The Coldfall Sanction
Frank Nolan's Mistress
“. . . only a very unattractive girl could fail to make a living in Bucharest, where they boast more prostitutes to the square mile than any other city in the world,” John Reed, 1915
Miruna Lupescu, the daughter of Gheorge and Timea Lupsescu was born in the small village of Târgșoru Vechi. Long ago Târgșoru Vechi had been known as Târgșor, a medieval market town located on the cross roads of several trade routes as well as a residence of the Prince of Wallachia. With the prince’s presence there had been among the merchants a promise of prosperity. But as with the fate of the Basarab’s, the village eventually declined, leaving only the ruins of an old church. Thus, eclipsed by other growing towns and in particular the emergence of Ploieşti, Targsor became Târgșoru Vechi.
A small rural village which felt as if it were nothing more than a brief stop on the way to Ploieşti, Miruna grew up a poor farmer’s daughter with the dreams of someday becoming a cosmopolitan in the fabulous city of Bucharest. And so, with a small bag and her closest friend Nicoleta, Miruna decided, upon a moonlit summer’s night, to make her dreams a reality and she slipped away from the dirt, and the cows and the grain.
They had heard of the wealthy oil men working the petroleum fields in Ploieşti. Some of the men, those with managerial roles, were given houses in which they needed a woman’s touch and it was said they would finance a girl to live in the home in order to provide cooking and cleaning. Only, once they arrived in Ploiești, they soon discovered the harsh reality that the woman’s touch included prostitution. In point of fact, the oil men were ever shopping for someone new and so there was the constant threat that whatever girl they had chosen to clean and wash and live with them could be just as easily tossed out whenever the man fancied an ankle in a different dress. Miruna was lucky in that Frank Nolan had been content with her ‘touch.’ Only, after a few months, he suddenly announced he was leaving Ploiești for Bucharest. Fearful she would not only lose the home she had grown accustomed but that she would once again be placed back on the feminine commodity market, she broached the subject of accompanying him to the capital. She quickly sensed his uncertainty, perhaps feeling as many of the men in the petroleum fields, who complained of the women somehow misinterpreting their arrangement, of being desirous of something more matrimonial.
Mirnna quickly established that she was merely suggesting a business agreement – a traveling companion, who had little compunction about providing sexual gratification for a ticket to Bucharest. Frank Nolan, silent for a long moment, thoughtfully agreed – and once they had arrived in the elegance of the ‘Little Paris,” she has been fortunate enough to have remained his mistress while he stayed in the Hotel Princiar.