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Title: Lights, Camera, Murder
Series: The Eagle Chronicles.
Word Count 14,554 (total)
Summary Steven is on the set of a movie about his wartime exploits when there's a murder. A off-comment rfrom the director gets him thinking about his life,
Notes: Well, his life doesn sound like it could make a movie, doesn't it? The younger generation appears here too.



34. Lights, Camera, Murder


James Stuart, the duke of Edinburgh, a.k.a Steven Taylor, sat staring at the typed pages lying on his desk. The words just wouldn't come. No, that wasn't it, not exactly. His memories were too fuzzy in some respects. That's what he got for such an adventurous life. Deciding he needed a break, he left his study and headed for the drawing room where he found his wife Alison regaling a young woman about 18 years old and a youth near 20 with tales from her childhood in South Africa.

Alison looked up and saw him standing in the doorway. "How's the re-write coming?"

"It isn't. I didn't realize a script was so hard to write." He sat on the arm of the couch. "I thought this was supposed to be a lesson in etiquette."

"It started out that way," said Jessie, who inherited her grandfather's (Steven's uncle) title upon her recent arrival from America and would soon be invested as the duchess of York. "Alison got a little side-tracked then Jamie came."

Steven looked fondly at his adopted son. "I thought you had plans tonight."

"I do. I came by to take Jess out dancing with friends. You?"

"I have a few more scenes to go over by tomorrow."

"Have they cast your part yet?"

"No, but they've told me they've narrowed it down."

"Any names?" asked Jessie.

"They're looking for an unknown so the public won't have any preconceived ideas."

"Are they going to let you in on the final decision?" Alison asked.

"They haven't actually said so, but I'll make a point of it."

*************************************************

Later that evening, Jess and Jamie were dancing with friends at a club. The only other girl was a vibrant redhead named Lady Margaret Weston-Smythe, known to her friends as Mags. She leaned over to whisper in Jessie's ear. "I don't know if you've noticed, but we are on the receiving end of some nasty stares."

"Why?"

"We're with three great looking guys and not offering to share." Mags smiled.

Next to Jamie sat a youth the same age herself--19--with sandy brown hair and deep brown eyes. This was Andrew Moreland, Alison's son from her first marriage. Jessie had only met him a few weeks ago upon his return from a hiking trip in the Highlands. The third man was blond and blue-eyed and she had known him for most of her life as they had gone to school together in Connecticut. Cliff Mead came from one of the first families of the town. He had come over to spend the summer in England.

"Have you heard from Dennis?" asked Cliff.

Dennis Howell was an aspiring actor from Canada that she and Jamie had met on their voyage over. "I saw him the other day on Oxford Street. He apologized for not keeping in touch and explained that he was busy with a number of casting calls."

"Think we could get some free tickets if he lands the part?" asked Andrew.

"I don't see why you should," answered Mags. "You've only met him a couple times."

"I mean the group of us. He doesn't seem the type to leave someone out," Andrew said by way of explanation.

"He may be trying out for a movie, did you think of that?" asked Jamie.

They all looked at Jessie as if she knew. "No, he never told me what role it was. Maybe he's not telling us in case he doesn't get it."

"Could be," agreed Cliff. "I've heard actors are a very superstitious lot." He held out his hand to Jessie as the DJ played a song by The Kinks. "A dance, milady?"

"Why, thank you."

Mags looked at Andrew. "Dance?"

"No, thanks. Why don't you go with Jamie?"

Mags faced Jamie who rose reluctantly and walked with her onto the dance floor. As he passed his stepbrother, he whispered, "I'll get you for this." Andrew only nodded and smiled.

*********************************************

Two weeks later, Steven heard that the producers were deciding on their star. He made his way to the studio, and, after receiving directions from a stunned guard, headed for the projector room. He sneaked in just as the lights were going down and sat in the last row of seats. On the screen a nervous young man stood in place until the director shouted "Action!" from off-screen. The chosen scene was when he was saying good-bye to Victoria as she was returning home after the war. The first couple of actors had the looks but their movements were too wooden and voices too stilted. The next two split; one had the voice but not the movements and the other was just the opposite. The last seemed perfect. He had the coloring and build and his movements and voice flowed naturally. When he was done, Steven was ready to believe that it was just from another movie and had nothing to do with him at all.

