Who is that sinister-looking stranger who keeps eyeing Miss Dora Benley on the Lusitania pier on May 1, 1915? At dinner the first night in the grand dining room he sends her a threatening note. He orders her to hand over her father's birthday package. She carried it aboard, a gift from Sir Adolphus Ware, the car magnate her Robber Baron father is sailing to England to meet over a tire deal. If she doesn't obey, he threatens to blow up the ship. There's nothing inside the package except an empty humidor! Dora had better figure out what's going on, or the saboteur will send her to the bottom of the Irish Sea.
Chapter 1: Cunard Pier, 14th Street, Manhattan — Saturday, May 1, 1915
The stranger stared at Dora’s package. A wide-brimmed hat shaded his face, revealing only a dark beard and mustache. Smoking a small, cheap, stubby cigar, dressed in a nondescript, ill-fitting dark suit, the man strutted towards her in a menacing fashion. Blueish-white cigar smoke curled upward in a lazy corkscrew. It vanished into the air several yards above his head.
Twenty-year-old Dora Benley quickly stuffed the surprise birthday gift for her father into her satchel. Holding a green parasol edged with black fringe over her head she skirted crowds of well-dressed, gossiping passengers waiting to board the Lusitania. Dressed in a full-length, aquamarine dress with white lace around the sleeves, Dora moved as far away from the intruder as she could without falling off the edge of the pier.
She searched impatiently for her parents. They were supposed to rendezvous with her at 11:00 AM. By now it was almost noon!
A man and woman reporting team burst upon the crowd at Cunard’s Pier 54. They were trailed by a photographer and his assistants carrying a large folding camera and a tripod. The reporters hurled themselves at the passengers.
“What do you think of the German announcement?” The male reporter thrust a copy of The New York Times at Dora. He pointed to the advertisement prominently displayed on the front page:
TRAVELLERS intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
IMPERIAL GERMAN EMBASSY
Washington, D.C., April 25, 1915.
Learn more about the authors Linda and Gary Cargill at:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LindaCargillAuthor
Here is a link to the Kindle edition of Key to Lawrence on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B00DE8FHIA