The game was over and Everon got up to his feet, apologized and went to the service rooms. He had to restrain himself for sometime already, and the pressure of his bladder was getting unbearable.
They may sum-up the game without me, anyhow we won and that’s the main and only important thing! Above all we’ve beaten a most talented couple, a couple which made part of the elected few that would reach the last rounds of the tournament. He thought rather pleased with their achievement, but a surprising turn of events troubled him. The deal between the wine grower and his potential buyers, which seemed to have failed, turned into reality quite unexpectedly; and was about to end up successfully in a matter of a week or so; and right after it the wine grower and his daughter would fly back to Paris – long before the club’s championship would reach its climax, the final round.
What am I going to do? Reuven can soar to a level that would entitle him to be my partner, but only when he does concentrate in the game and when he’s able to read my intentions. But he doesn’t show much enthusiasm lately, and at the beginning of the evening before Dariot arrived he did several foolish mistakes. Dariot on the other hand won’t stop playing till the very last minute… when would I have the time to put Reuven back on track? That’s quite a problem!
Coming out still buried in his thoughts he met one of the personell, some dark skinned cleaner waiting for him next to the entrance.
‘Bon soir mon commandant!’ Smiled to him the cleaner, exposing two rows of white even teeth. ‘Bon soir mon ami, how are you?’ Answered Everon wondering what that stranger wants from him right at that moment, when he is so eager to return to his friends who were no doubt expecting anxiously to his return.
‘I’ve got some information that might interest you, mon commandant…’ Whispered to him the dark skinned cleaner. Everon pulled a few coins from his pocket and offered them to the cleaner. The latter moved his head from side to side with a smile of disdain. Pulling all the coins he had in his pocket Everon offered them once more to the cleaner.
‘All right, pour it out!’ He ordered him briskly.
Shatz was the only person that waited for him at the green table, the square emptied long ago and only a few blurred silhouettes were visible next to the conuter at the bar opposite them.
‘Were’re all the others and Dariot?’ He asked Shatz perplexed, hiding his anger with much effort.
‘They left, it took you some time. by the way Dariot said you have beaten your opponents quite hard thanks to you.’
‘Why didn’t they wait?’ Everon asked him, clearing his throat with clear signs of frustration.
‘The little one, his daughter urged him to go, she did spent much time at the swimming pool
this afternoon it seems.’
‘Really, and just now you’re telling it to me, eh? Let’s go!’ He retorted and started to cross the square between the empty tables, towards the path leading to the parking lot. He didn’t utter a single word all the way to his car, nor while they were moving out of the parking lot and driving home at one hudred and fifty kilometers per hour.
It’s a bad sign that unexpected silence of his… What troubles him I wonder? Shatz thought surprised. Watching absent-mindedly the lighted road ahead.
‘I want you to stop seeing her!’ Everon cut off the short silence with a loud and angry voice.
‘Seeing who, Dariot’s daughter? Why, what’s wrong with seeing her once in a while?’ Answered him Shatz, feigning surprise.
‘You’re doing a terrible mistake Reuven!’ Everon raised his voice in a threatening tone.
‘I haven’t the slightest idea about what you’re talking!’ Answered him Shatz decisively, doing his best to let the head of the delegation understand that whatever he’s doing with Janine, is none of Everon’s business.
‘I’ll let you understand about what I’m talking right away!’ Retorted Everon angrily picking up the glove Shatz threw in his direction. ‘I know exactly what you’re doing with her, you’ve started to behave without a bit of responsibility!’ He raised his voice in a wild shout. ‘You’re damaging the delegation’s interests in this country!’
‘What am I doing? Don’t make me laugh! What’s the matter with you? Does it hurt you to see me dancing with her, or to see her smile to me once in a while? It’s sheer jelousy, isn’t it?’
‘You don’t grasp what I’m telling you! I’ve received a detailed report of what you did to her, and in the same way these details reached my ears, it would reach her father’s… and I wouldn’t like to see him running after you brandishing a gun!’
