November 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Inside, Rachel started picking through the beautifully knit sweaters, looking for a flattering crew neck in in her man’s size. I slowly wheeled around the room, taking in the nervous salespeople and overpriced bars of chocolate and marzipan. I run my own import/export business, so matters of commerce always catch my eye, no matter how banal.
Rachel finally buys a sweater and joins me at a table for some coffee and cake. A very old man sits next to me, and we start talking. It turns out he also lives at the Pooks Hill Keep, although I’d never seen him before. He said his name, Otto Halldor Ostberg, in a curiously emphatic manner. Then he said something interesting.
“I have lived in the Keep for approximately fourteen years. But my time in that neighborhood goes back far longer than that.” He flexed his jaw, remembering.
He said he had come here during the Second World War, the child of a servant of the Norwegian Royal Family. There was a princess named Martha and royal children, and they had fled the Nazis. They moved into a mansion on the very grounds where the Keep stands today.
“Wow. This is all new to me,” I told him.
He smiled. “The most compelling secrets are too readily paved over here. But they simmer underneath.”
I’m dying to ask Otto more, and would have back at the church, but Rachel and I had to leave (she had received a text from her lover that his wife had taken their children out to the movies, and he was unexpectedly free). I can always talk to Otto later as I had insisted he give me his cell phone number.