The lights went up and the other members of the audience spoke about their choices. "The camera just loves him," said a man a little older than Steven with salt-and-pepper hair. "I think we've discovered a new star."

"Yes, I agree," said Gareth Sands, the producer. "The others were using stage techniques which are too exaggerated for film."

"I hope you're talking about the final actor," said Steven slowly rising from his seat. "The others were terrible."

"Oh, your Grace. We didn't realize you were here," said Sands. "Did you see them all?"

"Yes, though even if I had seen only the fifth, I would have chosen him without hesitation."

"As I said, the camera loves him."

"Your Grace, may I introduce Quinn Douglas, our director."

Steven held out his hand. "A pleasure. I've heard a lot about your work. Unfortunately, I don't have much opportunity to go to the movies."

"The pleasure is mine, your Grace," replied Douglas. "I hope to do your story justice."

"I'm sure you will. At least you have a lot to work with," he smiled.

"The problem will be in editing."

Sands looked to the young woman who had been standing to the back during their conversation. She was possibly in her late twenties and wore a simple dress that just reached mid-thigh. "Karen, call the new star and tell him the good news. Then prepare a press release announcing that the part of Steven Taylor will be played by Dennis Howell."

********************************************************

Jamie entered the flat he shared with Jessie. He had heard some great news while he was visiting with Steven and knew she would love to hear it. He heard her moving about in the kitchen. "Jessie, I'm back!"

She stuck her head in the doorway. "I'll be there in a sec. I'm doing up tea. Want some?"

"Thanks." He joined her. "I've got some good news."

"Me too." She poured.

"You first."

"I had a call from Dennis. He got that part he was going for."

"I know. That was my news for you."

Jessie seemed disappointed that her surprise was ruined. "How did you find out?"

"Dad told me. He had gone to see the screen tests and Dennis was by far the best. Even the director and producer thought so."

"Why didn't he tell us?"

"He probably thought that we might influence Dad, who, in turn, would influence the studio. He wanted to earn it, not be given it."

"This is so fantastic! I hope this makes him a star. If not, he might have to go back to Canada."

"He won't have much time for us for at least 6 months while they're filming."

"I know, but at least he'll be here."

"Jessie, is there something going on you haven't told me about?" Jamie asked in mock seriousness.

"No. It's just that I'm happy for another North American in London 'come to find his fortune'."

"And what about Cliff?"

"He's just on vacation. Besides, he doesn't need to find a fortune."

"Neither do you," answered Jamie smugly. "So there goes your argument."

"I may not have found my fortune, by I did find my heritage."

"I'll give you that." He put his feet up on a spare chair. "Let's send Dennis a formal congratulatory telegram--you know, signed with our titles. Then we can take him out to celebrate."

"Sure. Do you know how to go about it?"

"Hand me the directory." Jessie passed him the telephone directory and watched as he flipped through the pages. "We call the post office and give them the message. Ah, here it is."

Later that night, Jamie and Jess met Dennis at one of their favorite clubs. Patrons were taking turns singing and playing on a stage to the side. "I'm so happy for you," declared Jess. "This is great news."

"I know. I still can't believe it. I think tonight will be my last free time for months."

"When do they plan to start filming?" asked Jamie.

"As soon as they can. All the parts are cast, and, from what I understand, they want to do a lot of location shooting--Paris, Rome, and Berlin. My guess is within the month."

"This is fabulous. You've only been here a couple of months and you've landed the most coveted role of the year," remarked Jess.

"You guys didn't have anything to do with that, did you?"

"How could we? You never told us what you were up for," laughed Jamie.

"True. I'd forgotten. I'm sure people are going to think that once they learn we're friends."

"Dad can vouch for the fact that we never mentioned your name to him. Besides, he said that the director and producer had already made their decision before he said a thing."

"Just think, soon you'll be hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, and jetting off to exotic places on a whim," said Jessie.

Dennis laughed. "I've already got the first part done. But I don't think that one film alone will make me part of the jet-set. That would have to be some film. I'm not saying anything against your father, mind," he added quickly.

"I understand," said Jamie. "Just that if this does well, it'll open doors for you, get you more roles. Then you can go jetting about the globe."

"Just don't forget us when you become famous," said Jessie.

"I won't if you won't."

"A toast," said Jamie, raising his glass. "To the next Laurence Olivier."

