§ § § -- May 8, 1983
Tattoo was discharged from the hospital on Sunday evening, and by Monday suppertime was out and about, using a cane, his head still bandaged. After the meal Roarke and Leslie accompanied him for a walk along the Main House Lane. "Oh, what a beautiful day for your first constitutional, Tattoo," Roarke observed.
"Boss," Tattoo said regretfully, "I'm sorry I smashed my car."
"Oh, no matter," said Roarke cheerfully. "No matter. Walking is much healthier for you anyway."
"But much slower," noted Tattoo.
"That's right…it gives a person a chance to enjoy each flower, inhale the fragrance of each blossom, contemplate the beauty of the island…"
"And there's no problem with lead feet on the gas pedal," contributed Leslie, getting a dirty look from Tattoo that made her snicker.
"Okay, okay, you two, I get the message," he grumbled, and Roarke and Leslie traded grins. Their stroll eventually brought them out to a clearing not far from the intersection with the Ring Road, and Roarke pointed out something to Leslie and put a finger to his lips when her eyes grew wide with disbelief. She stared at him and he smiled, shaking his head once; she returned the smile and glanced at Tattoo. Her timing was perfect: he turned to look casually to his right and stopped in his tracks, his face going slack with amazement.
"Oh, boss!" he gasped. There sat Tattoo's car, repaired to as good as new and treated with a new coat of wax. "It's…it's…oh, wow!" Roarke and Leslie both broke into laughter at his overwhelmed reaction, and all of a sudden each one at the same moment was stricken with a recollection involving Tattoo and the car. Simultaneously they began, "Remember when—" In surprise they stopped, looked at one another and laughed again, thankful beyond words that they were all here to do just that together.
§ § § -- July 4, 2006
"He recovered completely, then?" Rogan asked.
"Pretty much, as I recall," Julie said, nodding. "The whole island found a reason to stop by his cottage and see how he was getting along, since everything had been totally shut down for that weekend on account of the accident. I dropped in on him a few times and gave him some French onion soup. I think he appreciated it. I just didn't realize he'd come so close to dying that weekend. Probably a good thing. I'd have been a wreck if I knew."
"Perhaps even more so if you had known that he seemed to have deliberately stopped his heart, as Leslie was convinced he did," commented Christian. "I think I've heard of such things before. In any case, I'm glad he recovered completely."
"Only to leave us within weeks," Roarke said through a gentle sigh. "It seems that, two days after Tattoo's discharge from the hospital, he received a particular letter from Solange Latignon, and before the month was out we had hosted an enormous wedding and watched him leave the island to start a new life."
Rory peered at him over the top of his milkshake glass. "Well, I know what we can do now. If we don't have any more stories about Tattoo, then how about Mom? She said she was your assistant for a year. I want to find out what happened to her."
"You mean, you'd like to embarrass your sainted mother, eh, lad?" Rogan asked, while Julie rolled her eyes.
"That'd be so typical. My own son having fun at my expense. Well, then, I'm sure you're just dying to tell some tales on me, so you might as well get to it." She blew out her breath and shifted in her seat. "What're you waiting for?"
"What were you doin' working for uncle to begin with, if you didn't stay with him very long?" Rogan wanted to know. "I expect even Lawrence outlasted you."
"Not by much," Julie said indignantly. "And I had a good reason for doing it only a year or so. I wanted to open up my parents' house as a B&B, but I had nothing to do it with, so I went to work for uncle that year in order to save up the money I needed for renovations to the house and all the supplies a B&B has to have." Her face suddenly seemed transformed by a memory, and a smile spread across her face. "I did have fun that year. Not that I'd want to do it permanently, like Leslie does, but it was really a learning experience, and I even had a good time."
But before anyone could suggest any specific fantasies to recall, they discovered that the triplets had all fallen asleep where they sat. Karina and Susanna had actually slumped against each other. "Maybe this is the time to quit," Christian mused, smiling. "I think we've heard so many stories, we're all ready for some sleep."
"Not me," Rory announced firmly.
"Yes, you," Julie said, equally firmly. "Come on, we've taken up enough of uncle's time. Thanks again for telling us all those wonderful stories, uncle and Leslie."
"Can we do it again?" Rory pleaded. "We'll tell 'em on Mom next time, right?"
"Don't be in too big a hurry," said Julie dryly. But as he watched the Callaghans depart and Christian and Leslie gather up children to take upstairs, Roarke realized that he'd been enjoying the storytelling so much that he planned to do it again as soon as he could!
These are the fantasies that were adapted for this story:
"Tattoo: the Love God / Magnolia Blossoms", first aired September 21, 1979; with Marianne Marks as Luana, Kalani Kinimaka as the chief, Esmond Chung as Kona, Jake Hoopai and Elijah Papke as the two native men, Ingrid Wang as Aurelia, Lisa Hartman as Myra Kolinsky, and Pamela Franklin as Gladys Boyling
"With Affection, Jack the Ripper / Gigolo", first aired November 29, 1980; with Victor Buono as Dr. Fell, Lynda Day George as Lorraine Peters, Alex Cord as Robert West, Ken Berry as Stanley Hocker, Meredith MacRae as Dina DeWinter, Carolyn Jones as Jessie DeWinter, and Lyle Waggoner as Monty
"Portrait of Solange / Also-Rans", first aired February 28, 1981; with Elissa Leeds as Solange Latignon, David Groh as Mark Ellison, MacDonald Carey as Alfred Gérard, Larry Linville as Jerome Pepper, Joan Prather as Thalia Latham, Don Porter as Emmett Latham, Arlene Dahl as Amelia Selby, and Dennis Kort as the ice-cream man
"Sitting Duck / Sweet Suzi Swann", first aired March 6, 1982; with Chuck Connors as Frank Barton, Helen Reddy as Suzi Swann, and George Maharis as Jack Hecker
"The Perfect Gentleman / Legend", first aired October 30, 1982; with Paul Williams as Jimmy Jordan, Leslie Easterbrook as Michelle Buchanan, Claudia Lonow as Taylor Buchanan, Kari Michaelsen as Cassie Buchanan, Paul Gale as the piano-playing stud, Michelle Phillips as Andrea Barclay, and Andy Griffith as Judge Roy Bean
"The Winning Ticket / Naughty Marietta", first aired January 8, 1983; with Hope Lange as Margaret Stanton, Eddie Mekka as Eddie, Gwen Welles as Mitzi, David Doyle as Herbert Soames, Jayne Meadows Allen as Beatrice Soames, and Dorothy Hamill as Allison Soames
"King of Burlesque / Death Games", first aired March 12, 1983; with Joanna Pettet as Vanessa Walgren, Michael Billington as Henri Ducette, Rich Little as Tom Vale, and Barbara Stock as Abby Monroe
"Remember When…", first aired May 7, 1983; with Richard Lineback as Dr. Phillips and Maria Roosakos as Nuala (containing, among others you'll recognize, references to "Crescendo / Three Feathers", first aired December 20, 1980; and "The Appointment / Mr. Tattoo", first aired November 18, 1978, in which Ricardo Montalbán and Hervé Villechaize actually did perform a song called "Nothing Hurts Like Love"!)
A note: my floppy-disk drive died (well, got Alzheimer's) on May 5, so I am experimenting with burning documents onto CD for posting. It may be a while before I can get the next story under way, so bear with me, please…and thank you all for all the wonderful reviews!