Mini Series Episode Four: Deep Down In The Heart Of Paris




A week later...

I changed into a pair of brown riding trousers that I found in a dresser. I hopped on my bike and rode through wide and cramped gray stoned roads. It was such an interesting feeling to still be in Paris, and yet feel free! There were no reporters to bug me. No detective to intimidate me. And hopefully no bad people to find me.  I occasionally stopped to study, so I could soak in my intriguing new surroundings. I rode at times over organic matter like moss, rotten food, poop, and bones. And also I rode by inorganic matter like old plaster walls, broken and unbroken bottles, books and newspapers. Exploration has been a fascination of mine, even when there were decay.

After I rode for half an hour I stopped for a rest. I opened a secret compartment of my jacket, and pull out a wrinkled newspaper.

The newspaper heading read:

Still No Concrete Clues in Madame Charlton's Mysterious Disappearance

I glanced down at her picture. Then I kept on reading.

"After a week later the authorities have no concrete clues of Madame Charlton whereabouts. The heir to the Le Charlton Hotels has not been seen since her disappearance. Her assistant Mr. Edwards, along with her personal chef, the maid, and Miss Jones were all found unconscious on the library floor by a hotel worker.

What did those people wanted from her? How come they knocked us unconscious when they kidnapped her? Is not like we were going to do a kung fu fighting or something like that.

"After days of interrogations with police Miss Jones remembered that the two masked men smelled musky. She said that the masked men didn't need to take Madame Charlton by force, since she willingly went along with them. Although the surveillance inside the suite supported the story of the masked men. There where no recorded videos whatsoever of them leaving the hotel."

There was a picture of Mr. Edwards, the chef, and maid.

"Mr.Edwards had been working for Madame Charlton's as her traveling companion and assistance for 20 years. He never had to encounter this kind of situation before."

The maid had been known as a petty thief in the city of New York and New Jersey. She wanted to get the code of Madame Charlton's safe.

The chef couldn't remember details of the incident because he developed some memory problems. He did noticed a bright light before he past out on the ground.

There was an awful picture of me wearing my retainers. Well, I couldn't help it! The reporters came knocking on my door early in the morning.

I continued reading the paper.

"Miss Jones said that after she had left the suite that she had realized that she had left her camera behind. So she went back to the suite to look for it.

When she was about to knock on the door of the suite she realized that it was left slightly opened. She heard noises and people talking very load from one of the rooms. She quietly walked towards the library where she saw Madame Charlton, Mr. Edwards, and the chef being held at gun point by the maid, whom Miss Jones had met earlier.

Then a few minutes later Miss Jones said that the elevator door opened and that was when the maid told Madame Charlton to get into the elevator. Then Miss Jones heard a man's voice say to the maid to give him Madame Charlton. The maid didn't want to dropped her gun to the ground. At that moment Mr. Edwards and the chef took the gun away from the maid. Miss Jones said that she ran inside the room to the get Madame Charlton away to a safer place. But then she saw Madame Charlton get into the elevator, she ran to try to rescue her, then she said that she might have blackout because she didn't remember anything after that. Later Miss Jones was awoken by the police.

The police and detectives are still puzzled by the whole elevator incident. According to an elevator expert, the elevator have been working fine for the past 70 years. But since the events that occurred that day the elevator had stopped working."

Then I continued reading.

"Recently Investigators found a couple of interesting items on the scene. There was a peacock shaped insignia that was found inside the elevator.

There was a photographed of a peacock shaped jewelry.  I looked closely at the picture.
"How many of these are out there?"

They also found a pair of an old spectacle laying on the floor near a bookcase. The spectacle seem to work like a night vision. Although the spectacle was about 100 years old, it had been reconfigured with new technology. The spectacle had been taken in for fingerprints.
There have been speculations that Madame Charlton may have been kidnapped by a sophisticated international group seeking perhaps her fortune. But, still there have been no ransom money requested at this time."

I folded the newspaper and put it back in my secret pocket. In another pocket I took out a small laced bag. In it I had a peacock shape insignia. I always wondered where my auntie got this from. She had gifted it to me after my graduation. Maybe it was something that was on style around the time when she was young. It was interesting that it was the exact same design of the other peacock.

Then I thought about both my auntie Sally and uncle James. "I really missed you guys!"I said as I thought of the family I left behind. "I wondered how they are managing without me?" I whispered.  "If I could just let them know that I am o.k. And that I am enjoying living in old Paris and this whatever you call this, scary, crazy adventure ride of my life!" I hope my uncle is still taking care of his blood pressure. I hope that my auntie and him are still enjoying their walks in Central Park.

