The Men In The Shadows ( Part 34 )

Jake. pic

After an hour with Stevie in the pub, Jake finally headed home and opened up the front door. His parents were surprised to see him. Jakes could see his mum was worried.
“Why are you home so early? We weren’t expecting you back till tomorrow. Is everything okay Jake?”
Jake gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“The probation officer got it wrong Mum. It was a one day course. Not two. We finished up late last night so I thought I’d come back today. No point staying up there in carrot country on my own.”
His Dad laughed.
“So how did it go son. Learn anything new?”
Jake sat down and his mum immediately put a cup of tea in front of him.
“Brilliant. We had to do an exam at the end of it, and guess what? I passed with flying colours! Should get a certificate sent through to me in a week or so.”
His mum took hold of his hand.
“That’s great news Jake. We’re so proud of you.”
He finished his tea and went upstairs to his room. He took out his laptop and went straight to the BBC news website. Still nothing on Paul Barrett. He was relieved yet surprised. In a couple of hours it would be dark so the chances of finding the body tonight were slim. But the hotel would be expecting him about now. Would someone from the Hotel worry if a guest didn’t check in and wasn’t answering their phone? Maybe not.
He needed to put Karate Kid behind him. Now was the time to focus on the Quiet Man. Charlie Spinks.
He googled the name. Apart from an old 1940’s speedway rider there was nothing. He took out the piece of paper containing the numbers from Lenny Taylors mobile. There wasn’t a Charlie or Chas or anything even remotely similar. But there was a name that he kept looking at. “The Manc.”
Jake was certain that Quiet Man had a Manchester or Derbyshire accent. He remembered the terrifying voice he heard all those years ago when he was being told exactly what would happen to his mum and dad if he didn’t go through with shooting the Russian. He needed to buy another Pay As You Go.
Jake’s tea was ready at six thirty. Ham, egg and chips. His favourite. Mum said it was a treat for him passing the computer exam. For a moment Jake felt a sense of betrayal. But knew he couldn’t get on with the rest of his life until he’d taken revenge for those ten years away.
At eight o’clock he left the house and headed for the local late night store. He knew they sold cheap mobiles. For thirty quid he bought a basic phone, a sim card and ten pounds worth of credit. On the way back home he went into the pub, got himself a pint and sat in his regular seat in the corner. He dialled the number he had for “The Manc.”
The phone was answered but no one spoke. Whoever was on the other end was waiting for Jake to speak first. He needed to get into character. He put on his confident voice.
“Charlie? Charlie Spinks? “
A voice answered. Slow. Uneasy.
“Why? Who’s that?”
Jake continued.
“Charlie. My names Steve. I’m a friend of Lenny Taylor’s. Have you heard the sad news about poor old Lenny?”
The voice became a little less cautious. But Jake could still sense a tension.
“Yeh. Read about it in the paper. Who are you again?”
Jake decided to carry on with the same story he’d told Karate Kid.
“I worked with Lenny at the bar over in Spain. I’m trying to let people know about the funeral arrangements. So I’m going through an old address book he had and finding out if people want to attend a bit of a piss up for him?”
Now the voice was calmer.
“Spain or England?”
“Not sure yet Charlie. Any preference?”
“England would be easier for me. Not been on a plane for a while.”
Jake was intrigued by that statement and was keen to find out more.
“You like me Charlie? Scared of flying?”
There was a short silence.
“No. In and out of hospital at the moment for chemo. So flying anywhere is a no go.”
That last sentence stopped Jake in his tracks. He paused for a couple of seconds then continued.
“Sorry to hear that Charlie. Manchester Hospital?”
“No I’m down in London at the Royal Free. Twice a week. Tuesdays and Fridays. Should all be sorted in a few months. So Spain would be difficult. But if it’s in London somewhere I’d be happy to turn up.”
Jake didn’t need any more information.
“Well, I wish you all the best Charlie. I’ll give you a call when I get more details.”
“Okay.”
Charlie Spinks hung up.
Jake turned off his phone and took a sip of his beer. So the Quiet Man, all six feet seven inches and twenty something stone of him, had cancer. Jake wasn’t sure how he felt about it but didn’t have time to think. The Nine O’clock News had started on the pub TV. Jake heard the words “ Mans body found in quiet lane near Hunstanton.”

