This book brought to you free byMAGPUL Industries
This remarkable story was written by
Daniel P. Fitzpatrick Jr.
who has held a pilot's license for over 60 years and
who knew these places and this time well and
whose daughter was handed her Ph.D., in the University of London, by Queen Elizabeth herself.
©All Rights Reserved
Irelandis a rocky, windswept land that has continuously, and for countless generations, had an abundance of grass, roses and trouble. Times and names and even methods of transportation have all changed but a variant of this story, that you are about to read, has actually been done a hundred times or more. It has been dreamed about many, many millions of times by Irish youths who have had to grub their next meal of potatoes from that calcium soil.
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Irish - Englishto American Dictionary
Bonnet(automotive) Hood (car)
Boot(automotive) Trunk (of a car)
Cumann na mBan (pronounced. koman-na-mahn) Woman's group of the IRA
GeligniteDynamite type substance
IRAIrish Republican Army (illegal)
Iron MongerHardware Store
Lorry(motor vehicle) Truck
Provos(Provisionals) Branch of the IRA
Sinn Fein(pronounced. shinn fayne) IRA's legal political arm
Tele(popular abbreviation) T.V.
UndergroundLondon Subway system
** * *
The ancestors of today's Irish were the Celts whose language was truly archaic: Even sometimes, like Arabic, using roots and stems in place of words, and as the monks discovered, did not even have words for 'yes' and 'no'. It was the monasteries that gave to this language of the Celts the major Latin transplant that it needed to survive. This hybrid language is now the 'Gaelic' spoken by the shepherds in remote mountain areas and by members of the outlawed Irish Republican Army; many of whom currently teach it fluently in the British prison system.
The farmhouse was solidly built out of stone by workers who undoubtedly had lain in their graves for many a year now. This land, not far from Dublin, had belonged to the O'Briens for generations. The earliest O'Brien greengrocers had discovered the secret to keeping this argumentative clan together: They all made a good profit by selling their agricultural products in Dublin. And in this continued venture they did seem to cooperate together, however, when they individually struck off to Dublin to work for wages then the O'Briens inevitably got into trouble.
Today it was not agricultural work in which the family was engaged. Today was bullet day. A sort of production line was in progress with hundreds of fired Armalite brass cartridge cases coming into one end of the room. Emerging from the other end of the workplace were fully functional 5.56mm rifle cartridges, known in America as .223 Remingtons. This entire operation, although highly illegal here in Ireland, was a model of utter simplicity. The youngest O'Brien placed the empty brass case into a recess drilled into an oak block. He then took a punch and punched out the old spent primer and then passed the brass case to the next worker who installed a new primer and placed the cartridge in a resizing die and squeezed it to proper form in a hand press. Then it passed to the next person who poured in a measured amount of gunpowder and who in turn passed his product to another person who placed the cartridge in another press and pressed in a new bullet. The last man on the team- the oldest - sealed the new primers, thereby completing the finished product. They had evidently done this many times before because it all went like clockwork. The anti-English sentiment could plainly be observed because decorating the wall of the workroom, under glass and surrounded by a blackthorn frame, was a yellowed newspaper front-page showing a photo of O'Connell Street in Dublin all strewn with debris caused by the outlawed Irish Republican Army blowing up Admiral Nelson's Column in the City's center, in fact, one of the men now working on this ammunition production line had participated in that event. The headline on the old newspaper told the story in a way that was typically Irish, it read: FAMOUS BRITISH ADMIRAL LEAVES DUBLIN BY AIR.
The majority of Irish farmers were far more peaceful than the O'Briens. Most of their Irish neighbors had made their peace with England years ago and none of the farmers within a mile of the O'Briens had ever seen a bullet in their entire lifetime, yet a certain amount of hostility against England seemed everywhere.
Irish farms generally passed on to the oldest male child. This firstborn then also accepted the responsibility to send his other brothers out of Ireland with a small bit of money to at least give them a chance of getting situated overseas where they could find employment. These Irish lads then came to America and England and to Australia and Canada. These were countries where people spoke the same English language and where employment opportunities were far, far better than at home in Ireland. Sean O'Brien would be the son to whom the farm would be given if this time honored practice continued, but times were rapidly changing in Ireland and Sean O'Brien was getting caught up in that change. It was the family business, ironically, that was keeping Sean away from his farm and now his brothers were spending most of their time working on the farm.
The O'Briens had always devoted a lot of time and energy to the old Sinn Fein Political party whose political philosophy of throwing the British out of all of Ireland by whatever means necessary, is still very much alive here in Ireland and even today the name Sinn Fein (Ourselves Alone) can be seen everywhere from being molded on the clay pipes being sold to tourists or as graffiti written on the lavatory walls. The Sinn Fein Party is the legal arm of the very much illegal Irish Republican Army (IRA) whose men, though few in number, manage to keep both Ireland and England in constant turmoil even though they are regularly caught not only in England but by their own Irish Government as well and duly placed behind bars. But a number of these IRA men keep leaving these prisons on a fairly regular basis by either ruse or explosion and this tends to add to the exasperation of many in the British Government who counteract by making absolutely certain that plenty of money is sent out of England to correct this "Irish Problem". All this money is being pumped out to Ireland sometimes as fast as all the North Sea oil wells pump it into England. In fact, in some periods England may have even spent more money on her troops in Ireland than she got from the profits on all her North Sea Wells. The two English agencies who are allotted substantial amounts of this money to combat this "Irish Problem" in ways that they deem will be effective, are England's MI5 (English FBI) and MI6 (CIA).
In England, southwest across the water and about five hundred miles away in the city of London, John Powell sat before the MI6 psychiatrist, who by now was of the opinion that John was fairly close to being insane.
"What exactly do you mean by saying that all the trees seem to be against you?" asked the psychiatrist
"Not all of them Sir, but a lot of these trees here in England were planted by those Irish Navvies and we don't know what they may have done to them now, do we? I believe the roses are all friendly. They are probably English and on our side, but most of the trees are definitely bending toward me and always trying to get at me and I don't like that," said John.
"Do you ever feel like committing suicide?" asked the MI6 doctor?"
"No I want to stay alive as long as I can so I can kill more of them," said John Powell.
"Do you ever feel that you need help in a mental way?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Yes," answered John.
"How do you feel at these times when you sense that you need help?" asked the doctor.
"I can't sleep and I'm anxious about everything. Time seems almost to stop and every minute seems like it's forever. Tranquilizers don't help at all; they usually have to shoot me full of Thorazine," said John.
"Excuse me for a moment," said the doctor and he left the room, closing the door and activating the lock so that John could not follow.
In an adjoining room the doctor picked up the phone and rang up another member of the agency. ". . . Then you people are really intent on utilizing this warped creature?" the doctor asked.
"Yes," answered the voice on the other end of the line, "we must have him on this next job."
"But," said the doctor, "I have a responsibility to the people of this country and under the law . . ."
"He will be leaving England and the English law forthwith," broke in the voice on the line. "You are about to torpedo our entire operation. Look, I'm not supposed to divulge any information as to where he is headed, but in strict confidence, I want you to know that he is headed directly across Saint George's Channel to the Republic. We have a doctor in Dublin who knows how to take good care of him. If you think he will need some medicine between here and there then simply tell us what will be required."
"If I approve him and this 'Gem of Humanity' gets transferred to the Emerald Isle then you people owe me one. Do you understand this?" asked the doctor.
"I will certainly inform my superiors of your cooperation," said the voice.
"Good," answered the psychiatrist, hanging up the phone and thinking that besides putting them into his debt, he also would be saving the British taxpayers' money by getting this lunatic out of England and, best of all, turning him loose in Ireland. Yes indeed, he thought, this has turned out to be a very good day and he smiled as he went back to the door and turned the knob that only unlocked from that side. He then entered the room where he left John Powell.
"You are good enough to work John. No man should judge his neighbor," said the doctor, as he signed his name to the document now in front of him. "John," said the doctor, "One of the safest spots in this world, if you ever find that you need one is Phoenix Park in Dublin where you can sit amidst hundreds and even thousands of various coloured roses." Then the doctor put his hand on John's shoulder and lowered his voice as if to keep any unauthorized people from listening and said, "That's one of our very own men over there putting all those roses in so you don't have to worry about any of them."
"I'm much obliged to you Sir," said John.
"England expects each of us to do his duty," said the doctor as he stamped his signature with the official seal. He then escorted John out of the room with a friendly handshake.
A bit later the doctor received a call from a young female employee thanking him for what her supervisor said was good interdepartmental cooperation on his behalf. "Are you going to tell me about this over dinner tonight?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Are you buying and paying for it?" asked the girl.
"Yes," said the doctor.
"That sounds fine," replied the young pleasant voice. And the doctor thought to himself that this might, indeed, turn out to be his very best day at the agency.
O.K. Cromwell headed the team that was responsible for sending John to Ireland. Cromwell's computer had churned and sifted through years of old data and endless bits of information sent to him by informants and agents in Ireland. The results of all of this simmering and boiling down were now served to him at his desk in the agency building. Now, Cromwell sat for several hours behind his massive desk digesting all of this information and every few moments making a note on something that needed to be acted upon or further looked into. The people who knew and worked with Cromwell said that he did not believe in God but they were all wrong because he believed infallibly in his new computers and these computers were Cromwell's God. Unlike ordinary people, Cromwell had found these machines to be absolutely trustworthy. They most definitely had proven their worth with numerous arrests of London based IRA operatives. Here at hand was Cromwell's chance to use all this data from Ireland itself and combine it with more that he would get from the Irish banks and this would give him a good idea of who was doing what inside that nefarious IRA. Then he would hit the right parties and he would hit the IRA one of the hardest blows that they would ever receive. And he would hit them right on their own home ground in Ireland itself.
As the business day ended and virtually all of the many clerical workers for the MI6 Group were now leaving the city of London for their homes somewhere on the outskirts, Cromwell alone remained at his desk contemplating his great master plan. He was certain now as he looked at what his computer had delivered to him that several dozen families in Ireland were the key people behind all the IRA's financing. He had found their Achilles heel. This was their weak link. Yes, he had enough people on hand to effectively put a definite end to England's "Irish Problem". When about a half million American Dollars was paid out soon, to certain Irish bankers, it would bring him the necessary information from the Irish banking system to feed into his computers. They were better than bloodhounds in sniffing out the complicated financial trails of the drug people and the IRA: The computer would tell him who these IRA families were. And he had more.
Some of the inputs to Cromwell's computers were lists of license plate numbers. The English children often go along the street writing down the license plate numbers of all the cars that they find parked on the streets near their homes. The English police are well aware of this typical English cultural habit and wholeheartedly approve of it; they have made good use of it too. This childhood activity has given the police the information that they needed on many occasions to put criminals behind bars. In Dublin one evening, an Irish boy, who had just returned from visiting relatives in England, now copied what he had learned there from his English playmates. This boy walked down O'Connell Street in Dublin a bit before dark, taking down license plate numbers of all the cars he saw parked there. One of the numbers he wrote down on the list was from Tim O'Brien's car that was parked, that evening, near the Nelson's Column Monument.
It was six or seven hours later that night that the monument blew apart. The Dublin police would never even have thought to ask if any children had written down license plate numbers because that sort of thing wasn't done over in Ireland, but since this was commonplace in England the normal routine order to inquire in the neighborhood whether children had taken down license plate numbers, was sent out by a young clerk who was ignorant about what went on overseas. When the order was received by the MI6 agents in Dublin it was laughed at but nevertheless obeyed and when these professional agents did, in fact, receive the boy's list, they were all fairly well astonished. But these were the days before the computer and no agency had either the time or the personnel to devote to matching all those numbers with names and to take the result and match it with criminal records, So this information languished with a lot more of the same type and it all lay dormant for years until now. This big computer held inside its memory banks all the license registry information for the past thirty years in both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, a colossal and costly achievement. Because of an administrative blunder, all records of licenses in the Greater London area were entered into the computer as far back in time as they could be obtained. It was not long before the computer people were engulfed with thousands of requests to find the names of people whose license plate numbers could be barely discerned in old photographs. Probably more taxpayer money was absorbed by these types of individual quasi-useful undertakings than in all the rest of the criminal investigative work that the computer was put to.
The same way that an election return computer points to the winner of the election, so now did this computer point at likely suspects in the Republic of Ireland. But there were still far too many suspects and the list of names still had to be narrowed down further, but the name of Tim O'Brien was one of the names now on the list of people who needed to be investigated some more by MI6. The computer was at its best in tracking down complicated money trails such as these enemies of England used to hide their illegal IRA purchases. MI6 had its tentacles well into the Irish banking system and it would not be very long now until Cromwell would be looking at the O'Brien's money trail.
That afternoon John Powell, along with several others, went aboard a tug boat that headed in the direction of Ireland. During the darkness at about two in the morning the tug met up with a typical Irish fishing boat and the MI6 men were transferred to the fishing vessel where they were dressed in clothes that would customarily be worn by the local Irish. They would disembark by carrying off fish as ordinary fishermen. Only their speech now would give them away and they were warned once again to keep their mouths shut on arrival. Although the English Government remained on friendly terms with the Republic of Ireland, certain key players in England have always felt that direct intervention was the best route when dealing with the Irish. And so this time again, as many times before, an English force headed to Ireland without bothering to notify the Irish Government
In Dublin, Sean O'Brien was at the airport disguised as an airport worker, complete with uniform and badge and he resembled all the rest of the workers on the airport terminal ramp. He could not afford to associate with any of these other employees because they might spot him as a phony so he ambled over to an aircraft where only people in military uniforms could be seen. They, he figured, would be transients that would think him just another airport worker who was meandering around shirking his duties. A sudden rain squall hit the field and the military people vanished into their airplane and outside O'Brien found himself trying to keep dry by standing under the wing. He stood there alone looking for the commercial flight that he was to meet. It was due soon and it carried IRA armament hidden in the unpressurized part of the tail section where the panels could be opened with a simple screwdriver. Suddenly, Sean heard the IRA alarm signal over his hand held radio telling him that something was very, very wrong: "Let's close it down boys," the voice said. This was the signal to leave the area at once. But it was too late because now uniformed men started to emerge around both sides of the terminal building coming out onto the airport apron. A quick look around him showed O'Brien that there was open flat concrete all about him with absolutely no place to run to and hide.
A small door on the very bottom of the aircraft was open and he quickly pulled himself up into this hole in the belly of the airplane. It was a cramped space, this belly compartment, that contained hydraulic tubing and racks of electronic equipment. As he snaked himself into this area, he saw that the only level flat place was about two feet wide and five feet long, but he could not stay in this flat area now because it was too close to the hatch opening and he would be quickly seen by anyone who simply looked into the entry hatch. He moved cautiously slowly forward avoiding wires, tubing and cables until he found a spot where he could crouch with the equipment rack between him and the opened hatch, thereby hiding him somewhat from view of the hatchway. He got as comfortable as he could in this bent over position. He had noticed that there was a long heavy towbar still on the nose wheel of the airplane and that gave him some feeling of assurance that this aircraft would be here for quite a while. This feeling quickly turned to anxiety as he heard a tug pull up and a heavy clank as the bar was pulled from the plane and attached to the tug that now drove away leaving the airplane free to go. Looking through the equipment rack he saw a man stick his head into the small hatchway and look at a hydraulic gage for several seconds and then the hatch door was slammed shut and the handle was turned from the outside locking Sean securely in this small compartment and putting him in total darkness. He remained where he was until he heard the jet engines start up and the aircraft began moving. He knew that no one would be opening the hatch while the plane was moving so he slowly and cautiously crept back to the level platform in front of the equipment rack. Here he was able to stretch out and get a bit more comfortable.
The jet engines suddenly roared to full power and Sean could feel the acceleration and he had to hold on to one of the legs on the equipment rack to keep from slipping back along the shelf. Then the nose of the airplane rose and he had not only to hold on tighter but he had to quickly find a place to wedge his feet also. He knew the airplane was now flying, but to where? As the plane stopped climbing and finally leveled off, he found he could relax his hold and settle down. Now there was another problem; the shelf that he was lying on was beginning to get cold and in the darkness he moved his hand and felt that the metal skin of the aircraft was ice cold. This was the temperature of the outside air that the plane was presently flying through. This particular compartment had an engine bypass duct coming into it and this contained hot compressed air bled from one of the engine's compressor stages. This was supplying heat to this small compartment at nearly the same rate as the outside air was cooling it and even though Sean was not warm enough to be comfortable, the temperature was tolerable. Not only was Sean lucky in this respect, he was also very, very lucky that this particular compartment was inside the fuselage area that was pressurized, otherwise he simply would not have survived.
After about forty-five minutes the noise of the engines decreased perceptibly and now the nose of the airplane headed down and Sean was tending to slide head first toward the front of the plane. After another ten minutes Sean noticed that the area was becoming a bit warmer; the airplane had descended into the lower, warmer air layers. When the plane took off, the noise of the engines at full power, had blocked out all other sounds, but now with the aircraft descending and with the engines throttled way back, Sean could presently hear the hydraulic lines all vibrating their different tones as the various mechanisms were being actuated. A few moments after he heard the last of these hydraulic noises, came the landing, and he was forcibly thrust head first toward the front of the plane as the engine reversers were actuated. After the plane landed Sean knew that there was a possibility that someone would open the hatch door and see him, so he felt around in the darkness and moved slowly back to his hiding place in front of the equipment rack.
'Murphy's Law' states: Anything that can go wrong, at some time or place, eventually will go wrong. Because of this, steel pins with long red cloth or plastic strips attached are placed in each landing gear after the airplane lands, especially if people are going to be working under it or on it. This is an added safety factor to assure that the foldable gear does not collapse while the plane is on the ground, because of some human error or mechanical failure. Before this particular flight departed, exactly like many other flights all over the world, the mechanic pulled these steel gear pins out and walked forward so that the Captain and flight crew could see him, and then he held up these pins with their bright red streamers until he received eye contact from the Captain. No Captain will depart until he sees these pins pulled, because it would be impossible to retract the landing gear if they would accidentally be left in place. On this particular flight, however, the ground crew was short handed and also had an above average number of equipment problems. After these pins had been pulled and shown to the flight crew, they were never returned to their proper storage spot on the airplane, which was next to the hatch opening in the belly compartment where Sean O'Brien was now hiding.
Sean was hidden behind the rack when the plane stopped. Shortly after this the hatch opened and Sean saw a hand feel around near the hatch opening; then a head popped in and looked and said to someone outside, with a decidedly British accent, "No gear pins!"
