The French Courtesan, Who Came In from the Cold – Part Twelve

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner

The Shenandoah Valley

October 14, 1991 – August 1, 1992

“L’amour entre trois ~ Espionnage à trois”

(Love between three ~ Espionage by three)

Tis better to have known love, than never loved at all. I look back to those years and still wonder why those two very special women would have had simultaneously been in love with me. Even back then, most American women automatically chose a man for a husband, who had the most wealth. I certainly was not poor back then. I co-owned a very valuable piece of agricultural real estate and had a very successful architecture practice . . . but Vivi and Susan were 10’s . . . well maybe 12’s and I certainly wasn’t. Of course, both ladies said the same thing to me, “How could you possibly love me with all my faults?” Well, we all loved each other and Chapter Twelve is basically a love story during war time . . . and indeed, we were at war.

Perhaps the love between three people sounds depraved today. Actually, it wasn’t. Different than the norm, yes, but we fell into the situation unintentionally, then made it work. Vivi and Susan bonded as sisters, not physical lovers. On our first threesome date to Harpers Ferry, both gals announced that they would like to have children out of wedlock with me in the near future. They would raise the kids together, since both of them would have to go on covert missions, leaving their offspring behind.

The love between all three of us was unconditional and not self-centered. We each put the other’s welfare above ourselves. As you will soon read, I was so concerned about losing their friendship that both gals literally had to knock me down the first time to force me to be in a horizontal position. That was their biggest complaint about me. I was too stoic and cautious!

My traditional Creek fireside saga is not a complete picture of the events that occurred in Virginia and Washington, DC . . . three decades ago.  I was a volunteer asset, not a paid employee of any law enforcement or national security agency.  That being said, the technical quality of the volunteer work I did in conjunction with Susan Karlson so impressed the professionals that I was treated as a peer by many of them.   I was the only witness in the Georgetown Hearings, who was invited to attend all depositions and to question other witnesses.  Those hearings will be discussed further on.

Susan’s supervisors couldn’t understand why a goatherd-architect was giving her a comprehensive education in national security espionage techniques, but didn’t complain.  Of course, Vivi knew because she was there in the SUV when French security personal uncovered my activities in Europe and Latin America long ago. It was not until November 1991 that I told Susan about what I did on the side in Mexico and then said, “In 10 months, I can tell you the rest of the story.”  She instantly got the message. She was in that same business as a fulltime professional.

Well, there was something else.  Architects are trained to be very observant, but evidently, I have talents that take me up to a much higher level.  In 2011, I was sleeping on the concrete floor of the office of an abandoned chicken house near Track Rock Gap, GA.  Out of loneliness and boredom, and on a lark, I took the CIA Employment Aptitude Test online.  Within an hour,  the night-time desk officer called me from the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA and invited me to go to work for the CIA the next day as an intelligence analyst.  They would leave my airplane ticket at the Delta check-in booths at the Atlanta Airport and email me other instructions.  Then he learned that I was over 40 so that plan was cancelled and they began trying to get me a position as a private contractor.

He said that I had scored higher than most career CIA officers with 20 years of experience, including a perfect 100 on visual intelligence . . . which is almost unheard of. I also had almost a perfect scores on world geography, discerning foreign languages and cryptology.  

About three years ago, also on a lark, I took the 1944 US Department of War aptitude test for all inductees.  Had I been a college graduate during World War II, look where they would have placed me!

Bagging a bigshot in the VBI

Our most important intelligence coup occurred during the period when Susan and I were functioning as couriers.  One morning around 8:30 AM,  a very powerful administrator in the Virginia Bureau of Investigation, plus a Virginia State Police sergeant, appeared at my kitchen door without calling in advance. They demanded entry as if I was a criminal, not a crime victim.  I invited them to sit at the breakfast table, where I had hidden a miniature voice-activated tape recorder for catching incriminating statements by my wife . . . like asking me for a divorce then denying that she said it later.  

What I remember most about that morning was the ring that the head VBI guy was wearing. It was gold with a large ruby in it. Throughout the visit, he was pointing the ruby at me. Later that afternoon, I asked Susan what the meaning of the ruby ring was. She said that it was typical of the rings worn by satanic priests!

The VBI administrator threatened to have me arrested, if I continued to complain to the federal authorities about the killing of our livestock and vandalism to our farm.   Wo! This is federally licensed food producing plant and there are persons using an extremely dangerous biotoxin on our premises, plus breaking into the plant.   That is clearly a federal concern.  He went on for a long time about the ways that he could ruin my life and my finances forever.

You have to understand that these crooked cops, no matter who they are or where they live, always are arrogant SOB’s, who think that they are above the law and will always be protected by crooked politicians and judges.  He was wrong on this one.

Our Toms Brook house – the kitchen door is in the center.

After the two had left, I hand wrote a transcript of the tape and addressed it to the special agent in charge of the Winchester, VA FBI office.   I then called Susan on the secure phone and explained what was going on – and for her to tell me on the insecure phone that she had to stop by a pharmacy on the way to the FBI office.   On the insecure phone I first described how hot she was in bed the other night then asked her to take a memo to the Winchester FBI office for me since I was told that I would be arrested if I contacted them again.  I told her to meet me at the Dominion Bank parking lot in Stephens City.

