It was four in the morning when Arthur Khan parked the Range Rover in the small copse close to Richard Maddox’s house. Parking it well out of sight, he chose to travel the rest of the way on foot, unseen, across the fields. Maddox’s house was separated from the rest of the village by a short country lane and backed out onto open fields at the rear, the garden easily accessed over a low fence, which was absolutely perfect for Arthur’s entry and exit.
Arthur was a little out of shape these days, but still fitter than most men in their forties and the short jog across the fields was easy to cope with. Just enough to get his heart rate going and his adrenaline pumping. He was in full commando gear with his face covered by a balaclava, his eyes the only visible feature. He felt good, exhilarated. Excited.
All in black, he had a skinning knife strapped to his ankle, a machete in his belt and his lovingly polished Desert Eagle .357 in the hand-tooled shoulder holster that was the duplicate of his dead brother’s. Very apt as this mission was for Charles.
He also wore a lightweight backpack which contained certain tools which may be of use as the night wore on.
The outfit Arthur was wearing used to be his standard attire in Africa. In the Congo and in Mozambique and Somalia and all the other places Arthur and his brother had fought. But tonight he was in Northamptonshire alone, there would be no more battles fought together. But, if he did not get the answers he wanted tonight, there would be blood spilled in Charles’ name.
Arthur felt alive, completely in his element, his years of training instinctively kicking in. This was what he did. What he had done for more years than he cared to remember. And he was good at it.
The air was still and cool and the night smelt of dew and grass and blossom. It was the end of April now, over two months since Charles’ passing and there had been very little word from Sumpter. Nothing whatsoever on the diamonds. Just one lead on someone who might know something. But he was missing and his family claimed not to know where he had gone. Arthur would see. Tonight he would find out for himself if they knew anything or not. If they had information, he would get it out of them.
For a big man he ran in near silence and he vaulted the fence almost as if it was not there. He landed on the other side with just the slightest thud. Then froze, listening, his breathing only a little more laboured than usual. Waiting and watching for any signs of life.
He checked his watch. Sixteen minutes after four. The house was in darkness, the inhabitants all tucked up in bed, unaware of what was about to unfold.
He was inside the house in less than a minute, again making no sound, the inadequate lock no problem for a man of his skills. They may as well have left the door open for him.
Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here