Redmayne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Assembling in the New World

Submitted: June 17, 2018

Reads: 37

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Submitted: June 17, 2018

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Trevor looked out from behind his newspaper and smiled to himself as he thought of the old spy movies where a man in a trench coat sat with a newspaper in front of him on a park bench. He looked down at his jeans and short leather coat, then at his paper which was a tabloid and not the traditional broadsheet. “Ah well,” he thought, “I’m not on a park bench either.” He was sitting alone at one of the tables in The White Swan in Pimlico.

It was, as he knew from experience, quiet in the early evening so there would be nothing to disturb his read. He took a took another sup from the half-drunk pint of bitter and put it back on the small wooden table in from of him. It didn’t take long to scan the bar, there were about half a dozen people, most looking like office workers winding down. He looked briefly at the pocket where he kept his blood pressure tablets and went back to reading.

He was partly through the story of the new creature found by a fisherman off the coast of India. His mind was assessing the evidence as he read. He realised that there was someone coming towards him from the bar.

Sid put her glass of wine down by his pint and took the seat opposite him.

Trevor looked over his newspaper and smiled at her.

“You might well smile,” said Sid. “I’m taking quite a risk meeting with you. The least you could do is buy me a drink.”

Trevor folded the newspaper, put it down and then looked up. “What, on my income? I’m suspended at the moment, remember.”

“Oh aye, not that anyone would guess, with what you've been up to. Anyway, you've always been pretty shrewd with your pension; you do all right.”

Trevor shrugged. “I suppose. Look Sid, all joking aside, thanks for meeting me like this.”

“Well why not? I wanted to thank you for tipping us off about the murderer. We checked out the two houses and found the victims were both called Redmayne; then we just followed up all the Redmayne’s until we caught him coming to one of them. You saved a lot of lives today.”

Trevor didn’t acknowledge the compliment; his mind was still on the case. “Strange MO; hitting all the targets one after the other like that.”

Sid sipped her drink. “Probably just some nutter on a weird crusade.”

“Yes, but this nutter didn’t seem to mind getting caught. Either that or he was very stupid.”

“That seems pretty unlikely, given that he had just met with our friend Ryan.”

Trevor sat forward. “It's Ryan I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Of course it is.”

“I suppose I should have guessed you'd know.”

“I wouldn't be much of a detective if I didn't know that, now would I?”

Trevor shook his head. “So, what’s he up to now?”

“He left the country about an hour ago; heading for Jackson Hole in America.”

Trevor supped his pint. “So, you’ve lost him?”

Sid looked at him incredulously. “He’s out of our jurisdiction and I can live with that.”

Trevor sat silently supping his drink.

“What are you thinking?” said Sid, “I can almost hear the cogs whirring.”

Trevor sat back and smiled. “Oh it's nothing; I was just thinking how nice it would be to visit America.”

“Not a bad thought for a man who can’t afford to buy his ex-colleague a drink.”

“I’ve got to do something. It’s all right for you, you have other fish to fry, but I can’t sit idly by.”

Sid wagged a finger. “That’s why you get so stressed.”

“Maybe, but it’s what also made me a cop.”

Sid reached into her pocket. “Well if you insist on going I can’t stop you, but I think you should talk to this man before you go.” She pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Trevor. “He might be able to shed some light on the connection between Ryan and the murderer.”

Trevor looked at the name on the paper. “I don’t recognise the name; what's he do then?”

“He’s a hospital porter.”

“Doesn’t sound very promising.”

Sid drank half of the remains of her drink. “Maybe not, but he was warning the other victims after only one of the victim’s name had been released.”

“How?”

“Our local constabulary don’t have the resources to chase it up, and they don’t have the inclination now that the murderer is dead.”

They looked each other in the eye; Sid raised an eyebrow and smiled.

Trevor returned the smile. “Thanks Sid, I really do appreciate all this.”

“Well you can repay me by promising me you’ll take things easy after this case.”

“Yes Mum.”

“I’m serious, the force needs you.”

Trevor looked down at the remains of his pint. “We both know I’m never going to get back into the force.” He looked up and picked up his glass. “But it’s good to have one last case.” He then drank up the last of his drink and got up to leave.

Sid stayed where she was and just said “I don’t know anything about any case.”

The two of them gave each other a knowing look, and then Trevor left, without looking back.

