The Question of Christmas Cards
Have you written yours yet?
How will you put them on display?
Who will it be that you forget?
Is £3 a box too much to pay?
How many came to you last year?
Who have you crossed off your list?
Is the season full of good cheer?
Have you sent back to all you kissed?
Buy them all from charities
then it doesn’t seem such a waste.
They sell plenty of varieties
which will suit everyone’s taste.
REMEMBER TO RECYCLE©David L Atkinson December 2012
I Have To Get It Right
Chapter 14 (part 4)
I unlocked the door and pushed it wide back so that I could see the rooms occupants. Jackie was sat on the bed looking very frightened and slightly sick – that would be the spray; Janice was altogether a different prospect. She too didn’t look well but she was far from cowed by her experiences. A real product of her upbringing!
“Who are you? Let us go at once? Where’s Jim? What….,” she yelled.
We stood very still and waited calmly. When she realised she wasn’t going to get any answers she shut up.
“Mrs Thompson I am aware that you may not like the situation in which you and Jacqueline find yourselves but I can assure you that you are quite safe for the moment. Now as it is the middle of the night is there anything you need urgently?” I was beginning to sound like Sumisu. I could feel Misaki smirking behind her mask.
“What do you want with us?” Janice demanded.
“That will become clear in the morning!” I replied. “Is there anything more practical? You will find the necessary materials for drinks and breakfast and the bathroom is fully functional,” I paused and waited for a reply. When there was none! “We will say goodnight then.”
Misaki and I left and I locked the door. We could here conversation and some crying for a while longer before it all went quiet. Misaki and I settled down to try and get some sleep using the agility mats and car seats. The following morning my mobile phone rang – it was Sumisu.
“I have had a conversation with James Thompson, Patrick san. I have requested that he contacts McSwann and the local council and reports the dealings he has had with them,” he stated, “He wants proof that his wife and daughter are safe. Could you arrange for them to speak to him briefly please?”
“Certainly Sumisu san then what sir?” I inquired.
“This is the tricky part Patrick san. It would be naïve of us to believe that we would get Thompson’s agreement and everything will proceed without trouble. After all we are threatening his livelihood and the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed,” Sumisu explained. “We must expect an attempt to escape or to bring in support from either McSwann’s or Italy.”
“Yes I am sure you are right Sumisu san. We will limit the conversation,” I responded.
Sumisu hung up. I checked the time and decided that it was time to move. Misaki went up to my flat to freshen up. I followed when she relieved me and once we were both back in the warehouse we donned our Noh masks and set about rousing our captives.
“You must call your husband Mrs Thompson!” Misaki instructed. She dialled the Thompson’s landline number and when Jim answered she handed it to Janice. She only gave time for her to identify herself and then took the phone from her and gave it to Jackie. Same procedure! She then gave the phone to me.
“Who are you?” demanded Jim. “What do you want?”
“You don’t recognise my voice Jim?” I replied.
“The other night….!” he ground to a halt.
“And Seaburn, Ramside Hall who do you think you were conning Jim?” I threw back. “Well negotiations are at an end. You will follow instructions from our representative and then your family will be returned to you,” I kept my voice even and unemotional. “Goodbye Jim!”
I terminated the call. We left the ladies locked up and went and sat on a bench in the gym area.
“There is only one problem!” I stated.
“Patrick san?” Misaki queried.
“What can we get Jim Thompson to do that will help us achieve our aims?”
Misaki shrugged. “Sumisu san will have his plans,” she started to stroll on the rolling road.
I guessed our conversation was over. I still hadn’t worked out an answer myself. What would I do in Sumisu’ shoes? There are a number of options. JT could go to the Planning committee and admit his fraudulent activities providing them with the evidence. He could take the said evidence to the police. McSwann could be implicated. If he was to retrieve his family he has to take actions that will ensure he can never again be involved in such fraud and that will frighten the Italians away for good.
Involving the police could be a nightmare for everyone. They would have to investigate the abduction as well as what Jim was telling them. They would be motivated by the crime against persons principally. It was too soon to involve them. Maybe after the ball had started to roll and the girls had been returned. It would have to be the chief planning officer and copy for the local newspapers. Judging by previous fraudulent activities in Town Halls across the UK it would soon be nationwide. That would be the final straw that would scare the foreigners away in my opinion. The question was would the CEO Planning react quickly and positively enough? We needed a swift response that would gather momentum and not stall. I rang Sumisu.
“Sumisu san,” I blurted as soon as he answered.
“Patrick san, hello. How can I help you?” he replied calmly.
“I have been considering how best to proceed to elicit the most effective response,” I rushed on.
“Patrick, Patrick! Patience! A press release has been prepared and Jim’s task is simple. He will deliver it in person to the offices of the Planning department and the local newspaper. It should be in time for release today. I have given this release to Jim and told him his family will be returned as soon as the paper is on the streets!” he said this without a change in his tone!
“Right Sumisu san that should do it!” I was flabbergasted by the simplicity. “That should get the ball rolling.”
