Sunday, 25th August 2019 - 11:00:10 am
Being jolted out of a solid sleep by a ringing phone is not a good way to wake up. I checked my watch, it was six am. The phone’s screen showed Pete’s number.
“What’s the story mate?” I said sitting up and rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.
“Trouble is the story. I’ll come over to the hotel and join you and Baey for breakfast. Eight a.m. okay?”
“Yeah eight a.m. is good. See you then.”
“Pete?” said Nat beginning to stir.
“Yeah, nothing serious though,” I said not wanting to get her stressed out again.
“Great, then we’ve got time for a bit of morning exercise,” she said taking hold off my semi-erect penis and guiding it towards her mouth.
“How could I refuse an offer like that,” I said lying back and instantly putting Pete’s problems out of my thought processes.
Two hours later, still feeling a bit foggy from the previous evenings booze consumption, I was sitting in the lobby restaurant with Baey. Nat, after a quick breakfast, had left for Bangkok and to be honest, I was quite relieved she’d gone. The last thing I wanted was to see her get more embroiled in Pete’s potentially messy situation. Baey and I were on our second coffee when he sauntered into the lobby and sat down with us.
“What’s the scoop?” I said as he ordered a caffeine hit.
“It looks as though you were right Baey. Amm found someone to open that damn safe. She’s now got that fake chanote in her hot little hands and is threatening to make serious problems for me.”
“Has she gone to the land office yet?”
“No. She told Det she wants a meeting with me this afternoon to talk about an agreement on the sale of the house,” replied Pete looking more agitated than usual.
“Have you agreed to a meeting,” chimed in Baey.
“Not yet but she wants an answer before lunch time today otherwise she’s going to put the property in hock to some loan sharks.”
“That won’t do her much good, that chanote is a fake,” I said breaking into laughter.
“The problem is Mike the loan sharks may want to take it down to the land registry office to ensure it’s genuine before handing over any money,” said Baey.
“The shit will really hit the fan then,” said Pete.
“We may have to move things forward,” chimed in Baey again.
“How do you mean?” said Pete.
“Do the break in tonight. This may work out better anyway. If you can arrange to meet with her this evening it would be the perfect distraction to keep her away from the house.”
“What happens if she doesn’t want to meet this evening?”
“Tell Det you’ll agree to a deal but she must hand over the chanote to his safe keeping by tonight. Either way, it’ll draw her away from the property long enough for us to get the job done,” said Baey.
“Sounds feasible. When are you leaving for Pak Chong?” said Pete looking a little calmer about the situation.
“I think we need to get on with it right away. We’ll check out now and you can take us to the hardware shop then the airport,” said Baey as we downed the last of our coffees.
Less than an hour later we were squeezing our way through narrow aisles of one of those Chinese hardware shops that are always crammed floor to ceiling with everything from the kitchen sink to broom handles. Instead of wasting time nosing through the dimly lit confines of the overflowing shelves, Baey got straight to the point with the counter staff and explained what he required. After a couple of minutes of rummaging around in a lower shelf stacked with tools a large set of bolt cutters was sitting in front of us on the counter.
“Shit mate, we’re not going to Fort Knox,” I said thinking it was a bit of over kill.
“Always take more than you require Mike. The seemingly simple is never so simple,” replied Baey nodding in approval to the counter staff.
He then passed across a slip of paper with a neat sketch of the dimensions of the steel rod he wanted. The old man picked it up, peered through his ancient spectacles, grunted in the affirmative and then disappeared through a door behind the counter. Two minutes later he reappeared with a half inch diameter, thirty centimeter length of steel rod covered with surface rust. Baey picked it up and hefted it for weight.
“Cripes, that’s a bit bigger than a screw driver mate,” said Pete.
“Yes, I may need it for additional purposes,” said Baey as he swung it in an arc.
“Yeah, well I hope it doesn’t come to that mate,” I said quickly understanding the implication of what he’d just said.
