Paul met them at Zurich airport as instructed. His wound was only a bullet graze to the temple. The ambushers left him as dead, but he was able to follow them to a warehouse on the perimeter of Zurich airport. The main floor of the building was used as a meat storage unit, containing freezers and meat grinding machines for the making of mince and sausage meat. Within the basement were two doors: one leading up a flight of stairs to that main floor, and the other leading to the grounds outside. In a corner of the basement a metal chair had been bolted to the floor. A large lamp mounted on the wall threw down a fierce beam that bathed the chair in a circle of light. His cruel features thrown into sharp relief by the harsh illumination, Johann van Reeve stood with two of his henchmen, gazing down at the tightly bound figure of Dave. One of antagonists held a thin length of wire, which glowed red-hot, and now applied it to Dave’s cheek. His body arched in agony, but not a sound did he make. A small waft of air went by UN-noticed by as the brutal white South Afrikaner as he put his face close to Dave..”Now for the last time are you going to tell me where Alum is and what does he know” snarled the brutish man… The prisoner spat straight into the face of his interrogator who stepped back, and then hit the bound man with a vicious punch. Blood spurted out of Dave’s mouth and trickled down his chin. The Colonel nodded to the man who now held another hot wire. The torturer approached the captive once more. None of them heard the thin shushing noise but suddenly the man with the red-hot wire straightened, and a scream erupted from his mouth. A long thin Gerber knife was embedded in his back up to its hilt. Nick Alum stepped forward out of the darkness with a revolver held firmly in his right hand. “And so van Reeve you butcher,” “We meet again,” Nick hissed in a vicious whisper. “Now would you be as kind as to release my friend? “Are you crazy man?” spat the South African. “There are two of my best men just outside.” “You may have got in UN-noticed, but you will never get out”. So saying, Van Reeve put a thin silver whistle to his lips and blew a long blast. The door leading to the outside crashed open to reveal two guards clad from head to toe in black, their faces covered by black balaclavas. One of them held an automatic machine pistol. The other carried a powerful air pistol of the sort used to anaesthetize animals. “I’m afraid that your men can no longer be of help to you, as they are having a nice little sleep” Nick riposted. “But I would like you to meet MY friends instead The two balaclavas were removed to reveal the features of comrades who had pulled Nick out of Singapore many years before in 1982…. Mark and Jack, ex-Army friends. Van Reeve’s face contorted with fury and hatred. Then of the other men made a dash for the door leading to the upper main warehouse. He reached at the same moment it opened, and then he staggered back from the force of a 7.65 mm bullet that entered his chest, and punched out through his back, spewing out blood, flesh, and shards of his spinal cord. He was quite dead. Four men now entered the basement. Twinkle, was holding a Walther PPK pistol, whilst the other three were armed with machine pistols -These three stalwarts were indeed an awesome trio. They were Alan the third S.A.S. man. With Mr Harry’s two men Eddie James and Fred Graves at his side. ?Keep him covered, lads. Nick indicated the Afrikaner, who was now trembling with fear and anger. Nick retrieved his knife and bent to cut Dave’s bonds. The big man stood up. “Let me introduce you Colonel” Nick smiled thinly “As I’m sure you wouldn’t remember the last time you met Dave.? “I’ve never met the nigger before” screamed van Reeve.
“Then let me enlighten you” replied Nick. “You see Colonel, the man you have here, is known as Dave Simms.” “That is of course is his name NOW! “However, he was actually born in the same country as you.” “Yes he was born in Born in South Africa.” “His name was David Trobone.” “When he was just twelve years old, he was imprisoned for a trivial infraction of the law.” “He was imprisoned in the vile filthy camp where you were the Commandant. “On your orders,” Nick continued “He was defiled and tortured.” “However the young boy escaped, and somehow stowed away on a ship bound for England.” “When it docked at Wapping LONDON,”?”A stevedore found his wasted little body in the hold, and took him to a Harry Simms and his wife who adopted him legally.” “They gave him love and sanctuary and a new name.” “The sad part of this little tale is that because of these experiences,” “the lad had lost his power of speech and has never spoken since.”??”No Colonel!” “That is if you really were a Colonel” sneered Nick “You see, you could have questioned him all day and all night,” “but he would never have been able to tell you anything?
“I now think that it is your turn in the chair van-Reeve” Nick continued??”And I am sure you will talk, because I’m going to leave you in the capable hands of Dave, Eddie and Fred.” “So now wish you goodbye my dear Van Reeve.”? “However, before I go,”? “I would advise you to make it easy on yourself by telling them everything you know. Without another word, and in spite of van Reeve’s pleading, Nick turned and with an evil smile on his face, he left the room. Some four hours later Eddie handed Nick a package and a bundle of notes. They had written down everything that the South African Colonel had confessed to. “I am afraid to tell you, that whilst Dave was getting the information out of him, the fat Colonel sadly died on us from a heart attack.” Eddie told Nick.