"Let me look," said another distinctly English voice, and a second head pushed itself in and looked and vanished. Sean could hear these English voices talking about missing gear pins. Things were quiet for a while and then a noisy diesel generator was cranked up outside and this was when Sean decided to leave. He crawled back to the hatchway and first put his legs through the small hole and then he slowly lowered himself to the ground. As he pulled his head out of the hole, he saw a van approaching and it stopped a mere fifteen feet from him. There was nothing that he could do but stand there. The driver of the van had on the same uniform as the people on board the airplane. This man started toward Sean but then his attention was diverted to a large cut on one of the aircraft's tyres and he stooped over and examined it, all the while talking to someone on his hand held radio. Then, over the noise of the diesel generator, he shouted to Sean, "Have you people found those gear pins yet?"
"No," replied Sean, shaking his head.
"Would you do me a favor?" asked the military man who had long ago discovered that tact was needed in dealing with this highly unionized aircraft bunch.
"Yes," answered Sean, who now walked toward the man who was still bent over examining the cut on the tyre.
"They have located a set of gear pins in stock. Get them. Help yourself to the food," said the military man, handing Sean the key to the van while also now measuring the cut in the tyre to see if it was allowable because there were detailed directives telling exactly how big a tyre cut could be for the tyre to still be considered air worthy.
Sean had realized, when walking toward this man, that his Dublin Airport Badge would give him away so he made it a practice to be sniffing and holding his nose while he was close to the uniformed man so that his arm was always directly between the man's eyes and his Dublin Identification Badge. He could plainly see this other man's identification though, and it told him that he was now at London's Heathrow Airport.
Sean lost no time in inserting the key into the ignition switch and starting the engine. He drove in the same direction that the van had come from and as he drove he removed his Dublin Badge and put it in his shirt pocket. This van had one big seat clear across the front and on the passenger's side there was a plastic bag filled with small fancy sandwiches of the type commonly served on airlines. On the floor just below the bag of sandwiches was a white plastic bucket filled with chopped ice and small cans of tomato and orange juice. This, undoubtedly, was the food to which his benefactor had referred. Sean was not certain where he was allowed to drive and he felt relieved when he spotted a fuel truck moving in his direction and he slowed down and waited for the fuel truck and then turned a bit and followed it. He still did not know where he was headed, but at least he was going away from the airplane on which he arrived and by following this truck he would not be getting into trouble for being in an area where he should not be. As the fuel truck passed airplanes and buildings, Sean looked about but could not see a definite way out of this huge airport. Then he spotted three stewardesses, all by themselves, pulling their suitcases behind themselves on collapsible aluminum caddies. He pulled up to them and stopped. He got out and crossed over to the passenger's side, opened the doors for the girls and then grabbed the food and drinks and then he sat in the back of the van stuffing his mouth with food and washing it down with juice.
"Drive love," said Sean, to the nearest girl, with his mouth full so as to try to hide his Irish accent.
"Meg'll drive," replied the girl.
"He's got airport decals on this; this thing can go right out the gate!" exclaimed a girl to the tall red haired stewardess who now sat in the driver's seat.
"Our car is in the parking building. Could we go there?" asked the red head who was now at the wheel.
"Go," answered Sean.
"You used to drive out here, didn't you Meg?" asked the girl who was now handing the last suitcase to Sean in the back.
"Yes, when I worked for the Foreign Office," answered Meg.
No sooner did the other two girls get into the front seat and close the door, than the van shot off like a rocket and headed straight for the worse mess of congestion on the entire airport. Many red lights were flashing; jetways were moving and telescoping; airliners were moving, some under their own power and some being towed. There were long trains of baggage carts and there were many regular cars, tugs, vans and even some electric carts and bicycles, all moving at various speeds and different directions. Meg never even slowed down. She seemed to know exactly where everything was headed and she drove right through this melee just as if she owned the place. She went right in back of one airliner and its jet exhaust hit the side of the van like a massive hammer, rocking it from side to side and making everyone cough from breathing the hot concentrated kerosene fumes that jetted back out of the airplane's engines. Meg laughed and headed the van straight toward the side of a building. Sean was coughing and had tears in his eyes from the blast of fumes; his view toward the front was also limited because of the three girls who sat together on the front seat. Sean saw that they were headed right at a building and he held on tight for what he thought would be a sudden crash but they shot through a tunnel instead. They emerged out of this tunnel and into another area as congested as the first and Meg drove through all of this traffic exactly as before and headed for another tunnel. But a baggage handler had not pulled his long train of baggage carts quite far enough and a corner of the last cart on this long curved train still blocked the tunnel enough where a vehicle as large as the van could not enter. Meg needed a few more inches of room to get through.
"I'm all right, Jack!" she exclaimed as she backed up, then she put the van into first gear and hit the corner of the offending baggage cart hard enough to slide it forward and a bit sideways and slam it into the heavy metal post that protected the cement entrance way of the tunnel. Now she found that she had barely enough room and she proceeded slowly through the tunnel with about an inch to spare on either side of the van. Sean, however, was the only one observing the scene out of the rear window and now as the baggage tug pulled on its long curved train of baggage carts, with the rear cart locked firmly on the heavy metal protective post, the entire train tried to straighten out, tipping the carts, and hundreds of suitcases were thrown toward the inside of the curve and onto another baggage train also knocking bags from it too. Here now were the bags for two different airplanes thoroughly mixed. Some were run over and crushed and others were dragged along the cement. Some of these bags would actually go aboard their scheduled flights, but most would arrive days or even weeks later and those on which the labels were torn or abraded off and whose possessors had failed to include their names and addresses inside, would never ever be seen by their owners again. Sean was simply astounded by what he saw. Here was a young girl who had hurt the English more in a few moments than some of Sean's IRA friends had intentionally done in their entire careers. Sean was silent about what he had seen and Meg drove on totally unconcerned and approached the airport gate slowly. The occupant of the gate guard house spotted the decal and waved her on. But vehicles coming the other direction were all stopped and the identification of each person ascertained. No individual without a proper badge nor any vehicle without a proper decal was permitted entrance.
Sean felt much relieved after they passed this gate and left this restricted area where, without proper identification, he would have been instantly apprehended. He now looked about him and saw, shoved under the seat, a mechanic's tool box that was locked, but the hinge pin for one of the top covers protruded a bit showing that the owner had locked himself out several times and had removed this pin to get it open. Sean tried to remove the pin with his fingers but it was too tight; he needed a pair of pliers. There were two other pillow size leather bags lying next to the tool box and Sean also looked these over and found that they too were both locked. It seemed, now, that whenever Sean looked up into the rear view mirror, the blue eyes of the tall red haired driver were examining him. Sean also looked back at her, intrigued by the attention that he was getting from this tall red haired girl. The van now stopped in a spot marked: SERVICE AREA NO PARKING. Meg saw Sean observing the signs.
"Don't worry, it's tea time and it will be quite a while before they will be back to check," she said. "Would you wait 'till we get our car and then we'll drive it back here to get our bags?" she asked.
"Yes, I'll wait," answered Sean.
"Are you Irish?" asked Meg, who by now had noticed his accent even though he had purposely limited his words to avoid problems here in this country that had been having difficulties with Ireland now for some eight hundred years.
"Yes," answered Sean.
"My grandmother was Irish," said Meg.
"Which county was she from?" asked Sean. This being almost an automatic question because the answer will tell if they are from the Republic or the Republic's eight hundred year old enemy, from one of the six counties of Ulster.
"County Cork," replied Meg.
"I've been there," said Sean, feeling that a county in the Republic was far more acceptable than one in Ulster.
"I had better catch up with the other girls; I have the key," said Meg, who also knew the game and did not know if she had answered correctly or not. She was off like lightning.
With all the girls now gone Sean looked about inside the van and found a pair of pliers in the glove compartment that he immediately used to pull the hinge pin on the tool box cover. Rummaging through the tools he found a sock with an employee's identification badge hidden inside. Sean knew the reason for this. Employees often get extra badges by claiming that theirs are lost. They all know that eventually badges get torn off and lost so why not get the new badge when the time is convenient to them rather than wait until the badge is really lost or misplaced; then when they cannot find their badge, they have the new one available immediately. Sean thought to himself that he would have given everything he owned for that badge a few minutes ago when he felt trapped inside the restricted area of London's main airport, but now he no longer needed it, nevertheless, he had every intention of handing it over to the first IRA contact that he met here in London because they would certainly make good use of it.
Sean's interest then turned to the two thick leather bags that both had locks on them. He used some of the tools in the toolbox to cut through the leather of one of the bags and was astounded by what he saw; the bag was filled solid with packets of American One Hundred Dollar Bills; they even had bands around them telling how much was in each small packet. Sean quickly cut through the second bag and it was more of the same. He took a ruler from the toolbox and put together a stack of these packets that was one inch high and then read the bands and found out that this was twenty thousand dollars worth. He then quickly grouped all the packets from one of the bags together and measured them and estimated that there had to be more than two hundred thousand American Dollars in each bag. Sean thought to himself that this surely was drug money and that these people would soon be looking for their van and this money. He found that about a thousand dollars was all that would fit into his wallet, which already contained some Irish Pounds. He remembered seeing a roll of black tape in the toolbox so he got it and taped both money bags shut and pushed them back under the seat again where they would be out of view. He had Irish money and all of this American money, but he had not even one penny of English money, which was what he desperately needed now in this country. He looked up and saw all the girls walking back without their car.
"We really need your help. Our car won't start," said Meg.
"Well, I don't have to be back and I have this van all day," said Sean, thinking it a tale that the girls would believe.
"We only live about ten miles from here," said one of the girls.
"Good," said Sean, thinking that he would then be in a neighborhood where he might find a place to stay and therewith lose no time in getting rid of the van.
Meg again took her spot in the driver's seat and they all departed the airport area and during this phase of the journey there was a lot more conversation among the four occupants of the van.
"We certainly appreciate your help," said Meg, again looking at Sean through the mirror whenever she got a chance.
"Do you live in a good neighborhood? I need to find a place myself, nothing fancy," said Sean.
"Mrs. Williams might rent you a room," said Meg, and the other two girls who were chatting, abruptly stopped and both looked at Meg.
"She only rents to girls," said one of the stewardesses to Meg who by now had her mind made up about what she was going to try to do.
"She hasn't been able to rent that room next to me to any girl," replied Meg.
"It needs fixing and painting," the other girl shot back.
"A guy wouldn't mind living there," said Meg. "We'll tell her you're my cousin from Ireland," she added.
"I'd like to see the place," said Sean, as Meg drove on and Sean watched as the scenery slowly changed to one in which more and more houses were evident.
"Well, here it is," said Meg, as they pulled into a private parking space in front of a house in a residential neighborhood. Sean was used to seeing houses built of native stone, but here everything seemed to be built out of brick and these houses were not detached and set apart, but they were all set together in long rows. Land here, Sean could see, was at a premium.
The girls gathered up their suitcases and headed inside and Meg introduced Sean to Mrs. Williams as her cousin from Ireland. Mrs. Williams sat in front of a television set that at one time had been a colour set, but now only registered gray and purple hues. Sean took a look at the vacant room and then managed to get Meg to come outside with him where he could talk with her alone.
"Look, she needs a new television. Let's get her one before you ask her if I can stay," said Sean.
"You are going to buy her a tele?" asked Meg.
"Yes, but you've got to find a small family store that will take American Dollars because I haven't changed enough money yet," replied Sean as he opened the door to the van for Meg to again drive. She wasted no time in doing so and soon after that Sean had some new supplies and some English money in his pocket and both he and Meg were placing a new colour television in front of Mrs. Williams, who Sean only smiled at but who Meg now talked to and it was not long after this that Sean was bringing his toolbox and two leather bags into his new room.
Sean removed the food and any other trash items from the van and washed everything inside and out with detergent and water. He knew that this van was going to be dusted for fingerprints and he wanted none of his nor any of the girls to be found on it. He then put on a pair of latex gloves and drove the van to where Meg told him the nearest Underground Station was located. He then drove back so as to familiarize himself with this route because he knew that he would be walking this way many times during his London stay. Then he drove to where a further Underground Station was located and here he looked about for a place to park the van. He wanted a place where there would be few people around to see him and at last he found it in a well to do residential neighborhood. Here he drove very slowly and was drawn to one spot in particular because of the name on the private parking space. It said 'O. Cromwell', a name that was hated in Ireland over and above all other names. It was here that Sean decided to park the van. He looked about and saw no one observing him so he got out and locked the door and walked swiftly away while pulling off his latex gloves. He headed for the Underground Station and dropped the key to the van in a sewer as he passed by it. After a long walk he reached the Underground Station. He went down and got a ticket for the station nearest to Mrs. Williams and in a few minutes he was back at the station near where he now lived. He then walked to his new home: A walk that he would make many more times until he would figure out exactly how to get a driver's license in this enemy land in which he now found himself.
He discovered a telephone on his walk and put in the necessary coins and called and was rewarded with an answer. It was a London based IRA agent with whom the O'Briens worked with in illegal arms shipments, but Sean knew that he had to be very careful because it was extremely likely that MI5 had this line bugged.
He said: "My name is Sean and I have unexpectedly arrived here in London from Dublin Airport. I want them to know back home that I will be on holiday here for a while with friends. Did you get all of that?"
"Yes, Sean unexpectedly arrived in London from Dublin Airport and will stay on holiday for a while in London with friends." said the voice.
"Thank you," replied Sean and hung up. He had given the IRA enough information so that they would know he was safe and he knew that they would report this to his family. He knew he could not trust them with any more information than that because English Gaols were full of IRA men. Sean understood that he had to be extremely careful over here. The money he now had would buy him time to figure out how to get back home to Ireland. He made a mental note to never again use this phone and that all other calls to the IRA would have to be spread about the city of London.
Meg was there when Sean returned and he told her that he had taken the van back to the airport and had just now returned via the Underground.
"Want to make another trip to the airport? They called and told me the car is fixed and I want to get it," said Meg.
"Let's go," replied Sean, and they both set out together holding hands and walking toward the Underground Station.
Across the water, in Ireland, some fishermen were unloading fish from a small fishing vessel. Later that same evening these fishermen were all given new clothes and new identity papers and then found themselves on the road to Dublin.
At about this time the telephone rang at the O'Brien's farm house and a voice told them about Sean's trip to London and that he was safe and would be there a while.
And at this very same time in London, an angry O.K. Cromwell was driving home in the rain. This was possibly his worst day ever at MI6. His agents had lost about half a million in American Dollars which would surely delay his homeland assault on the IRA unless the money was presently recovered. For the type of information that Cromwell needed, certain bankers in the Republic of Ireland had to be promptly paid. Many others had to be paid in cash too and not in English Pounds because the British Government could not be seen as being in any way involved.
Where had this money gone? Both of the men entrusted with the money had advanced degrees from Oxford and nothing in either of their records even hinted of a calamity like this. What could possibly have gone wrong? Everything had been planned so exactly. Nothing like this had ever happened to Cromwell before. Cromwell drove toward his house in the rain and was angry. But then his anger soon turned to rage when he saw that his own private parking space was now occupied by a large van, but he knew exactly what he had to do; he had done it several times before. He pulled his own car in so that his front bumper touched the rear bumper of the van, then he went outside into the rain and got a small chain out of the boot and fastened the two bumpers together. He would now, as he had done before, pull the van out into the road and park his own car and then call the police to inform them that a van was blocking the road. He pulled now, with his car, but the van would not budge. He got out into the rain again in order to release the brakes on the van but found all windows and doors locked up tight, so he smashed one of the windows with his jack and reached inside and opened a door. But now he found that this van was far different from the vehicles that he had pulled out before: This van was equipped to be theft proof with its ignition switch on the steering column, and now that the key was pulled out, the steering wheel was locked all the way to the right and the gearshift was locked in reverse. Cromwell cursed and removed the chain and drove off down the street, both sides of which at this late hour, was now filled solid with parked cars. It was quite some distance away that Cromwell finally found an empty space to park. As Cromwell walked back to his house the rain started coming down harder and harder as if someone up there was trying to convince him that there was indeed a God.
Meg had driven Sean to her favorite eating spot. They had finished their meal and were both sipping a small glass of wine and Sean ordered a bottle of the same type to take back with them.
"You used to work for the Foreign Office?" asked Sean.
"Yes, but I got into trouble," said Meg.
"Driving?" asked Sean.
"Yes, and the fact that it was all politics and congeniality; it didn't matter how smart you were," said Meg.
"Did they let you go right away or did they warn you first?" asked Sean.
"Oh, I had plenty of warnings, but I don't take to being warned," said Meg.
"Didn't that hurt you getting another job?" asked Sean.
"I had a very good friend in the Foreign Office who knew that I had applied for this stewardess job and when the Airline's letter of inquiry about me came in, she diverted it and opened it herself and mailed them a standardized reply that gave me a good recommendation. The Airline never questioned it and hired me," said Meg.
"Didn't you worry about it?" asked Sean.
"That's not the only thing I've done; I had to change my medical report for the airline," said Meg.
"What!" exclaimed Sean.
"Yes, I'm three inches too tall for stewardess requirements so I carefully whited it out and retyped in the height that would pass," said Meg.
"That's hard to believe. They may find you out though," said Sean.
"What are they going to do? Are they going to take the job away? Well, they weren't going to give it to me in the first place; so what have I lost? asked Meg.
"I guess that's true," replied Sean.
"I couldn't have done that with a large organization but this airline isn't big enough to have its own medical staff so it hires this service out; I figured the height requirement was something that this medical outfit had copied from another airline that had small airplanes. Now everyone realizes that I'm taller than all the other girls, but since I've never missed a flight and I'm as helpful as I can be, I believe I'll stay there for a while longer. I like them and they seem to like me. And this is nothing like being a robot in the Foreign Office; here I'm using my brain. This little airline really needs people who can think and work out problems," said Meg.
Sean had been attentively listening and then he reached over to an adjoining table and got hold of a discarded newspaper before the man who was cleaning off the table could reach it. Sean then heard nothing more of what Meg was saying because his mind was now concentrated on an article about two IRA men, the Maclise Brothers, who late one night had removed several tons of weapons from a London Armory. But they had been too greedy and stolen too much because the weight of their enormous haul was so great that it substantially bent down the springs of their vehicle and noticeably flattened the tyres. These things were duly noticed by two Bobbies who were on patrol in the area and alongside of whom the two Maclise Brothers pulled up and asked directions because they had gotten lost on their way back. One of the officers directed them along a road that led past the Station House and as soon as the brothers pulled away, this officer lost no time in phoning in his suspicions of these two with Irish accents, and they were both subsequently apprehended along with their booty. Sean now read where their trial was scheduled for tomorrow in London. It was only now after he finished reading that his mind turned back to Meg again.
". . . Mrs. Williams will be in bed by now," said Meg. Sean heard this and correctly understood it, so he signaled for the waiter who immediately came and to whom Sean handed an American One Hundred Dollar bill.
