Lulu paced the ship’s cabin. If any of the people Penelope spoke to while searching for Lulu saw her now, they wouldn’t recognize her. Gone was the care-free, happy woman. Lulu actually looked more like Penelope now, serious and worried. She didn’t have to remind herself that the kidnapping was her idea.
The Islanders hosted last year’s cooking contest and for the first time, Lulu had the opportunity to explore the host island. She was amazed at the wealth and diversity of ingredients. She was actually jealous of the Islander chefs.
A casual remark to King Michael about leaving yielded comments like, “Don’t you have Continental Pride? What about your sister?” She thought about Penelope as well but her sister was old enough to take care of herself.
Then she travelled down to the Port of Aroma to search for an enterprising Islander ship captain. Captain Marcello listened to her story and was more than happy to accommodate her. She staged the kidnapping and met Captain Marcello and his crew in front of the Sleeping Dog. After she paid him, Captain Marcello seized her and said, “I received an order from King Lee. You are to be taken to him. There is a handsome reward for your capture.”
Days and days they sailed from island to island as Captain Marcello had business everywhere and was in no hurry to take her to King Lee. Every day he demanded she cook him elaborate meals. One day she overheard the ship’s crew complaining about the situation.
“He was supposed to have it done already,” said the first sailor.
“The Captain wants to get as many good meals out of her as possible before he does the deed,” replied the second sailor.
“If he doesn’t do it, I will!” said the first sailor. She heard the sounds of a knife sharpening. “I want my reward!” After that, Lulu slept with one eye open.
As she ground the hops with her mortar and pestle, she heard footsteps come down the stairs. Captain Marcello entered the galley.
“My dear,” he began. “Whatever are you doing?”
“It’s a surprise,” replied Lulu. “What can I do for you?”
“As you know, I love everything you cook, but I want something simpler today,” Captain Marcello replied. “Is there something you could whip up in a few minutes that is just as delicious as everything else you cook?”
“Of course,” said Lulu. “What about an omelette?”
Lulu made Captain Marcello a Scrambled Omelette.