“What about the bodies?” Nick enquired. “This my friend is NOT the same as London, where bodies can be made to disappear.” “What have you done with them? Well!” Eddie replied “We took the ones that were unconscious, and dumped them in a field a couple of miles away from the warehouse.” “As for the three dead bodies, we used the machines in that warehouse.” He grinned, and continued. “I would strongly suggest, that whilst you are in this country, that you do not eat anything with minced meat in it. We will get rid of the clothes of the dead ones later. Nick felt his stomach give a lurch, but he made NO comment. The matter was closed.
The three army buddies said their goodbyes, and told Nick that they were always available. All he needed to do was call. Nick thanked his comrades and saw them off at the airport. Nick, Dave, Eddie, Fred and Twinkle spent another three days in Zurich watching events and reading the newspapers. Nothing was reported on the disappearance of the three deceased. Nick could only assume, that the unconscious men that his friends had left in the field, had counted themselves lucky. They were going to lie low for fear of it being their turn next. And Nick was quite right in his assumptions. Because those men that had been left in field, had seen exactly what a group of Nick’s people were capable of. They were mortally afraid, and would cause NO trouble ever. During the time the four were in Zurich, Nick read the notes of the late Colonel van Reeve’s confession three or four times. It was as if he could not quite believe it. The other four noticed how Nick became very quiet. Something very serious was obviously preying on his mind.
Billy Core and his brother were out for a night in the West End. The two were in a good mood, having just eaten a fine meal at an Italian restaurant. With a couple of bottles of Barolo Italian red wine mellowing inside they were relaxed and happy. A black BMW car with smoked-glass windows cruised a few yards behind them, just far back enough not to be noticed – although it is doubtful if either one of them would have given it a second glance. In a deserted and dimly lit street, the vehicle slowly and quietly slid up until it was alongside of the two tipsy brothers. Three men jumped from the car. there was a short but violent struggle. Brian Core tried to pull a handgun from beneath his jacket, but one of the three men was too quick for him, twisting the weapon until it was pointing back at the young Core brother’s chest. In the struggle, the gun went off. It was all over in minutes, and no one in the vicinity noticed anything. The Core brothers were bundled into the car, and it sped away.
Nick Alum spent six weeks in the company of Eve Simms. For the first time in years he felt as if a weight was lifted from his shoulders. He had forgotten what it was like to be so happy. Two more jobs remained, but they could wait for the moment. There was a knock on the door of his room, and Eve pushed her head around the door. “There’s a phone call for you my darling,” she said. “It’s a gentleman with a Chinese accent.” “He insisted on speaking to you,” “AND ONLY you.” ‘OK, Eve thanks,’ Nick replied and went to answer it. The caller was Peter Ah Hi, who said he would be in England in a week’s time, and asked if Mr Nick Alum would come to see him at his London office. Nick agreed to the rendezvous and confirmed a time and date. He turned up at the offices of Penh and Ah Hi Ltd as arranged, only to find once more the same police officer just leaving the building.
‘Hello’ Mr Alum, the officer greeted him. ‘It seems that we keep bumping into each other’ ‘How are you keeping, Sir’ ‘well, I hope!’ ‘Yes, thank you officer,’ Nick replied. ‘The best I’ve felt in years.’ ‘Tell me, did you ever find that young couple who were missing?’ ‘Oh, God bless you Sir’ ‘Yes we did!’ ‘The little perishers had scampered away for a naughty weeks holiday without telling anyone.’ ‘And all without getting permission from their bosses.’ ‘Or should I say their ex-bosses now.’ ‘Up in the Lake District they were,’ ‘but as safe as houses thank God!’ ‘Now all they’ve got to do is find new jobs.’ ‘ Well done officer!’ Nick retorted. ‘Well done!’
Peter Ah Hi was waiting for him with a big smile, and with his hand outstretched. “Welcome Nick,” he said. ‘We have much to talk about.’ Nick looked around and replied, ‘I thought your erstwhile partner might want to be in on this meeting.’ ‘Is she not here?’ ?Oh, I’m sorry, Nick – did you not hear?’ “Madam Penh was killed in a motorcar accident a week ago.” ‘She was killed along with this company’s chief accountant, A certain Mr Brian Peters.’ “You do remember Mr Peters don’t you?”