"I only have this American money because I haven't had time to change enough yet," said Sean. A short time later the waiter returned with the change in British currency. Sean seemed to be having no trouble spending these American dollars here in London.
"I believe there is an old dumb waiter between our two rooms but the doors seem to be fastened shut," said Meg as she drove back home.
"I saw that too and I noticed that there were screws in the corners of the doors. I should be able to take them out," said Sean.
"I certainly hope that you can. I wouldn't want to have to wait up every night until Mrs. Williams goes to bed before I sneak you into my room," said Meg.
"When I get the dumb waiter doors open then you will be able to crawl through to my room too," said Sean.
"I'm sorry but your room needs to be fixed up and painted. It's lacking the necessary atmosphere," said Meg.
"You need atmosphere?" asked Sean.
"Most definitely," replied Meg, whose mind was focused solely on her driving and Sean. Sean's mind alternated between Meg and the Maclise Brothers who were in the same IRA brotherhood and who needed his help. If money would help get them released then he had plenty to help them with. That night, while Sean would not have traded places with anyone else in the entire world, the Maclise Brothers spent their hours in a barren cell furnished by an inhospitable English Government. Neither this government nor Sean knew that plans were now under way to ensure that this was to be the final night of the Maclise's internment.
Sean had left Meg's room a bit before daylight, and by early morning he was on the Underground and he got off at Marble Arch and walked over to Hyde Park after having breakfast. There he listened to speakers talking about various subjects when all of a sudden there was a collision of several motor cars along with an abrupt bunching of vehicles and people shouting and horns blowing and then emerging from this melee were two men who seemed to be handcuffed together. Sean watched with amazement as these two men, with their hands together, ran from this crowd over to Hyde Park and then ran along the grass as fast as they could. Sean immediately suspected that these were the Maclise Brothers and they had now made an escape. Sean had over two thousand American Dollars with him and he knew that this much might make all the difference in getting them both safely back to Ireland so he ran after them as fast and as far as he could. He only stopped once to listen to a portable radio that someone had in the park; the radio station now issued a flash bulletin of a possible criminal escape in London. Now he was certain it was them and he felt that he absolutely had to give them this money. He had lost the men several times but spotted them again, but now as he looked around he saw no one at all moving and he figured that they must have stopped to rest somewhere so he started to check everyone in the area and finally he came to two men sitting on a park bench with their eyes shut and a newspaper over their hands. Sean gently lifted an edge of the newspaper and spotted links of a chain. Now he felt certain he had found them and he knew they spoke Gaelic.
"Erin go bragh!" said Sean loudly right in front of their faces, bringing both figures instantly back to life. He then dumped all his American money in their lap. "I'll be back with some shears that will cut the chain," said Sean and he ran to look for an Iron Monger where he could buy something that would cut through steel.
These men on the bench did indeed look alike and may well have been brothers, but the chain under the newspaper was a chain for a dog that they regularly brought into the park and illegally turned loose and so they kept the chain hidden under the newspaper while the dog roamed and they slept.
"He'll be comin' back with shears!" exclaimed one of the men and he whistled and they left as soon as the dog heard the whistle and returned. With their dog now chained and their pockets filled with money, they now headed swiftly home. Sean found when he returned that they had both gone. He felt that they knew best and he wondered what fate had in store for them.
Sean then returned to his new found home and was happily greeted by his red haired girlfriend who, together with him lost no time in removing the screws from the dumbwaiter doors. Now he could come and go from Meg's room without being observed. He then replenished his pocket supply of American Dollars from one of the leather bags and headed with Meg on a tour of the central part of the City of London. Even Meg did not want to drive there, so they again walked hand in hand toward the Underground.
While these two sat on the Underground train they unknowingly passed right under the building where O.K. Cromwell was now questioning two of his agents.
". . . You had this money in these bags and then you put them into this van and then you left? " Cromwell angrily asked.
"We had the key with us," replied one of the agents.
"You didn't know that they make duplicate keys here in England?" roared Cromwell.
"The regulations clearly state that only one key shall be . . . " the agent started to say but was cut off by Cromwell.
"A duplicate key was made by a man with his own money, right at the airline terminal, because the person who was in charge of issuing the key was always out chasing the women and was hardly ever there. So by making his own key he was better able to perform his own job and he didn't have to waste time waiting for the person to come back and issue him a key," related Cromwell.
"Well, then he took the money," replied the agent.
"No! He took the van. He has been thoroughly questioned and some of our very best people have given him many polygraphs and they all agree that he did not take the money. Now if you two do as well as he did on these forthcoming polygraphs then we will know that you did not take the money," Cromwell angrily answered.
"You think that we took . . . "
"At this stage of the game I don't know what to think," said Cromwell, and he left.
Cromwell needed time to think so he decided to walk back to his office in London. As he walked he felt that he had to face facts: Only a handful of people with top clearances knew about the money. This thief not only seemed to know about the money and when it could be obtained but he also knew, Cromwell felt, who was in charge because he parked the van in front of the right home. Even his computers were of no avail to Cromwell now and as he walked through this City of London, his own city, he felt more alone than Sean O'Brien, who never even wanted to come to this city in the first place.
Cromwell had hardly ever taken time off before during working hours, but now he had to have this time to think and he walked through streets that he hadn't seen since he was young. While he was walking on the Embankment he saw a tall red haired girl kissing a young man and he thought to himself that he would have liked to have gotten married but this espionage work was deadly business and one could not afford to bring a wife and children into this murderous game because people here played their roles ruthlessly and here neither the agent nor his family were ever perfectly safe.
With his feet getting tired, Cromwell now went down into an Underground station and got on a train. He sat down and as the train rolled along he looked at the people sitting there with expressionless faces. He had always felt superior to these common people, but today he felt like one of them; he looked just like they looked; he felt tired. When he finally did get to his office he was feeling low but now he learned that the serial numbers of all of those bills had never even been recorded. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. Cromwell's spirits fell to rock bottom. He now knew the chance of ever recovering that money was next to nil.
The Maclise Brothers had indeed made their spectacular escape near Hyde Park, but Sean had not witnessed what he thought he had. The two that he saw running were only two of countless Irish volunteers who the IRA had brought in to help the cause of these two brothers. After the IRA rammed the vehicle containing the two and held guns at the heads of the other occupants, then the real brothers ran making their escape and so did countless others all run hand in hand in every direction of the compass, away from the same site so as to throw off people who might try to locate where the real pair went.
Although the actual IRA operatives in England are few in number. there are a great many Irish in England who can be counted on to 'help the cause '. Here in London these part time volunteers for these IRA events seem always to be plentiful. Thousands of people, in fact, used to march complete with sunglasses and the rest of the IRA garb, right through the City of London until Parliament went and passed a law making it all illegal now.
A person could not get more militantly IRA than Bernadette Devlin; she was pro IRA to the core. Her Irish constituents even sent her to London as their duly elected Member of Parliament, but she had rather bad manners in this austere body and punched one of her fellow members in the jaw while he was giving a speech that she didn't like and for this she was duly deprived of her membership privileges for a while. Later she even survived a machine gun attack by staunch anti-IRA activists. Colourfully confronting her in Northern Ireland was preacher Ian Paisley who led the anti-IRA forces. Both Bernadette Devlin and Ian Paisley were experts at their respective trades. Each could give a speech where ten thousand women would end up crying and either could give equally effective speeches where ten thousand men would be ready to march.
If it would have been Meg who had come to Dublin, and not the other way round then these two would probably have never looked twice at each other. In Ireland Sean was gradually accepting more and more responsibility for running the family farm and he would not have needed Meg there. Here in London Sean needed Meg. She actually saved him by getting him safely out of the airport. Here Sean was entirely dependent on her because he did not know London and in the back of his mind was always the British Suspect Law known popularly as the 'Sus '. Very few American tourists are aware that they can be locked up in both England or Ireland for as long as those governments consider necessary without any recourse to trial and with no evidence whatsoever. These laws were designed to suppress terrorism but none-the-less all should be warned about these laws. Sean was well aware of this and this added to his dependency upon Meg. Sean did not know all the particulars of these laws but he thought that if he were caught then he would be jailed under the 'Sus ' and all of his money would be confiscated under 'Treasure Trove ' and he was not too far off in his assumption.
In Dublin, Sean was attentive to his duties in running the family farm but here now, with these suddenly removed, he turned this attentiveness to Meg and she thrived on it. Meg showed him London and he took it all in but was particularly impressed with the London Underground System. He had been to Paris and had used the 'Metro' and found that he had to write down the names of the stations on the ends of the lines and those crossover stations or else he could get totally lost, but this in London was far different. He had never seen anything quite like this. It was simple to use. You didn't have to write down anything; you only had to remember where you were going. There were always plenty of full maps on the tile walls and partial maps in the cars themselves. The volume of traffic carried by this system simply amazed Sean. These trains sometimes were arriving in less than five minute intervals. He felt as if he didn't even have to wait. By the time he and Meg went down the steps to the tracks then there was a train or one came within a few minutes. Sean never knew a city so large as this where it was so incredibly easy to travel from one spot to another. It seemed that they merely asked someone where the nearest Underground was- everyone seemed to know - and then they walked a few blocks and went down and got on the train and a few minutes later they were right where they wanted to be, no matter if it was one mile away or twenty. Sean had never believed that anything like this even existed. The London Underground System impressed Sean more than anything else in England.
Meg and Sean were now on an Underground train as it started up and an American father was explaining the system to his six year old daughter:
"You see this map here; we are now traveling on this light blue line; so that's the Victoria Line we're on now. We got on here," he said as he put his finger on the spot on the map in the car.
The little girl's eyes were glued to him and that map as he continued, "Now we are going this way and the next name that we should see on the tile walls should be Victoria Station," said the father while all the rest of the people on this fairly full car were tuned in and listening to their English language spoken in this strange American accent.
"And if we don't see Victoria Station written on the walls then that means that we are going the wrong way and we have to get out and cross over to the other side like we did at Black Friars," said the little girl.
Sean looked around and there were smiles in both directions up and down the car as far as he could see. Everyone on that car suddenly realized that this American father did not have much more experience with the Underground than this six year old because he had taken a train in the wrong direction.
A person who knew this to be the fastest and cheapest way to get around London was J. Paul Getty, who at one time was one of the world's richest men, if not the richest man. He regularly traversed the city of London- along with everyone else - on the London Underground trains. At the very same time as he was thus sitting alongside of the various common people of London, he was contributing millions to construct his art museum in California that some people say is the richest in the world. Although J. Paul Getty never worried once about his personal safety on the London Underground, he never even saw his art museum in California because traveling in an airplane terrified him.
After spending the day in central London, Sean and Meg were both tired, but they had eaten and again brought back with them a bottle of wine. They got off the train and hand in hand climbed the steps up out of the station and began to walk home. As they walked home they both looked forward to the time they would spend together. When they arrived they went in and both wished Mrs. Williams a good night as she watched her new television, then as she turned to observe them, they both entered their respective rooms and locked their doors. Sean lost no time in quietly opening the dumbwaiter door. He crawled through and saw Meg at one end of the bed; he immediately went to the other end and together they lifted off the mattress and placed it on the floor. They had both learned, their first night together, that this bed creaked excessively and was far too noisy.
This was a short night for the pair because Meg was scheduled for a six o'clock morning flight which meant she had to drive because the first Underground train through their nearby station would not come through early enough to get her there with enough time to prepare for the flight. After Meg left, Sean crawled back to his own room and slept several more hours and then studied the dumbwaiter shaft and then installed some magnetic latches that he had bought and these held the doors shut. He then snipped the old screws in half and reinstalled only the tops of the screws back into the existing holes so that they looked like they were holding the doors securely fastened closed, the same as they originally had done. Sean saw something else inside the dumb waiter shaft; it was the perfect place to hide his money. He took a flashlight and ruler and carefully measured a spot between the beams of the old house. Then he took a knife and cut out a sliver of wood from these beams. He added a few more American bills to his pocket supply and off he went with the measurements and piece of wood, toward the Underground. The train took him to an area where he found a tin smith who he gave the measurements to and he also showed him the wood sample. The tin smith agreed to make a metal box and attach the wood to it but Sean would have to take the wood sample to a carpenter to get the wood part made. Sean walked to the carpenter's shop with his sample and found not only would the carpenter make the wooden part but he would also stain it to the same colour as the sample and deliver it to the tin smith, Sean thanked him, paid him and walked down the street looking for a place to eat breakfast. He found a spot that was bursting with activity and the name, written in bright green, almost invited him in; it said McNEIL. Sean was surprised to hear some Irish accents when he entered. He had not heard this Irish way of speaking for several days now. He ordered his breakfast and was eating it when another man sat down next to him and ordered a cup of tea and then turned to Sean and with a clearly imitated Irish accent that immediately put Sean on guard.
"Is this your first time in London?" the man next to him asked.
"This is the first time that I've eaten breakfast here," answered Sean. He then looked the man directly in the eyes and studied him well because Sean did not like that question. It was one that an English MI5 agent would be asking new arrivals, and if this person was from MI5 then Sean wanted to remember exactly what he looked like.
"I can tell from the way you talk that you haven't been here long," said the man and Sean knew that he had a definite problem here now, but he also knew that with all the Irish accents around that the English here were outnumbered so he shouted into the man's ear as loud as he could.
"Well if you can tell that then there are a lot of English agencies that will give you a job." said Sean as he stood up as if ready to fight, never taking his eyes off of the other man. Sean knew that people who have recently illegally entered a country are always frightened and want to avoid disturbances but any Irishman who was here legally would stand his ground and he wanted it to appear to this man that he was doing exactly that.
"Top of the morning to you," said the man hastily gulping down his tea; then he was gone. Sean sat back down and finished eating then he went, to the man standing behind the cash register, to pay. This man proudly wore his name, hand sewn in green, on his shirt: It, like the sign outside, said McNeil .
"I overheard your conversation and there are some of us here that think your breakfast partner has already taken that English job you suggested," said McNeil smiling.
"Does he come in here every day?" asked Sean.
"Several times a day; he only buys tea and always sits next to new arrivals," answered McNeil. This told Sean two things: That the man was an English agent and McNeil was a person to be trusted.
"At first I thought he was MI5 but when he said 'Top of the morning' then I knew that he had been to Ireland and that he must be from England's MI6 agency," said Sean, while paying for his breakfast.
"Top o' the mornin' to you me boy," said McNeil correctly leaving off the ending on the words 'of' and 'morning' exactly as it is done back in Ireland. He then handed Sean his change.
"Where should I sit so I can quietly enjoy breakfast every morning?" asked Sean. Thereupon McNeil left his position at the cash register and led Sean over to a table and introduced him saying,
"This fellow was rude to the 'Black-and-Tan' and does not want to eat breakfast with him again. Could we find a spot for him over here? asked McNeil of a group who were all smiles.
"You figured him out, did you!" one of the group remarked.
"There is nothing that McNeil can do. If he prevents the 'Black-and-Tan' from coming in then they find some health violation or building code violation and they close this place down," said another.
"We have all finished breakfast, but come along with us and we'll talk about this 'Black-and-Tan'," said a third man, and they all rose and Sean went with them and felt quite at home in this group as he mostly answered the numerous questions that they had about how things were in Dublin these days. Sean marveled at them using this term 'Black-and-Tan' in their everyday language. It made Sean feel like he was stepping back in time. Sean remembered his great grandfather and some very old people using this phrase, but all of them had long been dead. Here the phrase lived on and these people kept using it. Sean remembered his great grandfather telling him that the 'Black-and-Tan' was a popular hunting dog at that time and everyone knew about them and then when the hated English troops came to throw the people off their farms, their uniforms were the same colour as the dog so they too were called 'Black-and-Tans'
As this group walked down the street they told Sean that this agent needed to be fixed. All of this group had come to England from Ireland and all had been given trouble by these type of people. They resented his quasi governmental questioning of new arrivals. The group now entered a bar called 'Dooleys'. Here Sean listened to them and bought his share of the Half and Half and Guinness beers that were downed. This entire group knew that while the English law might be written to seem fair to all, there were always certain individuals who seemed to take and enforce these laws in ways that they saw fit. This was where the unfairness came about.
Sean had listened to a plan that they had worked out and saw that it needed to be modified somewhat and financed; otherwise it looked OK. Running things on the farm had given Sean the self confidence and persuasiveness that he now used to convince the group that together they indeed might be able to pull this thing off.
"But how do you know we will get the money," asked one of the men.
"I will meet with a wealthy Irish-American tonight who cannot become involved but who loves to finance these kinds of things. I will let you know one way or the other, at breakfast tomorrow," said Sean.
Sean had been at Dooleys for several hours and had drunk a bit more than he should. When he arose he had to grab the table to steady himself for an instant. Several in the group saw this and laughed. As he walked away he felt a bit unsteady, but the alcohol perhaps even emboldened him to do what he did next. He left this neighborhood and found a pay phone and called one of the daily tabloids and asked for the name of an independent photographer who did work for them because he told them he intended to open another furniture store and needed pictures to go in the newspaper for the grand opening. They gave him several names and phone numbers and these he subsequently called; one of these people he called seemed interested in what he proposed. Sean then called the IRA but did not tell them who he was but only that he wanted to make a contribution to them of one thousand dollars and for them to set the time and date where he could deliver it to them. This done he found a restaurant and treated himself to a steak and washed this down with several Guinnesses as he watched their television. Sean felt both a bit tipsy and sleepy now and when they showed a replay of the escape of the Maclise brothers, the alcohol made Sean's mind confused and he thought that they had made a second escape. Sean knew that he had to walk some of this off before he returned home to Mrs. Williams so he strolled into Hyde Park and walked on the grass to avoid people and traffic until he felt a bit more sober. After walking for a while he came upon the same two men that he met the day before and here they were sitting again on the park bench. Sean spoke to them in Gaelic and this time handed them most of the money that he had with him which was close to two thousand dollars, and then he was on his way.
"I couldna' understand a thing he was sayin'," said one of the men and he whistled for the dog, which came and then once again with their dog and money well secured, they left.
The next morning Sean awoke with a hangover, but he knew that he had a lot to do and he washed and took three thousand more dollars out of one of the bags and was off for breakfast at McNeil's. and there he told the boys that the American had generously agreed to finance them and he was anxiously awaiting the outcome. Sean then counted out the appropriate number of hundred dollar bills to each for their respective parts in this project. He then ate a hurried breakfast and then left to make the contribution to the IRA and pick up his box from the tin smith. Sean looked at his watch as he went down into an Underground station. He got on a train and after a few stops he got off and got on another line and finally got to the designated station at about the time the IRA had requested. At exactly the time given him he went over to a picture on the wall and rested against it putting his hand directly on the face of the man in the picture as he was told over the phone and which he somehow now remembered even though he had quite a bit to drink at the time he listened to their instructions. A man came over to him.
