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Stories from within
   

Model Manuscript
Retribution
Part five


Two days later they flew by Quantas Airlines to Changi Airport, Singapore. During the flight Nick had time to acquaint himself with his new assistant Twinkle. Born in East London to Gillie and Ron Campbell, the boy had been a bit of a rebel at school and after a spell in Borstal - where he learnt the art of boxing - he settled down to a job as a stall-holder in the outdoor market. Michael Campbell (alias Twinkle) was well known and liked by the people that came into contact with him, more so because he was a successful featherweight local boxer winning many championships. A badly broken right hand during a very difficult fight had put a stop to a thriving boxing career. He was well looked after by his sponsor and manager, none other than Harry Simms, who immediately employed Twinkle as one of his assistants. “Why the name Twinkle” asked Nick. “Well, boss, it's like this see” “when I was boxing they say that I had the fastest feet in the business like,” “and so the boys gave me the name of Twinkle Toes,” “I've been called Twinkle ever since.” “Daft ain't it” Nick laughed. "How very appropriate he exclaimed.” They landed at Changi Airport in the late evening. As they descended from the aircraft Nick's face was pale and contorted with memories and anger. He had sworn never to return to Singapore, a place he hated, and where his whole life was changed - The location of the murder of his darling Laura. His thoughts were torn between his late wife, and the woman back in London, who was now forever in his thoughts and with whom he was starting to fall in love.



Nick had first started his search for the killers of Laura in 1979, with the help of three ex army buddies, Mark, Alan and Jack (all ex SAS members), it didn't take too long to find the killers. Two Korean hit men - the sort that can be bought by the bucket load - who? Been throwing money around in the past as if it grew on trees. The ex-regiment quartet used every means of persuasion to get the name or identities of those who had employed them. Unfortunately both men died under interrogation before revealing anything apart from the fact that it was a white European. Nick's three pals left to return to their respective families and jobs in the U.K. Nick remained in Singapore to carry on searching for this unknown white European... Jimmy Core spent another two years helping him search, but every corner they turned ended in a brick wall. There seemed no point in going on. He'd reached the depths of despair. Maybe he had left it too late. The death of Laura and the fruitlessness of the search devastated Nick to the point that he nearly became an alcoholic. He would have done so had it not been for his three buddies who took the time to return to help him: Mark, Alan, and Jack returned to literally dragged him out of Singapore. Three good and close friends! He had sworn never to return Singapore again. But now he was breaking that oath.



Peter Ah Hi was the second member of the three-fold Consortium. In the bar of Raffles Hotel in Singapore, he caught sight of Nick and Twinkle entering the hotel. Walking quickly towards them with hand outstretched, he called softly?”Nick Alum!" "Oh my God!" “How good to see you!” After Nick introduced his companion as Michael Campbell, Ah Hi said “Let me buy you both a drink, then you can tell me what brings you to Singapore.” “Actually I've come to see you, my friend,” Nick retorted. “If you're not too busy tomorrow, can we say 10 AM at your office?” “Of course!” Ah Hi replied. "But first you must have dinner with me tonight." Nick and Twinkle agreed. “Six o'clock this evening then,” Ah Hi confirmed, shaking their hands and departing. The two travellers booked into the hotel.



