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Mad dog, p.14

Mad Dog, page 14

 

Mad Dog
 


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  It had been years since Alan had walked the mountains and countryside around Ely and it was only when he got nearer that he realised just how much he missed it. He reckoned that Josie’s Rest Farm lay approximately a hundred and fifty miles to the north east of the airport, a distance he calculated to be within five or six days walking for him. He was in no rush, he was free and he wanted to roam the mountains where he had been brought up at least one last time and so he bought provisions at the airport store and set off on foot. He miscalculated slightly, not through any lack of physical prowess but rather from a reluctance to abandon the area and in the end he spent more time than he had anticipated before finally heading for what was now his home, it was a decision that he was to regret when on the evening of 2nd July when he was only fifteen miles from home, the storm that he had been watching all afternoon as it approached from the east, finally broke with an intensity that left him little option other than to look for refuge. Fortunately he found a small cave where he could set a fire and sit out the worst of the storm. When he woke the following morning the storm had relented sufficiently for him to set off on the final stage of his journey but shortly before one o’clock it once gain strengthened and he had to dash the final kilometres aware of the risk he ran out in the open in a thunder storm. Finally he arrived back at Josie’s Rest Farm at one thirty in the afternoon. He quickly removed his raincoat, hanging it on the back of the door then untied and kicked of his boots, tired but above all grateful to be home he felt strangely anxious, something wasn’t right, something didn’t fit. He suddenly understood what it was; it was the smell, the smell or rather the lack of it. The farm didn’t smell as though it had been closed for almost a fortnight, the air was too fresh, SOMEONE HAD BEEN IN THERE!

  It was eight thirty in Duluth on a bright Wednesday morning when a depressed and reluctant Agent Evans phoned Harvey with the bad news. It was three thirty in the afternoon on a miserable Wednesday afternoon in London when a beleaguered Harvey received the call. If Harvey was miserable before the call, he was a damn sight more so after it. Alan had escaped and their best chance of locating him had just disappeared.

  -Agent Evans, there must be some way of finding him, if anyone can find a way of locating him it is you, apply yourself to the task, what would he need to live there, what about banks, lodgings, whatever. FIND HIM! WE´RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME! -

  Just as he hung up the phone once more sprang into action.

  -YES! , - he responded tersely. –

  It was Agent Bradley.

  -Sir, I’ve just been informed that the Iranian Embassy has received a visit from an excursion of disabled children, six in all. -

  -Look Agent Bradley, when I asked you to step up the control of the embassy and to keep me informed, I wasn’t thinking of quite such a level of detail.-

  -Yes Sir, I’m aware of that, but the thing is, the trip doesn’t appear on the schedules anywhere, I mean not for today or even for the next week. It just seemed strange; I mean they’re not exactly known for their propensity to vary from their established plans are they? And the other thing is that they turned up in the London Central Mosque mini bus when these excursions are almost always organised by the Muslim Disabled Women's Association in Ilford who have their own transport. -

  -Have you spoken to them? -

  -Yes Sir and they say they know nothing about the visit. -

  -Yes, well that is odd. If and when they leave the Embassy I want them following, keep me informed. –

  Whilst Abdul and Rashid loaded Caroline’s body into the boot of her car Hari called his contact at the Iranian Embassy.

  -We need to move to our back up plan; the integrity of the cottage has been violated. Advise the Fatwa Committee that we’ll be there at two this afternoon. Only call me if there is a problem. IL-Hamdu Allah (Thank be to God) –

  -Tawid, Jamil, -called Hari, -get everything collected together, we’re moving, it’s no longer safe here. –

  -Where are we going? –asked Tawid.

  -Why? –

  -No reason, -replied Tawid nervously, aware that he’d committed an error.

  -Then do what I told you to do. Those that question have little faith and those of little faith are faithless. –

  Tawid gripped firmly the butt of his Kalashnikov trying desperately to control his temper as the taunting of his childhood flooded back into his mind and his nickname Kafir flashed in letters of rage.

