Dublin, 5th of October
Remington shook his head as the officer showed him photos of women found dead in the last week. He prayed Laura wasn't one of them. He sighed when the last picture wasn't her.
Four weeks! It had been four weeks; he hadn't slept well enough, eaten only when he was forced to. If it weren't for Mildred, he surely would have killed himself by now. They had been to nearly every village in Ireland, but nobody had seen Laura! For weeks there had been pictures of Laura, Tony and Felicia in every newspaper in Ireland. But of the few hints people were able to give to the police, all turned out to be useless.
Mildred entered the room and sat next to Harry. "Anything boss?"
" Thank god she wasn't one of them."
"I just called Jenna. The agency is doing well, so there's no need to worry in that direction..."
"At least something..." For the next few minutes they just sat next to one another lost in thought.
<If only Daniel was here! He knew this country very well... OH MY!> It suddenly dawned on Harry that he had checked almost every old friend or companion of Felicia's and had never once thought that Daniel had known Felicia too! Maybe, she knew about.. oh yes...>
"Mildred! I think I know where they are. Come on." The next moment he was gone with Mildred running after him.
"Hurry, Mildred. You'll get an explanation when we're in the car!"
Later that same day, in the afternoon, at a police station in Westport
Remington and Mildred stormed into the police station and went straight to the desk.
"Hey... hey. Slow down Mister. Okay?" the officer greeted him in a not so very friendly tone.
"Officer, my name is Steele, Remington Steele. You've heard of me, haven't you?"
The officer smiled while approaching Harry and Mildred. <Oh, these tourists...>"No, sir, I'm sorry. How should I know you?"
Harry was about to lose his temper. Through gritted teeth he said, "Because nearly every police station in Ireland is looking for my wife, Laura Steele. You should have known for four weeks now that she had been kidnapped... especially because I think she's in your jurisdiction... at the Chalmers house!" The officer looked back at his desk, where his newspaper with a big picture of Laura laid. The headline said: "Laura Steele still missing after 4 weeks. "Who noticed her?" The officer asked looking back at Remington.
"Well, sir, I'm terrible sorry, but..." Suddenly he was interrupted.
"You're right, Harry!" a male voice from behind Harry said. Harry, Mildred and the officer looked surprised at the elderly man.
"Doctor?" Harry asked, both shocked and surprised.
"Harry, my boy. It's been such a long time." They shook hands and then the doctor embraced him tightly." I'm so sorry about your father."
Harry watched him. "Thank you. You knew all those years, didn't you?"
The doctor dropped his head and after a moment he looked back at Harry. "Yes Harry, I knew."
Harry could see how hard it was for him to say that. "Doctor, what did you mean by "you're right?" Mildred wanted to know.
"You said you think your wife Laura is in the old Chalmers house. And I say that's right. I've seen her there."
Harry took a deep breath. With tears in his eyes he asked,
"You've seen her?" When the doctor nodded, he was confronted
with thousand of questions from Harry and Mildred.
He could see how glad Harry was to hear that Laura was still alive, although there was a long pause after he told them that Laura was in danger of a miscarriage.
After a moment Harry wanted to know "What about Danny? How is she?"
"Danny?" the doctor asked, needing a moment to remember. Then he said smiling "Oh yes, the baby..."
"Yes! Tell me, is she with Laura?" Harry asked nervously.
When he saw Harry's worried face he explained, " Felicia takes care of her. Tony made me believe she's Danny's godmother. But don't worry, she's fine. I just examined her yesterday."
"So, my baby is alright?" Harry asked to be sure. The doctor nodded.
"I'm so sorry, Harry. If I had known... When Felicia came to me a few month ago and asked me to give her the key to the farm because she wanted to stay there with friends over the winter, I agreed because I knew that Daniel liked Felicia. The last time he stayed here he told me that, after his death, I should give the key to any one of his friend's that needed to go undercover." After a short break he went on. "You know, Harry, how desolate this area is. Today was first time I'd seen Laura's picture in the newspaper."
Harry smiled. "Still no newspaper or television at home, doctor? But I guess that's exactly why they came here..."
"Oh, Harry. If I only knew... I'm so sorry!" the doctor repeated.
"It's okay, doctor. Really, I don't blame you. We just should sit down and work out a plan." Harry answered.
"Shouldn't that be the job of the police?" Mildred reminded them pointing at the officer, who was still standing behind the desk watching the scene. When he heard Mildred he cleared his throat.
"I agree to that, sir. You stay here and let us handle..."
"No, Mildred," Harry interrupted the officer, ignoring him completely." Felicia and Tony are far too clever for the police. I lost Laura in Ventura because of the authorities. I'm not going to repeat that. We have to do it on our own. That is if the two of you will help me?"
"Of course we'll help!" Mildred and the doctor answered in unison.
"I've got to warn you. It might be dangerous..." Harry reminded them.
"Boss, what do you think I'm going to do? Sit down here while you fight against those lunatics?" Mildred insisted.
