A Kid Named Joey - A Novel

Chapter 11

A Kid Named Joey

by Nigel Gordon

Chapter 11

"A declaration of war, I believe," stated Edward.

Scully looked at Edward. "Your car?"

"Yes, not had it a week," Edward replied. He turned to look at the boys. Danny was crying, Joey was hugging him.

"Let's get them out back," Scully said. "There's a sofa in the office; they'll be more comfortable in there. I'll send your meals through to there." He looked around the Little Chef. "You lot get back to work. There are people here who need feeding. Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest you stay where you are for the time being till the authorities declare it safe to go outside. As you can see, this building has some protection." He indicated the two windows nearest the explosion. They had shattered but not blown in. With that, he escorted the party of three to the rear of the building and into what turned out to be quite a large office.

"What's with the windows?" Edward asked.

"Blast resistant glass," Scully replied. "Tony had it put in because of the Troubles. He did that after the Manchester bombing ­  reckoned that here was a likely target with the army base and everything. I’m glad he did. Look, make yourself comfortable. I've got to go and make some phone calls. Don't know how the insurance will deal with this."

With that, Scully left. Edward sat on the settee and extended an arm round both boys. He did not say anything. He just held them; it seemed like the right thing to do. In the distance he could hear the wow-wow of the approaching emergency vehicle sirens. Soon he would have to be answering questions.

Edward took out his phone and called DS Conner's number.

"This better be important, Chapman, there's been some sort of explosion by the Mitcham traffic island."

"I know, it was my car," Edward answered. "I brought Joey and Danny to the Little Chef for lunch."

"Fuck! How's Danny? Is Joey okay?"

"The boys are fine, just a bit shook up."

"Right. Mike don't say anything to anybody. I'm on my way. Should take me ten minutes max."  Just before he rung off Edward heard the wow-wow of a siren start. He guessed the Detective Sergeant was blue lighting it from town.

Edward then called Ben and gave him a brief rundown on events.

"What can I do?" Ben asked.

"On the list of contact numbers I gave you there is one for Klaus Joachim. Phone him and tell him that 'Edward says Götterdämmerung', exactly those three words."

"Sounds dramatic," Ben stated.

"It is, but I am going to need cash, and I will need it fast."

With that he rang off. He was just putting the phone back into his pocket when it rang. Edward looked at the caller ID and saw it was Kutrum. That was the last person he expected to call. He answered the phone.


"Edward, it wasn't me," Kutrum sounded agitated. "My men are in the garage across the way, they called it in. They saw the car pull in and the man get out and go to your car, then there was the explosion. The car pulled off immediately. They have got photos."

"Your men are still there?" Edward asked.

"Yes, there are some injuries from shrapnel," Kutrum stated. "Daneesh is a qualified first aider. He's giving assistance. Also something hit their car and damaged the front wing. It's not in a drivable condition. I've told them to tell the police everything they saw."

"But not why they were there, eh?" said Edward. Kutrum laughed.

"So, what does all this mean?" Edward asked.

"It means we have a third player," Kutrum replied. "One who clearly does not want any kind of rapprochement between us."

"Now I wonder why that should be?" queried Edward.

"If we knew that we would know who," observed Kutrum.

Edward ended the call and put the phone in his pocket.

Scully came in with their meals. There was a small table in the office where they could sit and eat. Edward commented on it.

"The staff have to have somewhere to take a break," he informed Edward. "Now, Michael Jones is on his way up from Birmingham and should be here in about 90 minutes, though I doubt he will be able to get close.  I’ve told him to go to my place. David Long can't get away till four, but he will be driving up tonight. Sam Littleton can't get away until the morning, but he's coming as well."

"What? Why?"

"If somebody's declared war on you then you need allies, so I'm calling them in."  Edward looked at him amazed. Scully continued. "Don't think we don't know where the money came from that enabled us to set up our own businesses and go straight. EC Finance is you. You set up Tony with this place to start with when he got out of prison."

Edward nodded. "How do you find out?"

"You remember Hans?" Scully asked. Edward nodded. "Well he and Sam got into a relationship. When Sam got out on his conviction being overturned, they got together. That's why Sam can't get here till the morning. He's in Zurich and has to get a flight. Turned out Hans was not a deportation case but an undercover Swiss intelligence officer following a money trail. He's in their banking division.

"Anyway, a couple of years ago we went out to Switzerland for a Christmas reunion, none of us having families. Over the glühwein one evening we start to compare stories about how we got started in business. It did not take us long to realise we all got help from the same financial source. It did not take Hans long to get into the bank records and find out that EC Finance was owned by one Edward Chapman. We all owe you a lot.

