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Mad dog, p.13

Mad Dog, page 13

 

Mad Dog
 


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  Once again the screen returned to the intermittent displays of BREAKING NEWS and IS THE JACKAL BACK?

  Harvey had woken to the news that the Times were running the story that Al Qaeda was responsible for the kidnappings but it was not until he saw the contents of the article that he had a firm idea as to who had leaked the information. There was no mention of a link with the Dudley bombing and only one of the parents was unaware of that information. He gave the instruction for the phone records of each of the parents to be checked from the moment that he had met with them and it was no surprise to him that one of them had phoned The Times at seven fifteen the previous evening and that that someone was indeed Martin bloody Carroll.

  -Get Martin and Gillian Carroll in here NOW! -blasted Harvey down the phone to Agent Bradley, -and get me the PM on the phone.-

  The PM decided that it would be best for the meeting between Harvey and Gillian to be held at Nº10 once his 10am briefing with Harvey had concluded. The PM didn’t want to alienate Gillian but at the same time understood that the leaking of the information to The Times, however inevitable in the long term, was more than a little inconvenient. The leakage meant that the kidnappers would know that they had been identified and that was to Harvey a major problem. Both the PM and Harvey were grateful however that no further details had been given to either Martin or Gillian and that therefore the identities of the kidnappers had not been leaked and nor had the existence of the note.

  It was therefore true that Sky had been unable to contact Harvey in order to confirm or deny the existence of the note, him being occupied with the PM and the Carroll’s. Not that his denial of the note would have halted their publishing of the story. The joint dressing down of the Carroll’s, complete with the threat to prosecute Martin under the official secrets act and the blockage of Gillian’s career if any further leaks occurred, had only just concluded when the story broke and Harvey was still with the PM when he received the call.

  -Harvey, find out where the story has come from, how Sky have got it, and by the way, WHO KNEW ABOUT IT? -

  -Well sir, other than the officer at the scene of the kidnapping and his senior officer, neither of which are even remotely likely to have leaked the information and even less likely to have made a copy of the note, our good friends Louis B. Suskheim and his security advisor Karl Klugman. -

  As they spoke the phone rang.

  -Yes,- said the PM, -you don’t say! -He covered the mouthpiece and told Harvey that he had a call from the American Ambassador waiting,-put him through. -

  -You can tell Harvey that it wasn’t us, -blurted Louis Suskheim without the courtesies of Good Morning, -I’ve checked with Karl and he insists that he has nothing to do with it. -

  -Good morning Louis, said the PM, - I’m with Harvey now, you can tell him yourself, I’ll put the call on tannoy. -

  Louis repeated his assurances to Harvey and promised any and all help possible.

  -One thing, are you any nearer to finding him, Alf I mean, any luck on that front? -

  -Well we may get news on that today, around two thirty if I’m not mistaken. I’ll keep you informed. Now, have you got anywhere on the call search? -asked Harvey.

  -Not as yet no, we’ve checked all the key words we considered likely and were started to extend the search to cover foreign accents and the use of Arabic. -

  -What, it can do that? -

  -Possibly! If such a system even exists. -

  -Yes, well keep me informed and thank you for the call. -

  By the time he received the call from Agent Evans advising him that they had been put off until the following morning by the pompous Mr Brine they had already unravelled the link from Sky to The Sun Newspaper Group and then to an unknown “source” at the Iranian Embassy.

  -Let me know immediately you have something, -insisted Harvey before finalising his call from Agent Evans, -we desperately need an end putting to that situation. -