"You look tired," he said.
"I've come a long way," said Sean, which was the coded reply.
"You have a contribution?" asked the man.
"With me," answered Sean,
"Follow me," said the man who led Sean to a part of the station where there were no people.
"Look," said Sean as he gave the man the money. "We believe we are going to have a photo soon in a tabloid of an MI6 agent and this will ruin his cover in London, but they will only send him somewhere else and that's where you people come in. We will supply you with all the extra pictures that you need to ruin him wherever they send him," said Sean.
"Give me a code word so we will know that it is you when you call," the man said.
"Undercover," said Sean.
"Undercover it is then," said the man and he was gone.
Sean walked back and got on to a train that had just pulled in. He rode this train to a crossover station and then rode the other line to the station nearest the tin smith. He got out and walked to the shop and was pleased to find the box was not only completed but it was fastened to a wood block that looked the same colour and size as the wooden beams in the floor of the house. Sean paid his bill and took the box back with him to the Underground and within the hour he was back home and had already placed all of his money into this rodent proof container and had placed it inside the dumb waiter shaft and between two floor beams so that even an experienced builder would think it was part of the original house construction. The box itself was totally hidden from view. Sean then went outside the house and it was not very long until Meg pulled up.
"Want to go flying?" she asked him.
"What?" asked Sean.
"I go for my flying lesson today," said Meg.
"I don't believe it," said Sean.
"Yes I'm taking flying lessons. Come along," said Meg.
"When are you going?" asked Sean.
"Right now; hop in," said Meg.
"Well!" exclaimed Sean and got into the car alongside Meg and away they both went toward a small airfield many miles away.
As she drove, Meg said: "I told them that they would get more business if they moved closer to London but they said that if they were any closer, then the students would interfere with the airline traffic around London so that's why they are so far away. We will have to eat supper out there because it's going to be pretty late when we get back to London. I know several good places to eat there though." As they went further from the crowded area of London and drove through the rural area, it reminded Sean a bit like the country in Ireland. Sean pointed out a Guinness sign to Meg as they passed it.
"They make that in Dublin," Sean said.
"I've heard," replied Meg.
"There is a story: It may well be true, that Lord Guinness only made one speech in the House of Lords. After he had been there a good many years and was known as one of their quieter members, he was taken aback by a statement from one of the lords who claimed that one could no longer enjoy the scenery of the countryside because of all the signs saying 'Guinness is good for you'. Lord Guinness arose and made his famous speech saying merely, 'Guinness is good for you.' And then he sat down and was quiet for his remaining years in that noble establishment," said Sean.
"I'd like to see Dublin sometime," said Meg.
"Well if you come then they will give you a free tour of the Guinness plant. It's right alongside of the river Liffey whose water lost its clarity long ago in the dim and distant past. When you see the plant and that awful dirty water running alongside of it then it makes a person wonder if they might use any of that water in their plant so they mention several times in the tour that all of their water comes from Saint John's spring in the mountains many miles away," said Sean.
After miles of driving and all vestiges of the big city and its numerous inhabitants left far behind them, Meg pulled her car into the parking area of a small airfield where several light planes could be seen. Sean watched as Meg and her instructor took off and while they were spending their hour in the air, Sean talked to the people at the airfield. He found that while some airplanes are extremely expensive to buy, others were terribly cheap. And it wasn't size that seemed to make the difference; many huge airplanes were cheap because it required so much money to make them comply with government regulations, that the industry shied away from them and they sold at bargain prices. It dawned on Sean that since he now had plenty of money that he could purchase one of these mammoth bargains and utilize it in some devastatingly destructive manner against this English Government. He thought that he might furnish the IRA with one of these 'bargains ' ; they weren't going to be complying with any government regulations anyway, but Sean knew that he would have to remain firmly in charge of this airplane or the IRA would muck it up as they so often did. When Meg landed after her hour in the air, they both drove to a country restaurant and ate, but Sean only sort of half listened to Meg as she chatted on. His mind kept wandering back to what he might do with a giant airplane.
Also sitting down, but not eating, were two men who looked like brothers. By merely sitting on a park bench for two days in a row they had become the proud recipients of between three and four thousand dollars. They had been seated patiently all this third day feeling their good fortune might continue, but now it was getting dark and as yet they had received no more money.
"I donna' think he's comin'," said one of the men. The other man merely shook his head.
In this same city of London, several miles from the two men in the park, a tall thin IRA volunteer tried on some specially made clothes. Viewed from the front they looked like regular civilian clothes but when viewed from the rear he looked exactly like a uniformed London Bobbie. Another volunteer took delivery of a pistol and others worked into the night on project 'Undercover' .
The very next morning while Meg and Sean were still sound asleep together in Meg's bedroom in London, project Undercover began. The offending British agent was grabbed from his bedroom while he slept and he was gagged and shoved into a windowless van with a pistol held constantly to his head. He was completely undressed and after a short ride through the city of London, he was shoved out into a crowd of IRA volunteers who waited on the road just approaching the Thames River Bridge, directly in front of Big Ben, as daylight was just now dawning. As the city came to life this would be a very busy area. Even at this very early hour there was considerable interest in what exactly was going on here and people started to congregate. The police had already been called by numerous people with London accents telling them about a naked man standing in front of Big Ben. The police were on their way and as soon as they were spotted, the original IRA group started to disappear over the Thames Bridge and some down into the nearby Underground Station, but they were soon replaced by more curious people who stopped to look. As the first policeman came into the crowd, the photographer started taking his flash pictures.
The next day one of the tabloids had displaced it's usual scantily clothed girl with a photo of the British Agent standing, naked as a jay bird, right smack dab in front of Big Ben. Now the British people are used to seeing Bobbies in pairs. The London Bobbie gets this popularized name from Robert Peel who first organized a police system, that really worked and that the people trusted, way back in 1828. These police are never fat and are always six feet in height or more and there are always two of them, Now the IRA knew that bribing a Bobbie to make a picture would be impossible so they had to bring one of their own in for that special touch they wanted in the picture. Here now printed full page in thousands of tabloids was this naked man standing directly in front of Big Ben and with one Bobbie- the real one - approaching with his face to the camera. And the other Bobbie - the specially clothed IRA plant - was standing ramrod straight alongside this naked man, but this policeman had his back to the camera and was holding his seven inch diameter, round, bullet shaped, London policeman's hat directly in front of the man's genitals. The one word tabloid caption told it all; it said UNDERCOVER.
Not only did the group do this but with the additional help of the IRA, many more newsboys than usual were selling this tabloid around MI6's London office buildings. The IRA needed to make certain that there were plenty of copies for all those who wanted to see one of their fellow workers who had gotten his picture in the paper.
The IRA now had its people tracking down the true identity of this man and when they found out who he really was then they would prepare more of these photos, complete with his real name so that IRA members close to the next area where he would be sent, would have a good supply of these same pictures to pass around.
Sean was watching television one day when on came a program about people getting false identities. Here was a news reporter standing next to a tombstone of a man who had been dead for more than ten years and the reporter was displaying a brand new birth certificate that was recently issued to the man whose name was engraved on the granite grave marker. Someone had simply filled in the form correctly and paid the required fee and here, for all to see, was the birth certificate. Sean grabbed a pencil and paper and quickly copied down all of the information that this show provided for him. This short television presentation supplied Sean with the major amount of information that he needed to get a false identity, which he needed to get his English driver's license.
Before Sean went to bed that night he had posted a letter to Somerset House in London requesting an application for a birth certificate. Several days later, in the mail, he received the application form. As he read the form he saw that not only would he have to give the name and date of birth but he had to supply the name of the father and the mother's maiden name as well. This was something that the television show had failed to explain, but since Sean had plenty of time, he resolved a method that should be time consuming but that should get the job done. For the next several days Sean was at the library going over two years of microfilms of newspaper obituaries, starting with a year before and ending a year after his own birth date. He was only interested in male infants that had been given a name and that listed a London area cemetery where they would be buried. When he found one of these, he copied all the information that the obituary supplied him. After four days of this searching he had obtained fifteen names of named male infants buried in a London cemetery with the name of one of the parents also given, but none of these obituaries gave an exact birth date.
Sean spent the next five days visiting cemeteries and of these fifteen possibilities, only seven tombstones could be found that listed the child's name and birth date. Sean was well satisfied so far but the next day as he went to search the marriage record microfilms, he saw that they were guarded by a real dragon who regarded all of these machines and microfilms as her very own and who tolerated no one here who did not belong. Sean stood back and observed this older woman militantly running her department almost with whip in hand. He then turned and departed without even trying to search the marriage records. Sean walked down the street and his mind went back through all the methods that he had learned when he had read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People . Then Sean noticed a florist shop and went in and purchased a dozen roses complete with vase and returned and presented this offering to the dragon lady.
"I need your help. I'm going through law school and my professor gave me this project to locate some marriages and I don't have the slightest idea how to do it or how to operate these machines," said Sean as the dragon lady held the vase of roses.
"Come this way. I do not want you operating these new machines. Use this old one; it's slow and you will be less likely to damage the microfilm. Which years do you need?" she asked him.
Sean told her and she brought him what he needed and then she showed him how to operate the machine and then she went to her desk and there she placed the flowers for all to see; they were something that she knew she deserved, but very seldom obtained.
Sean now looked over hundreds of marriages that were performed eight, nine and ten months before the birth dates that he had on his list and after hours of searching he had discovered exactly two marriages that he was absolutely certain fit. So now he had the father's full name and the mother's maiden name and the two marriage dates for the two couples of two infants who, if they had lived, would be close to his own present age. He felt proud of himself and he returned the microfilms and thanked his benefactress and left. The two names that he could apply for would be Richard Atkins or John Goldsmith and Sean felt that he had better go with John Goldsmith because Richard Atkins was not a name that would seem to fit a person with an Irish accent.
Sean was still not absolutely certain that this was foolproof and since he did not want to get caught if this thing backfired, he used the return address for one of the men who ate at McNeil's and who lived in a house with five other old men. Sean told the man at breakfast the next morning to bring him any mail addressed to John Goldsmith. A bit over a week later, at breakfast, the man handed Sean the letter from Somerset House addressed to John Goldsmith. Sean now had his birth certificate and his new identity that he could use to get his driver's license.
Sean knew that his Irish accent was still a problem and that an Englishman was simply not going to believe that this John Goldsmith, who was born here in London and still here now, was going to come in and apply for a license speaking with an Irish accent. Sean visited several driver's license testing stations and found one in a Pakistani area that was heavily staffed with Pakistani people. Here, he wisely decided, was the place to apply because here his accent would not even be noticed.
While Sean was in this area, he applied to a local driver's training school to learn driving in London and Sean was impressed with the Pakistani who owned the business. His cars were old but all were well maintained and he actually tried to teach his students about English driving laws and not just siphon away the student's money. Sean felt that here was a person who could be trusted, and this gave Sean an idea because he had one more problem that he had to deal with.
Back in Ireland, Sean had often talked with his father's accountant- a wise old man who had taken a liking to Sean - and who had told Sean how governments, all over the world, net people for tax evasion. If one was netted for tax evasion, he told Sean, it was not like the butterfly being netted by the collector or the dog being netted by the dog catcher but the end results were exactly the same because the person was just as firmly caught. This net, however, was finding the person's net worth. When any government discovers people whose net worth exceed their lifetime after tax earnings then these people are destined to come before a jury of their peers to explain why this is so. If these people show a suitable explanation backed by authentic records then generally they have no further problems because the jury's verdict will be for them and against the government. But where no records have been kept and the jury does not believe the explanation, then the verdict usually goes against the defendant and the government wins.
So this sends a message to you loud and clear. If you do not have the records to prove otherwise then you must not have assets in excess of your total earnings. This is it in a nutshell pure and simple. Only real fools disregard this. This was one lesson that Sean remembered. Now, since here in England Sean's after tax earnings were zero, then his net worth should be zero too. He could afford to collect no visible property until he had taxable earnings. He could not, for the present, even have a car listed in his own name.
Sean noticed an ad in the paper that said, "Going to America." and then it listed items for sale, which included a two year old car. Sean lost no time in calling the phone number and getting directions on how to get there. Shortly he was on the Underground headed to see this car. He spoke with the person and looked at the car, which had low mileage and still looked new. The oil on the engine dip stick and transmission dip stick were both clear and so was the radiator coolant. Sean heard the motor run and could find nothing that did not function. He found out that this car had always been kept inside too. A cash price in American Dollars was agreed upon and Sean wrote up a receipt and handed the man a One Hundred Dollar bill to clinch the deal until later in the day when Sean would return with the money and they would transfer the title. The man took the money, signed the receipt and Sean was then on his way to the Pakistani driving school. There, Sean told the owner that he wanted to buy a car but he was in the midst of a divorce and if he got the car then it would not be long before his wife's solicitor would find out about it and latch on to it, so the car would have to be in someone else's name. Sean told the Pakistani that he would put the car in the driving school's name and that the driving school would have the right to use the car at least fifty percent of the time during regular weekly business hours and if Sean used it more than that then he would pay the school a stipulated rental fee for the extra time. Tyres, fuel and insurance would be prorated and the school would be responsible for the car's maintenance. The Pakistani only looked at Sean and never said a word. Sean knew that he had to come up with the convincing closer.
"Look," said Sean, as he laid about six thousand dollars in the man's hand and he also put the receipt in front of the man's eyes. "I'm trying to give you this money. This is the money that I'm going to use to pay for the car. And this man has also told me that his firm is going to pay his moving costs so he will be agreeable to a very low sales price to be stated in the paperwork because he will then try to nick his firm for this big loss that he incurred in moving. This way the government will think that you have picked up another cheap car but you will have one of the best cars around now and you will be able to get top customers. Come with me right now and see; I am going to pay the man and then you can drive away in your new car," said Sean.
The Pakistani wanted Sean to come with him to his solicitor, and Sean agreed. This solicitor, it turned out, was also from Pakistan and he saw that this was a very good deal for his fellow countryman and he too tried to convince him, but the man who had realized his highest dreams of coming here to England and then being able to build up a successful business, was now very reluctant to break any laws of this culture that had given him this opportunity, and the solicitor knew this.
"This is a gift from Allah!" loudly said the solicitor. "It has nothing to do with the British Exchequer," he added.
These were the words that broke the ice and the solicitor saw that this had convinced his friend so he typed up the agreement between these two men. When it was finished they both signed and then they were off to take delivery on the car. The owner was both surprised and pleased when Sean counted out five stacks of ten hundred dollar bills and one stack of nine, which added to the hundred that he already had, was the agreed total of six thousand dollars. Sean then gave the keys to the Pakistani so he could drive the car back and then Sean and the original owner went to get the title legally transferred to the driving school. The value of the car was listed as only six hundred dollars. Sean had thus completely evaded the trap that the British Government uses to trap tax evaders who purchase big ticket items. He did not purchase the car from a dealer. He did not pay with large English bank notes whose serial numbers and paths were well monitored by computers. He did not allow the car to be transferred at the big ticket price. Last of all he did not allow the car to be put in the name of someone like himself who had no taxable earnings. He had done everything correctly and not only was he in good shape in this respect but now he would not be ripped off with maintenance fees charged by greedy and unscrupulous outfits, and with repairs done by the ignorant, all of which, if allowed to accumulate by the uninitiated and inattentive, can soon mount up, in a few years, to where that cost is more than the purchase price of the vehicle. Yes, the driving school would be wearing out the car, but they would also be replacing the worn out parts and they would be replacing things like timing belts and brake pads before they caused considerable damage. This was a deal where both parties won.
In Ireland things were on hold, because Cromwell needed information from various bankers about certain accounts. All this information was illegal but could be obtained if ample money was available but unfortunately the money designated for this had been lost. The strike force was here and ready to strike the IRA but the information needed to pinpoint exactly who these people were- such as the O'Briens - was not yet forthcoming.
Cromwell, because of the loss of his money, had been dealt a setback but it was not a crushing blow. Tax money is always something that continues to come in, but it is like an agricultural yield, and some seasons bring in higher yields than others, but the harvest continues on none-the-less. Cromwell knew that he again would have the money to continue, but for now he would have to wait before he could bribe these crooked Irish bankers.
Where Cromwell and many other English super-patriots were being shortsighted in their well meaning attempts to harm the IRA, was that they were taking hard earned English taxpayer's money and they were spending it in Ireland. This could only help one country, Ireland. And it could only weaken one country- the one supplying the money - England.
This has not been the first time England has substantially aided her enemy. Prior to the American Revolution, wealthy Americans were heavily spending for foreign made items and thus depleting America of the very coinage that it needed to survive. Rich Americans bought so much of England's industrial produce that every last ounce of gold and silver had to be shipped out of America to pay for it. There was practically no more coinage left in America with which her citizens could trade. George Washington even melted down his own silverware and coined it to help the dire situation. England was the very country that finally helped America avert an economic breakdown, because the situation was saved by the English troops who England always paid in good gold coinage and this they spent while they were in America, putting enough good money back into circulation again thus helping this new country avert an almost certain monetary disaster. America absolutely needed this input of good gold coinage at this critical time. One would have thought England would have learned all of this by now.
Back in England Sean took his driving test as John Goldsmith and he gave the driving school's address as his own and he had a small concealed pouch installed under the driver's seat to hold his insurance papers and his driver's license; these stayed here. He did not carry his new driver's license with him ever because he did not want multiple sets of identification to be found on him. He would much rather be known by his real name most of the time because if he was caught, then they would check with Ireland and, probably if they thought he was harmless, he'd be shipped back. Sean also knew that the poorer he looked, the faster they would send him home to Ireland.
Sean was well aware of the animosity created by the wealthy foreigner who grabbed up the local women. This was another reason he did not want to appear to have much money. But by taking Meg to the various restaurants in town, he knew that when she related this to her friends that the neighborhood would think that here was a sharp English girl taking this foolish Irishman for every hard earned penny that he was making. In their minds, this was the picture that he wanted to paint. Sean knew that most criminals are caught, not by a lot of hard police work, but by the tips received from ordinary citizens. Sean was especially helpful to the elderly friends of Mrs. Williams because he knew that they had a lot of time to gossip and spread the good word about him. He wanted no disgruntled person dialing 999 and telling Scotland Yard about this suspicious Irishman in their neighborhood.
Sean would not be the first to put his well being and his fortune aside and concentrate on some singular cause. The people in the nations that win the wars tend to forget all about them, but the losers never do. England had won all the many wars with Ireland and in general the English hatred for their Irish foes was a thing of the past. But this is not so in Ireland. Here the hatred is kept very much alive and the embers continue to burn on and even break out occasionally into open flames over and over again for the past eight hundred long years. This hatred is passed on from generation to generation until it is believed just as strongly as any religion. Thousands of Irish have given their lives for this Irish cause.
