« Ocean Roadkill | Main | Do The Pie Thing »

The Limit: Chapter 45

And now, after the shootings and high drama, Maudie says goodbye to Toni at Blackpool Railway Station.

Peter Lacey brings his crime novel to a most satisfactory conclusion.

The book can be read again from start to finish by clicking on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_limit/


Three Weeks Later

Blackpool Railway Station seemed an appropriate place to say goodbye.

Maudie and Toni stood away from the flow of passengers that pushed through the ticket barriers and headed for the waiting train. He wore his dry-cleaned lightweight suit and the sunglasses whose lenses adapted to the light. The Samsonite case, containing the rest of his clothes and the pump-action shotgun, was at his feet.

He was travelling first class back to Euston and a taxi ride to the Tout's bedsit in Brick Lane.

Maudie remembered little of the days that immediately followed the shoot-out at the Pleasure Beach. Stuart Shapiro, alerted on his car telephone by Ruth, had arrived on sched¬ule to make it a fairytale ending that quickly became Lewis Carroll.

Instead of a registered medical practitioner, the market baron obtained the services of a Pakistani entrepreneur from Blackburn whose Rawalpindi doctorate had not been recog¬nised by the British Medical Association. He visited Maudie frequently in a van marked Shabnam Knitwear and told him tales of commonplace bullet wounds on the North West Frontier.

A hospital would have meant life on the inside. Dr. Ali was a chance at life on the outside. It worked.

Maudie's presence at a hospital would also have been
unwelcome to the police, who, after suffering apoplexy at the wholesale killings, went looking for a quick solution to reas¬sure holidaymakers there would be no more. Their investiga¬tions revealed the unsavoury Manchester links that Eric and Steven Dyson had had and which provided background for any number of theories. But they chose the one that fitted: the Scottish connection.

Bouncers at The Life of Riley no longer felt the same constraints or bravado now that Unsworth, Curtis and the Dysons were not there. They told the police that the two Manchester professionals, along with Graham and Melvyn, had been responsible for beating the boys from Stirling so badly that one had died and another was still critical.

Supportive evidence was found in the club's car park. The word SCOTLAND had been scrawled in capital letters along the side of Eric Dyson's Rover motor car. One of the chefs also said he thought the man with the shotgun had had a Scottish accent. It was amazing what fear prompted people to say, Maudie reflected.

The surviving Scots didn't argue with the hypothesis. They were pleased their enemies had received terminal retri¬bution and were disinclined to deny that a heavy mob had travelled south on their behalf to mete out justice. After all, it did their image the world of good.

"I'll see you soon, Maudie. Promise," Toni said. "When I get back from the States."

"You sure you're coming back?"

"I'm sure. And this time it's for good."

The people who moved past them with impatient strides and purposeful expressions seemed like extras in their drama.

"When you get back, do as Stuart says. Find a proper chap."
"I found one but he says he's too old."

He laughed.

"Too bloody true, gel."

"Will you come back?"

"Maybe. But not for a while."

Toni and Mario had urged him to stay and had offered a directorship in the business. It had been tempting but too many people had seen his face. If they saw it again, it might revive memories.

At least cash was going to be no problem for a while. They had increased his fee and he had £25,000 in readies stitched into the inside pocket of his jacket. Brick Lane was going to be a temporary stop. He thought he might try Southend and look for that well-preserved widow he had promised himself.

"It's goodbye time, Toni."


They embraced and she sighed.

"No tears, now," he warned.

"No tears." She sniffed them back. "Thanks, Maudie."

"Thank you, gel. Take care."

He released her, took his ticket from his top pocket, picked up the case and went through the barrier.

He didn't look back. He'd had enough of looking back. For the first time in years, he felt he had a future.


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.