Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Journeyman Chapter 6


Jim Docherty

I’d given a lot of thought as to how I would mend the bridges between Pat and me. None had forseen the death of Droggan forcing the decision on me. Waiting for Pat to arrive I tried to temper my own excitement with what his reaction would be. Would he treat me with contempt or throttle the life out of me; in the end I gave up, neither mattered as long as he listened first.  
 I didn't get a chance other than to note thankfully that anger in Pat tended to lower his voice rather than raise it. The diatribe hissed out, semi- coherent though not without logic. What manner of man was I - I was a bastard. Not so much as a word, or bye your leave-  you shitrick. Leaving it to others to arrange funerals. What the fuck did I think I was doing. Bastard - how did I think he felt having to identify - for Christ sake. Not to even turn up to the funeral-now that was unfucking believable. What the fuck came over you - you shit. Christ and to think I thought they meant everything to you.’
I had to answer that. 'They did.'
'Button it. Fucking strange way of showing it.' And on, until the hot air was partially quenched and perhaps he  sensed some reason behind the tears in  my eyes.
'I know Pat, I know. I've felt all of that, and all the more for not being there with you. But there's something I'm bound to tell you, if no one else. And you need to know it all. So are you ready to listen?'
Pat gave a nod that changed to a shrug as it reached his shoulders.
I’d rehearsed this revelation a thousand times but could never predict Pat's reaction. 'I'm a member of the Brotherhood. Have been since well before Joan was born.' I saw the flesh round Pat's mouth and eyes drain of blood and matching his knuckles gripping the chair.
'You bastard.'
I saw it coming,  more from Pats look and his body language than the actual swing. A blow that seemed to wrench my neck out of  my shoulders and flood my eyes with the red of blood before I blacked out. I came out of it just as the street door slammed shut. Struggling for balance I checked  my face in the mirror and saw its left side begin to darken and stiffen while  my ear was red and tingling. It seemed the punch had changed into a slap. Probably the reason why  my head was still on my shoulders. Favouring the right side of  my mouth for a cigarette and a pack of frozen peas for the left, I checked the 9mm Browning behind the cushion and settled back to wait. The peas were on the second pack and the ear had settled to a rythmic throb by the time a damp Pat reappeared.
'I shouldn't have hit you.'
' `ell if it gets it out of the way.' I began to realise how much pain talking was going to cost me.
'Means nothing. You're still a shit.'
'I might well be, but I can tell you now the Brotherhood had nothing to do with it. Until I could look you in the eye and tell you that, I felt I didn't have the right to comfort you or be comforted by you.'
'And I'm supposed to believe you. Oh that's all right then, these things happen. Shake on it and let's get on with our lives. I've no life man. Your wife, my wife and daughters have had their lives blasted from them. Answer me this. If you hadn't been in this club of yours would my family be alive today?'
This was the question I had rehearsed and Droggans death had given me the answer. 'I can't answer that Pat and you can't either. Not till we nail the people who are doing it.'
'No Docherty. It's best I hand you over to Butler. I've heard his squad's method of interrogation are pretty forceful.’ He hesitated. ‘ What do you mean, doing it?'
'What do you know about Droggan?'
Pat gave a frown of exasperation. 'Very little other than what's came over the news. Some sort of businessman, mainly in betting shops.Now you’ll tell me he was part of this club of yours.'
'Droggan was afriend from way back. Started in Cork with a corner shop until he got into betting. Ended up with shops all over Eire. But, perhaps you don't know, he'd shops all over the six counties as well under a different name. Can you think of a better way to distribute or collect messages and launder funds. His type of distribution and mine were too well integrated in the movement for it to risk them. Whoever did us, did Droggan. 
Pat gave a shrug of exasperation, 'Christ man, will ye shut up. I'm not interested in all this tripe. What are you looking for some sort of absolution because of your patriotism. I had it as well you know. Drummed into me to the tune of the teacher sympathies. This bloody country's steeped in it, the myths, the legends, our warrior poets the bastard English. Why my Mother in this new free land, should be shunned by church and family because she fell in love with my Father. A gentle man with more love than anger in him who just- just, mind you, happened to be a protestant. Why that should be enough for some little shit of a warrior tanked out of his skull to bash his brains in with a piece of four by two then manage to 'disappear' in a place the size of Bandon. 
Why the fuck should I listen to you and your secret society drivel. There's none of it, none of it ye hear, been worth one hair on my father's head nor a frown on the face of my wife or our daughters. And that meant Joan and me. You've lost the right to any part of them.'
I kept my voice to a whisper and didn't take my eyes off Pat’s. 'That's a right that cannot be taken from me, not down here. You'll listen because if you don't we'll never find out who killed them. And, if I don't tell you all of it now it'll come out in dribs and drabs and you'll be forever at my throat.  I had to know it was nobody I was involved with. Because if it was none of them, then whoever it was didn't know either. I’m not looking for forgiveness Pat I'm looking for facts. Killing Droggan and his family is the fact that's making me plump for this being made to look like something its not.' Pulling  myself out of the chair I covered  the wince of pain from my gut, 'Bloody cramp.  I'm going to make a pot of tea then I’ll tell you why I disappeared.'