Dennis nearly choked in embarrassment. "I can't drink to that!"

"Why not?"

"I'll never be that good."

"Never say never."

Dennis reluctantly gave in.

On the stage, a man peered out into the crowd. "We are blessed tonight, my friends. One of our best duos is here tonight. C'mon, you two."

The spotlight shone on their table and the crowd cheered. After a token refusal, they took the stage, Jamie seating himself at the piano. He began to play a track off the Beatles latest album and began to sing. "I get high when I see you go by, my oh my. . ."

Jessie joined in on the chorus. "It's only love and that is all, Why should I feel the way I do? It's only love and that is all, but it's so hard loving you."

Andrew and Mags entered just as they finished. "Hello, Dennis," said Andrew as he sat at the table. "I hear congratulations are in order."

"Does everybody know?" asked Dennis with a smile.

"Know what?" asked Mags.

"Some of us are privy to information before it becomes public."

"What information?" questioned Mags, completely in the dark.

"Go on, tell her," said Jessie and she and Jamie returned to the table.

"Somebody tell me," demanded Mags.

"I landed a part today," started Dennis.

"That's marvelous!"

"Let him finish," said Jamie.

"There's more?"

"The best part," informed Andrew.

"It's a WWII film and I play the hero."

"The lead in your first movie?" Mags couldn't believe it.

"Mags!"

"You'd better just tell her the name of your character," said Jamie. "This could go on all night."

Dennis smiled. "Steven Taylor," he said.

"What?"

"The name of the character I play is Steven Taylor."

"That's fabulous!" She kissed him on the cheek then looked at the others. "Did you have anything to do with this?"

"No. We had no idea he was up for the part," said Andrew.

"This is definitely something to celebrate!"

"Too bad Cliff had to miss this," remarked Andrew. "Where is he?"

"He wasn't home when I called," answered Jessie. "He must be visiting family. That was one of the stipulations of the trip."

"I guess he'll have to find out through the news like everyone else," said Jamie.

"I'd like to try again when we get home," Jessie said. "If it's okay with you?" she asked Dennis.

"Sure. He's one of the gang."

*************************************************************

In the ensuing days, the main entertainment topic for the media was the movie. It seemed to Steven that it was one long press conference. The media kept coming up with new poses for him and Dennis Howell, who did bear some resemblance to him.

Gareth Sands stood off to the side and watched his discoveries handle the press. Dennis stood between two beautiful women, his leading ladies. Alicia Moran on his left was a young blonde cast as Victoria Bond, who later became Steven's first wife. On his right was Kirsten ______, who would be playing Alison. A cast of virtual unknowns. Sands was relying heavily on Steven's name.

Steven himself stood in the shadows and listened to the answers the actors gave the press. "Dennis, how do you feel, having landed the most sought-after role in film today?"

"I'm still in shock. I came here from Canada to get better parts. I never dreamed of this."

"You're all so young to remember the war. Do any of you have family connections to it?"

"My father was shot down over Germany but escaped through France," answered Kirsten. "He later took part in D-Day."

Alicia stated, "I never knew my father. I was born when he was taking part in the invasion of Italy where he was later killed."

Dennis smiled. "My father was with the Navy in the Pacific in '44 and '45."

"How do you plan to research your role?"

"Read up on what I can, watch newsreels, and to speak with the people who were there."

"Had you met his Grace before today?"

"No, but I hope to get a chance in future to speak with him fully so I can do him justice." He withheld the fact that he already knew three members of the family.

Quinn Douglas walked over to Steven. "Quite a lad, that one. Has the press eating right out of his hand."

"That's definitely better than the other way 'round." Steven shook his head. "Discovering that they were infants when the war was over is making me feel old."

"Your boy Jamie must be about their age. Did the orphanage tell you any of his history?"

"Not too much. He was born in February '45--they celebrated the 20--and a doctor from the local hospital brought him."

"Ah. He was probably a war baby."

"What?"

"He was probably conceived during a night of passion before the father was shipped out. Not being married, the mother couldn't raise him alone."

"What an imagination."

"It's not so much imagination as logic," explained Quinn. "Nine months earlier was May '44, just before D-Day." He left to speak with Sands.

