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   Chapter 13 POLICE ENQUIRIES

Dead Centre By Owen Jones Characters: 22957

Updated: 2018-02-09 19:01


Gareg walked into the busy downtown New York restaurant that he had been told to go to and went up to reception.

"Hello, my name is Morgan, and I am here to meet a client, a Mr. Tom Jones. Say, I wonder if it's the famous one!"

"Yes, sir. Mr. Jones is already at his table. Please follow me, sir."

Gareg did so as the Ma?tre d'Hotel led the way.

He saw a nervous-looking, short, fat, sweaty man of about fifty years of age, who seemed surprised when Gareg was introduced to him.

"Mr. Jones, Mr. Morgan."

"Oh! Hello, please take a seat. Thank you, George, " he said, standing up and offering his hand.

The Ma?tre d'Hotel left with $10 in his top pocket.

They shook hands and both sat down again.

"My, I am not sure if you are what I expected or not. You are a big man, aren't you? Oh, yes, my oh my, you certainly are! I suppose you need to be in your line of work. Yes, that would be it.

"Anyway, sir, I do not normally come here, but my butler says that the food is excellent and Tom Jones is not my real name, it is Jethro Wainwright IV!"

He waited for a reaction but did not get one.

"You have never heard of me?"

"No, sorry, I live in Europe."

"Yes, I know you do, or at least, I guessed you did. I did some research on your name and found out that it was Welsh. Hence my alias. Clever, eh? He is one of my favourite singers too."

A jazz band started up.

"I like jazz, don't you? Er, may I call you Gareg?"

"Yes, certainly. I like jazz well enough."

"I am told that the Greek food here is particularly good. Will you join me while we talk?"

"Yes, sure, I love Greek food."

"And to drink?"

"Retsina with the meal and ouzo as an aperitif."

"That is exactly what I was going to suggest, Gareg! Oh, and by the way, please call me Jethro."

He passed Gareg a menu and opened one himself.

"What are you having?"

"Souvlaki, to start with; moussaka for main course and Manouri me Frouta for dessert.

"Yes! Oh, yes! Perfect! You are a true connoisseur. That is wonderful. A fighting gourmand! Yes! I like it!"

Gareg smiled thinly and could see that the paper over the cracks in his personality was very thin.

After the first course was over and they had drunk a few ouzos and a glass of Retsina, Gareg brought up business.

"As pleasant as this is, Jethro, could you please give me an idea of what you would like our firm to do for you?"

"Yes! Down to business, I like that! I am not a businessman myself, you understand. I am an art-lover, an investor and a philanthropist. A patron of the arts.

"The problem, in its basics, is this, Gareg. My ungrateful wife wants to leave me and I want to stop her. I want to prove to her that it would not be a good idea, because I am not the sort of man to mess with. Do you understand?"

"Not really, tell me again."

"My young wife calls me a 'pig', 'insensitive and pompous'! Me! I ask you! She thinks that this profound critical judgement of my character is sufficient reason to dump me, try to take half of my fortune and tramp around with any young stud she feels like!

"What do you think about that?"

"I don't know. What do you think we can do to help you?"

"You can show her that I am a man of action; that I mean business; that she cannot trifle with my emotions, Gareg! That is what you can do to help me!"

"And how do you suggest we do that?"

"I do have an idea, as it happens, but first we will need to clarify a few details.

Bob picked Gareg up from Cardiff-Rhoose Airport when he returned.

"How did it go? He asked.

"So, so. The client is definitely off his trolley and full of his own importance. He wants us to persuade his errant young wife to stay with him. He has a plan and we can carry it out, but I have my doubts whether it will get him what he wants - her love.

"You can't make someone love you and it won't necessarily put an end to her affairs. It'll just make her more careful. I can see that we can do what he wants, but I don't think it will achieve what he wants.

"The man, his name is Jethro Wainwright IV, is definitely not all there, but he can afford our services and he doesn't want anyone hurt unless it is absolutely necessary. And, we gat paid anyway.

"The guy's a billionaire art investor, so I told him we could do what he wanted but at a cost of $5 million! I thought he would try to bargain me down, but he practically bit my hand off and paid for lunch. I think we ought to take the contract, so if you don't have any concerns, choose one of your men and let's get on with it. There is no real deadline with this one, but Jethro wants his wife's antics to stop ASAP.

"I just wish that I knew what her point of view was, but I didn't get a chance to meet her. It's none of my business anyway, I suppose. So, Bob, you had better go and see your participant and get him ready. He will need a visa for the USA. He will live the life of Reilly, like Genaro's first one did until the time comes and you can stay with him too in one of Jethro's villas. It will be quite a challenge for you not to smack Jethro one, I think.

"Anyway, the ball is in your court, matey, but let me know as much as you can as soon as you can, so that I can keep Jethro happy."

"Sure thing. I'll get on to it tomorrow." Bob took out his mobile phone and rang a number.