“Always gotta be prepared Mike.”
“Because the seemingly simple things are never so simple?”
“You’re learning Mike,” said Baey as he dropped the workshop door keys on the counter and asked for copies.
Five minutes later two gleaming new keys were passed back to us. Baey handed the copies to Pete and kept the originals as the old boy disappeared through the door again.
“I’m probably not going to need these after tonight,” said Pete breaking into laughter.
“More than likely, I’ll ditch these anyway when we’re done,” said Baey as the counter staff reappeared and passed across a large hessian sack.
Baey took the empty sack and dropped the bolt cutters and steel rod into it.
“This should be enough to avoid getting cut as I’m climbing over the wall,” he said as I handed over payment for the hardware.
A few minutes later we were back in Pete’s car and moving through the mid-morning traffic towards the airport. To avoid a potential glitch with the hire car Baey had earlier contacted Avis and made a reservation for a mid-size sedan, the sort of vehicle that is non-descript and barely noticeable. I’d also got him to ensure there would be no problems with dropping the car off at Suvarnabhumi instead of returning it to the Nakhon Ratchasima Airport. At just on eleven a.m. Pete was pulling into the airport car park.
“I think it might be a good idea if you called Det now and sorted out that meeting with your wife. It’s nearly midday,” said Baey as Pete parked the vehicle.
“Yeah, good idea mate,” said Pete as he turned off the car’s engine and reached for his phone.
“Hello Det, it’s Peter. Yeah, good thanks. Look, I’m kind of busy this afternoon. Can you contact Amm and tell her I’m willing to meet her but it will have to be later this evening. Yeah righto mate, I’ll wait for your SMS. Cheers.”
“While you’re waiting for that SMS from Det, Baey and I may as well go and get the rental car sorted. We’ll pick up our gear on the way back,” I said opening the door.
“Yeah, righto mate. See you in a few,” said Pete as Baey and I climbed out of the Fortuner.
“To be honest mate I’ll be happy when all of this is over. Pete hasn’t exactly been straight up with me on a couple of things. That business with the fake chanote is a recipe for a real problem. I just hope like hell he can stall her off for long enough for us to get hold of the real one. I know I shouldn’t be saying this to you mate but I really need you to get that damn chanote tonight so I can get my money back from Pete and get clear of him,” I said as we made our way towards the entry doors.
“I’m still not going to make any promises to you Mike but from all the intel Pete’s given us, it’s looking favourable. The fact the property is in a quiet, remote location makes the job more possible. I never like to say something is a sure thing but, at this stage, I think there’s a very good chance I’ll be able to hand you that chanote within the next twenty four hours,” said Baey as we stepped up to Avis desk.
Twenty minutes later I was pulling up alongside Pete’s Fortuner in a silver Toyota Vios. Pete was standing in the shade of a nearby tree and looking fairly relaxed as we stepped out of the car.
“Looks like the ideal vehicle for a bit of stealth work,” said Pete as he stubbed out a cigarette.
“Yeah, I think it will serve the purpose. What’s the go with the meeting?”
“Tonight at eight pm. The only worry on my part is, according to Det, Amm wants me to sign something.”
“Any idea what that is?”
“No, but you can be damn sure it’s gotta be something about a share of the house sale.”
“No problems stall her off,” said Baey.
“Just say you need twenty four hours to go over it with Det. If it’s in Thai, which I’m sure it probably is, you’ve got every right to ask for it to be translated into English,” I said chiming in.
“Yeah, good point. I think she’ll agree to a twenty four hour delay by which time it won’t matter if I’ve got the original chanote,” said Pete as Baey and I passed all our gear from the Fortuner to the Vios.
“Well mate, this is it then. Time to rock and roll,” I said reaching out to shake Pete’s hand.
“You two are the best of mates a bloke could wish for. Good luck and I hope like hell you can get that chanote for me,” said Pete shaking our hands in turn.