Steven barely noticed him go. What he had said about a final fling reminded him of his last night with Alison before he left for D-Day. Could she have gotten pregnant? Could he be a father?

*************************************************

A few days later, Jessie went to visit Alison because she was suffering from Boring Sunday Syndrome. Jamie was with some university friends, Dennis was busy with the movie, and she couldn't get a hold of Cliff or Mags. She took a leisurely walk, knowing that it would soon be impossible once she was formally invested.

She was admitted by Dawson. "Her Grace is in the den. Would you like me to announce you?"

"No, thank you, Dawson." Jessie made her way to the den where she found Alison looking through a pile of records.

She looked up when she heard Jessie's footsteps. "This is quite a surprise. I thought you'd be with your friends this glorious Sunday afternoon."

"I couldn't find anyone who wasn't busy." She sat next to Alison.

"I'm your last resort, am I?" Alison asked with a smile. Jessie, embarrassed, stuttered out an apology. "That's all right, I'm only teasing."

"What are you doing?"

"All this talk of the movie has got me feeling nostalgic. I started thinking about these old records I had." She stood and cued a song on the record player. Moonlight Becomes You by Glenn Miller began drifting from the speakers. Alison began to dance about the room, eyes closed, imagining she was back in a club with Steven.

Jessie tried to picture them together, twenty years younger, dancing in the club along with other couples, some in uniform. "This was our song," said Alison. The song ended and she sat in the chair by Jessie.

"Tell me about it?" asked Jessie.

"Oh, you know the story."

"But not from your point-of-view."

"Where do you want me to start?"

"When you first met."

"That's going back a number of years. I don't think I can remember."

"He must have made an impression. You did marry him."

"Twenty years later. Okay. Let me see. I was on my way home to Capetown because my father could no longer afford the tuition. The mine he owned had finally dried up. I was sitting on one of the deck chairs reading when he took the seat next to me and tried to act nonchalant. We talked for quite some time and then he asked me to join him for dinner.

"He was very charming, and, as we were the only young people aboard, we spent a lot of time together. He has this quality, this air, about him that makes people trust him. My father, on first meeting him, invited him to stay with us. It was a good thing, too, because he helped us trick a greedy man into buying our worthless mine. We moved to London on the proceeds. I found out on the trip to England that he was a thief. He even told me his real name."

"That was showing great trust," remarked Jessie.

"I know. We separated upon our return to London. I began reading articles on jewel thefts and guessed that he was the Eagle. I started my own scrapbook."

"You were in love with him then."

"I don't know if it was truly love at that point or just a schoolgirl crush."

"Like something out of an adventure novel. When did you meet again?"

"I think it was May '43. I was out with friends dancing at a club. He walked over to our table and asked me to dance. I was surprised to see him and my friends took my hesitation as nerves. I'll admit I was afraid, for him and myself. They were playing Moonlight Becomes You and he sang it to me as we danced. When the music was over, I left him in the middle of the dance-floor.

"It wasn't until I got home that I realized how cruel I had been. It had felt wonderful dancing with him. Imagine my surprise when I came home from work a few days later to find him talking over old times with my father. He explained why he was back in London and we went out that night, the first of many.

"He was supposed to meet me one night in May and never showed. The papers then said he had joined the Nazis. I knew that was impossible. My friends told me not to build my hopes up, he was a thief after all. As the year went on, there was no more word. It was as if he had disappeared off the face of the Earth. He could have been dead. The next anyone heard of him was when he arrived in Washington that Christmas."

"With Victoria."

"Yes. I was heartbroken when the media began stories of a romance between them. We found each other again in May '44. He was here to take part in D-Day and I was afraid I'd lose him again."

"Did you tell him?"

"No, I showed him."

"What do you mean?" The answer dawned on her. "You slept together," she stated.

"I didn't know if I'd see him again and I just wanted to know what it would have been like with him. You're shocked, aren't you?"

"Why didn't you marry?"

"One: he never asked, and two: I wouldn't have wanted to be a widow at 23."

"But you married Charles."

"That was after the war. Steven had lived and was now a hero. He belonged to the world and I wanted something a bit more stable, a husband who would always be there. Charles was everything I wanted at the time."

"Do you have any regrets?"

"Not one."

There was a polite knock on the door. "Are you indulging in private girl-talk, or can I join in?" asked Andrew, standing in the doorway.

