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August 14 2012 18:36:54.
Today Sunday 19 May 2013 00:10:07
I kept moving slowly toward the target, at the same time wanting to get
there as quickly as possible. My balls were so cold I thought they might
make a dash for my armpits. Underfoot it was rocky and a couple of times I
hit an obstruction and got entangled in weed.
It was time to discard the 3C. I wouldn't be needing it anymore,
because if everything worked to plan, the next time I contacted Elizabeth
I'd be back in the U.K. and if it didn't and I was in the shit, Sarah would
know how to extract information from it and the flash cards.
I got level with the house and turned to face it. The curtains were
closed and there were still no lights on. Placing my wrist behind the bergen
to shield it from the target, I pressed the backlit display on Baby-G. It
was just after midnight. I started to shiver even more now that I'd stopped.
I needed to get out of the water and back into some clothes.
I moved forward in a direct line toward the slipway, pushing the bergen
in front of me. The boat was now dead ahead, and all I could see of it was
the bow tilted down toward me.
I inched my way, eyes glued on the target; the only sound was the rain
as it hit my bergen and the water. As I got closer and the floor started to
rise, I forced my body lower by bending my knees and hunching down. A few
meters from the end of the slipway I had to get right down on my stomach to
keep as much of me in the water as possible to make a smaller profile. I had
to use my hands and knees to work myself forward.
A meter from the edge the bergen hit bottom. I stopped, looked and
The echoey sound of the rain hitting the fiberglass of the boat took
over from the splash of it hitting the water.
Now came the wriggly bit. I had to cross open ground to get to the boat
and shelter under the hull. Ideally I would have taken maybe as long as an
hour to cover the five meters, but I didn't have that time to spare.
I unraveled the string attached to my wrist and, lifting myself up on
my elbows and toes, I kitten-crawled forward, four inches at a time, trying
to hold and control my breath and stop my teeth from chattering. I could
feel stones and water moss pushing against my legs and stomach, moving with
me as my trunk touched the bottom. The fact that it was cold no longer
mattered; I knew I was doing it correctly from the pain in my elbows as they
took my weight on the gravel. I was more interested in trying to make sure
my trunk didn't scrape along the ground and make a noise. I was now at the
Lifting the bergen a fraction, I edged it forward another few inches,
lowered it onto the concrete and eased myself up behind it. Then I stopped,
listened and repeated the move. Inch by inch I neared the boat, in a direct
line with the point where the tow bar touched the concrete slip.
As long as I moved slowly enough and kept flat, the motion detector
shouldn't pick me up, and once I was in the lee of the boat I'd be
completely safe. Fifteen minutes later, I was there, where I wanted to be,
under the boat. The rain hammered the fiberglass. It was like being in a
greenhouse in a thunderstorm.
The garage doors were still only semi closed I could see the back of
the Explorer and the pitch-dark beyond.
I was staring into the darkness and contemplating my next move when a
light came on to my right, spilling through the gap in the doors. It came
from the rear of the garage. My heart skipped a beat, then started to pump
at warp speed. If I'd been discovered, there wasn't much I could do.
I gripped myself: Stop, calm down, watch.
Almost immediately another light came on, this time on the other side
of the garage. Through the gap, I could see what was happening. Someone had
opened the lid of a chest freezer; the glow from the interior light showed
the face of a man, as if he were shining a flashlight under his chin, like
we used to at Halloween. I wasn't sure which of the targets it belonged to,
just that it wasn't Sarah. He rooted around for a moment, then pulled out
three or four small boxes of food, stood up and seemed about to close the
lid again, but instead, he looked back inside and picked out some more
stuff. With his arms full, he walked away. I could make out the lower part
of his body; he was wearing trainers and checkered, knee-length shorts.
I tried to count how many cartons he had. There seemed to be five.