*****

The bright California sun bounced from the glass doors making Patricia squint. She pressed on through the doors to the sanctuary of the reception area where her fair skin could seek refuge from the bright sunlight for which the state was famous.

As she walked up to the counter in the white clinical looking room that was the public area for her local garage she could see through a window to the workshop. Two mechanics were working under a car that was raised up on a hydraulic ramp, but they were intent on the underside of the vehicle. Patricia looked along the desk for the bell labelled “Ring for attention.”

As the bell sounded, the two mechanics looked across, and one of them came towards the reception and through the door to the desk. While wiping his hands on a cloth and smiling, the mechanic said “Hello.”

Patricia smiled in return and said. “You phoned earlier; you said my car was ready; my name’s Munroe.”

“Yes of course,” he said getting the bill. He glanced at it and passed it to Patricia. “Yes, it’s all ready for you.” As he handed it over he leant on the counter and looked at the shelves below.

“Excellent; I’ll be glad to get mobile again.” Said Patricia to the mechanics elbow while she got out her purse.

As he stood up with a small envelope and the keys in his hand the mechanic saw Patricia opening the flap on her purse. He shook his head as he said “There is nothing to pay. Your friend came in and took care of that.” Grinning, he added “He even left us a healthy tip.”

Patricia hesitated a moment, and then said “My friend?”

“You know the Indian fellow. I’d say you were very lucky to have a friend like that. He must be pretty well off too; he paid in cash.”

“That’s all; he just paid for it and didn’t say anything else?”

“Actually, he didn’t say much at all; he just paid the bill and left you this. I kept it with the keys so I wouldn’t forget to give it to you.” The Mechanic handed Patricia the envelope.

Patricia opened the envelope and read the note that was contained within.

The note from Talbot read: “I am sorry for harming your car, but I hope you will accept the payment for its repair as an apology. I wanted to talk to you, but when you attacked me with the sword I panicked. There is a great evil rising; you know it and I know it. We have to trust each other, or at least I have to trust you. I know you are the key to defeating this great evil. I wanted you to know that I will help you anyway I can. There is a ticket to Jackson Hole Airport with this note. I hope beyond all else that you decide to come; I will be there to meet you. Your decision will affect the whole web of life. You are Redmayne and you alone can save us.”

Patricia put the letter back in the envelope.

“Everything all right?” said the mechanic.

Patricia smiled falsely. “Yes, fine thanks.”

She took the keys, walked to her car and got in. As she sat in the seat, she slumped forward. While resting her head on the steering wheel she said “Bloody Hell Patricia, what have you got yourself into now?”

*****

Jason was in his living room; he was letting his tea go down and watching the evening television, whilst balancing a spinning Frisbee on his finger. He heard the doorbell ring so he put his Frisbee down and went cautiously to the door.

From the far side of the door Trevor said “Hello Mr Clarke, my name is Trevor Swann of Special Branch; can I come in?”

Jason pulled the door open just enough to see who was there and check the ID badge. Had he asked to see the badge more closely he might have seen it wasn't all it was supposed to be, but Trevor whisked it away again before he had chance to see it properly. Even though he'd seen a badge he was still cautious, especially after the murders, but he decided it was no good to get on the wrong side of the law. He stood back and opened the door fully.

“Yes of course, come on in,” said Jason, and then he showed Trevor through to the living room. All the time he was careful to keep an eye on Trevor as he ushered him into a seat.

“Thank you for sparing me a few moments of your time,” said Trevor as he took a seat. He sat slowly, trying to keep all his movements calm so as not to alarm Jason.

“What can I do for you officer?”

“It’s about the murders that took place earlier today.”

Jason perched on the arm of another chair. “I thought they were all over? It said on the news that the murderer had been caught.”

“Yes, we got him,” said Trevor. “Thanks to two vital pieces of evidence; one of which I provided by tailing a suspect and passing the information on to the local station. The second came from you.”

“From me?”

“Yes; we deduced from the first two victims that he was going after people called Redmayne. You on the other hand knew that at a time when only the name of the first victim had been released.”

Jason fumbled for an answer. “I didn’t know anything I just took a guess.”

“Yes, one that you were so convinced of, that you phoned round all the Redmaynes to warn them.”

Jason stood up. “Surely there is nothing wrong with doing that?”

Trevor stayed seated. “No there’s not, but it does beg the question of whether you had some inside knowledge about the murders.”

