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The Limit: Chapter 33

Maudie acquires a shooter – and he’s now in charge of his own situation.

Peter Lacey continues his thrilling crime story. For earlier chapters please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_limit/

Maudie directed him to take the next available slip road off the motorway. It was a large clover leaf at the bottom of the hill. Melvyn cut across a Cortina estate in the middle lane but made it. They went all the way round the leaf and re-joined the motorway to drive back along the northbound carriageway.

Halfway up the hill, vehicles had stopped in ungainly shunts. The cement truck was nose first on the hard shoulder with its rear blocking the nearside lane. A van was stuck beneath its tailgate. The middle lane was also blocked, and cars, coaches and lorries filtered past in the outside lane.

Maudie guessed that about all that would be left of Graham would be his Stanley knife and those even white teeth.

Self-preservation and bloody-mindedness had given him the strength to achieve the first part, and adrenalin had taken him across the van to hold the blade at Melvyn's throat. But he needed a rest. He ached, his ribs hurt, and every time he breathed he inhaled needles. The whisky was also having an effect and making him tired.

"What's in your pocket?"


"You were reaching for something. What is it?"

He hesitated, but only for a moment.

"A shooter."

"You amaze me. That's a big boy's toy." He scraped bristle with the blade. "The jugular will give the windscreen an instant respray. You won't be able to see out. You'll crash. But you won't care. You'll be dead." He paused. "Now. Very slowly. Take the gun out of your pocket. Two fingers only. And pass it to me."

Melvyn obeyed.

It was a Luger automatic. The same model German officers had used in the First World War.

"Gordon Bennett. This came out of the ark. Does Anton Diffring know you've got it?"


"Never mind."

He removed the blade from Melvyn's throat and sat back on the floor of the van. It was an ideal position from which to maintain command. If the driver annoyed him he could shoot him through the seat. He could also, for the first time, relax. Melvyn would take no chances with an unseen threat.

"What time is it?"

"Half past seven."

"How's Dyson going to get Toni Rossetti?"

"I don't know."

"Look. Let's not piss about. I can start with your kneecaps. I don't give a shit."

"A meeting. He was arranging a meeting but I don't know where or when. Maybe tonight. He phoned this afternoon to tell us to get rid of you. Tommo—Graham—said he sounded pleased with himself. So it's maybe tonight."

Maudie tried to think things out but the pain wouldn't let him.

"Who's at the warehouse?"


"If there is, you're the first I shoot."

"There's nobody there."

"Then go to the warehouse."


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