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Daily Quotes 21











Hiding the Elephant – Chapter 21

‘The Boss has sent out a message,’ Debbie whispers hoarsely. ‘Oh, my God…’ Her hand is on her throat.

Emma tries to swallow, there’s nothing, and her eyes water from the dryness and the effort not to make a noise.

‘Play it again,’ says the woman Emma had seen talking earnestly to Leon Lewis when Tully first brought her here.

‘Play it again, Sam,’ someone on the left ventures predictably with a nervous giggle, but gets no response.

The silence is sliced by

Peeeng, peeeng, ping

Ping, ping, peeeng, peeeng

Peeeng, peeeng, ping, peeeng, peeeng…

A crackly pause in the recording, then again

Peeeng, peeeng, ping

Ping, ping, peeeng, peeeng

Peeeng, peeeng, ping, peeeng, peeeng…

And again.

It sounds like a half hearted attempt at a xylophone.

‘That’s Morse code!’ Emma didn’t mean to say anything at all, and certainly not as loudly.

‘Yes, we know that, thank you, Dr. Martin. You don’t pay your rates for nothing.’ Lewis’ head pops up from behind one of the screens. ‘You wouldn’t happen to know what it says as well, would you?’

Emma shakes her head, smiling at him for he’s just joking. He’s got to be. They’ll decode the signal in a flash and it will tell them all they wanted to know to end this dreadful wait. Simon has given them the vital clue, as they do in books and films, and in a minute it’ll be all action stations, all go. They’ll move quickly but orderly, daring but organised, efficient but caring. It will all start happening. In a minute.

‘It may not say anything,’ says someone Emma can’t see and Lewis nods.

‘Probably doesn’t,’ he confirms aloud for the benefit of everyone around and no one seems to disagree. How can they not disagree with something so absurd? Why would Simon send out a message at probably great peril to himself if it doesn’t say anything?

Lock Up Your Daughters – Chapter 21

Rerun of the security tapes on Friday morning showed a tall, probably quite young, most likely male person in a hooded black jacket, black shell-suit trousers and light coloured trainers quickly walk away from the police staff parking area at 09.21 on Thursday morning. It was reasonable to assume they were looking at the tyre-slasher, even though the camera failed to record him or her in action.

‘It’s the angle, Sir,’ said Sergeant Duncan. ‘You left your car right bang in the middle of the blind spot.’

‘Is no one keeping an eye on unauthorised access?’ Grant bellowed in frustration. ‘This is a police station, not a cash-n-carry, for crying out loud.’ The video recorder was in the downstairs conference room and his voice echoed through its emptiness.

‘Exactly so, Sir.’Duncanused the time away from the front desk to light up. ‘Do you know how many undercovers and plain clothes from all over pass through in a day?’ He used his cupped palm to shake off the ash. ‘No, neither do I but it’s far too bloody many to keep asking everyone their business before they actually come into the building. Robin Carr came in dressed as a stripogram at about two in the morning last night. Cheered up the night relief no end. She said she had more indecent proposals in between the staff car park and the canteen than on the assignment. Who could have it in for you, Sir?’

‘Just about half of Wellingborough, one third of the entire county and very possibly all of Branton.’

‘Well, that narrows it down pretty nicely.’Duncanwalked away to enjoy the rest his cigarette in peace.

Grant rewound the tape and looked it over once again. The size of the trainers and the height of the person indicated a man. The back of a tall, fast walking young man dressed in black. A needle in the haystack.

‘Someone for you at the desk, Sir. And there’s a Mrs. Hopkins on the phone. Says she’s your neighbour. Will you take it in my office?’

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Posted by on 14/12/2011 in Uncategorized


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