Copyright © 2009 SM Worsey
took the proffered photograph and inspected it, carefully. It showed a
fresh-faced blonde man, no more than early thirties. He had a fashionable
haircut and smug smile.
looked up, frowning. ‘Let
me just re-iterate,’ he said calmly, ‘…that I’m not on hire to just anyone.
I have to really sympathise with each case. Moral standards.’
I know,’ Sally assured him eagerly, running her fingers through masses of wavy
auburn hair. ‘That’s why I’ve come to you. I don’t want to deal with …any
old gangster thug.’
face was honest, open, and her voice had quiet dignity. She only looked about
twenty-three, maybe younger.
corner of Jont’s mouth flicked into a slight smile. ‘Okay. Tell me exactly what
your issue is with this man.’
raped my sister,’ she said simply. ‘He was her boss. She worked in one of his
cafes; ‘The Faraway Tree’.
sighed. This was difficult for her. She’d carried her distress around for many
weeks, and this chance to unburden at last made her words tumble out,
had a workplace Christmas do. He spiked her drink, and then offered her a lift
home. But …he took her to his place and …did that to her. It went to court, of
course, and he claimed she’d been flirting for ages and saying she was in love
with him. Then some man stood up in court and produced all this made-up
evidence that my family was trying to blackmail the guy.
The magistrates threw
paused and breathed deeply for a moment.
my sister’s devastated. Can’t get another job, and hardly goes out. It’s ruined
her life. She’s only eighteen.’
thought carefully. ‘Do you think the case was fixed?’
‘Yes! I got a letter, just after the trial. Anonymous.
Some other woman saying he’d wrongly accused her of stalking him and sacked her
without pay. Said he’s in with the magistrates and masons and everything,
they’re all mates from the local hunt.’
hunt, you say? Let me see that pic again.’
was no doubt about it, now. The man was familiar.
take your case,’ he said, firmly. ‘We’ll discuss the price later, I’ll make
sure you can afford it.’
gave a little jump on the spot and clasped her hands together. ‘Oh, thanks so
much. You don’t have to kill him …or anything. I just want him scared. I
want him to know what its like to suffer.’
‘This could be a long job,’ Jont told her. ‘I need to
research this guy, Find his weak spots. I can’t just waltz on up to his front
door or catch him in a dark alley. He’s probably too well connected.’
‘Yes of course. Do whatever you need to …Mister?’
Jont said, extending his hand. ‘George Gordon.'
four people in the world knew his true name. It was safer that way.
just like Lord Byron!’ Sally grinned, shaking his hand.
yeah. You know your poets, then?’
love poetry,’ she replied dreamily. ‘Write a bit myself. Well, I dabble.’
write songs,’ he told her. ‘Get plenty of inspiration, believe me.’
an hour later, Jont positioned himself at the window table of 'The Old Mare'. He
savoured his pint carefully while gazing out at the rain-washed scene. The
street was narrow and the café just opposite; he couldn’t have got a better
view of it if he tried. It was even possible to make out the faces of
individual staff through the window.
he sipped, he saw a man scurry from the cafe doorway to a nearby bus stop. Jont
craned forward with interest. It was him.
his steady gaze, the target spoke casually to an older, grey-haired man who had
been standing at the bus stop. As they talked, the blonde man reached inside
his waterproof jacket and withdrew a small white object, probably an envelope,
which the second man took quickly and pocketed.
a bus splashed to a halt and obscured the view, causing Jont to curse, quietly.
When the bus had moved on, both men had disappeared.
in thought, Jont drained his pint and headed out into the street.
gravel crunched beneath the tyres of the Cortina as Jont brought the old car to
a halt, careful to avoid the mewing cats that clustered round the door. He
stroked each one carefully, whispering greetings, and then trod the wooden
steps to the lower level of the barn.
was in his usual place, a cluttered desk stacked high with books, CDs, computer
peripherals and various tools. He turned in greeting as Jont walked in.
you fed the goddamn cats?’ Jont growled, throwing his raincoat over a chair.
Oh, fuck no, sorry mate.’
place is a tip. We need to clean up. Take-away detritus and fizzy pop cans
ambience,’ BJ insisted. ‘Nest-building. Helps me think.’
manner of mouse-clicking wastage are you up to now then?’ Jont asked playfully,
attempting to tip him out of his chair.
football team,’ BJ explained, grabbing the desk to steady himself. ‘Lost points
last week, cos Drogba was out with an injury.’
wanna play some real football some time…. Oh sorry, I forget. That
involves spending time outside!’
added Jont more seriously, ‘…you can stop faffing, cos we’ve got a job on.’
exclaimed BJ with enthusiasm, ‘The people have summoned the might of the
shadowy heroes, who won’t rest until justice prevails.’
like that,’ Jont grunted. ‘I want everything you can dig up on this man.’ He
slid the photo along the desk to his friend.
Fuller. Local high-flyer. Runs a nightclub and two cafes. One of ‘em being ‘The
I know that place,’ BJ grinned. ‘They do lovely soya lattes.’
you’ll no doubt be spending plenty of time in there,’ Jont nodded. ‘This one
could be a tough nut to crack. Connected.’
or underworld?’ BJ asked him, scrutinising the picture.
cops. Possibly underworld as well. Probably thinks he’s untouchable.’
Jont frowned. ‘Oh, and he’s hunt scum. Had a run in with
him myself once, years back.’ He
winced at the memory. ‘Believe me, this is personal.’
already on it,’ BJ assured him. ‘The feelers are out. By this time tomorrow,
I’ll know what colour bum wad he buys.’
one,’ Jont smiled quietly. ‘I’ll get them cats fed, and then I’m off upstairs.
Need to unwind for a bit with my guitar.’
I nearly forgot,’ BJ added, ‘Claire phoned while you were out. Twice.’
momentary flash of annoyance crossed Jont’s face. ‘So, she hasn’t got the
message yet, then. I hope you didn’t encourage her?’
no!’ BJ assured him, innocently. ‘Well …I just said you’d call back.’
call her. Sometime. Right now, I’ve got more important things on my plate.’
it with me,’ BJ nodded, pushing his glasses back up his nose. ‘We’ll nail this
he spoke to an empty doorway, as Jont had gone.
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