The body of Laura was to be returned to the UK. How would Nick face the Colonel with this devastating news of his beloved daughter? God help the killers! The funeral of course was held in Laura’s home town in Scotland. Many of Nick’s army friends attended the funeral, as the two men that loved Laura so much supported each other…Many a vow was made on that sombre day. Nick Alum returned to army duties vowing vengeance on the filth that had performed such atrocities on his wonderful Laura. A very different officer served for another twenty eight months before resigning. He was no longer a dedicated soldier. His concentration now centred solely around visiting a slow and painful death on the people responsible for Laura’s death. No matter how long it took. Nick had been promised a great deal of support by the Colonel, and the many army friends he had served with. On the day of his discharge from the army, he purchased a plane ticket to Singapore. That was in the December 1978.
During his convalescence after the attack Nick discovered a lot of things. He discovered that the small nimble man was once a Featherweight boxer who owed an allegiance to Harry Simms. He was also astounded to learn that in gratitude for Nick saving his daughter’s life in 1978, Harry had appointed this man as the secret eyes in the back of Nick’s head. A silent, unknown and unseen minder who guarded Nick? moves for so many years. Twinkle, as this little man was called, travelled around the world on many occasions, following Nick and protecting his back with the help of various people who owed favours to Mr. Harold Simms. There were indeed many of them! It was this man who observed what was going down on the night of the attack and phoned for the help of Big Dave who arrived only just in time. The young woman that he’d seen when he first awoke, a very attractive blonde with grey blue eyes and a funny little turned up nose, was the doctor who came in every day to change his dressings. A part of his convalescence he was beginning to look forward to. He also discovered that she was none other than the young girl that he had pulled out of the River Thames: Eve Simms. Eve Simms, the daughter of Harry Simms, and now a doctor in her own right.
Nick was also to discover that his hospital bed was in a bedroom in Eve’s flat, just above her surgery, and the surgery was right next door to the pub – no wonder the food was so good! Little did Nick realise that Eve insisted on nursing him back to health and to preparing all his meals. There seemed to be a bond growing between them that had not gone UN-noticed by her father. Nine days went past and Nick was impatient to get out of bed. Eve told him in no uncertain terms that he came very near to losing his life. “Do you know that stab wound was one of the worst that I have ever dealt with? Do you think that I’ve spent all this time looking after you so that you can go running around and open it up again” she shouted at him, spinning on her heel and slamming out of the door – only to bump into her father.
“What’s all the shouting about girl” “Have you come across a man you can’t bully for a change”
With a contemptuous “Damn Men!”she went stamping down the stairs. “Blimey” Harry exclaimed, “I do think she was crying for the first time since she was 12 years old!” “Blimey!” In spite of Eve insisting that he wasn’t well enough, that evening Nick swung his legs out of the bed and stood up only to be caught once more by Dave as his legs collapsed from under him. It took another two days before he was steady enough to return to the hotel. He insisted on getting back to the hotel, since none of them had thought to phone to tell the manager that he might be away for a period of time.
Eddie James, one of the men who called for him in 1978, drove him back. “Been with Mr Harry a long time now, haven’t you, Eddie?” Nick said to the driver. “Oh yes governor” replied Eddie.
“The boss has been very good to me and my family “Me and the missus have got five kids you know” “All a grown up since you and I last met.” “Yes Sir, Mr Harry has been good to us all right,” “he has always been a real ace.” The usually quiet man had become suddenly loquacious. “I shall always stay with him, until Death takes one of us.”