I hopped into the driver’s seat and Baey rode shotgun as I hit the starter and wound down the driver’s window.
“I’ll keep you posted mate. Hopefully I’ll be handing you that chanote, in Bangkok, in a couple of days’ time,” I said as I put the car into gear and prepared to leave.
“Cheers Mike,” said Pete as we moved off.
It was just after midday as we moved out into the flow of traffic heading south on highway two. The distance down to Pak Chong was only one hundred kilometers which, under normal circumstances, should’ve been less than an hour’s drive. Unfortunately getting clear of Nakhon Ratchasima in midday traffic would take some time and, no doubt, add at least another hour to the traveling time. I put on a local radio station and Baey eased his seat back for a bit of snooze. Once we pulled clear of the city limits it was a smooth run down highway two. Just over ninety minutes from leaving the airport we decided to pull into a road side café for some lunch and much needed caffeine hit. The mid-afternoon sun was at its most penetrating as we made a bee line for the air conditioned comfort inside the café.
“How much further is it?” said Baey as we took our seats.
“Not too far mate. We should be checking into the hotel in less than an hour.”
“Okay, good. If that’s the case we might be able to hit the golf course by about five pm. We may not need to play a full round, just make our way far enough along the golf course to get a good look at the house. I’ve got a decent pair of binoculars with me so we can hang back under the cover of some trees and not look conspicuous.”
“What are you actually looking for?” I said as our coffees arrived.
“Nothing in particular really Mike, I just want to get a look at the layout of the property in daylight to check for any inconsistencies with the info that Pete has given us. The last thing I want is to go there in the dark, without having recce’d the place, and find things aren’t quite as he’s told us.”
“Assuming you’ll go ahead with it, what time are you thinking of going in?”
“Probably around three a.m. We’ll check out of the hotel first. While I’m doing the job you can wait in the car for me. That way, if something goes wrong, we can get out of there in a hurry,” said Baey as we finished off our coffees.
“Sound like a good plan mate, let’s hit the road.”
Just under an hour later I was nosing the car into the turn off to take us past Pete’s Estate and on to the golf resort beyond.
“The Estate is roughly about five clicks up the road mate,” I said accelerating out of the turn.
“It looks quite remote here Mike. There’s a lot of jungle and mountains around,” said Baey taking a keen interest in the surrounds.
“Yeah, khao Yai National Park is to our right and just beyond the golf course,” I said as the wall surrounding the estate came into view.
“This is it?” said Baey as we drew level with the entrance.
“That’s it,” I said slowing so we could look into the grounds beyond.
“Looks fairly quiet, how much further is the resort?” said Baey as we picked up speed again.
“Probably another fifteen hundred meters.”
“That’s quite a distance. Can you pull over for moment please Mike?”
“Yeah sure, what’s the problem?” I said slowing down and pulling over to the roadside.
“If I get compromised, fifteen hundred meters is too far run to make a clean getaway. We need to find a laying up point closer to the estate. Turn the car around and let’s take a look back along the road. There might be a smaller side road nearer to the property.”
“No problems,” I said swinging the car around.
A few meters beyond the end of the perimeter wall we found what we were looking for; a small track running away, at right angles from the main road, and paralleling the side wall of the estate. The road followed the slope of the hill and eventually came to a dead end barricade of thick tree growth and a hewn wood fence. As I bought the car side on to the fence we could see glimpses of the golf course beyond. Apart from the odd small dwelling, back up the track, the location was devoid of human movement. Baey and I got out of the car to stretch our legs and check the site.
“This looks ideal Mike,” said Baey taking a moment peer through the trees to the golf course beyond.
“Yeah, it seems quiet enough,” I said looking back up the road.
“Yes, but there’s no absolute guarantee someone won’t show up while you’re parked here. We’ll just have to reduce the risk of attracting attention. Luckily the road angles downward. We’ll be able roll down here with the engine and headlights turned off when we return tonight.”
