Best I Can Recall


I admit I was a little drunk when it happened, so I am not perhaps the most reliable witness. There was a girl on the cruise, much too young for me, not that this fact lessened my interest. I had managed to convince her to come ashore with me to a small café I knew where the proprietor made the most delicious saltimbocca alla Sicilia, served with a wine so wonderful it defied superlatives. Of course, being a stranger to this port I knew of no such place, but experience has repeatedly shown me that such difficulties, taken on the wing, can be turned into marvelous opportunities.


Alas, this occasion was not so fortunate. The young lady had no head for alcohol and the few aperitifs we took at the dockside bar rendered her pale and speechless. I escorted her back to the ship where the purser took her in hand, escorted her teetering up the gangplank and presumably back to her cabin. I returned to the bar, my appetite quite gone. I was in the process of reviving it with a series of martinis when I heard the splash. I looked up to see the man alone in the bow, looking into the sea with an expression of triumphant malice.



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