Friday, 1 January 2016

The Club

This is part three of the The Cubicle , (part two is here) which is part of the Barber Shop Quartet. To see how the whole story is developing click here.
For audio click here
Belanger thought about what Fardy-Russell had said. He had to admit that he had a point. It did seem incredulous that Clifton could overpower Henshall-Jones even if H-J was getting on a bit now. He sucked on his pipe and wondered what H-J was up to. Was he running Clifton a double agent? Or was Clifton just an old school fag who H-J had taken pity on. One thing he was sure of was that H-J wasn't working for the Russians. That just wouldn't happen. But he might well be up to something else and that might be just as dangerous for Belanger. Of course Henshall-Jones might have been telling the truth. Clifton was a clever old fox even if he wasn't the strongest. Brains outwitting brawn, Belanger could believe that. Whatever it was it was in his interest to find out so that he could put that Fardy-Russell back in his box; insubordination couldn't be tolerated.
"Glad you could join me Clive," Belanger said, picking his pipe up. Henshall-Jones sat down in the leather chair opposite the MI6 man.
"Always a pleasure James," H-J said, catching the eye of the waiter and ordering two Brandies.
"How's the head?" Belanger asked.
"Just a scratch, old chum," Henshall-Jones smiled.
"Nasty business.” Belanger looked up from filling his pipe. Do you think we'll catch him before he gets abroad?"
"My officers are working on it. We’ve got the ports and airports covered and a couple of safe houses under observation."
"You do know” Belanger filled his pipe with tobacco, “that Fardy-Russell thinks there's something fishy going on?"
"Does he?" Henshall-Jones scratched his nose and waited for Belanger to say more.
The silence was broken by the waiter placing two generous brandies on the table.
"Anything else gentlemen," the servant asked.
Belanger waved the man away, and looked at Henshall-Jones over his half moon glasses. “So is he right Clive, is there something rotten about this.”
"That Fardy-Russell is too big for his boots." Henshall-Jones said.
"We're not here to talk about him. I want to know what you are up to?"
Henshall-Jones picked up his drink and swirled it in the glass. "How long have we known each other?" He asked.
Belanger thought for a moment
"A long time," Henshall-Jones continued. "And have I ever let you down?" He scratched his nose and then put his glass back on the table.
Belanger lit his pipe.  He didn’t know what it was but there was something about that response that Belanger didn't like; that he didn't like at all.

Fardy-Russell barged into Henshall-Jones's office and was surprised to see the MI5 man pointing a gun at him. Instinctively he put his hands up in surrender. H-J's hand was steady, his face passive; he was ready for the kill. Fardy-Russell heard the wall clock ticking what were potentially the last seconds of his life. He stared at Henshall-Jones trying to decipher if he was going to kill him. Then H-J laughed and lowered the gun.
“It's okay, I'm not going to shoot you,” he smiled at Fardy-Russell, “yet.”
“Not funny,” Fardy-Russell said.  “Did your search of Clifton's things turn anything up?”
“I don't see how that is any of your business." Henshall-Jones sat back in his seat.
“And the sighting in East London?"
“Again, not your concern. You deal with Alexi, if you can. I'll worry about Clifton.”
“What are you up to Clive? Why didn't your men catch Clifton while they had a chance?  I heard they had him cornered in Bethnal Green, yet he still escaped, that must be on your orders. ”
“How the hell do you know that?” Henshall-Jones said.
“I have my sources,” Fardy-Russell replied enjoying the slight power-shift.
“Well your sources are wrong. Look Bernard, stop meddling in this. You're a good man, a good investigator, maybe too good. For your own sake let this go. Otherwise next time…” Henshall-Jones reached for his gun again. “I'll pull the damn trigger.” 

Fardy-Russell left the office but he wasn’t going to stop meddling. He’d get to the bottom of this if it killed him. He bought a box of cigarettes from the vendor across the street and smoked one as he waited.  As soon as Henshall-Jones came out of the building he dropped the fag and fell in behind him.


  1. Petra Goláňová2 January 2016 at 15:41

    "That Fardy-Russell is too big for his boots" - I don't know if it is a saying or your idea.

    1. It's a well known expression so maybe I should come up with something original :-)