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A Delicate Matter

copyright 2002, by Dr. Peter

Disclaimer:    These characters of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, Cordell Doemling, Paul Krendler, and Mason Verger were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Dr. Cordell Doemling, former man-servant and personal physician of the late Mason Verger sat in the small cafe overlooking the Thames-both sipping Earl Grey while they discussed exactly what it was that Dr. Lecter needed Dr. Doemling to do.

It had been almost a year since the events at the Verger Estate. Events that had caused quite a scandal for Ex-Special Agent Clarice Starling. The tabloids had a field day with her following her everywhere from the shopping mall to the liquor store.

"You can always say it was me" were the last words Dr. Lecter said to Dr. Doemling before carrying Ms. Starling off to the Krendler lakehouse that fateful evening. Dr. Doemling hesitated not as he set the wheelchair in motion to let Mr. Verger's fate sink their teeth into his already mangled face; the huge boars complimenting Dr. Lecter's previous work nicely.

It had been ten months since Dr. Lecter's escape when he had decided to contact Dr. Doemling. It took several hours of research, but it wasn't long before he made contact with the former employee and asked to meet him "somewhere in 'Queen's-land'" adding "and I don't mean 'down under'". It took several days before Dr. Doemling figured out that Dr. Lecter meant England and not Australia.

A week after figuring out Dr. Lecter's riddle, Dr. Doemling received the first class plane ticket via Federal Express and a short note telling him exactly when and where the meeting would take place.

Dr. Doemling arrived at the cafe the day after his flight a bit shaken but relieved that Dr. Lecter had contacted him for a favor and nothing more....or less.

They resumed their conversation after a few more sips of Earl Grey just as the the teacakes were arriving.

"And so, Dr. Doemling, hence my need of your services", Dr. Lecter said as Dr. Doemling set his cup down.

"After all", Dr. Lecter added,

"One good turn deserves another."

Dr. Doemling looked out over the Thames before replying,

"It certainly does, Dr. Lecter. Exactly what is it that you need me to do?"

It was then that Dr. Lecter handed Dr. Doemling the folded napkin he had just written on.

"It's all right, Cordell. You may open it", Dr. Lecter said softly.

Dr. Doemling opened the napkin and reading what was on it, looked up at Dr. Lecter and asked,

"Am I supposed to figure this out or is she?"

"I think it would be rather fun if you played this game along with her, Cordell."

Dr. Doemling looked down at the napkin again and recited what he had just read softly to himself,

"Ta likler a naceduns."

"Is this Latin?" Dr. Doemling asked.

"I'll let you figure that out yourself, Cordell."

"Will she be able to figure it out?"

"Of course she will, Cordell. And so will you if you concentrate hard enough."

Dr. Lecter sipped his tea as he requested,

"Please see that she gets that, will you? The manner in which I suggested in my note to you will suffice."

"Of course, Dr. Lecter."

The two physicians, now forming an unusual, but not all-together unexpected alliance continued to have their tea and cakes as Dr. Lecter smiled at the thought of Clarice Starling receiving a British napkin that would give her the first of many clues to come.

"May I have that back for a moment?" Dr. Lecter asked Dr. Doemling in a rare case of afterthought.

Dr. Doemling handed the napkin back to him as Dr. Lecter decided to gently wipe his mouth with it. Taking out his fine tipped pen once more, he added a short sentence in the way of a "P.S."

He handed it back to Dr. Doemling who politely asked if he could see it.

"Why certainly, Cordell."

Dr. Doemling gently opened the napkin and read:

"P.S. If you press this napkin firmly to your lips, Clarice, you will still be able to taste me."


Part 1 of 6

copyright 2002, by Author

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