  Caroline made an early start on Wednesday 28th June. It had been some time since she felt so nervous about catching a man but there was something deep and sultry in Hari that made her want something sultry deep inside her and that something was Hari. At seven thirty she stood naked in front of the full length mirror in her bedroom and admired herself, feeling proud of the firmness of her body and the erectness that her breasts still maintained. “Hmmm” she thought, “I could do with trimming that a little” as she spotted a few stray hairs where she wanted only a neatly pruned bush that even her overly finicky gardener would have been proud of. “OH GOD!, she squealed, “that’s a grey hair, oh please God don’t let me start getting grey hairs there!”. Once content that her bush trimming was of a standard suitable for exhibition at the Chelsea Flower Show she then stated the process of selecting the underwear that would adequately frame her work of art. Hari was like most men, his only interest in underwear once he got down to the dirty end of the business was how fast and efficient the clips were, nonetheless she was unaware of that and selected a delicate lace number that was just transparent enough to hint at the shades of her nipples and pubic hair. She then put on her tightest fitting tracksuit, one that was suitable for anything other than track events. She then unzipped the top down to just above the front clip on her bra and checked that her breasts were evenly balanced and her cleavage showed just the right amount of firm rounded flesh. She prided herself on having chosen the tracksuit as that way she could claim to have been out jogging when it occurred to her that she aught to check up on her gardener. If she could actually work up a little sweat before arriving at the door all the better, men liked nothing more than to watch a trickle of sweat run down between the cleavage of a perfect heaving pair of breasts. There was also the added bonus that he’d probably feel obliged to invite her in for refreshment. The only problem was that she would have to go without her glasses as glasses and jogging just didn’t seem to go together, anyway she could see just about enough without them and she wasn’t planning on reading anything.

  It was still only nine o’clock when Caroline parked her car four hundred yards away from Foundry Cottage, a distance she considered sufficiently close for her to not actually overdo the sweating but equally far enough away for her not to be seen parking.

  At nine fifteen she rang the door bell to the cottage.

  -Who the hell can that be? - shouted Hari alarmed, as he sprang to the bay windows that overlooked the front door. Carefully moving the curtain to one side he could discern the vaguely familiar form of the woman from the estate agents. “What the hell can she want” he asked himself, deciding that the best thing to do was to ignore her and hope that she would go away.

  -Jamil, Rashid, get into the children’s room, make sure they remain silent and keep the curtains closed.- instructed Hari in a whisper.

  The children heard the door bell and excitedly speculated about who it could be, they were convinced that it was a rescue and were just about to start shouting for help when Jamil and Rashid burst into the room pointing their Kalashnikovs directly into the chests of Julian and Henry and gesticulating that they remain silent. There was little for them to do other than obey but at least they had the comfort of knowing that the curtains were remaining closed and that therefore their sign was still visible. They silently waited for any sound that vaguely resembled what they could consider a rescue attempt but nothing happened until suddenly they heard the screeching of a woman and then what appeared to be something or someone being dragged struggling into the cottage. This was no rescue this was someone else being captured and their hearts sank.

  Hari watched nervously as Carline rang the bell again and then after waiting a moment bent forward and rested her ear against the door. Hari gestured to Tawid, Abdul and Hassan that they remain silent and held is breath waiting for her reaction. Silently he picked up his weapon and removed the safety clip. He sighed as she despondently removed her ear from the door and appeared to resign herself to the fact that there was nobody at home; it was then that she made the
mistake that was to cost her her life. Instead of heading down the path toward the lane by which she had arrived, she decided, reluctant to give up in vain all her efforts, to have a quick look around the back of the building to see if there was any sign of life there. Even then Hari remained still and silent, sure that Jamil and Rashid would keep the youngsters silent and the curtains closed so there would be nothing for her to see. It was when Caroline suddenly stopped in front of the youngster’s window and raised her hands to her mouth that he realised that something was wrong and sprang into action. Caroline screeched in surprise and fear as Hari and Abdul sprang from the cottage weapons in hand. They were upon her before she could react Abdul smashing his fist into the side of her face. Struggling madly, fired by fear and dread, Caroline was dragged into the cottage as Hassan closed the door behind them. Hari momentarily lost his grip on her and received a kick in the groins that left him breathless releasing her legs for her to struggle with redoubled effort. Hari saw Hassan move but the words wouldn’t form in his mouth as he struggled for breath and could do nothing to stop him from firing the single round into the back of her head that brought an immediate twitching end to her struggling.

