§ § § - January 9, 1982
Julie came from a different direction this time, they noticed, when she approached them on their way to meet the rover. Her morning greeting was too bright to be believed; and she was holding something behind her back.
"Julie," Roarke admonished sternly, "didn't I ask you to air-express that box to the San Diego Zoo?"
"That's the problem," Julie complained. "You should've told me what was in the box."
"Don't tell me you opened it!" Roarke exclaimed.
"Uh-oh," Tattoo muttered.
"What was in it?" Leslie asked.
Flustered and upset, Julie shot her a look. "Well, how was I supposed to know it was full of live Fantasy Island butterflies?" Before anyone could speak, Julie saw something over Roarke's shoulder and gasped. "Oh—there goes one now!" She dashed across the walk in pursuit of a bright-winged insect, wielding a butterfly net.
"Julie," Roarke began, "we—" He broke off, since all Julie's attention was on the escaping butterfly. Tattoo, watching her go, began chuckling heartily, which in turn caused Leslie to break into laughter. Roarke threw him a quelling look that quieted him, and Leslie clapped a hand over her own mouth, but couldn't quite stop giggling.
§ § § - September 2, 2006
"That really wasn't very nice, my Rose," Christian said, though he was grinning.
Leslie caught Julie's disgruntled expression and protested laughingly, "Hey, I wasn't laughing at you, Julie—I was laughing at Tattoo's reaction." She was booed down, but in a playful manner, and threw her hands in the air in amused resignation. "Sheesh, you guys, you're awful. Well, that wasn't the last of Julie's animal problems."
§ § § - January 23, 1982
Tattoo and Leslie stopped in surprise when a native girl accosted Roarke on the front walk, whispered in his ear, and handed him a basket. Roarke nodded and gave Tattoo the basket, then turned as Julie caught up with them and offered a bright "Good morning!"
"Good morning, Julie," Roarke replied, eyeing her.
She didn't seem to recognize the undertone in his voice. "Leslie, Tattoo?"
"Hi," Leslie replied, most of her attention on the basket.
"Good morning, Julie," Tattoo said, with the same meaningful tone as his boss.
Puzzled, Julie squinted at him. "Are we going on a picnic?"
"Not exactly," Tattoo said wryly.
Roarke spoke up, "Julie, do you recall a few weeks ago, when I asked you to take care of a certain intruder the chef found in the kitchen? Remember?"
From her expression, she did. Tattoo hoisted the basket, while Leslie looked on, clueless as to what they were talking about, and added, "And he asked you to find a nice family?"
"Because you neglected to fulfill that duty," Roarke said, taking the basket back and lifting its handles aside to open the lid, "it would appear that you now have not only the mother, but four more 'intruders' to find homes for." He pulled back the lid, and the meowing heads of three kittens immediately emerged. Leslie gasped in delight. "Will you see to it, my dear Julie?" So saying, Roarke handed Julie the basket, but she was so entranced at sight of the kittens that she made no reply at all, merely bore them off, cooing over them.
Leslie stared after them, her own face as enchanted as Julie's. "Oh, Mr. Roarke, they're all so adorable!" she breathed. "Oh, I wish I could take one of them!"
"You know perfectly well why you can't," Roarke said, then caught sight of her face, filled with longing. "I'm sorry, Leslie, but you know why we can't have a cat in the house."
"Yeah, I know…we're gone too much, it'd rip up the furniture and the rugs, it'd have to be litter-box-trained…I know," she sighed. "But still…" Roarke and Tattoo, both with sympathetic looks, guided her along to the car, indulging her wistful gaze after Julie.
§ § § - September 2, 2006
"Did you ever get a cat, Leslie?" Miranda asked, her own face alight.
"No, I never did. Maybe when the triplets are older…" she began, letting her eyeballs slide in Christian's direction.
He laughed, a little resignedly. "There have been cats all over the royal castle for years, thanks to Anna-Kristina. I suppose we can consider it." He pretended to groan in pain when she hugged him, but he was grinning.
Julie smiled. "Don't worry, those kittens all got good homes. Mostly they went to folks in the fishing village…rat-catchers, you know. And they'd clean up all the fish debris too." She sat back, ruffling Rory's hair. "Want a cat sometime, son?"
"No way," Rory said. "I want a dog. A really big one…like a Saint Bernard. That's way better than some silly old cat."
"Thank the fates I don't live in your house," Christian said to a groaning Rogan, not without sympathy. He chuckled. "So what else happened, then?"
§ § § - January 30, 1982
"Mr. Roarke?" Julie's voice stopped Roarke and Leslie as they headed up the front walk. They traded the usual greetings, and then she asked, "Where's Tattoo?"
"Well, it seems that one of our guests, a CPR instructor, has asked Tattoo's assistance in setting up a class," Roarke explained.
Julie nodded approval, and Leslie remarked, "That explains why he left the breakfast table in such a hurry."
"Yes," Roarke agreed. "Oh, there is the instructor now." He pointed, and across the lane, walking briskly on its shoulder, they could see a very attractive brunette nurse.
"I bet she's big on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," Julie cracked, folding her arms over her chest. Leslie giggled loudly.