  -I apologise, -answered Tawid slowly, head bowed, as he gradually recovered control of himself and relaxed but not released the grip on his weapon, - but my faith is not in doubt. -

  Hari sensed the inner struggle that consumed Tawid and was well aware of the motives for it having carefully selected his words in order to obtain precisely that response. It was the ferocity of the response that convinced him of his faith.

  - IL-Hamdu Allah, -said Hari joining the palms of his hands and bowing. Now was not the time for him to test himself against Tawid, although the time would come, he was sure of it, Tawid could serve no living man and sooner or later they would have to clash.

  Abdul and Rashid entered the cottage just as the conversation finished with the tension still hanging in the air.

  -What’s up, -asked Rashid.

  -We’re moving, -answered Tawid tersely, leaving it clear that no further conversation was required or advisable.

  -Good job we got the car out then isn’t it -quipped Rashid accustomed to Tawid´s moody nature.

  -Rashid, make some tea for our guests they need something to sooth their nerves, -instructed Hari.

  Hari´s idea of soothing their nerves had nothing to do with the recognised effects of the tea but more to do with the tranquilizing effects of the Rohypnol that he introduced two tablets of into each of their drinks. Rohypnol, commonly known as the date rape drug, has several advantages as a tranquilizer, it’s tasteless, odourless, colourless, dissolves easily in liquids especially hot drinks if first crushed into powder form and it is legally available. It took less than half an hour for Julian, who was the last of them to succumb to the effects, to fall into a heavy sleep in his chair. Jennifer like Julian was completely asleep but Peter and Henry remained in a semi conscious state, vaguely aware of what was happening but incapable of doing anything about it.

  It was two fifteen in the afternoon when they drove into the grounds of the London Central Mosque, less than two days after having kidnapping the children just outside its grounds. They were guided to the rear entrance of the building where they could not be observed by the CCTV cameras situated on Park Road in front of the main entrance. Hari noticed to his satisfaction that the parking area in front of the Mosque was full of cars with disabled stickers, indicating to him that everything was in place. Imams Hassan al Zanna, Ali Hussain Sistaman and Al Hamman al Zawahiri where waiting for them on their arrival and Hari was ushered to meet the other two Imams, Sahid Isma`il Sadhr and Abdul Aal Yasin, who waited for them in the Fatwa Committee Room. The later had been reluctant to allow the Mosque to be involved in the activities of Al Qaeda but his reluctance was overcome with a sizeable donation. The five Imams that formed the Fatwa honoured Hari by allowing him to join them in prayers and allowing him to read a lesson from the Qurán before leading him to rejoin his colleagues and the four children now dressed in the Hijabs and Burqahs that the disabled youngsters whose parents vehicles were parked outside had arrived in. Along with two authentic disabled youngsters who were included in the excursion for the dual purposes of their number not coinciding with that of the hostages and for them to provide a vocal element to the group, four silent children being wheeled around could attract attention simply for their silence, the children were loaded onto the mini bus and they set off for the Iranian Embassy on Princes Gate little more than three miles away on the other side of Hyde Park.

  No sooner had they pulled up in front of the Embassy, occupying one of the conveniently vacant private parking spaces that belonged to the Embassy, than two guards sprang from the
heavy oak doors that provided the entrance to the four storey Victorian building. Hari, Rashid, Abdul, Hassan, Tawid and Jamil also dressed in full length white thwarbs complete with a ghutra headscarf pulled across their faces and black rope cord Igal, helped the guards, Hari insisting that they behave in a less obviously subservient manner, the Iranian guards having anything but fame for being servile. Once inside the building the hostages were taken up to the attic flats at the rear of the building which had no exterior windows. Two hours later, as the children started to recover from the Rohypnol; six disabled youngsters were escorted from the building and loaded once more into the mini bus and were driven back to the mosque where after a short stop inside the building they were seen to be leaving escorted by their parents. The five men and children that had replaced Rashid, Tawid, Abdul, Hassan, Jamil and the hostages left some hours later mingling with the crowds leaving that evenings Maghrib prayer session.