Nick entered the hotel’s main door, only to be greeted by an agitated Manager and a uniformed policeman. “Good evening, Mr Alum, said the Manager. ?e were just talking about you. “I’m afraid I thought that something might have happened to you sir, since you have not been seen for the last two weeks,? Took the liberty of calling the police, Sir! “I am sorry if I’ve done the wrong thing Mr Alum.” “No” Nick assured him, “You did exactly the right thing.”I apologise for not informing you that I would be away.”Turning to the police officer he added “I am also sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you Constable,” “but you see, I had the chance of getting away to sea for a few weeks with one of my Army pals.” “I really couldn’t turn it down.” I know I should have phoned the hotel, but I just didn’t think. So sorry!” “That’s quite all right Sir,” “There’s no harm done!” “It was just that I thought you might have been in some kind of accident or something!” “No harm done Sir.” “By the way, Sir, you don’t look too well”- “Are you OK?” “Oh, yes I see, and thanks” replied Nick. “It’s just that I’m not a very good sailor “Sea sickness, you know!” On the way up to his room Nick stopped off in the hallway to make a phone call. “Hello, Alan, this is Nick Alum.” “Look, old son, I’ve had a bit of trouble, and there might be some questions asked by the police.” “I know you’ve been out on your boat for a couple of weeks,” “So would you be a good soul,” “and if you’re asked,” “say that I was with you.” He paused while the curiosity of Alan surfaced. ?”I can’t explain just now Alan.” “But I might need some cover.” Upon Alan being quite willing to acquiesce, Nick was overcome with relief. “Oh that’s magic Alan!” “I owe you one buddy” “Cheers!” “I hope to see you at the next reunion in Hereford, and we’ll get smashed together.”“Once again pal, many-thanks.” A week later Nick packed his case paid his bill and left the hotel. Nick Alum stood at the door of the hotel for a few moments, looking left and right, until he caught a sight of a figure he felt sure would be in the vicinity. Twinkle emerged out of the shadows of a tower block. “Looking for me, Mr Alum? He asked with a wry grin. ? Was just having me breakfast and a nice cup of Rosie Lee, he added indicating a nearby tea-room. “I thought you’d be somewhere near, said Nick, a broad smile on his face. “But no more skulking in shadows from now on.” “If you are going to be with me everywhere I go,” “then we might as well travel together!” “Anyway, I’ll be glad of the company and it will save us both time and money. Pointing to the front passenger seat of his car, he instructed Twinkle to get in! Twinkles approbation once he was in the car and belted up became clear. “Well blimey!” “You are a real ace Mr. Alum, without a doubt.” “A real ace Governor”
They drove out of London on the M4 towards Swindon and from there on to Nick’s country home. Somewhere near South Cerney, Gloucester. After Nick disengaged the various alarm systems, he said, “Welcome to my home,” and invited Twinkle inside. “Your bedroom is at the top of the stairs.” “It may need a bit of an airing, but there is clean bed linen in the cupboard next to your room.” “From your bedroom you will hear if anyone should try to get in” – “That is, if they get past the security set-up!” “OK, boss ta!” And with that Twinkle disappeared upstairs. Later that day Nick called his guest downstairs for dinner. Poached Salmon, Mornay sauce, Jersey new potatoes and a crisp salad were all washed down with a cold Australian Chardonnay wine. “Look, buddy” exclaimed Nick “You make yourself at home.” “There are some good walking areas out the back, and there’s a gym in the basement with a sauna.” “You are welcome to use any of these at any time, and as often as you please!” A big smile of sheer pleasure came to the face of the likeable little man. “Thanks, boss, but what about you, Sir”? “If you don’t mind me asking.” “Well,” Nick replied, “I’m going to do bit of military planning, and I do not want to be disturbed” – “OK” “I am going to do a lot of studying, and make a lot of phone calls. “I am going to plan my next moves.” “I am also going to start my investigation into who might have put those two thugs onto me, and why.” “OK! boss” said Twinkle.
“But I think that you and Mr. Harry is going to meet in the middle so to speak.” “Why do you say that? Nick asked. “Well I do not think I will be letting anything out of the bag, so to speak,” “but he does definitely NOT like his friends being hurt “Especially you!” “You see, you are now family.” “Specially after what you done, saving his daughter and all like!” Twinkles little face had become very serious. “I do know that him and Dave are going to turn London upside down to find the geezers who got you hurt, and I think there might be a few dead bodies in the process!” “Phone them and tell them not to get involved.” “I do NOT want to endanger their lives.” “Phone them now!” Nick angrily exclaimed. Ten minutes later Twinkle came into the room after making the phone call.
“Mr. Harry sent you a message back boss.” “He said to tell you to go suck on nuts.” “He said he has a debt to pay, and that nobody harms his family.” “So there!” Nick Alum disappeared into his study to start planning their next move.