"You better give me your number. I'll phone to arrange a meeting sometime tomorrow."

Edward nodded and handed Scully one of the cards he had made for himself on the computer.

"The police are swarming like mad outside at the moment, but nobody has asked for you," Scully said.

"They will soon," Edward answered.

Edward did not have to wait long. DS Conner came into the office.

"Everybody okay?" he asked, looking at Danny.

"Yes, we're all fine, though shook up," Edward replied. "We were seated on the far side of the restaurant away from the blast, and this place has blast proof windows."

"I noticed!" DS Conner stated as he moved past Edward and sat down at the table next to Danny. "You okay son?"

Edward noticed the way DS Conner said ‘son’. He also realised there was a strange look on Joey's face. The boy had noticed, too.

"Yes sir, I'm fine but I'm scared. How are we going to get home, Uncle Edward's car's been blown up. If I'm late Mum will be angry, and I don't want to get hit again."

There was a thunderous look on DS Conner's face which reflected that on Edward's.

"Don't worry son, I'll get you home. What time do you have to be in by?"

"Six, sir."

DS Conner got a brief outline of what they had been doing and why they were at the Little Chef. Edward also told him about the phone call from Kutrum, which meant mentioning the two men who had been tailing him and supply the fact that they had been taking photos. He had just finished when two other men came into the office. They both flipped open warrant cards as they came in.

The man in the lead introduced himself. "I'm Detective Inspector Hawkins, Special Branch, this is Detective Sergeant Jones, also Special Branch. You were here quickly, Mark."

"I got a direct call from Mr Chapman," DS Conner stated.

"Any special reason why?" DI Hawkins asked to nobody in particular.

"Yes, DS Conner was one of the investigating officers of the murder I was accused of. When my solicitors finally got his report, we saw that he recommended against prosecution and cast doubt on some of the evidence against me. He is also involved in the current prosecution of the perpetrators of my boyfriend's murder and has kept me informed of progress."

"I see," the Detective Inspector replied. There was a hint of disapproval.

"Look," Edward said. "I am sure that there is a lot that you need to get done and I am sure you have a lot of questions, especially of me. However, I have given DS Conner an account, I have two very shocked young boys here, and I would like to get them back to their homes. Would it be possible for you to postpone any further questioning of me till later this afternoon, either at my place or the station?"

"The boys don't live with you then?" DI Hawkins asked.

"No, Joey is my son, and he lives with his grandmother, Danny is his friend. They were helping to clear out my friend's shed this morning and I brought them here for lunch."

"Excuse me, sir," DS Conner said. "Could I suggest that Mr Chapman's request be granted as I feel there are far more important matters to deal with immediately."

"What are they?"

"Well, sir, it seems there may be a photographer over at the garage. Mr Chapman told me he had spotted a camera just after the explosion. I was just about to send a constable over."

"Good idea. Jones get over there take two uniformed officers and find that camera," instructed the Detective Inspector. "Mr Chapman, just one question, then DS Conner can arrange to get you and the boys home. Could anybody else have known you were coming here?"

"No, I didn't know myself till we were in the car," Edward replied. "I originally intended to go down to the Bull but thought the boys would enjoy the Little Chef more. Anyway, I wanted to see if my mate Tony still ran the place."

"Does he?" the DI asked.

"No, but Scully does," Edward replied. "I know him from old, too."

"Where was your car normally kept?" the DI asked.

"It's kept in the garage," Edward stated.

"Right, so if you were the target, they must have been watching the property for a chance to plant the device," stated the DI. "Look, for now I am assuming this incident was an attempt on your life, Mr Chapman. However, I can't ignore the fact it could be your car was chosen totally at random for one reason or another. For now I want DS Conner to arrange to get you and your son and his friend home. I'd ask you to stay there for the time being. I will arrange for a police constable to be assigned to guard your property and you.

"I'll have a lot more questions to ask, but they will probably wait till morning. I assume DS Conner knows where to find you if we need to?"

"Yes he does," Edward replied.

"Right, Mark, can you arrange to get them home?"

"I'll do it myself," DS Conner replied.

Half an hour later, Edward, with DS Conner, escorted Joey and Danny into Laura's. The Detective Sergeant was introduced to Laura. He explained why he was there and that there had been a bomb attack on Edward's car.

Laura told Joey to take Danny home. She instructed Danny not to say anything to his mother about what had happened. Acknowledging the instruction, Joey and Danny left.

"You're Danny's father," Laura stated, looking at the detective.

"Yes," DS Conner replied.

"You better get ready to step in," Laura informed him. "Darlyn hasn't got long left."

