Danger In Havana – Episode 30

WHEN Mark got back to the others, they were still fast asleep. Good. He needed time to think, time to work things through.

Norelvis was like a puppy, Mark noted, lots of fierce and energetic activity but then the ability to collapse and sleep anywhere.

Bryony lay, elegant as a red setter, collapsed from all the stress and strain and the long horse ride.

He looked tenderly on her curled up form, it gave him some relief from the enormity of the task ahead.

It was a while since Mark had looked on a sleeping woman and it was a pleasure he had missed. He realised, as he stood leaning against a tree, gathering his wits about him, that his marriage had been going pearshaped for some time.

Those quiet moments of contemplation, where you look on someone and really care for them, had all but gone from his life.

As a moth went near her, he shooed it away. Without even realising it, it dawned on him that he had become smitten.

It might just be, thought Mark wryly, that finding Bryony’s daughter, making Bryony happy and giving her a reason to smile again could be the saving of him.

* * * *

As night deepened, Mark heard the nocturnal frogs singing their strange song to the bold moon. As he sat himself down, a spider with furry legs walked on to his trousers.

Just as he was about to brush it off, a small green lizard came stalking from under the leaves, sat for a second or two, sizing up its prey then pounced, chomping up the spider before scooting off.

All life was here, small dramas being played out whilst his brain tried to work out how to deal with their major drama.

The stakes were high for him. He had fallen for Bryony and he was the one who could make or break this mission to bring Anna back safely.

One thing was sure, Mark could not permit Norelvis and Bryony to rest any longer.

“Wake up.” Mark shook first Norelvis, then Bryony. “I’ve something to tell you.

I’ve found Anna.”

Mark told them everything. The relief on Bryony’s face was as if a cloud had shifted from in front of the sun.

But, as Mark’s story unfolded, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. For although Anna had been found, they still had to find out how to get her out of there alive.

“One thing I have decided is that we can’t get her out without help. Not if they’ve got an armed guard. Weber obviously means business and will stop at nothing. It’s time we involved the police.”

Norelvis shook his head vigorously.

“The Havana police have done nothing so far to find Anna; they drags their feet. I do not trust them.”

“Who can we trust then?”

“Why, the Trinidad police, of course. My schoolfriend’s uncle, Davido, is very high in Trinidad police though it is small unit.

“I can telephone, speak to Davido now. Dawn will come soon. He and his two officers have motorbike. They can move quicker than we did on horses. They can park on other side of ridge and walk over.

They could be here just before dawn.”

“OK,” Mark said, “please phone them now.”

After a swift phone conversation in Spanish, Norelvis nodded.

“They pleased to come. Trinidad is sleepy place, they have little excitement except lost cows and stolen boats on the beach. They coming straightaway, with guns.”

* * * *

While they waited, Mark tried to figure what was going on and slot together the missing pieces.

“We have to save not just Anna, but also the old lady. I’m sure she’s as much a pawn in this game as your daughter,” he said to Bryony. “What Weber is up to, though, isn’t clear. He’s obviously using Anna, but how? Perhaps it’s some sort of secret the old lady has which he has to worm out of her.

“It sounded to me like he fears she might be in the first stages of dementia, and that if he doesn’t find out soon what he needs to know, then it’ll be too late.”

“But how did Anna get mixed up in all this?” Bryony asked.

It was on the tip of Mark’s tongue to tell Bryony about Warren’s gambling and his selling of art on the side. Mark was sure her deceased husband was involved, but until he knew all the facts, he couldn’t bring himself to open up to Bryony. What good would it do, when he didn’t know how this all fitted together?

While they talked in the darkness Norelvis had gone down to meet the police so he could guide them up to where Mark and Bryony were hiding.

Bryony looked tortured.

“Was there anything else that you saw that could explain what’s going on?

Nothing in the house?”

“I didn’t get a good look, I was too concerned about staying hidden. There was something, now I can think about it clearly, something odd. I barely got to see into the dining-room at all, but, on the wall above the dining-table was a large portrait of a young girl. She had an uncanny resemblance to Anna.

“Her hair was done differently; I think that’s what threw me. The girl in the painting had an old-fashioned pinned-up hairdo and a fancy cocktail dress. So unlike Anna, who’s always in her jeans and T-shirts and her hair worn loose. But the face was similar, very similar.”

They were left to ponder on that, until finally, the hint of light in the sky beckoned over the hills.

Suddenly, there was the rustle of footsteps through the undergrowth. It was Norelvis, together with a heavily moustached middle-aged man, short of breath, with two younger men. All wore light denim shirts and grey berets with gunbelts slung round their waists. Fresh and energetic, the policemen looked as though they were relishing some action.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!