“If I had known, I would’ve tried to stop them earlier.”

“Yes well, whatever your motive, there won't be any more shootings; the murderer is dead; he was shot by police marksmen.”

“I saw that on the news, but who knows what will come next.”

“What makes you say that?”

Jason realised he'd blurted out more than he should. “Oh I don't know; it just seemed there might be more to this than just a spate of murders.”

“That could well be the case,” said Trevor. “Care to tell me what it is?”

Jason shuffled and looked down. “I don't have any idea.”

“Are you sure? It's a crime to withhold evidence from the police.”

Jason got up and paced back and forth. “Aren’t you supposed to warn me that anything I say will be taken down and used against me?”

Trevor smiled. “Perhaps; if I were arresting you, but for now I’m just hoping you can help me with my inquiries.”

“I thought that was a euphemism for being arrested?”

“I suppose it is, but not this time.” Trevor's face then took a much more serious look. “The truth is I need your help. I’m tracking an international dealer in illegal arms and I’m hoping you can supply some information that will help me find out what he’s up to.”

“I don’t know anything about any arms dealer.”

“You might know something about this one; he had a meeting with your murderer.”

Jason sat down and looked expectantly at Trevor. “Was the murderer carrying anything?”

“Just a gun.”

Jason got up and walked a couple of paces, then to himself he said “Then maybe it’s with the arms dealer.”

“What is?”

“Oh nothing; you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Tell me anyway; you might find the result is just as good whether I believe you or not.”

Jason sat back down, but he said nothing.

Silence hung in the air. It was as though nature, abhorring a vacuum, was desperately trying to drag conversation from them both. Jason was soon struggling; not only did he feel as though this policeman was more used to this situation, he also felt he needed a lead, and that this might be his only chance. He knew he would have to take the risk and say more, but he would keep Patricia out of it; he was not going to let her get caught along with him.

Jumping in with both feet Jason said “All right, very briefly; I believe there is a great evil rising in the world. The conduit for that evil is a crystal that might be in the possession of the arms dealer. I need to find that dealer.”

Trevor nodded, not really caring about the mention of great evil, but he took great note that Jason wanted to find Ryan. “That’s what I want also. Trouble is he left the country earlier today. There is a flight at 10.40 tomorrow morning, if you can make it.”

“I don’t think I have much of a choice really, besides a trip to America at the taxpayers’ expense can’t be bad.”

“Yes of course,” said Trevor, somewhat hesitantly; “I’ll see you tomorrow morning at the airport at say, 9.30?”

“Sounds good; where will I find you?”

“Go to terminal 3, and I'll find you. We’ll be flying to Jackson Hole.”

Trevor got up to leave, and as they both walked towards the door, Jason said “How do I know I can trust you? You’re holding back on me; I’m sure you haven’t told me everything.”

“Because I’m trusting you, even though you haven’t told me everything. We want the same thing but for different reasons. I can live with that if you can.”

As Jason opened the door he said “Right then I’d better get packing.”

“Until tomorrow then,” said Trevor as he walked out the door and away.

Jason closed the door and went back into the living room. He slumped down in the chair, looked at his watch and then the phone. After a few minutes spinning his disk and mulling things over, he picked up the phone and dialled.

“Hi Sis,” said Jason as soon as Patricia answered the phone.

“Jason; I was going to call you later; something has come up at my end.”

“What’s that?”

Patricia played with the wire to the phone. “Oh just something I was going to ask your advice about. It’s your phone bill though, so you go first; do you know yet what the Evil One is up to?”

“No; but I know where he's going and it’s a good job you stayed where you are.”

“You think he’s coming here?”

Jason fiddled absentmindedly with his Frisbee. “Not there exactly; Jackson Hole is the latest I can tell. There have been some murders here; all people by the name of Redmayne.”

“Bloody hell Jason, are you all right?”

“Yes; they've got the guy that was doing it. You can read all about it on the BBC website.”

Patricia sat down. “How does that tie in with the Evil One going to Jackson Hole?”

“It turns out there is a link between him and an arms dealer. I don't know what the link is, but that arms dealer is coming to Jackson Hole, and so am I.”

“You're coming over to the States?”

“Yes. I think that nutter who shot at you might have been right after all.”

“It’s that nutter I was going to speak to you about. He’s paid for my car to be repaired and wants me to meet him at Jackson Hole Airport.”