“That should help to avoid being spotted by any nosey locals,” I said nodding in approval at Baey’s strategy.
“Yep, it’s just a matter of reducing the risk to the absolute minimum. Anyway, we better get to that resort,” said Baey looking at his watch.
An hour later we were checked in and making our way to the resorts clubhouse, located a short walking distance from the lobby. As to be expected the prices for a round of golf at a resort of its standard were exorbitant, even allowing for the discount for those staying there. Baey, being the experienced golfer among us, organized the rental clubs and at just on five pm we were stepping out onto the fairways with our golf bags. The staff at the clubhouse had offered the use of caddies but Baey had quickly turned them down to ensure there were no prying eyes during our recce of Pete’s house.
“It’s getting a bit late in the day Mike and I don’t think we’ll have time for a full round. It might be better if we just play the front nine and then walk back along that boundary road in the fading light. That way we’ll be able to go right past the back gate of Pete’s house for a close quarter look,” said Baey as we arrived at the tee for the first hole.
Baey drove his drove his ball straight down the fairway and I followed up with a spray into the trees.
“You haven’t done this very much have you Mike?” said Baey as we both had a good laugh about my golfing skills, or lack thereof.
“To be honest mate, I’ve only ever played about five games. I’ve always thought of this as “hitting a ball and running after it.”
“Hitting a ball and running after it pays quite well if you’re any good at it,” said Baey as we walked down the fairway.
After an hour and a half of me slicing it all over the place, and Baey playing a reasonable round of golf, we were at a point on the course directly opposite the estate. The shadows were lengthening as we got into a position under a group of trees for some observation time.
“Which one’s Pete’s house?” said Baey as he reached into his cargoes side pocket and pulled out a small pair of binoculars.
The fourth from the left mate,” I said nodding towards the estates back wall, approximately one hundred meters across the fairways.
“The house is on an incline. I can see the upper levels but I can’t see the workshop at the lower level because the back wall is blocking the view. I’ll have to get a bit higher,” said Baey dropping the binoculars from his eyes and moving towards one of the trees.
“Shit mate, aren’t you worried that someone might get suspicious if they see a guy up a tree?” I said surprised at his actions.
“It should be okay Mike. We’re in the shadows, the light is fading and I’m only going up a meter or so. Just enough to get a line of sight over the wall,” he said taking hold off a lower branch and beginning to work his way up.
“Anything to worry about?” I said as he got himself into comfortable position and raised his bino’s again.
“No, it all looks fairly straight forward. The workshop is set back from the rear wall about ten meters. It’s pretty much as Peter told us with the side door to the right of the roller door. There’s a pathway, with stairs, running up the side of the house to the right. I can’t see any movement because all the windows have curtains,” he said as he dropped back to the ground.
“There shouldn’t be too many problems with breaking in then?” I said as we continued on to the next tee.
“As it is now, no. But I still need to get a closer look so I can check the condition of the gate and what type of lock it’s got on it. It’ll be dark fairly soon Mike, I think we should can this last hole and head straight to the boundary road,” said Baey as we neared the tee for the ninth.
“Why, are you worried you’ll lose this one mate?” I said having a bit of a chuckle.
“Yeah mate, I’m really worried,” he replied as we both started laughing.
With the sun well down, and dusk approaching, we began working our way back along the boundary road to the clubhouse. Up ahead we could see the angled corner of the perimeter wall of the estate.
“I think this is where that track comes in,” said Baey stopping to have a look at a stand of trees that looked vaguely familiar.
“I think you’re right mate, I can see bits of that fence through the trees,” I said as Baey began to make his way towards the incline.
The row of trees, along the fence line, was fifteen meters up a bracken covered slope. Baey quickly worked his way up the incline and then disappeared into the foliage. A few seconds later he reappeared, confirmed the road was on the other side, then moved back down to join me. Pete’s house was roughly about two hundred meters further along the boundary road. When we got there we could see the double sliding gates looked weathered and there was heavy rust on the wheels.