"Come in. We're done," said Alison.

He looked at Jessie as she stood, wiping off her skirt. "Enjoying a quiet Sunday?"

"Yes. I hardly get a chance to speak with Alison."

"It does make a nice change from running everywhere. I relish days like this."

The music changed to the upbeat In the Mood and Andrew reached out a hand to his mother, "May I have this dance?"

Alison saw Jessie's foot tapping. "Why don't you and Jessie dance? I'll take the next slow one."

Andrew looked questioningly at Jessie who offered her hand and they walked to the middle of the den where there was the most room. Andrew was a good partner, leading her through the different steps as she began to remember her mother's lessons. Near the end, they became more daring and Jessie rolled over him, back-to-back.

"You two dance wonderfully together!" exclaimed Alison. "Jessie, how did you learn to dance like that?"

"Same as Andrew, I guess. My mother."

"I just came up with a terrific idea," said Alison. "You and your friends have a band of sorts, right?"

"Of sorts," answered Andrew. "Why?"

"I know that they're scouting clubs to use in the movie and if you learn some vocals and get the house bands to let you join in. . ."

"Mum, that would be dishonest," teased Andrew.

"I know. I learned it from my husband."

"It would be fun, though," mused Jessie. "Depending on the song, Mags and I could wear long, elegant gowns . . ."

"Leave it to a woman to think of what to wear," said Andrew with a laugh.

"Anybody can sing," replied Jessie, "but whether or not they get anywhere depends on the presentation."

"And practice," added Alison.

************************************************

Steven watched from the side as they filmed the scene again. Something had always gone wrong; an actor flubbed lines, a prop didn't work properly, lighting was bad, or a microphone was in shot. Tempers were raw and on edge. From what he could tell, Dennis was the only one trying to remain calm. They had to make it in this take.

Quinn held his temper in check as he worked the actors through the scene. No matter how many times he watched, Steven still couldn't get used to the fact that it was his life they were portraying. He looked back at those watching and saw that some had their fingers crossed. Once Quinn had called "Cut", Alicia complained that Dennis had blocked part of her scene.

"Alicia, dear, I'm sure that's not so. He was on his mark," Quinn tried to placate her. "This take seemed the best of all. We'll break for lunch and I'll have a look at the rushes to see if we need another."

Alicia stormed off the set and Quinn rolled his eyes towards Steven as if to say "Actors".

Steven made his way over to Dennis. "You certainly kept cool through all that."

"I figured that another raised voice wouldn't help. I've been learning to control myself."

"Has this been happening long?"

"For a number of days. It seems that almost everyone has blamed everyone else for something or other."

" 'Almost everyone'?"

"Well, I haven't blamed anyone, really. I think it's just a bunch of unrelated incidents."

"Could be," agreed Steven. "But who would want to close it down? This is a major production, a big step up for everyone."

"You think someone is behind all this?"

"Maybe I'm reading too much into it. A bad habit I have. Just be careful. I don't want to be the one to tell Jamie and Jessie about you."

Dennis was amazed. "How did you know that we're friends? I didn't think I let it out."

"You didn't. I remember Jessie talking about an actor she met on her crossing. When I heard you got the part, the name clicked."

"Okay, I'll be careful. Thanks for your concern. When will you be back?"

"A couple of days or so. You can let me know if there are any further 'incidents'. If you need me sooner, call." Steven left a stunned Dennis to make his way to the commissary.

**********************************************

Jamie walked into the flat and almost tripped over an endtable. "What the hell is going on?"

"Oh, Jamie, I didn't expect you till later," remarked Jessie as she placed a wing chair against the wall.

"Obviously," said Jamie, rubbing his shin. "What are you doing?"

"Preparing for dancing lessons. I'm expecting Andrew, Alison, Mags, and Cliff."

"That leaves you with an odd number. What were you planning to do?"

"Well, we didn't ask you because of the reason behind it."

"I don't think I'm going to like the sound of this."

"If we can learn the right moves and lyrics, then we can try out with a swing band."

"Why this sudden interest?"

"Maybe we'll get a chance to be in the film."

"So that's what this is all about. What do you plan to tell the band?"

There was a rap on the door. "Saved by the knock." She opened the door and let in Mags and Cliff. "C'mon in. We're just waiting for our instructor."