Jason put down the Frisbee. “How the hell did he know the Evil One would be going there?”

“I don’t know, but I think the only way I’m going to find out is if I go there and meet him.”

“Have you phoned the cops?” asked Jason. “They could pick him up at the airport.”

“I would, except that he knows about the Evil rising; he knows that I am Redmayne; and he knows that I can stop it.”

“And I’m coming over because a policeman has told me that the person he is following could be linked to the Redmayne murderer. Everyone seems to know more about all this than we do.”

Patricia stood up and looked out of the window. “Perhaps we are just being guided to the Evil One by powers we don’t understand.”

“What worries me is who could be leading us. For all we know it’s the Evil One that is leading us to him.”

“A trap?”

“Exactly.”

“It doesn’t feel like a trap.”

Jason sat and thought momentarily. “I don’t suppose a trap ever feels like one; it wouldn't be any good as a trap if it did.”

“I think you could be right, but I can’t see what choice we have. It’s been days now and we are no closer to finding the Evil One. Even if it is him leading us, so far that’s all we’ve got. You’ve made up my mind; I’m going to go up north and find this stranger.”

“I’ll be coming into Jackson Hole probably sometime late tomorrow so I’ll join you as soon as I can.”

“Right, but now I have packing to do. I guess you have as well.”

“Sure do; okay Sis; I’ll see you when I see you.”

“Look forward to it; ’bye.”

Jason put the phone down and looked and went to search out his suitcase.

*****

That night Valerie Erlin was getting out of a cab at a hotel in Jackson Hole. The cab driver took out her small suitcase, which apart from the bag that housed her laptop, was all the luggage she had with her. She felt a chillness in the air as she paid the fare. Bidding the cab driver a good night, she walked up the path to the wooden cabin which had a reception sign outside the door.

As Valerie came into the reception she thought she just caught sight of the receptionist reaching for a small television before turning to give Valerie her full attention and a welcoming smile.

“Welcome, said the receptionist.

“Good evening, my name is Valerie Erlin; I have a room booked.”

The Receptionist checked the booking. “Yes of course Ma'am, I will get someone to take your bags for you.”

“That’s all right,” said Valerie, “it’s late and I travel light so if you would just give me the key and direct me I can find my own way.”

“Certainly,” said the receptionist as she handed the key to Valerie. “The cabin is no 12; it’s through those doors, down the path and it’s on your left. We serve breakfast until 9.30.” With that she pointed through the doors at the rear of the cabin, to the paths leading to the cabins beyond. “If you need anything just call, and have a good night.”

“Thank you,” said Valerie, as she took her bag and headed out of the rear door.

Once out on the paths she could see the signs that pointed to the different numbered cabins and she made her way along them until she reached the one for which she had been given the key. She unlocked it and stepped through the door out of the cool air and in to a warm room.

As soon as she got inside the room dominated by the varnished wooden interior Valerie got out her laptop. She set it up on the wooden bedside cabinet that matched the interior of the room and switched it on. She put the few things she had brought with her away and got ready for bed while the laptop booted up. Once she was in bed, she placed the laptop on her lap and began searching for information about the local geology.

*****

The chill was still in the air the following morning outside Jackson Hole Airport. The sun was about to show itself and there was the momentary flurry of activity caused by a flight coming in, but it was like the closing of a nocturnal shift heading home before the rest of the world had woken up.

Once the main crowd had gone, Martin came out of the airport and stood next to Ryan. Though they came out separately, and they had not travelled together, they now stood alongside each other. Martin knew what he had to do and he had no doubt that this person alongside him also knew his role, even though neither had been introduced to the other. 

Martin knew that the man next to him would have no idea why he had come to stand next to Martin; he would just know it was the right thing to do. He knew that this person would have had mind altered and given a new process of thinking. Not down to the fine detail, just in the general overriding aims, which were to carry out the Evil One’s plan. Neither of them would be told what the plan was; not when, nor where. Unlike Martin, this man’s mind would be free to use its skills as it knew best.

Martin knew this because the Evil One had delighted in him knowing that this is how it was for all minds into which the Evil One had reached and reshaped to his own ends. All minds that is except for Martin’s who was all too aware that he was carrying out the will of his new master. The Evil One liked the taste of Martin’s feeling of hopelessness, and of his remorse at the realisation of what he had unleashed onto both the world and himself

While the two of them were standing at the front of the airport, a car pulled up. Not just any car; affluence oozed from the luxurious leather seats. It had ample room for the two passengers, and in any other circumstance Martin would have been looking forward to riding in such comfort. On this occasion, he would enjoy no pleasure, and he had no desire to go where it was taking him.  

