16 - Haircut,Bubbles and a Carpenter
16 – Haircut, Bubbles and a Carpenter
“Lucy eh. Do I know her?”
“Naw, wouldn’t think so. Lives down by the church over in Lower Lane.”
“Don’t know anyone down there. Nice spot though.”
“Yeh, really up market. She’s quite posh. Dad’s a well to do but not sure what he does. Got a big Jag.”
“Hey Dave want a beer? You as well Joe?”
“Yeh why not. Thanks Chris. Didn’t see Chris here. Got a loud voice hasn’t he. So busy today. Lucky he was at the bar.”
“Been here a while. Had a few as well. Think he’s had a windfall or something.”
“Here you go lads. Two of the best. Here’s to happy days.”
“What’s up then Chris. Why all the cheer?”
“Got some real spondoolies. Proper folding money. A right good result. Wouldn’t believe it would you. Old Chrissy boy finally having it away.”
“What you knicked it?”
“Naw Dave. Just appropriated it. Wouldn’t nick anything. You know that. Honest Chris that’s me.”
“How much then?”
“There’s a grand here Joe and that’s nothing. Got loads more stashed at home.”
“Sound a bit pie in the to me. Anyway I’m off. Thanks for the beer Chris. See youse. And Chris take care.”
Dave Sinclair is a tall twenty year old bricklayer. Intelligent. Self-employed works mainly doing small jobs on people’s houses. Builds a few extensions and the like. Strong and well built. Happy go lucky sort. Bubbly character and full of natural charm. Good looking with dark hair and a number two cut. Loves his job being in the open air. Works with Chris a bit. He’s a carpenter so he does the timber work for Dave. Joe is a plumber so now and again they all work together. Chris something of a case. Bit older and what used to be called a wide boy. Now known as an opportunist. See a situation. Take advantage. No illegals though. Well to the best of his knowledge. A proper cheeky chappie smile. Could make a rose wilt.
Joe the complete opposite. Bit serious. Provides the grounding when they are out together on the town. Sensible. Drinks within himself and takes the other two home in a cab and pours them into bed. A bit shorter. Has a kind, caring face and eyes. Attracts a particular sort of girl. The homemakers. Has long term relationships and is always nearly getting married. Soon to be now though. Helen the nice girl from the hairdressers. Where they all get their haircut. Not long now just a few weeks. The three of them are best mates. No doubt about that.
Dave met Lucy in town. Bloke tried to take her purse from her shoulder bag. Dave saw. Stopped him. Gave him a good slap but he ran off before proper damage could be done. Lucy so grateful could not refuse the offer of a glass of bubbles in the wine bar. And that was that. Two weeks ago and they are still going strong. Dave is seeing her Saturday. Picking her up at seven. Her house. Thought he would take her to the new Indian. Supposed to be good. No canned stuff all cooked fresh and on show, the kitchen being part of the restaurant. Quite expensive but who cares. He didn’t.
“Hello Mr Springer how are you?”
“Well not too bad. Up and down you know. Lucy is just coming. Come in and wait.”“Sure. Thanks.”
“Sit anywhere Dave. I’m sure she won’t be long. How’s work?”
“Good, got a lot on. Nothing major just a steady stream. And you?”
“Yes all good here. Ticking over nicely. Here she is.”
“Hi Lucy you look fantastic. Love your hair.”
“Helen did it today. She said she’s getting married. Someone called Joe.”
“Yeah that’s my mate. Joe the plumber. Don’t think you have met.”
“No, but will soon no doubt.”
They have all their favourite dishes and it is superb. They agree the best either of them has had. They finish at nine.“Want to go to the pub? Joe should be there. If you are going to the wedding an opportunity to meet the groom.”
“Good idea. Isn’t there music on a Saturday. Some blues group tonight I think.”
The pub is quite small but that just adds to the atmosphere. Music is loud but good. Dave looks for Joe. He will be at the back somewhere. Would never be where he’s in the spotlight. Too reserved.
