P.I. Vengeance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

The solo P.I. is vulnerable. Charlie is on the wrong end of revenge.

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 In the main criminals do not target individual police officer’s for vengeance.  Such an act will bring the entire Police force down on the offenders. The larger P.I. firms have a similar level of security. The solo Private Investigator, like myself, do not have this luxury. We are vulnerable.  That truth was about to hit me square in the face.

When t opened the letter, I contemplated looking at the calendar to see whether I had made a mistake. It could have been Christmas or my birthday. I don't get a one-thousand-dollar banknote in the mail very often. Folded into two sheets of paper, one of which contained a brief letter. 'Mr Wright, please call and schedule an appointment with me as soon as possible.' A phone number followed. He signed with the initials D C.

 I had a hunch that D C should have some significance for me, but couldn't put my finger on it. A male answered the phone and introduced himself as D C's personal assistant. He scheduled me for 1 p.m. the next day. "I'm sorry, but I have instructions not to offer information over the phone," he said when I asked a couple of questions.  

Just before 1 p.m., I was in the street looking for the number given. It didn't take long to figure out the number corresponded to a vacant lot. I should have put my foot down and got out of there once I was certain of that. Instead, I sat for a few minutes in my parked car, contemplating the matter. Movement outside my window caught my eye. The door opened. In his jacket pocket, the guy had a pistol on me. Waving a gun around in broad daylight in a quiet residential street at 1 p.m. could backfire. The opposite door opened. Another goon with his hand in his pocket.

“Charlie, lift your gun out of the shoulder holster with your thumb and forefinger – slowly – and drop it on the floor. Then get out of the car.”

They were two hard-faced thugs. No doubt one of them was the “personal assistant”. Both looked like nightclub bouncers. After walking me to their car, my companion joined me in the backseat. The other slid into the driver's seat. An hour’s drive took us to a rural area. The car turned into a driveway leading up to an old two-story house. Grass on either side of the drive was knee high. A rusted out pickup truck and several abandoned pieces of farm machinery sat in the grass.

We came to a stop. No longer hiding the gun, the gorilla waved it at me. “Out.” I clambered out of the car. Another wave of the gun. “Inside.”

I made my way up the steps and through the front door. We turned right into the living room through another door.

“Charlie Wright, long time no see.”

The speaker sat in an easy chair in the far corner of the room. He stood and walked towards me. At that point I understood why the DC signature had struck a chord with me. Dominic Colenso - hoodlum, thief and conman. The Judge handed him a five-year sentence in a case in which I was the chief witness.

He was standing in front of me now. I couldn’t resist it. “Yeah, I said, you been overseas or something?”

That wiped the smile off his face. He let fly with a punch to my mid-section. I wasn’t prepared for it and it hurt. I doubled over trying to catch my breath.

“Put him down there now!”

They manhandled me into the kitchen. One of the goons lifted a trapdoor on the far side. Luckily, they did not push me down the steps or I would surely have been injured. They allowed me to gingerly work my way down.

Colenso stood staring down at me. "Get used to it Charlie; you'll be down there for a long time."

Once I was below floor level the trapdoor closed and I heard the locking bolts sliding into place. The cellar had not  been used in a long time. A concrete floor and bare earth walls in a three-meter-square space. A single inflatable mattress lay on the floor, with two buckets alongside which I surmised were my toilet and washing facility. A solitary globe hung from the ceiling, with a pull string on/off switch that worked when I tested it. The air was cool and damp. A mouldy odour filled the place.

I figured Colenso’s ‘long time’ probably meant five years. I had other plans. I had been in residence five hours when the trapdoor opened and a hand reached in with a plate of baked-beans and a fork, depositing it on the third step down. The thug said, “Put the empty plate back here.”  And the trapdoor closed. Those beans were delicious. When finished I climbed the steps, put the empty plate on the fourth step, and sat waiting.

The sound of the locking bolts sliding back was my signal. I managed to swing around to the back of the steps, out of sight. It wasn't easy to get a grip, but it wouldn't be for long.

“Wright, I said put the plate on the third step down. The third step - next time.”

For the fourth step, he had to lean in even more, his arm completely extended. I swung around, grabbed his sleeve, and yanked as hard as I could. With a startled yell, he shot head-first down the ladder. I swung to the front of the stairs and scrambled through the trapdoor. I slid the bolts into place before walking over to the old fridge, leaning it over, and dragging it onto the trapdoor. He might have been able to destroy the trapdoor with a few shots if he had his gun. The fridge trapped him

I had bet on the goon being the only thug present. I had seen no sign of anyone living in the house, as far as I could tell. I'd be back in the cellar in no time if the others were around. The coast was clear. Apparently, only one of the thugs came by once in a while to check on me and feed me. My next stop was his car. I'd be gone in no time if he'd left the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, no keys and the car was locked. Plan B was to immobilise the vehicle. I jammed the air valves open on two tyres  with a couple of small twigs. They'd be flat in minutes. I looked through the grass for a big chunk of metal. I found a suitable weapon and proceeded to attack the windscreen. I covered the windscreen in a web of fractures and cracks, impossible to see through.

I figured the Hoods would expect me to retrace the route by which we came to the house. Therefore I needed to do the opposite. I decided on a straight line over the paddocks at the rear of the house. I still had my wallet in my back pocket. Once I came upon an EFTPOS outlet or an ATM, I would use my card and be in business.

I had time to think as I trudged across paddocks, climbed fences, walked through a herd of cows, and skirted crop fields. I had to come up with a way to get Colenso and his cohorts off my back permanently. Two hours cross country brought me to a sealed road. By then I knew what had to be done.

A beat-up Dodge pickup stopped for me and left me at a Service Station a few miles further on. I purchased and devoured two heat and go burgers, then rang the local taxi service. I had the driver take me to the nearest Motel. For now, I decided to lay low. If everything went to plan, two nights would be plenty. I took an inordinately long hot shower before sitting on the bed to make a call.

Terry Hamblin worked for one of the big City newspapers. He was not exactly a friend, but we had known each other a long time. He answered on the second ring. “Terry, Charlie Wright here, I’ve got a scoop for you!” I went on to explain everything as it had happened up to my presence in the Motel. Once we were past his initial scepticism he warmed to the task and began asking questions and confirming details. I asked specifically that he name Dominic Colenso in the article.

My experience in the cellar had given me a new appreciation for homely surroundings and a comfortable bed. After the best nights sleep I’d had for a long time, I went out and bought the morning paper. There it was on the front page. PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR KIDNAPPED BY RECENTLY RELEASED PRISONER AND GANG. I was uncomfortable with my name splashed over the front page, but reasoned it was a small price to pay to get Colenso off my back. Once Dominic and his boys became aware of the publicity, they would take off for parts unknown.

I guess the boys in blue will contact me. For the time being, I'm content with a job well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: October 29, 2021

© Copyright 2021 rossthom. All rights reserved.

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