This Irish hatred for all things English had left its indelible mark upon Sean who now, with his sexual and life sustaining needs well gratified, set out to find a suitable airplane with which he would inflict such a tremendous loss upon this unjust English system, that the Name Sean O'Brien would ring out nightly in all the pubs throughout Ireland. These visions of grandeur seem to be commonplace among those who succeed too well, too early.
When Meg was in London then Sean was there too constantly, but when she was away on trips- her schedule would keep her away for days at a time - then Sean would also be gone on the road looking for an airplane which he intended to bring down Armageddon to this English enemy. Precisely how he was going to do all of this with only one airplane, never entered his mind. The important thing to Sean now was getting hold of this big airplane.
As the months went by there were many occasions where, with Meg gone, Sean would find himself all alone with one of the other girls and he often wondered how it would be to have sex with one of them as well but since he was constantly on the road looking for his airplane, he did not remain in the house long enough for a relationship to be established with any of them- or so he thought.
On one of his trips to a very remote section of England, Sean stopped in at a place to eat one Sunday about the time that the church was letting out and the place was rapidly filling up with customers as he was looking for an empty table. Sean could not find an empty table when suddenly a black haired girl, all of sixteen, pulled out a chair for him at a small two place table where she sat alone.
"Sit here if you'd like," the young girl said to Sean.
"Thank you," Sean said as he sat down across from her.
"Do you take sugar in your tea?" she asked.
"Half a spoonful," replied Sean.
"It's lamb today. Is that OK?" she asked.
"Fine," said Sean and she was gone only to return in several minutes with his meal and tea and then she sat back down again with him.
"I work part time here but I'm not really working here today and I'm glad you sat here because I felt that I was taking a table away from one of their paying customers," said the girl.
Then a busy waitress came by and said, "Let's see the pictures fast because I've got to get back." whereupon the girl sitting with Sean displayed many photos out on the table.
"What's the bloke's name?" asked the waitress.
"Johnny Day. He's Irish," said the girl at the table. And with that Sean recognized the face in the pictures and now the name John Day struck him like an electric shock because he suddenly realized that this was a youth who worked in a Dublin Bank and whom he had talked to and who had told Sean he was leaving for a new job in County Cork. What on earth was going on here? Then Sean comprehended that he might have stumbled onto something and this girl across from him was his only link to the answer.
"Is your girlfriend getting married?" Sean asked.
"Yes," answered the girl.
"Bring her a meal too. I'm paying," said Sean to this new waitress. "Here's a tip now in case you are not here when I leave," said Sean as he pressed some coins into this new waitress's hand.
"Thank you but you shouldn't have," replied the girl as the waitress left and the girl put the photos back into her purse.
"When is the wedding going to be?" asked Sean.
"Next month at Saint Marys," replied the girl.
"How did they meet?" asked Sean.
"Oh her father does secret stuff for the government and Johnny brought some banking things to her father and they met," said the girl, and this gave Sean a much clearer picture of what was going on. John Day was a spy who had come here to England to sell MI6 information and was now going to marry into the family and probably end up as an MI6 agent himself.
"I guess that you will be going to the reception," said Sean.
"I got an invitation but it will be high class and I don't have the clothes that one needs to attend, but I'm going to the wedding at the church," said the girl. Sean thought to himself, if it's clothes that you need then you shall have the clothes. Sean now wanted to attend that reception and get some pictures of these people. He knew that he could get plenty of help from the IRA for this. He would now have to trust them a bit more than he had been trusting them and he had to keep this girl whatever means it took. Her meal arrived and both of them ate while Sean's mind kept going over the problem at hand.
"Oh, there's Mr. Johnson," said the girl.
"Who is he?" asked Sean.
"He lets me drive his motor car sometimes. It's a darling little car. He wants to sell it," said the girl.
" How much does he want for it?" asked Sean.
"Oh, several hundred pounds. Did you want to see it? He probably has it parked right outside," said the girl.
"When we finish eating, we'll look at it," said Sean, knowing that he now had the answer to keeping this girl and getting to the reception. It was going to cost him a car and some clothes, but he was going to get some pictures of MI6 people. Rats all stick together and this place will be packed solid with them, thought Sean. Sean spent the rest of the meal talking with this girl about small talk and things that she seemed to be interested in and found that they were both having more eye contact as the meal ended. He knew that he was going to have to give her a name soon and he decided that he would tell her he was Sean O'Brien and not John Goldsmith which also meant that he could not let her see the car he was presently driving, but if everything went the way he thought then he soon would have another car at his disposal anyway. He then asked her first,
"What's your name?" asked Sean.
"Sibyl Hall. What's yours?" she asked him.
"Sean O'Brien," he replied and as she reached over to shake hands with him, he held on to her hand and they stared silently into each other's eyes.
"Let me pay for these and we'll look at Johnson's motor car," said Sean smiling because this had a double meaning in that it was a popular IRA song sung in Ireland. Sean then paid for the meals and he left with his young friend in tow.
"The Irish Rovers sing that, don't they?" asked Sibyl.
"I never paid much attention to who it was that sang it," replied Sean.
"You're a strange one. What type of work do you do?" asked the girl.
"Right now I'm visiting airfields because we need to buy an airplane for our next movie," said Sean.
"Have you visited that airdrome on the coast about ten miles from here ?" asked Sibyl.
"There's nothing on the map. I didn't know that one existed there," said Sean astonished by this news.
"Well there is," said the girl, now stopping outside in the parking lot next to a motor car and putting her hand on the door latch. 'This is Johnson's motor car," she added with a twinkle in her eye.
"It certainly looks like it would be worth several hundred pounds," said Sean looking at the car.
"I'd sell my soul for this motor car," said Sibyl.
"I may indeed buy it for you but it would not be your soul that I would be wanting," said Sean while looking at her,
"I know," she replied while looking directly into his eyes.
"Is it a deal then?" asked Sean as they both still looked straight into each other's eyes.
She said nothing. She only continued to look directly into his eyes.
"It's a deal then," said Sean, kissing her ever so lightly on her lips.
"I don't believe this is really happening," said Sibyl with her eyes still on Sean and now holding hands with him.
"We have made a deal and now you will have your motor car," said Sean as Mr. Johnson approached them. It was after about twenty minutes of discussion that Sean was counting out hundred dollar American bills to Mr. Johnson who then signed a receipt and agreed to put the car in Sibyl's name on Monday.
All three of them got into the car and Sibyl drove Mr. Johnson home where he got out and left the two of them alone inside the car.
"If you will drive me to that airfield then I will fill your tank with petrol," said Sean.
"Petrol will be hard to find around here on Sunday, but I have plenty in the tank to take you to the airfield and then I'm taking you someplace else too," said Sibyl but Sean did not comprehend what this meant.
Sibyl had not driven a mile before Sean was fast asleep. His mind had been furiously racing to accomplish all of this or his entire plan would fail and now with his mind at ease, it seemed to ask for a bit of rest and he slept. Driving these ten miles with Sean sleeping next to her were moments of heaven to Sibyl and as she drove her car along straight stretches of road, she would run her fingers through Sean's curly hair. It was after the car had stopped in front of the airfield that Sean found himself being awakened by a kiss.
"We're here already?" Sean asked.
"Yes," said this young girl who now went back to kissing him with the fingers on both of her hands now feeling his hair.
"You are simply beautiful," he said while holding her close after they had gotten out of the car. Then slowly they walked, hand in hand, into the airfield. They strolled past the big hanger building, which was open, but only a number of small airplanes were inside. There was a great amount of activity, however, around a huge twin engined propeller equipped airplane, which sat further down the field and away from the hanger by about a hundred yards. It looked somewhat like an airliner except that it had a tail wheel instead of a nose wheel like all the modern airliners have.
"What is that thing?" asked Sean, while talking to some mechanics in front of the hanger.
"Oh, that's McHugh's C-46," said one of them.
"What is something like that used for?" asked Sean.
"I dunno Gov. You'll have to ask McHugh," said one of them laughing.
"I take it that you don't know either," said Sean.
" That's right. They were built over in America during the last World War and this one was sitting for years on some bloody airfield in India after flying over the hump to China and back. These were the things that supplied China with everything they needed during the war from bases in India. McHugh was over in India and fixed it up enough to bring it here. I heard a Yank say that it would carry a Sherman tank. I heard it was the first airplane big enough to carry a tank but I really don't know if it would carry one of those Sherman tanks though. Nevertheless, you can load just about anything through those big doors," the mechanic said.
"We might look at it," said Sean.
"They are wheeling out the fire extinguishers, so that means that they're getting ready to run it so stay well clear of those air screws or propellers as the Yanks call them," cautioned the mechanic.
"We'll do that. Thank you for the information," said Sean as he and Sibyl, hand in hand, walked over toward this big airplane. As instructed, they stayed away from the front of the plane and went over to a man who was looking at something near the wide tail wheel.
"Where can I find McHugh?" asked Sean.
"You're talking to him," replied the man, never taking his eyes off of the flashlight beam that moved over the cable that he was checking.
"How much weight can this airplane carry?" asked Sean.
"Twenty-four tons gross; that's airplane, fuel, crew and load; forty-eight thousand pounds total, said McHugh.
"You could carry a two ton load on it then?" asked Sean.
"If it was flying, it wouldn't even know two tons was aboard. I could shut one engine down and even gain altitude," said McHugh.
"Are you interested in selling it?" asked Sean.
"That is exactly what I hope to do right here today very shortly son," said McHugh.
"Someone is going to make you an offer shortly then, is what you mean," said Sean.
"Who the hell are you?" asked McHugh.
"I'm the person willing to pay you one thousand American Dollars over the other man's highest offer, but I want to be there when he offers it and I want to hear the offer," said Sean.
"You don't even know what you are buying, do you son?" asked McHugh.
"You said it would lift several tons," said Sean.
"Not here in England son," said McHugh.
"It will fly, won't it?" asked Sean.
"A lot better than it did when it was new, but there have been some laws that have changed since then," said McHugh.
"I would still like that option and here is the thousand over the other man's price," said Sean as he counted out ten American One Hundred Dollar bills to McHugh as Sibyl watched wide eyed, taking all of this in.
"You're on son, stick around," said McHugh.
"Explain your airplane to me while we wait," said Sean.
"These engines, that we are going to run, as soon as this guy gets here, are R-2800s. It was the largest radial engine made in America that turned out to be really reliable. Sure they made out a bigger R-3350 and the even bigger R-4360 but they never turned out to be anywhere near as trustworthy as these two engines on this airplane, The R-2800 was the engine, along with the R-3350s in the B29s, that whooped Japan. These three bladed propellers are Hamilton Standard hydraulic propellers and a damn sight better than the four bladed Curtiss Electrics that originally came with the airplane. The fuel tanks are also new welded aluminum tanks. The old riveted tanks were bad to leak and they gave the airplane a bad name as a fire trap, which they certainly were with those tanks. There are no passenger seats inside. This is strictly a cargo version and it has to be loaded by a trained person so that the load is directly over the center of lift of the wing. Each engine has three fuel tanks and the range of the plane carrying a full load is over a thousand miles. It has an auto pilot and it's working. In fact everything is working except the old rules that allowed it to fly. They are the things that are no longer still working," said McHugh.
'This airplane was designed to take off from grass fields and that's why the big tyres and tail wheel instead of a nose wheel like on these modern airliners," said McHugh.
"I see a lot of red fluid dripping out at different places," said Sean.
"Yes and a lot more will be leaking out when we run these engines because then that hydraulic fluid will be under the pressure caused by the engine driven pumps. Most everything in this airplane works by hydraulic fluid under pressure. That's the life blood of a C-46; it burns too. The more modern Skydrol is fireproof but it burns your eyes a lot worse if it gets in them," said McHugh.
Sean and Sibyl followed McHugh into the big airplane. They had to walk uphill to get to the front of the plane. The floor had to be sloped down toward the tail because of the tail wheel design. McHugh stopped abruptly before entering the cockpit doorway and pointed to a tank, next to the cockpit door, where a tubing type gage showed how much red fluid was inside. McHugh said, "Here's where you fill the hydraulic tank." You can even fill it while you are flying if you see things are starting to leak too much and you see this fluid level going down too fast.
Entering the cockpit and sitting down in the left hand seat, McHugh looked out of the window and spotted the potential buyer approaching; he said, "Let's start number one." and immediately the man in the right hand seat, who had been busily engaged in working over the check list now merely read the remaining items to McHugh whose fingers flew to the switches and controls placing each in the proper position as it was called out. At the end of the list McHugh stuck his head out of the window and yelled to those on the ground, "Clear number one."
McHugh then reached up to the overhead panel with one hand to operate the starter switch while with his other he operated the throttle handle which was only inches from the mixture control which the other man had moved to the proper spot. As the big engine caught, McHugh slowly advanced the throttle and put his finger on the glass of one of the instruments and turned to Sean and said loudly over the engine noise, "This temperature gage has to rise up into the green area before we can run the engine any faster."
McHugh then turned to the man seated to his right and said, "Let's start two."
The man on the right poked his head out the window and yelled, "Starting two."
The right engine then slowly moved its propeller blades and then some puffs of smoke could be seen and then the big blades moved faster and faster as this engine also started. McHugh then brought this engine up to the same speed as the left engine as both men kept their eyes glued to the instrument panel. Sean noticed that the other potential buyer had entered the airplane and was now coming forward to join the group already inside the small cockpit. McHugh then pointed to the temperature gage on number one engine which now had come up to the required temperature for run up. Both men now looked out their small side windows for any indications from the ground crew outside that anything was wrong and seeing no signals they both closed their windows making it much quieter inside. The possible buyer now came into the crowded cockpit and pulled down the jump seat from the rear wall and sat in it leaving only Sean and Sibyl still standing. Even though the plane's wheels were all chocked, McHugh and the other man both held their toe brakes on as McHugh slowly advanced the throttle for the left engine and as this engine picked up speed the entire airplane shook, vibrated and rocked especially when the propeller pitch was changed. Sibyl held on to Sean even tighter, not knowing if it was going to get worse or not. After the right engine was checked then the flaps were operated through their full range and the engines were shut down and quiet prevailed once more.
McHugh and the newly arrived man then talked and the man did get around to price and when he did make his offer, McHugh immediately said, "You may have to go a bit higher than that to get it my friend."
"That's my highest offer." said the man.
"I'll need a day to think about it," said McHugh.
"You've got twenty-four hours but not a minute more," said the man and he was gone as quickly as he arrived.
When he was gone, Sean told McHugh, "I agree to that price plus the thousand that you already have and you will have your money before twenty-four hours are past," said Sean.
"You've bought an airplane son." said McHugh and he and Sean shook hands and then McHugh extended his hand to Sibyl and she not only shook it but spoke to him like part of the team,
"It's a pleasure doing business with you." said Sibyl.
A young boy then came into the cockpit and McHugh said to him: "Ralph, let's get that rudder board back on. I'll hold the rudder straight from here."
McHugh had to push his leg fairly hard against the left rudder pedal to counteract the strong English breeze that was trying to force the airplane's huge rudder all the way to the right. About a minute later he could feel a slight movement of the rudder pedals under both of his feet and he knew that Ralph was sliding the rudder lock on; only then did he release his pressure on the left pedal which now stayed positioned evenly alongside the right pedal. Then he got out of his seat and faced Sean who said,
"This plane goes into a corporation name and here is my solicitor's address in London and his phone number. The money will be in his office tomorrow morning and you can sign the necessary papers and pick it up. Since you'll probably be going to the States, I'll have it available in American Dollars for you, but now we have to talk about those spare parts that you and that other man were discussing; I also need you to stay on a while and show me more about this thing," And for the next hour Sean and McNeil Hugh worked out a deal where he and a mechanic would stay on for at least an additional week while Sean learned about the plane. The boy Ralph agreed to stay right on with Sean, making certain that no one pilfered the plane or the spare parts.
Sean and Sibyl then left McHugh and his crew and the C-46. And it was still a good hour from dark when Sibyl pulled her car up to an old stone ruin which was once a church and said, "I have always loved this place. Come on with me and I'll show you the writing on some of these old stones and I'll tell you what they say."
Sean knew that he needed this girl to stay with him at least a month, then he would have the information he needed on this MI6 bunch, so he had to make certain that he did not mess up. He had to read her mind almost and proceed in the direction she wanted.
"How many men have kissed these lips up here," said Sean as he kissed her.
"You're not the first but you might be the second. Now does that make you feel better?" she asked him.
Sean jabbered some response to this but it seemed that she had tuned out to his words.
"Yes, yes, yes, quit talking. Hold me close for a while," said Sibyl.
Sean did hold her close and they felt each other while looking into each other's eyes. Sibyl now quite forgot all about her stones and so did Sean and now nature ran its course.
She was looking into Sean's eyes when he awoke. With their bodies still entwined, she said, "You are so handsome."
"You are beautiful," he said.
"No, not really because I've watched the very pretty girls in school who get all the boys and none of the ones that I positively wanted ever wanted me. When I saw you though, looking for a place to sit, I really wanted you; you looked so cuddly with your suit and curly hair and I needed you more than anything in this world and you never even saw me until I pushed out that chair for you. It wasn't you that picked me. It was me that picked you, my friend. I want to stay here right next to you and talk to you. Can I?" she asked.
"Yes, tell me about yourself, and you are really pretty," said Sean.
"I'm glad that you really think so. It's so seldom that you want the same person who wants you. It's neat. But it's the girl who really picks the boy. The really smart boys make themselves available to all the girls don't they? It's the girl who decides, from the ones available, who she's going to do it with. Do you know what I especially like about you?" she asked him.
"No, what?" asked Sean.
You understand that life is not a one way street; it's not just take. It's both give and take. It's a business deal where both parties have to both give and take. You were willing to buy a motor car for me and that built my ego up higher than you can ever imagine. I needed that right then too. When I feel this way with a man then I have to feel that I can trust him also. Can I trust you?" She asked him.
"I don't see why not. I like you," said Sean.
"But can I trust you not to tell anyone what I'm going to tell you? That's what I mean," she said.
"Yes," answered Sean.
"The other person who I told you about is a much older man and I have always wanted to love someone more my age. Thank you for the motor car and coming up here with me. This has turned out to be the most wonderful day of my life, it was really beautiful," she told him.
"You went with an older man?" asked Sean.
"I am still going with an older man but I have made a deal with you and I will continue to love you Sean O'Brien." And then she said with a glint in her eye smiling broadly, "Ask your solicitor tomorrow how much longer I have to keep loving you." She then held him even tighter and kissed him.