"Lunatics. That's what they are all right Mildred! Tony and Felicia seem to be mad. But there is a lot of cleverness in their deranged brains, and a lot of danger, too. We have to act very carefully... otherwise we risk putting Laura's and Danny's lives in to further danger."
"So, how do we do it?" the doctor wanted to know.
"First we'll drive to your home, doctor. We won't be able to accomplish anything today, so tomorrow we'll put out plan into action."
"But sir, you've said you need our help." the officer insisted. "I can't let you do our job, sir. I'll call my colleagues and you need to stay out of it, do you understand?" the officer said with a demanding voice.
Harry screamed "NO chance, officer. I'm a private investigator, I know what to do... maybe even better than you do, because I know Felicia." Mildred touched his arm and Harry added in a much softer tone, "You need me, and Mildred and the doctor, too. You do not have enough officers here anyway. Please, could you please take a back seat and let us do it my way?"
The officer thought one moment, then he replied, "Okay, sir, but you can't do it all by yourself. We'll be right behind you!"
The next day at Charmer's house
Tony opened the door. "Doctor? What are you doing here? I thought you said you would come to see Laura next week?"
"Yes, that's right but my visit isn't about your wife. I'm here to see the baby."
"The baby? You mean Danny?" a worried Felicia, who suddenly appeared in the door, asked.
"Yes. I'm not exactly sure, but she may be seriously ill."
"But... you just examined her. She doesn't seem ill. What do you mean?"
"Miss Desmond, please, may I come in?" the doctor pleaded. When he was inside he continued. "I checked her blood test results from last week, and I think..."
"What do you think? Tell me, what's wrong with her?"
"I really don't want to worry you; maybe it isn't what it seems to be at the moment. But to be sure I have to do a second blood test." The doctor explained in his best frustrating tone.
"What are you trying to say doctor?" Felicia asked him.
"I'm sorry to say this, but I think... Danny might have leukaemia."
Felicia felt silent. "Oh, my god." Tony was shocked. The doctor watched both of them.
"Please don't worry too much. First we have to take this second blood test."
"Well, what are you waiting for? Come on!" Felicia took by the arm and pulled him into Danielle's room. Tony waited outside.
After a few minutes the doctor returned alone.
"Tony, I would like to talk to your wife as well." the doctor said.
"Okay, come with me" Tony answered, but the doctor insisted, "Wouldn't it be better if you stay with Felicia for the moment? I think she's received quite a shock. She needs you. I'll go see Laura myself."
"You won't tell her now, will you?"
"No, I think you should do that, don't you think? And as long as I have no real results I think we shouldn't bother her."
Tony watched him and nodded. The doctor turned around and went upstairs.
The doctor could sense that Tony really didn't feel comfortable about him going alone to Laura. "Don't worry," he assured him while taking the next steps, "Your wife will be fine without you there. She knows me quite well by now. Go to your friend."
Tony thought for a moment, then nodded and said, "Yeah, you're right. I guess you know the way?"
"Sure. Don't worry," the doctor replied and went to Laura's bedroom. Tony watched him. <Even if Laura would tell him something, he wouldn't believe it - the old fool,> he thought.
When the doctor entered Laura's room, Laura sat up straight in her bed.
"Doctor?" there was something in his eyes that told her that he'd believed her. Hope rose up in her mind.
"Mrs. Steele, I guess your time in this house will be over very soon..." the doctor said smiling.
Laura put her hands in front of her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. "You believed me? You talked to Harry?" she wanted to know.
"Yes, I did." He noticed her tears. He sat down at her side and whispered as he took her hands, "Laura, I don't know how much time Tony will give us: Harry and Mildred are at my house. We'll try to rescue the two of you this afternoon. And whatever anyone might tell you about Danny, just don't believe it! So be ready, okay?"
"Sure I'm ready." Laura smiled brightly, but then her smile faded and she asked, "Just be careful. Will you tell them?"
"I will. Promise."
"And tell him I love him."
"Oh, yes. I almost forgot. He wanted me to tell you that he loves you."
At that moment Tony entered the room. "Who loves you, darling?" he wanted to know.
"I... I..." Laura stammered.
"I just told your wife that she shouldn't worry about getting bigger and bigger, you'll will still love her." The doctor explained quickly. "Almost every pregnant woman has those fears. But don't worry, Mrs Roselli. You've got a wonderful husband." The doctor said the last sentence with a little wink in Laura's direction.
"Yes, I do. Thank you very much." Laura repeated. The doctor shook her hand and left with Tony remaining in her room.
Laura just sat in her bed and stroked her abdomen. She couldn't believe that Harry was just a few miles away from her.
"Daddy's going to rescue us, my little ones!" she whispered to her children.
The same day, later in the afternoon.
Tony sat down on Laura's bed. "Well, how are you, darling?"
"Much better, Tony. Maybe I will be able to get up very soon."
"Really?" Tony asked sceptical.
"Yes. The doctor told me today that I should get up and move around."