This had been the strangest apprenticeship ever to say the least. I wondered if Madame Charlton ever going to come back and teach me a few things. What I don't get is how come the kidnappers took her from modern New York to old Paris? What was it about old Paris that they wanted to come here for? It is so the turn of century, old fashion kind of place. Nothing much to show here except for a few technological discoveries and a lot of art and sculptures, musicians, and dancing shows. It's interesting that in both places people are trying to locate her. And in both places I happened to be involved! This case is definitely going down in history!

It was already late at night. So I emerged from my cocoon to check out the city life. I approached the hotel but still keeping a safe distance.

I was going to meet Juliet at the Hotel. She had something to give to me.

"Victoria, it so nice to see you again!"
"How great to see you mon ami!"
"Victoria I have a few lamps for you!"
"Thank you Juliet! I can't wait to show you the place."

I was able to manage to put the pair of lamps inside the basket of my bike. Once awhile the manager asked the staff to throw away stuff that they find is no longer needed in the hotel. I was only allowed to do some of my scavenging hunt at night. I couldn't wait to finish adding the last touches to my new Victoria Lee Jones Café Society and to finally have my staff and customers over! It's going to be a bit tricky to go to my new home and café place. Only those that receive a personal invitation know where it is. But that is the intriguing part of having your own café deep down in the heart of Paris, yes, and right in the middle of the catacombs! Thanks to the my friends in high places I could offer this amazing and unique experience! 👢



To purchase my artwork and my latest vintage and retro finds. Please visit Victoria Lee Jones Etsy Shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VictoriaLeeJones.


Picture: Getty Images

Mini Series Episode Three: The Case of The Contaminated Evidence



When I arrived in Paris all confused, disoriented, and with hardly any money in my pocket a girl that worked at the hotel named Juliet was kind enough to offer me room and boarding. She even helped get a job as a waitress at a restaurant. By having me stay with her without knowing me at all was the nicest thing a complete stranger did for me. After a time, Juliet and I became best of friends.

Inconveniently though our friendship got tested when detective Gautier whom happened to be Juliet's uncle found out that we were best of friends. Yes, you heard that right, detective Gautier my worst annoying enemy of the whole wide world was Juliet's uncle! Several months ago when I was accused of being an American spy I no longer was allowed to stay at her place. He even prohibited her from seeing me. When Mr. Edwards found out about what happened, he not only told detective Gautier how absurd the story of me being an American spy was. But that instead of accusing and intimidating me he knew better to go to directly to Mr. Edwards who happened to be my representative and guardian.