They entered a clean, functional, and what appeared to be a very efficient office block situated near Nee Soon - just outside of the city. A young short-skirted girl soon escorted them into Peter Ah Hi? Office where he welcomed them. “Now, Nick, what can I do for you? Nick pulled his chair up to the large desk and, pushing aside a large well used crystal ashtray, he placed his pad of notes in a position of easy reading. “Have you spoken to your Consortium colleagues lately” he asked. “I wondered if they were as pleased as you were over the job I did.” “I am sure that you haven't come half way around the world just to ask me that Nick,” retorted Ah Hi. “But yes!” “It was a job well done,” “I was very pleased, and I think Madam Penh and Colonel Van Reeve were also satisfied.” "The Colonel was rather perturbed about the amount that we paid," "But alas that is business, and we had agreed on the fee beforehand"- "Although I do feel that you bullied the Colonel into agreeing somewhat." "But no!" “Now to answer your question, No! I haven't spoken to either one of them for some weeks now." "Why do you ask if I had spoken to them?" "Is there a problem?” “Well, you see, just after I left the Colonel? Office last week he phoned your office here.” “Now if he didn't speak to you, one wonders just who he spoke to. The Singaporeans face changed from a friendly smiling one to that of an inscrutable oriental. "Very strange indeed" he said. "I must look into such a matter." He abruptly arose from his chair, indicating that the meeting was over. Here was a different man from the one they had met last night and who greeted them so warmly at the beginning of the meeting. Before leaving, Nick tossed in casually “By the way Peter,” “did you know that just after that meeting in London,” “two men died in an attempted assassination on my life” “One of them was a white South African,” “and the other was of Chinese origin and from here in Singapore.” For the second time Ah Hi's face changed. "No!" “I know nothing of such a thing!” he said abruptly. “goodbye, Nick!” On the way back to the hotel Nick asked Twinkle if he had noticed anything strange. “Well, boss,” I did notice that you told Mr Ah Hi that the Colonel had phoned his office, and I couldn't really understand why” “I remember telling you that I was unable to detect the number when I tapped the phone.” “All I got was the area number, which showed it was Singapore.” “How did you know that the Colonel had phoned the office of Ah Hi?” “I didn't” “and I don't pal” “I just threw it in to see if it would raise any dust.” “I seem to think it will!” “Anyway the thing I thought you might have noticed,” “was that the ashtray on his desk was half full with slim cigar and French cigarette butts." "You see, Peter Ah Hi does NOT smoke.” “It makes one think does it not?” Next morning, while they were having their breakfast, the hall porter delivered an envelope addressed to N. Alum Esquire Nick tore open the envelope to reveal headed note paper and logo of Ah Hi and Penh Ltd (Import & Export): the message read Nick. Much danger! Have discovered very disturbing details and I am investigating further. Take care! It was signed Peter Ah Hi. “Very interesting,” Nick commented. “Who the hell is Penh, governor” asked Twinkle. “That, my friend" replied Nick, “Is the female partner of Peter Ah Hi." “She runs the London office.” “Her home is in Paris, and she commutes between London, Paris and Singapore.” “I've only met her once.” “She is the third member of the Consortium.” After breakfast the ex-boxer excused himself, saying that he wanted to phone London. He was away about ten minutes. There was a knock on the door of Nick's suite, and, when he opened the door, Twinkle staggered in; the little man's face was as white as a sheet. “What the hell is the matter” Nick asked. With stuttering words the Londoner replied “He's been shot!” “The ******* bastards have shot Mr. Harry, and he is in danger of losing his life.” “What are we going to do, boss?” “Get packed now!” Nick snarled. “We are going home!” They caught a flight out that morning and two days later were back in London, outside the door of the Plough. It was early evening and everything seemed very quiet as they pushed through the doors of the pub. They were immediately surrounded and bunched up against the wall by six or seven smartly dressed men all holding guns. “It's OK, Guys," "That's Mr Harry's friend Nick, with Twinkle" a voice said, and Eddie James pushed his way through the men. "Hello, governor" he greeted Nick. "Come on upstairs to Mr Harry's room." Daughter, Eve, was nursing her father Harry and she rose from his bedside when they entered. She flew into Nick arms and starting to sob. Twinkle took one look and turned on his heels and left the room to stand guard outside the bedroom. Eve composed herself after a few minutes and appeared very embarrassed as she made them welcome. Informing Nick that her father was past the crisis and was going to recover, she warned it would take some time before he was fully well. “Right,he said” “Now tell me what happened.” It transpired that Harry and Dave had made waves around London with their inquiries over the attack on Nick. Ripples that reverberated around London and upset a few notables in London's gangland. These gang lords had never expected the Simms mob to get involved and, were now running scared...........

Leslie De La Haye

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