Bell unexpectedly ended his class a few minutes early, but he tipped his hand when he said, “I would like to see Mr. Arnold and Miss des Cieux after class.” Denise smiled as she left, leaving Madeleine and Jack to go up to the front desk.
“Do you understand why I threw you out of class last Wednesday?” Bell asked Jack.
He thought a second. “I guess nobody likes a smart ass,” he replied. Madeleine had to restrain her own laughter at that.
“That’s one way to put it,” Bell replied. “And you?” he asked, turning to Madeleine.
“It is obvious that I have done something that is unacceptable to the school and to the government.” Her own embarrassment did now allow her to include her church in the list.
“That is also one way to put it,” Bell responded. “But this is a serious matter. I do not think that it is something to make light of. As far as I am informed, both of you have been accepted into prestigious universities, provided you successfully finish your curriculum here. Both of you—especially you, Mr. Arnold—will represent this school and this Republic where you go. It is impossible to have a place in the world we live in when you are doing and sympathising with things that are straight out of the Middle Ages.”
“And this position is mandatory for the faculty?” Madeleine interrupted.
“You weren’t supposed to see that memo,” Bell responded, a bit panicked. “Did you steal this memorandum?”
“It’s wasn’t necessary,” Madeleine replied.
“No, I guess it wasn’t,” Bell realised.
“Is that all?” Jack asked, tired of standing there.
“Yes, it is,” Bell answered, and with that they left. The bell rang as they entered the hallway so they moved on to their next class.
0930 Monday came at Pierre’s warehouse, and Cynthia Drummond was nowhere to be found. As the morning went on, the staff become more and more puzzled as they went about their business. Finally about 1430, as Pierre returned from lunch with a client in Uranus, he noticed a government truck in the warehouse.
“So they have finally decided to honour us with their presence,” Pierre said to Luke as the warehouse man loaded the truck.
“Government motor pool services,” Luke informed him. “They’re replacing the tyres on the Ministry of the Environment’s vehicles. They were missing a few sizes so they stopped by here to pick them up.”
“No sign of Madame Drummond?”
“Good. Make sure they’re properly invoiced,” Pierre reminded Luke as he returned to his office.