Hearing the wagon start up I read Pats thoughts, 'Don't worry about the car, we keep as much as possible to a normal routine. When you want to leave I'll make arrangements.' Handing Pat his tea I settled back in the chair.
'When you left the hotel I realised you'd be convinced it was the I.R.A.. Why shouldn't you when that's exactly what it was made to look like and it had me wondering. If it was, they’d failed, because they hadn't nailed me; so I used myself as controlled bait. Starting with three people, the two drivers below and Frank, who knew I was alive but not where I was. The drivers told nobody and Frank didn't even try to get it out of them. Between that and stretching Franks loyalty to the limit over the funeral, I thought was proof enough. Three others knew I was alive but not where I was and nothing's came from that. A week or so later I let Droggan know where I was and suggested we spread a rumour that I was holed up in a flat above one of his betting shops in the north. Again nothing, either by Droggan who knew I was here, or at the shop by anybody who didn't. Finally I let Fernyhough know because I needed to act on some details, and obviously there's been no reaction. If it was the movement, opening the field as much as I had and still nothing happening is a pretty fair indicator they'd never tried. Droggan was on to me the night before he died. Nothing had turned up, his actual words were, 'I'd stake my life it's none of ours.'
'Perhaps he did. Maybe he was used then got rid of.'
'Then why am I still here? It would have to be a bloody clever con to take Droggan in and they'd know killing him would make me nervy.’
'They only have to wait. Eventually you'll have to come out, even if it's only for the business.'
'Fuck the business, I’ve sold my share in it.’
‘Because I’ve only one interest. And I’ve nobody  to pass it on to.  Gerald will be peeved when he finds out but I'd have done him no favours if I'd sold out to him. Anyway Fernyhough's handling the sale and I'm told a buyer's been approved, so I'm more or less clear of it.
'Who gives the approval and do you know who this buyer is?'
I would have chuckled if  my jaw wasn't so sore, 'Don't know Pat. I should think time will make the buyer common knowledge. Now, I'm hoping by being open and frank with you we can work together on both fronts.'
'Suppose Fernyhough's? No suppose Frank's your man?'
It was a fair question. ' I'd be shocked but, if it's proven, he dies. No exceptions.' 
Pats first reaction was to think as he'd been trained. Report what he knew. Get a really solid investigation going and a swoop that nets the bosses and the judges and, more'n likely, half the Dail. Then what the fuck did he care; crusades for good or bad wasn't his scene and no longer his right.

After a minute I asked, 'You said you were being followed, d'ye know who by and have you done anything about it?'
'It's not a very good tail, but I don't want to shake them off too often so they'll know I'm on to them. As to who it is, if its not your lot, I doubt it's Butler's.  The tail will know nothing. He'll just be moonlighting off the dole.'
  'Alright we'll get somebody on to him and see if it leads anywhere. Pat I'll need to know before you leave whether you intend to tell anybody about here. I believe if I allow myself to be handed over I'll be playing right into somebody's hands. Don't want that, it’s my hands I want them in.  Now since I'd rather you leave when it's dark, why don't you get some rest and sleep on it.'

