CHAPTER SEVENTEEN – THE WAITING
For Sam the next few days dragged slowly by and there was little Ben could do to help him, except to make sure he was up, dressed, had breakfast, got to school on time and paid attention in class.
Ben could always tell when Sam’s mind drifted away from a lesson in class to begin to worry about what might happen at the flat on Saturday. When that happened he would give Sam a nudge and whisper very quietly, “Pay attention Sam.”
It was very different for Alice and Jack. Jack had to go into Islington in North London on Monday to visit the dodgy car dealer at Water’s Autos to make sure he would be well out of the way before Jack told Sir John that his car had not been destroyed.
That did not take long. Jack soon found Water’s Autos and started to look at the second hand cars, and it was not very many moments before the dealer, John Waters, was at his side.
“Looking for anything special?” he asked.
“Well yes,” replied Jack. “How about a silver 2009 BMW with a bit of damage on the nearside? One that used to be owned by International Grain Transport and Trading...?”
Waters, the car dealer, looked around as if to make sure no one was in earshot before turning back to Jack.
“No, I ain’t – nothing like that...” but Jack cut him short.
“But Sir John thinks you have. That’s why I’m asking you. He thinks you didn’t burn it and get it crushed for scrap. He thinks you might try to blackmail him. And I think he will be coming to see you – or perhaps he might send one of his friends to see you ...”
By now Waters was white with anger and fear.
“What the Hell has any of that got to do with you – and anyway, who the Hell are you?”
Jack smiled. “Just call me Jack. I could be your friend and I’ve got some friendly advice for you. Don’t contact Sir John. That would be very dangerous for you. I know all about the car and about Sir John. And I know quite a lot about you, but I don’t want anything unpleasant to happen to you – or your girl friend. So I’ve brought you both a present.”
Jack pulled out an envelope from his pocket, opened it and gave the contents to Waters.
“Here are two tickets for the Eurostar to Paris and a booking for a nice room at The Metropole Hotel for a week. It’s all arranged and paid for. The train leaves at nine o’clock tonight. So just get packed and get out of town or something really nasty might happen to you. Don’t muck me about. Some of my friends will be watching you. Do a runner while you’ve still got a whole skin. It will be safe for you to come back in a week’s time. Until then, all the best. Cheerio.”
And before Waters could say a word, Jack was gone.
from "Ben's Story" by Norman Tebbit
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