Susan did something very clever. She stamped the back of the note paper with a Classified notice, which would make it a federal felony for anyone outside the FBI to touch it. She left the memo, face up, on the passenger seat, turned on the cameras in and outside her car and went into the pharmacy.  Sure enough the VBI official drove up to her car.  His sergeant used an electronic device to unlock her car then reached in to grab the memo.   He and the senior officer were captured by four FBI cruisers and a helicopter.  They were charged with illegal wire-tapping of an FBI agent’s conversation, breaking into a US Government vehicle, theft of a classified US Government document and SPEEDING on an interstate highway.  LOL

They were taken by helicopter to some remote location in the mountains.  Apparently the two of them sang like canaries.  They provided the information necessary to shut down the drug pipeline between Florida and Virginia.  The Virginia Bureau of Investigation was soon abolished then replaced by an investigation division within the Virginia State Police.   I don’t know what happened to Mr. Bigshot, other than he lost his job. 

Vivi enters Susan’s secret world!

Keep in mind that we are talking about two brilliant, highly educated ladies.  Both carried deep emotional scars from their parents, plus Vivi carried scars from many contacts with abusive men, but both also were guided by telepathic brains, which could sense my thoughts and emotions.

Vivi

When Vivi learned in early June 1991 at Bob & Sara’s house that I would be faking an affair with a beautiful Swedish-American virgin FBI agent, she obtained permission from them to use the magic cellular phone to call Susan. 

Vivi immediately told Susan how I had saved her life and then we had fallen in love.  However, ever since then, she had been having nightmares in which many people, including my estranged wife, were trying to kill me.   She was very worried that in the many months of absence, I would be lured by some evil female in a bar to my death.  Susan said that Vivi was crying as she begged her to become intimate with me so I would not be tempted to go out with evil women.  Vivi even said that if Susan didn’t like me, she would pay Susan to pretend to like me.  Susan responded that as a professional FBI employee, she was not permitted to accept such payments.

Susan

This new information explained why Vivi repeatedly urged me to have an “adult” relationship with Susan from the start.  It also explains Susan’s bizarre behavior during our first meeting at her house.  She had never even been kissed, yet assumed that I expected her to be intimate with me immediately.

On Monday October 14, 1991, – the day that Vivi and I were about to sample cheese at the gourmet foods event at Union Station,  Susan called Bob on the magic cellular phone and asked to speak to Vivi.  Vivi immediately thanked her profusely for taking care of me, but pondered why we had only kissed.  “Richard is very kind, but also very loving with me when we are together.  You missed out on something special.“

By then, I had finally given in to Susan’s desires, but Susan didn’t tell Vivi that. What she said instead was that it was my fault.  (True) “Vivi,  Richard told me the first time we met at a hamburger restaurant that he was in love with a woman in France.  He likes me and I like him, but I can read his mind.  [Actually, Susan had already said that she was in love with me!] Part of him feels guilty about being anywhere near me. (True) Of course, that is the same trait that made him stay in a terrible marriage with a wife, who didn’t love him. (True)  “Did you tell him, what you told me . . . that you wanted us to enjoy each other in every way?”   Vivi answered, “Oui, many times.” (True)

Susan, being an arbitrator and attorney, then suggested that the three of us get together, “so Richard will not feel guilty and confused.”  Vivi agreed wholeheartedly.  

The gals then went on to discuss my situation.  (At this point, I was beginning to feel like a commodity, owned by Vivi and Susan.)   Both were aware that my wife had shifted her demands from divorce to an open marriage – repeatedly encouraging me to find a younger girlfriend.  Susan, my attorney in this matter, pointed out that my wife had never signed the Open Marriage Agreement that I had given her. [Susan was the author of that legal document.] Susan suspected that my wife couldn’t be trusted.  (True)

Vivi then pointed out that due to the nature of their secret careers,  it would be impossible for either one of them to have a normal marriage with me, because they would be gone for periods of time and couldn’t talk about what they were doing.  The requirement for being away long periods was already a problem for Vivi, concerning her daughter. Susan agreed and suggested an arrangement for now in which Vivi had dibs on me when she traveled to the United States, but three of us would also get together for dinners so we could remain friends.  Vivi agreed to that.

I finally had a word in the matter.  “Vivi and I have an appointment with the realtor at a possible winery site tomorrow morning at 10.  Susan, why don’t you join us for lunch at the Battletown Inn Restaurant in Berryville around noon? It features traditional Southern cuisine, but has a Cordon Bleu chef.  Vivi is a student at the Cordon Bleu in Paris.”   Susan said, “I would love it!”

Cat fight or love feast?

My surrealistic life continued.  I was not sure what I was getting into, but knew that I was indeed torn up inside about having feelings for two sweet-natured women, who both said they loved me.   It was my same old problem . . . fear of losing someone who I cared about.  It had taken me 16 years and being trapped in a snowstorm to kick me into finding another woman, who loved me and enjoyed nurturing me.  As a result, I was the happiest I had been in 16 years. Now, I was in two such relationships.  Either Vivi or Susan could have been loving, faithful wives, who wanted to have our children. I absolutely did not know what to do.

Bob insisted that I take one of their cars so Vivi would not be seen in the pickup with me by any snooping VBI surveillance car. He was certain that they put a tracking device on my pickup . . . which of course, the FBI wanted . . . since their satellites were following the followers. 

Once we were on the proposed site of the vineyard, the realtor was super-impressed by a very chique French woman, being in her presence.  After walking the property, Vivi was convinced that it was ideal for a champagne winery. She needed well drained soils with the right amount of cold weather and warm weather.  

The realtor was honest about two problems.  Vivi’s contractor would have to drill a well, and the realtor was not certain that the county would issue a permit for a large enough septic field on the rocky soil to meet the needs of a winery, open to the public.  We would have to find out.