‘Are you serious?’ Shatz burst out laughing scornfully. The ridiculous scenario that Everon described, popped up for a friction of a second in his mind’s eye; and he simply couldn’t refrain from laughing, although he knew quite well that Everon would take it as a bitter insult.
‘Yes I’m serious…! Shouted back Everon with all the power concentrated in his lungs. ‘He was a hit man at the “Deuxieme Bureaux” and they do employ him still from time to time, I’m sure of it!’
‘The Deuxieme Bureaux, and what’s the hell is that?’ Answered him Shatz with indifference.
‘It’s their foreign intelligence organization corresponding to our Mossad!’ Declared Everon triumphantly, as if he had already beaten him.
‘Fine, so he was a member in their intelligence organization, but when was it and when did he serve? Was he serving Clemenceau at the beginning of the century, or did he serve during the First World War? He’s old enough to be her grandfather.’
With a sudden reaction, as if he was struck by madness, Everon pushed with all his might both the brakes and clutch pedals; stopping the car that was cruising at about one hundred and fifty kilometers per hour on the the straight road ahead. With a screeching noise of its brakes and tires, the car was swerving from one side of the road to the other side continuously – each time on anther pair of wheels. Shatz was thrown forward heating the windshield with hands and pushed himself right back to his seat.
‘Are you crazy, do you want to kill us?’ He shouted at Everon losing completely his temper. The lousey mad son of a bitch, he’ll never give up, he must have it his own way, fuck him! He thought throwing a furtif glance at the head of the delegation.
Everon was pushed against the steering wheel with his chest, but being aware to his deeds he wasn’t hurt. The Quat-Cent-Quat slowed down gradually on all its four wheels and stopped at the side of the road. Nothing serious happened; Shatz was breathing heavily, his blood pounding in his veins, while Everon leaned back in his seat exhausted, his arms’ muscles were strained and his legs were trembling – the excruciating efforts he made in stopping the car weakened him. But he didn’t mean to give up his harangue.
‘I want you to sign to me here and now that you won’t ever touch her, see her or exchange a single word with her – do you understand?’ He said rather dramatically, breathing hard yet. ‘I don’t want no bloodshed on my hands!’
‘What bloodshed, what are you blabbering about? You’re out of your mind, stark mad!’ Shouted back Shatz. ‘I’m not Moshe Priel, do you understand? You won’t push me around with your crazy whims!’
‘You dare to disobey me?’ Warned him Everon.
‘Am I disobeying you?’ Wondered Shatz aloud bracing himself and getting back to his senses. ‘Do I have to ask your permission to see her? It’s none of your bloody business, that’s all!’
‘Under the power of my authority I may order you to stick to the farm, I may detain you there to the end of your term here, and you’ll never leave it; you can get at Dialo whatever you’ll need for your daily living, and if you’ll object to it I’ll send you back home!’
‘And what will you do here without me, you poor devil? What justification would there be, to your presence here? What delegation would you lead?’ Answered him Shatz with a wild burst of laughter.
Everon’s legs were trembling still; he kept pushing down the clutch and brake pedals up to that certain moment, without being aware to it. Moving the gear lever into neutral he released his aching legs. He was terribly hurt, Shatz’s unexpected impudence astounded him. After several moments of silence and rest, in which they were both absorbed in their thoughts, Everon engaged the first gear and they were driving on towards the new sector, without uttering a single word. The few kilometers left up to his villa, were passed at about eighty kilometers per hour.
He must be shocked. Shatz thought amused, refraining with much effort from laughing aloud.
‘Meet me at the embassy tomorrow at ten oclock sharp!’ Everon told him as soon as he stopped his car in his yard, next to Shatz’s Deux-Cent-Quat.
At that moment Pascal popped up and they turned together towards Shatz’s car. Pulling the car’s door he sneeked a look at the boy’s face.
He already knows what’s going on, one look at Everon’s face was enough for him to guess it. Yeah, they’ve got sharp senses.
‘Well, I’m not taking you with me to the farm tonight, and I don’t need you right now, so see you next Monday.’