Copyright - A P - 2009-2010
The night of the Dance arrived and everyone was filling the Grande Ballroom.  Captain Guiness, along with Lt Abby and Jimmy were welcoming the passengers as they arrived. It appeared that all the romantic couples from the Mediterranean Cruise were still keeping in touch.

Katie T, the attractive girl that Rudy had been flirting with, appeared in the company of a very dashing Clancy - AND - our roving lad, Rudy, was looking very meek in the company of a triumphant Scooch!  She was certainly keeping her eye on HIM!

Not too far away (but far enough for a private chat), Bailey Beachboy was making a late date with his lady friend, Lt Abby. (What could he possibly have in mind for 3am. in the morning!)
Sweetie was with Reese again, the leading tenor in the PASSIONATE POOCHES.  And just behind them, coming down the staircase, was the rich playboy of the Cruise, and he had some very attractive 'partners'.

Yes! Our 'Mr Personality' strolled up, looking very confident indeed with FOUR lovely ladies surrounding him like fans around a Hollywood Star! (How does he DO it?!)

Hurley had decided to take them ALL to the Cocktail Dance - all at once - all together and, all in all, it seemed to be working out.  (At least they weren't scratching each other's eyes out in HIS distinguished presence!)
Shadow was entertaining them with a selection of Gershwin, and he was brilliant.  People stopped dancing to listen to him.
Enjoying the reunion with old friends and catching up on the latest news were SA Guinny with Miss Keeva (Miss Canada, and runner up to Miss Wheaten World 2008),  Murphy M with Keeleigh, and Seamus with the glamorous Queenie.
What fun they were all having!  Guinness N, the new Bar Attendant that Cody was training up, was allowed to attend the party, and much to everyone's surprise, he had one of the Beauty Queens on his arm! 

The lovely Maggie, who was Miss South America in 2008, looked like she was delighted to be in the company of this handsome young man.

With them were Shana and Riley A (who were an item on the previous cruise) and the two new mysterious passengers that everyone was wondering about - Emma, and Murphy V.  Now, was there some connection there, or was it just a coincidence?

As so often happens at parties and dances, the boys got together to talk 'boy stuff' and the girls did the same, except for 'Murphy the Mysterious' and 'Emma the Elusive' who seemed to prefer their privacy - that is - until they were joined by Maggie, who couldn't resist a mystery!
Griffin and Sydney arrived in the company of Lexi and Tess; Boomer and Kelsie, and Maeve and Boogie.  Griffin and Sydney had helped the Egyptologist and his lovely assistant on the last Cruise, and Lexi and Tess had also been innocently involved in that drama which the great Sleuth and his Military companion had cleverly solved.

Tess was discussing Boogie's activities as a Judge while Maeve was interested in Boomer's Treasure Hunts in Ancient places! Griffin was charming Lexi and, yes, Major Sydney was chatting up Kelsie!
Abby had done well in arranging a FRENCH  flavour to the evening. Blue, White and Red decorations draped the ballroom and French Champagne flowed freely.

Waiters circulated among the guests with trays of the most exotic treats, including Frog's Legs, Escargot and the best French cheeses. Some of the girls were very reluctant to go for the Frog's Legs! (I can't help wondering if they are aware of what Escargot is!)

For those with a sweet tooth there was a tasty variety of French pastries.

Later, the members of the Band and the Passionate Pooches joined Shadow in presenting French music to dance to. The girls had not changed into their usual attire but performed in their ball gowns, which was a pleasant change for them!
Some of the band and singing group were to be seen after their performance sampling the 'French Treats'!  Buddy, the trainee chef, was with them, commenting in a professional way about the pastries.
It seemed that most people were eating and drinking rather than dancing, but one group was observing what everyone else was doing.  Young Teddy, our shy boy, finally plucked up courage to ask Brandi B, our shy girl, to dance with him.  To his delight, she accepted.

Nelly, who was Miss Mexico 2008, was with Kansas, and they were amused by the fact that they had chosen almost identical gowns! Only the colours were different. Great minds think alike!
Everyone turned to the door as the 'soon to be married' couples entered the room. Miss Morgan (Miss Wheaten World 2008) was looking very happy as she chatted quietly with Cody. Miss Reilly was glowing with pride as she gazed adoringly at Tobey. They were accompanied by Tobey's sister, Mackenzie Jane, and Morgan's friend, Katie T, who had to change into another gown after some clumsy human spilt red wine all over her dress! Just as well she had brought more than one ball gown with her!

Also with them were Sister Ella and Katie S, who was Killian's sister.  Lt Abby, who had permission to change into a ball gown so she could join in the dancing, walked over to welcome them all and introduce them to the 'French Cuisine'!
Cooper, the reporter, had not been idle. He had made a casual approach to the two men Inspector Griffin had said 'had a bad scent about them' because his nose for a story picked up on the same vibes. He had worked as an investigative reporter now for 5 years and he knew the business. He had noticed these two when he thought they seemed to be taking a more than normal interest in the ship's engine room. He had been with a group of passengers on one of the escorted tours through the ship when he spotted them slipping away from the main group, and he followed them at a safe distance.

Later, he sat nearby when they were in the bar, and listened to their conversation with his secret 'listening device'! (What things reporters get up to these days!)

What he heard sent him on an urgent search for the FBI guys he'd met earlier on the Cruise. This was time to call in the professionals!

When he related his story to Agents Guinny, Dasher and Bailey, they knew they had not overestimated his ability to sniff out a story. In this case, he had provided them with vital information, and it tied in perfectly with what they'd been told about the possibility of there being terrorists on the ship. Now they were sure.

The Captain would have to be told - at once!

This was a highly dangerous situation and it needed to be handled carefully.  It was decided to share the information with the French-Canadian sleuth, Inspector Griffin, and his ex- British Grenadier Guard  side-kick, Major Sydney.

After a brief discussion they took Captain Guiness aside and broke the terrible news to him.

What a SHOCK!

The Captain sat down with the six men who had just given him the worst news a ship's Captain could ever receive in peace time.  What was to be done?  Could they overpower these criminals and take them into custody without bloodshed? It would be some time yet before they made port, unless they made an emergency request to dock in Britain where the Police, or the Military could be waiting to take control of the situation.

But Guinny and Dasher, being experienced in such emergencies, believed that instant action was needed. Cooper had 'overheard' the men speaking of an 'explosive device' in a suitcase, and they planned to detonate it ON THE WHEATEN PRINCESS while crossing the Atlantic!

Captain Guiness looked at them for a moment, then snapped his fingers as some small fact came to mind.

"We MUST get Murphy V in on this! " he announced with great enthusiasm.  "I'd forgotten, but he is a bomb disposal expert with the US Army. He is the very man we need!"

Dasher looked extremely relieved. He did not know how to disarm a bomb, and neither did Guinny or Bailey, and he was sure it would also be out of the range of expertise of the great French-Canadian sleuth and his companion. Bomb disposal was a very specialized field, and how lucky they were to have such an expert on board! Yes. He must be contacted at once and briefed on the situation.

They nodded decidedly to Captain Guiness, and went in search of MURPHY V!
To read all about it, click here to go to KILLIAN STORY 2
Meanwhile, interesting developments are emerging in Italy, where Killian, Tuckerotti and Brady are rehearsing for Killian's debut in TOSCA.