Battletown Inn & Restaurant – Berryville, VAour first threesome date!

Susan was waiting on the sidewalk when we arrived in Berryville.  Vivi hopped out of the car, raced over to Susan, hugged her then in the French tradition kissed her cheeks.  When I caught up to Vivi,  she said, “Well, Susan, aren’t you going to hug Richard?”  Susan gave me a wimpy hug then Vivi ordered her to hug me hard enough “to feel really good inside her.”

The Battletown Inn dates back to 1809 and so has much of the ambiance of a French Inn.  Both gals loved the chosen site of our rendezvous.   They both began chatting like old friends, usually leaving me out of the conversation.  Most of the topics were girly type subjects like . . . “safest semi-automatic pistol to carry in your pocket book?” . . . or . . . “should you carry more than one hidden knife?” or “will a flash grenade explode inside your pocketbook” or “what do you do when a large, powerful man seems about to attack or rape you?”  

Vivi laughed, “That’s not a problem with Ree-shard.   I had to push him down onto the bed the first time to get him to lay on the bed with me.”  (True)  Susan laughed, “Me too!  I had to push him down to lay with me on my sofa the first timeThen when I was just beginning to feel really good, he told me that I needed to take the intel to my sister.”  (True)   

Susan asked Vivi how she learned to pass on confidential materials right in front of a police camera.  Vivi smiled, “Running drugs between France, Germany, Spain and England about 5 to 7 years ago.”    Susan looked shocked and didn’t pursue the matter. Vivi added with a laugh, “Why do you think that the French government finds me so useful in fighting the heroin smugglers? I never used heroin, but I do like marijuana. It should be legal. It is much safer that strong drinks like whiskey and vodka.

The two ladies were obviously enjoying each other’s company.  I then realized that because they were so intelligent, there were not many women out there with which they could become close friends.  In addition,  Vivi was trying to divorce herself from France’s entertainment community. 

On Monday morning, when I got up, I certainly did not expect to be socializing jointly with Vivi and Susan on Tuesday.  In wildest dreams, I would never have foreseen Viva and Susan become close friends, with Vivi soon taking on the role of a surrogate big sister, corrupting Susan in the ways of the world.

I asked Susan if she would like to join us this afternoon as we toured a winery and the restored town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  Vivi looked at Susan pleadingly.  Susan said, “I’d love to!”  Susan left her car parked on the street in Berryville.  I suggested that the two gals sit in the back sit so they could chat easier and I could be their chauffer.  They were delighted at the suggestion.

Breaux Vineyards between Berryville, VA and Harpers Ferry, WV

The winery offered a free tasting of various wines at a bar.  Vivi became the second person in the world to know that Susan drank wine with enthusiasm.   We each then ordered a glass of our favorite wine and went out onto patio.  As we went to the patio, Susan said that this was the first time in her life that she had drunk wine in public.  Vivi spied an ash tray on our table and asked if we minded if she smoked.  We said no, then Susan asked if she could try one.   I couldn’t believe my ears.  Susan had been a closet pipe smoker since her teens, but no one but me had ever seen her smoke a pipe. . . other than her grandparents. Was she going to hold a cigarette like a pipe?

Once Susan lit her cigarette with Vivi’s lighter,  she realized that she didn’t know what to do.  She started mimicking everything that Vivi was doing,  with not nearly the skill.  She did not know that Vivi had graduated from Virginia Slims smoking school in Paris and was on a full page Bensen & Hedges ad in Cosmopolitan Magazine earlier in the year. (See below.) Actually, it was quite funny, but I held back my laughter.  

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Next, we drove over to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. With a considerable amount of wine in them the conversation of the two gals became quite honest – sometimes earthy. Susan eventually confessed that her parents did not let her date in high school or even wear lipstick. Richard was the only man that she had ever kissed! Susan added that she had to learn about the birds and bees in the county library.

Susan continued, “I first attended Bethlehem College in Minneapolis. It’s a Pentecostal school. The professors were nice enough, but very conservative. Boys and girls could not even hold hands on campus. Alcoholic beverages and smoking were prohibited.”

Most of the students claimed that they wanted to wait until they got married for sex. They were looking for boring trophy wives, who would look good, sitting on a church bench. That’s when I started creating the fake Susan . . . the Swedish Ice Queen as they call me at the FBI. I was afraid to date any of the guys for fear that they would find out the real me. The real Susan desperately wanted to be kissed and fondled. However, I was afraid that the guys would not like the real Susan, who like wine and smoking pipes. I would walk over to other college campuses to smoke my pipe or experiment with other things.”

I changed to Wheaton College in Chicago my second year. It was a little bit more progressive, but still all the guys were looking for preacher’s wives. I knew that they wouldn’t like the real Susan. I would walk to other parts of Chicago to smoke or order wine in restaurants.

Then in law school at the University of Minnesota, I became the weirdo. None of the girls were virgins, yet I had not even been kissed. I was still in the habit of acting like a nun around other people and then sneaking off to be the real Susan. At first, many, many men asked me for dates, but I was afraid for them to know that I knew nothing about even kissing. After awhile, the guys assumed that I was a lesbian and probably crazy too.”

I started falling in love with Richard at Wendy’s, when I realized that he was farmer, very smart and a spiritual warrior. Then I acted really crazy when he came over to my house. He chewed me out, but he didn’t call me stupid. He said that I had a big brain and I was not using it. Actually, I now realize that my parents implanted a demon in me that was keeping me from being a loving woman. That demon ran away the second time that Richard visited me.”

