Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Journeyman - Final Chapter

Global Services was the multi nationals answer to the threat from the corner.

Paki. Twenty-four seven they supplied basic groceries along with tiny bags of coal only the poor could afford. The attendant didn’t look happy seeing me approach, convinced he was about to be hassled. He wasn’t; clutching my purchases and indicating I was going to the toilet Pat joined me.
‘What’s that for?’ Pat asked pointing to the packet I’d left on top of the condom machine.
‘Combination of what we’re doing now and that is part of our solution.’
‘Solution to what?’
‘The Granada.’

Pat didn’t press, he’d grown accustomed to enigmatic answers and, annoying as they were, they usually meant a problem was about to be solved. Besides for Pat they’d crossed the Rubicon. Any watchers would have seen it as a glorious opportunity – van, Granada and one other car in an exposed location was too good to miss. Which was why he’d to retrieve the whip aerial from the brushes of the car wash before switching the Saabs radio over from normal mode.

We’d no need to hurry, recovering our stuff from the skip we eased up on the van and it’s shadow then eased back out of sight.
‘I think we should modify our plan. Tell them to keep on the motorway and not stop until we say.’
‘I thought we were going to pull them off and have them drive through Bedford then Newport?’
‘Doesn’t seem to be the need now does there Pat? Besides there are too many lay byes where a desperate woman could force a stop. On the Motorway and we keep the pressure on. If you see what I mean.’
‘Brian I don’t and these cryptic clues of yours are pissing me off.’
‘Exactly, no need to get pissed off, you’ve guessed it.’
‘Guessed what you bloody haggis?’
I treated Pat to a slow smile knowing I was pushing it. ‘You know what women are like?’
‘I’ve got a rough idea but obviously not as acute as yours.’
‘You ever noticed how in company they always go to the toilet in two’s. It intrigues me why they do that.’
‘I’ve never noticed, so no, I’ve never thought about it. And bluntly, I can’t see much relevance between the toilet habits of women and the job we’re on.’
‘There are none Pat. Well not quite none. Except have you ever known a woman to last more than three, maybe four hours before she’s at bursting point?’
‘Christ is this a kink of yours. People just go when it suits them or when they have to; I’ve never considered it.’
‘Dellows hasn’t had a pee for well on four hours.’
‘So, she’ll want to go to the toilet.’
‘Exactly, and on a quiet country road she might be tempted by a bush.’
Pat nodded and growled, ‘Go on, how does that tie in with the Granada?’
‘Assume he’s human as well. I didn’t see him use the toilets on the services did you?’
Pat shook his head, ‘Never went near them.’
‘Right we give Dellows permission to go first. Then Laing and I’ll bet a pound to a penny as soon as he goes Sonny’ll join him.’
‘We need a little time to get organised, pedal to the metal mate.’
Holding twice the speed of the van the spume behind the Saab acted as a damp smoke screen as I went through the semantics of radio contact. ‘Do not stop or leave the van until you’re told.’ Back came the confirmation.

Cecil and Ruth had found a common interest in golf to bridge the time between instructions that had them searching for clues as to the longevity and destiny of their immediate future. The van wasn’t helping to calm jangling nerves. Drummy, its utility something neither were accustomed to, though the silky ride of a Bentley would have been a comfort only skin deep. The headlights had just picked up the sign telling them Newport services were only a mile ahead when the radio burst in to torment them. As they memorised the longest instruction they’d yet received both glanced at their door mirrors. Ruth saw nothing but Cecil did and building his speed up to eighty saw no discernable increase in the gap. The next services sign said they’d thirteen miles to go and Ruth decided she needed something to distract her. Braving the blast of freezing air she wound down the window and adjusted her mirror.

Parking as instructed Cecil watched Ruth almost run to the entrance. There was something sinister knowing the car that followed them in and facing them two bays in front had occupants watching him. Was this it? When he carried out his instructions might he return to find the van gone? Would Dellows be gone with it? What would he, could he do then? The passenger door opening startled him.

