Chapter 7: The chase begins

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 206


He heard Topsy Drinkwater’s voice calling him and replied. “I’m out here.”

She came outside to him. “Silky.”

“Confound it all Topsy, he’s got away. He must have got outside and made a run for it.”

“He has. But not this way. I saw him go out the back of the house.”

“Where? Quickly show me.”

As they rushed through the crowded house. Topsy was able to move surprising quickly in her towering heels and tight dress. She deftly batted away enquires from her guests as to what was going on, assuring them that it was all part of the entertainment. Her butler approached her grim faced.

“Something seems to have gone awry madam?”

“Not at all Simmons. Please keep my guests happy while I step out.”

“Should I phone Mr Nordragon and inform him that we need his help?”

“Definitely not!”

She took Silky out the back door and pointed across the huge expanse of lawn in the direction that Silky had seen McLarkey emerge from earlier. “There at the very end. You can just see him.”

Peering to the far end of the villa’s garden, Silky could just make out McLarkey in the moonlight. His distinctive baggy clothes flapped as he ran. He was visible only for a moment before he disappeared into the trees at the end of the lawn.

Silky asked, “What’s down there?”

“There’s a woodland pathway. Come on, I’ll show you.”

As the two of them ran off, they passed a window where Silky spotted, for a second, the butler dialling the telephone.

As they raced across the huge lawn, Topsy pace was slower than Silky because her high heels kept sinking into the soft earth. She stopped, kicked the shoes off and ran barefoot.

“Topsy, don’t be silly. Go back now. I can see the beginning of the path. I’ll take it from here,” Silky told her.

“Not on your nelly!  I’m not leaving you to face this alone.”

“I’m used to it.” Silky pointed at Topsy’s elaborate gown. “And you can hardly go running around the woods in that that outfit.”

“You’re dead right.” Topsy slipped the straps of her dress from her shoulders. Then she reached around and undid a fastening at the back. She pulled down the material of her skirt and shimmied her hips frantically the wine-coloured lower half of the dress detached from an underbodice covered in gold sequins that glittered in the moonlight. Silky gazed at her in open-mouthed astonishment.

Topsy, now just wearing bodice and turban, put her hands on her hips and faced him. “I was supposed to do that on stage when the band played You’ve Got What Gets Me. Now, no more arguments. Let’s get on. McLarkeys getting away.”

They rushed on to the end of the house’s grounds. She showed him the beginning of a thin trail that wound between the trees. As they started to follow it, it became very dark as the branches crowded out most of the moonlight. The atmosphere smelt of damp wood and the ground crunched under their footsteps. They were walking slowly now. Topsy was behind him gently holding onto his arm.

Silky asked, “Where does this path lead?”

“It winds around towards the main road, where the studio is. I walk this way as a short cut sometimes.”

The studio. Perhaps that’s where McLarkey was planning to hide out, thought Silky.

A bird, disturbed by their approach, suddenly flew passed screeching. Topsy yelped and jumped. Silky aimed his gun at the darkness. His finger tensed on the trigger but he didn’t fire.

Topsy gasped. “My goodness. My heart is pounding.”

“I told you should have gone back.”

From ahead a voice drifted through the darkness. It was so quiet and soft at first that Silky thought it was just the breeze. But then it became louder and clearer. “Topsy. Silky. Whatch doin’ here?”
Topsy whispered, “McLarky.”

“You can drop the stupid pantomime, Howard.” Silky snapped. “I know who you really are.”

The voice from the darkness grew louder. “But dis is da real me Mistah Silky. It always was. Even when I was da handsome young schoolboy you knew. I wasa always Mr McLarky inside. Heh-Heh-heh.” The dreadful falsetto laugh echoed through the woods.

Silky felt Topsy’s grip on his arm tighten. His own grip on his Smith and Weston was turning his knuckles white. As they carefully edged forward the trees began to clear a little and more moonlight broke through. Silky could hear the trickle of water. A few more steps and he could see a stream, glinting silver in the moonlight. A little stone bridge crossed the stream. Silky could just make out McLarkey on the other side of it: a silhouette with baggy clothes and a pink flower in the lapel. McLarkey blackened face faded into the darkness but the white mouth was visible. It seemed to float, disembodied.

“Whatcha wanna be sticking yo big nose into ma business fo Mistah Silky. You gotta know no good will come o’ it,” said the creepy, faceless mouth.

“Put your hands up, you fiend.” Silky had a perfect aim at where McLarkey head was. He could kill him there and then but cold-blooded murder wasn’t Silky’s style.

“This ain’t no cricket game Silktie. You is riskin a whooole lot bein’ here heh-heh.”
Silky was becoming suspicious of McLarkey calmness. Something was up. As he glanced around. He noticed that the nearby trees were rustling and the water of the stream was disturbed. But surely that was just the breeze.

Topsy whispered, “I don’t like this Silky. Something is wrong – my god, look! The trees.”

Silky looked. The trees were still rustling in the breeze. But then Silky realized…there was no breeze! It wasn’t the trees that were moving. It was men covered in branches used as camouflage. They cast off the branches as they moved closer revealing bare olive skinned torsos and mean misshaped faces.

“And justu like when we was boys playin’ cricket Silky, it be me who has da best team,” the disembodied grin gloated. “Heh-heh-heh.”

The water of the stream splashed as two men suddenly emerged from it. They had the same muscular olive skinned physiques as the men who were crowding around Topsy and Silky on the pathway. They all wore short grass skirts and their faces were painted with yellow and green ochre. Silky could just make out the distinctive features of the Polynesian race beneath the war paint. Each of them carried a spear or a stone axe. They began to whoop and dance threateningly around them. Topsy clung to Silky and whimpered.

“What’s happening?” asked Topsy desperately. “Who are these people?”

Silky could guess. From the distinctive piercings in their ears and eyebrows, the stretched lips; but mostly from the little silver painted skulls that dangled on a necklace on each of them; the origins of their assailants was clear.  Although it was too bizarre for words that they should be here, it was obvious the jewel wasn’t the only thing Nordragon had brought back from the South Seas – they were cannibals from Rangi RuRu! 

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Submitted: October 12, 2016

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