She added, “I really enjoy kissing Richard’s big Indian lips, but much of the time, I don’t know what I am supposed to do otherwise.” She asked Vivi if the two of them could get together sometime so she could ask Vivi some personal type questions. Vivi said that she would be delighted to pass along her experiences, plus tell her what types of men to NOT date or marry. Those were the big mistakes she had made in her life.

Vivi joked that she also had big Indian lips, but that she had never kissed a man with big Indian lips before. “Richard and I make lots electricity, Susan.”  

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

In the 1800s, Harpers Ferry was an important industrial town, driven by the water power of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. It stagnated when coal fired steam engines replaced water power.  Further investment was discouraged by periodic massive floods that did much property damage.  One by one the industrial buildings, canals and bridges in the town were destroyed, but not rebuilt.  In 1936, the worst flood of all wiped out the Lower Town.   Much of Harpers Ferry was abandoned at that time.  Soon work was begun by the Federal Government, which continues to this day in the restoration of the town as it appeared in the mid-1800s.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park – Shenandoah Street

After visiting most of the buildings, I led my two dear friends to a grassy knoll, where the Shenandoah River joined the Potomac River to enjoy a magnificent view.  It was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite spot in all of the new United States of America.  He came here many a time to ponder the future of the nation, he had help create.  I wonder what the future of our nation is?

Confluence of Shenandoah & Potomac Rivers at Harpers Ferry

After a bit of time, Susan spoke up, “I have presents for the two of you.  I was planning to give them to Richard so he could then give one to you, Vivi.  Just now I realized that this was the perfect spot.”

Vivi, Richard said that you were jealous when you heard that we had smoked pipes together. That won’t be a problem anymore.”   From her travel bag she pulled out two fancy, carved tobacco pipes with bows on them.  One had “Vivi” engraved on it.  The other has “Richard.”  “Do you two want to try them out now to celebrate our friendship . . . our peace treaty.  We can call them peace pipes.”

Vivi quickly answered, “Oui,  that would be fun.  I have never smoked a pipe. Richard you get in the middle of your two queens.”

Susan pulled a tobacco pouch out of her bag and packed our pipes. She then lit Vivi’s pipe and handed it to her.  Then she lit mine and then her own. Vivi immediately coughed because she tried to inhale the smoke like a cigarette. Susan told her to just hold the smoke in her mouth and then blow it out.  Susan was the only one, who was very skilled at smoking a pipe, but the pipes did produce spiritual experience for us.  Each of us had to be thinking what a strange scene this was . . . but then again, it was nice.

We all stated that we wondered what would be happening to us in the future.  As the smoke from the pipes died out, Vivi suggested that we participate in a Tamulte wedding ceremony as we all held hands in a circle.  Vivi had learned the words from her grandmother for her first disastrous marriage ceremony.  I don’t remember them and certainly didn’t realize that the Tamulte were really just Creeks living in Tabasco State, Mexico.

At the end, Vivi said in English,  “This is a beautiful moment.  Let’s pray that we will all be together in heaven someday . . . but not too soon!”  

Vivi then reached over in front of me and put both hands on Susan’s hands.  “Susan, do you know why I encouraged you to be with Richard?  It’s because you are just like him.  Once you made a promise, you would stay in a terrible marriage with no love or children for sixteen years.  I love Richard so much that I want him to always be with a woman, who will love him and stand by him no matter what.” Vivi’s words are not the typical thing that comes out of an “other woman’s” mouth.

View upstream on the Shenandoah River from our pipe ceremony

Girls just want to have fun

On the way back to Susan’s car in Berryville,  Susan suddenly had a more serious look on her face after Vivi said, “Go ahead and tell him what we discussed. You can be my attorney today.”

Richard, Vivi wants to have more children and for you to be their father, because she would not be alive today and probably burning in hell, was it not for you. She is a little older than me and so wants to start making babies soon. In Europe now, no one cares if an unmarried rich woman has children. She will set up large trust funds for each child so that the cost of raising them will not be a problem for you, in case she dies.”

First of all though, as soon as you and your evil wife are not in the same house, she wants to bring Aimee to the United States and the three of you to live together for awhile, to see if Aimee likes you. If she does, she would like you to adopt Aimee as your daughter as soon as you are divorced. She would expect you to learn French better, but she would pay for the lessons. How do you feel about that.”

I really didn’t even need to think about it. “Sure, I would love Aimee just as much as I love her mother.”

Susan continued, “In that case, Vivi will also change her will at the same time to give custody of all her children to you and me, in case she dies.

Basically, what I am telling you is that Vivi and I have decided to raise each other’s children as if they were our own. Both of us will have to go on missions away from home. This way, all the children will have a mother and father all the time. “

Oh, I guess I should add that I want you to be the father of my children and Vivi be in my will as their surrogate mother. I won’t start making babies until Vivi is finished . . . well, until she is mostly finished. That way we can help each other. Guess you could say that Vivi and I just proposed to you . . . even though you are not divorced yet.” We will be creating a series of legal documents and financial instruments that will protect the economic interests of the three adults and all children, but without violating statutes against bigamy. <both gals giggled.>

Ladies, what can I say. Both of you were women beyond my expectations before December 1990. How could I do any better . . . besides, I would have two trained security guards at my side most of the time!”

Susan added, “Richard you will be the only man I ever kissed.”

Vivi finally spoke, “Well, Ree-chard, you are the only man I ever kissed and still remember it. Do you remember when I put cheese in your mouth and kissed you? I was thinking, wow, he has big lips like me!”

