He glanced at his watch again; Earl should be ringing soon. This was a big one for both of them. A gas station or a liquor store was their usual job.
They were going to kill her anyway but they could always try again elsewhere.
It was now four days since the kidnap of their daughter.
‘This is terrible, Henry, anything I can do?’
‘That was Horace,’ he said to his wife, `he wanted to know if he could help.’
Barbara just shook her head, not speaking.
FBI agents investigated, but so far, the results were negative.
A mail sack was to be used to carry the five million to the Tyson Corner shopping center at two o’clock that afternoon.
Federal Bureau Investigators traced the call to a public phone in Arlington and enquiries were concentrated in that area. Agents questioned people in the vicinity but no one remembered seeing anyone at the booth.
At twelve- thirty, the telephone rang again. The FBI turned the recording equipment on and indicated to the Senator that he should pick up the receiver.
`Horace Gradwell asked me to phone,’ the voice said.
Henry remembered the telephone conversation with Horace, two days previously.
‘Thanks for calling, Mr Summers, but I don’t think there’s anything you can do,’ said the Senator, glancing at Lane who was shaking his head vigorously.
`Have you paid the ransom?’ Summers asked.
‘We’re paying it today.’
‘How do they want payment?’
Henry Lewis, remembering what Horace said, told him about the Tyson Corner Center and the time for the telephone contact.
The recording equipment turned off, Lane expressed his displeasure.
The Senator shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Detective, I’ll do anything to get my girl back, can you assure me that you can get her back safely?’
‘In all honesty, I can’t,’ said Lane.
‘Then don’t question my actions, this man may be able to help and I’m not going to do anything to stop him,’ said the Senator.
Lane set off for the first location, the Tyson Corner Shopping Center with a photograph of Sarah in his pocket.
Joe picked up the mobile from the table and answered it, `Yeah,’ he said.
`Got it Earl, I’ll call now,’ said Joe and hung up, looking at his list he telephoned the first number
Lane looked around the crowded shopping Mall. There were men with their ears glued to mobile phones; the kidnapper could be any one of them.
He spoke quietly into his microphone, `He’s getting spooked, get out of sight.’
The agents left the Mall and Lane spoke into the phone.
`Ok,’ he said, `they’re all gone, what now?’
Lane left and ran round the corner to the Opus. Going into the bar he made his way to the phones as one of them started ringing, he picked up the receiver, breathless.
‘Take off your mike and hold it up in the air so I can see it,’ the voice said.
Lane took the mike off his lapel and held it up.
‘Put it on the floor in front of you with your cell phone. Now stomp on them both and remember I’m watching,’
He knew that someone must be close and he hoped they’d heard. At the Wellington, he went straight to the public telephone booth located near the bar but it was a few minutes before it rang.
There was silence for a moment or two, `What do you want?’ The voice said.
`I want to make arrangements for exchanging the girl for the money.’
Going though the side door, he saw the Toyota parked nearby with the keys in the ignition.
A few minutes later Lane said, `OK, I’m on Military NW.’
`Call me again when you see Fraser G Newbank Park School on your left.’
`Fraser G Newbank School,’ he repeated for the benefit of his wrist mike.
He turned and started driving down the road, the voice said.
`Not good enough,’ said Lane, `let me see the girl first.’ He stood there with the sack in his hand.
The voice sounded firm and threatening.
Summers gave a satisfied smile and rode the bike towards the truck keeping to the trees. He was nearing it, when he saw it start off, and drive onto the road. He followed, just as a helicopter came flying over the park.
A sudden noise downstairs made him sit up. He rose from the chair and moved slowly towards the door holding the gun. The door opened and Earl stood there, still dressed in motorcycle clothing with a gun sticking in his belt .A short figure of a man with a broad nose affixed to a small weasel face.
Joe grinned back at him, ‘Let’s have a look at the money,’ he said, ‘what does Five million dollars look like?’
Earl swaggered across to the table, his face smiling as he thought how clever he had been in fooling the FBI. He loosened the rope holding the sack closed and tipping it up poured the bundles of money on to the table.
‘OK boys, just put the money down and get your hands up,’ said a voice.
‘I take that back, do something stupid,’ and his gun hand dropped to his side.
Joe made a grab for his gun on the table; Earl drew his from his belt. They both had their guns level when the man raised his arm and fired two shots.
He sat on the bed and quietly said, ‘My name is Geoffrey Summers, is your name Sarah Lewis?’
Sarah nodded her head again, tears of relief forming in her eyes.
The Senator was angry, ‘you made a proper balls of that detective, if anything happens to my girl, I’ll have your ass,’ he said to Frank Lane. ‘It’s been over an hour now and no word.’
‘I can’t thank you enough,’ said the Senator, ‘I thought we’d lost her.’
‘I’m glad I was able to help.’
‘On his way,’ Lane said, ‘you got the girl back and saved my ass, thanks.’
Summers smiled, ‘no problem,’ he said, ‘you helped a lot.’
He opened the back door and wheeled out a motorcycle. Putting on a crash helmet he got astride the bike and started the engine, turning to look back at Lane standing in the doorway he raised his hand.
Lane returned the gesture and watched as Summers rode the motor cycle down the drive and out of the gates