The Watercress File: Being the Further Adventures of That Man from C. A. M. P.

Free The Watercress File: Being the Further Adventures of That Man from C. A. M. P. by V. J. Banis

Book: The Watercress File: Being the Further Adventures of That Man from C. A. M. P. by V. J. Banis Read Free Book Online
Authors: V. J. Banis
Tags: Humor, Gay, camp, parody, man from U.N.C.L.E.
we better not talk out here.”
    Honey gave Gladiola a triumphant wink. That remark certainly suggested underground activities, clandestine doings. Happily, he followed the blonde inside, Gladiola tagging along behind.
    â€œWho’d you say sent you?” the blonde asked when they were in the dim, musty hallway.
    Honey moved still closer to her and whispered “Butterfly.”
    â€œAh, go on.” The blonde did not appear at all certain whether or not she should take him seriously. “Don’t kid an old bag.”
    â€œI wouldn’t kid you—any more than Miss Temple would.”
    â€œShirley Temple?” His hostess was aghast. “Look, we specialize in variety here, but I ain’t got nobody of that type. Give me another try, okay? What would you like?”
    The conversation seemed, to Honey, to be growing rapidly more confusing. “Butterfly,” he repeated in a more emphatic tone.
    The blonde shook her head and gave him a disappointed look. “Boy, I’ve had ‘em in here, they wanted a cow, or a sheep—once even a boa constrictor. But you’re the first one ever went the butterfly route. Come on now, you’re puttin’ me on, nobody’s that small. You’re teasing me.”
    Honey stubbornly shook his head no. He was convinced he was on the track now, and he would not be dissuaded.
    The blonde shrugged. “Okay, Charlie. Male or female butterfly?”
    Honey was unprepared for that question. His instinct was to answer the former, but this was not a matter of personal pleasure, this was business. “Whoever knows the most,” he answered.
    â€œHell, how should I know how smart it is. Look, have you ever tried ‘around the world?’ It’s pretty great if you never tried it.”
    Honey had to admit that he had not, but his instinct told him that this was a clue of some sort, perhaps a password. “I’m game for anything,” he said with a wicked leer.
    â€œWell, that’s better. Why don’t I show your Mammy here into the parlor, and you can go up to see Marie. She’s our best girl.”
    â€œWhere he goes, I go,” Gladiola declared emphatically, with a tone and an expression that brooked no argument.
    The blonde only shook her head in confusion. “That what you want, sonny?”
    When Honey nodded, she shrugged philosophically. “If it’s okay with Marie, it’s okay with me, but it’ll cost more. Five bucks for Junior here, and two dollars each for any extra passengers.”
    Honey and Gladiola exchanged glances. “Will you excuse us?” Honey said, and piloted Gladiola just out of hearing range. “I’ve only got five dollars and fifty cents. Can you come up with another dollar and a half?”
    â€œI still don’t see what we’re paying good money for,” Gladiola protested, but she fished a battered change purse from the bodice of her dress and began to count the change it contained.
    â€œInformation,” Honey explained, counting with her to correct her inevitable mistakes. “Spies always have to buy information.”
    â€œSeven dollars ought to buy us one hell of an almanac,” Gladiola declared as she handed over the money.
    â€œRoom six,” the hostess told them when they had paid their fee. “I’ll ring the buzzer to let Marie know you’re coming up.”
    Room six proved to be at the top of the stairs. Honey could not disguise his nervousness as they made their way to the door. With each step, they were traveling deeper into what might be the very nerve center of their enemy’s operation.
    Marie was no more stunning than the blonde downstairs, and even more scantily dressed. She wore only a dingy half slip and a worn, all-but-useless bra that allowed her heavy breasts to dangle nearly to her waist.
    She was seated on the edge of the bed as they entered the room, obviously waiting. When they came in, she

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