Susan then asked Vivi how long she would be in Alexandria. She said that she was leaving on Wednesday, October 16th.    Susan responded, “Oh that’s a shame.  Vivi, I have to go to the FBI building in downtown Washington on Thursday to give a preliminary report on my investigations in the Shenandoah Valley.  I was hoping that we could get together again.”

Vivi was silent for a while then blurted, “You know, we girls to have stick out for each other.  Are you finished with your report?”  Susan said that she planned to finish it up tonight.

Susan,  I will delay my flight until Thursday night.  Let’s have some fun for two days!  You will get a call from one of your bosses tonight, telling you that the French Embassy has requested that you be the guide and provide security for a female agent in the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure.”

We are going to make you a new woman tomorrow . . . one that the men will take seriously.”

I learned at our next intel transfer on Wednesday the following week that Vivi told Susan to change her appearance to that of a sophisticated, fashion conscious woman of the world.  Vivi had learned that government criminal justice and security agencies tell their female employees to cut their hair and dress like a Nazi, but it is the Vivi’s of the world that end up getting the best paying and most glamorous jobs.  Vivi was going to pick up the tab for Susan having a complete make over . . . including the latest fashions for professionals from Paris!  She gave Susan a complete wardrobe of casual, business and formal clothing!

This is a French model, not Susan, but her beret, hair style, make-up and sweater strongly resemble Susan after Vivi paid for her getting a complete make-over. The curly hair especially helped.

Susan showed off her makeup, new outfit and hair style for me when I walked into her living room the next week.  I could not believe the transformation.  She looked like a woman with power, sophistication and she was downright gorgeous.  Actually, I lusted in my heart after her . . . as the Old Testament says.

Susan told me that Vivi had trained her how to get information from men at bars without having to go to bed with them.  Vivi told her that her tobacco pipes had to stay at home.  She explained that most of the men and all of the women in a bar would assume that she was a lesbian, if she started puffing on a pipe at a bar.

Laughing, I responded, “Susan, you have never been in a bar in your life!” 

She grinned and blurted back, “Oh yes I have!  Vivi took me to five bars and even to a strip club!”

Vivi in a Benson & Hedges magazine ad

Susan was so proud of herself and was still grinning.  “Richard, I have been practicing for a week in front of a mirror.  Look what I can do now.”  She picked up a pack of Benson & Hedges Menthol cigarettes (Vivi’s favorite brand) from the kitchen counter and then showed off that she now knew how to smoke a cigarette erotically like Vivi . . . but in truth, she said, she still preferred her beloved pipes.  Hm-m, now Vivi was Susan’s role model – brilliant mind, exceptional beauty, irresistible femininity, clever espionage techniques and an addiction that these gals somehow convert in to a carnal lure for men . . . thrown together in the same display window. 

About a month later, Susan presented her final report to her bosses. Of course, I had no access to it.  In late November 1991,  Susan received a letter of commendation.  She was still quite naïve in the ways of bureaucracies and did not see the innuendos in the letter’s first paragraph.  Someone really didn’t like Christians or women who bragged about being a virgin.

She had been intentionally placed in a hovel within a high crime area, where it was hoped that she would either be killed or raped. Maybe occult personnel in the FBI did plan to kill her.  She was assigned a task of pretending to be an affair because they assumed that she would either refuse the assignment or look like a nerd.  

The beginning of the letter stated that her suitability for continuing employment with the agency had been in question because of many complaints about her social and communication skills.  The latter part of the letter praised her for her rapid evolution into an outstanding representative of the FBI, after entering a romantic relationship.  It added that the staff psychologist had determined that prior criticisms of Susan were probably due to the lack of romance, companionship and physical nurturing in her life. She was urged to continue that positive influence on her career.

Just as Vivi predicted,  the last paragraph of the letter announced that she was being promoted to a much higher pay grade and being transferred to the counter-espionage division of the FBI that focuses on espionage, terrorism and international organized crime.  She was joining the elite of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  What she would be doing had such a high security level that most employees of the agency would not be able to discern, if she even existed. 

The hearings were held over a bakery-cafe in Georgetown

The Georgetown Hearings

(November 1991 and February, March and April – 1992)

The hearings, reports and depositions about the organized crime in the Shenandoah Valley originated from at least three different sources.  I never was in a position to see the big picture, so I suspect there were other individuals or agencies involved at a covert level.  There were several high-level FBI and NSA agents working covertly in the Valley, who I never met. Susan was at the bottom of the pecking order, when we first started transmitting intel.

The hearings and depositions were held in secure meeting rooms and offices above a bakery-café in Georgetown.  It was not possible for someone to enter the suite without passing guards and metal detectors.  Witnesses, such as myself, reached the suite by going through a concealed door in the back of the kitchen of the café.  That was so spies would not probably be able to discern the witnesses from normal customers.

The parents of Tim Connor, whose body was found next to our rental house, the night that I arrived in Virginia, devoted their lives to getting justice for their son.  Eventually, their case was taken pro se, by a team of law professors at American University.  The legal investigators quickly discovered that there had been many murders or suspicious deaths of law-abiding citizens, who had informed on illegal drug activities.  Their evidence triggered the investigation that Bob, Sara, Susan, I and several other persons were involved in.  However, the evidence that I gathered or forwarded from others to Susan included a vast of array of crimes.  It was clear that Shenandoah County had become a playground for several criminal organizations, including more than one satanic cult. 

