This is the thirty-first part of a fiction serial, in 836 words. It may contain some swear-words.
Chalky White was banging a fist on his desk as he shouted at his team. “See? What did I tell you? One of the biggest cash jobs in living memory. Twenty plus mill in untraceable wonga, smooth as a snake sliding across shit! Has to have Toland’s name on it. Everyone else capable is either too old, or banged up in clink. Get Essex on the phone for me. I will tell those country cops we will be shaking every bush and rattling every cage. I bet my left bollock that money is in London”.
As Chalky raged in his incident room, a few miles away in East London Alan Gill was tidying up. Kenny and Duggie had arrived for their cut, and to collect a packet for Lugs. Reg had already been and gone, taking the cuts for Graham and Teddy Henderson. Carl, Mickey, and Panda had stripped out the fittings in the motor caravan, loaded all the money in, then refitted them with considerable difficulty.
There had been no trouble. No hijack by the mercenaries. Alan had been relieved, in all honesty. They could have taken him out and scarpered with the lot. But they weren’t real criminals, not like him. Maybe it just never occurred to them. He had given Carl all the guns. “You take these, Carl. I’m sure you will know someone who will buy them off you”. The big man seemed touchingly grateful. “Thanks a lot, Mister Gill, that’s kind of you”.
Alan had made only one speech, and he had made it to each of them before they left the warehouse. “Don’t flash the money. Keep your cool, and for fuck’s sake, whatever else you do, leave it until after Saturday, when I am back in Spain. After that, it’s up to you. You’re all grown men, so if you get rumbled, it’s your own fault”. Truth be told, he wasn’t unduly worried about any of them being caught, or grassing. They only knew him as Alan Gill, and where his sister Gloria lived. But she wasn’t there, and he was Richard Alexander.
By three in the afternoon, Alan was alone in the warehouse. As he waited for the container to be picked up, he cleaned everything anyone might have touched. Even though his fingerprints were not on file, he didn’t want them to be found, or any DNA samples either. Carl had taken all the work clothes, gloves, boots, masks, and sunglasses. He had to be trusted to get rid of them. Kenny had left both the job vans at a breaker’s yard in Dagenham, where they would be crushed. Then him and Duggie had left in the swap vans, taking them to the same place.
He reckoned he had covered everything. Just the container collection to come. There was a niggle though. As he took a break from cleaning, and stacked the table and chairs he would be leaving behind in the warehouse, he couldn’t help thinking it had all been too easy. Even that twit Graham hadn’t messed up, and taken his clump over the head with no trouble. Panda had done okay, despite worries that he would do something stupid. He stopped and lit a cigarette, knowing he would have to put the butt in the rubbish bag he would take when he left.
Ten million was a lot of money, even now. The airport job had netted him just over a million-two, twenty-five years earlier. That was a shitload of money back then, and this was easily on a par. Him and Gloria would never have to worry about anything, ever again. As long as it showed up in Bilbao, as arranged.
The arrival of the lorry to get the container snapped him out of it. The same bloke, a bit chattier this time. He closed the container properly, and put a seal through the handle. “This should be in Felixstowe before seven tonight. I will give Mister Pennington the storage number, and he will contact the captain for you, okay?” Alan nodded, not feeling talkative. Once the small container was on the lorry, Alan put his suit jacket and overcoat on, then had a last look around.
Two of Chalky’s detectives found Teddy Henderson in a Tesco Metro near Liverpool Street Station. His was one of the few names that had come up. An armed robber, not long out of prison, with a weak link to Frankie Toland in the old days. They got him into their car, and said they were going to nick him for the Debden job. Teddy laughed. He had the best alibi they had ever heard, he told them. He was so drunk last night, he had fallen over in Fortune Street, on his way back from the pub. An ambulance had taken him to hospital, unconscious, and with a large cut over his right eye.
He hadn’t been discharged until eleven-thirty that morning. Ninety minutes after the Debden job had gone down.