It was one of Arthur White’s characteristics to hold his Round Table in ruins, castles and sometimes even in improvised Bedouin tents. He was able to afford a whole castle for a weekend. Maybe it belongs to him. After several meetings nobody asked if only five rooms or even the whole castle was rented. Nobody really wanted to know.
We met every three months in a small group of four or five. The host himself, Sir Arthur White, a lawyer back then, then the Spanish investment broker Miguel Xavier, the theologist Reverend Mill, and then of all people me, Günther Focke. It was most likely thanks to the Reverend Mill that I was sometimes invited to these meetings. He is still a good old friend of mine.
It was he who consoled me in times of deepest desperation by saying that everything will work out fine, even if the quest for my identity and origin would make my memories turn my world upside down up to the point where God Almighty would one day relieve me from my pain. Miguel was of the same opinion, » Focke! You old fool! You are like an angel from medieval times, forgotten by God to be brought back home. What are you still doing here? « He often used to say.
Then he would always hand me a Cuban cigar with a smile to make up for his outspoken comment. He was a rogue of the highest degree, but at times he was very serious. Arthur and he formed a coalition against me the night before. I decided to completely reveal myself to them and to report that some time after my meeting in London I received a package that had a substance in it … which leaked when I opened the package … which almost killed me.
Had I turned into such an enemy of the British Empire, or to put it better, an enemy of a selected circle of people? Me, the little Günther Focke, who grew up in a small town on the North Sea coast of Germany one year after the Allies had defeated the Third Reich and being called ‘Tommie’ by the local kids and adults alike.
This curse was to be the trap door of my life ...
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