The second impetus came from the Washington Post.  Its executives were furious about the murder of their Senior Investigative Reporter and three other journalists in Shenandoah County. Being a world class newspaper the Post’s surviving investigative reporters quickly realized that journalists around the country were being slaughtered and that people very high in the Bush Administration were stone-walling police investigations.

The body of independent investigative reporter, Danny Casolaro, was found in the tub of Room 517 of the Sheraton Hotel in Martinsburg, WV on August 10, 1991. Casolaro’s main source of income was ownership of a computer magazine. The scene in the bathroom was made to look like a suicide, but hotel employees noted much damage to the walls and furniture in the main room from a violent struggle.

The Martinsburg Police only took a couple of photos of the body and did not treat the hotel room as a crime scene. West Virginia law requires that when there are no witnesses to a death that the body be autopsied.  Instead Casolaro’s body was immediately sent by the police to a morgue to be rush-embalmed on a weekend, before members of his family were notified of his death.

Casolaro’s friends and family stated that he was in good humor.  Two friends stated that he had told them that he was meeting with someone in Martinsburg, who was going to give him the final proof that a rogue office in the Justice Department were committing serious crimes. 

Casolaro’s brother was a medical doctor. With this information, an attorney hired by his family was able to get a court order for an autopsy, which his brother participated in.  Several of Danny’s finger nails had been pulled out.  He had bruises on his abdomen. Traces of the chemicals that curare breaks down into were found in his body.  It was clear that he had been murdered, but the District Attorney and police in Martinsburg refused to open a criminal investigation.

The first phase of the hearings was limited to people with a high security clearance, who had passed a polygraph.  During that era there were many moles . . . well, traitors . . . in the Justice Department.  For example, Robert Hanssen, held a supervisory position in the FBI counter-espionage unit and was spying for the Russians at the very same time that Susan Karlson joined it.   He was not arrested until 2001!

The second phase involved interrogation and deposition under oath of at least 25 witnesses from northwestern Virginia.  I was of the few or the only witness, who was allowed to listen to other testimonies and ask questions myself.  All 25 witnesses were offered participation in the Federal witness protection program.  Most accepted.  I did not, because I could not practice architecture under a false name and in a state, where I did not have a license. Nevertheless, the Assistant US District Attorney supervising the witnesses was instructed to stay in frequent contact with me [He did] and provide FBI assistance for my protection if I felt threatened. 

Vivi stayed in Alexandria almost the entire time that I was involved with the depositions. If we couldn’t get an employee to milk the goats, I would have to leave before rush hour traffic to do that chore. Also, every few days, I had to make cheese and so could not spend the night with Vivi. HOWEVER, Vivi insisted that when Susan was not busy, I should give her equal attention.

It became quite common for Vivi to wait down in the cafe, while I was in depositions. They also had outside tables just like in France. On several occasions, the attorneys from American University and the Justice Department took breaks down there. They assumed that Vivi was my wife, since she wore the big wedding ring from an earlier marriage to keep other men away.

The court reporter was a cute blond about 23 or 24 years old. She had been making eyes at me for some time, hoping I would ask her out. Getting frustrated with that approach, she invited me after a session to come over to her apartment for an Italian dinner. The senior law professor overheard her and said, “You’re wasting your time. Richard is not the type of husband to cheat on his wife. She’s a doll and downstairs right now in the cafe, waiting on him. “

The aftermath

I have no idea what transpired in the third phase because it was strictly an in-house analysis of all evidence.  It is quite typical for the FBI to offer immunity to certain minor players such as VBI agents and low-ranking deputies, who were just doing what they were told to do. 

I was called back to the secret offices in early March of 1993.  They had some more questions for me about the night time attacks by rogue National Guardsmen and Army Rangers. Soon the FBI began issuing arrest warrants. Eventually, all but one of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors would be arrested, along with most of the department heads,  the top five people at the Sheriff’s department, planning director and land fill director.  Several dozen other people in northwestern Virginia were also arrested.

Susan couldn’t tell me what she would be doing, but I did know that she had a one-year covert assignment in Georgia.  She obtained permission to carry out extensive interviews with me about the geography, climates, history and politics of Georgia.  I was to be paid $85 an hour of recorded tape. The letter also said that I would be reimbursed for travel, food and housing costs.  The letter did not mention Susan’s name or specifically what type of consultation I would be doing, so I showed it to my wife. She was not terribly interested in anything, but the amount of money I would be paid.

I finally had an opportunity to fulfill Vivi’s demand that I spend a whole night with Susan so she could experience waking up in a man’s arms.  Susan cooked the meals, so the arrangement saved the government several hundred dollars.  No one complained because I had been given 100% of the credit for Susan’s transformation. 

Those two days were very special.  There was sadness at the end, because we wouldn’t see much of each other for a year,  but Susan had a whole new glamorous life ahead of her.   I strongly suspected that I would never see her again, but Vivi and I had made a dramatic difference in Susan’s life.

Vivi and Aimee in the front pasture at sunset

The Summer of Love

During the spring of 1992,  we learned that my wife’s mother had lymphoma cancer and that it would probably eventually be terminal.   My wife announced that she would be spending the entire summer with her mother in metro Atlanta.   I would have been less suspicious of her actual agenda had not her behavior with me suddenly changed. 

For over a year, she had repeatedly suggested to me that I find a younger woman, who wants children, so I could be happy.   The announcement of the summer in Atlanta was simultaneously joined by her contemptuous remarks about me not being a real man.  She complained that over a year had passed and still I did not have a girlfriend.  (Actually, I had two girlfriends, but obviously she knew nothing about them.)  She started repeatedly calling me a loser that no woman would want.

