Despite it only being 10 am it was incredibly warm and the pool was already starting to become a hive of activity for the various holiday makers of countless nationality. A gaggle of children appeared to be organizing an international pool-based volley ball competition, further up the pool a small group were doing their best to swim lengths in the limited space. Sat on the edge, dangling his legs in the pool was Arthur Fransure, dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, which was partially opened, and swim shorts, a cream Panama adorned his head and he had a pair of sunglasses hovering in his hand. He was gently surveying the occupants of the hotel while taking in the sun, his attention partially occupied by a bikini-clad black haired lady descending into the cool water of the pool. He became aware of a shadow falling over him and quick as a flash he sprang to his feet and faced the new arrival, it was a short but stocky balding man who was looked a couple of years older then himself, he was dressed in a thin white suit and green shirt in his hand was a cup of coffee.
“One-Ten’s replacement?” Asked Arthur rhetorically.
“Yes Arthur, it was deemed that the measures to ensure her safe arrival and practical involvement were in excess of what was deemed necessary,” Said the man flatly. “You are to address me by first name.”
“Which is?” Arthur prompted with an exaggerated handgesture.
“Joseph,” the man replied. “Now I think we should head over to the bar.”
Arthur nodded and the two gents casually walked to the poolside bar where the bartender was stocking up his ice bucket.
“Dos Ron Collins por favour senor,” Joseph called out as they arrived. The barman nodded and began mixing the cocktails.
“Really?” Queried Arthur, “Cocktails this early?”
Joseph smiled as the barman place the two drinks on the bar. He thanked the bar man and slid him a tip. “I had lunch 5am London time, as far as my digestive system is concerned, this is my dinner tipple. Besides it we don’t want to give the impression that we are on business, ” Joseph flashed a wry smile took a sip of his drink.
“I don’t think One-Ten would approve,” tutted Arthur.
“Well One-Ten isn’t here,” replied Joseph gesturing an empty table overlooking the pool. “Anyway, the hotel is all inclusive so it isn’t like we’ll be pushing the expenses department.”
“I think I could warm to your methodology,” laughed Arthur as he pulled up a seat. “So what is the situation?”
“Do remember field operative Amelia Hartley?” asked Joseph.
“Yes, she was from Basingstoke I think, I guess somebody had to be…. Awkard to knit…”
“-a simple yes would have done.” Joseph snapped, “well she’s gone missing. Possibly into hiding. Her last communication was rather candid suggesting that the Chevolet pipeline had been compromised.”
Arthur sat up, “evidence to support or just circumstantial?”
“That’s just it, we don’t know. She closed the pipeline down and disappeared, all we do know is that she is somewhere on this island.”
Arthur scratched his chin thoughtfully, “so just a narrow field then?” He took a good sip out of his drink, boy they were heavy on the rum here.
Joseph took a long sip from his drink, “I have arranged for some intel to be delivered to your room later this evening. So if I were you I would stary practicing your tourist act now.” Joseph subtly indicated the bikini clad girl Arthur had noticed earlier. “I will join you for breakfast tomorrow morning for a fuller briefing.”
Arthur smiled, “is there anything else?”
“Ah yes, Corporal Bell will be arriving later this afternoon to assist you.”
“Oh Marie,” said Arthur with a smile. “I haven’t seen her in quite a while.”
Joseph rose from his seat, “I am going to familiarise myself with the local area, do enjoy yourself,” he declared loudly and with that he departed.
Arthur laughed to himself and looked across the pool and spotted the young lady drying herself off from her swim. She settled down on her sunlounger and picked up an upturned paperback from the table, evidently an intellectual he mused. Arthur rose from the chair and returned to the bar, “dos tequila sunrise poo favor.” Once the drinks were prepared he casually walked around the pool until he was within earshot of the young lady.
“Excuse miss,” he began, “could I interest you in a cocktail?”
The young lady looked up from her booked and briefly studied him, “it is a little early but ok.”
“Splendid,” beamed Arthur, “I hope a wormdo is ok.”
The lady frowned, she’d not heard of that cocktail before. “What’s a wormdo?” she asked.
Arthur smiled, “well it wriggles across the floor….”