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The Men In The Shadows ( Part 33 )

Jake. pic

The alarm clock in Jakes head went off at 06.30. He switched on the television. There was still no news about Paul Barrett. That was a good thing. He went down for his cooked breakfast. It was buffet style. He had two of everything. For some reason he had a raging appetite.
On his way back to the room he stopped at reception and spoke to the girl that had checked him in.
“Look, I’m sorry but I have to leave a day early. Everything’s fine with the room but I had a phone call last night to say my Mum’s not well. So I’ll be checking out this morning.”
The young girl frowned.
“I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll arrange a refund for tonight.”
Jake was taken aback. He wasn’t expecting that.
“No it’s fine, honestly. You’ve been great and I’ll definitely stay here again in the future. The walking has been fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed it.”
“Ahh that’s very kind of you.”
Jake continued to stroll to his room. Once there he put on the clothes that he’d arrived in and put everything else into his travel bag. He left at 08.30.
On the way to the station he opened his bag and took out one of his walking boots. He threw it into a skip that was on a nearby street. The second boot was chucked into an overgrown front garden of a derelict house close by. He caught the 09.20 train out of Norwich. Whilst on the train he took apart his Pay As You Go mobile phone. He’d used this for every call he’d made to Karate Kid and Drysdales. The sim card he crushed then threw onto the tracks at Liverpool Street Station. The other two parts he put into separate waste paper bins outside. As he walked along Bishopsgate he saw a homeless bloke sitting by a cash machine.
“Hi mate. Haven’t got any spare change but do you fancy this instead?”
Jake pulled out the waterproof jacket from his bag and gave it to him.
The young guy put it on straightaway and couldn’t thank Jake enough.
“Wow, thanks mate.”
Jake laughed then hailed a cab. On the way he asked the cabbie to do him a favour.
“Excuse me mate. Could we take a bit of a detour and go via the Isle Of Dogs?”
The cab driver shrugged his shoulders.
“Yeh mate whatever you want. You’re paying.”
Jake smiled.
“Thanks mate. It’s just that it’s my old grandad’s birthday today. Well kind of. He’s dead now but he used to work on the docks and every year I throw a penny into the Thames for him. I know it sounds crazy but it’s a family tradition.”
Now the cab driver smiled.
“Lovely thought son. Really nice touch.”
The cab stopped where the Thames meets the first dock at Limehouse. Jake got out and looked over the wall down at the river below. He removed the Glock from his coat and quickly threw it into the water. He returned to the cab.
“Thanks mate. Means a lot to me that does.”
“No problem son. As I said. Nice touch.”
Fifteen minutes later and the cab was dropping Jake off at the community allotments about a mile from his house. He left one of his gloves on the back seat of the cab. The other he dropped in the road as the cab pulled away. He paid the driver thirty five quid and entered the allotment site. As usual the communal fire where all the old blokes burnt their rubbish was blazing away. No one took any notice as Jake placed the rucksack and thermals onto it and then slowly walked away.
It was after midday and Jake couldn’t decide whether to go for a pint in his local or go straight home. The pint won.
He saw Stevie sitting in his usual spot reading The Sun. Jake bought two pints and walked over.
“Fancy seeing you here. What. Lunch hour?”
Stevie laughed.
“No lunch hours for me anymore Jake. I’m fucking management. I come and go as I please.”
Jake handed Stevie his beer and sat down opposite. He could see that Stevie was gagging to ask him something.
“So what was this course all about then?”
For a few seconds Jake didn’t know what to say. How the fuck did Stevie know about it?
“Sorry mate, what was that?”
“This fucking big shot course you’ve been on. I called at your Mum and Dads house yesterday and they said you’d been selected for some fucking computer science thing?”
Jakes brain went into overload. As usual it came up with a great story.
“Oh that? That was all bollocks. You know that bird I met in Spain. The one that I shagged in a side street?”
Now Stevie was interested. He leaned forward.
“Yeh. Go on.”
“Well she phoned me. She lives in Norwich. Has her own flat. Asked if I fancied going to stay for a couple of days. So I thought fuck it. Why not? But couldn’t tell Mum and Dad that I was going up there for a shag, could I? So came up with the computer science course story.”
Stevie nearly spat out his beer.
“You are one devious bastard Jake Roberts. And? Did you shag it senseless?”
Jake took a sip of his beer.
“Stevie. I fucking nailed it. I took it into the woods, pulled out my thing and ripped into it. The look on its face was priceless.”
They chinked glasses.