  Hassan Al Turabi was a cold blooded killer, brought up in Afghanistan during the American aided struggle to free themselves from the Russians, his entire family had died of starvation once the Americans pulled the plug on all Aid to Afghanistan leaving a country wracked by war, without commerce, without infrastructure and without the means to support itself. It was a decision that was to cost the Americans dearly. The thousands upon thousands that died that following winter served only as a testimony to their lack of use to the Americans and to plant forever in the minds of the Afghanis a hatred and mistrust of them that allowed the Taliban to quickly gain total control of the zone. Hassan had worked as a sniper for the Americans at the age of seven and by the age of thirteen had moved on to become the most revered specialist in night attacks that the allied forces possessed. Hassan could enter a camp and cut a few throats where no one else would even consider attempting it. His clear enjoyment of his work and his less that attractive appearance gained him the nickname of “Chucky” amongst the Americans, a nickname that no one used in his presence aware that doing so could easily result in them having their throats slit as they slept. Abdul had neither friends nor respect but was treated with both because of the fear he instilled.

  -Moghaffal (fool), - groaned Hari, -I needed to ask her some questions. Tawid get outside and find out what she saw, Abdul go and see what is happening with Jamil and Rashid. -

  Abdul entered the children’s room to find Jamil and Rashid still pointing their weapons at Henry and Julian. The youngsters, as was to be expected, were white with fear, the screaming woman and the unmistakable sound of the gun shot confirming their fears that there was no rescue attempt.

  Tawid stormed back into the cottage heading directly for the children.

  -You stupid little bastards, -he shouted as he burst into their room, pulling the curtains apart and revealing their home made banner. He tore it from the window and tossed it at Peter and Jennifer who lay clinching each other on the bed. –Come with me you two, come and see what you’ve done. -He grabbed Jennifer by the hair and started dragging her off the bed. Peter’s efforts to free her were in vain as Tawid started to jerk her out of the room. It was then that Hari entered and grabbed Peter’s neck with his left hand whilst thrusting his gun into his throat with the right.

  –Tawid´s right, -said Hari, -come and see you’re handiwork.-

  Jennifer struggled desperately not to look at Caroline’s body with the bloody halo around what was left of her head, screaming and sobbing as she pleaded to be allowed to leave. Peter stood head bowed in silence aware that his plan had cost the woman who lay dead at his feet her life. Once back in their room Jamil and Rashid released Henry and Julian and left, leaving them alone once more. Jennifer was as incapable of speech as she was of stemming the tide of tears that surged through her, tears of guilt, pity and above all despair. The only hope they had had disappeared and they would be unlikely to get another chance. Peter, clearly shocked and trance like, reported to his friends the details of what he had seen, the blood, the slow seeping blood oozing through what he could only guess to be her brains, the sweet pungent smell and the blank staring eyes that were far too clearly and accusingly visible above the hole that had once been the rest of her face. Slowly, robot like, he sat on the edge of the bed staring blankly out of the window.

  -Look’s like it’s going to be a nice day, -he said closing his eyes and starting to sob.

  Abdul was given the futile task of searching the body, the skin tight tracksuit clearly not concealing anything. Caroline had left her bag etc. in the boot of the car and the keys to the car on top of the rear wheel, something she was accustomed to doing although she knew it was the first place that any thief would look, she was also aware that most petty thieves wouldn’t bother to look for the keys, that they’d simple force the door or break the window.

  Hari was concerned by the lack of personal items on the body. He was positive that she must have arrived at least close to the cottage in some sort of vehicle as they were far too isolated for her to have arrived so early either walking or jogging. As a result he decided to take a stroll to see if he could spot a vehicle in the vicinity that he remembered from his visit to her office, as remote a possibility as he thought that would be. Anyway he needed some fresh air, the turn in events had not been positive and he needed to think, what were the chances that she would have told someone else of her plans to visit them? Would there be a record of her visit in the office? Why had she visited them? WAS SHE ALONE? He shuddered at the thought of the possible consequences to the answers to these questions and he suddenly felt extremely vulnerable. They needed to put into operation their back up plan but that meant moving the children and that was going to be dangerous. “For the love of Ala, why did that stupid woman visit us? She’d promised not to, she’d promised me that no one would disturb us.”