“Cripes, that looks as though it hasn’t been opened for a while Baey.”
“Yeah, no doubt it will probably make a bit of noise trying to move it. I may have to change my exit strategy. That padlock looks seized as well,” said Baey moving in to take a closer look.
“Looks as though there’s someone at home,” I said glancing up as lights in the living areas were switched on.
“Yeah, let’s move. I’ve seen all I need to see. Hopefully those lights will be off when I come back in a few hours,” said Baey as we set off down the road with our golf bags shouldered.
It was almost dark by the time we dropped the rental clubs off at the clubhouse and made our way across to the restaurant, near the lobby, for a bite to eat. The temptation was there to order a cold beer after our jaunt around the fairways, but Baey put me straight on that idea by reminding me we’d need to be switched on one hundred percent to deal with any problems that may arise in the course of doing the “job.” Baey went over his plan a couple of times to ensure I had a full understanding of my part in the break in. Prior to heading to the laying up point we’d check out of the hotel, load all our kit into the vehicle and time it so that we arrived there at three am. Before heading back to our respective rooms for a couple of hours rest Baey said he’d give me a wake-up call at two am and we’d meet in the car park at two thirty. As I made my way to my room I had a heightened sense of excitement about what was about to occur in the next few hours. So much so I knew getting a few hours’ sleep would be almost impossible. After packing up all my gear, apart from the clothes I’d be wearing, I sat down and pulled out my phone. I hadn’t heard from Nat all day and I figured a few minutes spent talking with her might help to calm me down a bit. After three rings her sultry voice came down the line.
“Hi Mike, I thought you might have forgotten about me in the course of your big adventure?”
“Sorry Nat, just been quite busy that’s all. As soon as we got down here, and checked into the hotel, we were out on the golf course for nearly three hours doing a recce on Pete’s house.”
“Where are you now?”
“We’re at the golf resort resting up for a few hours before we get on with the job.”
“What’s this about we, I thought Baey was doing the job?”
“Well, he is Nat but I’m assisting by being in position with the car so we can make a quick getaway if a problem arises.”
“Oh Mike, I really don’t like the sound of this at all. It seems as though you’re getting more and more involved with each passing hour. The fact is you’re taking part in a robbery of someone’s house and even though it’s someone you know, if you get caught, it will still be considered a crime by the police.”
“Look Nat we’ve been over this a few times already and I’m not going to change my mind. I need to get that chanote and I’ve every confidence Baey will be able to pull it off without any problems arising. I’ll call once it’s over and we’re on our way back to Bangkok,” I said with an edge of determination in my voice.
“Okay Mike, I won’t say anything else about it. Please be careful and call me as soon as you can.”
“I promise I will Nat. Talk to you soon,” I said ending the call.
I lay down, closed my eyes and put Nat’s concerns to the back of my mind. She had a point of course, what we were about to do was little more than common breaking and entering but it was too late now as the wheels were in motion.
Bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz.
My phone was ringing. I thought it was Nat calling to nag me again but a quick check of my watch confirmed I’d been out to it for three and a half hours.
“Time to rock and roll Mike,” said Baey as I came to.
“Yeah mate, I’ll see you at the car in thirty minutes,” I said slowly getting up and stretching.
“Okay Mike, I’ll see you in thirty.”
At a couple of minutes before two thirty am I shouldered my backpack and made my way to the hotels car park. Baey was already waiting and as I approached, his attire caught me by surprise; he was decked out, head to toe, in black.
“Cripes mate, anyone would think this is special ops,” I said having a bit of a chuckle.
“One can’t be too careful if you don’t want to be recognised,” said Baey as he rolled a black ski mask down over his face.
“No doubt,” I said as we dropped our bags into the trunk of the car.
“I’ll wait here while you checkout. I need to organize the kit I’m going to use,” said Baey as he threw the hessian sack onto the back seat of the car.
