Smoke swirled in the dim cafe. German song battled with French in a clash of notes and lyrics that made Holmes’ head spin. Barbarians.
It got louder and louder until the German faded away. Shouted down.
A portly gentleman emerged from the haze, a white bar towel over one arm. “You would like a seat, yes?”
“I am Sherlock Holmes and this is Dr. Watson. We’ve come to see Mr. Blaine.”
The man paled and mopped his brow with the towel. “You wish to see Meester Rick? You will come with with me please. I will tell him. You wish to talk to him about vhat?”
“I have deduced that he has hidden certain important letters," Holmes murmured.
“Letters, you say?” The waiter froze. His head swiveled and he lowered his voice. “You will sit, please.”
Holmes sat, motioning Watson to do the same. “Is there nothing more private?”
The man bobbed. “It will be arranged.”
The music stopped. German soldiers swept into the room. “The cafe is closed,” one barked. “You will all sit. No one leaves until we find Mr. Rick.”