“Yes Patrick san. Is there anything else? If not I will ring you when I have seen the necessary story in print. It should be around 14:30 and then you will release the ladies. I suggest you take them to a mainline rail station and send them home. Use a taxi then you can remain anonymous.”
“As you wish Sumisu san,” I concurred.
I decided to go back to the gym equipment and follow some gentle warming exercises – full body. It would keep my mind off the crawling hands on the wall clock. Misaki joined me and we were very soon getting increasingly competitive. I slowed deliberately. We didn’t really have time for a full work out followed by shower and change. That may happen later! It was awkward because we couldn’t just make a cup of tea without donning masks and going into the living quarters. That would give our captives more opportunities to find out who we are and also to escape. You have to assume that of all captives, however frail looking, they will try to get away if the opportunity presents itself.
We did need to check on them, as it is a while since our last conversation. It may be advantageous to let them know that they will be home by bedtime! We got ready and went into the living quarters. I opened the door wide and Misaki carefully discerned the whereabouts of the two females and walked steadily in.
“You will be leaving soon! You should be home by this evening,” explained Misaki.
“Why did you bring us here? What is this all about?” demanded Janice.
“Don’t worry Mrs Thompson; everything has worked out well so far. You do not need to know the details!” Misaki stated in a tone that brooked no further discussion.
We collected our drinks and left the girls in situ. All we could do was wait the couple of hours for Sumisu to call. Misaki took me through some advanced Aikido exercises on the floor mat! No it was not sexual gymnastics!!
Right on cue, well ten minutes early in fact, my mobile rang and Sumisu read out the headline “LGO TOOK BRIBES FOR CONTRACTS?”
“Sounds great Sumisu san!” I commented.
“Send the Thompson females home Patrick san,” he instructed. “We will await developments!”
Misaki and I got ready to release the ladies. I rang a taxi and arranged for them to be taken to the station from a suburb of Leeds at an hour before the Newcastle train was due to leave the city. We went in wearing our Noh masks and with two more for our captives.
“Now then Mrs Thompson,” I started. “We will require you to wear these masks so that you have no idea of your present location!”
“What if we refuse?” Janice demanded with a sneer in her voice.
In as matter of fact a tone as possible I said,
“We have the anaesthetic spray as an alternative!”
Jackie gasped. She had been sick after the first experience.
“Damn you! We’ll put the bloody masks on!” shouted Janice.
We proceeded to tie their hands behind their backs with garden ties and put on the masks securely then I put them in the back of my car. We removed our masks and drove to Leeds. When we stopped we reversed the procedure, donning our masks and removing theirs. I gave Janice her bag, which we had purloined when we took the ladies in the first place. I had checked inside to make sure they had enough cash. There was some but she had her credit cards – they would cope.
“Ok Mrs Thompson you walk to the end of this road and wait 5 minutes there will be a taxi along that will take you to the station. It’s mainline so you will get a direct train to Newcastle. Your mobiles are fully charged so off you go. Oh and Mrs Thompson you keep that Italian family of yours in Italy! Don’t look back Mrs Thompson or Jackie and don’t make me take your phones from you,” I instructed.
Misaki and I got into the car did a U-turn and sped off. We were safe because they didn’t even know where they were yet! In twenty minutes we were back at my flat in Mirfield enjoying a drink. I would have loved a pint at my local but at the moment it was probably more prudent to stay incognito.
We had talked to Sumisu and he suggested we stay where we are and he will come to us tomorrow. So nothing else to do but grab an early night!
The following morning Sumisu rang early to say that he was on his way. We went to the warehouse did a workout, (or another workout!), showered and were ready for his arrival by 10.30am. He didn’t keep us waiting long.
We were having a coffee in the living quarters and suddenly he was there in the doorway.
“Ohio Gozaimasu Misaki san, Patrick san,” this with a bow! “Yes please, I would love a cup of green tea,” with his usual smile. I had taken a liking to it myself so there was some available. Then he continued,
“Our exercise yesterday seemed to have been quite successful,” he said in a non-committal manner. “Mr Thompson was unhappy of course but also desperate to have his wife and child returned. However, I think we may have problems later from the Torino family. As far as they are concerned as long as Janice is safe they will proceed, as they feel fit. There will be concern for the grand daughters of course, but James Thompson is worried as he is not a member of the family as such. I think he is right to be, he is the weak link in their chain.”
This was the longest speech I had ever heard Sumisu give. What he was saying made an awful lot of sense.
“What do you think we should do Sumisu san?” I asked.
“I believe we need to provide some protection to the Thompson family. The house is now bugged of course and the phones tapped,” Sumisu explained.
“So we are going back to the North East?” I inquired.
“As soon as possible Patrick san I know you have access to an empty house nearby, that would make a useful base for operations, so much more anonymous and cheaper!” he smiled. “Then the two of you can take turns on night duty and I will help during the day. We are also keeping an eye on the Italian end,” he smiled.