Chapter 21



Christophe came out of the kitchen a moment later carrying a large tray, his chin high and eyes set forward in the stance of a professional.  The Maître d’ trailed behind Christophe, his posture as disciplined as the waiter.  The gold foil of a champagne bottle poked out of the silver bucket tucked under the Maître d’s arm.  Their march as uniformed as any soldier’s, the Maître d’ and Christophe made a sharp right angle turn toward the table.  A tall lean bus boy scurried out of the kitchen carrying a stand for the bucket in one hand and a stand for the tray in the other and maneuvered around them to get to the table first.  The dance could not have been choreographed any better.  The bus boy set up the stands, and as swiftly, Christophe and the Maître d’ interwove around him resting the platter and bucket then set to work immediately.  “Monsieur, Madame, Madame,” said the Maître d’.  He had not spoken when seating them and now the words rushed from his mouth, “I am sure that you will find this bottle to your liking.”  He held the champagne above the table, turned from the table to the platter and picked up a large knife.  Cameron had performed this trick many times himself and knew what was coming next.  The Maître d’ lifted the knife high above the neck of the bottle and then brought the knife down onto the cork with a pop, releasing a small spout of bubbly foam.  Christophe placed four small plates of food on the table, two in each hand, and then produced three flutes from the tray.  As each flute was placed in front of one of the restaurant’s special guests, the Maître d’ filled them with champagne.Marie and Nicole held hands and recited the Lord’s Prayer.  Cameron smiled across the table at Marie when the prayer was finished and she returned the smile in her eyes.

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