Authors: Bill Carson
Three weeks had passed since the battle at Costa’s hotel and things were starting to return to some form of normality. Apart from Anna and George reminiscing over the terrible scenario a few hundred times, the episode now seemed like a distant memory.
There were positives to be taken from their ordeal and one was that they’d all learned to appreciate their precious gift of life a little more nowadays, seeing as they were so close to having it taken away from them.
Nick, on the other hand, had consigned the whole unpleasant episode to the history books and had kept himself busy by spending Costa’s money, which had amounted to a little over a quarter of a million pounds. However, he kept that to himself, as he saw this as being on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Harold’s suitcase, unfortunately, had contained nothing but counterfeit bills and bad ones at that, and so he’d killed, maimed, tortured and subsequently died for a briefcase full of worthless pieces of paper. Anna had got some very nice eye-catching lavish jewellery out of it though, and Nick had bought George a brand new Land Rover from the proceeds. And not to be left out, Nick had decided to buy himself a new toy with his share. After a quick spin down to Brighton and back he parked the midnight blue XK8 Jaguar behind the huge Bentley that was parked in his spot outside his office.
“Here he is. All hail the conquering hero,” Simon McIntyre said, and bowed dramatically as Nick entered the office.
“Morning, Simon, good to see you,” Nick smiled as he removed his dark glasses.
“I just wanted to thank you in person after reading your incredibly detailed report. I must say, it made very interesting reading. I decided to bring the cheque to you in person rather than having the fees transferred into your account, as that would have been a little impersonal after such a daring adventure.”
“Well that’s very thoughtful, thank you.” Nick glanced over at Anna.
“Taking on all those gangsters single-handed and giving them their just deserts, you really have acted magnificently, Detective Harland. You should be commended for it, but I know you aren’t the type who would want any fuss,” Simon McIntyre said as he shook Nick’s hand.
“All in a day’s work, Simon, all in a day’s work, my son,” Nick said with a cheeky grin.
“Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time, and I’m sure you have a number of things you wish to do today. But whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the money because you really do deserve every penny of it. Goodbye and thank you. Bye Anna, and look after him, he’s a real hero, you know,” Simon said as he left.
“Thanks, Simon, but before you go, the cheque?” Nick asked as he followed him outside.
“Oh, I have given it to your partner, such a delightful girl. She was most interested in the report that you had sent me. Goodbye,” Simon said, as the Bentley silently rolled into the midday traffic.
Nick came back into the office and Anna was sitting behind his desk with a sheet of A4 paper in her hand. She started to read aloud.
I went in alone that night having tracked down the fugitive to his hide-out where I acted in self-defence as a gun battle ensued with him and his desperate associates. I m
to eliminate them all and during the fire fight I shot and killed Harold Harper, the murderer of Mrs Macintyre
.’ Do you want me to go on? And George will find this very interesting as well, I shouldn’t wonder,” she said.
“No, don’t you dare tell him, I’d never hear the bloody end of it. And it worked, didn’t it?” Nick said as he burst out laughing.
“Oh, and I suppose you’ll want this then?” Anna said, as she waved the slender slip of paper in the air. Nick snatched it from her hand, and swallowed hard as he looked at his name and all those zeros.
“Shit happens, Anna. A cool million, can you believe it?” he said as he glanced over at her and winked, and handed her back the cheque. “Stick that in the bank will you, mate? And then go out and treat yourself,” Nick said.
The money was absolutely fantastic but as far as Nick was concerned, there was still one more thing left to do to put an end to the strange affair, and to get closure before moving on.
Three weeks later at ten o'clock on a bright and blustery spring morning, the toll from the old brass bell of the ancient chapel eerily resonated around the monuments and crypts of the vast cemetery. Nick Harland waited patiently and alone by Sarah Kane’s grave as two old dears shuffled past him he turned his back to them to hide the carrier bag he was holding. John Kane’s identity had been discovered by using his dental records and on the orders of the police his body was cremated, Nick had decided to honour John’s last wish, and late one night with the help of his lock pick gun he managed to liberate the urn containing John’s ashes from the crematorium.
It was hard not to shed a tear for John Kane. He was a good man, and through no fault of his own, had become a terribly tortured creature that simply could not rest after the brutal and senseless murder of his wife. He had taken it upon himself to administer his own kind of true justice as much for others as for himself.
The abject failure of the British justice system had put him over the edge. Left helpless and alone with his thoughts, he’d generated a fury seldom seen in an individual. He’d waged war against the uncaring, cold, faceless establishment that in his eyes had failed him, Sarah, Lynda Jackson and numerous others.
Nick had always felt a measure of sympathy for individuals who thought this way, as it takes immense courage to go it alone and take on the world to ‘put things right’. At the end John Kane had in fact sacrificed himself, and if it wasn’t for his timely suicidal attack Nick would have definitely been occupying a nearby hole in the ground as well. But he was alive, and John Kane wasn’t, and the disturbing episode had changed Nick’s outlook on life for good.
Nick looked about him and thought about the thousands of dead inhabitants beneath him.
They were all living breathing beings at one time, all full of life with hopes, fears and dream
s, he thought as he scanned the multitude of graves. He continued to study the neat rows of countless headstones and wondered when his time would come. He then gazed up at the spindly, wind-tossed clouds, like soft white brush marks across a canvas of a washed-out azure sky. As he knelt and began to dig into the earth of Sarah’s grave with a small gardening trowel a swift, strong, cold breeze suddenly swept in out of nowhere, and swished through the new growth of fresh green leaves on the branches of the large horse chestnut tree above him. He took the urn from the carrier bag, had a quick look around and poured the dust into the hole and quickly covered John’s ashes with the soft earth.
Nick stood and shook his head and sighed.
“Rest in peace, John Kane, your war is over,” he said as he walked away.
Rhyming Slang Glossary
Adam and Eve = believe
Acker Bilk = milk
Biscuits and cheese = knees
Battle cruiser = boozer = pub
Bat and wickets = tickets
Bonce = top of the head
Bottle = courage
Butchers = butchers hook = look
Bacon and eggs = legs
Bricks and mortar = daughter
Brown bread = dead
China plate = mate
Custard pie = eye
bird = word
Donald duck = luck
Four by two = Jew
Fourth of July = tie
Ginger beer = queer
Ginger ale = jail
Gregory Peck = neck
Half inch = pinch = steal
Hammer and tack = back
Horse and cart = fart
Kane and Able = table
Lady Godiva = fiver
Loaf of bread = head
Mince pies = eyes
Mud hut = gut
Nuremburg trials = piles
Peckham Rye = tie
Plates of meat = feet
Pork pies = lies
Rabbit and pork = talk
Roman candles = sandals
Rub a dub = pub
Scotch peg = leg
Septic tank = yank
Sky rocket = pocket
Syrup of fig = wig
Tea leaf = thief
Uncle Ned = bed
Vera Lyn = gin