To his dismay, Kane opened his luggage and found his things which had been neatly folded were now just a pile of laundry. He hung up a dark blue suit and two shirts in the bathroom and turned on the shower to fill the room with steam. After a hot shower he felt some satisfaction that the wrinkles were mostly gone from his clothes from the steam exposure. He felt tired but didn’t want to lay down for fear of adding more lines and creases to his pants and shirt. Kane opted for a nap sitting up in a chair and after 2-hours which seemed like seconds a strong rap on the door was followed with entry of a large Army-uniformed man and a light-suited balding official.
“Mr. Kane, you are to come with us to a briefing room. I am Kambiz Badihm from the Iranian International Press.”
“May I bring my notepads?” Kane stood up and shook the offered hand.
“Of course. You know all documents will be copied here and examined before you will leave. We will also give you back your tape recorder when you leave.”
“Of course.” Kane smiled back. I must be careful and not let any sarcasm out.
“We allowed you to keep a small stone. The one it is written here you say is a good luck charm.” Badihm pulled a set of amber beads from his pocket. “We are alike in our profession. I have ‘worry beads’ I associate with good fortune.” He replaced his beads. “May I see your amulet, please?”
The stone had remained dormant since landing. Kane unwrapped the handkerchief and handed the Druid Stone to the man.
“It is just a rock. Where did you acquire it and how does it relate to favoring good outcomes?” Badihm looked the stone over under lamplight.
“I was touring the UK and met the woman of my dreams in a park. I kept the stone as a memento and I have been doing well at my job and with the woman since then.”
Badihm laughed. “I will never understand Westerners and women. In Iran and other Arab countries we just pick out our mates or they are selected for us. To be drawn to a woman is to direct thoughts away from the Koran’s teachings which place Allah first above all human things.”
Kane wanted to say, “Yeah, right, you’ll never ever understand about people.” He retained his thoughts and would not editorialize his thinking in front of these individuals.
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