I’m back home and this story has been sitting on a back burner for a few months, waiting for some more to be written.
The trouble is, there are also other stories to write, and I’m not very good at prioritizing.
But, here we are, a few minutes opened up and it didn’t take long to get back into the groove.
Chasing leads, maybe
Alone in the room, Herman returned. I hadn’t seen him leave, but he was a cat, and cats were adept at slinking around, quietly stalking their quarry. On the edge of that threshold between passage and living room, he was sitting, watching me.
“So, Herman. The stories you could tell, eh?”
It elicited a meow and a deadpan expression. No point in trying to read his mind, I’d probably finish up with a headache.
“Don’t suppose you could tell me where O’Connell’s secret hideout is?”
If he could talk no doubt he was saying that he wouldn’t tell me even if I tried to bribe him. I thought about it, but instead went over to the door and opened it about six inches.
“You can go now. It’s not safe, for man, woman or cat.”
Nothing this time.
“You’d better go before I change my mind.”
We were having a staring match.
Was that a nod? He stood and started walking towards the door. Perhaps he sensed I might close it just before he made it there. Then, in a flash, he was gone.
I shrugged, and followed him out, closing the door behind me.
He was fast. He was nowhere in sight. Places to go no doubt.
Only I wasn’t quite sure where it was. I pulled out the piece of paper that was for a flat for sale, with several part words on it, ‘oak’ and underneath it, ‘Brom’.
It had to be part of the street name and a suburb. The ‘Brom was obviously Bromley, the other a part of the street address.
I needed to find an internet café and do some research. I also needed a new cell phone, but that could wait. The main problem was finding an internet café, once just about on every corner, but now, with everyone owning a smartphone, there were very few to be found.
It took an hour before I found one in a back street in an area where there were several low-cost hotels, the sort that backpackers stayed in.
Armed with coffee and a sandwich, I began the search, starting with the realtor, and found the listing was no longer available, that is, not on their internet site. It told me that the flat was taken up, possibly by O’Connell.
Next, I brought up a map application and put in the address, for information on both pieces of paper and ended up with Oakwood Avenue of Bromley Road, nearer to Beckenham than Bromley.
I had the flat number, now all I had to do was check it out.
Another search on the computer gave me the relative times, and a map to follow, by bus, train, and car. I would have to get my car, which would take about half an hour, then drive out to the address which would take a further half-hour.
The flat was on the ground floor, and the realtor’s brochure had the layout of the block, and where the flat was located. That it was on the ground floor and on a corner would make it easier to gain access without causing any trouble.
I would time my arrival for after dark so that I would go relatively unnoticed.
© Charles Heath 2020