On the Upbeat, Positively Carolan

Americans in France – part 5 (final)

Gordon smiled as we shuddered from the image of the Nazis stomping around right here in this very house. Joyce chimed in, “A wonder the old ladies survived,” but Gordon was off on another subject …

“Say, y’know that peculiar triangular building with the long stairs right up at the end of rue de Maison?” He didn’t wait for an answer. He never did. “You know what IT is? It’s a genuine French House of Ill Repute, that’s what!”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“I know, that’s all. You ought to see the babes that go sashayin’ up and down that block all times of the day and night.”

Now Joyce blurted, “Ok, Gordon, just how in hell do you know that?”

A bit chastened, Gordon lowered his voice. “C’mon, sweetie, I just hear guys talk. They say rue de Maison is where they go for only the best, the crème de la crème.”

“Honest to God?” John laughed. “And our rue de Coulmier neighborhood is so dull!.”

As we left for home Gordon said, “If you don’t believe me, look at the sign on the side of the building. It’s called Maison Alana, the House of Alana.”

I gawked at the building, silent as we drove past, but couldn’t really make out the sign. And the ride home was sleepy.

After parking our little grey Hillman John unlocked the big main door and we tiptoed down the marble hall toward our apartment. Midway we saw something in front of the Mademoiselle’s door — her alligator briefcase, of all things.

And there near the intricate handle was a silver ID plate, on which we read — incredulously — block letters spelling out MAISON ALANA.


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