  At six thirty that evening Harvey received the call from Agent Bradley informing him that everything seemed normal with the visit and that the children and their parents had returned to the Mosque and then driven off to their homes without any thing unusual to report. At eight forty five that evening when the Iranian Embassy closed for the night Agents Townend and Linacre were perturbed to find that their five bar gate system for checking in and out the visitors to the Embassy had failed them, they had registered nine more entering than leaving although they couldn’t say whether the discrepancy was related to men women or children as they didn’t record that detail. They were faced with a difficult decision, inform their superiors which would result in them having to review all the days’ tapes, redoing the head count for which they had only been responsible during the afternoon watch or simply add nine ticks to the list and thereby balance the figures. They decided on the later and condemned in doing so the children to anonymous imprisonment.

  In normal circumstances Harvey would have dismissed the Iranian Embassy incident as an irrelevance but he had just been reading the report of the mobile phone activity in the area surrounding Hanover Gate at the time of the kidnappings and one call in particular captured his attention. A call made to a number registered to the Iranian Embassy. The same two numbers had communicated on two other occasions that same day and from then on the originating caller had not made use of the phone. The number registered to the Embassy however had made two further calls, both to the Embassy, one at nine thirty on the Tuesday morning and the other that morning shortly after ten.

  He picked up his phone and called Karl Klugman, Louis B Suskheim´s security officer.

  -Hi Karl, its Harvey, have you got anywhere on tracing the phone conversations, we’ve got a call that could be interesting , I’ll send you the details if you like maybe it will help you fine down the search. -

  -Do that because were getting nowhere. -

  -Look Karl, could you refine the search for a scouse accent. –

  -What’s that? –

  -It’s an accent peculiar to the Liverpool area and is quite distinctive. –

  -I’m not sure if we’ll have that programmed but could you get us an example of one? If you could I’m sure we could at least try. Anything else? –

  -No. –

  -Bye then. –

  Harvey was quickly coming to the conclusion that the Iranians had some involvement in the kidnappings; there were too many links for it to be coincidental. It had been them that had passed a copy of the note to The Sun Newspaper Group and now these telephone calls. Harvey picked up his phone once again and called Agent Bradley, he wanted a location from which the calls had been made to the Embassy and he wanted to see the report from the Embassy vigilance team.

  Agent Evans wasn’t far from Harvey’s mind during the whole of his tortuous day, he was aware that he had probably been asking the impossible but it was precisely what he needed. It was also precisely what he received at eleven thirty that evening.

  -SIR, WE´VE FOUND HIM! -

  -WHAT? -

  -Well not him as such, but we’ve got an address for him. -

  -HOW? -

  -Well it appears that Mr Brine had decided to inform us of Fowler’s, sorry I mean Alan’s, whereabouts. The police found a note addressed to Agent Cooper on his secretary’s desk. The note simply states an address: JOSIE´S REST FARM, ENTRUT LAKE, FARRINGTON, ONTARIO. Sir we’ve located it but we need instructions as to what action to take. Agent Cooper says he’s sure that the Canadians will be cooperative but he will wait for your instructions before informing anyone. -

  George Brine had not, in reality, decided to inform Agent Cooper of Alan’s address, rather he had prepared the note for what he believed to be the inevitable moment when the CIA presented him with the necessary legal authority that would oblige him to do so. The note inside the envelope, addressed simply to Agent Cooper, had been in the tray at Alan’s side as he searched the files on Silvia’s computer never thinking to look through her paperwork.

  -Excellent Agent Evans, Excellent! Keep the lid on this for the moment, I’m going to need to get the appropriate authorisations, I’ll be back to you as soon as possible. Thank you once again, -

  Harvey hung up and called the P.M. He couldn’t act without his authority although he was convinced what his instructions would be. Having received the appropriate authority he ordered a car and driver. He needed to get to Bristol urgently.

  Harvey arrived at the burns unit shortly before two in the morning to find, as he expected, Harris sitting at a desk, staring at the computer screen.