The minute that Juliet recognized her uncle's voice in the shop she immediately scooped down and started polishing the floor. Some of my customers that knew me, didn't like that he was constantly pestering me and invading my space. But, he didn't care! I never seen a more persistent, consistent, insistent individual in my life! He was really becoming so intolerable to me that I couldn't even hear his name anymore without feeling extremely anxious!
"Leave the poor girl alone."
"She, is not guilty of anything."
"What do you want from her? "Juliet asked, while still polishing the dining room floor. My heart melted every time my friends defended me. There it was I had a bunch of friends that knew my true character and that would defend me no matter what. Detective Gautier looked around to see who was defending me. That is when I noticed the detective's black eye.
Mr. Edwards got up from his table and respectively asked detective Gautier to step out so that they could talk. Some of my customers peeked through the window to see what was going on outside with these two men. A few minutes later Mr. Edwards came back inside the shop. We both went to the back of the café  so that we can talk freely without a curious audience .
"Miss Jones I have two bad news. And one so so good news."
"Please tell me the first the bad news," I said as I covered slightly both of my ears.
"They now know that the device is yours?"
"Oh no!" I covered my mouth. "I was afraid of that! Did they figure out my password?"
"Nope."
"So what happened?"
"While the detective was maneuvering the device it fell in the bowl. And your selfie happened to come up. And now he really has a case against you."
"That's not good."
"Although he may still suspect you as being an American spy. There are no real evidence that connect you with the Madame's disappearance."
"O.K."
"Now. I have to explain the second bad news. You may find this piece of news a little daunting."
"Mr. Edwards, I'm scared. What are talking about?"
He encouraged to sit down.
"You know the people that came after Madame Charlton."
"Yes."
"They might be coming after you."
"How do you that?"
"Ten minutes later after your phone was turned on, some people showed up at the detectives place. They asked about you. But the detective made believed that he didn't know who they were talking about. They asked him where the device was. But he refused to tell them where it was. He knew that he couldn't give up evidence. As they were looking around for your phone he could an altercation with them. And that is how he got that black eye."
"Were they able to find my phone?"
"No. they didn't. Thank goodness your phone was hidden from plane site. Unfortunately because of what happened to your phone it is no longer serviceable. But that's o.k. Because of that they can't trace you."
"Did my phone fell on a bowl of hot soup or something."
"I wished it was that or something else. But it didn't. Miss Jones your phone fell on a bowl full of caca."
"You mean my phone fell on poop?"
"That is correct."
"Eww, that is the most disgusting thing that I have ever heard! Oh that was why you said bowl. He owes me a $800 phone."
"Mr. Edwards what am I going to do? The minute that they get a hold of my phone, I am dead meat."
"I have your phone here. The detective felt that it was too unsafe for it to be as his house or anywhere near him or his family."
Mr. Edwards hands me a brown paper bag with the phone inside.
"What should I do? My life is all here in this phone. I feel that this the only thing that connects me to my life back in New York where my family and friends are."
"I will leave the decision for you to make. You wanted to be a grownup right?"
"Yes, but this is a hard decision to make." I frowned.
"Well, that is what most grownups have to do. They have to make hard decisions all of the time."
"This is hard for me to do. But I have to destroy this thing. I don't want any of us to get hurt or get in trouble." I took the meat beater and heard it break into many pieces. While I did that my tears were falling down my face. It was a strange thing not having any connection to my past.
"Miss Jones I'm proud of you. I know how hard this was for you. Soon you will see your family again. But for now. Let's keep you safe. You might have to go on hiding for a while until we get to the bottom of this."
"Sure, o.k."
As I was throwing the remains of the phone in the garbage. Mr. Edwards saw that I needed some cheering up.
"I could imagine how upset detective Gautier must have been when his phone landed on his own excrement."
"Yeah." I giggled.
"I could just see it on the front page: Famous detective contaminates the evidence with his own excrement!
"Mr. Edwards! That is so funny!"What about this one: Detective gave up evidence since he finds out that it was a load of crap."
We both started laughing hysterically.
"I have another on: "Evidence against Victoria Lee Jones flushed down the toilet."
"That was a good one Mr. Edwards. I didn't know how fun it was to tell poop jokes."
"Aren't they the best?"
After we had a wonderful cathartic laugh Mr. Edwards went outside to convince the detective that they were no evidence to suspect me of anything. That I too was a victim of the same circumstances. That instead of wasting his time on a young innocent girl, that such a famous, intelligent, and wise detective should go after the real perpetrators, whom he himself has already encountered. Mr. Edwards may have stricken detective Gautier's ego more than he wanted to, but it worked! The detective walked away with his head held high and promised to find those men. 👢




To purchase my artwork, vintage and retro finds please visit my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VictoriaLeeJones.