“He was the tall gentleman who smoked those long thin cigars.” I think you saw him at the Singapore office. “Most tragic accident don’t you think? Yes’ Nick replied. “Very tragic!” I think it’s time we exchanged stories, don’t you, Nick’ Ah Hi continued. Please take a seat and I’ll tell you my side first.It transpired that after Nick had informed him of the telephone call to his office, he organised an investigation into the company’s affairs and found that Madam Penh and Brian Peters were in collusion. Madam Penh discovered that Peters was milking the company accounts. She threatened to expose his crime if he did not do as she bid. It was she who made Peters get the manuscript in the first place. It was Peters himself that stole it from the office Ah Hi. Murielle Penh was broke and intended to sell the document to the highest bidder. Peters however also worked for Colonel van Reeve. Therefore it was to van Reeve that he delivered the document. All this on the promise of his safeguard by van Reeve from the ever vengeful Madam Penh. Unfortunately I do not know what happened to the document after that” Ah Hi said. ‘But maybe you can enlighten me my friend.’ ‘It is quite a long story,’ replied Nick. ‘And it goes something like this.’ The blonde and handsome Colonel van Reeve, who besots a young model on a modelling engagement in China, persuaded her to smuggle a stolen document out of the country. The papers were stolen from the Peking National Museum and reputed to be worth millions. Colonel van Reeve saw a way out of the poverty-stricken condition that followed his eviction from South Africa. Unfortunately for the Colonel, this girl decided to keep the document for herself and refused to part with it. He tracked her to Singapore and put out a contract on her and for the return of the document. He got it back all right but the cost was the lives of two women. One of those was Laura the wife of Nick Alum. The hired killers who took up the contract only had a description of a model as being tall and blonde, and that fitted Nicks wife. The two girls were on the same modelling assignment but Laura left early and was mistaken for the other girl. She was kidnapped and cruelly tortured. When the European leader of the kidnappers and killers realised that they had got the wrong girl, they killed her. That girl was Nick Alum’s wife Laura. They got the other girl later that week, and she met the same fate. But only after they had recovered the document for Van Reeve. When the European leader of those thugs learned that they had mistakenly killed Nick Alum’s wife, he knew that there would be retributions. For he knew Nick Alum extremely well!….He was in danger of his life.
He made it easy for Nick and his friends to catch the two Korean hit men that had been hired, and well paid to perpetrate this vile act. This was done in order to cover his own trail. Once van Reeve possessed the document he imagined that he was home and dry, and could sell the document for a sizeable sum of money. But no matter where van Reeve tried to sell the document, he was unsuccessful. It was too hot. The Colonel then conceived the great idea of selling two thirds of the document and approached Peter Ah Hi and Murielle Penh, who accepted and paid the South African quite large sums of money, on condition that the document was kept in the safe of Peter Ah Hi’s company. It was from that safe Peters stole it. When the document was returned to the Consortium with the help of Nick Alum, the South African insisted that it would be more secure in his safe. The other two could do nothing but agree. The European involved in the death of Nick Alum’s wife was running scared, in case Nick discovered his identity. He told the Colonel that he that he wanted to set a trap for Nick and so they decided on a plan. At this point in the story Nick stopped, and taking a package from his inside pocket, threw it onto the desk of Ah Hi. “There Peter is the manuscript.” “It was taken from the body of the late Colonel van Reeve.” “But van Reeve,” “very much like Madam Penh and Mr Peters,” “has gone to a better place,” “And may they all rot in hell’s inferno. I know very well that this document has caused you a great deal of money in one-way or another,” “However I am sorry to tell you that it is worthless.” “Although of course you deserve it for your greediness, and willingness to posses a stolen item.” “I called at the Chinese embassy yesterday to return the document to the rightful owners.” “The ambassador was all politeness and grateful for my honesty,” “but gently told me that the stolen document was a fake.”He explained to me that they never put the real object on display in case of acts of theft such as this.”You have all been duped.” “My wonderful wife Laura lost her life over a fake document.? By now Ah Hi had lost the smile on his face and was obviously shocked, but he soon recovered. “Nick, you are quite right.” “It does serve me right, and I have learned my lesson.” “It will never happen again!” “But tell me” “Did you ever find out who that murdering European was?”? “And more importantly,” ” did you ever catch up with him? Oh Yes” Nick said. “The Colonel before he died, supplied my friends with that information.” Nick continued in a voice trembling with venom and hate. “I was able to spend an hour or two with the scum bag who tortured and killed my wife.” “He took a long time dying, and he died screaming.”??????????????? “May he and van Reeve rot in hell together!” “Yes I found him” “It was the so-called friend that helped me in Singapore.”? “It was my so called friend Jimmy Core!” “That was why no matter how hard I searched for the leader of those killers,” “The trail led to a dead end.” “The filthy swine was by my side all the time!? Van Reeve had supplied Core with the document as part of their plan to assassinate Nick Alum. Plans that failed, an