Ruth settled before handing him the envelope that had been taped to the side of a pinball machine. Reading its contents Cecil realised they made mincemeat of his earlier hypothesis. Handing it for Ruth to read he asked if there was anything he could get her. Walking towards the services he caught the car door being opened and the bloke he now knew as Hamilton trailing him to the entrance, using the bulk of a games cabinet to shield him, Cecil waited.
‘Mr Hamilton, I’m having a short break. Would you care to join me?’ then perfectly amicably, ‘ Would you like a sandwich; perhaps something more substantial?’
Hamilton just shook his head until he was sure of his voice, ‘Eh no, just a cup of tea.’
Cecil managed to keep his tone conversational. ‘I’m having one of those large beakers, thirsty work driving. Same for you?’
Hamilton said a cup would do but, whether it was the bloke or the assistant who had cloth ears they ended up with two beakers while Cecil scanned the tables, eventually settling on one where the nearest neighbours were a group of driver’s playing cards one isle and five tables away, by their voices clearly foreign and to Cecil’s ear probably Turks. Cecil took the one spoon he’d picked up stirring his own before dropping the spoon in Hamilton’s beaker and sliding it towards him. ‘I’m going to collect my next instructions and I’ve been advised by my principals there is no reason why you can’t be a party to them. We can discuss them over tea, would you like to accompany me?’
Bemused, Hamilton tagged along to the toilets and watched as his mentor counted to the twelfth cubicle before going in and closing the door. Rather than standing there like a spare perv, Hamilton used t
he urinal.

I’d ground the tablets I’d given to Pat into as fine a powder as I could manage. Tapping the results into the cellophane sheaf of a cigarette packet and showing it to Pat I asked. ‘Think that’ll do it?’
Pat glanced at the twist and shrugged, ‘Better too much as too little.’

Paying for his coffee and sandwiches Pat let some late travellers in front of him settle on tables before standing to one side to let a bloke dressed in sloppy cardigan followed by one in a crumpled business suit go by him. Using the paper he’d bought as a screen he sat and poured the powder into the beaker with the spoon in it. Shee-it, the bloody stuff was floating like a patch of coral in a sea of mud. Thirty seconds of frantic stirring created more adrenalin than had been coursing through him at the services. Taking years the liquid slowly absorbed and, forcing every nerve in his body, he waited till the vortex settled without any sign of scum. On the pretext of just noticing the table was taken he slid his cup on the table opposite and exited just in time to see the two men, seemingly deep in conversation over the contents of an envelope. The same envelope Dellows had collected.

It outlined all of the next stage, up to and including Corley on the M6. Giving only the slightest hint that they may be reaching the end of their journey.

The Saab was empty when he got back and knowing it was Brian’s turn to drive Pat settled in the passengers seat and wondered where the hell I’d got to.
A minute later I was back and my main concern was getting some warmth back in my hands. ‘Bloody freezing. You get it done?’
Pat reached for a cigarette - mine: scrounging git. ‘Thought the stuff was never going to dissolve. Hope it’s enough, he’s a big bloke.’
‘Well, maybe the bigger the fall; as long as Laing hasn’t mixed the cups up and Hamilton drinks it. Anyway I’ve taken out insurance. Let’s save some time and tell Dellows she’s to call us as soon as they’re back on the motorway. Let them think there’s a bit of space between us.’

David Hamilton switched on the tape deck, Bruch wasn’t his type of music but there was a lot worse. All right he hadn’t noticed the vans aerial and his tail had been pathetic. Without back up it was bound to be. The bloke said he’d been in touch with Neil over the radio? He was no expert but it seemed a long way for radio to work but what he didn’t know was whether Neil was still in Bramshott or tracking the van and its millions in a chopper a thousand feet above them.

We watched them leave four minutes ahead of us and kept to the speed we’d given them. By junction 16 we were getting twitchy so I drove up the slip road then back on to the motorway to check. I suppose I was first to crack. ‘Shit, I ’d have thought he’d be buggered by now?’
Pat glanced at the map. ‘Me too. We’ve two exits left, then he’ll know Corley’s got nothing to do with it.’
I tried to reassure myself as much as Pat, ‘One or the other is bound to work and he still won’t know where we’ve gone, now will he?’
‘No but Corley as a ruse has its benefits. If he survives, he’ll know he’s been taken out, and if he can string a sentence together, that van will be the priority for every bloody patrol car in the country. Sooner we’re done with it the better.’
Pat was right, and our timing could work against us. Even white vans were not that much in evidence Christmas morning. We should have doubled the dose – Pat should have waited to see if he drank it- Maybe the sugar had built up on some filter before it got to the tank, or was lumped in a solid mass in the filler pipe- Maybe the sugar lore was shite lore- Maybe we should have punctured all his tyres; except he was too near a police unit for that – brained him with the car jack- too direct, close, physical, and far too risky; and now, too late. I made my mind up, we’d need a section of the motorway on an embankment and it would probably leave a wealth of clues to forensics where the Saabs offside front clipped his nearside rear and he’d spin off while we headed on. A classic manoeuvre tried and tested the world over; though never by me. Leaving a lot of choice and chance between tap and crunch but that’s the sort of decisions spazwits have to make and not wanting to admit to being one I changed the subject. Laing must be getting tired?’
Pat peered forward then gave a snort, ‘Ease up behind the low loader.’

