by James Rowe
The Sicilian Dragon - Chapter 3 - draft
The Sicilian Dragon - Chapter 3
Jack waited for Harrington to continue. It became apparent that Harrington was waiting for a reaction from Jack, so Jack gave him one. "Thank you for the offer but if you had done your research into me properly you would know I'm retired. Goodbye".
He turned to walk out the room but was stopped in his tracks as Juicer moved to position himself between Jack and the door.
"Mr Bishop", Harrington said, "please .... humour me, a few minutes of your time?".
Harrington's tone, almost pleading, caused Jack to stop. That, and the thought of getting past Juicer. He turned back to face Harrington. "You have 10 minutes," he said, before pulling a chair over in front of the desk, "start talking".
"I am a very proud man, Mr Bishop, asking in this manner does not come easy to me. Yet I find myself in a position where I need the talents and experience you can bring to this...operation". Harrington spoke in a controlled, calm voice. The accent was American, but old money American and Jack was intrigued as to what someone with the obvious money and resources of Harrington needed from him.
"Go on", Jack waited for Harrington to continue his explanation.
"I am a very rich man Mr Bishop, a rich man with a lot of enemies. Over the years my enemies and I have always had an understanding. Family was strictly off limits. Recently new enemies have emerged and have now arrived at my door. They aren't as...", he paused, looking for the right word, "honourable, shall we say?".
"A week ago my grandson was taken. He boards in a rather exclusive school in Europe. The school is very secure, but they managed to find a way to access him. I suspect there was inside assistance and certainly the kidnappers were very professional. The school have been unable to help me in any way. The CCTV system was knocked out and two of their security were rendered unconscious. They both received minor injuries, it does not appear the intention was to take the lives of any of the staff."
Jack listened intently. Something was still off. Why come to him when there were far more experienced people in the recovery of hostages?
Harrington continued, as if reading Jack's thoughts. "Now we come to why I need your help. Help that I will handsomely remunerate you for." The hostages have obviously made their demands of me. Demands that I cannot meet currently. They require five items. Each is in a different city in Europe and each is possessed by someone who would not be amenable to donating the item to my cause."
"What I need from you, Mr Bishop, is for you to obtain these five items. I will provide you with the finances and equipment you require. The methods you choose to adopt to complete the acquisitions would be entirely up to you."
"My grandson has never hurt anyone. As someone who has also lost a loved one, I am sure you appreciate the position I am in."
Jack's expression didn't change but inside the last statement hit him like a hammer. How did Harrington know about Emily? That information was secret. Known only to a handful of Jack's most trusted friends.
"Mr Bishop, do we have a deal?"
Jack continued to meet Harrington's eyes. He saw something there. Despair? Worry? Shame? "My list of requirements is extensive."
"Whatever you need you will have".
"Ok," said Jack, "I'm in. Tell me more."