Picture: Getty Images

Mini Series Episode Two: Rosita's Special Concoction



I was awoken by a loud knock on my bedroom door. "Victoria, you have me worried. I haven't seen you around the Opera House for many days. Are you alright?" Rosita asked as she looked at my messy hair. Then I started coughing.
"Please come in."
"Are you alright child?"
"I'm o.k. Thank you Rosita," I said as I drank the rest of my lukewarm tea. "It suddenly hit me."
"Hit you where?"
"This, whatever this is." Rosita touched my forehead.
"Child you are running a fever!"
"No wonder! It still felt hot here, even after I put the fire out."
"Let me prepare my special concoction," said the eager mad scientist who was ready to embark in her evil scheme. The word concoction always freaked me out. But at that point I was so desperate and weak that I went ahead and tried this whatever you call it; mixture, potion, elixir, decoction.
After having a good night's rest and drinking a couple of cups of Hot Toddy that Rosita had prepared for me. I was up and at 'em. I was even able to go downstairs and get the shop ready for the day. As a shop manager I had to try to keep things running. Taking care of my customers took precedence over my own needs. I opened the front door. And sure enough my regular customers were all waiting outside.
"Bon jour Sam and Gertrude! "I said as I was fasting my apron. "How are my cutest favorite young couple doing today?"
Both laughed. Then said, "Bon jour Victoria. We are doing great."
The old couple hold tight to each other as they walked inside the shop.
I was singing one of my favorite opera music.
"My, somebody is doing pretty good this morning!
"Indeed, I am!"
"Whatever you had this morning I'm having it!"
"What I had is off the menu." Sam winked at me. Then I winked back.
A few more of my regular lovely customers came in. And after them came Mr. Edwards. "I heard that you had some of Rosita's famous concoction? Should I be worried?" The English man inquired along with his deep resonating and intimidating voice.
All heads turned towards us.
"Mr. Edwards Shhh, please use your inside voice."
He whispered. "Pardon me, Miss Jones. A million apologies."
"Don't worry about it Mr. Edwards. Apology accepted."
Mr. Edwards own a good set of pipes. His Pavarotti tenor voice are what the opera houses were looking for, but he wasn't a bit interested in becoming a famous opera singer. He was so oblivious of how powerful his voice was. This guy had no clue how his voice would stop traffic, would make a dog run the other way, would make waitresses and waiters drop their trays, and many times I have seen how babies stop or start crying because of his deep voice. In Paris he was the guy with "The Voice," microphone and batteries not included.
For the past month Rosita was giving him lessons so that he can learn to lower his voice. Although he had improved a bit, he would forget when to use his inside voice and when he doesn't need to use his inside voice. So he was still a work in progress.
I waited until Mr. Edwards was settled at his table. I poured a cup of coffee for him with a little milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
"I wanted to see how you were feeling. You know that I am here if you need anything."
"I know Mr. Edwards. I truly appreciate that. But I'm a grownup now."
"Since when? The last time I checked you were still 17 years old."
"Excuse me, Mr. Edwards. But, things are different here. From what I've been seeing, kids here are seen like small adults. They even eat and drink like one! And they are expected to earn their keep at an early age. This society of young people are hard working. They are more sure of themselves, more responsible, and far more less demanding than the kids I grew up with. I think they are into something here."
"Miss Jones, it doesn't matter that you live here, New York, the moon, Jupiter, or outside our Milky Way galaxy. You are still under age according to your law. More importantly, you have been put under my protection. So for now I have to keep tabs on you. Do you understand?"
"Yes, I understand. Soon though I would need to grow up you know."
"Yes, you stand correct. The reason I gave you this job was because I knew that you were capable of taking care of it and I knew that you would enjoy it."
"Thanks, Mr. Edwards."
"Although you may believe that the children are being trained right. Things are not all color rosy around here. The law that you have, has helped protect minors so that they don't get exploited by others. Children have the rights to enjoy their childhood as well, they shouldn't have to be working at an early age."
At that moment a well-known kid that polishes shoes came into my shop. He came in like always carrying along with him his shoe shine wooden caddy and his rag that hanged by his side. And no matter how many times he washed up he always looked dirty and grimy. I always allow him to work around the shop. And many times he polishes the men shoes outside of the café. That way he gets to bring home his well-earned money.
"I get what you are saying," I responded. "But can I at least have some quiet time? I'm not kidding you! You and Mr. Detective guy are constantly on my case! Can we just please have some time out and have a picnic all of us together like civilized Parisian dwellers that we are?"
"Sorry that you are in the middle of this. I understand how frustrating that could be. Detective Gautier have his reasons why he is doing what he is doing. And I have my reasons as well. Until we get this case solved, and bring the Madam home, I'm afraid that you just have to learn to roll with the punches."
I sighed.
For a moment Mr. Edwards became like that dad that I never had. Really it was moments like those that I sure needed a dad to talk to.
"The bottom line is that you are still my responsibility. I don't want anything bad to happened to you. If something does happen to you Madame Charlton is not going to be happy about that. I wasn't hired to invade your space or bother you. However, I need for you to once in a while report to me what you have been up to. And by all means please let me know if you are running a high fever or have bright red armpits. And please, please, ask me if you can have some homemade liquor medicine. Are we clear?"
"Yes, Mr. Edwards. We are clear."
"So how much of Rosita's concoction did you end up drinking?"
"A few cups only. It was enough to kick this nasty cold, which it worked fast by the way! Plus it had no chemical or addictive added. No preservatives needed. I took this good ol' homemade organic medicine and drank the very last drop."
He chuckled on a tenor note. "Miss Jones promised me to only take Rosita's concoction when needed. If not I will have to close shop. And you will have to return to my farm and work with the pigs again."
"Yes, sir."
Mr. Edwards could be extremely intimidating. At times he gets me. And I get him. But there are times that I just want to tell him, "Gosh Ol' champ, loosen up a bit, will ya!" 👢





To purchase my artwork and my latest vintage and retro finds. Please visit Victoria Lee Jones Etsy Shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VictoriaLeeJones.