"Julie!" Roarke admonished, and headed for the car. Leslie poked the older girl in the side and favored her with the A-OK sign.
"Don't pay any attention to Mr. Roarke," she whispered. "Solange or no Solange, that doesn't stop Tattoo from looking." Julie grinned, and they trailed Roarke to the car.
§ § § - September 2, 2006
"Even after he was seeing Solange?" Rogan asked, amazed.
"Even married men look, Rogan," Roarke said, and Rogan cleared his throat, while Josh and Christian exchanged looks. Leslie, Julie and Miranda looked at each other and then at their respective husbands; Christian spoke first.
"You know perfectly well that if and when I look, it's because the woman in question is a customer at the office," he said, hiking a brow.
Leslie grinned. "Well, that's true," she conceded. "Anyway…this is the last one we had before Julie counted up her stash and decided she had enough to get her business going. It was probably a good thing, considering what happened."
§ § § - May 8, 1982
"Good morning, Tattoo," Roarke and Leslie returned the Frenchman's greeting, and Roarke added, "Have you seen Julie?"
"Well, she's having a problem with Mr. Austin's fantasy," Tattoo said.
Roarke looked puzzled, and Leslie provided, "That's the guy who wanted to spend the weekend being invisible."
"Ah, yes," Roarke said, and glanced into the sky as usual. Tattoo murmured confirmation, then spotted something and gaped. Roarke and Leslie saw it almost simultaneously: a pair of belted blue pants and shiny brown shoes, crossing the lane some distance away. "I suppose that is Mr. Austin… Yes, it would appear that Julie is having a little problem."
"Half a problem," Tattoo opined.
Roarke awarded him a disgusted look. "Half a—" he began, then dismissed it and strode to the rover. Tattoo looked at Leslie, who shrugged and grinned.
§ § § - September 2, 2006
"Well, it was half a problem," Julie said in self-defense, over the others' laughter. "Tattoo was right, uncle! Took me half the day to figure out how to fix it."
"At least you did fix it, that's the main thing," Josh pointed out, and Roarke finally conceded the point, joining in the merriment.
Then Miranda yawned, and Josh sat up. "Feeling okay, honey?" he asked.
She smiled. "Of course…but I have to admit I'm tired. After all, I just had surgery. If it's all right, uncle, Josh and I will go on back to his hotel room."
"Of course, of course," Roarke agreed, rising along with the other men, Julie and Leslie. It took some time for everyone to exchange their goodnights, particularly in the face of Rory's protests, but Roarke reminded the boy that he and Leslie had fantasies to work on the next morning, and needed their sleep. When the house was quiet, Christian stifled a yawn of his own and laid a hand on his wife's back.
"I have to admit to a nagging question, Mr. Roarke," he said, pausing near the stairs to the second floor. "I don't expect it's much of my business, but I can't help being curious. In view of all the little mistakes Julie made with assorted fantasies through that year, how many refunds did you have to pay out?"
"Christian, my love, that's a little bit crass, don't you think?" Leslie scolded, amused.
"You're only fortunate that you had the good sense to wait until Julie had left here before you decided to ask me that," Roarke added, and Christian exploded into laughter, bidding his father-in-law good night and escorting Leslie up the steps. Roarke watched them go, reflecting that it was probably also fortunate for Christian's continued good health that he had let the question remain rhetorical…
These are the fantasies I adapted for this story:
"Cyrano / The Magician", original airdate October 24, 1981; with Bart Braverman as Timothy Potter; Carol Lynley as Marjorie Denton; Lloyd Bochner as the Marquis de Sade; John Saxon as Cyrano de Bergerac/Bertrand Sabbatier; and Judy Landers as Suba
"Mr. Nobody / La Liberatora", original airdate November 7, 1981; with Charo as Dolores de Murcia (you guessed right, Lady Marianne!), Sherman Hemsley as Charlie Atkins; Vernée Watson as Carrie Wilson; H.B. Haggerty as Sampson Smith; Keenan Wynn as Willie; and Herb Edelman as Sampson's manager
"A Very Strange Affair / The Sailor", original airdate January 2, 1982; with Hans Conried as J.D. Stoneman; Arlene Golonka as Elaine Price; Dick Smothers as Ron Price; Shelley Smith as Miss Harbinger; Florence Henderson as Laura Miles; Peter Graves as Captain van Hoortman; and Brett Halsey as Bill Baines
"A Face of Love / Image of Celeste", original airdate March 20, 1982; with Erin Gray as Laura Jensen; Monte Markham as Ron Martin; Larry Manetti as Marty Downs; Joanna Pettet as Celeste Vallon; Robert Goulet as Paul Gauguin; Dane Clark as Celeste's father; and Christopher Stone as André
"Forget-Me-Not / The Quiz Masters", original airdate April 10, 1982; with Gene Rayburn as Bob Barclay; Jan Murray as Ron Ellison; Vikki Carr as Lois Terry; Jill St. John as Ellen Layton; Brett Halsey as Charles Layton; and Richard Gautier as Mike Collins
I need to go through some ideas and look for something likely for the next story, but I promise I will be back again, so stay tuned! Thanks as always for all your welcome reviews.