The Men In The Shadows ( Part 32 )

Jake. pic

Jake desperately wanted to feel something. A sense of fulfilment, or achievement. Even closure. But it didn’t happen. His brain wouldn’t let it. He went into auto pilot. Those feelings would have to wait. He had to act quickly. The narrow lane was quiet and empty but there was always a chance of someone on their way to, or coming out of Drysdales.
Paul Barrett was a big heavy man. Jake grabbed his body by the arms and slowly dragged him off the road and into the bushes. The hours of gym work in prison were now paying off.
There was a shallow ditch just a few yards from the road and Jake rolled Barrett into it. He covered the body with fallen leaves and branches from the trees overhead until he was confident that it couldn’t be seen from the lane. He returned to the car. The engine was still running and the driver’s door was open. Jake got in.
He hadn’t driven a car for almost twelve years. He’d had lessons when he was seventeen but had never got around to taking his test. He was confident he could still remember the basics. He closed the door, put his left foot on the clutch and pushed the gear stick into first. Slowly he released his foot from the clutch whilst at the same time gently touched the accelerator with his right. The car moved away slowly. He continued in first gear until he reached the entrance for Drysdales. He didn’t enter the grounds, if he did he was sure that he would be captured by their CCTV.
Instead, he continued driving slowly along the lane. After about a hundred yards he came to a halt. It was a dead end. In front of him were two large expensive looking detached houses. Their lights were already on and there were cars in the driveways. Just in front of Jake were two empty car parking spaces. He carefully manoeuvred the car into one of them. As he went to switch the engine off he noticed a mobile phone on the passenger’s seat. He picked it up, turned it off and put it into his pocket. He opened the car door and got out. He clicked a button on the ignition key. The indicator lights came on and then he heard a thud as the doors locked.
He calmly walked along the lane and past the point where he had shot Karate Kid. It was almost dark and the pool of blood in the road was barely visible. The lane had no street lights and Jake was confident that it would rain overnight which should wash most of it away. Besides, he was sure that even if it did leave a stain, most roads in the area would have blood stains on them due to roadkill.
After a mile he threw the car keys into a nearby field. A few hundred yards further on he stopped and took Paul Barrett’s mobile out of his pocket. He dropped it on the ground and stamped hard on it four of five times. His heavy walking boots crushed it with ease. He picked up the pieces and threw a piece of it away every few hundred yards on his way to Hunstanton station.
He counted the cars that he saw on his way. Only seven. He was hoping that no one was really taking any notice of a lonely hiker on his way into town.
He was lucky. He only had to wait a few minutes before his train arrived. The carriage had ten people in it. Jake took off his rucksack and put it on the seat next to him. Then he closed his eyes, lowered his head and pretended to sleep until he reached Dersingham. He walked to the cab office and asked for a taxi to take him to Kings Lynn. He was told it would be around ten minutes wait. He took out his mobile and called Drysdales.
“Good evening. My name is Paul Barrett and I’m booked in for tonight and tomorrow.”
A woman answered.
“Good evening Mr Barrett how can I help?”
“There’s been a change of plan in my schedule which means that I won’t be checking in until tomorrow now. Is that okay?”
“That’s fine sir. But we will have to charge you for tonight as the cancellation is at such short notice.”
“That’s absolutely fine with me. No problem at all. I’ll be with you tomorrow evening.”
Jake hung up. So far so good.
The cab took him to Kings Lynn. This time he told the driver that he was from Chelmsford and was enjoying the walking around the area. He made a point of saying that he was staying in Kings Lynn for four or five days.
Kings Lynn was a big town. He took his time here before he began the next part of his journey. He was twenty miles away from Hunstanton. Instead of getting a train he took another mini cab, this time he went to a small town called Narborough. He had a beer in the local pub then caught a train to Swaffham. He was now forty miles from Hunstanton.
In Swaffham he wasted no time. He got a cab to Easton. He had only six miles to go to Norwich and the safety of his Hotel. He decided to walk. It was one road and it took him an hour and a half. When he finally arrived at the Phoenix he went straight to his room. It was almost ten o’clock.
He fell on the bed and was asleep in seconds.
He woke up two hours later. He put on the small TV in his room. He was hoping there would be no news on Paul Barrett yet. There wasn’t.
He undressed and put all the clothes he’d been wearing into the rucksack. Tomorrow he’d have to get rid of everything before got back home. He ran through the events of the day in his mind.
He’d been careful all the way to Hunstanton. He travelled by cab and train and stopped four times. The roads he’d walked on his way to Drysdales would have no CCTV. He’d worn woollen gloves when he shot Karate Kid and all the time he’d driven the car so there would be no fingerprints. He’d destroyed Barrett’s phone and dumped bits of it over half a mile of Norfolk countryside. He’d returned using a different route and changed cars and trains three times and then walked the last six miles to the Hotel. Tomorrow he would get rid of all the clothing, his pay as you go phone and the Glock.
Hopefully he would be back in East London and one hundred and twenty miles away before anyone discovered Karate Kids body. Then he could relax, enjoy a pint with Stevie then start looking for the last of the Three Amigos.

