive
and have a great inner strength."
Roya said, "I love you. I don't understand it, but I worry that
it's infatuation. Lewis loved me, but I didn't love him. My mother must
have loved Fred Southgate to endure what she did. She must've loved Mashhad
to carry his child."
"It's the bitter tests of life we have to overcome. Yours has had
a far greater weight than most."
Roya held onto Walker's left arm as they walked back to the cottage.
As they neared the door she said, "I wish I knew the answers to all
of life. Perhaps God doesn't want us to know them all. We'll wait and see
what happens. We both know the full truth of this nightmare. Whether the
world cares or not. . . we'll have to wait and see."
Walker answered. "Maybe we'll go on a real date when this is over."
Roya turned to Wes. She said, "Yes, that's what we'll do. Why in
the world do we need to go to Kansas? Isn't your agent in New York?"
"Mike's parents were from Kansas. They were from a small town called
Danville. They left him twelve hundred acres of wheat-land. Another family
leases the land, but Mike keeps the house."
"Will he know to come there?"
"Yes. I've used the home to get away from Tulsa. It's another hideaway.
If we go to New York, someone will be waiting for us. Kansas should be
Roya asked, "Like it was for Dorothy?"
Wes said, "It's off season for tornadoes."
"Just the same I don't want to end in the Land of Oz."
"You won't. Another man will contact Mike so he knows to meet me
there. It's our way of making contact if I can't go to him. I used it after
returning from doing the novels I gave your friend in Jerusalem. Both the
FBI and others didn't find me to question me until I was ready for them."
Roya pushed the door open. Once inside, Walker closed it. Roya stepped
to Wes, placed her arms around his neck, and kissed him. The kiss broke.
Roya said, "I'm going to bed. All the traveling has tired me more
than I expected. It's cold and the bed is warm. We can hold each other."
Wes didn't know if he loved Roya Southgate. He did know he was too old
for her, and he wouldn't accept her fascination for him as love. In his
mind, he prayed he wouldn't. He was too old to believe that writing or
anything else mattered. As they walked to the bedroom, Wes wondered what
Mike was going to think when he called and left the words signaling him
to meet him in Kansas. >>>
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