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  1. The Search for Lorna

  2. The Surprise

  3. Daisy Macbeth

  4. The Oak

  5. A Nice Little Trip

  6. Imogen

  7. The Night Watch

  8. The Green Lodge

  9. The Bookworm

y Crystal Jones
© 1995-2007      
daisy macbeth

Daisy was looking at the clothes in the shop window of Bronzetti’s enjoying her favourite three-flavour ice cream. She never went into the shop because she couldn’t afford their prices. “I must admit that Italian styles are very nice, but you have to be pretty slim to get into them.” Daisy muttered to herself. It wasn’t that Daisy was fat, she was just average, but certainly not paper-thin, like most models. And again to herself, “Mm, that two-piece is a lovely shade.”

“Kay, I didn’t expect to see you here yet - oh, sorry you’re not Kay, are you?”

Daisy turned around to see who was speaking to her. It was a rather shabby-looking, bearded man of about fifty. He was clearly of African origin and had a strong Southern States accent. In spite of his clothes he was wearing glasses of a famous Italian make, which Daisy knew cost a lot of money.

“No, indeed.” Daisy wasn’t used to being chatted up in the middle of the High Street and made to walk off in the direction of her favourite ice-cream parlour.

“Please excuse me,, you see I’m a film director and...”

“No thank you, I’m not interested. Goodbye.”

“No, you don’t understand. I really am. I’m Lawrence Baker,” the man told Daisy as though the mention of his name would explain his behaviour.

“And I’m a private investigator!” retorted Daisy.

“Oh, that doesn’t matter, you’ll do just the same.”

Daisy was rather good at getting rid of stupid people but this time she was a bit curious to know what was behind this sort of insistence.

“Do call me Lawrence” the man added. “Look, in case you’ve never heard of me I directed an all Harlem cast of The Tempest.”

Daisy liked Shakespeare on the screen and had indeed seen the film. “Well, I liked your film immensely but I’m not Kay and... oh, you weren’t talking about Kay Bartok, the Canadian actress in Macbeth? You made that too, didn’t you?”

“Yes.” Lawrence Baker smiled. Daisy had made his day.

“I’m afraid my films don’t make a lot of money, but it gives me pleasure to hear an Englishwoman saying she enjoyed at least one of them. But back to business. I mistook you for Kay.” Lawrence Baker paused a moment, stepped back to see Daisy better and just stared at her. “I’ve had a wonderful idea. How would you like to be Kay Bartok’s double for the rest of the week!”

Daisy was stunned. Mr. Lawrence continued: “Your face isn’t exactly like hers but you have an identical build and just the same long light-brown hair. You know, Kay, is a bit run down and she badly needs a rest. The thing is that she has a lot of engagements in the next few days as we are here to promote our latest film, “Back To The Jungle With A Modem”.

“Well, I really don’t act as a profession - at least I do sometimes when I’m investigating a case, but... ” said Daisy.

“Look, why don’t we have a cup of coffee over there,” Lawrence indicated a coffee shop on the other side of the road. “Kay is meeting me there because she wanted to do some shopping first. Look, there she is, going into the coffee shop now.”

Lawrence was the talkative type who would never take no for an answer, and Daisy was rather intrigued by the whole matter, so she decided to meet Kay Bartok.

When she was introduced to the actress, Daisy saw that their features were different and that Kay Bartok was at least fifteen years older, but physically they were indeed very similar.

Kay Bartok had a strong Canadian accent. “So you’re a private eye, Miss Hamilton. How very interesting. You must get into very dangerous situations sometimes.”

Daisy took a liking to this gracious lady who looked at people as though she was sincerely interested in what they were saying.

“Kay, what do you think, we could have the young lady made up - emphasising her eyes maybe, wear a face-covering hat and she would look exactly like you."

“Just a minute, Mr. Baker, I work as a private eye and not as a film double...”

“Look, Daisy, we could pay you just as if you were investigating something. You would be doing us a great favour.” Lawrence insisted.

Daisy hesitated: she had only one case on hand at the moment and that was to pay for some office furniture she needed badly. Files were everywhere, and her fax machine wasn’t working.

“Well” - she replied - “I was just going on holiday, but I could put it off for a few days - but Miss Bartok, you’re so famous - people could easily tell that I’m not you!”

“Not really my dear. I haven’t been back to England for nearly twenty years and everybody here has just seen me in my films where I’m made up heavily anyway.”

Lawrence Baker smiled triumphantly: “Kay, you’ll have to do your press conference of course in a week’s time but Miss Hamilton can impersonate you at the charity events - it’s not difficult to declare a fête open after all. Kay, you go off and have a rest for the next few days, and I’ll take Daisy round with me to parties and lunches you would be going to.”

Kay Bartok looked relieved. “I want to thank you Miss Hamilton and I hope the next time I come over I can look you up and we can have a good laugh together.”

The next morning Daisy found herself in a hotel suite with Mr. Baker helping her with her make-up.

Daisy was a bit confused. “But Miss Bartok is older than me! Won’t people notice? And what about her accent?”

Lawrence laughed. “Don't worry. Kay is well-known for her stage and film classical acting, she studied in London, you know, and most people think she is English anyway. As to the fact that Kay is older than you, she doesn’t look it in her films!”

Daisy took courage by the hand and enjoyed herself immensely for the rest of that week. She wore beautiful clothes, opened a fête, had gorgeous food in wonderful restaurants in the heart of London and earned five hundred pounds. Lawrence was anything but mean. There was just one thing - unfortunately she had put on four pounds in weight!    

Back in her office Daisy was perusing the newspapers she hadn’t had time to see in the last few days. One tabloid read:

“Kay Bartok opens fête in the heart of England to collect money for a multiple sclerosis charity. Nearly double the sum expected was donated thanks to the charm of this great actress. It was noticed that she looked very well, and younger than when she played Lady Macbeth in Lawrence Baker’s film. She modestly said that she hopes to act even better in her next role and that she likes English ice-cream very much!”


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