The Men In The Shadows ( Part 31 )

Jake. pic

By 11.45 the following morning Jake was in Dersingham. His journey so far had gone to plan. He’d told the first cab driver that he was from Southend in Essex and a keen walker. The driver listened intently but said very little. Jake rambled on and on about how one of his friends had said how great the walking was around Swaffham and how friendly and picturesque the local villages were. The cabbie wasn’t interested and just nodded a few times. From Swaffham he caught the train to Kings Lynn then went and had a coffee. An hour later he got another mini cab to Dersingham. This time he told the cabbie he was from Colchester and staying in Kings Lynn for a few days on a walking holiday and that he was looking forward to exploring the town of Dersingham and the surrounding area. Two different tales told to two different men. If, after the deed was done, anyone tried to trace him they would hear conflicting stories that would contradict and hopefully confuse his trackers. The waterproof jacket that he’d bought the day before was black with red lining. It was reversible so for one cab ride he wore it black and for the other he simply turned it inside out and it suddenly became a red jacket.
He was now less than an hour away from Hunstanton.
He knew the Drysdales Country House was a forty minute walk from the station. He was wearing everything that he’d bought from “Trak and Trail” and was carrying a large rucksack on his back. He looked every bit the professional hiker.
At 13.00 he rang the Hotel.
“Can you put me through to room 209 please. I’d like to speak with Mr Paul Barrett.”
The receptionist took a few seconds to answer.
“I’m sorry sir, Mr Barrett hasn’t checked in yet. No one can check in till after two.”
Jake put on his disappointed voice.
“Damn. I desperately need to speak with him and his mobile is off. Do you know what time he said he’d be arriving?”
“Just let me check the screen sir.”
Jake waited a few seconds to the hold music. It was Luther Van Dross. He liked a bit of Luther.
“According to our records we should expect him around five o’clock this afternoon.”
“That’s great news. Thank you very much.”
Jake walked into a local pub near the train station. He ordered up a pint of lager and a bag of crisps. He had an hour to kill. The train to Hunstanton took thirty minutes and from there he would walk to Drysdales. He wanted to be in place by 16.00 just in case Paul Barrett was early.
The time seemed to go slowly. He had two pints, a cheese roll and a packet of crisps before he caught the 14.30 train.
Once he arrived in Hunstanton he headed for the Hotel. According to Google Maps it was two miles, with only three roads to follow. It was still day light and wouldn’t be dark till after six. It was a cold, damp day but he guessed that was quite normal for this part of the country at this time of year. It wasn’t long before he reached the narrow lane that headed up towards the Hotel. The small country lane was about half a mile long. It was just a car’s width wide. If two cars came along from different directions, both would have to go onto the grass verges to get by. It was perfect for his plan.
He walked for two hundred yards where there was a slight bend in the road. He left the lane and entered the woods. He took off his rucksack and sat on it. He couldn’t be seen from the road because of the trees but he could see out and along the lane where it met the busier road. He looked at his watch it was ten past four. He waited.
It was cold. He was glad he’d bought the thermals now otherwise his bollocks might just be about to freeze. An hour passed. The sun was getting lower. He guessed he had less than an hour of daylight left. At 5.25 he saw a car pull off the main road and into the lane. It was a sports car. He quickly stood up and put on his rucksack. He walked out of the bushes and straight into the middle of the narrow lane. He had his back to the car. He heard it draw close. He heard the sound of a car horn. He took no notice and kept on walking. The horn sounded again this time for longer. Again Jake took no notice and kept walking. He heard a muffled noise, it was the sound of a car window opening. Then a man’s voice shouted.
“Oi swampy get out of the fucking road!”
He just kept on walking.
Again the man shouted.
“You fucking deaf or something. I said get out of the fucking way!”
He kept walking. He heard the car stop and the door open.
“Right you cunt. I’m gonna teach you a lesson.”
Jake turned quickly and raised his right arm. The Glock held tight in his hand. Paul Barrett was less than five feet away. Jake fired once, the bullet hit Barrett in the chest. He fell to his knees. A look of utter bewilderment on his face. Jake walked over to him and stood beside him. He shot him again in the left knee. Karate Kid screamed and slumped on his side. Jake stared into his face.
“Remember me Paul. Little Jake from ten years ago? You and your two mates said you were gonna hurt my mum and dad unless I killed the Russian. Remember?”
Paul Barrett tried to say something but he wasn’t quick enough. Jake shot him at close range in the head.