As my wife was about to leave for Atlanta, she told me that she wanted “to cash out” on the marriage with a divorce and that when she returned in August, we should divide up our assets and file for divorce.  This time I got her on tape with my “James Bond” voice actuated tape recorder.

As soon as she drove off, I sent a message to Vivi in France with my computer.  Vivi had already said that as soon as I had a signed divorce petition, she was going to buy our farm and cheese creamery.  That purchase would almost make the divorce almost instantaneous.  Whether or not my EX could convince her married boyfriend to get a divorce was her problem.

Six weeks of paradise

Vivi first sent back a message asking if Susan was going to move in with me.   I wrote back that Susan had been transferred to Georgia for a year.  She was somewhere between 800 and 1200 km south of Virginia now.  Vivi responded, “Richard you will see Susan again.  You are in her heart forever, but for now, she must become her own woman.”

Vivi then sent me a message, asking me to stay near the computer for a few minutes.  She needed to talk to her daughter Aimee.

Maybe three minutes later, Vivi sent another message, stating that she wanted to learn goat cheese making ASAP.   What I didn’t anticipate was that she and Aimee took the next available Concorde to Dulles International Airport.  Vivi then paid cash for a used rental car and drove out to the farm. She definitely had the brains of a master spy.  She had only been to my house once.   Vivi was embracing me in our front yard before my wife even arrived in Atlanta by car.

What my EX had actually planned was for some members of her “sisterhood” to seduce me and secretly record the scenes.  Therefore, in her mind, she could triumphantly return from Atlanta to show me the photos and tapes then demand all of our assets in the divorce settlement.  Both she and the witches involved, were so contemptuous of me, they assumed that no woman would have me otherwise. 

There was absolutely no doubt about my interpretation of the situation. At 8:30 AM, about an hour after my wife departed, a member of her sisterhood called me up and asked me to be her guest for lunch to discuss mutual marketing possibilities between her employer, a general contractor, and myself. At lunch, there was very little discussion about business concerns. The woman instead harped about the fact that no wife would leave her husband alone for an entire summer and therefore I should immediately find another woman . . . such as herself. About a week later, I later saw that woman on the side of the highway between Strasburg and Front Royal. Her car had broken down. She was wearing a long black robe and silver crescent moon necklace . . . the badge of office for a witch priestess.

What actually happened the remainder of the summer was that a professional French actress and spy, watched through a window screen above as one 25ish witch after another showed up at my front door with wine bottles, but found themselves rebuffed.   Of course, Vivi was chuckling all the time, because she remembered that such stunts were exactly what she was asked to do initially as a college student.  They had led her to the miserable life she endured before meeting me.

Vivi’s only concern was her daughter.  She barely knew her father, who was a philandering playboy.  Until Vivi promised before God and me to change her life and become a good mother, the poor little girl could go many days or weeks without seeing her mother.   Also, she had never lived outside of Paris, much less in a foreign country.  Aimee did fine during the few days that they spent at Christmastime in Alexandria.  However, Vivi was contemplating the full six weeks of a tourist visa then the rest of Aimee’s childhood.

The concerns proved unfounded.  I greeted her daughter again with “Bonjour Aimee! Bienvenue dans ma ferme!”  She immediately hugged my legs and asked me again to be her father.  She then asked me to sleep with her mother, so she would be happy . . . then ran off singing with glee to pet my herd dogs and goats.  The only time the little girl cried was when she learned that she would have to leave the farm for a few weeks until they could return on a different type of visa. 

Vivi wore French peasant clothes . . . except when we went out to eat or shop (of course, always outside the Shenandoah Valley). She worked in the garden and helped me make cheese. We lived as husband, wife and daughter. We attended church at Foundry United Methodist Church  (1814) in Washington, DC.  It has large stain glass windows like French Gothic churches.  That is where Vivi wanted get married, if we ever went beyond the Indian ceremony at Harpers Ferry . . . since being divorced twice, she could not get married or take communion in French Catholic churches. It was the happiest days of my life.  Heaven could be no better. 

Equipment for making small, fresh cheeses

A surprise visit from Katie

By the first week in July,  we thought that we had our charade down pat.  It helped greatly that my surrogate wife was a professional “other woman” and spy!   LOL   Because my house was shaded by trees and  shielded visually by a hump in the 550 feet long driveway,  neighboring farmers had no clue that she was there.  We parked her car in the barn.  Since there was no space for Aimee in my pickup, we used Vivi’s car for going into Washington, DC to deliver cheese.  

Vivi would hide from postal carriers, feed trucks, dairy inspectors and local cheese customers.  However, when tourists from other regions appeared, she would greet them in her French dairy maid outfit and present herself as my wife.  Let’s face it.  Her high intelligence, extremely good looks and figure made her a “12.”   The tourists would buy huge amounts of cheese from her.

One day,  I was hot and sweaty from bush-hogging the west pasture and so was taking a shower.  Vivi was starting a gourmet French meal in the kitchen. Remember, she was near graduation from the Ecôle de Cordon Bleu! Aimee was playing with my herd dogs in Toms Brook. It was the ultimate scene of domestic tranquility.

Then just after I had stepped out of the shower to dry off, I heard a brief tapping on the kitchen door then the door partially open.  “Hey Richard, I am just getting some water for Ellie.  We’ll be back tomorrow and stay longer.”

