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Sam threw the doorman the keys to the Jag who expertly removed the luggage from the boot.
“Your bags will be brought to your room sir and we hope you enjoy your stay at the Windsor. How long will you be staying with us?”
Sam hesitated before answering simply because he was savouring the thought.
“Four whole days. No phone calls, no board meetings, no writing just me and the missus enjoying the quiet.”
The doorman smiled the way that doormen do and Sam had no way of knowing that his words were ill-advised, tempting fate and ‘a bit previous’, as the English like to say.
But all that was to unfold in time but for now Sam and Scarlett were basking in the glow of ‘us time’.
Scarlett took her time alighting from the Jag.
It took a bit of practice to elegantly remove ones self from a Jaguar.
Fortunately Sam owned a Sovereign and a Jaguar saloon is a bit easier than a E Type, but in any case a lady who is about to enter Melbourne’s most famous hotel must give a good impression.
The doorman stopped attending to the bags when he realised that the lady was still in the car. She wasn’t actually waiting for him to open the door but she did enjoy his haste in doing so.
The reception desk personnel were swift in their duties and before long Sam and Scarlett were in the lift on the way to their suite.
By the time they reached their room the Jag was being expertly inserted into a parking space reserved for special guests.
It was possible to make it reappear with a few moments notice but Sam and Scarlett would probably not need the faithful old girl over this weekend.
Everything they needed was within walking distance and room service could supply the rest.
The Big Cat could rest comfortably until she was needed again. She was much sportier than the Rollers and Bentleys she was stabled with but she was also considerably older.
Sam bought her many years ago and even then she was getting on a bit. He spent the proceeds of a particularly good equities trade on having her exterior restored. Bare metal respray which cost a fortune, but it was worth it; she looked magnificent when she was finished. Gleaming British Racing Green. Sam left her interior as it was. Old leather; it looked lived in and only the headlining needed replacing. She hadn’t done very many miles so her mechanicals were left untouched.
She had looked after Sam very well and only embarrassed herself the one time when her coil gave out in the middle of an intersection.
The first Sam knew of it was when everything went dead and the Big Cat sailed noiselessly through the intersection and came to rest on the side of the road.
It was a little embarrassing for both of them but she was nearly twenty five years old at that point, ‘classic’ as Sam described it, so it was probably inevitable that something would break one day even though the mechanics at Spitiri’s did their best to make sure that any problems were dealt with before they happened.
Sam had solved a little problem for Andrew who was taking over the business from his father.
One of the local hoods thought he could squeeze a little protection money out of the Jaguar service centre. He saw the local business as a soft touch but he had not reckoned on Sam.
The problem mysteriously went away and Sam never admitted to being the cause of the sudden disappearance of the threat but he always received a remarkably low price for his car’s services from that day onward.
Sam looked out for his friends and it was not only women beaters who got stomped on from time to time.
Almost ten years ago we were at the beach on a beautiful sunny day and we noticed that there was a wedding going on.
Did I get a shot of the bride; no.
But I got a few of the wedding car.
The guy driving it was an older bloke with grey hair.
He looked like he had stepped out of an old Italian movie.
Also very friendly, we bent his ear for quite a while and he didn’t mind; all he had to do at that moment was wait.