A/N: I didn't plan this one, inspiration just suddenly whacked me in the kneecaps, and said it would break my legs if I didn't write it! I have a sketchy idea of where it's going, but we'll see if inspiration stays poised over me with a baseball bat...


Prologue


"Yes," Jonathan mused as he watched his sister's eyes following the dashing American adventurer up the gang plank. "Nothing to like there at all..."

Evy turned to him with a sternly raised eyebrow that softened into a shy smile, perfectly aware that she had been caught out by her brother.

Suddenly Jonathan's own eye was caught by the sight of a young lady embarking with a group of gentlemen; well, one gentleman, on whose arm she was being escorted, and a general rabble of natives bustling noisily around them.

"Now there's a pretty little prospect..." Jonathan said to himself, lips pursed appreciatively.

Evy followed his line of sight to the object of his admiration.

"Yes, she certainly is elegant," she added her own feminine approval of the woman.

Well, more of a girl really, Evelyn thought, as she couldn't be any older than her late teens . Her figure was tall and boyish, but femininely dressed in a low-waisted, pastel green flapper dress, which fell in floaty layers down to her calves, showing a modest amount of her white-stockinged legs. Her bare arms were draped in a crocheted shawl that shimmered with tiny silver beads, and on her head she wore a cream cloche hat pulled down low over her eyes, hiding her cropped hair and most of her face. Evelyn had never seen anyone quite so fashionable or modern in the four years since she had moved to Cairo.

"She must be European," Evy added, her interest in the woman extending only as to where she might have acquired such a lovely outfit.

"I don't care if she came on a banana boat from Brazil, she's absolutely stunning!" Jonathan gushed.

Evelyn rolled her eyes under her wide-brimmed sunhat, and shook her head. Jonathan was so predictable. Among all the available debutants and beauties of London society, it had always been the one he couldn't have that he had inevitably ended up running after.

"Jonathan, she's obviously with that gentleman." Evy nodded towards the man who was impatiently gesturing to the baggage handlers and shouting orders from beneath his panama hat as he guided the elegant woman up the gang plank. "She's probably his wife, and from the look of the timid little thing, I'd make a good guess that they're embarking on their honeymoon."

Jonathan looked dismayed for a moment, then scoffed derisively.

"Don't be ridiculous!" he blustered. "She's far too young to be married! And certainly not to that stuffy old Etonian! He must be fifty if he's a day! Far more likely to be his daughter, wouldn't you say?"

His words smacked more of wishful thinking than logic, but Evy was impatient to get onto the boat herself. The luggage had already been crane-lifted onto the deck and it looked as though they were about to retract the gang plank.

"If you say so Jonathan. Now hurry up on deck, or she'll leave without us!"

Thinking that by 'she' his sister was referring to the young lady, rather than the 'Queen of the Nile' about to disembark, Jonathan jumped to it immediately.


"Marianne, my dear, would you like to take some air with me up on deck?"

Professor chamberlain watched as the young girl pulled the bell-shaped hat off her head, revealing the cropped blonde hair that fell to the nape of her neck. The soft finger-waves swayed about her ears as she shook her head.

"I think I might lie down for a while," she said, delicately placing the hat down on the wicker chair beside the cabin window, before sitting down on the bed to remove her cream leather shoes.

"Suit yourself," Chamberlain replied. In truth he was not particularly put out. Now he would be able to enjoy his iced-tea in peace while he consulted his notes, without the distraction of her inquiring about them every five minutes. He knew his archaeological studies bored her to tears, and the more she feigned interest, the more it irritated him. "I shall come to call for you at six-thirty, so that you may dress for dinner in the saloon."

Without waiting for her agreement, he dipped his head and ducked back out of the cabin door.

Marianne sighed as she folded her hands in her lap. Then after a moment she put her shoes back on, picked up her hat, and left the cabin in the opposite direction.


A/N: I know I always say I hate renditions, but I set myself the challenge of introducing an OC in a way that hasn't been done before, and making her have an interesting impact on the story without changing the main events of the plot; more of a parallel subplot that sometimes crosses over with the main plot. Therefore, I plan on steering away from the movie scenes as much as possible so that we are only aware of them in the background. Please let me know if it sounds like something you'd be interested in reading!

FYI: 'Cloche' is French for bell, which is where the cloche hat gets its name. It was very typical of the 20s, close fitting to the head to suit the cropped hairstyles, and worn down over the eyes so women had to tilt their heads back to see, giving them a haughty posture.