Bessie’s Boys Chapter 26

Previously: England awaits the Spanish invasion. Elizabeth orders two of her young heroes to Spain on a mission. Each one has a beautiful but jealous lover.

Senor Vacacabeza, befuddled with Phillip’s order to catch the young spies because he was on the Last Rites side of seventy years old, felt he wasn’t up to fulfilling the King’s wishes.  As he rounded one corner Vacacabeza had to jump back to keep from being run over by Clarence clomping by on his hands and knees with Maria on his back, slapping his rear as though whipping a race horse.

“Tally ho!” the young lady hollered in a perfect English accent.

The old Spaniard took a deep breath and began to trot after them.

“Come back!  It’s useless to resist!”

In another corridor not so far away, Rodney and Alice stopped at another intersection.

“Which way should we go?” Rodney asked.

“How would I know?  All these hallways look the same!”

“Let’s try this way.” He took her hand and eased down a narrower corridor.

Within a few feet they found themselves face to face with King Phillip himself.  Alice screamed and began to swoon, but Rodney pushed her back to her feet.

“Aha.”  Phillip pointed at them.  “There you are, my little enchilada!”

 Again Rodney twisted his face in confusion.  “What’s an enchilada?”

Alice took control by grabbing Rodney’s hand and running in the opposite direction.  “I don’t have time to explain!”

Phillip stomped his foot in indignation.  “I am the king of Spain!  You’re supposed to obey me!”  After he controlled his pique, Phillip began to run as fast as he could.  When he came to a staircase, he saw Rodney and Alice alight the bottom step and separate, running in different directions.

“Guards!  Guards! After them!” the King screamed as he descended the steps.

Unfortunately, two large guards appeared behind Phillip and knocked him down as they went after the English desperadoes.

At the same time Clarence and Maria ran through the courtyard.  Following them at a distance, Vacacabeza stumbled into the courtyard.

“It’s only a matter of time before I catch you!”

Clarence turned, hopped from foot to foot, and laughed.  “It’s only a matter of time before you pass out!”  With that exercise of bravado, he grabbed Maria’s hand and disappeared down another corridor. 

Rodney leaned over the balcony, looking across the courtyard.  “Now where did Alice go?” he muttered.

Vacacabeza looked up to see Rodney on the balcony.  “Maybe I’ll have better luck chasing that one!”  He made his way to the nearest stairs, waving his fist.  “Stop there!  It’s useless to try to escape!”

“Uh, oh.”  Rodney turned away and beat a more than hasty retreat.

“Drat.”  Vacacabeza stopped to put his hand to his mouth.  “I think I’m going to be sick.”

In another nearby hallway, Maria and Alice bumped into each other.

“Oh,” Maria announced in an English accent dripping with disdain.  “So we meet again.  Now delightful.”

“Yes.”  Alice meet her disdain and matched it with acid sarcasm.  “It’s certainly made my day.”

“By the way, I’ve spoken to my lover, and he says I’m the only woman for him.”

“Well, I’ve spoken to my fiancé, and he says he says he loves only me.”

“So it’s impossible we’re talking about the same man.”

“Of course.”  Alice raised her haughty little chin.

“I’m so pleased for you,” Maria replied with an edge sharpened by snideness which did not go undetected by the fair Alice.

   “And why, may I ask, are you pleased for me?”

Maria extended her statuesque magnificence to its fullest height.  “Because if we were talking about the same man, he’d surely choose me over you.”

“And makes your feeble mind think that?”  Alice placed her hands on her petite hips.

“Well, I don’t want to upset you.”

“And I don’t want to upset you by saying you wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell with my fiancé.”

Maria’s eyes fluttered and her lips pursed.  “And you name is Wrenn, isn’t it?”

“Yes.  What of it?”

“It’s just that it’s so appropriate.”  She stepped closer.  “Wrenn.  A little bird.  A little twit—I mean tweet.”

Alice’s nostril’s flared.  ”And your name is de Horenhausen?”


Alice put her slender index finger to her lips.  “I was wondering….”

“Yes?”  Maria become defensive.

“The origin….”

“Yes?”  Her face flushed.

“Does it refer to the family profession?”

Maria raised her right hand, now in a tight fist.  “Why you—“

The confrontation surely would have ended in fisticuffs but King Phillip entered the courtyard followed by two guards.

“After them!”

“We’ll settle this later, my little bird.”  A Teutonic crispness entered her voice.

“Anytime, my big—“

“Don’t you dare say it!”

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