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.”
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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