‘What the hell’ The damning blare of the wagons horn along with the light blinding him from their reflection off the door mirror made him swing violently left. Adrenalin forcing his eyelids to retract while his brain struggled for sense. He tried focussing his eyes on the lane markers, too many of them. Heard himself shouting, demanding his brain function and get back in control. He couldn’t understand; this was him, his body, his brain, and a primary element of his being. They did what he wanted, reacted as needed; he was the switch that animated. The blare and glare from a second wagon told him he was losing. Pressing buttons lowered windows, blasting him with freezing air. He raised the radios volume to its limit but it still lost against the blast. Snatches of pop garbled, foreign, a trace of logic had him press the self seek button. The dash lit up like Leicester Square. ‘What now? Fuck he’d only pressed the fucking radio?’ Now his voice was leaving him, echoing in space that shouldn’t be there. Must think; he slipped the auto into neutral. ‘Better pull over.’ The words ponderous but neutral, flat of concern and unconscious of sense. Jarring wind horns reminded him of ships, felt its spray as it buffeted him in the back then past and beyond him. Appropriate he thought as he watched his glide towards tufts of grass looking like wavelets on the embankment, knowing what it was but absorbed with what it could be. All because he’d fiddled with the radio; something he’d to remember about radios. It would all come back to him, after he slept.

. We couldn’t make out any sign of an attempt at control, not a break light or deviation until the rear of the loader clipped him sending him down the embankment and out of our sight. Now he didn’t matter, he could have the constitution of an ox the skill of a rally driver and a car that thrived on sugar caked fuel; the loader had shepherded him onto the M45.

Five would see us at the Derby- Nottingham feeder, back on schedule and more important that warm feeling of being back in control. Stretching for a cigarette I found they’d gone, Pat just grinned. ‘I’d nothing to do with my hands.’

With the fan heater going full blast, Jim Dawley still felt the cold seeping into his bones. He wished the boss had made the same decision as the eatery next door and closed at ten thirty. Still at sixty-two jobs were at a premium and even a humble night petrol attendant could keep his head up, just. A flash of light reflecting off the stainless steel pumps grabbed his attention. Two blokes were getting out of a flash car, one coming towards him. He opened the vent that was supposed to allow him to hear them and them him.
The bloke spoke, ‘Hi there, Happy Christmas, need to use the toilets.’
Jim nodded and passed a key through the cash slide. ‘Round the side, got to be kept locked to keep out the yobbo’s. Bring the key back when you’re finished.’

I slipped the envelope behind the cistern before unscrewing the four screws that held the doors inner handle. Opening the door I put my foot between it and the jamb before pulling out the latch shaft and fitting the one Pat had cut for me. An inch of sticky tape held it flush with the door before screwing back the handle. Pat was finishing his oil and water check when I handed back the key paying for the petrol and cigarettes for us both. I’d to listen hard before I made out what I was being asked.
‘Do you want a receipt?’ Another small foible of Jims. If it was asked for the cigarettes would be shown separate from the petrol and the time and car registration would be noted. Though this cunt just laughed at him.
‘No thanks.’

The services and its Quick Food neighbour share an exit directly on the Sawley roundabout. Behind the eatery, at a lower level, is its car park with a ranch style enclosure used to hide a number of large waste bins. Half a mile further along the A6 towards Derby is the Shardlow Inn, it was there Pat and I were to split up. He waited till I’d checked the van and gave him a wave before driving back to park just beyond the petrol station on the east bound lay bye. Waiting until he was out of sight I opened the rear door and checked the cases matched the instructions given to Bramshott and slid the green file into the ivory case next to the offside rear door. The seat was too close for me but they reckoned Laing was three inches shorter so I’d just have to lump it. Down to the number plates the vans were identical apart from one difference, this was the van the plates belonged to. Checking again the green power light on the radio I felt the heat beginning to warm up the cab as I settled to wait.