They push through the crowd picking up drinks on the way. Two pints, one for Joe. White wine for Lucy.
“Hi Joe meet Lucy. She knows Helen.”
“Nice to meet you. I recognise your name now from the wedding list.”
“On your own Joe?”
“For the moment. Helen is on the way. Went out with her Mum today. Wedding stuff. Heard about Chris?”
“No what’s up there?”
“Got some trouble with that cash he got. Don’t know the whole story. Going to see him tomorrow.”
“I’ll come with you.”
They get to Chris’ place at about ten. He answers the door looking a mixture of worried and scared.”“So what it’s all about then Chris.”
“That cash. It came from a bloke I was working for. Gave me five grand to mind a sports bag full of fifties. Curiosity counted it. Forty grand. Stuck it under the bed. Now it’s missing and he wants it back. The four grand left from my payment gone as well.”
“Why did he give it to you?”
“Said he didn’t want his wife to know about it Dave.”
“That’s a tall one. Did you not sniff that old ratty smell?”
“Well yes but too tempting to miss out. After all five grand for nothing.”
“Actually for a lot. Lose the cash and you’re done.”
“Well I realise that now don’t I Joe.”
“What’s to do then?”
“In a pickle. He’s coming round tomorrow. Said something about eight in the evening.”
“Right then what we’ll do is all be here. If there’s any trouble we can handle it. Maybe. That alright with you Chris? Dave?”
The next day at eight they are all in the front garden waiting. A Mercedes pulls up and three men get out. One about five foot eight, heavy and wearing a suit. One at least six feet four and extremely well built and fit looking. Clearly someone who can exert pressure. And a small skinny man with long arms and stubbled chin.
“That’s him the one in the suit. Mick Martin. The others I’ve not seen before. That big one’s big though isn’t he. Touch too big for us perhaps.”“Chris nice to see you. Got my money.”
“Bit of a problem. It’s gone missing. In the house somewhere just been moved probably by my Mum tidying. She’s back Wednesday. Can’t get hold of her until then.”
“Where is she? Mobile phone?”
“At her sister’s miles away. No mobile she hates them. Afraid of frying her brain.”
“Ok Wednesday. I’ll wait until then. After that you will be conversing with Billy here.”
“That was quick thinking. Where is your Mum?”“Bingo Dave. Bloody Bingo. Now got to find forty grand by Wednesday. Any ideas.
“Between us we can raise perhaps fifteen. That might keep that big wolf from biting. Maybe do a deal for the rest over a few months. Long hours hard work. What do you say Joe.”“Nothing else for it. Looks like the honeymoon is scuppered.”
Wednesday arrives and they have collected fourteen thousand plus a bit of extra. Mick Martin and his crew turn up.
“Let’s be having it then.”
“Sorry Mick not got it. It’s gone missing. Got fourteen and a bit as a down payment. Rest as soon as.”
“I’ll take that fourteen. I do think you are going to have to explain the rest to Billy though. He might not be as understanding as me.”
Billy takes a few steps forward. Suddenly the air is filled with sirens. Four police cars and an unmarked Jaguar. The police are out and surrounding Mick and his two cronies. Out of the Jaguar gets Mr Springer who walks up to Mick.”
“Detective Chief Inspector Jack Springer Regional Crime Squad I am arresting you..” and so on completing the normal arresting spiel. All three of them are taken away.
“So David that was close. We have been after that lot for months. Have been closing in. We knew your mate Chris was in trouble but let it pan out so we could catch them with their hands all red. Mick Martin is a con man and an extortion merchant. One scam, he gives someone a sum to look after then his thin accomplice steals it back leaving them in a panic. He then calls and gives a time frame so they try and get as much together as possible. Then the rest is taken over a few months. You were lucky. It could have gone very wrong if they had just taken your fourteen thousand and broken legs for the rest. You seeing Lucy soon. She really likes you.”
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