"How much older is he than you?" asked Sean, now thinking about what the girl had told him.
"Quite a bit, but ours is a relationship of our minds. He and I are interested in the same things. Our minds work together wonderfully like one mind. It's only that many years of time have separated us," she told him.
"And he and you come up here?" asked Sean.
"Listen to me would you: I fell in love for the first time up here. Can I tell you about it?" she asked him.
"Certainly," he replied.
"I was nine years old and I brought a pencil and a piece of paper up here and held it over some words on an old stone and traced with the pencil until the words came out on the paper. I asked everyone what it meant but no one knew but they said a certain Catholic priest was interested in these old inscriptions and I brought my paper to him and he actually came out here with me to see my stone. He stayed here and we copied many more things inscribed on these stones and he told me all about them and those people who cut these words back in those old days. I learned Latin from him and he would give me lessons to take home and memorize and I would come back so proud that I had done them. Then one day he took me to a stone that I had never before seen and he asked me to read it and with what he had taught me I could read and perfectly understand the meaning of the stone. After that I was really hooked on learning all the Latin that I could. Then one day some awful girls were talking about priests and their secret girlfriends and one day when he and I were together, I came up very close to him and asked him very quietly, 'Am I one of your secret girlfriends?' and he smiled and said, 'Yes. but it's a secret and we can't tell anyone.' and from then on we always held hands when we were alone; I was ecstatic and on cloud nine; it was wonderful. But what he gave me was this intense craving to learn Latin. He loved it and passed this love on to me and our minds were like they were joined together; it was a beautiful relationship," said Sibyl.
"So are you having sex with a priest?" asked Sean.
"No, no, no, silly. He knew that my father had died when I was only two and that I needed a father figure because once he said, 'Heaven took a father from you and heaven gave you a father.' and I knew exactly what he meant. I still send him a birthday card every year and he sends me one on my birthday. I was thirteen when he left from here and on his last day we came up here and I kissed him and he kissed me and we held each other and cried and then I told him that I loved him and he said we would send each other birthday cards as long as we continued to love each other and we have never quit. I think it's beautiful. The relationship is in the mind. I know it's nothing like what we just did but it is awfully beautiful just the same. Well I'm talking and talking and it's beginning to get dark and I'm getting a bit cold too, but I couldn't do this with you without getting into your mind too. Can you understand this?" she asked.
"Yes," he answered, but he wasn't that certain about it.
They both got up and then got back into the car with Sibyl back in the driver's seat, but she made no attempt to start the car. It was getting darker now but they could still see each other quite well and they kissed and then she said,
"You know, when you sat down with me in that restaurant, I knew you were someone special and then when you showed interest in me too: God, that feeling! Then we came up here and we were alone and together at last. I kept thinking how cute you were and you were more my age, something that I had always dreamt about and was now actually holding close for the first time. Oh, you can't imagine; you just can't imagine, Sean, Sean," she said as she kissed him again and again.
"The way you describe it, God. You are building up my ego now," said Sean.
"Oh, you are a neat person Sean. I guess it's too late now to show you all these stones but there will always be a next time and I'll show you around up here. If you are interested, I'll show you some of the stuff that the doctor and I helped translate from the Latin into English," said Sibyl.
"For the University?" asked Sean.
"No, silly, for some seedy London outfit. The craze, it seems now, is for old Latin pornography and people are willing to pay big money for this now. I don't really like it but I really don't dislike it either because it sells and I'm going to need this money for medical school and the doctor has it arranged so that my share goes through some rigmarole to a college trust for me in the Isle of Man so that the tax people can't siphon it off," she said.
"My God you do have a mind, don't you! You are how old?" asked Sean.
"I have recently turned sixteen. Why do you ask?" She asked him.
"And you have been translating Latin for how long?" asked Sean.
"For pay? Since I was fourteen," she said.
"Translating Latin professionally at fourteen. Incredible!" said Sean.
"People can read English porn at fourteen. Many of them do. There's no difference with Latin porn; it's the same stuff. If you would have started reading Latin at the same time you had started reading English then you would be reading both at fourteen too. But I want to change the subject now and since you are a man I want your opinion on something that troubles me. It is a decision that I will have to make some day," she said.
"I'm listening," said Sean.
"That priest that I told you about: I want to talk about him now and I want to know what you think. You see Sean when I came to you I was like a rosebud, all closed up tight and you have stimulated everything inside my body and opened all those pedals up exposing my mind, which is coming out to yours and mingling with it like our bodies did before. I need to know what you think because I have found that my priest will be returning in about two years and when he does I feel that I have to face him again and he will be saddened at what I and the doctor are doing now with this knowledge that he empowered me with. I hate this because he was so good to me. Can you understand this? she asked Sean.
"Maybe If he sees it is helping you to get into medical school then he will understand," said Sean.
"Anyway, I hope so. Oh, I was tops in my class but when it came to the person who I loved most in the world, I seemed to have failed him miserably. If only I had not started this porn thing, it would have been different," said Sibyl.
"That's the story of all of our lives," said Sean.
"Yes it is, isn't it." remarked Sibyl.
"He might not mention it anyway when he does come," said Sean.
"No, he'll ask me about everything and I'll have to tell him everything too, including loving and working with my sixty year old doctor," she said.
"You are having an affair with a sixty year old doctor?" asked Sean in amazement. He could hardly believe what he had heard.
"Don't you breathe a word of this to anyone or I will kill you, and even hunt you down to do it, and I can do it too. I know how the ribs are like the shingles on a house and you have to stab up and not down. I'd push the knife up right into your heart and you'd be gone," she said to him angrily with her hands now around his throat and breathing right into his face.
"I believe every word you say Sibyl and I have no intention of telling anybody anything that you tell me ever," he swiftly told her.
"I will have to tell the doctor about us though, because we never lie to each other and . . . ," she was talking but now Sean placed his hands on both of her shoulders and shook them.
He said to her loudly: "Look, you don't tell him anything! Wait a while. Promise me that you will wait at least a month before you tell him anything, Promise me!"
"That's part of the motor car deal then? asked Sibyl.
"Absolutely," he responded, thankful that he may have saved the situation.
"The doctor isn't stupid. He will know," said Sibyl.
"He may think but he won't know if you don't tell him," said Sean.
"Just keep right on doing things with him as you have been doing," said Sean.
"I fully intend to because I love him and he loves me," she said.
"And you love the priest and you love me," said Sean.
"Yes, I do! I love him and the priest and I love you too. That's not the whole bloody world! He's been good to me Sean. At thirteen, almost fourteen, I had no one and I was at his office for an ear infection and there I saw the photo copy of a Latin manuscript that he was translating for some of his fellow doctors at a get together. It was porn but it was done in such a way that if you missed some of the links of the chain then you couldn't put it all together and he had totally screwed it up in translating and had lost the entire meaning. I was able to show him this. It was like I switched a light on and when he saw the whole meaning in its entirety he kissed me, but that was all, but I helped him on these things: They were for the guys, doctors mostly, that they would use to brighten dull meetings and such. Then we both worked together on a piece of Latin porn that was printed in London and really sold a lot of copies and that opened both our eyes to the money in this.
"I hear the girls in school talking about how mean the boys are and then I am ever so grateful that I have my doctor. Both you and the doctor have been ever so good, but you and I did growl at each other like animals a few minutes ago and I have never had that kind of an experience with a man before. I never understood why men and women behaved like that together when everything is so beautiful, but now I'm beginning to see that it is self interest that does it," said Sibyl.
"Sean I do love you now, but you have to understand that I have a lot at stake here with the doctor. His wife is dying and they have no children, and so all he has is me really, and he has things set up that when he dies then I am already in control of everything and it all bypasses the death duty and it escapes taxation altogether, and on top of that is the trust fund and he is teaching me not only to become a doctor, but a good doctor. He and I even think alike, Sean. Yes Sean, I do love him and I do love you and I do love the priest and I will make love with all three of you because I don't think it's wrong whatever other people may think. I am not Tommy Atkins who does exactly as King and Church commands. In this day and age the Church says one woman per man, but do you know that in some of the earlier times the place of worship was also the whorehouse. And after the girls put in their time learning how to be really good then they were eagerly sought out as wives because their husbands then told everyone how much better they were than the ones who just laid there. Are you listening to me?" she asked because he had not interrupted her even once, during this long narration,
"Every word, Sibyl; I have never heard anything like this in my entire life," he told her.
"Is that right? Well my new found friend, you haven't known any one like me either. I'm going to earn that motor car. How many girl friends have you had so far in your life?" asked Sibyl.
"I can count them on my fingers," said Sean.
"One hand or two?" asked Sibyl.
"I'm trying to remember them now. Maybe a few more than two hands Sibyl. I'm not bragging or anything because I guess half were in places of that sort where I simply paid for them." said Sean.
"You are being honest with me and that is what I need to have with a man that I'm involved with. How many of those girls would you say were prettier than me? Tell me, I want to know all that you have experienced too; don't hold anything back," Sibyl said to him.
"A few were prettier and a few weren't. I would say that you are about average, but you are the youngest that I have had so far and that really turned me on," said Sean.
"Yes, like you being the youngest that I have had also turned me on. Have you ever had a girl who just had to do everything she could to please you. When I love someone then it's just in my nature to work as hard as I can for him. Have you ever had a girlfriend like that?" asked Sibyl, but Sean could not respond but only looked at her with wide opened eyes.
She went on, I'm now translating things written thousands of years ago but then forgotten. My life has been spent concentrating on Latin and medicine because these were the things that the men I loved in my life were interested in. I believe in being the best if I take on something. The doctor says that I am the very best girl that he has ever had, and he has dealt with far more women than you have had Sean; believe me. You do already know quite a bit more than the average man does about pleasing your partner and I will teach you an awful lot more. I'm not just a taker Sean: Yes, I took your car but if you give me half a chance I will give you back far more than that car is worth. You are a good person Sean, and I am going to help you so much more than you could ever believe. I am going to teach you things that you never dreamt even existed. Yes, I am only sixteen but I have studied thousands of years of experience and you don't even have to do any of the studying like I had to because I am going to teach you all of this myself. Oh, I love you so much Sean; I really do," she said and then she started the car and soon they were on the road back, the way that they had come.
"I'm going to buy you the necessary clothes that you need to go to your girlfriend's reception and I'll go there with you," said Sean.
"I have nothing more to pay you with for that too," said Sibyl.
"Oh yes you can; just put all your stupendous efforts into giving me hours of ecstasy," said Sean laughingly as he began to massage Sibyl's back as she drove toward town.
"Oh yes, do that; it feels so good. I love you Sean O'Brien," said Sibyl.
"I would love to stay with you tonight but I am going to have to get back to London and get ready for that airplane transfer tomorrow. So I will not be able to see you tomorrow either. In London also I have to meet with some other people on something else that is extremely important and that too may take some time. I'll need a phone number where I can get in touch with you and then I can tell you which train I'm taking out of London and you can meet me here at the train station. I'll give you some money now and I will pay you for petrol and whatever else this car costs to keep running. You need to keep a record of that and phone calls and I will reimburse you for that each time I come. We will have to keep in touch so you know which days I'm coming and which days I can't. Some days I will have to go back the same night but other times I may be able to stay several nights in a row, but I'm going to have to rely on you for all of my transportation here. Is that all right?" he asked her.
"It's summer now and school is out so there is no problem with that," she told him.
"I am also going to arrange with a store in London to furnish you with the clothes that you will need for this reception. They will inquire and find out which clothes will be suitable and they will dress you up like a movie star and you will be the prettiest one there. I'll get the correct clothes for myself as well. You will have to take the train to London for all of this some time next week," said Sean.
"Can I make a suggestion?" asked Sibyl
"Go ahead," said Sean.
"The way things stand now I can't possibly stay with you overnight but there is a caravan hidden away within walking distance of that place where we met today, and if it isn't yet rented, we could rent it and then I could stay with you whenever," said Sibyl.
"Fine, drive there now," said Sean.
"Yes master," said Sibyl.
"You are truly an incredible girl Sibyl. No one but you would have done all the things that you have done in these sixteen years. What I want to do with you Sibyl Hall, is a lot more mingling of my mind with your mind and being close to you. Is that all right with you?" asked Sean.
"Tonight in the caravan, before you go?" asked Sibyl.
"Why not. We'll pick up some fast food and eat it there," said Sean, and Sibyl stopped at a place she knew stayed open on Sundays and they got a few things to eat and then she drove to where the people lived who owned the caravan and Sean put down several months rent and soon they were inside of their new home.
"I don't deserve you Sibyl. You are good. You are really good. God how I love you Sibyl," Sean said softly several hours later after he had awakened with Sibyl still laying there asleep beside him
"Yes she was right. Life was both give and take, and now with his mind clear, This was a brand new experience for him. It was something that he had never been able to do before. She had given him his airplane. She had passed on to him this new insight on life. With her eyes now shut, he saw next to him the most beautiful girl in the world, who had performed a small miracle. Sean now knew that she would work for him as she promised. And he thought to himself that this was only the beginning of what she told him she was going to do for him. Thinking this he ran his fingers through her hair and she felt this and said feebly,
"I love you darling," without opening her eyes.
Even though Sean was tired too, he knew that he had to leave right then because if anyone here ever linked Sean O'Brien up with that car registered to John Goldsmith then they would see that both people looked alike and he might never get out of England if caught. He did not want to put this girl, who loved him, in a position that she even knew about this, so he silently got dressed and was quietly gone while Sibyl slept. He then walked back to his car in the dark, eventually finding it, and then he was back on the road to London.
As Sean drove back to the big city, he kept thinking about Sibyl and the possible reasons she was like the way she was. Then his mind came back to his central problems; he had several. He knew he was going to have to turn this information about John Day over to the IRA and he would have to work along with them. He had time to mull over everything in his mind now and he decided that he was not going to give them the name of Sean O'Brien or Oliver Goldsmith or any information about the car or fake driver's license. He was not going to tell them how he gained entrance to this reception, so they would not know about Sibyl then either.
The airplane was another matter. He would have to tell them about it, but why now? The more he thought about the airplane, the more that he felt he should delay telling them about this acquisition. The further removed he was from the airplane when they received it, then the better off he would be, but there was no doubt in his mind that he would hand it over to them eventually.
Another thing that really bothered Sean was that money. Whose money was it? If it was IRA money then when he gave them the airplane, they would wonder where he got all the money to buy it. It would not be long before they found out that it was bought with American Dollars. He had to make certain this was not IRA money before he gave them that airplane.
The first thing Sean did on arriving in London was to put the car back in the garage and then he traveled several stations on the Underground and called the person he had dealt with in the Undercover operation; this was the same man he had given the thousand Dollars to, and who now seemed extremely interested in this John Day discovery. About an hour later Sean and this man met once again and they talked for another hour about the forthcoming wedding reception and the fact that Sean seemed to think that he had a good chance of getting inside with the entire group. When the man left, Sean was certain that the phone lines between Dublin and London would be alive all night exchanging information about John Day and by morning they would know far more about John Day than Sean presently did.
Only now did Sean try to contact his solicitor and was able to get him at his home. The solicitor had already set up the corporation, which would purchase the airplane, and he agreed to be at his office early in the morning to get the money from Sean and to contact McHugh and make the transfer.
Meg was not scheduled to be back until the next morning. Sean did, however, knock at the door of her room, but when there was no answer, this confirmed that she was still away. This was one time Sean was pleased she was too because he did not think that he wanted to be confronted with Meg right now with Sibyl still fresh on his mind. Sean slept like a log that night and when he stepped through the door at McNeil's for breakfast, he was stopped by McNeil himself who handed him the telephone with a number to call immediately. When he called it, he found that he was talking to his Undercover friend again who told him to remain at McNeil's. Sean finished his breakfast and was talking to some of his friends from Dooleys when the IRA man arrived. The two left together and Sean then found that he might have bitten off more than he could chew. The IRA had found out that security was going to be high at that wedding and they figured that Sean might not be here in England himself legally. Now his IRA friend informed him in no uncertain terms that if he entered John Day's Wedding Reception with false identification then he would most assuredly be caught. Then his friend informed him that if, indeed, he needed identification then they could get it for him. The more Sean thought about this the more he liked that idea. He told his IRA friend that he would probably need that false identification. His friend told him arrangements then for the ID would be made. The IRA wanted pictures of people at the meeting but they also felt that there would be so many high MI6 people here that special devices would be set up to detect any bugs. This meant that no signal of any kind could be transmitted from that room, but they were now in the process of rigging up a small camera and tape recorder where the recorder would record for several seconds after the picture was taken and when Sean could mention the person's name as he was being introduced. This would all be built into a suit that he would have to be fitted for. Sean could see that he had stepped into a real hornets nest, but it did not dismay him. He felt that if he could pull this off then it would be a big feather in his cap.
With the necessary money now in the solicitors hands, Sean did not attend the airplane transfer. While this was going on Sean was negotiating with an answering service to take his calls from Sibyl. Now with everything taken care of he headed home to see Meg.
Sean arrived back at the house but was not greeted by Meg but instead by a strikingly beautiful curvaceous girl with long blonde hair who introduced herself to him as Christina Covington. She told Sean that she worked for the same airline as Meg and they were all in a jam and Meg could not get back and it looked like their airline was going to fold and she and Mrs. Williams had the television on and they were waiting for the noon news to come on. They all hoped to hear something about it there. When the news did come on the two other girls who worked for Paragon airlines also sat down to watch. Their fears were confirmed when they saw people at their airline's ticket counter with children crying and a reporter telling about the airline being shut down. Another airline announced that they would honor the tickets of the failed airline on a standby basis.
Christina told Sean that she had quit her job with an accounting firm to join this airline and she had even bought stock in it because she had studied its financial records and thought that once it got its cash flow problems solved that it was on the road to real substantial profitability. Sean could see that Christina had actual financial knowledge of the situation and Christina was pleased to talk to someone who seemed to be interested in what she, as an accountant, knew about Paragon airlines. After talking with Christina, Sean saw that this airline could be back on its feet in no time with a temporary loan and be making real profits in less than a few months. Christina told Sean that she worked in the company's office and was in charge of the ledgers and that while they had been worried about the next few months they all felt that they were going to be able to ride it out but now with their creditors wanting cash for fuel and spare parts the whole thing had come apart before their very eyes.
Mrs. Williams was noticeably shaken by this news because three of her tenants were employed by this airline and if they failed to pay their rent then she too might not be able to pay her bills and she could even lose her own house.
The more Sean talked with Tina about the airline, the more he became impressed with her knowledge of the company's problems. Sean also found out that Tina's father was a recently retired stockbroker who lived in a very well to do area. Sean then phoned Tina's father and found him to be very cognizant of the situation and his line of thinking was running along the same way as Sean's. Sean and Mr. Covington talked for over half an hour and then Sean told Tina that he and her father might be able to help straighten out this airline. Sean let Tina end the phone conversation with her father and then both Sean and Tina made reservations on the next flight out of London to visit with her father.
