The Four Musketeers: Part Twenty-Five

This is the twenty-fifth part of a fiction serial, in 778 words.

Susan and Stephen were very shaken up, but the car had saved them from any injury. A nice piece of solid engineering. It had been taken away for examination by the police, and Susan had been cautioned that she might be charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

After leaving the sports centre, she had driven down the hill, seen a red traffic light ahead, and braked. But according to her, the brakes had failed completely, and she had struck a motorcyclist sitting at the red light. The car had run over him, and he had died from his injuries. I was allowed to take them home, as the police had said they would notify her if a prosecution was to go ahead.

As I drove them home slowly in the Volvo, I knew for sure that Keith had been involved. After all, it was my car, not hers, and he would have been expecting me to drive it. How they managed to tamper with the brakes when the car was parked outside the house, I would never know. But they surely had, and not set off the car alarm in the process.

Keith had gone too far now. My wife and son might have been killed, and at the very least she now had the death of an innocent person on her conscience. Stephen sat in the back, and was very quiet. I was wondering how much being in this accident might affect him in the future.

After making various phone calls, I managed to get a replacement car delivered by the firm my company used. Almost identical, but black instead of silver. The next morning, I said I had some things to do, and drove straight to Keith’s house in Notting Hill. I didn’t want to phone him first, and was hoping to catch him unawares. But he wasn’t home. Maddy was surpised to see me, so I told her about the accident involving Susan and Stephen.

She looked suitably shocked, enough to convince me that she had no part in whatever Keith got up to. When I got home, Susan’s parents were there, as she had let them know. Her dad made some stupid comments about foreign cars, and once he realised that there was going to be no dinner cooked, he left with his wife.

Later that night, Keith phoned and spoke to Susan. He didn’t mention my visit to his house, telling her the lie that his parents had told him what had happened. He was out of London, campaigning in a by-election in the West Country. He told her he would visit when he got back.

Another alibi, and more witnesses.

He never did come and see her. Some time later, the police called to say that Susan would not face any charges. She had been driving at the speed limit, and an engineer’s inspection had discovered a badly-corroded brake pipe that had allowed all the fluid to leak from the braking system. That seemed unlikely in such a new car, but the blame was laid at the door of Mercedes, and the company insurance dealt with the claim from the family of the man who had been killed. I kept the black car, and we never saw the silver one again.

No longer feeling confident to drive, Susan started to use taxis to run Stephen around. There seemed to be little point in keeping the Volvo, so I sold it back to the main dealer where we had bought it. Things changed after that accident. Stephen became withdrawn, and did not progress so well at school the following term. Susan was scared of being in a car, and seemed to blame me because it had been my car she was using. I saw no point in telling her my suspicions that Keith was trying to kill me. That would have involved having to tell her the full story about what had happened to Johnny.

What really annoyed me was that I had the most to lose if the Johnny story had come out. I had been the one who had grabbed him and struck him against the kitchen in the caravan. I had been the one who had seen his eyes open and had still thrown him over the cliff. Yet Keith seemed intent on removing any witness to the event.

First Terry, then me.

It wasn’t as if I could just go out and kill Keith. I would surely be found out, and I didn’t have his network of contacts provided by his high-powered political situation.

I would have to think of something, as I was sure he would try again.

29 thoughts on “The Four Musketeers: Part Twenty-Five

  1. (1) After the accident, Susan and Stephen were shaken, not stirred.
    (2) The motorcyclist didn’t stir either.
    (3) This episode is what I call a cliffhanger. Is Danny rightfully paranoid? Will Keith go even farther than too far? Will Mercedes recall its fleet of cars due to badly corroded brake pipes? Will Susan flag down a taxi driven by Travis Bickle? Will Danny finally reveal to Susan what really happened to Johnny? Will Susan’s dad ever get dinner? (Tune in tomorrow! Same Beetley Time! Same Beetley Channel!)
    (4) Mercedes salesman: “So your wife wrecked the Silver Surfer? No problem! We’ll replace it with Black Adam.”
    (5) The curse of pipes…
    …A plumber’s blow-torch was found close to an unsecured gas pipe. Boom!
    …A badly corroded brake pipe led to Susan’s accident. Crash!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If one stretches one’s imagine, it is not to difficult to get to a public figure, and death is not always the worst thing one can arrange. But then one has to have a cool head and good imagination. Warmest regards, Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very difficult to see how someone could have replaced a newer pipe with a corroded on without jacking up the car, cutting out the brake pipe, draining the brake fuel without spilling onto the drive, then putting a rusty one on. They’d need a welder and a fair bit of equipment and it would take time. I think Danny is losing the plot!

    Liked by 2 people

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