This is the twenty-sixth part of a fiction serial, in 777 words. It may contain some swear words.
A road trip to Suffolk and Essex.
The call came from Rupert. The ship’s captain would meet him at the old Martello Tower in Felixstowe, south of the beach. The time arranged was midday, next Saturday. Alan had a question. “How will I know him, Rupert?” The dealer chuckled. “It’s off-season, and the old tower is in a kid’s playground. I’ve given him a rough description of you, but I’m guessing you two will be the only middle-aged men there, old love. By the way, your small container is arriving on Friday morning, I trust you can be there?”
Making sure he was there by eight that Friday, he only had to wait an hour until the truck turned up with the container on the back. There was a lifting device on the side of the truck to take it off, and Alan waved the driver into the warehouse before closing the shutter. It was the same bloke who had delivered the guns in the blue van, and he connected some straps on the container to his small crane thing, and lowered it onto the floor at the back of the building.
“The fish-meal is already in there. If you give Mister Pennington a ring when you want it collected and taken to Felixstowe, I can be here within an hour after the call”. Alan offered the man two fifty pound notes as a tip, but he shook his head. “No need, it’s all covered”.
After locking up, Alan drove down and parked near Teddy’s place. He was at home, and they had a very short chat. “Teddy, I need you to arrange a meet. Sunday week, at the same place. No Reg or Lugs this time, or you. Just the team for the job, and Graham. Reg can drive Graham if he wants, but he will be staying in the car”. Teddy nodded. “Okay, Al. Carl has got the overalls and that other stuff, I’ll tell him to bring it”.
On Saturday morning, Alan got to Felixstowe early. He parked in a seafront car park that was almost empty, then walked south to find the Martello Tower. He wanted a good look around, to make sure there were no suspicious characters loitering nearby. It was so cold and windy that morning, the playground was deserted, and there was hardly anyone on the seafront except a few dog-walkers on the beach. Finding a cafe open, he sat at a table near the window, taking his time over tea and a fried egg sandwich.
He was back at the park well before twelve, and saw someone standing by the side of the old tower. Not what he expected, but then his idea of sea captains came from films and books. The man was wearing a dark padded coat, and one of those hats with ear-flaps. When he spotted Alan, he waved him over.
The conversation was brief. “I’m Visser. I wanted to see you, but I will only deal with Pennington, okay? You tell him when the container is ready for collection, and he will give me the details I need to get it on my ship. Bilbao is a pain in the arse for me. That’s why it costs more. I don’t want no trouble with you, okay? So we won’t meet again. I will tell Pennington the load number and references, and where it can be collected in Bilbao”.
His Dutch accent was strong, but he spoke perfect English. He held his hand out for the briefcase Alan was carrying. Deciding there was nothing more to say, Alan gave him the case, then turned and walked back to where his car was parked. Rupert must have told the bloke not to cross him, there was no need to threaten him twice.
The drive from there to Clacton took less than an hour, but it took him another twenty minutes to find the lodge park where Gloria was staying. He hadn’t seen Angie for over thirty years, but would have still recognised her. Gloria looked grumpy. “What’s wrong, Glor?” She shrugged. “I was having such a nice time here with Ang, and now I’ve got to go to Spain and be on my own ’til you get there”. Alan had an idea.
“Ang, you got a passport?” She nodded. “Okay, pack a case, get your passport, and lock your place up. You can go to Spain with Gloria. I’ll get your tickets next week”. Gloria squealed with delight, and her friend scampered off into her bedroom to start packing.
His sister hugged him, and kissed his cheek. “Thanks, love. You’re a diamond”.