The Men In The Shadows ( Part 30 )

Jake. pic

Jake took a punt and it payed off. Paul Barrett was staying for two nights at The Drysdales Country House, just two miles outside of Hunstanton. How did he know? Well it was simple. Paul Barrett was a wealthy man, not the kind of man that would stay at any old bed and breakfast place. He googled “Hotels in Hunstanton”. There were none with five stars. But there were three with four stars. He called them and pretended to be Paul Barrett. He said he couldn’t remember which nights next week he’d booked in for and could they confirm it. The first one said they had no reservation for Paul Barrett. But the second one was most helpful. They confirmed his reservation for next Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They even told Jake that he was staying in room 209. God he loved efficient service!
He was also certain that Paul Barrett would be alone. He’d said that “He” would be in Norfolk on business. He hadn’t said “We”. The Hotel had also confirmed a reservation for Mr Paul Barrett, not Mr and Mrs Paul Barrett.
Gary Hamilton had turned up trumps. The Glock 19 cost him twelve hundred quid. He handed over the money and made Gary swear never to mention it again…or else. Gary seemed happy to go along with that arrangement.
He now had his target, his location and his weapon.
It was now time to put the plan into action. He’d already told his mum and dad about the laptop. He said that it was given to him by his probation officer as part of the Government’s commitment in getting ex-cons back into work. He’d convinced them that he was trying to get a job in IT. They knew he’d done computer studies in prison so accepted the information without question.
At 7.45am on Monday morning he walked into the kitchen pretending to be talking to his probation officer on the phone. His mum and dad were, as usual, sitting at the table. They both looked up and smiled but said nothing as they could see he was talking and didn’t want to interrupt.
“Wow, that’s great news. Don’t worry about the short notice. I’m just pleased to have the opportunity. Hold on a second and I’ll get a pen and paper.”
Before Jake could ask, his mum had gone to one of the kitchen drawers and removed a notepad and pen. She put them on the table in front of Jake.
He started writing and talking at the same time.
“So the course starts tomorrow in Norwich. It’s a two day seminar and I’m booked into the hotel overnight. That’s great news. Thank you very much.”
Jakes parents waited in anticipation. Dad spoke first.
“Well go on then. What’s the great news?”
Jake took a deep breath, then blurted everything out in one go.
“They want me to go on a two day course in Norwich. It starts tomorrow. So I’ve got to get up there this afternoon. It’s on Computer Science. It was fully booked but someone’s pulled out at the last minute so the probation officer put my name forward because of my interest in IT. They’ve booked me into a Hotel for tonight and tomorrow night. Everything’s paid for.”
Jakes mum started to cry. She walked over and gave him a hug.
“Oh Jake, that’s fantastic news. We’re so proud of you. You really are getting your life back together.”
Dad gave Jake the thumps up.
“Great news son, great news.”
Jakes mum pulled away and made him sit down.
“Right, first you need a proper breakfast inside you then you need to go and start packing. Let me know if there’s anything you want ironed.”
Within minutes Jake had an enormous cooked breakfast in front of him. He felt guilty about telling them yet another pack of lies, but the thought of taking his revenge on Karate Kid was something he’d dreamed of for ten long years and he was almost there.
He caught the 14.50 train out of London Liverpool Street. Two hours later the train was pulling into Norwich Station. He had a few things to get and then he needed to find a Hotel. Nothing fancy but then again nothing too out of the way.
His first call was to a clothes shop. “Trek and Trail” catered for everything a hiker could want. He bought boots, thermal underwear, rucksack, waterproof jacket and a woolly hat. Nearby was a two star hotel called The Phoenix. He booked in under the name of Michael Roberts and paid cash for two nights. He made a point of telling the receptionist that he was a keen walker and wanted the hotel as a base for a couple of days while he explored the area. She gave him some local maps and wished him well. The room was nothing special but it was clean and tidy and the bed looked comfortable.
His plan for tomorrow was simple. He’d take a taxi to Swaffham, which was a thirty minute journey. He’d tell the driver that he was from Essex and had just come in from London that morning and was looking forward to exploring the countryside around the area. From there he’d get the local train to Kings Lynn. Then another cab to Dersingham. This time he’d tell the driver that he was staying in Kings Lynn for a few days and was on a walking holiday. He’d say that he’d heard the walking was good around Dersingham and was looking forward to discovering the local area. From there he’d take a train to Hunstanton. He’d give himself plenty of time between journeys.
When he got to his destination, he knew exactly how he would deal with Paul Barrett.

