About the Author
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

World Voices Home

The Literary Explorer
Writers on the Job
Books Forgotten
Thomas E. Kennedy
Walter Cummins
Web Del Sol


As Eamon steps on the tarmac, the unaccustomed heat hits him. It seems to drill through his close-cropped hair and he starts to sweat. Slowly he looks around and notices the green hills of trees that surround the airport. Inside the terminal building, they walk slowly amongst the scurrying passengers, watching, and trying to get their bearings. The perfunctory customs check helps. Carrying their hand luggage, they walk through the luggage reclaim, past the scramble of people milling around the stationary carousel.
        In the arrivals hall, small groups of families wait. A few chauffeurs hold name cards aloft. Eamon glances around; he is not sure who or what he is looking for, only that his senses are alert. He is very wary; he is treating this journey as a reconnaissance trip, like the visits he made years ago to survey potential targets in the UK. Back then, he assumed he was under surveillance all the time. The watchers did not know who or what they were looking for, but they were expecting somebody, and one slip, a hint or clue as to the purpose of his visit, would be enough to alert them.
        Eamon hails a taxi from the rank. This weather is so much hotter than anything he has been used to, he is relieved to slide into the back seat and once they are moving, enjoy the breeze from the driver's open window. The driver is taciturn, does not speak after Eamon tells him he wants the Hotel dos Rios Católicos. Mary is silent also as they speed along the autopista. Through the trees and the new, high apartment blocks, Eamon sees briefly the famous bell towers of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The taxi gathers speed downhill. Mary is not usually a nervous passenger; but she gasps as the driver overtakes a car on his left and gets a furious blast of the horn. He increases his speed and then cuts back to the right as they go around a bend, which earns him another, longer burst.
        By now they are on the outskirts of the city, the taxi slows down at the bottom of another hill, past a market under a concrete roof that is open on all sides. Where is Griffin now? Eamon wonders about the accuracy of the information that Griffin is due at Santiago de Compostela over the next few days; why he bothers to come here. If he has a house near Vilagarcía, why not go straight there? Is it perhaps a precaution? To make sure his back is covered first?
        Eamon is remembering Davin's words. 'You're on your own, Eamon. You want what is yours, the money Griffin owes you and you have come to get it. You're clean, retired, out of it. That's your story if they pick you up. This is a personal matter between you and Griffin, going back over the years.'
        Eamon nods. 'If I'm in trouble, if for any reason your meticulous plans go wrong, Iggy. What then?'
        Davin does not appear to notice the sarcasm. 'The usual legal help is available from Brannigan. You have his number. I've told him he might get a call from you. He will not be away, so contact him if there is a real need.'