‘I don’t know where we’re bound yet,’ he remarked smiling at her, getting over his feelings of disappointment rather
fast. She was still there, beside him after all and he could sneak a look now and then, at her pretty face. They were driving down the serpentine narrow road, leaving the hotel and the swimming pool behind them. Sites where they could find some secluded spot to stay together, or his hotel room… There were enough lonely places along the coast…coconut groves, deserted shucks… ‘Drive up to the square and from there I’ll direct you.’ She said, cutting off his lewd thoughts. ‘There’s no name to that street of yours?’ ‘No, there’re numbers that were wiped off long ago, very few residents remember their street’s number, they simply remember where it is.’ ‘Interesting or rather strange to put it more accurately.’ He noted, racking his brain after some subject that would get them a bit closer. That conversation is starting to sound like two kids on their way back from school, a kind of a hide and seek conversation. ‘Are they married your friends, those who brought you along and were so quick to leave?’ ‘Yes they’re happily married and quite a while already.’ She answered with much emphasize. ‘I didn’t catch up their name, I’d some difficulties in understanding him.’ Shatz smiled with a note of apology. ‘Xavier Annette and Jacques, they’re very nice and I’m very fond of them of course. I like Annette in particular, she’s my closest friend here.’ ‘I’m not surprised that’s how she did impress me too, she’s a very nice person, and what is he doing if I may ask?’ ‘He’s the Minister’s adviser, the Minister of Agriculture and Development.’ She answered him proudly, without omitting any of the Minister’s responsibilities or his adviser’s degrees. ‘What, the Minister’s adviser, from when?’ Cried out Shatz in amazement. ‘What do you mean from when? From the first day that they have landed here, two years already; they’re going to leave soon, his contract has reached its termination.’ She added rather calmly, with a note of obvious sadness. ‘They‘re flying to France next week. What did surprise you so much?’ ‘His modesty.’ Answered Shatz briskly and turned back to his thoughts. So, is it possible that the fair-headed Monsieur Xavier influenced the Minister to cut down the size of the Israeli delegation? What an interesting coincidence, an Israeli delegation and a French adviser behind the curtains… Does his approaching leave kindled Everon’s hopes? ‘Has the Minister’s future adviser arrived already?’ ‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ answered Janine after a slight hesitation. Shatz couldn’t know whether she’s afraid of telling him details he isn’t supposed to know, or whether she was simply telling him the truth. ‘From the little I’ve heard,’ she went on after a short pause; there’s no need for a replacement, for the Minister thinks he’ll manage well enough with his local advisers.’ She added dryly, these matters didn’t interest her. ‘The first turn to the right after the square, if you please.’ ‘So, it was some kind of a singular mission…’ ‘I suppose so, he did complain himself lately, that nothing was left for him to do over here, and they’re very glad to return to Paris.’ Shatz turned round the square, found the right street and drove slowly on the unpaved road. ‘It must be hard for you to lose such dear friends.’ ‘Well, I’ve met them just five weeks ago, and I’m due to return to France myself at the end of my vacation.’ ‘Is that so, I was quite convinced that you’re living here, in Mouaka…’ ‘Stop here please!’ She hastened to ask, putting her hand on the door’s handle, ready to get off.
Shatz slowed down and stopped the car near the pavement, watching her green eyes, waiting for her answer. ‘I live in Paris but sometimes I spend my vacations over here, that’s my third visit, on the other two I was still a little girl.’ Is she an orphan or what? He thought without knowing how to react, how to keep her on beside him for a few more seconds. ‘You were very kind to me, thank you.’ She remarked sending forth her right her. ‘I hope you don’t feel as if you’ve wasted your time in vain.’ She added with an amused smile while shaking his hand. ‘Not at all!’ Answered her Shatz as if he was waking from a dream. ‘Don’t go yet…’ he added holding her hand between his palms, caressing it gently. ‘When shall I see you again?’ ‘You may see me at the club tonight,’ She answered with a charming and surprised laugh. Pulling her hand from his hold, she added a short ‘Au revoir’ with much grace, and got off shutting the car door behind her. Shatz kept watching her till she vanished in the dark entrance. Right after it he turned the car round and returned to the Independence Avenue, on his way back to the hotel. It was getting late and he hadn’t much time left. Reaching his room at last he didn’t bother to take a shower, just put his pants on, packed a shirt and a pair of shoes and rushed down to his car; turned on the ignition and crossed Mouaka once more, on his way to Everon’s residence. Even if she would had have been born here, she isn’t a provincial. She a sweet intelligent girl and she didn’t give up any secrets. These things are well known, not to everyone though. In any case it’s nothing much. He went on thinking encouraged and turned right away to appraise her merits – her dazzling beauty… her delicate white skin… her green eyes….