Chapter 22

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At the back of the restaurant was a backlit acrylic wall with water cascading down the face.  Seated in front of the water wall a thin Thai Buddha statue sitting cross-legged and open palmed, smiled softly at the room already busy with an early dinner crowd of tourists grabbing a bite on their way to or from one of the many musicals that played in the area.

“So how does a blue dove equate to a Thai restaurant?” asked Cameron.

“It was not a blue dove,” said Marie, “it was a zebra dove.”

Cameron smirked at Marie and Nicole added, “The zebra dove is native to Thailand.”

“So you knew that symbol meant the Lotus Flower?”

“So we knew,” said Marie.

Cameron pulled open the heavy glass door and gestured to Marie and Nicole to step inside.  A warm vapor of ginger wafted passed them through the door.  A young thin Thai man with scruffy orange hair and a shiny blue silk suit greeted them with an open smile that lowered his jaw down to his collar.  “I have this,” said Cameron to Marie.  He then said to the man, “Swạsdī reā kảlạng mxng hā pheụ ̀xn.”

The man’s jaw came together and the corners of his mouth pulled back.  “Listen fella,” said the young man, “I barely speak the old language.”

“Sorry,” said Cameron, “I said that we were looking for a friend.”

“A lot of people here tonight.”  The young man craned his head back behind him to view the entirety of the room, “Do you see your friend?”

Marie glanced at Cameron and then leaned to the man’s ear.  Though she whispered, Cameron could hear the two words clearly.  They were ‘white swan’.

The man’s smile returned to an open jaw and he lifted his right hand to the side of his head to run his fingers through his already mussed hair.  “Ah,” said the young man, “I know your friend, and I will take you to her.  Follow me.”  He turned into the dining room and headed to the back of the room without turning back, taking long strides with his lean limber body.  The three exchanged satisfied glances and began to pursue the young man before he left them behind.

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