Acte 7: Her Road to Distress
By the time the final five minutes were up I had the selected jewelry lifted from her person, and secreted away in my pocket!
Without even the slightest notice from my unwilling dance partner!
Then, fifteen minutes to the second (good thing I had been keeping track of the time) she immediately broke it off.
I bowed, saying graciously…
“Thank you, Miss”
To which she spat back while walking briskly away…
“Don’t forget my money!”
I told her fleeing backside that I had to collect it and would meet her by the lady’s powder room.
I left, walking in the opposite direction, smiling inwardly to myself at the space from which the missing jewelry was glaringly gone from her.
She did not doubt that I would be back with her money!
For was I not merely no better than one of her household servants, who routinely, without question or error, existed to do her bidding?
It would be a major jolt to her system when she realized I was not coming obediently back to her!
I had no doubt she would spend some time searching me out for her money once she realized I was not coming back forthwith, to lecture me on how I should act around my betters!
So I knew that her immediate attention would be elsewhere upon realizing I was tardy, and that it would take quite a bit of time before she received a second shock of an altogether different sort.
That shock would come the first time she looked in a mirror and discovered she was missing some of her glittering jewelry!
I left with my prize, walking past the two guards with such a carefree air that even they would never have suspected that I could have been up to mischief of any sort.
I made a good time getting back to the dingy motel room.
I changed out of my costume and back into the shirt and tie I had worn.
The highwayman costume, which had served me well, I rolled in a bundle under my arm.
I again left by the back stairwell and retraced my earlier steps, whistling, back to the suite in the hotel.
Along the way, the highwayman costume was stuffed unceremoniously into a handy trash bin.
My little operation had been a complete success!
The evening was, after all, was not going to be a total loss.
Back in my suite, I stowed the newly acquired jewels the girl had worn into one of my many secret hiding spots.
There they would be safe until I could convey it to my banks’ lockbox on Monday.
As I finished I, spied the phantom of the opera mask lying discarded on top of a table.
A shame that it would not be used….
“Hold on a sec!”
Acte 8: A Brilliant Epiphany