The driver wound down his window and said “Mr Ryan O’Keefe?”

Ryan bent down to speak through the window. “Yes that’s right; and who might you be?”

“My name's not important sir. Compliments of Mr Kropotnyev; I'm take you to a hotel he’s booked for you, and then on to wherever you want to go tomorrow.”

“Oh is that it, and keep an eye on us so that he can find us if the deal goes bad.”

“I'm sure you don't need me to answer that sir; you know what a thorough businessman he is.”

Ryan just nodded and opened the door for Martin to get in. Martin and Ryan got into the car and it left the airport.

*****

Observing cars going to and from the airport was a tall slim dark-haired man. He was watching from a distant high point and could make out very little detail from his location. It was enough for him to tell that a flight had come in and that all the passengers had left the airport. He was grateful that there was only one road in and out of Jackson Hole Airport and that it was a long one. Once he was satisfied that no more cars were likely to be coming out from the airport he took the binoculars from his eyes where they had sat beneath his jet black eyebrows. He walked back to his car, got in and drove down from the high point, into the darkness that was now beginning to yield to the light.

His eyes were constantly on the lookout through the mirrors as he drove along the road down to the airport. Part way down the road he pulled up, next to an unremarkable post on the perimeter fence of the field and got out. Cutting off two plastic straps he took away the small black box that was attached to the post and quickly put it in the back of his car. Stopping just briefly to look up and down the road he got into the car, did a quick three-point turn and drove off in the rising morning sun, leaving the airport behind him.

*****

The salesman at Jackson Hole Adventure Rentals couldn't believe his luck. He'd been open less than half an hour and there was already a customer. Not only that, but she was an attractive woman, her dark hair and brown eyes contrasting with her pale skin.

Valerie walked around the trailer rental lot, had a look at one or two of the trailers and then entered the office.

The salesman got up from behind his desk and went to shake hands with Valerie. “Well hello there; how can I help you?”

“I need to rent a trailer for a few days.”

“Well you sure came to the right place. We have two models; the Jayflight 19ft and the Jayflight 26ft.”

“I’m meeting a couple of friends up in the park, so do you think the 19ft will be large enough?”

“Well that all depends how close you are,” said the Salesman. “It will sleep three people in separate beds, though it might be a bit cosy, but then there is always the Awning as long as one of you doesn’t mind being outside.”

Valerie smiled. “That sounds fine; I’ll need a vehicle to tow it as well.”

“In that case I would go for the Jeep Cherokee. It’s a good solid four by four and it can seat five people easily. You might also like to know that you can sleep in it if you find the 19ft trailer a bit too cramped.”

“Sounds great I’ll take it.”

The salesman was going to sit back at his desk, and then he stopped. “Do you want the generator as well?”

“I might as well,” said Valerie.

The salesman offered Valerie a seat and then sat down himself. He got out the forms and began filling them in. “Is it definitely going to be for three days?”

“Could be less, or it could be more I’m not sure until I get up there.”

“Well once you get up to four days you might as well go for the weekly rental price so do you want to do that anyway?”

“Why not?”

The salesman filled out the forms, all the while chatting to Valerie and asking her for the information he needed. Once he had filled in all the forms, he handed Valerie some booklets. “These are some guidebooks that come with the rental; you might like to have a look through them.”

Valerie took them graciously but she said “Thanks but I know pretty much where I am going; I’ve been up there a few times before.”

“Oh, so you like holidaying up there then?”

“It’s not holidaying I’m afraid; it’s work.”

The salesman looked out of the office window and without realising he puffed his chest out. “It’s a beautiful place to work though isn’t it?”

“Yes it really is,” said Valerie.

“What kind of work do you do?”

“I’m a geologist.”

“We must have very interesting rocks, 'cause we get a few geologists up there.” With that the salesman put crosses on the forms where they needed signing. “Well here you are,” he said as he handed the forms over to Valerie. “If you would just like to check that and sign where the crosses are? Then I'll just need the payment and we’ll be all finished.”

Valerie took the forms, and with a smile on her face said “We certainly will.”

