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Thompson’s Lost Plimsole

Part 43

John and Clarence had skirted around the edge of the wood and could just make out the silhouette of the farm buildings. They both stood silently, listening out for any sounds such as voices or vehicles. Fifteen minutes passed and there was nothing, so the men made their way along the hedge line that led towards the large barn. There was a small door to the side of the building, slightly ajar and opening outwards. Clarence took hold of the rusting door handle and pulled the door slowly towards him. In the still of the evening air, the rusty hinges sounded like the doors of an ancient castle being opened. Suddenly, something barged the door open from the inside, the force of it knocked Clarence onto his backside again, which in turn, made him break wind violently.  Whatever it was, was now stood looking at him. “Don’t move”, said John, “It won’t hurt you”. John knelt down and held the back of his hand out. The badger sniffed at his hand a few times and then allowed John to stroke its head. “This is Mavis, she knows me, I rescued her from a wire snare when she was a little cub. I nursed her back to health and set her free again. We often meet up in the woods, and sometimes she brings her babies to see me. They don’t forget kindness”. John put his hand into his pocket and took out a paper bag containing some biscuits. The badger rubbed around John’s legs and then sat patiently waiting to be offered a treat. With one biscuit in her mouth, one between her teeth and then a final stroke of her head, she disappeared into the darkness. John helped Clarence to his feet and told him to wait outside and keep a watch. 

John had only been in the building for a few minutes when Clarence felt something cold being pushed into the nape of his neck. Then someone behind him spoke in a low growl. “Who are you and what do you think you’re doing here? Answer, or I’ll blow your bloody brains out!”. Clarence could feel an almighty guff forming in his intestines and tried desperately not to let fly. Then he heard John’s voice. “Throw your gun down or I’ll blow your bloody brains out!”. Whoever it was quickly complied with John’s demand. He motioned to Clarence to pick up the gun, and it was at this point that Clarence could see that John was holding a large stick to the back of the other chap’s head. John ordered his captive to get inside the barn, and once inside, John forced the man to sit on an old chair whilst Clarence secured the man’s hands and feet with ropes. “I don’t know who you two are, but you are dead men. As soon as I get out of these ropes, you two are dead. You have no idea who you are dealing with, your mothers won’t be able to recognise you, we’ll skin you and feed you to the…”. That was enough, John stuffed an old rag into the man’s mouth.  Clarence took this opportunity to look around the barn and it was patently clear that this space had been used by the gang whilst sorting out their loot. Whether this chap had been left behind to clear everything away, was not immediately obvious, but the bank’s security boxes had all been stacked in piles ready for disposal. There were the remnants of bread, meat, opened jam jars and beer bottles spread around and this must have been what had attracted the badger.

The prisoner seemed as if he was struggling to breathe, so John removed the rag from the chap’s mouth. Gasping for breath he still continued with his tirade. “When the twins get hold of you, you’ll be begging for mercy”. His captors stood passively looking at him. Realising that his threats weren’t having any affect on John and Clarence, he changed his tune. “Look, if you let me go now, I’ll speak with the boys, I’ll tell them that you let me loose and maybe they’ll go easy on you”. Clarence replied, “Do you honestly believe that the Dray twins would overlook this little bit of business?  I mean, after all of their hard work and planning, they’re not the sort to let two nobodies like us off scot free to blab about the bank raid”. Their prisoner still hadn’t realised that he was being reeled in. “Seriously”, he said, “They’re not bad blokes, If you say that you’ll keep quiet, then I’m sure they’ll overlook things this time.”

John pushed the rag back in the man’s mouth. He then tied two of the security boxes together with a short piece of rope and hung them around the prisoner’s neck. Taking care not to touch anything else in the barn, John and Clarence, along with their captive, made their way back through the woods to Clarence’s car. After pulling up outside the Hallifield police headquarters, John knocked loudly on the front door and hearing the approach of someone inside, beat a hasty retreat. He had played his part and wanted no further involvement. Clarence could take it from here.


Published by crispinunderfelt

All round good egg. Humanist and red wine drinker.

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