"Oh, hello, Jamie. Didn't expect to see you here," said Cliff.

"In my own flat? Yes, that is unexpected."

"There's no need for sarcasm," said Mags. "If we had known you were going to be here, we would have made other plans."

"Why don't you want me to know what you're up to?"

"You haven't told him?" Cliff asked.

"I started to, I just haven't filled in the details."

"My last question was, what are you going to tell the band about yourselves?" Jamie asked as there was another knock on the door.

"We plan to tell them only our first names before we perform in order to earn it on merit," explained Mags.

"That's why we didn't ask you because you're so well-known. Don't think it's because you're not wanted," said Cliff.

"We could use your help for practice," said Alison as she and Andrew entered the room.

"Your servant, madam," he replied with an exaggerated bow.

*************************************************

The following morning, after a quick breakfast, Steven kissed Alison good-bye. "I have business out-of-town today. I should be home by dinner. If not, I'll call."

"Fine. I have to go into the office today anyway. I've a few proposals piling up on my desk."

"All right. See you tonight."

As he drove out of London towards Kent and the Channel, he tried to justify why he hadn't told Alison exactly where he was going. He wanted to have his proof so he wouldn't accuse her falsely and make a fool of himself. He was also surprised that a passing remark in a conversation would send him off like this. Steven needed to keep this in perspective. Just because Jamie's birth was somewhere near nine months after that night with Alison didn't't mean anything. She would have told him, would have let him know he was a father.

He drove along the outskirts of Romney Marsh, at one point the stomping ground of smugglers. Now that was a risky occupation. He continued on to Dymchurch and parked outside the orphanage where Jamie was raised.

He learned that Mrs. Sumner was still in charge and would be glad to see him. "Your Grace, what an unexpected pleasure. Please, sit down."

"Nice to see you again, Mrs. Sumner. I didn't expect to see you here."

"These children are like my own family. Jamie is just one of the many who come in here as babies with nowhere else to go. The lucky ones get to join a loving family. I've been here twenty years and plan to be here for at least another twenty."

"Then you might be the one to help me. I'm looking into the facts about Jamie's birth."

"More specifically, you want to find out about his mother?"

"Yes."

Mrs. Sumner was quiet for a moment. "Jamie was born about nine months after D-Day, if my estimations are correct. Many soldiers, afraid of not returning, were ready to share what they thought might be their last night with female company." She looked at Steven. "You think Jamie might be your own son."

Steven was shocked. "You're very perceptive, Mrs. Sumner," he admitted. "How did you know?"

"This sudden need to know had to be influenced by something recent as you never wished to check his parentage before. Perhaps you heard or saw something that brought this on. I then remembered reading that you were taking an active part in the movie of your wartime escapades. I just put it all together."

"Your talents are wasted here, Mrs. Sumner. The CID could use you."

"I think I'm right where I'm needed. Let me see what I can do for you." She stood and crossed the room to a row of file cabinets. She opened one of the drawers and found the file she was looking for. "These files are supposed to be confidential, but as you think you may be his father. . . The doctor in attendance was Tom Bennett--he still practices in Dymchurch--and the mother's name is Caroline Sutton of Romney Grange. Does that mean anything to you?"

"No, nothing. Does that give her age?"

"31. If I remember correctly, she had been recently widowed and already had three children. A fourth would have been too much strain."

"Do you think perhaps I could tell her, let her know that her baby is all right?"

"That's kind of you, sir, but impossible."

"To Hell with your regulations! This woman needs to know!"

"I didn't mean it that way, sir. Mrs. Sutton passed away two years ago from cancer. I am sorry."

"I'm sorry for yelling like that. I should have let you explain. Thank you for your help, Mrs. Sumner."

"Being a parent does not always mean being related by blood, your Grace. You have raised him well, as any good father would. Remember that. And give Jamie my love."

"I will, Mrs. Sumner. Thank you."

*************************************************

The group of men were gathered around a table looking at a map. "The depot is over here with only a few guards. There's enough darkness for us to sneak by."

"How many men?"

"The six of us and a few locals."

"So when do we hit it?"

"Tomorrow night," said the first, rolling up the map. "There's enough of a moon to see but not be seen by."

One of the men opened a cabinet that contained the radio and tuned it to the BBC to listen for any coded messages.

"Cut!"

