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appearance, dress like priests and get on this bus. Our plan is to get to the airport in
Carcassonne as soon as possible and get home to safety. ‖
The big man‘s protective instincts kicked in. ―Who is chasing you? What do they
look like?‖
―I don‘t know,‖ said Morse. ―I saw one man in a gray suit and another in a t-shirt
and jeans. They were kind of non-descript and I was looking through a window quite
some distance away.‖
―You‘re coming with us,‖ said Ray. ―We will keep you safe.‖
Doug looked miffed at his partner. ―Excuse me a sec,‖ he said to Morse and then had
a private conversation with Ray in a very quiet voice. ―Umm, ix-nay on the otection-
pray, Batman. I don‘t mind being friendly, but you just signed us up to protect them for
the rest of our trip. I have buildings to photograph, you know, and we only have one
more day.‖
Ray looked at his partner in disappointment. ―I do not care what our vacation plans
are. These people are in trouble. We are going to give them our help.‖
―You are always doing this, making plans without me. We‘ve paid a lot of money
for this trip. Your Hockey Gene is coming out again. You see a potential to bang
someone‘s head, and your Testosterone Meter shoots to the moon.‖
―Doug, it is not about banging heads. They have little kids there.‖
Doug looked disgusted. ―I hate it when you go into super-hero mode. OK, fine, but
let‘s save mankind quickly, OK, Ray, because I still haven‘t eaten an escargot yet.‖
Ray moved across his partner, crushing his shoulder as he leaned. ―Professor Morse,
we are going to do everything we can to help you.‖
―That is so nice of you,‖ said Morse. ―I will definitely take you up on that. Do you
know the best way to get to the Carcassonne Airport?‖
―As I understand it,‖ said Doug. ―It is on the west side of the city. When we get off
the bus, we will walk you to a cab so you can get to the airport.‖
―We will go with you in the cab to make sure you‘re safe,‖ corrected Ray.
―Right. That‘s what I meant,‖ said Doug, frowning.
―What brings the two of you to Carcassonne?‖ asked Morse.
―Sight-seeing,‖ said Doug. ―I teach architecture at Harvard. I convinced Ray to go
with me to photograph a lot of the ancient castles in France. The architecture is really
quite amazing. Ray is a high school hockey and football coach, so castles are not really
up his alley, but he is so crazy about me he will follow me anywhere.‖
Ray thought Doug was trying to slight his intelligence with the crack about the
castles. ―I am also the coach of the Science Olympiad Team, Mr. Architectural Genius.
I may not have spent two thousand hours in the library researching castle moat irrigation
or drawbridge gears, like some people we know, but I do like the stories about the battles
in these old castles. Those are cool. Like the siege of the Foix Castle or the story about
the pig flying over the Walls of Carcassonne. And by the way, it is he who follows me
―Yeah,‖ said Doug. ―He was like a school girl in the third Lord of the Rings movie
when the giant elephant thingies attacked the castle. I fell asleep in that movie.‖
―Yeah, he‘s got great movie taste. His favorite movie is Julie & Julia, for crying out
―Meryl Streep is a goddess. She can do no wrong.‖