Here he was, back in the dusty, dark place where he locked up all those things that brought him pain and sorrow. As he sat in the chair he was sitting in when he learned his father died, drinking the cognac he bought the month von Zeppelin had first introduced him to his monstrous craft, Captain Sidewinder tried to forget his love for Catherine. He thought about his childhood on the Isle of Wight, but it only made him think about his first love there, a girl whose eyes (and temperament) were like Catherine’s. He thought about his years in the war, but that only made him think about the time he first met Catherine’s father, who had also worked with von Zeppelin. He even thought about what it must be like to be Stratton Brownsmith, how far he might be able to travel away from this place if he had Stratton’s means. Oh, to see the Canary Islands! Or New York City! He and Catherine had spoken so many times of New York City.
It was hopeless. But as he sat and wallowed in his regret, another, darker thought began to bubble up in the recesses of his mind. A thought that provided a means to have Catherine after all. A thought that would take this chair, this cognac, and that zeppelin to enact. A daring, bold thought the likes of which had not percolated in his brain since he and von Zeppelin first won the America’s Cup ten years ago. They had never seen us coming!
This was going to work. This would have to work. His love, his goodness, his very sanity were at stake. By this time a fortnight from now, there would be no one who could come between him and Catherine any more.