Near the hotel they saw a shop. “We look sort of ratty. I hope they don’t
mind. Brush the sand off your clothes and body before we go in. We don’t
want to traipse sand into the shop and make a mess,” Elspet said.
Fiona and Elspet each bought a muu-muu, ribbons for their hair and a new
pair of sandals.
Callum bought a green shirt with white hibiscus on it and a matching pair of
shorts. He too bought some new sandals. After they gathered their purchases,
they headed for their rooms.
“I can’t wait to bathe in that cool bathtub, though I think I’ve had enough
fish!” Elspet disappeared into the bathroom.
An hour later they headed for the elevator, dressed in their new clothes.
“What did you do with the pearl?” Callum didn’t see it in Fiona’s hand.
“I’ve got it in my pocket. I was thrilled to see muu-muus had pockets. It’s
safe,” Fiona assured them.
“You both look very pretty in your new clothes. Your hair is pretty too with
the ribbons and flowers.” Callum blushed.
“Why thank you, Callum. You look rather dashing yourself.” Elspet patted her
As there were dozens of tables in the dining room, they didn’t have to wait
long for a table. “I will never forget this room. If it is decorated like
this, can you imagine what the food is like?” Callum couldn’t wait to see
A hostess directed them to their table. It sat near the front window and
viewed the people passing by. “Here are your menus.” She handed them each
one. Shaped like a seashell, the menu’s listed appetizers, main courses,
salads and desserts. “Your waiter will be here shortly.” She smiled at them
“The windows even have sea life etched on them. It’s pretty, but it’s a bit
much.” Elspet opened her menu. “Whoa! There are too many things to pick
from. I don’t know where to begin.”
The waiter came to their table. “Bonjour. My name is Philippe. I am your
waiter. Have you had a chance to look at our menu?”
Fiona said, “Yes. I know what I want. I’ll have the Octopus Cari with
coconut milk. I’ll have daube de banane for dessert.”
“What is that?” Elspet remembered the octopus in the cave. “Did I hear the
“Yes. Octopus Cari is curried octopus stuffed with aubergines, saffron,
curry, garlic, more bite size bits of octopus, and sprinkled with ginger and
cinnamon.” Philippe expressed his opinion. “It is very tasty. I’m sure you
would enjoy it.”
“What’s the banane stuff?” Elspet glanced at the menu, looking for the name
Fiona called it.
“It’s bananas cooked in coconut milk,” Fiona said.
Unable to find it on the menu, Elspet said, “No thanks,” and turned her nose
up at it. “Why don’t you bring me some giant crab soup with citronelle to
start and then I’ll have Bourgeois Fish Royal as my main course.”
“Very good, Miss. And you, sir?” Philippe turned his gaze to Callum.
“The sautéed shrimp sounds good.”
“Your shrimp comes with sweet bananas and
coconut mousse and is lightly sprinkled with parmiggiano cheese,” Philippe
“Sounds good to me.” Callum closed his menu and
handed it back to the waiter.
When he brought them their water glasses, Fiona
giggled. “The ice cubes are shaped like colored ice fish. That is so cool. I
love this place.”
Philippe brought their food and they ate
quietly, savoring each and every bite.
After leaving a generous tip, they went back to
their room. “Are you ready to go home? I know I am,” Elspet said. “I’ve had
enough fish to last me a long time.”
“I hate leaving this place and going back to
boring Inveralba, but we do need to get the pearl back and into the orb,”
Fiona said. “I suppose we’d better check out and pay our bill and then go to
the place we arrived.”
“I don’t want to leave either, Fiona, but we
should,” Callum said.
Fiona went to pay the bill. The hotel clerk
gave her a suspicious look, but took her money when she handed him a tidy
bonus. With reluctance, they stood near the palm trees. “Are you ready?”
They held hands and Fiona said, “Daleth shapish yam bet.”