Picture: Getty Images


Mini Series Episode One: Victoria Lee, What Have You Been Up To?


The inquisitive reporter asked me, "Victoria Lee, since the disappearance of Madam Charlton, what have you been up to?"
"You mean lately?"
 "Yes, lately."
 "You mean me?"
 "Yes, you," replied all the reporters with their notebooks and pencils in hand waiting with great anticipation for my reply.
After a minute of deep thought I replied, "Hmm. Well guys, I've been doing a little bit here. A little bit there. And a little bit over there." I thought that that didn't sound like a fair description of my life lately. So I proceeded to give them a better answer, "You know like a collage. Yes, my life has been like a collage. Bits and pieces of interesting things here. Bits and pieces of interesting things there. And bits and pieces of interesting things over there." I had to embellish my answer so that it sounded more interesting to those inquisitive reporters and for the thousands of my newspaper fans. Like a hive of buzzing bees, the reporters enthusiastically dotted down my answer. But they weren't satisfied. They wanted more.
"Where were you when she disappeared?" My mind went to the moment when I saw her going inside the elevator.
" I was a few feet away from her."
"You said that there were two possible suspects that took her away? Did you get to see their faces?"
"No, they were wearing masks."
"What accent did they have?"
"They sounded European."
"Were you afraid for your life?"
That question unexpectedly made me afraid. I waited to compose myself. "Yes, I was." The reporters all stared at me.
"Do you keep your innocence of Madame Charlton's disappearance or possible kidnapping?"
"Yes, indeed. I am innocent! I have nothing to do with Madame Charlton's disappearance. I don't know those people that took her. I wished I knew what happened to her. But I don't have the answers!" I exclaimed while looking straight at the reporter and then at him.

At a short distance was a person that wasn't at all my fan. As a matter of fact he seemed to not like me at all. From the beginning he was so suspicious of who I was. This person became in a short time my WORST ENEMY! This person was non-other than Detective Gautier. This relentless man was one of Paris' best known detectives. But worldwide he was better known by his prized huge bushy mustache, which he called his inseparable companion and an excellent competitor since his mustache got him several awards and fame.

 As I was being hounded by the reporters, he was siting in front of the café shop enjoying ever so slowly his cream filled pastry and hot cocoa, which funny enough we had that in common. Both him and I prefer hot cocoa over a cup of coffee. He too had been writing aimlessly on his note pad. I read the other day on the newspaper that he promised the whole city of Paris along with the commissioner that he will not give up until he solves Madame Charlton's disappearance. Unfortunately, while detective Gautier was investigating the case, he end up finding my missing phone. It was at the hotel right in front of the elevator where I last saw it. Besides him finding my finger prints all over my phone he too had it analyzed by a scientist. His conclusion was that I not only was an American tourist, but that I also was an American spy. Boy, with that kind of imagination he could have become an amazing writer!

I, on the other hand, tried unsuccessfully to find a way to retrieve my phone, but because he kept the phone near him at all times, even hiding it under his pillow, it was hard to get it from him. Well, in a way I had become like a spy. I followed him for days. Taking along my opera glasses with me and peaking into the private life of this detective. I was worried that he too was going to peak into my silly private life as well. My solar powered cell phone was 120 years ahead of their time. Good thing at that time that neither him nor his buddies were able to crack my password. If they did, I sure would be in deep trouble! And so would Paris!"👢

Collage by Victoria Lee Jones picture in my Paris Studio Room. To purchase my artwork, vintage and retro finds please visit my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VictoriaLeeJones.

New Victoria Lee Jones Café Society Mini Series!


Bonjour mon ami! Welcome to my newest installment of my Victoria Lee Jones Café Society Mini Series! I finally started writing again last December. This time I'm making shorter episodes, easy to digest finger size morsels that is yummy for you as it's for moi. I'm so happy to bring you these fresh mini episodes of Victoria Lee Jones Café  Society here and in Patreon and to see where Victoria's adventures will lead her and me as well! So excited to be sharing with all of you my new series! ; )

 Avoir,

 Carmen Johnson


“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ― Helen Keller


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 Photo: At The Turn of the Century- Creative Commons