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Chapter 4



This is a really great location for a hotel.  It's long and low, five or six stories, with spectacular views to the falls. A wilderness of jungle, that starts immediately below the manicured gardens, extends all the way to the mists rising off the falling waters, down there, in the middle distance.

A Premier Suite!  It’s a lot better than I’m used to.  Just as Geraldo described, the double room space is open plan, partially divided by a central timber console unit on which stands a huge flat-screen TV, separating the bed/bath and a huge sitting areas. 

There is a square glass topped dining table on which stands an expensive looking bronze nude: a Gypsy dancer, with castanets held high.  In front of a black leather three seat couch is a low coffee table with a huge vase of flowers at its centre.  The suite is ideal for my present purpose, the nicest I've ever seen.  But I suppose to Cassandra, with all her millions, this is the bottom of the range - slumming. 

There on the central console unit is the clock.  The clock that is really a camera.  Geraldo certainly went to a lot of trouble to show it to me yesterday and watch me remove and replace the memory card to be sure I can get it quickly:  "perhaps while she's in the loo after you finish". 

The 'drop', that's spy talk, for leaving the memory card for him is a locker at the airport, on my way out.  He's made an extra key for the locker so we have one each. 

The clock is very clever.  It starts filming as soon as there's movement in its field of view.  It has face recognition software and pans and zooms to keep figures and movement in frame. 


Cassandra's wasting no time.

“Unzip me darling, and we’ll see if you can put me in hospital.” 

Her dress slips from her shoulders, falling to the floor. With a rippling half-shell about her feet she reminds me of the poster of Botticelli's Birth of Venus, that decorated my mother's room back in the Barrio.

She's undoing the buckle on my belt and loosening my pants. Her hand is slipping down to check me out. Damn she’s a good kisser. She smells hot.  And her body is so sexy. I've become very hard down there. She's pulled it free from my pants.

But I’m really uneasy now.  Something doesn’t add up.

I realise. It's my prints!  Geraldo wanted my fingerprints on the clock inside and out! 

I am being set-up as the fall guy for something.

But I’m committed now.  If I pull out now Geraldo will want his first money back; and there's another four thousand at stake.

"Just wait a minute," I say and rush to the bathroom to have a pee - and a think.

What can I do?  I've already spent most of the first thousand and to get the next instalment I have to leave him a memory card, complete with a video of me fucking his wife in a locker at the airport. But I need to get my prints off that clock.  I could go back in there and pretend to admire the camera-clock and give it a nice little polish with this hand towel.  But it will be very obvious and my prints are still inside it. I'll just have to hope that I get a chance to wipe it inside and out later. 

Oh hell! Now I’ve peed I've lost interest in putting on this show.  And it shows.  I'll just have to get back into the mood.

Cassandras' standing almost naked by the bed, now she must be in full view of the camera.  She's beckoning me over to her.  She wants me to unclip her bra.

"You know I said I have a fantasy," she's saying as I fiddle with the hook things. "Would you like to hear it now?"

"Yes," reply.  I'm James Bond again, Mr cool.

"I'm in an expensive restaurant with my husband - we have a private room.   Unbeknown to Geraldo I have a secret lover who's hiding under out table. Do you know why?"

"No," I say - I've no idea what she's talking about.

"He's a handsome stud, just like you.  And as I eat, so does he.  Now do you understand?  My husband doesn't know and mustn't find out.  The stud's job is to make this as difficult for me as possible.  Do you think you could do something like that?" 

"You're sort of preparing to do it already. It's a metaphor for this little fling." 

As her meaning became clear I went cold with horror. ¡Ay dios mio, that's revolting.  I've heard of it of course but always mocked it.  No real man would never do that.  Taking a man in her mouth is a woman's thing.  A man does it to dominate her, when he demands it, whether she likes it or not.

I'm certainly not going to do that for her!  If it wasn't for the money I'd be out of here right now. 

She's been smiling seductively, undoing my shirt as she spoke. No she's unzipped my pants I feel them drop to my ankles.  She has her arms around my neck kissing me.  Now she's pushing down on my shoulders as if she wants me to get down.  But I'm panicking in front of that camera. I've lost my erection completely and I can't get it up!  I must look like a maricón; limp while being kissed by this beautiful naked woman.  And it's all being recorded by that damn camera.  There's no way I'm going down there.  This is a disaster.  I'm thinking of the money I might lose.

Suddenly I'm on my back.


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The United Kingdom




On the surface London seems quite like Australia.  Walking about the streets; buying meals; travelling on public transport; staying in hotels; watching TV; going to a play; visiting friends; shopping; going to the movies in London seems mundane compared to travel to most other countries.  Signs are in English; most people speak a version of our language, depending on their region of origin. Electricity is the same and we drive on the same side or the street.  

But look as you might, nowhere in Australia is really like London.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Writer



The fellow sitting beside me slammed his book closed and sat looking pensive. 

The bus was approaching Cremorne junction.  I like the M30.  It starts where I get on so I’m assured of a seat and it goes all the way to Sydenham in the inner West, past Sydney University.  Part of the trip is particularly scenic, approaching and crossing the Harbour Bridge.  We’d be in The City soon.

My fellow passenger sat there just staring blankly into space.  I was intrigued.   So I asked what he had been reading that evoked such deep thought.  He smiled broadly, aroused from his reverie.  “Oh it’s just Inferno the latest Dan Brown,” he said.   

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Opinions and Philosophy

Sum; estis; sunt

(I am; you are; they are)



What in the World am I doing here?

'Once in a while, I'm standing here, doing something.  And I think, "What in the world am I doing here?" It's a big surprise'
-   Donald Rumsfeld US Secretary of Defence - May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

As far as we know humans are the only species on Earth that asks this question. And we have apparently been asking it for a good part of the last 100,000 years.

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