I realised that evening Pats response was all I should have expected, though it left me feeling flat. 'Must admit I was hoping for a yes and dreading the no. This sort of leaves me hanging.'
Pat shrugged, 'You'll just have to stew. I don't know if I want to share space with  you. I'll do this for you though, if I decide to report you I'll give you 24 hours notice before I do.'
'Fair enough. When you decide, ring Frank. Either way Pat there will be no hard feelings on my part and you know I wish you only the best.’ Then hesitating, 'If you decide not to team up, it could mean I'm not in a position to help or protect you. You realise that?'
'Fuck you Docherty. That's exactly it. You tell me all about this wonderful organisation but unless I go along with it I'm liable to be bumped off. I'll tell you what, just forget it and assume you've got your twenty four hours.'
'You've got it wrong Pat, it isn't the movement you'll be in danger from.'
'Bloody who then?'
I rolled my head trying to ease my neck, 'When we know that, we'll know who the killers are.'
Watching Pat disappear down the stairs I felt a wave of misery surgethrough me. Guilt wasn't a factor it was all of it. I'd played a game wearing the green of patriotism and loyalty against something, even now, I felt offensive. I'd become its pawn. Comfortable in the establishment club of republicanism until my family had been the fee. Taking a couple of swigs from the brown bottle, I damned myself and humanity for its stupidity. Most of all,I damned myself for still having to be part of it.
Met by Ronnie on the stairs, Pat was taken to where his car had been garaged, handed a key and told it could be used anytime. Returning the car to Listowel road, he walked back to the station hoping the cold and exercise would sharpen his thoughts. 
Only disappointment crystallised. Expecting solutions he'd been left with another problem to torment and gnaw at him. Collecting Joan's car he eased his mind on to practicalities. Threw in a couple of checks to see if the watcher had decide to be more proficient or had given up on him. It seemed they hadn't. If he sneaked up to him and shouted 'Boo' he'd probably never see him again. Just for a second, he wished somebody would solve it all for him.
With one exception Pat spent the whole of his suspension reading and drinking with a daily long walk in between to excuse the inertia. The exception was Christmas when loneliness beat him and he spent the evening with Docherty. By mid January his leave was over and he'd still no answer for himself or Docherty. Except he'd left it too long to shop him.

It was Fred McGill suggestion that they have a drink in the evening of his first day back in harness. That morning his boss had called him in, cautioned him in a friendly manner to keep out of Butler's affairs. Saying he would Pat asked if his boss knew he was under surveillance. Laughing his D.I. said he must be imagining it. Pat admitted he probably had. McGill's news was altogether different. Finding a table private enough to talk Fred told him he'd been promoted and was being moved to Dundalk. Congratulating him, Pat wondered how this and the mornings warning would leave him for information. However Fred hadn't finished.
'The grapevine is also telling us that Butler's on his way up, some special title like commissioner for anti terrorism or some such crap. I'll still be under his command in Dundalk.'
'You mean his manor's being enlarged?'
'Not really. He's always had clearance country wide on anti terrorist stuff. Now he'll have permanent squads stationed in all the areas.'
'Surely that’ll please you. I remember you telling me his was the best squad to be in and you wanted to stay in it.'
'It's not a simple as that Pat. Lately promotion's been the last thing I expected. Remember the missing stuff in the Tullamore case. Since then I've done a bit of checking on the other unsolved cases. I thought I'd been discreet but obviously not enough. Now if I ask a question that isn't directly involved with the case I'm on it's ignored or memories go blank.’
'Fred, have you ever had an inkling of Butler having some sort of set up with the government. Maybe even the British Special Branch?'
'No?' Fred shook his head, wondering where this was taking him.
'Did you know I was being tailed?' 
Fred laughed, 'Not by us you aren't.'
'I think it's because somebody wants to get to Docherty.'
'Never, nobody wants him that bad. We can't afford the manpower just to tidy up loose ends.’
 It was Sunday evening the following week when Fred rang the digs suggesting we meet on Wednesday at Mulligans a Dublin disco bar. Asking what he had, got a chuckle off Fred. ‘Not yet Pat I need a couple of days to tighten things up.’Trying to get more out of Fred made him adament. 'Bugger off. If I tell you now you'll go off half cocked, I'll know by Wednesday.’
The disco bar wasn't  my scene. Sonic, crowded by desperadoes of youth trying desperately to be regained on crap drinks and chemically enhanced libidos. I expected Fred to stand out like me in the wank-n-mack brigade but hadn't bargained for the strobes. Their pulsing made identification practically impossible. I tried to defeat its effect by synchronised blinking, gave that up and waited. Two hours later, still sober, head thumping to the beat, I gave up. On impulse I headed for the station.  My hopes rose when I saw the lighted window in Fred's office. And I refused to let them drop when I realised Fred’s car was missing.. Using my desk phone I hesitated when I didn't recognise the voice that answered. 'Hi, is Fred there?'
'No, who's calling?'
'Any chance of talking to him?'
The voice persisted. 'None, who's calling?'
'What d'ye mean none, is he there or isn't he?'
'Fred’s dead. Killed this morning in a road accident.'
'Oh. No! For Christ's sake.'
'Fraid so. You a mate of his?'
Dropping back the phone, I damned myself for not being more persuasive till tears made me realise I’d still enough conscience to grieve for a friend.

