Tim spoke, "Did you find them?"
"No. So, let's go," Kwan declared as he began taking the stairs.
"Boys, can I a moment with you," a determined Giselle spoke.
Giselle's profile came visible from the shadows of the hallway.
Tim noticed Giselle's eyeliner was smudged. Giselle never looked out of place. Did she cry? Where was Daniel? Had Daniel enraged Giselle?
"I'm bored here, so Tim and I are heading down," Kwan said.
Tim was startled with Kwan's assertiveness.
Without warning, the three of them heard a quarrel below them. They recognized Ms Loren and Coach Russell's voices overlapping. The three begun downward until they saw Cara and Bryan with the others clustered behind the chaperones.
It was a vehement exchange. Giselle observed two men blocking the group's exit from the Palace holding rifles. There was Ms. Loren, in her matronly manner readjusting her glasses, while Coach Russell tried to resolve the situation. They resumed.
Giselle reached the last step, she asked, "What's the problem?"
Ms Loren said, "These gentlemen here are asking us to pay an admission fee before we can leave the Palace. I think they are bandits."
"Someone tell me how much do they want?" Bryan inquired.
Cara shook her head, then she realized her diamond necklace gave an unwanted attention. Worrisome, Cara tucked the crucifix under her blouse beneath her travel card.
Giselle spoke with firmness, "I'm sure these men will let us go. We're here on a goodwill mission from America. Even Senator Kruger has signed our papers."
Giselle walked to the exit only to be blocked by two bandits. Outside, Ahmad was b...
... middle of paper ...
...n said to the boy in Arabic, "I pity you."
Ahmad was stunned at Ethan's control of the situation. Ahmad lingered behind the delegation in disgraced, while leaving the Palace grounds.
Giselle hugged her husband, then marched forward surveying the students. Minister Mike approached Ethan on the path.
"We can't thank you enough. You must stay with us tonight. I have a proposition," Minister Mike said to Ethan.
Ethan smile and spoke to Mike, "I appreciate it. Honestly, Mate. This has been too much excitement for me. I'll spend the night and head out tomorrow."
Ethan headed up the pathway flocked by the students; he could hear the anxious chattering.
Minister Mike waited for Ahmad as he brought up the rear of the group. Ahmad gave a meek smile as Minister Mike placed his arm over Ahmad's shoulders.
Minister Mike spoke to Ahmad, "Son, we need to have a talk."
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