  The asphalted path that led from the cottage to the lane and provided the only access to the property was like the rest of the property, surrounded by bushes and trees, protecting it from unwanted interest but also, in the current circumstances, making it impossible for Hari to anticipate the presence of anyone else heading in his direction and as a result he advanced slowly and nervously. Once in the lane he looked both up and down the road deciding, for no particular reason other than that it was nearer to the village, to head down the hill. He had walked no more than two hundred yards when the first car passed him with its waving driver and passengers. He returned their waves with a smile and continued heading towards the village consoled by the fact that he saw no sign of other walkers and was therefore reassured in the knowledge that the gun shot would not have been heard.

  It suddenly occurred to him that he had no idea what he would do if he found her car and was just about to turn back when he spotted a brilliant red Peugeot 305 cabriolet parked in a lay-by less than a hundred yards further down the lane. It was hers, he was convinced, he had indeed seen it before, parked in front of her office with the hood down. He remembered thinking just how useless a cabriolet was with the climate in England. He didn’t need to get too near to assure himself that it was unoccupied as the hood was down as usual. When he got within a dozen passes of the car he no longer had any doubts, after all what possibilities existed that there would be two red Peugeot 305 cabriolets with the same copulating rabbits sticker proclaiming “sex cylinders”.

  He now had to decide what to do.

  Hari had an advantage that none of the petty thieves had, he knew that the keys had to be somewhere in the car. His first guess was the glove compartment but that was locked, he then checked under the sun flaps which doubled as cosmetics mirrors for most women and then under the drivers seat. Nothing! Finally he decided to check on top of the wheels although he thought it to be an urban myth that people actually hid their k
eys there. As his hand found the small black box and card on top of the rear wheel on the drivers side he heard the sound of an approaching car. Looking at the box he pressed the key symbol and the doors unlocked with a loud double bleep. As he pulled open the drivers door Graham Price’s dark green Range Rover appeared around the bend flashing his lights as he did so. As Graham pulled alongside he wound down the window with the smooth electronic firmness typical of the Range Rover.

  -Morning -shouted Graham.

  -Good morning, -replied Hari nervously.

  -How’s Caroline? -asked Graham.

  -Fine thanks, -replied Hari starting to wish that he carried a weapon.

  -Give her my regards, tell her Graham asked for her, you lucky bugger. -shouted Graham laughing as he pressed the accelerator and sped off.

  “Phew!” thought Hari.

  “Got to ring Caroline tomorrow” thought Graham “it’s been too long since I screwed that one. LUCKY BUGGER!”

  Hari Slid the card in the slot on the dash board pressed start and as the engine purred into motion waited to be sure that Graham was well out of sight before heading up to the cottage.

  Abdul and Rashid struggled to fit Caroline’s body into the Peugeots small boot but once closed they parked the car in the garage locking the door behind them. Caroline’s body was in an advanced state of decomposition by the time that Old Joe the gardener decided to investigate the awful smell emanating from the garage almost a month later.

  12

  Alan had been on the road only a matter of fifteen minutes when Jacky Tuey picked him up. By the time Maria Gonzalez discovered the bodies they were already past Silver Bay and about to take Highway 1 up to Ely Municipal Airport where Jacky had to offload special tyres and hermetically sealed exhausts that needed to be flown up to Dawson for use on the vehicles that travelled up the Dempster Highway and its ice roads that joined the Klondike Highway in Yukon with Inuik in the remote Northern Territories. It was during these summer months that the shops, garages, warehouses and workshops stocked up ready for the winter months and the opening of the 194km Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road extra stretch of highway that was constructed on frozen stretches of the Mackenzie River. Time was always at a premium with these loads and the rates were good, good enough for Jacky to work only the four months each year that his services were required.

 
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