It was a short flight of barely twenty minutes and Tina's parents were waiting to meet them at the airport when they arrived. From Tina's father Sean found out that the price of this airline's stock, which had recently been selling as high as four pounds per share, was now down to four shillings. Mr. Covington had information that three of the largest stockholders wanted out immediately and would take five shillings tonight for forty-five percent of the total stock outstanding. At this price they made an estimate of getting a full fifty-one percent of the stock, which would give them absolute control of the company. This, fifty-one percent they estimated, would cost just about a third of a million Dollars. Running the company another three months would mean a cash injection of another three hundred and thirty thousand Dollars. This would be a total of just under seven hundred thousand Dollars that they would need to insure that this airline returned to the road of stability and profitability..
Sean agreed to put up half the money needed and Mr. Covington agreed to put up the other half, so a tentative arrangement was set up where half the money would be put up by Christina Corporation and half by Sean's International Corporation.
Mr. Covington was at his phone most of the evening and had his scouts out hunting up stockholders and told Christina and Sean that they might even be able to buy over fifty percent of the airline's stock that very evening and then they would have absolute control of the airline.
What Tina's father was most interested in was a plan of action and some type of agreement where they would not be bidding against each other tomorrow when the market opened. Sean had dinner with the Covingtons and after dinner they were able to celebrate with a glass of champagne because now Mr. Covington got a phone call giving him an option to buy another eight percent of the airline for only four and a half shillings per share. This would give the two corporations fifty-three percent of the stock. This meant certain control, but the stock had to be paid for that evening. This was the time now for Sean to come forth with his end of the deal and he took his travel bag and indicated to Mr. Covington that he was ready to put up his half. They went into a room and Sean counted out well over a third of a million Dollars in American Hundred Dollar Bills. Now as the two talked together Sean saw that this man was under the distinct impression that Sean was about to marry his daughter Christina. Sean said nothing to make Mr. Covington think otherwise, but now Sean wanted to talk to Tina about this. As Mr. Covington was putting the money in the safe, Sean headed toward Tina who had handed her mother a typed letter to read and as her mother read it she gasped and said,
"Is this what I think it is?" and later she said, "Oh my God."
Now Tina said, "Sean and I are going for a stroll mother." and she led Sean out of the house.
"Your father has the impression that I'm going to marry you," said Sean.
"You didn't tell him otherwise, did you?" she asked him.
"No," said Sean.
"Good, because that has to be our plan," said Tina.
"What on earth are you talking about," said Sean.
"Don't you understand what you did in there Sean? You married us in there Sean. You put us together until death we do part. Don't you understand that?" She loudly exclaimed as he stared uncomprehendingly at her.
"No I don't understand that," said Sean.
"You Irish are so stupid. Do I have to spell it out for you?" she asked him.
"You are out of your mind," said Sean.
"No, I'm not out of my mind. There is no honor among thieves Sean and when my father told me during that phone conversation that he and you were cooking up a deal to take over my airline then I told him that we were going to get married so that he would not steal your money which I feel he was getting ready to do and will still do if he finds out we are not getting married. He's good at this Sean and it doesn't make any difference what was signed in there. Here is a diamond engagement ring Sean. My last boyfriend gave it to me and I never gave it back. I never bothered to tell my parents about him or the ring because I felt that it wasn't going to last. I was in one of my crazy moods and needed a male. I have a plan Sean. If you don't go along with it then you lose your money. Want to hear it?" she asked him.
Sean listened to her in utter disbelief but he knew in his heart that what she was saying had to be the truth so he agreed to listen to her plan. She then said,
"The letter that I gave my mother as we left the house was a contract for me to pose in the nude for one of these men's magazines. It will horrify both of them. Now put this ring on my finger Sean," she said taking the diamond ring and giving it to him. He put the ring on her finger.
"Now, ask me to marry you Sean," she said, but Sean was silent.
"Ask me to marry you or you lose your money," she said.
"Will you marry me Tina?" he asked.
"Yes I will Sean," she said, and as he was still silent, she added, "now hold me close and kiss me because my parents are undoubtedly watching us,"
He did exactly as he was told. She then pulled him even closer in an exceptionally tight embrace and he could feel all of her against him while she kissed him and after a bit of this she suddenly pulled away.
"Oh my poor Sean, how I must have frightened you. I hope you don't feel bad if I laugh at you now. I shouldn't have done that marriage bit to you Sean; really I'm sorry and I do feel terrible about it now," She said, as she took his hand and they walked and then she stopped, held him close to her again and kissed him again.
"I would never go into business with a man unless he asked to marry me and Sean if we are going to make a go of this airline then we are going to be spending substantial time together just like we were married anyway, so I am walking back into that house now, with this ring on and I will show it to them and tell them you have just now placed it on my finger. Give me the help and attention that I need so that I can keep my mind on getting this airline into the black as soon as possible. Tell me we are going to really work together on this Sean so that I will have a clear mind to work. I am going to tell them that we have not set a marriage date till this airline mess is cleared up. By then it will be too late for my father to do anything because he'll be out of it and you and I together will own this airline. You see Sean, my father has checked up on you and your International Corporation is set up, exactly like my Christina Corporation, in a country where we both have control but no English authority can touch us, tax us or even find who we really are. He needed to do this to avoid death duty taxes or the government leeches would steal all this property from me when he and mother died. I guess that's why yours is set up that way too," she told him.
'These two corporations, my Irish friend, will soon each own exactly half of the majority of this airline's stock. It is you and I Sean who each has exactly fifty percent control in this airline. I can't do anything without you and you can't do anything without me. So you see what you have done Sean, you have put us together until this airline dies. And I intend to work hard to see that this airline is out of trouble and on the road to profitability, which it will be shortly. This airline is going to be here a lot longer than we are Sean. So Sean, we are as good as married for the rest of our lives. As far as I'm concerned, I'm married to you and the airline now. Look Sean, if I'm going to work at putting this whole thing back together then I simply cannot have us going our separate ways. We need to work together on this and we are going to have to occasionally work hard too. We are going to have to make arrangements so that we absolutely get together every few months to iron out everything we want to do. We are going to pull this off aren't we?" she asked him.
"Tina, every male human being on this earth dreams of a truly beautiful girl as a partner in business with him, but for most men it only remains but a dream. Here tonight I have had it actually happen to me. I never would have believed that I would have even had a chance to ever have anyone as pretty as you as my partner; I still find it very hard to believe. Yes, I'll work with you to put this airline on its feet again." said Sean.
"Well Sean, they do want me for that centerfold in that letter that I gave to my mother to read. That centerfold letter is also in my little plan because when I get up tomorrow morning we are going down for breakfast and then I will tell my parents that you do not want me to do the centerfold. I'm certain that's what they want too, and that will put you on their side and in their debt - and then I will burn that letter. When I catch my father alone I'm going to tell him that I intend to stay with you for the rest of my life - which I really do intend to do even though it's in this airline that we'll be together; if he believes that we are going to make it together, then he will work his butt off for us Sean. I really know my father; that's just the way he is," said Christina.
"I'm sorry if I have messed up your life," said Sean.
"No, I think it's neat. You have given me a chance to run my own airline. All my life I have been told how beautiful I was, while all I ever wanted was to show people that I had a brain and that I could run things. I have helped my father turn around many companies so he could sell them for a big profit. He never wanted to hold them, but I did. You are giving me that big chance to prove what I'm capable of. You are my Sir Galahad, my knight in shining armor. Sean; really you are. You have given me, that once in a lifetime chance, to run my own airline and to make a lot of money if I'm right and if I work hard. So it may not turn out to be all that bad. Oh, yes- changing the subject - we are both going to have to have a heart to heart talk with my father right now because he will be intending to raid the shorts tomorrow by boosting the stock up considerably and then even whacking the stock down again even further later so he can accumulate some more stock at an even lower price. We want in on that action too. Do you have another ten thousand in that bag?" asked Tina
"Yes," answered Sean.
"More?" asked Tina.
"A bit," answered Sean wondering what she was going to do.
"Good, We'll see what he is planning to do and we will buy ourselves in on half of the action. This is a sure thing, you know," she said.
"He knows which way it's going and the mob doesn't and he's going to clean them out," said Sean.
"Exactly: We know how the dice are going to lie before the throw. My father is one man who knows how to maximize his profits on deals like that. If I know my father then he intends to clear more tomorrow and in the next few days, than he ever expects to make in the airline itself. He will have his money back before a day is out- maybe even before an hour is up," she told him.
"Incredible!" said Sean.
"Watch and learn, my promised husband. Watch and learn." she said.
"I'm always learning," said Sean.
"And you may learn another thing about your cousin Meg. There may be wedding bells there some time in the future because my records indicate that she and one of our pilots always bid the same trip together and we are glad when they both take the same room because it saves the airline money. They both have been sharing the same room now for over eight months on their layovers," said Tina, not knowing that Meg wasn't really his cousin.
"What's his name?" asked Sean, now very much surprised at finding this out about his other girlfriend Meg.
"She's never told You? Harry Kirk," said Tina, now going back toward the house and not knowing that she had just given away one of Meg's secrets to the very person that Meg did not want to know about this. Sean was astounded by this but he said nothing. Tina went inside and proudly held up her hand so her parents could see the finger with the engagement ring on it.
"Look what I got," she said. Then after the wedding talk was over she pounced on her father about not asking her to share in tomorrow's stock action. She then worked on him until she learned how the game was going to be played.
She then told her father: "If I'm going to work my butt off in this airline that I do not even know will make me any money then at least cut me in on this certain money next week. Sean and I will give you fifteen thousand dollars, which will be about half of what you need tomorrow morning to start off with, and you will bank half of the profits in Christina Corporation," He agreed, and then Sean counted out another fifteen thousand Dollars to Mr. Covington who by now was almost constantly on the telephone.
This was a busy night for Sean, Mr. Covington and his daughter Christina. Even though Mr. Covington was years older than Sean and his daughter, he managed to stay at the phones many more hours than Sean and Christina. Sean awoke somewhat during the night to find Christina next to him and as he stroked her she sleepily said, "Yes I will marry you Sean O'Brien," and then she was back fast asleep next to him.
Sean found himself alone in bed the next morning and as his senses returned he smelled a faint aroma that told him somewhere in that big house breakfast was on the stove. Sean got up and dressed and went down stairs and found the family, all three of them, in the kitchen. Christina was now with her parents burning the center-fold letter.
After breakfast Tina's father showed Sean and his daughter his final accomplishments of the previous evening. It was a cardboard box filled with the airline's stock certificates.
"Part of this is the five shilling per share deal we made yesterday and the men delivered it late last night while you two were asleep. In this box right here is over half of the outstanding stock. With this stock we now control this airline. The largest holder of that forty-five percent of the stock even agreed to take a bit less than the, agreed upon, five shillings per share if he was entirely paid in cash with those American Dollars. His real cost was about three shillings per share and this way, the government would not know he even made a profit. By taking those dollars he will thereby avoid taxes on the money he made. But he is the only one that made a profit and absolutely wanted cash. All the rest have taken loses. If he had sold several years ago, then he would have been a multi-millionaire. I have a daughter who does not seem to comprehend when to take profits either and she probably would have done the exact same thing," he said, looking at Christina.
"I am going to hold this airline Mr. stockbroker and prove to you that you are wrong about me. Watch your daughter and learn how real money is made," retorted Tina to her father.
"Anyway kids, today will be the most volatile ever in this stock. Remember only to buy after the closing bell because that will be the lowest ever for this stock. Tomorrow it will go down first because I want to scare hell out of them before I squeeze the shorts later on tomorrow as I let it go back up again to wipe out those shorts that have sold it short on margin. I've booked both of you on an early flight out to London and my friend with the London boiler room operation will be waiting for you. Buy all the Paragon shares you can but make certain that you have the actual certificates in your hand before you pay out. The stock that they have in a brokerage account is worthless to you. You need the certificates! You two need to acquire all the certificates that you can after the closing bell today and before the opening of the market tomorrow morning and that means burning the midnight oil and going to people's homes to pick up the stuff at a late hour. I hope you two understand that, and I wish you both well," he told them and then he was in his car and gone for his big day in the market.
Sean contacted his answering service and informed them that he would be busy for two days at least and they could inform Sibyl of this. Sean and Tina left for the airport by taxi and they were on an airplane within fifteen minutes after they arrived at the airport. They were able to sit together on the plane and as Sean stretched out the best he could, Tina totaled some accounts and turned to him.
"There is enough money in Christina Corporation that I can write checks for about twelve thousand of your American Dollars. How much more money do you have Sean," she asked him.
"Oh, I've got some more but I'm going to need it for . . . ," he was saying when she cut him abruptly off.
"You stupid Irishman. Blind again!" she exclaimed.
"I have other expenses," he said.
"Are these expenses all going to be tomorrow?" asked Tina.
"No," replied Sean.
"Well for every dollar that you part with today you will have ten or even twenty dollars back to replace it two days later. Why can't you understand that? Sean, don't you understand that this is a wedding present that my father is giving us. We have just paid over a third of a million for half of this airline's stock. If my father drops the price of this stock to fifty pence at closing then that means for the next sixteen hours that the other half of the stock, which we do not yet have, can be acquired for only thirty two thousand of your American dollars, if it can be found and purchased. This is one tenth of the price that we had to pay for the control stock. He's going to put the fear of God into them today. They are all going to think it's only worthless paper now. We are going to be working far into the night and early the next morning and I don't care if they have used the certificates to scoop cigarette butts out of the men's urinals. I am going to write a check for every one that I can obtain," said Tina.
"Only thirty-two thousand for the other half?" asked Sean.
"Oh good, the Irishman is waking up now. Yes, Sean. This is Rothschild at the Pillar day, Sean. Rothschild, himself, came to the Pillar and sold the largest amount of Consuls ever sold and then simply walked away. Everyone said, 'Rothschild knows! The war is lost!' Panic set in and everyone sold Consuls. Who bought? Why Rothschild, of course, through his network of dealers who now bought Consuls at bargain prices. My father is going to sell at the Pillar at closing and, like Rothschild, scare them bad. You and I will then begin to buy this stock up at bargain prices. Can you at least match my twelve thousand?" asked Tina.
"I guess," said Sean.
"Good, now how much more than that?" asked Tina.
"You keep bleeding me and bleeding me. There's no blood left," said Sean.
"Sean, it is no longer what's best for me or what's best for you. It's us now Sean us, us, us only us," she said.
"I know that. Look at what I've put in so far," said Sean.
"And I'm going to match that as well. If we continue to work as a team today and on into the night then we will do really good in this thing. Remember it was you who thought this thing up and put it into action. It was you who got me into this and now I am your expert advisor giving you the advice that you need to finish the job that you created and planned. I'm only trying to make it better for you. Oh, and Sean," she said.
"Yes?" asking her what else.
"When we meet every so often, could we make certain that there will be a solid night there where we can be together the whole night and wake up together in the morning?" she asked him while reaching up and holding his hand.
"Certainly," said Sean.
"And Sean?" she asked again
"Yes?" he inquired.
"If we could meet once a month rather than every few months then I probably wouldn't need any other male but you, so could we do it that way?" she asked him.
"It's a deal," he assured her.
"Are we a team now?" she asked him.
"Yes," he answered. She then unbuckled her seat belt and kissed him and then snapped it back on and went to sleep beside him for the few remaining minutes before the plane landed. Sean couldn't sleep but kept thinking about all the money that he had gone through. He had started with about half a million and now had only about twenty thousand left, which was less than five per cent of what he once had. He knew that if he had to match her twelve thousand then he would only have about seven or eight thousand left. No, he thought, he wasn't going to give her all this but he would have to match her- maybe a thousand over but that would be it, he thought, and then he too closed his eyes - but he couldn't sleep now.
When the plane bounced to a landing Tina awoke and looked at her watch and visualized what her father would now be doing. She knew that she and Sean had to work fast and start phoning all those people on a computerized list that showed who actually held the airline's stock certificates. They would then have to schedule afternoon and evening visits to buy these certificates from these people who refused to bring their stock to the boiler room operation of Tom Sharpe who specialized in this highly technical field of calling people by phone.
Tina and Sean arrived at Tom Sharpe's operation as the City of London was getting ready for another business day. Tom was ready for them and introduced them to his staff that numbered about thirty people today who were all trained to separate the wheat from the chaff in the least possible time on the phone and time was of the essence today. Tom's people also had a computerized list of Paragon Airline's stockholders whom all of these thirty people were now calling to ascertain if the person now talking was the stockholder and did they have the actual certificates of the stock or was it in their broker's hands. Only the people who claimed to hold certificates were told that a vice president had something important to tell them about Paragon Airlines. These people were then passed on to this important vice president who, in actuality was a college student who needed money and was now working in this boiler room operation and who had printed cards in front of him that covered every occasion and which he now used to discern whether this person was going to be amenable to selling their Paragon Stock. If this student saw that he was not doing any good, then he would pass these people on to Paragon's president- or so he told them - who really was the professional closer and who was a top of the line expert in getting people to go the route that he wanted.
The only people left for Tina and Sean were the ones who had a good quantity of shares in certificate form and who could not be talked into bringing their certificates to this London boiler room operation, and who might be amenable to selling their stock. Tina and Sean were now making schedules to meet with these people and everyone was told that they would receive for their shares whatever the closing price happened to be that day.
Even before daylight, various bankers and financial experts- all Covington's men - were readying their speeches that they were going to give to the news media that day. Some of these deliveries were highly optimistic and some were highly pessimistic of Paragon's chances and they all had to be synchronized with the direction that Covington was going to be pushing the stock at that particular hour.
Early that morning when the television stations first came on the air, each program showed a banker behind a mammoth desk telling about massive fraud at Paragon Airlines. As the day went on more pictures of empty ticket counters and motionless airplanes were constantly on the television screen. This gloom and doom reached the epitome of Covington's style at the eight o'clock morning news when an Irishman in handcuffs was being interviewed by people who seemed to be policemen, The Irishman admitted to being part of a gang who had stolen all of Paragon's money and used it to buy gold that they then claimed they had melted down into miniature Eiffel Towers and which were then subsequently shipped to France, out of the country and now hidden far from the English authorities.
At nine-thirty in the morning every station had people from Paragon Airline and more bankers now reassuring every one that this was all a misunderstanding and that now with all the creditors thus assured, they had now begun once again to refuel Paragon's planes and people who were at the terminal after noon that day would be able to use their previously purchased tickets and travel their regularly scheduled flights.