The Men In The Shadows ( Part 29 )

Jake. pic

Gary Hamilton was a bully. At school, not only was he the best fighter in his year, but every year both above and below him. When he left school at sixteen he decided not to get a real job. He started selling drugs on the street. After a couple of years he moved up the ladder. Now he had over a dozen guys selling for him. He remembered Jake Roberts from school. He was nothing special. Just an ordinary kid. Then one day he went and shot some Russian millionaire and went away for ten years. He was obviously a psycho and one dangerous fucker, so Gary Hamilton decided to do what Jake had asked him. He knew a Rastafarian guy in Lewisham that would be able to supply him with what he wanted. It would take a few days and cost around a grand but he was certain that within a few days he would have a Glock 19 ready and waiting. He’d give it to Jake, collect his money and then start using another pub. He had a feeling that something REALLY bad was about to happen and he didn’t want to be around when the bullets started to fly!
Jake was standing in a quiet, posh, tree lined street. Either side of the road were large detached houses. Most had electric gates and security cameras placed in their driveways. He was certain that each house would be worth well in excess of a million pounds. He was walking slowly but not slow enough to attract attention. He was wearing clothes that he’d bought that morning from a local shop. Just track suit bottoms, tea shirt with a fleece over the top. The fleece had a hood that covered his head. He was sure that someone, somewhere would be looking at a screen and watching him walk along the road. Posh places like this probably had a private security firm to look after them.
146 Ridgepoint Road was coming up on his left hand side. As he approached it, big, impressive gates begun to open. Jake stopped. A sports car of some kind was coming along the gravel driveway towards him. Jake stood still to let the car pass. As it did so the driver nodded, thanking him for letting him through. It had been ten years but Jake recognised him straightaway. It was Paul Barrett and he was driving a brand new Aston Martin. Jake continued walking, his heart pounding. Karate Kid hadn’t changed at all in those ten years. He still looked smart with perhaps just a few more grey hairs.
Jake got a cab all the way back to East London. He gave the cabbie £50 and made his way to the pub. Stevie would still be at work so he had time to plan his next move.
He got his pint and took his usual seat in the corner of the lounge bar. He’d already made up his mind that Ridgepoint Road was far too risky to chance doing anything to Paul Barrett there. There had to be another way. He was deep in thought when suddenly he heard a phone ring. It was a ringtone that he didn’t recognise, but it was coming from his pocket! Fuck, it was his new pay as you go. Only one person had the number. He answered it, already knowing who was ringing.
“Tony?”
“Yes mate.”
“It’s Paul Barrett. We spoke last week. I’m a friend of Lenny Taylor’s. Any news on the funeral yet?”
Jake composed himself.
“Hello Paul. No not yet. The Spanish police are being wankers. They’re looking into all possibilities about his death and won’t release the body until they’re satisfied that it was simply a mugging. But I’ve been told that it should all be sorted in about a week. Then I can get on with the funeral arrangements. So were looking at two weeks’ time.”
Paul sounded relieved.
“Okay. That’s good news. I’m away for a few days next week and didn’t want to miss out. Two weeks’ time is fine with me.”
Jake was anxious for more information.
“Going somewhere nice Paul. Somewhere hot and sunny?”
“No, far from it. Norfolk. Just a few days away on business.”
Jake jumped straight in.
“My Nan and Grandad used to have a holiday place up there near Cromer.”
He was hoping for a reaction. He got one.
“Yeh, I’m not far from there. Place called Hunstanton. Lovely part of the country.”
Bingo. Jake wanted to jump up and punch the air.
“Well you have a great time Paul. I’ll call and let you know when the funeral is.”
“Cheers Tone.”
Jake hung up. Norfolk was perfect for what he had in mind. A plan was beginning to evolve in his mind. Suddenly he was aware of someone standing in front of him. He looked up. It was Gary Hamilton. He was carrying a shoebox. He spoke quietly.
“Hello Jake. I’ve got something for you.”