"Let me know when I'm needed," Mark Conner replied, handing Laura his personal card.

"It won't be long," Laura responded. "Now, Edward, you tell me what the fuck is going on."

"I wish I knew," replied Edward.

It was just gone five when Mark Conner dropped Edward at Ben's house. Laura had kept them talking till Joey had got back, then shooed them out. The DS and Edward had then sat in the DS's car talking about what had happened. Nothing made sense, given that Kutrum was saying that it was not him behind it. Neither man had any problem believing him. For one thing, bombs were just not his style. A couple of thugs and a dark alley was more his way of dealing with things.

Edward let himself into his flat. As he did so, the connecting door opened, and Ben came through.

"I heard the car pull onto the drive. Given the police constable at the end of the drive(,) I assumed it had to be you," he stated, pulling Edward into a hug. "Are you alright?"

"Yes," Edward replied, returning the hug.

Ben held the hug for a moment, then pushed back slightly. "Then you better have a good explanation why two million Swiss Francs have suddenly arrived in my client account, with your name on it?"

"Because you issued the instruction for it to be made," Edward replied.

"What!" Ben paused for a moment. "Edward says Götterdämmerung?"

"Yes, it was a pre-set instruction to send two million in Swiss Francs by the fastest means possible to a designated account. In this case, your client account. It was a means for me to get money fast."

"I didn’t know they could do same-day transfers from Switzerland," Ben commented.

"I don't think that would matter. Klaus would have used the UK branch of the family bank to make the payment."

"Even so, it usually takes a couple of days for a transfer to be made," Ben observed.

"When they want to do it quicker, they can, and when Klaus got that code phrase he would have acted with some urgency."

"And it is urgent?" asked Ben

"Yes ­ they could have killed Joey." Suddenly it was as if a mass of air had been let out of Edward. He seemed to physically shrink in Ben's arms, as he started to sob, "They could have killed Joey," over and over again. Ben guided him to the settee and lay him down on it. Within moments Edward was asleep.

He woke sometime later to hear Ben on the phone.

"At the moment he's asleep, he pretty well crashed out the moment he got back here," Ben said. There was a pause, then Ben continued. "That would be a much better idea. Goodbye." There was the noise of a mobile phone being closed, then the sound of it being put on the table.

"Who was that?" Edward asked, raising himself up on the sofa.

"Detective Inspector Hawkins. He wanted to come and ask you some questions, but I convinced him you were in no fit state to answer any, so he's coming in the morning. Luckily, I have no clients booked in tomorrow, so I can work from home."

Edward did not say anything, just gave a slight smile. Somehow knowing that Ben would be there gave him a good feeling. At that moment, he thought of something and asked Ben to pass him his phone.

The phone call that followed was a complete mystery to Ben. For a start, it was not in English. As Edward put down the phone, Ben asked him what language it was?

"Dutch," Edward replied.

"I didn't know you spoke any languages. You always seemed to have enough problems at school with English," Ben stated. "When did you learn Dutch?"

"When I was market trading," Edward stated. "There was a Dutch wholesale florist, used to come round in a big lorry. Came over from Amsterdam on a Tuesday, hit the markets selling to the traders Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then was back off to Amsterdam on the night boat. I used to go over with him some weekends when I was not working, which was about once every three weeks."


"Well, I was a young, bi, black chap with a good body. I could pick up some good money over a weekend and Dirk only wanted a couple of blow jobs for taking me as a passenger. That's when I found out that I had an ear for languages. After a couple of trips, I found I had enough basic Dutch to get by. I went over for a three week holiday and by time I came back I wasn't fluent but was pretty versatile in the language. Found I learnt the other languages in pretty much the same way."

"Other languages? How many do you speak?" Ben asked.

"Well, it depends on how you define speak," Edward replied. "I am reasonably fluent in five, possibly six and have a smattering of ability in a couple of others."


"Dutch as you heard, which led me to German. Then there is French, Italian and Spanish. I can manage in Portuguese but have been told I murder the language. I have a smattering of Japanese and Arabic."

"That's quite impressive. Now it is nearly seven and you need to be fed and then an early night," Ben stated. "Come through to the kitchen and I'll knock something up for you."

"How about you?" Edward asked.

"I ate while you were sleeping."

Edward followed him to the kitchen. Ben quickly sorted out a hamburger with chips and salad for Edward. Whilst Edward ate, they chatted but no mention was made of the day's events. By the time Edward finished his meal he was physically sagging. Ben packed him off to get a hot shower with instructions to go straight to bed. Instructions Edward obeyed.

It was about three in the morning when Edward woke up, aware of being held and Ben's voice saying, "It's okay, it did not happen".

