This is the thirty-second part of a fiction serial, in 746 words. It may contain some swear words.
To the bits of rubbish in the black sack, Alan added the kettle, toaster, mugs and everything else he had used during his earlier stay there. The bedding and inflatable mattress had already been left at Gloria’s, where they would not seem to be remotely suspicious. All he was leaving behind were the chairs and folding table, and after a last-minute sweep, he locked up, activated the alarm, and dumped the sack in the boot of the Audi.
He made the journey to the letting agent in good time, arriving ten minutes before the place was due to close. The man gave him no argument about the smoke alarm, accepted the twenty for it, and took the keys with a smile. “I hope to do business again when you are next in London, Mister Alexander”. In an alleyway behind the agent’s shop, Alan dumped the rubbish from the warehouse into an industrial sized waste bin.
Graham and the man who had been driving were being given the third degree by Essex cops. As the site of the robbery was on the border of a London Borough, the Metropolitan Police had been requested to execute search warrants at Graham’s house. Carly watched in tears as they quite literally tore the place apart in a fruitless search for the stolen money. The same thing was happening at the house of the driver, in Beckton. It took them a long time to make the connection through Carly to Reg, but when they did, a search team turned up at Old Reg’s place too.
Reg had been expecting it. He let them in, showing no concern or alarm. The money wasn’t there, or at Graham’s. Graham didn’t even know where Reg had hidden it. Across the borough, Chalky White turned up to watch the search team turn over Frankie Toland’s house. His still-grieving widow stared stone-faced at them. Chalky knew full well there would be no money there.
He was just sending out a message.
Alan was back inside Gloria’s flat by just after six. He had left the Audi parked conspicuously at the front parking area of the flats, where Kenny would be sure to find it when he turned up to get rid of it. A quick trip to the Londis shop had provided a couple of steak pies to warm up in Gloria’s oven, and another bottle of scotch. He would have a very personal celebration tonight.
As the pies were heating up, he watched the news on the TV. It featured the robbery, but only after some political stuff. The reporter said the usual stuff. “People helping police with their enquires”, “It is believed that in excess of twenty million pounds was stolen”. An Essex detecive was interviewed briefly, and he came out with the old classic. “Investigations are ongoing, and we are currently following up on many leads”.
In other words, they didn’t have a clue.
If Graham didn’t crack, they were home and dry. Alan had to hope that the lure of a quarter of a million quid would make him keep his mouth shut. At least until his plane landed in Barcelona tomorrow night, anyway. The pies were tasty, and the scotch was going down well. One thing about a nice drop of scotch, it made you forget all those niggles and worries. He imagined himself back in Tossa, enjoying some tapas for lunch on Saturday, showing Gloria and Angie a few of his favourite spots, and reconnecting with Chrissy.
All being well, it should be a memorable Christmas.
For the rest of the evening, he kept an eye on the news, and checked over all his packing. Leaving out the clothes for Friday, he stuffed his dirty laundry into a separate case. He would happily pay the excess baggage at the airport tomorrow. There was still a fair bit of his own cash left over, and he put some of that into his main case, then crammed his wallet full. He would walk out onto the main road tomorrow afternoon, and flag down a cab to get him to the airport early.
There were plenty of places to eat and get a drink there, and he could buy something nice for Gloria in one of those swanky shops. Well before eleven, he finished his last glass of scotch, and went into the bedroom.
Nothing like a good night’s sleep after a very busy day.