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 Fragment #59 - At the French Embassy

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MessageSujet: Fragment #59 - At the French Embassy   05.01.09 14:22

Friday, October 17th 2008
in Dakar

I’m seating at the breakfast table with Steve. We’re enjoying a nice fruit salad, when he asks me about yesterday’s encounter.
“You know, I didn’t really understand what you two said… What’s the story?”
“Well, the guy – his name is Louis Malvo-, he’s the son of the guy who left with the police. That one is the owner of the shop. He’s been accused to have stolen an antique mask from a rich man, called M. Abou. But he says he’s innocent. Mr Malvo looks quite desesperate, so I told him that I’ll try to call in some of Dad’s friends to see if we can do anything to help his father.”
“But has he or has he not stolen that mask?”
“Mr Malvo said that he doesn’t think his dad guilty. And he looked so lost… Steve, you saw it too!”
“I don’t know, Charlie… Why would you believe a guy you’ve only met? What if this M. Abou is right and the owner of the shop actually stole that thing?”
“You’re right. It’s not fair of me to judge without having all the elements. But I can feel it, Steve. That gentleman was being honest at the shop! I know, I saw it in his eyes! And he seemed really relieved to see that I could maybe help him.”
“Honey, I’ll be relieved too, if you were to help me. With anything.”
“What? Are you saying that he was flirting?”
“I’m just saying, honey, that you don’t know anything about these guys, and that I don’t think Cameron and Paul would like me to come back by myself, leaving here in jail for complicity…”
We laugh.
“Ok, ok. I’ll just pop by the French Embassy this afternoon and talk to Madame Delancourt.”
“And that’s it.”
“And that’s it, we’ll go to the beach.”
I lean over the table, and kiss him.

“Miss Collomb, please, take a sit.”
“Thank you, Madame Delancourt, to receive me. I know you are quite busy.”
“Not at all, it’s a pleasure. How can I help you?”
I tell her the story, trying to be as objective as I can. After a couple of questions to clarify some parts of the situation, Madame Delancourt gives out her verdict.
“The way I see it Miss Collomb, there is not a lot I can do.”
I can’t help but to look disappointed.
“I see…”
“…But the little that I can do, I will. We’re going to contact the police centre to get the missing information and if that man,” she looks at her notes, “M. Malvo, turns out to be French, we’ll give him a lawyer. And if he doesn’t have a criminal record either here or in France, it will be soon solved, I dare say. So don’t worry too much, and enjoy the rest of your holidays!”
She stands up, to let me know that the discussion is over. I shake her hand, and add, walking down the steps to the entrance:
“Would you mind keeping me informed of the evolution of the case, please? I took quite an interest into it, and I promise not to do anything stupid. I’d just like to know how it goes.”
“I understand. Of course, I’ll make sure to let you know of any new step.”
“I appreciate that, thank you very much.”
“Can you do me a favour?”
“Of course, anything!”
“Tell your father about this story, and tell him that his daughter has got, without a doubt, his spirit.”
She winks at me and is gone.
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