Chapter Eleven

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Knowledge is power

Mr Mortimer was also punctual.  Opening the door, I was awaited by a large group of people.  He smiled with a wide mouth, very thrilled to see me.  His entourage was overwhelming. 

“My lady! Such an honour to visit with you at last!  I’m so excited to discuss your outfit.  He kissed me on alternate cheeks.  Throwing his hands in the air, he clapped twice.  The crowd parted, opening up a trail through which four men carried a heavy wooden casket inside.  What on earth? I thought.  This was a beautiful antique piece, resembling my late granny’s trousseau box.  Thank goodness, the crowd was shrinking.  The casket was opened and there I saw quite a few pairs of shoes.

“Mr Huber send these over.  He asked that you please make sure that they are the right fit.  I see….you don’t have any shoes on at the moment?”  He looked down at my feet disapprovingly. “Is that a little ouch I see?”
I knew that it wasn’t ladylike to walk around barefoot in Bohemia.
“I hurt my foot, yes.  To tell you the truth, I don’t possess any shoes, except my sneekers.” 

Judging from their glances, they had no knowledge of what I was talking. It was Mr Mortimer who broke the silence and let his curiosity get the better of him.
“Sneekers?  Is that a kind of shoe?” He asked, his forehead creased in a frown.
“Yes, I will show you, wait here.” 

I went to the cupboard and took out my dirty sneekers, still stained with blood.  Being as composed as could be, I went back to the waiting assembly.  As I stepped closer, they were moving backwards.  It seemed as though I was carrying a huge, wooly bundle of skunks by the look on their faces.
“What is that?” He pointed with a stiff forefinger.  He retracted it and the rest of his ring covered fingers with the speed of white light.

“Oh, this?  They are my sneekers.  I thought that, if Mr Huber couldn’t find the time to make me a proper pair of shoes, that I could just scrub these regulars and wear them?” Mr Mortimer gasped and the two ladies had to slap him on his back to bring colour to his cheeks.

“Oh no, heavens no!  I have never seen such…uh….offensive …!” His hand was on his mouth and his eyes grew bigger, “please, take them away.”  He motioned with the other hand.  “Luckily, my dear, we have brought you an array of beautiful shoes to wear.” I threw the sneekers underneath the bed and he sighed relieved.  On my bed, I saw patterns, a copious amount of them, all layered on each other, pins, buttons and zips in small jars . 

There were strips of fabric examples with all the matching trimmings.  We started looking at patterns and fabrics.  I almost enjoyed it as much as Jagger himself.  He lived for this, it was his life.  We were making progress and Mr Mortimer left, a very happy man.  Something that puzzled me about Lily and Hulda’s clothes, was the very modern touch and influence of the designs.  Jagger was a gifted man, but one couldn’t exactly make a garment without having the faintest idea of such patterns.  I asked him about this. 

He told me how an Italian fashion heir, Elvittori Missioni vanished into thin air.  For the outside world, Missioni and his wife are still missing from a 'cursed' flight path.  In fact the aircraft loss was that of a Dougals C-54, which was lost in a storm off the Florida coast.  Missioni and five other passengers vanished without a trace on January 4th 2013.

I remember reading headlines on how baffled investigators had no way of solving the mystery. 

“So you are telling me that Missioni and his wife are here on Utopia??”
“Yes, they have been a real inspiration for my clothing business.  I have learned so much from them.  They are involved in my creations.” 

Timewise, the Misioni’s arrived just before me!  Like me, they were people from  another dimension, more modern times.  Mr Mortimer also pointed me to Maven Olsen, the librarian at one of the largest libraries in Utopia.  There were books, filed documents and lists of Utopia’s earliest history. 

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