Five thirteen, Laing caught the time from the lights of the junction as he pulled on to the A6. It wasn’t tension that was getting to him now but the apathy of fatigue. Twice Ruth had dropped off, only to wake with a start, apologise while both struggled to find something to talk about. He hadn’t known what to expect and still didn’t. Imagination had played scenarios of dilapidated warehouses, forest clearings and disused airfields; cracked skulls, trussed up, left to die or not. None were comfortable and imagination for some reason didn’t include hope, but this up country endurance trip hadn’t been one of them.
‘There it is.’ Ruth’s shout and the sight of the service station cast his reflections out.
‘Right. First I’ve got to fill up, then drive to the rear parking area of the restaurant?’
Ruth nodded in confirmation.
‘Dirty buggers.’ Dawley said to himself, watching the van leave the forecourt to run round the back of the restaurant. He was gracious enough to revise his opinion when the bloke rapped on his window and asked if he could use the toilet. Obviously a gent, well spoken and had that look about him. Surprising to see his type in a van. ‘Certainly sir, just return the key when you’re finished.’

It was cold in the toilet, that, combined with the fatigue, made Cecil shudder instead of shiver as he searched for the envelope. Relieving himself he wondered if his body could afford to lose the heat and if something was about to happen that could be called progress or was this just another control check. He sighed as he read the instructions. He’d to wait ten minutes, then Ruth could have ten minutes and he’d to check the load on his way back. What did they mean by that?

Surprisingly steam was rising from the water running out the hot tap, he lathered his face with the evil smelling carbolic soap then heard an engine start. Thinking it would be Ruth keeping some heat in the cab he took no notice, other than to confirm he could see nothing through the toilets tiny opaque window. Ignoring the soggy end of a roller towel he used toilet paper to dry his face damp before checking his watch.

Cecil’s first reaction was to merely regard it as stuck. Shouldering the door he tried quick forceful synchronised down thrust on the handle as though attempting to catch it unawares. When it wasn’t and didn’t, he tried pressing the handle in and, keeping the pressure on, slowly eased it down. Every time and each way his voice commanded it to work and when it didn’t he banged on the door and shouted, while sizing up his chances of getting through the tiny window.

Pat watched the door close then gave another few minutes before sending the message to Dellows. She must still have been clutching her mike when he heard the engine start then the gears crunch and stall followed by a vehement oath before the engine was restarted. Pat cursed; while she was on send he couldn’t contact either her or Brian. Seeing Brian hesitate on the roundabout, Pat got out, gave him the thumb and waved him on.

Ruth was only beginning to wonder why she’d been told to move when a van slid into the slot she’d vacated. Seconds and her door opened, the balaclava’d figure collecting the crisp and drinks debris, growled at her, ‘Fucking get back to the passenger side.’ Through her door mirror she watched him scatter the rubbish in the other van, then walk round to the front and back to the rear, all the time watching her waiting for any move. Unceremoniously an attaché case and number plates were dumped between her legs and the mike taken from her as he climbed in. Everything had happened so fast she’d forgot she was holding it.
‘Number two acknowledge.’
‘On yer way.’
Ruth could feel her heart transmitting its thumps through to the back of her seat. Wanting to ask, she didn’t know if she could speak, or if she did whether she’d want to hear the answer. The accent was muffled but she tried for an acceptable substitute. Scots maybe? Glasgow or Dundee lowlife, not Edinburgh that had more of a refined twang. What the hell did she know, and did it matter when you knew you were kidding yourself. Her hands clenched until she felt her nails cutting her palms and the sweat begin to nip. She must have telegraphed her intention, maybe gave a gasp before saying the words.
‘Jist shut the fuck up.’
Ulster. Jesus Joseph and Mary what the hell had they got her into?

Behind the mask I’d to smother the grin. Accents were never my thing but for some unknown reason the harsh Ulster brogue came easy. Here it was, first roundabout after Sawley, left, then left again, I slid the van to a halt outside the only house sporting flagpoles.
‘Slide out my way Dellows.’ Taking the brown paper bag with me I waited till she was out then shepherded her round to the back of the house. Screened from the A6 by a high brick wall I broke in by placing the bag and its contents against the doors glass panel and driving my elbow against it. The crack of glass breaking and the tinkle of it falling were followed by no dogs barking, lights lighting or inquisitive eyes looking. Standing aside I pointed for her to go in.