I had to force himself into work the following morning. The subdued hum of the place doing more than anything else to confirm the news wasn’t some twisted joke. It seemed Fred was headed back to Dublin on the T41 and had run into the back of the wagon around 4.20 a.m. The wagon had been climbing a fairly steep hill on a slow left hand bend. It's driver had been charged with a defective offside tail light, but the general consensus was Fred had either fallen asleep, or been drunk. Either way he certainly hadn't seen the overhanging steel joists that decapitated him. 
The funeral was on Tuesday of the following week. learning it was to be a full police affair I decided not to go. Later I admitted to my conscience and Fred's ghost that it was an excuse, I'd had enough of funerals. I tried to discipline some interest back into my work but knew the effort was futile. Without Fred I'd no connections and in time the excuse of working would turn into another meaningless reason. Instead I drove the scene of the accident. Driving up and down several times before pulling into the verge where skid marks abruptly ended and fragmented glass were the confetti of death. I sat for an hour in the watery winter sun, taking in the road as it twisted up and carved its way down and waited. God alone knew for what. Inspiration or guidance perhaps, I couldn't conceive of solutions, they were beyond belief. Back at the station I wrote out my resignation.

This time it was my turn to do the talking, closing with the call from Fred and his death before he could pass whatever it was he had on. Flicking through  the dossier I’d given him Jim asked why various marked sections were significant. Sometimes adding notes to his own pad and at others marking the dossier, he put into words something I had considered but couldn't bring myself to believe.
'There's one constant through this - Butler. He probably doesn't get his hands dirty and we don't know if he is involved in the decision making or not. But from what you tell me about his wealth of contacts, if we can turn the table on him he may lead us to the answers. Leave me with the files so I can go through them in detail. In the meantime the quicker we have him watched the better.' Jim's intention was to set up a rota of his drivers. I disagreed, saying it would be better to restrict our interest to as few people as possible. Besides, without a job it would give  me something to focus on. I felt more hopeful than I had since the phone call from Fred. Even the dragging hours shuttling positions and watching an empty car had a purposeful feel to it. 
We both agreed the first move was to get rid of my tail. The ageing Opel, would be pressed to accept scrap status by one of the wagons and its driver encouraged to appreciate how his co-operation and silence could lead to a boring if uneventful life. On the Sunday evening, after I’d checked Butler back to his house and saw him lock the garage door, I decided to make an early night of it, only to find my landlady, Mrs McKinsh waiting for me.’There was a phone call for you earlier, a women. Said she'd ring you again tonight.'  I couldn’t think of any woman wanting to ring me.
Mounting the stairs I decided to get myself one of those mobiles for the sake of privacy. I'd an hour to wait before my curiosity was satisfied. 
'Hello Urquhart here?'
'Mr Urquhart I'm Kathy McGill, Fred's sister. I've been tidying up his things and there's an envelope here that has your name on it. Do you know anything about it?'
Trying to keep the excitement out of my voice I failed, 'We were due to meet a week last Wednesday he said he'd something for me on a case we were working on. Look Kathy it's a bit difficult over the phone. Could I collect it now.' Writing the address on the sticky pad provided by Mrs McKinsh I put my life on the line by taking all of it and my licence on the line by getting to her flat in twelve minutes.

There was a strong family resemblance between Fred and his younger sister, her attitude one of some embarrassment at not noticing the official stamp embossed on the envelope sooner. Though impatience was gnawing at me, I didn't find it too difficult to accept her offer of coffee. Taking the A4 envelope from her, my eyebrows raised when saw it had been opened. Kathy McGill blushed, 'I did look, just to make sure. But it was already open.' The last came out in a rush. 
The envelope contained reports on  cases that, on this occasion, memory served  me too well.  What they didn’t give was any reason for Fred’s excitement. I tried to hide my disappointment from Kathy and asked if Fred kept a diary and could I look through it. Kathy said I could have it. 