  -Good morning Harris, -started Harvey sarcastically, -shouldn’t you be asleep. -

  -Suppose so but I don’t do much of that these days. -

  -Fowler on your mind? -

  -Obviously, -replied Harris, -but that’s not why, I’m trying to get by without painkillers and to be honest I’m not doing a particularly good job of it. –

  -Where’s DS Clarke? –

  -Charlie, asleep next door, why? –

  -Well wake him up I’ve got some news for you. –

  -Charlie hands off cocks on with socks, -barked Harris as he stuck his deformed face through the door opening.

  -Eh… what time is it? –

  -What does that matter, get your arse off that bed, Harvey’s here to see us and I think he’s got some good news for us. –

  The hospital pyjama clad form of Charlie with his mop of unruly hair burst into the room with the largest of smiles on his face.

  -You’ve found him haven’t you? -

  -Good Morning Charlie, nice to see you’re recovering well or at least your hair is. Pity they couldn’t do anything about that accent.-

  -Why would they, it’s perfect, -he replied laughing, -anyway it’s true isn’t it, you’ve found him. -

  -Well agent Evans has, to be more accurate he’s located the farm where he’s living and I’ve been given the authorisation to terminate this situation definitively. Now, if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll give you the details. -

  Harris and Charlie had been aware of the developments in Duluth but the discovery of the note took them completely by surprise, a stroke of luck that had been long overdue.

  -So, as you can see gentlemen, there will no longer be any need to continue with Mad Dog and I’ve been instructed by the PM to dismantle it and all trace of it as soon as possible. It looks like you Harris can dedicate yourself to recovering properly from your burns, and you DS Clarke are to join me on the case I’m currently working on. I suspect your help will be invaluable, if you feel up to it. DS Mann is being transferred back to Scotland Yard to help organise their efforts on this kidnapping. –

  Charlie didn’t get the chance to reply before Harris exploded.

  -Oh no you don’t! - blurted Harris, -You’re not dismantling anything until he’s dead and no ones going to be killing him without me being there to witness it. Whoever you’re thinking of sending over there to do the job is going to be doing so with me! –

  -But you’re in no conditi
on man! –responded Harvey calmly, -I mean look at you, you’re disfigured, you can’t sleep nor by the looks of it do much else without painkillers and you’re not in the least bit objective about this, you’d be too big a damn risk. –

  -RISK! RISK! What do you mean risk; you’d still think he was dead if it wasn’t for me. Look, wait, erm hold on a moment, -Harris was trying to control himself, he knew that getting angry wasn’t going to get him the result he wanted, he had to find a logical reason for him being involved, something that Harvey couldn’t disagree with, -Look I need this, I need to be there, please I’m pleading you, don’t do this to me, I need closure on this, I’ll do whatever you tell me to do, I’ll follow whatever orders you give me but I need to be there, please I’m begging you, I’ve got to be there, I’ve got to see it, I’ve got to be sure. –Harris trailed off into head bowed sobs aware that his only real argument was pity. -

  -Look Sir, -interrupted Charlie addressing himself to Harvey, -he’s right, he’s earned the right to be there, he needs it and we owe it to him. I’ll go with him, I’ll control him, I can look after him, I know his needs, his medication, everything, I mean I’ve been nursing the grumpy bugger for weeks now anyway, the daft bugger thinks he’s come off the painkillers and I’ve been slipping some into his tea anyway. With the appropriate medication he can cope with the pain, I know him, he can cope and I’ll be there to help him. Come on Sir give him a chance, he doesn’t deserve to be ditched now, not now when it’s about to be finished. -

  Harvey sat head in hands contemplating the situation, trying to dominate his sentiments in favour of the logic that told him that to send Harris would be insane but it was useless, they were right, somehow Harris was too interwoven in this whole affair to be left behind, he was vital to it, he couldn’t explain to himself why but he was sure that without Harris this would never really end, that without Harris confirming the death Alan would simply spring up again.

 
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