Valerie signed the forms.

The salesman watched her as she signed, he was concerned by what she said, and the way she said it.

She handed the form back to him and, as she smiled, his concern seemed to drift away.

“Can I have the one trimmed in blue?” asked Valerie as they left the office to go out into the trailer lot.

The salesman took Valerie through the checks and gave her a quick lesson in how to tow the trailer, as he did with all his customers.

As he watched Valerie pull out of the gateway, he could tell that she had done this all before and the towing lesson had been unnecessary.

*****

The passengers coming in past Talbot were almost certainly thinking about lunch. He was standing in the lobby of Jackson Hole Airport, and he saw Patricia. They recognised each other straight away; this was one of the effects of seeing someone wielding a deadly weapon. As Patricia was pulling her suitcase across the lobby, Talbot smiled and walked up to her offering a handshake. Patricia reluctantly shook his hand.

“Welcome to Jackson Hole,” said Talbot. “I am glad you accepted my plane ticket, and my apology.”

Patricia withdrew her hand. “I accepted the plane ticket, but the jury is still out on the apology.”

“So you still have not decided that you can trust me?”

Patricia looked him straight in the eye. “You shot at me last time remember?”

“That is not quite the truth; I shot at your car, and you did attack me with a sword,” said Talbot, holding his hands out to show her they were empty. “I do not have my gun with me today.”

Patricia seemed unimpressed. “I thought you would need it in case you ran into the Great Evil you spoke of.”

“Bullets will do no good against the Great Evil; this you already know.”

Patricia started to walk off with her suitcase in tow. “Yes, I know; I just don’t understand how come you know.”

Talbot followed her. “I will explain everything; but here is not the place. I have a camp up in the park. I hope you will trust me enough to let me take you to it. Once we are up there it will all become clear.”

Without stopping Patricia said “You’ll have to excuse me for a minute first.” She continued on her way and Talbot followed her until they got to the flight desk.

The attendant smiled and said “Can I help you Madam?”

“I need to leave a message here for my brother; he is due in on your airline.”

“Certainly Miss, what's his name?”

“His name is Jason Clarke.”

The attendant started checking her computer. “Jason Clarke; right I’ll check which flight he comes in on and get the message to him when he arrives.”

Patricia pointed at the attendant's desk. “Have you something I can write the message on?”

The Attendant, put a piece of paper and a pen up on top of the desk, hardly looking away from the screen.

Talbot said “Shall I tell you how he can find my camp?”

Patricia shook her head. “No it’s all right; we have to start trusting each other, as you say. I’m just going to leave him a little note about me not being here to meet him.”

Patricia wrote out the note and handed it to the attendant, who having found Jason on a flight list was confident she could hand on the message.

“Right; I’ll see to that for you Madam. Enjoy your stay,” said the attendant.

Patricia said “Thanks, I’ll do my best.” She walked away from the desk, as did Talbot, to whom she turned and said “Right, I’m in your hands; where do we go from here?”

“First of all, we get a cab and head into Jackson to get you a trailer.”

“I thought I would be staying in a tepee in your camp.”

Talbot stopped and looked at Patricia, who instinctively stopped as well.

“I thought you would be happier in a trailer,” said Talbot.

“You got that right,” said Patricia, and gesturing for Talbot to go first, continued “lay on MacDuff.”

Talbot led the way out of the airport and Patricia followed him. They saw a cab and Talbot hailed it.

“Hey, how come you never have a car when you’re around me?”

“It would not be wise. You might want to cut the tyres with your sword, as revenge for the last time we met.”

Patricia smiled slightly and replied truthfully “The thought had crossed my mind.”

Talbot hung his head and said “I know it was not a good first meeting between us; I did not do well.”

Patricia said nothing, not only because she thought that he should stew in his own guilt for a little while; she also noticed that the cab was drawing near.

*****

Ryan heard a car coming up the dirt road towards the camp that he had been brought to from the rendezvous point. As he saw the car come round the rocky outcrop towards the blue trimmed trailer, he saw that it was Kropotnyev’s messenger that had picked up him and Martin from the airport. He stayed hidden as he watched the car pull up in front of the trailer that sat at the end of the track.

