OK people, here is part 2 of this cross-channel classic:
"CHATEAU OF DEATH": Part 2
The darkness slowly lifts from Ben's mind as his consciousness emerges from the caverns of silence. He percieves himself to be lying on the bed as Madame Camboux caresses his head and strokes his hair:
"What.... what happened?" Ben asks confused.
"Giselle the maid found you unconscious on the floor. I cannot imagine who could have done this to you and in my home."Giselle enters with a poultice which Madame Camboux applies to the lump on Ben's head. She looks at the maid:
"Summon all the other servants immediately downstairs, I wish to speak to them".
"Yes Madame" Giselle replies, sheepishly leaving.
Ben looks around the room, his head throbbing:
"I'm not sure that one of your servants did this. More likely to be that Piers after how he spoke to me earlier. I fear you spoil him Madame."Just as Ben speaks, Piers arrives in the doorway.
"What is this? Why do you accuse me? I know nothing of this. This english boy is trying to turn you against me."Madame Camboux looks up:
"Nonsense Piers. Please don't make another scene. Ben is just confused."Meanwhile Ben notices that the wine is missing:
"Its gone. The bottle of 1865 claret I bought for you as a present. Its worth over £150. *looking at Piers* What have you done with it? You are clearly a thieving freeloader."Piers kicks over a chair, tears streaming down his face.
"This is not true."
Meanwhile Katie and Kyle are sitting in a street bar in Aix enjoying a cold beer each. Katie feels relaxed:
"This town is very beautiful. Its a shame that England doesn't have the same civilised drinking culture that the French have. Too many of your type spoil it by binge-drinking on vodka."Kyle sips his beer:
"I ain't a vodka drinker. Never 'ave bin".
"I suppose we'd better make a move. Ben asked me to do an errand for him before we go back" Katie comments.
"Return to that exclusive wine shop where he bought the claret for Madame Camboux. He spotted a bottle of finest Duke de Richelieu absinthe and wants it to take home, along with some 1932 Chateau de Bomboux red".As she speaks, Craig and Isobel appear.
"Ere 'ave you two had a good look round?" Kyle asks.
"We found a peaceful French cemetary where we sat and wrote some poetry" Isobel replies quietly, her delicate eyes looking at Craig.
Later the four of them arrive at the wine shop. It has an old fashioned exterior with a range of expensive old wines in the window in dusty bottles. The sign reads:
"Pierre Rouseac: Vintage Wines"
in French. The door is ajar yet there seems to be no one in the shop. Katie strides in:
"Hello? Anyone here? Mr Rouseac?"Suddenly she sees a body on the foor, blood oozing from its head. Kyle and the others enter and Isobel faints.There is a noise from the cellar below the shop.
"Ere you lot stay put and I'll see who's down there" Kyle whispers.Slowly Kyle descends the cellar steps. As he enters the cellar he sees a man with a goatie beard ferreting around among the wines as if searching for one in particular. He hears Kyle and spins round brandishing a crowbar. Kyle decides that attack is the best form of defence and launches himself at the man, knocking the crowbar out of his hand. The man lands a punch on Kyle's mouth then grabs a bottle of wine which he smashes. He goes to glass Kyle however Kyle knees him in the scrotum and grabs his face in the Chelsea bowl-lock. As he does so, he is shocked to see the man's face some away in his hand revealing wires and robotic mechanics. The robot pushes a shelf of wine bottles into Kyle and staggers out and up the staris towards the others..............
............... to be continued.