Thursday, September 27, 2007

Made to Pay: Four

The chill wind of autumn caused Sian Rule to shudder, but the Green man just kept looking out to sea, his eyes on the slowly blinking light by the harbour.

"I went as fast as I could," the Green Man told Miss Rule. "She was afraid, and I knew that this had to be serious." He shook his head, still looking away from Miss Rule. "She met me close to the station. And she was beautiful-more beautiful than I've ever seen her. He golden hair shone in the breeze, as she looked down on me from the fire escape she was holding to. She checked the alley before dropping down beside me.

"She soke softly, telling me that I had to come back to her lodging. I hurried back there with her, and she told me that she was on the track of something big. She had only just realised exactly what it was. The man she had seen seemed to be a drug-peddler, but she had seen him meet another figure, a man connected with an East European state. She had opened his safe and found secret documents relating to new British naval projects. She had been caught and managed to knock out the men, but now she was hiding, hunting them as they hunted her. They were to rendezvous at Aberystwyth, for which Shrewsbury is the railhead from Birmingham. I told her she could count on my help.

"And it was then that she kissed me. The action took me utterly by surprise. Whenever we'd met she'd teased me, but no more than that. She normally seemed distant, unable to draw near to anyone. When she held tight to me and whispered, I knew it was no act..."

Sian Rule felt a tear well in her eye. She shook her head.

"But why are you telling me?" she asked. "What has all this to do with us here, now?"
"All in good time," the Green Man told her. "For now, just know that we arrived in Aberystwyth on a dark night in late October, as the rain caused the rough prom to shine, and the angry waves lashed at the beach. A few drunk students, the girls in worryingly brief skirts, staggered home from the pubs, as we made for the station, which was derelict at the time."

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