Ryan weighed up the terrain; there was some grass and scrub on one side, but dense woodland on the other. The trailer sat across the end of the road in front of a rocky feature that rose up causing the dead end. The driver pulled up on an area of parched grass where he would be able to turn around easily. All in all it seemed a defensible position with only one way in, but he decided to wait and see what the visit was about before he came out into the open.

The driver got out, and from the trunk of the car he got a hamper of food. He took the hamper up to the cabin door and knocked. The door opened and Valerie was standing there.

“I hope you’re enjoying your stay Madame,” said the driver, trying to see inside the trailer. As he handed Valerie the hamper, he said “I’ve brought you some food.”

Ryan decided that it was time to break cover. “That sounds great, so it does,” said Ryan before Valerie could answer. He emerged from the woodland to the driver's right with two rabbits in his hand. The snares were still tight around the lifeless bodies.

The driver shifted his attention to Ryan. “I see you've caught your own food, Sir.”

“Now don't you be worrying about that; those have stopped kicking, they're no interest to me now. Besides there are plenty more sport out there.” Ryan pulled the snares off the rabbits and threw them into the undergrowth.

Ryan had never meant to eat them anyway, it was all too much bother. He just liked to watch them wriggle and struggle. He loved that the more they tried to get away, the more it killed them.

The driver did not return the smile that Ryan was giving out. “The arrangements are almost made and I will be back later this afternoon to take you to the rendezvous point. As long as you don’t slip off like you did this morning.”

Ryan took a step forward. “Well now, didn’t I ring you and tell you where we are? That’s not what I would call slipping off. I’m as keen to do this deal as yer man so why the delay; I thought your boss was in a hurry to get the deal done?”

The driver stood firm. “If you want merchandise like this sir, you don’t blame the delivery company.”

“So you'll be knowing what we're having delivered?”

“I’ve heard, sir; yes.”

Ryan reached for the gun he always kept concealed for times like this when he needed to silence someone. But even as he was reaching for it, the Evil One's mind read his intention. Ryan knew he had to leave the gun where it was. He instead said to the driver “Tell your boss, we will be here when he is ready.”

The driver smirked.

All that served to do was make Ryan even angrier, but all he could do was watch the driver walk back to the car.

Valerie took the food into the trailer. Ryan thought it was typical of her, all she wanted to do was get back to her work. He then heard the whimpers from Martin inside and wondered how she was able to concentrate with such suffering going on in the trailer for them to enjoy.

*****

The salesman at Jackson Hole Adventure Rentals was filing some papers and thinking about heading into the back of the shop to get some lunch when he heard the door. He looked up to see Talbot coming in, followed by Patricia. He closed the drawer and walked over smiling. “Hello there, and what can I do for you folks?”

“We would like to hire a trailer,” said Talbot.

“Is it just for the two of you?”

“Just for one of us,” Talbot replied, he indicated towards Patricia; “the lady here.”

The salesman pointed to a red trimmed trailer out in the yard. “Well in that case the 19ft Jayflight should be perfect for your needs. Do you want a car as well?”

Patricia stepped up towards him. “Yes we do; what's the best one for the job?”

The Salesman grinned and scratched his head a bit. “Well now, they all do pretty much the same thing. Some are better at some things than others. The Jeep Cherokee is probably the best all-rounder so I’d go with that.”

Talbot nodded. “We will take those two, if you are sure that combination is a good one.”

“I hope it's a good one,” said the Salesman, “this’ll be the second of that combination I’ve sent out today.”

“Well I’m convinced,” said Patricia as she smiled at the salesman.

The salesman made for his desk and fixed his eyes on Patricia as much as he could. “Good, which one of you shall I do the paperwork with?”

“I will be the one,” said Talbot.

“Good,” said the salesman, not meaning it at all. “While I’m filling the forms out, you are welcome to have a look at the guide books there; you can take them with you if you like.”

Talbot shook his head almost imperceptibly. “I do not need a guide book; I know the area very well.”

The salesman began preparing the forms to be filled in. “Everyone seems to know their way around. You’re not geologists as well are you?”

Patricia moved closer to the desk at which the salesman was sitting. “No, but I do have an interest in Geology. Have you had a Geology party go up there recently then?”

The salesman was distracted from his forms. “Well, not a whole party, just one geologist.”

“That Geologist wasn’t Dr Maskell was it?”

The salesman thought for a moment. “That doesn’t sound right, let me just check.” He got up and looked through his recently filled in forms. “No, her name was Valerie Erlin, have you heard of her?”