“Okay mate. To be honest I’m a bit worried, they’ve got a copy of my passport.”
“Yes, but it’s your alternate passport isn’t it? Not the one you actually used to stamp into Thailand?”
“Yeah, true enough,” I said feeling a little more relaxed about it.
“And you’ve paid in cash for the room so it should be fine. Tell them you’ve been recalled to work and leave the desk staff a good tip.”
“Won’t that make them remember me,” I said not quite understanding Baey’s logic.
“Yes but not to people who might be curious about your whereabouts. In Thailand, a good tip can often mean you’d like to be forgotten,” said Baey giving me a wink.
“The longer I stay here, the more I learn,” I said as I turned and moved towards the lobby.
Ten minutes later, and two thousand baht lighter, I was back at the car.
“This is it then,” I said as we both climbed in.
As I drove towards the turn off the weather conditions were almost perfect for the task. With no moon, and scattering of cloud cover, it was almost a blackout.
“If there are any cars on the road, when we get near the turn off, just keep going straight. If the road is clear, turn the headlights off and leave the parking lights on just before you turn,” said Baey beginning to get fully wired for the operation.
There were no other vehicles to be seen as I neared the turnoff onto the side road. In keeping with Baey’s instructions I flicked off the headlights, but kept the parking lights on, as I slowed and veered left onto the small track running down to the edge of the golf course.
“When we start moving down the slope, turn off the engine and roll down in neutral,” said Baey as the darkened track loomed in on us.
A few seconds later we were rolling down the incline, engine off and in neutral, towards the roughhewn fence at the end of the road. As we leveled out I had just enough momentum to bring the vehicle to a halt, side on to the fence. After turning off the parking lights the site was almost pitch black apart from a single, dull porch light from a dwelling set back amongst the trees. Baey got out of the car almost as soon as the park brake went on and grabbed a black backpack from the rear seat. After rummaging around for a few seconds he handed me a pen lite and a roll of duct tape.
“As soon as I’m over the fence use the duct tape to cover both the number plates,” he said pulling on a pair of black nylon gloves.
“Okay mate, no problems,” I said as pushed the hessian sack and steel rod into the back pack.
“I shouldn’t be any more than thirty minutes. If I’m away longer than an hour it means I’ve been compromised. Set your phone on vibration mode. If there’s a problem I’ll use speed dial to call you. If everything goes well I’ll signal you with five flashes, from my Maglite, as I’m coming back up the slope.”
“Got it, a phone call for a problem and five flashes for all clear,” I said as he rolled down his ski mask.
“Well it may not be all clear but it will mean I’m on my way back and be ready to hit the road immediately. I might be legging it,” said Baey clinching up his back pack and grabbing the bolt cutters.
“The keys?” I said as he turned to leave.
“Got them,” he said patting his cargoes.
“All the best mate.”
“Do the number plates Mike and be ready to make a quick getaway,” said Baey as he began climbing over the fence.
“Okay mate,” I said as he disappeared through the trees into the blackness.
As soon as Baey was gone I got to work with the masking tape. Covering the vehicles number plates was a good idea if we got in chase situation. As the minutes ticked away the tension was palpable. Any imagined movement or a noise, such as a dog barking, sent my heart rate into overdrive. I was on edge, that was for sure, and I could only wonder what Baey could be feeling. After what seemed like an eternity, but was just shy of forty minutes, I counted five torch light flashes. It was Baey heading back up the slope. I jumped out the car just as he pushed through the foliage and threw a red smeared golf bag over the fence.
“Throw that in the trunk mate and let’s get out of here. I think someone’s on my tail,” he said as he began climbing over the fence.
“What the hell happened?” I said noticing a nasty gash, and a flow of blood down his right arm.
“I’ll explain once we get under way. Don’t sweat it Mike, I’ve got that damned chanote in the backpack,” he said as I popped the trunk and stuffed the golf bag, and clubs, in on top of our own gear.