Disappointment solidified to dejection when I checked the reports against my own in Jim's flat. We sifted through looking for the parasitic word or distorted fact, but they were copies wrought from the same mould.  I gave up in disgust, 'It wasn't the reports Jim, Fred was specific about that.'
  'Did he say he had them?'
'The opposite, said he hadn't, but that doesn't mean he didn't get hold of them on the Monday or Tuesday. He may have found something that relates to these four cases but I can't find any common factor.'
'Or these could have been left for us to find. Which would mean these are the least use to us. And, you say Fred didn't know you had copies?'
'I kept things pretty close. Didn't even trust Fred much until I weighed up his reaction on the Tullamore thing. That, and the fact I was getting nowhere, I opened out with him.  Maybe more's the pity.'
'Did you get a chance to look over the flat.'
'It was his sisters flat, Fred lived in digs and was a bit nomadic in his sleeping arrangements according to her. I got the address, I'll go round in the morning to check it out.'
'Anything in his diary?'
'Nothing, didn't use it much and nothing at all to do with work. Here, look through it yourself.'
Jim's chin slumped to his chests, 'Bugger, every bloody time we think we've hiccuped forward we're knocked back. Looks like anything he knew has died with him.'
'Or somebody knew he knew.'
'Possible, but the deaths we're interested in were not accidents.'
The visit to Fred's digs yielded nothing. The room hadn't been let but it was cleared of any possessions. Asking the landlady if anybody had visited the room immediately before or after the accident, I was told no and it was she who had packed his stuff and given it to his sister. He rang Kathy up at her work and asked if she'd come across anything that might interest him in the effects she'd picked up. She'd found nothing but bits of receipts and now his clothes were in the charity shops. 
Despondent we concentrated on Butler. Using a fleet of cars borrowed from Docherty's drivers we'd five weeks to endure before he made a move that got our adrenaline flowing.
I’d bought mobile phones for myself and Jim, I also bought a decent camera with a telephoto lens and wiled away the boredom of watching by learning to use them. Butler, now Chief Superintendent, lived, it seemed, an abnormally normal life. His home, shared with his wife and her cat, was one of five built in the grounds of what had once been a country house. Each of the five had bolt on features claiming Georgian style and architectural individuality. Their only beauty, as far as I was concerned, was in their layout. Built as a court, with electric gates and only one entrance or exit I could watch from any number of places with impunity. This evening Butler drove past his entrance, turning into a road where the houses were of a type similar to the one that had been pulled down to build his. Slowing as he turned into a drive, I managed to get a glimpse of Butler standing by an imposing entrance door. With the house being well screened from the road I didn't worry about driving up and down until I could identify it from any direction. Numbers I didn't get, the area was too exclusive for that. But a name from the house two down and a electric sub station across and one up would be enough. Only the bareness of early spring allowed any glimpse of the house through its screen of shrubs.

Parking next to the sub station I checked the camera and the road before crossing, then vaulting a low wall was hidden by the shrubs. As the  camera whizzed round from left to right, it showed only the garage was down a dip, Butler's car was on a gravelled turning area screened by a hedge. Risking as much exposure as I could I eased forward, then quickly stood to get the registration numbers of the garaged cars. It was a wasted effort apart from recording their make- a Renault saloon and a Mercedes cabriolet. I'd a three hour wait before Butler drove off.  Then another half hour to see if anything happened at the house before checking that Butler was home. 

Jim was still up and taking the film and sketch from me I was handed a whiskey and a promise to get the owners name first thing in the morning. 'Pat I've been playing with the idea of trying to open this from a entirely different slant. Suppose we commission a forensic accountant to check all the details of the businesses the victims were involved in and what's happened to them since. It might come up with some sort of pattern.' 
My interest was limited to a shrug, my gut was telling me tonight's development was our first real break.
The owner was a Mrs Ruth Dellows. Widowed, wealthy and still only nudging her middle thirties. Rumour had it she maintained her fortune and enhanced it by a series of wealthy companions. Both cars were registered in her name, though in the weeks I became her shadow she'd used only the Renault or taxis. I also collected the names from their addresses of her friends, hairdressers, boutiques, restaurants, golf and health clubs. All exclusive and reported to Docherty for checking. Eleven months and five visits by Butler hardly made him a regular but it was all we got.

The report from the accountant was floating on expense but dry on substance. Most of the businesses had been sold on. Some many times before they were either folded or ended up as a subsidiary of a major group. The ones that stayed with individuals they'd checked out and got the dullness of normalcy. Once in the eleven months there'd been a bombing with similar patterns. I had tightened up our tail on Butler, involving for the first time Ronnie and Dave hoping immediately after the event we'd get connections. Nothing but the same bloody nothings. When I suggested I set himself up with Dellows. Jim chuckled and said he doubted if I would have the right connections. It never occurred to us to question why Butler should have.

