Popular Mark and Cindy renew their love for each other. Videos
A glimpse of her leads to a taste I can't forget.
They have been quietly putting two and two together. Maybe, if people who were threatened went to the police and made a complaint, the police would investigate, but they would have to have some evidence to go on.
Rotkoff is clever and cautious. Philip was our best chance of getting something on him. I thought we might get something by bugging the office, and I made dead sure it didn't go through official police channels, so as to reduce the risk of it getting back to him.
I don't think Rotkoff knew anything but still he made damned sure that nothing he said went on wire."
"Yes", said Philip. "He even told me that the piece of paper he gave me was typed on my office typewriter and that it was worthless as evidence. If I produced it, it would look as if I was trying to fit him up for something he didn't do."
They were all silent for a minute or two as the complex situation sank in. In effect Rotkoff wanted Philip's business, and his skills, and he was determined to have them.
"Yes, but what is it all about,", asked Laura.
Philip replied, careful not to inflame the situation.
"I have read about this sort of thing in the USA. The Mafia families buy casinos in Nevada and Atlantic City. Then they can disguise the money they get from their criminal operations and look like legitimate businessmen.
Then they reinvest the casino profits in other legitimate businesses. They even own undertakers and even crematoria, so that they can dispose of bodies easily and cleanly. I think that Rotkoff is aiming to do the same thing in England."
This was a very shocking idea, but it brought the whole pattern together and made sense. But what to do?
Andy, with his experience in command, summed up.
"There seem to be only three options. Give in and become Rotkoff's tool. Safer in the short term, but decidedly dangerous in the long run.
The other two options are flight or fight."
"Flight is out". Philip said flatly. "My mother won't be moved, and I won't leave her. Besides, running is no answer. I've built my life around my business. I can't bear to see it corrupted and destroyed.
Besides, it doesn't just belong to me. Don and Denise have taken a big risk in backing me, and they deserve to be considered."
Denise and Donald both murmured dissent. They were adamant that they would not do anything to risk Philip and Laura's lives.
"Then that just leaves fight."
Andy was aware that his past as a senior policeman made his friends uneasy. It was time to put up or shut up.
"You all know what I was. I was a detective, and I believe I was a good one. I respected the rules, and tried hard to be fair, and to this day I have a clear conscience about the people who got banged up, and those who walked away.
You are all wondering if I can be trusted; am I a friend first, or a policeman first? Well, you deserve a straight answer from me. Let me make myself crystal clear. I am a friend first, middle and last. If you decide to fight, I am with you one hundred percent".
"Me too," said Bruno firmly. "I was a sergeant in the Royal Marine Commando, got seconded to S.O.E. and spent four years in Special Ops. I specialised in demolition.
You know the murder of the two estate agents? Well, that sounds just like the sort of thing a couple of our special units used to do.
Remember, after the war, there was a bit of fuss about the way some of the local bigwigs on Jersey and Guernsey assisted the Germans to deport the Jews to the Concentration camps? The Government kept schtum and the leading lights were given knighthoods and OBE's.
It's not just a coincidence that two of them died soon afterwards in car accidents, and another one fell off a cliff. Mates of mine were sent to tidy them up. Believe me, I shouldn't be telling you this, but I really want you to understand."
Bruno Canelli, thought Laura; sitting there as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth; pint beer tankard looking tiny in his huge hand; cuddly as a teddy bear; stalwart of the Borough Surveyor's Department. How little we know about people.