There was nothing specially warm about the house despite the developers attempt to give it the ideal lived in look, though it wasn’t as cold to warrant the spasms of shivers passing through Dellows. Now that we were inside I could soften my approach, get her cooperation rather than waste time and possibly leave clues by having to subdue her. The master bedrooms’ suite didn’t have a window and it was there that I lead her to use its facilities, though I kept the accent when she came out.
‘You cooperate now and we’ve been asked not to harm you. Personally I couldn’t give a fuck so long as you don’t waste my fucking time. Now you’re to take a couple of tablets, or do I force them down you?’
‘What are they?’
Fair question, except I didn’t know. ‘Dellows just do as your fucking told. You’re expected to be found around ten in the morning and your expected be quizzed bloody hard. The tablets are to back the parts you’ll say you don’t remember. That’s everything from the petrol station to here. You know nothing about it, how you got here, how many men there were, anything about them real or imagined. You Mrs Dellows, were simply out of it.’ I handed her the glass of water, then shook the powder from three tablets into it. ‘You get that down and the worst you’ll suffer is cramp.’ I watched her eyes screw shut as her mouth opened.

There are many depths of fear and being bound to a bed didn’t conjure up pleasant memories for Ruth but at least this time she was dressed and the tape he’d used to spread-eagle her wrists and ankles to the bedposts didn’t seem to be as uncomfortable as handcuffs though she’d tried to protest when the same tape was used to cover her mouth. Wishing her pleasant dreams I threw the duvet over, then on the way out set the boiler control to constant. Mustn’t let her get cold, especially since I hadn’t said which morning the ten would apply to. By ten to six I was on the Derby ring road, already missing Pat's company and ten minutes ahead of schedule.

Jim Dawley shook his head and grumbled to nobody in particular but the whole bloody grey dismal world in general. ‘Couldn’t credit it. You ask for the simple courtesy of returning the key. Couldn’t trust a vicar nowadays.’ Carefully locking the main door he hunched his shoulders against the cold and made his way to the toilet. ‘That’s assuming the sod hasn’t pocketed it. Bloody shits.’ He’d turned the corner before he heard the banging and shouting and Cecil didn’t stop to explain once the door was cautiously opened. ‘Sorry.’ He shouted as he barged past and ran towards the van. Leaving Dawley in a quandary when the door clicked shut, leaving him with nothing to occupy his mind other than to fine tune the excuse he’d give the Boss when he arrived at eight.
Cecil wasn’t any happier. Finding Ruth gone, he’d opened the back expecting to find it empty and felt his heart sink as he scanned the ranks of cases. He’d ring Bramshott; bring them up to date and where he was. Ask the attendant if he could use his phone.
‘One acknowledge.’ It was loud, commanding.
Disconsolate he answered, knowing he was once again in harness.
‘Drive back to the M1 then north to Leeds.’
‘Where’s Mrs Huntington, what’s happened to her?’
There was a moment’s silence. ‘She’s guaranteeing your behaviour. Behave and she’ll come to no harm.’
Cecil put the van in gear and, mixing a sigh with an oath started up the ramp

My Chester delivery was made by eight thirty in a street showing all the signs of a Christmas morning. The van was too high to reverse right back to the garage door so I used the ends of the packing crates as screens before transferring the cases. It didn’t take me long to pack eleven in each then replace the bow fronted glass cabinet in one and the music centre in the other. Both were perfect in every detail but for their shallow depth. Closing and locking the vans door then sliding the crate ends inside I lowered the garage door, sliding three steel bars into their prepared cleats locking each of them in place before closing off both the boxes and driving the setscrews well home. The internal door from the garage to the kitchen had been replaced by a steel one, after all we didn’t want some opportunist thief getting more than he’d bargained for. When the two Chubb’s clicked home I walked through the lobby and out the front.

Minutes after nine I was heading for Neston and the same routine. The exception at Ellesmere Port was not having to use the ends of the crates as screens. It was there I enjoyed the luxury of a shower before changing into the clothes I left on the Saturday. Caustic Soda was poured down the shower trap and all the toiletries along with the clothes I’d worn were packed in a waste bag that would suffer the same fate as the van. I made one phone call from a call box, letting it ring for a few minutes before hanging up and giving a skip before getting back in the van. Sometimes no answer is the answer you want.