Our second Christmas was worse than the first. Just a time for us to skulk while the world went about its business.
Watching Cameron walk back along the harbour, Pat reflected on the tenet Jim had first mentioned on Christmas Eve and held to ever since. At first too incredible to believe, that Butler was the key not Dellows. 

He wasn’t happy with Jim’s plan though he had to accept the logic of it. If Quinn and Butler turned up mob handed, chances are both  Jim and him would be taken out. Then nobody would be left to bring the bastards to justice. Or maybe he was kidding himself, copped out because he hadn’t the stomach for acting as judge and executioner. No, Quinn and Butlers own actions would prove their guilt. His hand went automatically to the ring in his pocket. The pin that had cost Fred his life when he made the connection between the missing pins and the range at Tullamore. How the grenades drawn for exercises had to be accounted for by returned pins. Obvious, once you accepted depravity didn’t value cost just returns. He hadn’t copped out, he’d just given Jim first chance. 


Listening to Pat’s steps receding down the stairs, Jim gave a silent prayer that he’d accepted. That after it was finished Pat could get on with the life he deserved and, perhaps, think not too badly of him. He rang Frank, ignoring the one ring sequence, letting it ring as a minor act of celebration until a sleepy voice answered. 
'Frank, I want you to get a message to a bloke. He's on a yacht called Synkro in Dun Laoghaire. His names Brian something - Cameron, Brian Cameron. Let him know the meetings on for Thursday night. He's already been warned to be aboard by ten every night. On Thursday take Ron and Dave with you and see if you're interested in anything he's got to say. And Frank put on a bit of an act. He's probably expecting the blood and thunder lot so impress him with the frighteners. Now this is the important bit. Tell him the thing he's asked for will be delivered five o'clock Saturday morning. Come hell or high water make sure he gets that message and have somebody watching him incase he tries to bugger off in fright.'
'What's all this in aid of Jim?'
'I'll just tell you this. Bit of luck and I'll be out of hibernation after this weekend.'
Franks shout forced him to hold the phone away from his ear. 'Does that mean we'll see you next week?'
'In the flesh Frank, in the flesh. While I'm on, will you get Tom to give Ronnie another couple of bottles of his broth. Get them to me today if you can.'
'No problem. Though I'd be better pleased if you had proper treatment.'
Docherty chuckled, 'Next week Frank you can bully me in to anything.

When tiredness still wouldn't transform into sleep, he reviewed the details left for him to do. Primarily he was pleased he'd been able to persuade Pat. In one way at least it turned the frustrating searching into a God send. He'd never have been so pliant had they got the answer sooner. Often he'd half hoped Pat would turn up one day and say he'd had enough. Something, anything, had happened that made him want a life again. He'd to admit to it always being only half a hope. Most of the time he needed Pat's rages, depressions and sloughs of frustration in order to mediate and be able to live with his own. Pat had erected ramparts against the threats of emotion. Perhaps Saturday would see them begin to crumble. 

Ronnie called with the medicine that same evening. Thanking him Jim asked, 'Have you a set of keys to Pats other car?'
'I've a set and Dave's got a set.'
'Has Frank told you about the job on Thursday night?'
Ronnie gave a nod.
'Good, after Frank's finished with you I want you to take the pistol and a least two magazines back here. Two other details I want you to keep to yourself. You're to check with me night and morning until Saturday. Anything happens between now and then, and Ron I mean anything, you're to tell nobody. Saturday morning be here at four, there will be a call from Pat. If I'm o.k, I'll answer, if not you will. He'll know what to do from there. Just make sure he has all the help he wants. Have you got that. Don't ask why, just tell me if you've got it so far.'
'I'm with you. Don't like the sound of it but you're the boss.'
'Good, last part. When you come up on Saturday I want you to get Pats car and leave it out front for me. Then I'll be away until Monday. If Dave notices tell him to stop worrying and if he does anything it could bugger up my plans. That should hold him.'
Ronnie parroted the instructions. After he'd left Docherty put the two new medicine bottles beside the two other full ones and the one two thirds empty. Between now and Saturday he vowed to restrict any relief to the third. He wasn’t going to fudge this through a dope ridden haze.

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