"What…?" asked Edward.

"You were having a nightmare," Ben told him.

"How did you know?" Edward asked.

"I heard you." Edward looked puzzled. "Teddy, the master suite is part of the extension on the first floor. My bed is almost directly above yours."

"I was dreaming that Joey was in the car," Edward said.

"I know," Ben stated. "It did not happen."

Edward sighed. Ben held him as he drifted back to sleep.

*  *  *  *  *

It was the sound of the rain on the window which aroused Edward from his sleep. During the night the wind had got up blowing the rain directly onto the window. Edward opened his eyes to find himself resting with his head cradled against Ben's shoulder. Then he remembered the nightmare. Slowly he moved himself off of Ben, so not to disturb him, then leaned over and grabbed his dressing gown from the chair by the bed. Slipping it on, he eased himself out of bed and made his way to the bathroom.

Once he had showered, shaved and cleaned his teeth, he put his dressing gown back on and slipped into the bedroom to grab some clothes. Ben was still sleeping soundly. Not wanting to wake him, Edward moved to the living room to dress. He then set about making some breakfast. He was just pouring the hot water into the teapot when Ben came through from the bedroom, his dressing gown fastened tightly around him.

"I hope that's tea you're making," Ben said.

"It is, together with bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried bread, mushrooms and eggs. Sorry, no beans, I can't stand eggs and beans on the same plate."

"That is not very kosher," Ben commented.

"Benny, you've not observed kosher since that sausage roll at the Christmas party, in year one."

"I know, I'm not saying I'm kosher, just the breakfast is not kosher. How long before it's ready?"

"Five to seven minutes, could stretch it to ten but the tea will be stewed," Edward said.

"Can you stretch it to ten and I'll make a new pot when I come back down?" Ben replied. Edward nodded and laughed. Ben raced off through the connecting door and up to his master suite.

A few minutes later, just as Edward was debating with himself if he should put the eggs in the pan, Ben came back in through the connecting door.

"That must have been the quickest shower you've ever taken," commented Edward.

Benny laughed and started to make a new pot of tea. Edward put the eggs in the pan to fry. Then he started to set out breakfast on the plates. Within five minutes both men were seated at the table, tucking into their breakfasts, waiting for the tea to brew.

"Well you learnt to cook somewhere?" Ben said. "I can't remember you being able to cook before."

"HMP Albany's kitchens," Edward replied. There was a pause. "You stayed."  Edward put a portion of sausage in his mouth.

There was a pause whilst Ben crunched on a piece of fried bread. "Of course I stayed. I was worried you might have another, and I didn't fancy running down those stairs again."

"Thanks," replied Edward, before biting into a piece of bacon. "The tea should be ready."

"I'll pour," said Ben. He proceeded to do so. "How come you're cooking and why all the works? Full English and toast and marmalade. I see you've got your favourite."

"I've a feeling that today is going to be a busy day and this might have to last us a long time."

"I suspect you are correct there, Teddy."

They had just finished clearing up from breakfast when the front doorbell rang. Ben went to answer it. It was the police constable who had been on duty overnight returning the thermos that Ben had taken out to him filled with hot chocolate. He informed Ben that a day shift officer had taken over.

"Right, ask him how he likes his tea? I'll take him one out later." The uniformed officer went up the drive and spoke to the other officer, then came back.

"Said he's not into tea but if you are making coffee anytime, he likes it as black as the night, as sweet as sin and as hot as hell."

Ben laughed. "The Arab way."

The officer started to make his way to his car, which was parked on the drive. Ben noticed two cars turning into the drive and the duty officer saluting.

"Teddy," Ben called into the house. "We have visitors."

The first car pulled up, and DS Conner got out. DI Hawkins and DC Jones were in the second car. The three men walked over to the door. Ben stepped aside and indicated they better come straight in rather than doing introductions on the steps, in the rain.

As they entered the hallway, Edward came through from the back.

"Mr Chapman," DI Hawkins said, "I was hoping to ask you some questions this morning, but we have just got a lead on the bombers car and CCTV sightings of them in Sheffield. DC Jones and I are proceeding their immediately. There have been some developments overnight, I will leave DS Conner to explain them, as he has been appointed as liaison officer."

With that, without waiting for any reply, the two detectives left, leaving DS Conner feeling a bit embarrassed.

"Look on the bright side," said Edward to DS Conner. "At least you are not driving to Sheffield in this weather." This comment brought a smile to DS Conner's face.

"Look, let me close the door. You take your coat off and hang it up, then go through to the kitchen," Ben said. "I've got to make a coffee for that poor sod out there, so we might as well have some and you can tell us what is going on."

