7 Days in May
“No, I just belted him in the kidneys. Painful but seldom lethal.” Harry bent down, picking up Gonzalez’s gun. “This
the guy from London then?”
Alex nodded. “Sort of.”
“Came back to give you your receipt,” Harry explained, laying the gun, crowbar and receipt on the desk. He looked at
Sheena, then back at Alex, his eyebrows asking a question.
“No time to explain Harry. We’ve got to get going. I’ll email you as soon as I can.”
Harry nodded, took one last look at Gonzalez, then made for the door.
“Hey Harry?” Alex called after him. Harry stopped and looked back. “There’s six months rent paid on the workshop.
Why don’t you make use of it, and take the car as well.”
Harry nodded, catching the keys Alex tossed to him. Then winking, he left, closing the office door with a soft click.
After Alex released Dawn and Sheena, they hauled Gonzalez into a chair and tied his wrists, then picking up the gun,
Alex stuck it in his pocket. He’d dump it in the sea later. Collecting the backpacks and supplies Dawn had bought, they
hurried out to the tug.
“Is that it?” Dawn asked, her face showing her scepticism. “Will it float?”
“Get on board before I keel haul yer,” Alex growled. “Yer mutinous swab yer.”
Dawn giggled, running up the gang-plank onto the vessel, looking about in distaste. Sheena followed at a slower pace,
smiling at the interaction between father and daughter, knowing it was probably the excitement of what had just happened
and that they’d all suffer a comedown later on.
Ten minutes later the tug’s engine was vibrating beneath the deck and they were headed out to sea. Sheena spread the
chart on the wheel-housing in front of Alex.
“Where are we going then mon capitan?” she asked.
“There,” Dawn said, bringing a decisive fingertip down on a long coast line.
“There it be then, maties,” Alex agreed with a big smile, spinning the wheel onto the new course.
Gonzalez finally felt like he could breathe properly again. It had seemed like hours since he’d been hit in the kidneys.
The pain had been incredible, like getting kicked in the balls.
The cords binding his wrists hadn’t been tied very tightly and he soon had them free. Easing himself from the chair,
he stood up, still crouched over, rubbing his lower back, wondering if whoever had hit him had done any permanent
Stumbling his way from the workshop, he found his hire car and sat on the drivers seat, feet outside the vehicle,
unable to pull his legs inside just yet. Digging out his two-way radio from the glove box, Gonzalez got in touch with his
base back on the Isle of Wight. They patched him through to his helicopter.
Having given his instructions to the pilot, Gonzalez settled down to wait, listening to the latest news on the car radio.
The broadcasts were full of reports about the soldiers that had been sent to the Isle o f Wight to cull all the infected cats.
Gonzalez smiled at the indignant uproar this was causing amongst the island’s pet owners. Operation „KatKill’ was
well under-way and he hoped every last damned cat on the island ended up dead.
Ten minutes later his pilot contacted him. “I’m over you now sir.”
“Check the immediate area, then begin a search pattern using Christchurch as a start point. You’re looking for any
small boat heading away from the coast. If you see one I want its name and registration number.”
Having set the search into operation Gonzalez felt better and decided to get himself a coffee. He’d noticed a small
caf￩ down by the shore when he’d driven into Christchurch and easing himself into the drivers seat, started the car and
headed for it.
Later that evening Gonzalez was back in touch with the pilot.
“I’ve done a complete sweep for a radius of ten miles and there was only one boat sir. A beaten up old tug registered
to a Harry Granger out of Christchurch.”
Gonzalez tapped his fingers on the steering wheel trying to think. The pain in his kidneys was growing, he needed to
get to a doctor to check it out.
“What does this Granger do for a job?”
Gonzalez heard the rustle of paper over the radio, then the pilot again. “He’s a semi-retired fisherman.”
“Okay get back to the base.”
Gonzalez started the car but didn’t drive off at once. Instead he got back to his base. “Check if Alex Winters had any
other vessels besides an inflatable,” he ordered.
“Says here that he recently purchased a submersible,” came back the reply.
Gonzalez killed the connection and swore loudly.
Fucking idiots! Why didn’t they tell him that in his briefing notes. Did he have to do everything himself! No wonder
Winters had managed to disappear without a trace like that.
The car lurched as he put it in gear, making him gasp in pain, he wasn’t used to a stick-shift.