"What's the matter, Quinn? That take was perfect," said Jim Talbert, one of the cameramen.

"I know. It's just that the scene doesn't seem to flow like it did on paper. We need to add a little something." Quinn looked around for someone and spotted her. "Liz, can you think of anything we can do?"

Elizabeth Michaels, the script editor, looked up from her copy of the script. "There really isn't much we can do without changing a number of scenes."

Quinn thought of what they could do to make things a bit more interesting. He thought of the different things had happened in Europe at the time. He knew, however, they needed the action to come to the Resistance at their base. The only major communication they had was through the locals or by radio. "That's it!"

"What now?" asked Liz.

"As they're changing the station, they come upon one of those propagandists making a broadcast."

"I thought you said you wanted something interesting."

"It won't be a German, but an ex-patriate sympathizer."

"Do you know of any I can use?"

"No. I was in the Pacific. Perhaps his Grace can help you."

"I'll work on adding it in, leaving out a name or any catch-phrase." Liz made a note of that on her pad.

"Okay, we're going to make a few changes in this scene and hopefully come back to it in a few days," Quinn notified the rest of the crew. He checked his list of scenes held by his assistant, Mike Harding. "I think we'll work on the escape scene then break for tea."

That night, after the day's shooting was complete, a group of actors and behind-the-scenes people asked Dennis if he wanted to join them for a drink. Not wanting to seem cold by not hanging with them "off the clock", he accepted. As they walked past Liz's office, Dennis noticed her light was still on. "Did anyone ask Liz?"

"I did," said Mike. "She said she wanted to get those scene changes done tonight so Edinburgh could give them the once-over tomorrow."

"Such dedication," remarked Kirsten. "You wouldn't catch me staying here any longer than I had to."

"I wonder why she doesn't take it home," mused Alicia.

Unaware of the speculation surrounding her working habits, Liz typed on. She knew basically what needed to be said: Go home to your wives and girlfriends, you're fighting a lost cause. She thought that it would be best if coming from a cultured voice, probably public school. That might be a bit more acceptable--especially to the Germans.

She left at about 9:00, walking through the empty hallways, thinking ahead to other possible changes. She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she almost walked into Karen. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you."

"That's all right. No harm done."

They walked companionable to the car park. "I would have thought you'd be out with friends," said Karen.

"The others asked me to join them for drinks, but I needed to get these scene changes done for Quinn. I'm not the most sociable person at the beginning of a project. What about you? You're normally not here this late."

"I had to finish some papers Mr. Sands needed for a meeting tomorrow morning. I was almost home when I remembered, so I came back. I'd rather do it tonight than rush through it tomorrow and make mistakes."

"I like working here at night, there are so few interruptions. No phone calls, no neighbors. . ."

"What's it like working with his Grace?"

Liz laughed. I don't really work with him. I write scenes and leave them for him to make remarks. He passes them back to me and I write the changes. I hardly see him at all."

"That's too bad. See you tomorrow."

"Good night, Karen." She looked at her watch. It was going on 10:00! Hopefully, she wouldn't have too many more nights like this.

**********************************************

"Ow," said Jessie, rubbing her foot. "I don't think I'm ever going to get that right."

"You almost had it that time," said Andrew, her partner. "Let's take a break and practice a song."

"Sounds fab," said Mags as she and Cliff stopped.

"Thanks for letting us use your folks' house," said Cliff. "This place is great."

"I knew we couldn't always use Jessie and Jamie's flat, or even Alison's. Besides, my parents are in the Mediterranean, Brat with them, thank God."

Jessie hobbled across the ballroom to where they had set up the record player. "What song should we do first?"

"Apple Tree is always fun," said Andrew, "or Chattanooga."

"I thought my Bist du Schon needed work," remarked Jessie.

"Just a bit of polish, maybe," agreed Mags. "Let's work on the group songs first."

They positioned themselves as if they were at a microphone and Andrew cued the song. It was the song they had decided Andrew would sing lead. They sang along with the record at just enough volume so they could hear it:

I just got word from a guy who heard
from the guy next door to me
The girl he met just loves to pet
And it fits you to a 'T', so


They joined in on the chorus:

Don't sit under the apple tree
With anyone else but me
Till I come marching home


Mags took the girl's reply:

You're on your own where there is no phone
And I can't keep tabs on you
Be fair to me, I'll guarantee
There is one thing that I'll do
I won't sit under the apple tree
Till you come marching home



When they were done, Cliff looked at the others. "I don't know about you, but I think we sound great."