"Billy Boy, I'm in the area! Yes, Jim! Can we meet up? I have some good news for you. How are you keeping?"

"I'm dying, Jim, and I feel like death warmed up."

"I am sorry to hear that, Billy, but are you still up for it?"

"Yes, as soon as possible."

"Where shall we meet?"

"How about the Buff's?"

"Sure, at what time?"

"Let's make a day of it. Opening time. Twelve noon."

"I will be there, see you in a couple of hours."

When Bob walked in through the main door of the R.A.O.B. Club, he was asked whether he was a member or not. He was, but did not want to show his card, so he told the doorman that Billy Boy had asked him to call by. Everyone knew Billy, so he was admitted and shown to where he was sitting, although Bob remembered where he usually sat from previous visits.

"Nice to see you again, Billy. Can I get you a drink?"

"Sure, and a new liver or a quick passage out of this life and into the next one."

"That is what I have come to see you about. Perhaps I can sort out two of your requests."

It was a sad fact that most of the participants were derelicts, but those with money could afford surgery or new organs, whereas the poor with problems just drank themselves to death and they made up the largest proportion of Bob's crew.

"Billy, this is quite a plush job, as it happens, if you are sure that you want to know more. You know the rules."

"I told you I'm ready, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did, but I have to check these things for everyone's sake. It will in

charge had been a light one. The waistcoat had been constructed with Kevlar reinforcing all around except for windows over the heart and intestines. The explosives had been put at the back of these areas so that they would be blown forward. What Billy had thought were sticks of dynamite were nothing but harmless dummies.

The whole point of his suicide had been just to scare Jane Wainwright and show her that her husband was a ruthless man. A window full of Billy's blood and guts minutes after she had shared a drink with him had done that perfectly.

The guard could attest that Mrs. Wainwright had booked a carriage for herself and the steward could swear that when he took drinks to her carriage on her instructions, she had been sitting with a man, but he had not paid him any attention and had not seen his face, because the collar of his coat had been turned up.

When asked who had pulled the emergency stop cord, she said that he had. She also told how the man had 'behaved in an aggressive manner', but she did not say that she knew that he was wearing an explosive jacket or that they had talked about her marriage.

When asked whether she knew the man, she was able to answer truthfully that she did not and when asked why she thought that the man should blow himself up outside her carriage, she said that he had probably picked her to talk to because she was alone, but asked how she was to be expected to understand the thinking of a deranged man.

The police could not argue with that because they had no other explanation why anyone should want to kill himself in that way. However, they did find it odd that he should have access to a suicide vest. They also thought it odd that he should be wearing an earpiece and video camera, which they found, because the explosion had not been powerful enough to destroy them.

Bob noticed the lapse in Crazy Dave's normally total genius.

However, Bob could not be linked with the Bomber and Billy was a completely unknown entity to the American and European justice systems. Interpol had nothing on him.

Bob went to see Jethro Wainwright IV after the detonation to get the job 'signed off'.

"Well, Mr. Wainwright, are you satisfied?"

"Yes, sort of. You people could not have done a better job, don't get me wrong, but I had not guessed the effect our strategy would have on Mrs. Wainwright. I can see how it did though, after watching your live video feed. It was horrific! Jesus, how did you get him to do that? No, on second thoughts, don't tell me.

"She has signed herself into a clinic – basically, a mental institution – until she regains control of her nerves. She is completely hysterical without medication. We should have foreseen that, or at least, I should have. Don't get me wrong! I am not criticising you or your organisation! No, siree, not in the slightest. You all did a great job! A great job!"

And he wasn't criticising either, because they scared the living daylights out of him. There was no way that he ever wanted to upset them again and to prove it, he made the money over to Switzerland immediately.

There was plenty of Billy still 'on the bone' and all over the carriage, so there had been no problem identifying him as a Caucasian, but that was it. He was registered on Interpol's database as a suicide bomber of Caucasian origin in connection with the Penn Street-Harrisburg train incident.

Captain Mason, the investigating officer in charge was at a loss. He sensed that Mrs. Wainwright knew more than she was letting on, but she had powerful lawyers; was incommunicado while in the institution and, nobody but the bomber had been injured. These circumstances effectively put his investigations on hold until she came out, by which time the case would be cold. He put a small team on it, but he could not really afford the manpower for a case where no property and only the bomber was hurt. He gave his men a week to uncover what they could, after which he would start reassigning them to other cases, which showed more prospect of being solvable.

After all, he had his quotas to fulfil and so did his staff.

Captain Mason's paperwork and some footage from the station security cameras from the few stops prior to the bombing were put on Interpol's computers and so they also arrived on the desks of the other interested police officers in due course.

Captain Allawi was the most keen to look through the video footage for evidence of an accomplice and if one was not obvious, he was looking for a very broad-shouldered man of medium height.

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