"To be honest, I am not really sure I know," DS Conner replied, taking his coat off. "Though I can tell you what has happened since yesterday afternoon."

The three men moved down the hallway and into the kitchen. Edward and DS Conner took seats at the table, while Ben went over to the sink and started to fill the kettle.

"So, what has put the Detective Inspector out of sorts this morning?" Edward asked.

"He found out that somebody with a lot more influence than he has was interested in this case," DS Conner replied.

"How come?" Edward asked.

"When I got in for my duty briefing this morning, I was informed that I was being seconded to Special Branch with immediate effect. More importantly, I was to be the principle officer dealing with you and that you were not to be interviewed, either formally or informally, without me being present. The Detective Inspector hit the roof. It means, so far as you are concerned, he is my junior."

"I'm surprised he went along with it," commented Ben as he poured the water from the kettle into the cafetière.

"He didn't. He was straight on the blower to the Chief Constable, only to be told that the order had come from above him and he’d better live with it," DS Conner stated. "The thing is, I was talking to DC Jones — he's not a bad chap, ex-Army Intelligence — in the canteen before we set out. Apparently the DI was complaining about Thames House interfering in his case."

"What's Thames House?" Ben asked as he pushed the plunger down on the coffee press.

"It's the HQ of MI 5," Edward replied. The DS gave him a funny look. "It's got some amazing architectural features, I did a module on it in one of my courses." Somehow Ben knew that Edward was lying. He was covering up the fact he knew about Thames House. It was not an official secret; Ben remembered hearing about it before but had just forgotten the name, but it certainly was not a widely publicised fact. Edward seemed to know it off the top of his head.

"I'm going to take one of these out to that poor sod on duty outside," Ben stated as he poured four mugs of coffee. "You two help yourselves to milk and sugar. Try not to talk about anything important before I'm back."

"Can I use your toilet?" DS Conner asked.

"Yes, there is one through the utility room, that's the first door on the left," Ben said. He picked up a mug of coffee in one hand. As he walked down the hall he grabbed an umbrella from the stand and took it with him on his way out. Edward wondered how he was going to manage the door, but Ben had no problem.

DS Conner had just returned to the table when Ben came back into the kitchen, standing the umbrella in the sink to drain. Ben took the last mug of coffee and joined the other two men at the table.

"So, Detective Sergeant, what are the developments?" Ben asked.

"First, I need to deal with two things," DS Conner stated. "One, can you drop the Detective Sergeant, my name is Mark as you know. I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot of each other over the next few weeks, and us being on first name terms will make life easier. Two, Mr Chapman, can you tell me why MI 5 are, taking an interest in this case?"

"There is no problem with dropping the Detective Sergeant, Mark, that's easy," replied Edward. " As long as you drop the Mr Levi and Mr Chapman. As to MI 5, I am sorry, I can't tell you."

"Is that because you don't know, or you're not allowed to, Edward?" Mark asked.

"Sorry, I'm not able to answer that question," Edward said.

For a moment Mark's face blanched a bit. He took a swig from his coffee.

"Damn, that explains a lot," Mark muttered, more to himself than anyone else.

"I wish somebody would explain it to me," Ben said. Mark looked at Edward, who gave a slight nod.

"Right, Edward can't tell you anything because of the Official Secrets Act. What I am telling you now is pure speculation on my part; it has no official status. But it makes a lot of sense. Sometime, I would think about nineteen sixty eight, MI 5 recruited a young market trader as an asset for them. I doubt he was officially a staff member of MI 5. A kid from East Side would not have the right school or college for that, but as an asset it was not required. They funded him to move from a market trader to a general trader. That is the one thing we were never able to work out, where Ed Chapman, a simple market trader, got the funding to become Edward Chapman, general trader and financier.

"I don't know what they wanted him for, but he must have been good at it as they kept him on the books. They've kept him on the books right through his time in prison. I can see he would be useful to them in there. It also means they knew he was innocent. Now he is free, and somebody has tried to blow him up. I do not know much about MI 5, but one thing I do know, they do not like losing assets, especially not long term ones."

Ben looked at Edward and suddenly a number of things made sense, such as the odd payments that arrived in obscure accounts that his friend had. When he had queried them, he found they had come from the Paymaster General. No reason for the payment was every given, and if he enquired about it, he hit a brick wall.

"I can't comment, Mark," Edward said.

"I know you bloody can't," Mark replied. "But I'm right, aren't I?"

Edward smiled. "If you are, you know you can't expect an answer to that question." "Now, he asked, "what are the developments you mentioned?"