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Carruthers' Demise, Chapters fourteen and fifteen (standard:drama, 3412 words) [8/24] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossAdded: Sep 24 2011Views/Reads: 5287/731Part 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


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This is part 8 of a total of 24 parts.
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