Less than thirty seconds later we were roaring off up the track. In the rear view mirror I caught a glimpse of torch lights back down by the fence.
“Cripes, that looks nasty. It’ll need stiches,” I said as he wound his ski mask around a deep gash in the fleshy part of his right hand.
“That’ll stop the flow of blood for a few minutes. Once we get up the road a few kilometers, pull over and I’ll get a bandage out of my kit bag. While I’m doing that you can clear the duct tape from the license plates,” said Baey as he removed the back pack and threw it on to the back seat.
“What about those people on our tail?” I said taking another glance in the rear view mirror.
“Not much chance they’ll catch us, unless they can run like superman,” said Baey as I swung out onto the main road.
“You seem pretty confident of that mate. They could easily chase us in a car.”
“We’ll be long gone by the time they get the back tires inflated. Before I broke into the workshop I crept up the side of the house to see if there were any vehicles parked in front. I think the noise from the hissing tires may have got those pesky Chihuahuas yapping, they’ve got acute hearing.”
“Any problems getting into the workshop?” I said as we turned onto the dual carriage way to Pak Chong.
“Yeah, that took some time. The side door had internal bolts on it so had to go in via the roller door. In the end I didn’t need either of those keys. There was a padlock on the roller door so the bolt cutters came in handy. The problem, and that’s what I think got the occupants of the house roused, was the roller door was stiff and it creaked as I inched it up. I raised it just enough to slip under. Once inside I locked the internal door to the house and got on with getting the chanote. I don’t know when the last time it was that Pete operated that release mechanism in the drawer but the damn thing was almost seized. I had to pull the drawer out of the bench and use a screwdriver to force the internal tray free on the workshop floor. I made a bit of noise prying it loose and I think that’s what made the occupants upstairs finally realize there was an intruder on the property. Anyway, just as I stuffed the chanote in my backpack someone came down the stairs and tried to open that internal door. Luckily that side door was easy enough to open so I legged it. Unluckily, I slipped getting over the wall and gashed my hand.”
“What’s the story with the golf clubs? Those are one of Pete’s prized sets. He was well pissed off that he couldn’t get those after he got warned off the property.”
“I guess he’ll be happy to get them back then?”
“Oh, bugger him mate. Let’s call it collateral damage. For the job you’ve done tonight you deserve a bonus. I guess you had a reason for grabbing them though?”
“Well I wanted to make it look like a simple robbery. And it would’ve seemed exactly like that if wasn’t for that drawer. The fact that I left it sitting there damaged is going to arouse some suspicion as to what someone might have been looking for.”
“Do you think they’d be that savvy?”
“Believe me Mike, we Thai have had centuries of mystery and intrigue. As we sit here I’ve no doubts, whoever is in the house, will be looking at that drawer and trying to figure out what it was for. Anyway, I think we can pull over onto the roadside now.”
A few minutes later we were back under way with the license plates clear of duct tape. Although Baey’s hand was well bandaged he needed to get it stitched as soon as possible. Bangkok was too far so we made a diversion to a public hospital in Saraburi. As with all public hospitals, there was a long wait but eventually Baey was ushered into the emergency ward. With the sun rising, and drowsiness beginning to take hold, we decided to break up the drive down to Bangkok with regular coffee stops. In what was probably going to be our last stop before driving to the airport we were enjoying a good breakfast, and mulling over the nights events, when my phone started buzzing. The phone screen showed Brian’s number. I hadn’t heard from Brian for quite a while so was I curious as to why he was calling me so early.
“Hey Brian, it’s been a while mate. How are things?”
“Good Mike. Look, I’ll come straight to the point. I’ve got some news but it may not be something you’d like to hear.”
“Yeah, what is it,” I replied feeling a little intrigued.
“I heard last night that Ning’s been released early on good behavior. She’s back in Pattaya and the word on the street is that she’s hell bent on revenge.