Trailing the King of Diamonds
Did the desk clerk welcome me by name?
Was I introduced to the bellhop?
Did the bellhop use my name?
I'm not of any help since I can't remember check-in, other than signing a card committing me to the $289 room rate. "My check-in went smoothly," says the Inspector. "I haul along a lot of extra test baggage -- some of it empty -- and they handled it well."
The Inspector is checking his watch. He needs to excuse himself to take a look at his room. "I called up housekeeping," he says, "to request a 6:45 p.m. turndown instead of the usual 8 o'clock. Then I took away all the pads and pens. Also, I made it look like I had taken a shower." The Inspector is wearing a sneaky grin. "You know, balled up the towels, moistened the soap, ripped off the toilet paper point."
Toilet paper point? I am about to ask, but the Inspector is gone. When he gets back he looks mildly confused, and sad.
"Uh, oh," I say.
"No, no," The Inspector says wistfully. "The early turndown was perfect. Everything neat, replaced, new toiletries. The maid even repositioned the remote on the bed stand. And she switched on soft nighttime lighting."
"We'll see, we'll see," he says.
The Inspector is determined to find a crack in the duPont armor and summons the maitre d' to ask if anyone can find out what wine he and I were drinking when we were in the bar.
Whoosh. No sweat. Two glasses of absolutely correct cabernet appear.
The Inspector is required to taste at least three courses at every expense-account meal. I can barely afford my main-course pork chop, but he is testing out a gourmet spring roll and other delicacies, and lets me try some.
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