Suddenly Felicia stormed into the room. "Tony! I have to go to the doctor immediately! He just called..."
"Oh, god. So he was right about that blood test?"
"Yes, he said I have to bring her to him as soon as possible! Tony, I don't want to lose her, either." Felicia almost cried.
"You won't Felicia. Don't even think of that. Go. Go to the doctor, and if he can't do anything take her to another hospital!"
"But we can't do that... You know why, don't you? We have to stay here!"
"I know, but... we'll find a way, okay? Now, go!" Felicia nodded and left the room.
Tony turned to Laura, who had listened to that conversation very carefully. Tony smiled. He hoped she would have recognized that something wasn't right.
"What's wrong, Tony?" Laura asked in this moment.
"Well, nothing really..."
"Felicia is not crying because of nothing? Oh, come on. Tell me!" Laura demanded.
"Danny... she's ill." He answered slowly, knowing this would be a great shock for her.
"Danny's ill?" Laura repeated shocked, before it came to her mind that this could be part of Harry's plan. But she had to play shocked, that wasn't that difficult...only the thought of Danny being ill made her sick " God, no. Let me see her. Now! I want..." she tried to climb out of the bed, but Tony got in her way and held her close to him.
Tony sighed. "I know it's a shock for you, darling. But she'll be okay. Felicia will take care of her. The doctor will save her life!"
"Save her life? It's that serious?"
Tony sighed again, noticing how even he made it worse. He really didn't like this situation. "I'm afraid it is. The doctor said something about leukaemia!"
The thought of that, although Laura knew it wasn't true, made her shiver. "Oh, my god. No! That's horrible, Tony! I want to see her now! Laura screamed.
Tony pulled her close to him. "Felicia will take her to the doctor. You have to rest."
"Rest? My daughter has a life threatening illness and you want me to rest? "
"Laura, please. I promise if it really is leukaemia, I will personally take you to the doctor's house. But until he's sure you'll stay. Okay?"
"Danny is our child, isn't she? So why does it seem to me that you're not worried about her? You seem so cold about it!" Laura insisted angrily.
"Sssh, darling. Don't be upset!" Tony tried to calm her. " I'm worried too, but...I ...I don't show it that easily. But believe me, I'm worried sick," he lied. After a long pause he added, "You'll see, everything will turn out to be fine. And even if it's Leukaemia ...nowadays it can be cured very easily..."
"But she's just a baby..." Laura implied.
"Yes, but she strong. Just like her mother. Don't worry, okay?"
<You bet I'm strong,> she thought to herself, smiling.
A half an hour later at the doctor's house
"Doctor, open the door!" Felicia screamed, when there was no response from the door bell.
After another moment the doctor appeared. "Felicia? Hello. Please come in."
Felicia entered his house with Danny on her arm.
"Don't let us waste any second, doctor. You have to help Danny. Please."
"But, Miss Desmond. What do you think I can do here? We have to take her to the hospital. I can't do anything out here..."
"No, we can't go to a hospital. You must help her! Please!" Felicia pleaded.
The doctor sighed. "Okay, for the moment I might help her myself, but as soon as it gets worse you'll have to bring her to hospital, do you understand?" Felicia nodded. "Okay then, please follow me."
They went upstairs and entered a small bedroom. A blond woman who was making the bed, looked up at them.
"This is Mildred, my nurse."
"Hello" Mildred greeted her.
Felicia watched Mildred sceptically. Somewhere she'd seen that blond woman before. "I didn't know you had a nurse?" Felicia said.
"Oh, yes, yes. Actually Mildred is an old friend of mine from the U.S. She arrived only yesterday. And I'm sure she will take good care of Danny."
"You bet I will!" Mildred laughed and took a step towards Felicia.
"What do you mean, she will take care..."
"Felicia, you've said you want me to help Danny. But for that to occur she has to stay here," the doctor reminded her. "Just trust me and leave Danny with Mildred, okay?" With that Mildred tried to take Danny from Felicia's arms. Felicia turned around, making it impossible for Mildred to take Danny.
"No, doctor. I'm not going to leave her here alone. I want to stay with her!"
"But you can't Felicia. We can't help her properly when you are around! Please, Felicia. Trust us, okay? You can come here every time you want to see her."
Felicia was silent for a long moment. She looked at Mildred, who still smiled sweetly at her. When she sighed, Mildred knew they'd won.
"Okay" she whispered. She turned around again and Mildred took Danny from her arms. Mildred's heart stopped beating for one moment.
Danielle started to cry. "Sssh, darling. Everything will be fine now," Mildred said, trying to comfort her.
"She needs to rest now, Felicia." Felicia stroked Danny's head once last time.
"I'll be back shortly my little darling," she whispered and then left the room with the doctor.
When they went downstairs Felicia noticed a man in front of the stairs. A pair of eyes filled with hatred looked at her. Then she noticed his gun, pointing at her.
"Nice to see you again, Felicia!"
To be continued...