Jay Monahan, Katie Couric and the girls, back when I knew them

I recognized the voice.  “Oh <expletive deleted> it’s Katie Couric.  What is she doing down in the Valley on a week day?”  We saw Katie and her late husband, Jay, fairly often, when she was a reporter for Channel 4 in Washington, but much less often now that she was co-anchor for NBC’s Today Show.  Jay and I went out about once a month on Saturdays to look at Civil War battlefields. Their house was about three miles down Tom’s Brook. However, they always called on the phone before coming over.

I thought, “I am dead meat.  She is now looking at the face of a beautiful French woman, cooking in my kitchen with a daughter outside, that could pass for my daughter.”    I quickly got dressed and ran down the stairs.

Vivi was NOT in the kitchen.  Katie asked which cabinet contained glasses then began filling the glass in front of the wide windows that overlooked the kitchen garden.  She was staring at something out the window.  I just knew it was Vivi picking asparagus for dinner. 

Katie didn’t mention what she saw out the window, but did ask about the meal ingredients aligned on our tile counters.  “Richard, I didn’t realize that you were a gourmet cook.”

I told her that I was not, but since my wife was gone for the entire summer,  I was trying to learn how to cook.  She then noticed the French language cookbook and said that she didn’t know I spoke French.  I said yes, but not fluently.  Katie then asked if she, Jay and Ellie could come by tomorrow so Ellie could pet the baby goats.  I said yes, but please call first. 

Katie starred at something out the east windows of the kitchen, but didn’t say what she was looking at. I am certain that she would have never guessed that a French movie star was in my house!

After Katie drove off, Vivi came up to the kitchen.  She HAD been picking asparagus, but ran up the house and hid under the East portico, when she heard a woman’s voice.   Apparently, Katie had seen her daughter, playing with the dogs, but maybe assumed it was a neighbor’s child, since I didn’t have any children.  Well,  perhaps Katie was suspicious, but could not come up with any plausible explanation for the French cook book in the kitchen and the fact that there was only a two-seat pickup truck visible on the farm . . . no car belonging to “the other woman.”

Vivi asked who the woman was.  Did I have a secret lover living nearby?   I told her that it was just a married friend.   I told her that we needed to watch television tomorrow morning. Vivi was confused.

Well, the next morning I turned on the TV to Channel 4, the NBC affiliate in Washington. Katie was broadcasting from the NBC studio in Washington that day.  Almost immediately,  Vivi exclaimed, “Oh there is Katy Couric.  I know her.  She is very nice.”

Shocked, I asked, “Vivi, how do you know Katie Couric?”

She answered, “Her apartment is near my apartment in New York.  We have chatted a few times at parties and on the sidewalk.  I have an apartment in New York for when I have missions in the United States or want to go to special parties.” 

Surprised, I told her that she had never mentioned her apartment in New York City.

She winked, “Since I met you, there was no reason to mention the New York apartment to you. You can come with me to the parties, but I will have to buy you some nicer clothes.”

Vivi, that is who was down in my kitchen.  Katie and her husband have a historic home near here. I worked on it as an architect, Then Jay and I began looking at old battlefields together.

Vivi laughed, “Re-shard, that is funny!  It is not funny for you, maybe, but can you imagine the look on Katie’s face, if she had seen me in the kitchen?  She thinks that I am a very important person in France. I cannot wait until this fall, when I see Katy and tell her that she was in my future house.”

Jay, Katie and Ellie did come by the next day.  I kept them near the barn, while Vivi and her daughter stayed upstairs in the house.  Katy and Ellie wanted to use the bathrooms upstairs, but encouraged them to use the one in the cheese creamery, instead.

Throughout June and July, my wife was cleaning out our bank account to pay for huge bar and restaurant tabs.  It looked like she was buying rounds of drinks and meals for groups of people.  I complained about it, but she merely responded that she was tired of being poor and it was my fault that we didn’t have any money.  

We had money, but one can’t spend $960 a month ($1920 today) on booze and restaurant meals then expect to remain solvent.  I would have been dead in the water, had not Vivi paid for all the food, gasoline and power bills while she was on the farm.   We were selling a lot of cheese, but also had hefty expenses, running a dairy.

Late in July 1992,  my wife called one night.  She first asked me if I had met any nice women that I would like to know better, while delivering cheese.  I told her no.   She then told me that she was driving up to our farm for our anniversary on Aug. 3 and my birthday on Aug. 4 then heading back to Georgia to get an apartment in Dalton, GA where she had a new job.  She did not mention the word divorce,  but I assumed by the job change meant that a formal separation was in the offing. 

On the morning of August 1, 1992  Vivi and I drove our vehicles to Bob and Sara’s house.  She was going to let their sons drive her car during the month that she had to be outside the United States because of visa restrictions. During the next few days, she placed a deposit on a rental townhouse in Alexandria and found a state certified bilingual teacher for Aimee . . . and me.  Vivi rightly expected me to become fluent in French.   

After Vivi purchased the farm and cheese creamery,  my soon-to-be-ex-wife and I would become debt free and each get $160,000.  I would then buy back half interest in the farm with my check and my ex-wife could pursue her desires, whatever they were.

Vivi planned to return the first week of September on a business visa, since she would be legitimately buying real estate for a vineyard.  With that visa, she could come and go as she pleased, but planned to spend as much time as possible with me – finally getting to see the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  We would no longer have to conceal our deep love for each other.  

Vivi dreamed of having our next Christmas being in the old Toms Brook house. Never again would Susan have to be alone at Christmas. As to how we would have handled “you know what” with both beautiful ladies, plus Vivi’s daughter, in the house . . . that’s anybody’s guess. At this point in my life, I was so overwhelmed with surrealistic experiences, I had ceased to ponder them.

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