"It's time to find ourselves a band!" declared Andrew.

*************************************

The next day Steven went to the studio to check up on changes--and to try and put his visit to the orphanage out of his mind. He had discovered that Jamie was not his son, but there was still that nagging doubt that he could be a father. He made his way to the soundstage to see how things were progressing. He walked over to a young woman who was jotting notes onto a script. Since they were filming, he bent over her shoulder and whispered, "You must be Elizabeth Michaels."

Startled, she turned to face him and opened her mouth to speak. Smiling, he placed a finger to his lips to remind her of the need for silence. Nodding, she flipped over the script and wrote on the back. A pleasure to finally meet you, your Grace. I have some re-writes for you to look at. She handed him the papers.

He straightened up and read the scene. He saw that she had left the name of the collaborator blank. The speech was close to what most of them said. She was good. Once the filming was done, he told her so. "I can see you need a name. Were you wanting fact or fiction?"

"Fact, if possible. I was helping you might help in that respect."

"There was an Englishman broadcasting out of Berlin while I was there. He called himself Lord _______."

"I've never heard of that title before," remarked Liz.

"It doesn't exist. It was used to protect him in case the Germans lost. I never met him, but he used my 'situation' as the basis for many of his broadcasts."

"So, what do you think of the scene?"

"Well, Miss. Michaels--"

"Liz, please."

"Liz, it's a terrific scene. I might be able to help you by tracking down a copy of one of his broadcasts."

"That would be marvelous, your grace. Do you really think you can get it?"

"There's a strong possibility. Sometimes the OSS recorded such speeches. If not, there might be one in Berlin--if it wasn't destroyed."

"What are you two nattering on about?" asked Quinn, coming up beside them.

"His Grace was just looking over the scene changes I made."

"Good. Do you think you could run off some copies. . ." Liz stared at him. "Or perhaps get someone to do it? I'd like to get it done so we can work on location."

"I think so."

Liz looked at Steven and he saw she wanted him to mention the recording. He did. "It may not exist as a recording at all, but there may be a transcript. Would there be a problem of recording over the film? You won't have to worry about dubbing at least."

"It will save us time," agreed Quinn.

"What's your location schedule? I might want to drop by."

"I've no idea at the moment as to the order. The weather'll play a major role."

"I guess I'll have to check in. I'll make that phone call and see if we can get a copy of that speech."

***********************************************

The following morning as they were preparing to film the re-written scene, a messenger arrived with the speech from MI6. "Why do these intelligence fellas always wait for the last minute?"

"We should be thankful that his Grace arranged this at all," said Liz.

Quinn handed the tape to Mike. "Run this up to Sound. They'll know when to run it." He then turned to the actors and filled them in on the change. "The actual speech will differ from the one in the script so I want you to react to it along similar lines. Ready?"

"Sure," said Dennis. The other actors nodded.

They were just about to start when Gareth Sands arrived with Karen. Liz nudged Quinn. "Oh, Mr. Sands. I didn't expect to see you. What a pleasure."

"I'm sure," Gareth replied. "I thought I told you last night that I planned to come by."

"Yes, well. . ."

"You didn't think I'd follow through." He smiled and sat in Quinn's chair. "What are we doing now?"

"We're shooting a scene from the other day. We didn't like how the action was going, so Liz made a few minor changes."

"Good. We want this perfect."

"Okay. Places, everyone." Quinn waited until all were ready. "Action!"

The scene moved along as before with little or no changes until the radio was turned on. "Hey, turn back," said Dennis. "I want to hear that."

"Why? It's only some propaganda."

"I know. Don't you ever wonder what makes people turn like that?" he asked as the cultured English voice sounded over the speakers.

Karen thought it was running quite well. She loved being able to see things as they were happening. All her friends and neighbors kept pestering her for inside gossip. She smiled and looked at her boss. He was watching with intense concentration, a grimace on his face, his white-knuckled fingers gripping the armrests. Why should he react that way? Maybe he was just mad they changed the script without telling him.

"And cut!" called out Quinn. "That was great, guys. Let's prepare for Scene 43."

Part 2.

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