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

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Thomas E. Kennedy
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Web Del Sol


        After that Eamon tells Davin he is going to travel under his own name, he can't see the need to risk a false name and all that might go wrong if he is discovered. 'After all, Iggy,' Eamon says sweetly, 'if it's as innocent as you say, I have nothing to hide. What better cover than Mary and me going to find out about the pilgrimage?' And Davin does not demur. This again strikes Eamon as odd, to say the least, for Davin is used to getting his own way in operational matters. Eamon accedes to Mary's many hints that he changes to a new hairstyle, has it cut short, and sheds the mullet he has favoured over the years. He buys a pair of rimless specs, purchases new, casual clothes, chino trousers, a selection of shirts and a navy linen jacket, all so different from his usual drab outfit of sweater, old shirt and jeans.
        They swing around to the left; the taxi slows to walking pace as they creep along by an old high stone wall, past pedestrians, families with kids in buggies. Eamon spots a pilgrim coming down the steps at the side of the cathedral, rucksack on his back, a stave in his hand. Despite all the careful preparations, the smooth trip, which began for him a few days earlier when he flew from Dublin to London, Eamon feels his stomach is rumbling and bloated, he has need of a loo. This is normal these days when he is tense. And it has been a week of high tension, his nerves stretched. In London, he met some old friends; he had his haircut, bought the new glasses at an optician's in Oxford Street, and his clothes from Aquascutum in Regent Street. Then he went with Dominic and a couple of his pals on what they call a booze cruise to Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. Except, they drove to Folkestone, put the car on the train that took them through the tunnel. While they stocked their car with cheap wine and spirits and beer and cigarettes in the supermarket, Eamon did his own business on the medieval walls of the old town. He has heard nothing since then; he just hopes everything he planned is in place. Davin's instructions stick in his mind. Speed. Secrecy. Surprise.
        The taxi turns slowly into the Plaza do Obradario, the great square that is the heart of Santiago de Compostela. On one side of the Plaza, he sees the imposing Hotel dos Rios Católicos. As soon as their taxi stops, two uniformed porters come to take their cases. Reluctantly, Eamon lets go. It is an old ingrained habit, to hang on to his case, even though there is nothing in it apart from a change of clothes, a sponge bag and a couple of books. Everything that matters is in his jacket and trouser pockets or in Mary's large handbag.
        It is busy at reception. Eamon pays off the taxi and waits. He looks at those checking in, wonders if Fernando Griffin is among the queue. He cannot see everybody; all he can hear is the rapid Spanish or Galician, galego, as Davin called it, the word sounding odd in Davin's Monaghan accent. He is unable to differentiate between them; they sound the same to him. As the guests leave the desk he realises these are all older couples, well dressed, with what look like permanent tans.
        'There is a message for you, sir,' the receptionist says as he gives Eamon the room key and a folded slip of paper. 'It is from your car hire company.' Eamon nods as he takes the key and the paper.