Pat managed the twelve o’clock shuttle from Manchester to Heathrow, feeling almost as sorry for Laing as he was for himself. Despite the radios distortion he could hear the anguish in Laing’s voice when he passed the final instruction to him. Directing him to Scunthorpe and the Ship Hotel, where he’d to wait until he was contacted, he’d watched the van turn on to the M180 before making his way to Manchester. When Brian made his call to Bramshott and told them where Laing could be contacted, they’d have to decide whether to save time and disclose Laing’s involvement, or use time arranging a replacement. Their decision would be interesting and there would be an interested observer at the Ship. Carrying only a Christmas parcel he locked the Saab giving it a pat as though apologising for its premature return to the metal coil and made his way to the gate using a name he hoped would soon be forgiven and forgotten.

Watching the weak sun reflecting on the reservoirs as the plane banked on its approach he closed his eyes and wished he could do the same with his ears against the clunks and whirs of wing flaps and undercarriages. The bump, the rumble, the reverse thrust was his resurrection making it worthwhile to think and breathe again. Slipping the parcel beneath him he waited for the shuffling line of passengers to start before thrusting his way into it. Unless Brian told them sooner, tomorrow Hopkins would be told of the parcel addressed to him and where to collect it.
‘Excuse me?’ Pat swivelled on his heels as though his back was skewered by a rod of tension. ‘Have you left this?’ Short, fat jowls glistened with the effort of pushing forward to catch Pat on the ramp.
Pat looked at the parcel. ‘Sorry not mine.’
The jowls quivered while the eyes looked perplexed, ‘I could have sworn,’ the eyelids dropped to mask confusion, ‘I was sure it was on your seat?’
Pat smiled and shook his head then headed on towards the terminal. Glancing back he saw jowls fighting the tide till he approached the stewardess. In the terminal he opened the envelope Brian had gave him from Joanna and removed the traveller cheques before ripping the tickets into a thousand pieces and spreading them in four waste bins. He’d made his own arrangements and there’d be no sun-drenched paradise for him and Jane. Within the hour they’d be in Dublin, then the private charter to Shannon and on to Breen House with it’s secluded grounds overlooking a bleak Atlantic. Four posters, log fires and baths so big they’d to fit lifebuoys. Time to get to know one another in a place that wasn’t too idyllic. A place that found their warmth in contentment and perhaps, Jane willing, he could introduce the future to some of the past. Sneaking up behind he swirled her into his arms where they hugged as though they’d been waiting for years.

The police car was still with me as I turned at the lights onto the Rossmore estate. Slowing to almost walking pace I indicated a second right taking me into a petrol station. The police followed, swinging effortlessly in my tracks as my hands began to cramp on the wheel. All the way up; all the damn way, nothing, not a sign except for two heading south on the M1, bastards. Clever bastards had waited, let us run till it was a done job, money located, hostages safe and congratulating themselves on finding the file in Laing’s van – the wrong file. Jesus there was more round the back of the garage. The forecourt was empty, if I could make it through and out I might be able to ditch the van and disappear on foot – not real, not in a van in a district I didn’t know and with that amount after me. No, shortly I’d be left with only one choice; whether to let them go ahead with the green or tell them of the red. Whether I’d do better doing what I’d threatened than feeling a fuckwit by not managing to do anything at all. No new life, no family, no worth, a waste of space in the nano second of time given to us.

Except there was no sense of urgency, the parking was haphazard the atmosphere undisciplined. I eased to a stop at a pump letting out a whoosh of used breath as the car trickled on to meet the others. The hassle cost me ten minutes and a fiver wasted on fuel, nothing compared to the waste of nerve and sweat. Why is it imagination turns against you once you’ve done what its presented to you? Not now, now I’d to get to the wagon, stick to the discipline that had served us well and hope I had a purpose for it all now that I was a cash multi millionaire.

I made a second call to the number I tried earlier; still no answer. They would have to have left a lot earlier to make the flight from Gatwick. I’d just have to patient before I knew if I’d a chance of winning or not. The difference between poverty and prosperity is, with either you can still only hope for the best but with prosperity you can prepare for the worst whereas with poverty you can only fear it. We’d promised nothing for today but they’d played a square game so Hopkins was told of the red file and where to collect it. Less than a minute it took while I was in Altringham about to get in my third taxi enroute to the airport, after all why kill the golden goose after only one egg.

© Eoin Taylor


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