“No I can’t say I have, but perhaps I’ll bump into her up there anyway,” said Patricia. She looked around the office and picked up some guidebooks to read.

Talbot had meanwhile sat at the desk. The Salesman sat with him and they began to go through the process of filling in the forms. Patricia got a pen from her handbag and began making notes on some of the leaflets before putting them in her bag.

*****

At about that same time, in an aeroplane just about to start over the Atlantic Ocean, Jason was staring out of the window. A stewardess brought a glass of water to Trevor, who was in the seat next to Jason. As the stewardess walked off, Trevor got out a metal box from his hand luggage.

Jason watched as he opened it and took out some pills. “I take it you don’t fly very well?”

“That’s part of it,” said Trevor, closing the metal box.

“What are they for?”

Trevor was putting the pill box away in his bag. “High blood pressure.”

“I’d have thought you were in the wrong job for someone with high blood pressure.”

Trevor shook his head. “You’re kidding me aren't you? It’s one of the best jobs for getting it.”

“Why do you do it then?”

“It’s all I know. I’ll be glad to leave it behind, but I need to get this one man. I’ve been chasing him for years, and he is particularly nasty piece of work.”

“How nasty?”

Trevor looked up and down the aisle and then sat back.

Jason thought this the prelude to having his question answered so he sat and waited. It soon became clear to him that there was not going to be an answer forthcoming, so he pushed again. “Come on, if we are to go after this man, I think I should know what he’s like.”

Trevor nodded and seemed to be preparing himself. He then spoke quietly but clearly. “About seven years ago I was called to an incident at Oban. I knew it was him because I’d become used the bodies he left behind. He was not like most arms dealers who are amoral businessmen for the most part. He enjoyed the results of his labours and he didn’t mind who got injured along the way.

My partner and I had almost caught up to him so he decided to leave us a little surprise. He’d left an old man and his dog, each attached to a chair and each one wired to a trigger mechanism. As we got closer, the man turned to his Dog and said ‘okay Bess, just stay still; you’ll be all right.’ There was a note for me and it said to choose which of the two victims to save, and that if I didn’t choose within half an hour they would both die. I asked the old man what had happened and he said that he’d been walking his dog and had been gassed or something. Then he’d awoken to his current predicament.

Ryan had told the man that if he or his dog moved the one who moved would be shot with a particularly nasty neurotoxin that would result in a painful death. Ryan knew that eventually the dog would move and the old man would have to watch her die painfully.

I knew there would be no time for backup to arrive and so I looked closely at the trap. It consisted of an electronic trigger device attached to a delivery mechanism on the man’s upper arm and the dog’s leg. That was all I could understand of it. The dog, an old black Labrador looked up and me and wagged her tail in little movements while her grey-haired owner urged me to stand back and for the dog to stay lying down.

I stood back. I waited for disposal experts I knew could not arrive in time. I looked at the two of them and listened as the man talked gently to his dog, reassuring her and telling her to be still. I kept checking my watch, and I knew I would have to act soon. I looked at the devices, but the answer I hoped I would see was not there.

I nodded to my partner as I made toward the dog. Hardly had I moved when I saw the man leap out of his chair. He winced as the trigger injected the syringe into his arm. I could see the pain in his eyes but he smiled at me and said ‘I’m sorry, I’ve known her longer than you have. He walked over to his dog and stroked her. She was frantic with joy as she leapt to her feet wagging her tail. I can still hear him saying ‘Good girl, you’ll be all right now.’

I held him in my arms while my partner frantically called for an ambulance and his dog sniffed around him and whimpered. His last words were to make me promise I would get his dog home safe.” Trevor was now looking down as he pulled a tissue from his pocket and dabbed his eyes. Turning to Jason he said, “He did that just to slow us up so that he could get away. Is that nasty enough for you?”

Jason could see pain on his companion’s face and he heard wavering in his voice. He was sorry that he had forced such a memory to resurface, but he also knew that Ryan sounded a perfect aide for the Evil One.

Trevor turned to Jason and said softly “Once I get him it'll be my last case.”

Jason looked out of the window, and said, as if thinking aloud “This could be everyone’s last case.”

Trevor looked puzzled, he turned to Jason as though he was on the verge of saying something but decided against it and sat back in his seat.


© Copyright 2019 Kevin Broughton. All rights reserved.

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