The Men In The Shadows ( Part 28 )

Jake. pic

Jake finished his pint and began thinking about how to tackle Paul Barrett .Bexleyheath wasn’t too far away but Jake knew he would have to be careful. This wasn’t Spain. He knew Bexleyheath, it was a relatively new town. Every street would have CCTV so there was no way he could tackle Barrett as he had done Lenny Taylor. He would have to be clever, things would need to planned precisely.
He had time, not too much, but some. He was confident that Paul Barrett wouldn’t be contacting anyone in Spain and also that no one in Spain would be contacting him. He hadn’t seen Lenny for years. He would be waiting for information about the funeral from someone called Tony Watts either by phone or through the post.
Jake had used the new Pay As You Go phone to contact Paul so if that phone rang it could only be Karate Kid.
Now he needed to make sure that Paul wouldn’t get suspicious if he found out about Lenny from another source, like the internet.
The laptop was up and running and Jake had a wireless connection. He googled “Lenny Taylor Spain”. It was there. The headlines were various ranging from “London man killed in street mugging” to “Costa Del Sol gangs in drug war.” Jake read them all. There was nothing here that he need worry about, in fact if Paul Barrett did read these it backed up everything that Jake had told him.
Next he googled. “Paul Barrett Bexleyheath.” There was one article.
“Local Businessman Opens health Club” The article went on to say that local property developer Paul Barrett had recently opened a Health Club and Spa in Bexleyheath. It said that he owned a significant number of properties in the Kent area.
Jake always wondered how much the Three Amigos got for the REMOVAL of the Russian businessman. He was sure it would have been substantial. Lenny had retired out to Spain and bought a villa and bar, Paul Barrett had obviously decided to invest his share in property and become very wealthy indeed.
Next he put Paul Barrett’s address into Google maps. He zoomed in and looked at the street view. Just has Jake had thought. It was massive. It was difficult to see just how big it was because it stood back a long way from the road. There were iron gates and railings and what looked like a long drive way that led to an impressive house.
He looked up and saw Stevie standing in front of him.
“Fuck me, what, you won the lottery?”
Jake realised he was sitting there with a top of the range laptop with its new box beside him. He thought quickly.
“Wished I had mate. It’s a coming home present from Uncle Tom. I told him I did computer studies in nick so he thought it would come in handy.”
Only part of that sentence was true of course. Jake had done Computer studies while he was in Littlehey and knew his way round most of the programs. Stevie believed every word.
“You lucky bastard, that’s got to be worth a grand at least.”
“Eight hundred quid in PC World, I know, I googled it!”
They both laughed. Stevie went off to the bar to get the beers. When he came back he looked confused. Jake noticed him keep looking back towards the bar. Then he saw Gary Hamilton with a pint in his hand and smiling at them.
“What’s up Stevie. That wanker bothering you again?”
Stevie shook his head.
“No, quite the opposite. He just shook my hand and said sorry if he’d been out of order in the past. Said he wanted to make up for it and paid for these two beers.”
Jake wanted to laugh but kept a straight face.
“There you go Stevie. You must have faith in human nature. Maybe he’s found religion or something.”
“No way. Not Gary Hamilton. He’s a fucking nutter and hates my guts. Why would he suddenly be all friendly and want to buy us drinks. It don’t make any sense.”
Jake wanted to change the subject. He didn’t want Stevie to know about he and Gary’s little chat in the toilets a week earlier.
“Look, some people change. You know, get a bit older and wiser. Forget about it.”
Jake looked over at Gary and raised his glass. Gary did the same.
“You see Stevie, it’s all good. You stay here, I’ll go over and thank him for the beers.”
Jake stood up and walked over to the bar. Gary looked worried. He’d had eleven stitches in the back of his head and still wasn’t quite sure what had happened in the toilets the previous week. He put down his beer and stretched out his hand for Jake to shake. Jake did.
“I’ve sorted it out with Stevie. We’re all good now. I did what you said.”
His voice was quiet and slightly shaky. Jake squeezed his hand.
“Good. Now I need you to do something for me. You’ll be well paid for it.”
“What?”
“I need a gun. A Glock 19 if possible. Don’t let me down Gary…”