From the Halls of Montezuma (Part 3)
It is Christmas day and things have settled down, perhaps now I can finish my recount of the hectic past few days we have had.
Me: Well, we know where he is staying. Should we return and confront him?
Daniel: Fuck no, that dude is crazy. He ransacked Julius' old apartment, and held the Mexican family now living there at gunpoint. They were all like, screaming and shit in spanish.
Julius: I say I'm sick of being chased and that we should give him a taste of his own medicine. I have a gun for you Tom, Danny can stay here.
Me: I'm fine with this, but what do we do when we have him cornered?
Julius: We interrogate him, find out who is he working for.
Me: Well I will go, but I think I should visit Natalie first. I promised her my company on Christmas day.
Julius: He is scouring the town, I think we should have some time to find him and confront him. If we do that though, we tip our hand.
Me: To tip a hand is better than not playing it at all.
First though, I did make a trip to see Natalie, on this pleasant Christmas morning. I took the bus to her house, but missing a connection I wound up for quite a walk, when I noticed someone walking behind me, taking the same turns I was. The shadowy figure, in a long black coat wearing black glasses and a black hat, I fear too much resembled our target. At first I thought this was a coincidence, but then, my instincts got the better of me, and I ran. He ran in pursuit, so I made several turns, hoping to lose him. As I approached Natalie's house I thought I had finally lost him, so I ducked inside as quickly as possible.
Natalie: What's wrong? You look like you ran the whole way here.
Me: I did, I thought I was being followed...
Natalie: By who?
Me: Nevermind, it'd be best if you weren't involved.
Natalie: Well, I have a Christmas meal for us... a ham, and some of that mince pie you were talking about. Don't worry about my parents, they took a trip to the Bahamas this year, so it's just you and me! I got you a gift, here.
Me: What is this?
Natalie: Open it up, silly.
Me: I can't believe my eyes! Two pieces of homespun, "Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory" by John Quincy Adams, I can't believe I once thought this book was a tapestry. I used to own this, from a good friend of mine, how did you know?
Natalie: I've known you for over a year, and listened to each of your little rants, especially that night you sat down and told me how much you missed your books. You said a friend of yours once got you that book, and that it was long since lost. So I figured I'd replace it.
Me: This is a much newer, nicer edition, with Belles Lettres included. I miss the old binding, this paperback binding leaves much to be desired, but thank you. I feel like a scoundrel, I have no gift for you.
Natalie: That's okay, so long as you are here, that's all that matters. So, let's get some food!
Me: Is that a violin?
Natalie: Yes, I used to teach music. I have several instruments just lying around here.
Me: Would you happen to have a harpsichord? Would you know how to play it, should you?
Natalie: Yes on both counts, although it is packed away. Why do you ask?
Me: Then indulge me, my dear, in a duet.
Natalie: Ha, I don't think a man has ever asked me to sing a duet. Well, I will. Let me go get it.
I felt again like I was with my dearest Martha, although I made no mention of this to Natalie, as we sung many of my favorite songs. She caught on quickly, in fact, we sung for hours, by the time we ate much of the food was cold, but the heart was warm enough to compensate. It was truly a morning of merriment. As the day turned into evening, I headed back home to finish matters with Julius. We decided quickly we had to approach the mysterious agent who plans against us... by raiding his motel room before he escapes.
Julius: Okay, take this gun, and we'll break down this door on the count of three.
Julius: One... two... (together, we crashed through the motel door, there was a moment of silence as we explored together... no bags, and the bed was made...)
Me: There... appears to be nobody here.
Julius: Shit! What the hell? Where did he go? He was here just last night. I thought he was looking for me.
Me: He may have left, but he left us a present. There is a note here, on the bedside table.
Julius: Let me see that. (Julius took the letter and began to read) "Do not follow me again, I will come back for you in due time. There are matters yet to be settled. If you disrupt my plans in the meantime, you are dead. - N"
Julius: I don't know, but this just got a whole lot more serious.
Indeed it has.
your friend and servant.
- TH. Jefferson
The book "Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory" by John Quincy Adams was originally given to Jefferson by John Adams (John Quincy was Adam's son).
Martha & Thomas were known for the duets they sang during their courtship. In fact, there is an old story that two suitors who had been after Martha visited her residence and overheard Jefferson playing a duet, her on the harpsichord and him on the violin. As the story goes, the two suitors left, impressed by the lover's duet.