|Carruthers' Demise, Chapters fourteen and fifteen (standard:drama, 3412 words) [8/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Sep 24 2011||Views/Reads: 5241/702||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Carruthers' novelist wife has gone missing in the New Forest. It is beginning to look like there's another man involved, but Carruthers has difficulty accepting this as fact. Continuation of my drama|
Chapter Fourteen Carruthers took the gravel track he'd ridden with Chelsey, negotiating his way between the tall trees, with an early morning mist rising and creating a silky blanket around their trunks. There was a chill in the air and he shivered, regretting wearing only a flimsy pale blue T – shirt and jeans. The busy tapping of woodpeckers greeted his ears and large blackbirds flew noisily above, seeming to mock him in what was in all probability a futile exercise. He'd left Casey behind deliberately and although it was true he didn't want her involved for safety sake, he was on a personal mission to find his wife and Foulkes was his only possible lead. And what was it about Casey's answer to his question that made him feel uneasy? Possibly that it was difficult for him to concede that Goldhawk had a conscience, but in which case why relay his feelings to Casey? Why not himself or Chelsey? More pressing matters soon forced these issues to the back of his mind and reaching the point where the track split, he had little problem determining the one he and Chelsey had taken. The single gnarled oak that was dwarfed by giant deciduous trees along the path had seemed incongruous to him at the time, and did so again now. Sure enough, the narrowing trail dwindled away and through the trees, surrounded by bracken and gorse, was the clearing where they'd run across Foulkes and his buddies. This time however, there was neither sight nor sound of them, but as he slipped into the enclosure there were tell-tale signs that someone had been there. Cans, bottles and stubbed out cigarettes littered what should have been a pretty area. Carruthers wondered whether the patch was purely Foulkes' domain or if the spot was frequented by a nucleus of vagrant types. A shotgun sounded nearby, he heard a dull thud followed by another, more audible this time. Pushing through the bracken at the back of the clearing he found himself on a mini-trail, and formed a claustrophobic sensation of trees and undergrowth closing in on him. Thankfully it was short-lived, because through the mass of twigs and branches lay another clearing, oval shaped and a good deal larger, in which he saw two figures, one of whom held a shotgun. His heart began to pound on realization that the man with the gun was Foulkes. Carruthers marched into the clearing as Foulkes fired again, then as his companion gestured towards him Foulkes swung round. ‘Well, well, well – if it ain't the writer's hubby – you should watch where yer walkin', fella – could get a nasty surprise – what are yer doin' back ‘ere anyhow?' ‘We need to speak.' Carruthers took his eye off of Foulkes fleetingly and focused on the rifle barrel. ‘And don't point that thing at me; it's illegal practice anyway.' ‘Is it now?' Foulkes raised his head, lofted the gun onto his shoulder; Carruthers felt his fierce, fiery eyes travel over him. ‘Can't say I see us ‘aving much to talk about either – unless you're thinkin' of callin' a Ranger in which case...' ‘No – look, right now I don't give a damn about your poaching. I need to find my wife.' ‘Ah...' Foulkes tilted his head again, slanted his eyes. ‘So I saw right; she's left yer ain't she, with that...' Foulkes minced his lips, ‘guess I ought to stop right there.' ‘So it was you, you did spy on her.' Carruthers felt rage grip him, took a step forward but so did Foulkes' tall, gangly accomplice – and besides, Foulkes had the gun, but also no doubt, the information he wanted. ‘Calm yerself fella – from what I saw you ain't losing much...' ‘How dare you...' Carruthers kept himself in check – but barely. He Click here to read the rest of this story (387 more lines)
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