But then at ten-thirty the news was highly pessimistic again with various experts all arguing with one another over the fate of Paragon Airlines. And so the day continued this way as confidence in Paragon ebbed and flowed and the price of Paragon stock gyrated up and then down with each new rumor.
Also at ten-thirty that same morning Mr. Covington had made his final computer tabulations that showed that his profits from all of his buying and selling, so far this morning was more than a third of a million dollars thus giving him now enough money to match Sean, thus enabling his daughter and her new fiancee to not only control Paragon but to pull it through its coming bad period. Since he did not need this money right now, he would continue to utilize it in even more violent gyrations as the day wore on and this should even return him far greater profits.
At a bit after ten o'clock Tom Sharpe had to call in three more of his high priced expert closers because of the heavy number of people winnowed through the system who wanted to be rid of their Paragon stock before it became absolutely worthless. It became evident that most of these people wanted a check in British Pounds at time of transfer. This high volume of people who wanted to be rid of the stock now made Tina certain that the funds in her Christina account were going to have to be substantially increased.
"What is the maximum amount of dollars that you can give me right now?" she asked Sean.
Sean had been planning to give her thirteen thousand if she needed it but when he took the bag behind a shelf where no one could see him and counted, it contained fifteen thousand four hundred. He knew that he still had about five thousand back home but he pocketed the four hundred and brought the bag to Tina and said, "There's fifteen thousand in here." She took it and was gone.
Now as Sean sat working the phones, an awful thought came to him that he had seen the last of her and all of his money. He had given her all of that fifteen thousand and this meant that he had now given away ninety-nine percent of his money and had only about one per cent left. Ninety-nine per cent of it all gone! He sat there thinking with his head in his hands.
"Are you OK?" asked Tom Sharpe who happened to come by.
"Yes," he said and went back to the phones again.
Tina was off of the Underground train with her satchel and went up the steps to a banking complex. She went directly to the president's office in the bank that handled her Christina account and plopped the money on the president's desk and said, "Here is fifteen thousand American Dollars that need to go into the Christina Corporation account immediately. You will have to honor checks against this money tomorrow. Will you handle this for me so I can get out of here and back to where I'm needed."
"No problem," he said as he quickly counted the money and wrote her a receipt.
"Thank you, You have given me the best service of any London bank. I appreciate this and I will be bringing you a much larger account several days from now," she told him.
"What is happening at Paragon? Didn't you used to work there?" he asked her.
She gave him that silent 'who knows?' facial expression with up opened palms and then she turned and was gone.
Sean was a very much relieved young man when she returned and sat down along side of him to help with the phones. Between phone calls they shared some food that she had brought. The Quotron that they had newly installed there was showing them that the swings in Paragon's stock were getting wilder with the general trend heading distinctly downward. As Tina looked at the lows, she was hoping that Paragon would leave the shilling area and drop into the quotation in pence instead.
"Sean," she said to him between food and phone calls.
"Yes?" answering her.
"We are going to get so much Paragon stock that there won't be enough left for the exchange," she told him.
"What will happen then?" he asked.
"My father will have to make it look like there really is a market and if they want to sell then they sell to us and if they want to buy then we will decide how much they have to pay and we will make some for them," said Christina.
As the day wore on Tina and Sean were less on the phone and working more now on their evening schedule: This was the large block of people who absolutely refused to come to Sharpe's London establishment with their shares and whom they had to visit personally.
An arrangement was made with Tom Sharpe where he and others would stay until midnight. It was felt that to stay any longer than that would be useless because the Underground was pretty well closed down by then. Tina also agreed to leave enough signed checks with Tom Sharpe so that he could pay for the shares that people brought into his establishment
At one o'clock that afternoon Mr. Covington computed his winnings to be about seven hundred thousand in American dollars.
By one o'clock Tom Sharpe's people had phoned every Paragon stockholder in the Greater London area at least twice telling them that they could pick up a check for their Paragon stock at whatever price it closed at, if they brought their certificates to his London establishment before midnight.
At two that afternoon Tom Sharpe came to Tina with another problem, telling her, "We have several people outside and they want their money now!"
"Tell them that during business hours they must go to a stock broker to sell their shares," Tina replied, knowing that if she waited then she would have to pay only a small fraction of what it was now selling for.
As the final half hour of trading ensued, Tina remained glued to the Quotron as it showed the price of Paragon Airlines now plummeting down like an eagle from its mountain habitat. Sharpe had on a television in the back room and as he switched the channels all he could see were uniformed Paragon stewardesses crying big crocodile tears and saying good-by to their fellow employees. Tom Sharpe smiled in admiration of his good friend Covington who staged all of this with the true artistic talent that only the expert con man could furnish.
Tina, Sean and Tom were all huddled together watching the Quotron screen as the closing bell rang out. The price of Paragon was quoted under fifty pence at closing.
"He did it!" said Tina.
Tina now supplied both Tom and Sean with a supply of Christina Corporation checks that she had already signed and recorded the numbers of, and which they would now hand over to the people who brought in their Paragon stock certificates. Tina and Sean then departed in different directions to pick up the big blocks of shares while Tom Sharpe and his crew purchased the stock that people presented to him at his London firm.
Tina kept calling Tom every half hour to see how things were doing and on her third call, Tom informed her that many people wanted to eliminate another unnecessary trip to London by merely bringing their shares with them before work the next morning- this was something that neither Tom nor Tina had even thought about.
"Call everyone back and tell them that we are going to stay open all night and pay out until the market opens tomorrow morning, I'll pay whatever extra it costs you," said Christina to Tom Sharpe over the phone.
Tom had dismissed the bulk of his people shortly before this but not all had left and he called out to those still there, "Stay on everyone; it's time and a half pay after you accrue eight hours and double time after twelve," Now his people were phoning all London Paragon shareholders that they would stay open all night until nine in the morning.
The six o'clock evening news was full of stories about Paragon and Mr. Covington had made available just before six, a story of an outfit in London who was buying Paragon stock that very evening. Every station ran the story and plainly displayed the phone number to call.
When this broke, it took every available hand at Tom Sharpe's boiler room operation just to answer the phones.
One large block holder whom Sean visited had told Sean that he was going to America and then Sean showed him his four American Hundred Dollar bills. The man then refused to sell his certificates unless Sean gave him the four bills and worked the price into the total sale. Sean made the stock purchase and was out his four hundred. 'Damn woman got that too.' he thought to himself.
Tina did not worry about running out of money now because even if she bought up one hundred per cent of the outstanding stock- and that would be virtually impossible - the total amount in American dollars would be a bit more than thirty thousand; she had twenty-seven thousand in her account. Her father would give her the additional few thousand if need be but she knew that it would be almost impossible to ever get much more than 90% of the stock and she would not have to request it from him,
When Tina checked in with Tom Sharpe at midnight, he told her that he would be needing more signed checks within the hour. She told him she would be there promptly. She had hired a permanent taxi to take her around after the Underground system had closed down and now that the streets of London were cleared of its daylight traffic, the taxi driver had no problem getting her to Sharpe's boiler room. The ride that now took her fifteen minutes would have required at least an hour during mid-day traffic.
Sean too had quit the Underground at eleven and was now also in a taxi. The people were all up waiting for him with their certificates when he arrived. The boiler room people were in touch with everyone on both Tina and Sean's list and were calling them. They were tracking both Tina and Sean thus by phone and were alerting the people approximately when each would arrive and now at that late hour they were also keeping the people awake making certain that they would still be available when Tina or Sean did finally arrive.
Tom Sharpe was closely monitoring this and he was able to phone Mr. Covington and tell him that at this rate the big blocks would all be bought by about three in the morning. Covington's own stock operation had been over with for more than eight hours now. His final hours were his most profitable. His total profits for this day alone were an amazing one and a half million American dollars. He had more planned for the following day as well- but now he was worried as he sat contemplating what lay in store for the market the next day. Sharpe's figures showed him that his daughter was scooping up an enormous amount of Paragon's shares. Now Covington had to come to grips with what Christina had told Sean earlier that day, the family would soon have all the stock and there would not be enough left for the market to properly operate. Mr. Covington wanted people to think that the market was still working. Now he had to do what his daughter told Sean would have to be done. When someone wanted to sell then he would have to buy and if they wanted to buy then he would have to make some available to them. He now wondered exactly how much stock his daughter would actually be able to pull off the market.
Tom Sharpe had hit it about right because at three-thirty a very tired Tina and Sean were back in the boiler room drinking coffee. Things had slackened off considerably, but even then a car would pull up every so often and someone would bring in their shares and accept the check and leave. Most of Tom's people were gone now, but Tom felt there might be a rush in the morning so he had put together some makeshift cots in the back room where Tina and Sean and two thirds of the crew would sleep for two hours and then Tom and a third of the crew might be able to sleep for almost two hours before the people started bringing their certificates in to London when they came to work the next day. This would enable all of them to be ready and finish up as the market opened in the morning again. The people manning the phones now were telling everyone that they should sell before the market opened because then the stock was sure to be worthless.
An hour before the market opened, with everyone now awake, there was a bit of a rush as people came in to dump their shares. Twenty minutes before the market opened Tina was able to phone her father and tell him that they had issued checks and Sean's four hundred dollars so that the total expenditure for shares was twenty-six thousand seven hundred dollars. This meant that Tina and Sean owned about ninety per cent of the stock of Paragon Airways. Mr. Covington needed this information as he planned his attack for that day.
With two cardboard boxes of certificates Tina and Sean climbed into a taxi and headed to Mrs. William's boarding house. Tina planned to sleep in Meg's room and they felt that these certificates would be safer there than in a hotel. Mrs. Williams had not gotten up yet when the two arrived so both of them slept together in Meg's bed but there was absolutely no activity between them: Both were too tired.
While they slept Mr. Covington knew that he would be facing a very thin market, but it would be entirely his market and only he would be making the market in Paragon Airlines now. He now opted for more stability. He could not make as much money as fast as he did before but there would be far less risk now and he would be able to make more money consistently over the long haul.
Oliver Cromwell was putting together another operation whose complicated bank dealings would soon have another half million American Dollars to replace the original half million that his own people had lost. Never again would there only be two people along with that much money and this time the serial number of every bill would be recorded. He made a notation on his desk calendar that he would be gone on a Monday and Tuesday about a month from now. One of the girls in the family would be getting married on the Sunday before these two days and he would be staying with the family and some friends that he needed to discuss some things with. Then he looked at the morning paper and read the story about Paragon Airways. He had used Paragon Airways and needed them. He would hope that the ownership did not change but if it did then he would get someone to talk to the new owner. If that didn't work then he figured he would buy enough stock in Paragon to control it and then put his own people in to run it.
It was about five in the afternoon that Tina and Sean awoke and they could hear Mrs. Williams and others talking outside and they could faintly hear the television. Sean was not about to tell Tina about his secret door and he didn't want problems with Mrs. Williams so he shook the bed a bit and said to Tina, "This thing is going to shake and make noise so we better put the mattress on the floor." They removed the mattress and put it on the floor and resumed their nap.
It was a short time later when Sean regained enough of his consciousness to realize that all was quiet outside now and he quickly rose and took a quick look and when he saw no one he went out of the bedroom where Tina was still asleep and closed her door and went into his own room and locked the door and was again fast asleep before much time had past.
The knocking on his door was what woke Sean up to find himself on his own bed with his clothes still on. He opened the door to find Tina standing there with the box of stock certificates and he saw Mrs. Williams sitting in front of the television but with her head turned watching the two of them. Knowing this Tina left his door wide open when she came into his bedroom saying: "You had better take these certificates. This is about half of our take. I discovered a mistake and we now have slightly more than ninety-one per cent of Paragon's stock. Sean we bought thirty-seven per cent of the stock for less than twenty-seven thousand dollars. Take good care of these certificates Sean. This box alone will sell for over a million of your dollars in a few months. It's really worth over half a million right now but the public is not aware of it yet and it has to stay that way for a while too. We have enough money now- my father has done very well - to guide this airline over her rough passage of the next few months, so there is no doubt whatsoever of the outcome of Paragon Airlines. I have quite a bit of bargaining to do with the union and other agencies before we let them know what is really going on. My father has more of your certificates and I will bring you that batch when we meet at our next meeting a month from now. I know I bled you dry but I had to do it didn't I? Do you need any money now? I can get some from my father,"
"I'll make it OK," he told her.
"Good then, I will see you a month from now and every month thereafter and I will report to you on how I'm doing. I did not pick you. I would have picked one of those muscle-bound hulks who used to hang around me. You are a lot different.. No, I would not have picked you Sean, but now that I have gotten you by kismet, I have learned how beautiful it is going to be every month while I explain how much money I have made for you. A month ago I had absolutely no purpose in life. Now I have a purpose. I'm in love with you sort of and I have my own airline to run. I should not have said my airline. I should have said our airline because it will be our airline. This ring will stay on my finger to remind me of this purpose that you have given my life. You have done that Sean; you really have. Thank you for giving me this way to prove myself Sean. I'll show you and my father what I can really do. I will stay in touch with your answering service but I will be extremely busy and hard to locate in the next few weeks. We'll be lucky to exchange even a few words before our next meeting," she told him.
"I understand," he said.
"OK then, Now I'll give you an idea of what I'll be doing. I have two people to be loyal to, both you and my father, and I am going back there right now and whisk out those shares plus those extra shares that he has recently obtained and put them up as collateral for a loan on which Christina Corporation can borrow against. My father has made his big money on this deal Sean. Now it's our turn, We have to keep things looking very bad for a few weeks because I have to fire a good many people who have had their fingers in the till. Meg and her friend Harry Kirk not only stay on but are both slated to go up the ladder in management. They can both think for themselves. I don't have enough of them that can and I simply can't afford to have good minds like Harry's and Meg's sitting in a cockpit as a bus driver; it's stupid. With things looking bad, I will get the union concessions that I absolutely must have if I'm going to compete in this market. Also I need to emphasize to some other government people that if Paragon's property tax burden is reduced substantially then Paragon will be in a position to put some people back to work," she said.
"Once I get all these agreements signed sealed and delivered then I'm going to work out arrangements with competing airlines. If they think that we are practically broke then they will pick us over a stronger partner because that way they will feel that they could continue to hog the business and there is a lot more like this that has to be done so it will be at least a month before we can let the price of these shares rise much at all. When I report to you next month this should all be accomplished and Paragon will be ready to launch its big operation eclipsing anything it has ever done before," she told him, kissing him and then she was gone.
Then Sean left and found a phone and called his answering service and told them they should inform Sibyl that he could stay with her for three days and that she should meet him at the train station for the first train arriving that morning from Victoria Station. Therewith he was on the Underground to McNeil's. As he entered the eating establishment, he was handed a phone number to call, by McNeil. He called and again was told to wait for someone to meet him there. He made his dinner selection from the menu and when he was almost finished his old friend from the IRA sat down alongside him with a cup of tea.
"We didn't hear from you and we were worried about you," he said to Sean.
"I'll be gone again for three days," said Sean.
"Can you get those ID photos and be fitted for that suit tonight?" he asked.
"I can go right now if you want," said Sean, who left a tip for the waitress and then paid McNeil as both of the men now walked to the nearest Underground Station.
"Thomas S. King is your new name now," said the IRA man, as he handed Sean a British Driver's license with Sean's picture on it.
"Is it real? Sean asked.
"Real, except the picture, and since they don't keep pictures inside of their computers yet, no one will ever know. Your eyes are the same colour and height and weight are about the same so the only thing that will trip you up is if you fail to remember the birthday when the police officer has the license in his hand and he asks you for it. Some of them do ask that you know, so you should remember your new birthday," warned his friend as Sean imagined that the real Tom King would now be in Australia or Canada or maybe even buried somewhere overseas.
Sean and his friend then went to a shop where a tailor measured him for a suit. This would take several days to make because it had to conceal a small camera and miniature tape recorder. While Sean was there his IRA friend gave him some additional information:
He said: "A medium size MI6 fish will be at this reception and will stay at the house for the following Monday and Tuesday. We do not know exactly why but we suspect it has something to do with a huge loss of money that some of the MI6 agents have recently had to take lie detector tests about. Two days ago we received information that a list of serial numbers of American Hundred Dollar bills will be delivered to our MI6 fish. Now at this reception will be a man named Thomas Reed who has had a few bad alcohol problems and who may be delivering these serial numbers. Now I know that this is a lot to ask from you- this will be far more than you intended to do - but we are going to try to have a girl in the kitchen that day and if you could bring Mr. Reed into the kitchen for a drink then she will give you water and pour him vodka, which he likes, but it will be laced with a drug that will allow you to get considerable information out of him and he will not know what took place when it's all over. The girl will know you because we will furnish her with your picture. Don't worry about her having it with her and getting caught. She's above that. To make certain it is her you will say, 'Two real Russian vodkas please.' She will answer, 'Nectar of the czars.' I know this is asking you to go that extra mile, but you will be doing something extremely important for Ireland."
Sean replied, "I came here to help Ireland and I will do anything in my power that I can to make Ireland truly free again." These words seemed to duly impress his IRA friend because he stood looking quietly at Sean for a while before he spoke.
"Thank you," said the IRA man, and both of them talked about Ireland and her heroes, but neither of them gave even a hint of information about themselves. They separated with Sean going back down to the Underground. It was not long before he was walking in the front door of his boarding house, but now for the first time his mind was constantly on those serial numbers of American Hundred Dollar bills and he thought, his next place of abode might very well be somewhere inside of the British Prison System. If this was MI6 money and they had the serial numbers then things did not look good for him at all. Sean then decided, if he was going down then why not go down in style and plunge right into the hornet's nest and go for broke. If he got all the information that the IRA wanted then they might get him home safely, and if he got caught, which was the more probable outcome, at least the English wouldn't kill him; they would merely keep him. But why hadn't they done something with those serial numbers by now? These were the thoughts that were on Sean's mind constantly now, every minute that he was awake, it seemed. He could not get these worries to go away. Even though he would think of other things those serial numbers kept drifting back into his mind. Finally, after aimlessly walking back and forth in his room, he set his alarm clock for early in the morning where he could be on the Underground to Victoria Station where he would catch the first train to meet Sibyl.
Even six hours sleep did not erase the worry about the money from Sean's mind. It was all he thought about as he rode the Underground, and as he sat in the train leaving Victoria Station. But when the train did finally arrive and he did see Sibyl standing there smiling at him all bright eyed and bushy tailed, then his mood abruptly changed. Seeing her cheered him up as nothing else could.
"Three whole days!" said Sibyl, greeting him with a kiss.
"Maybe an entire week if I'm not really needed back there," said Sean.
"Beautiful," said Sibyl.
"Shall we have breakfast and see an airplane?" he asked.
"Let's," she said and then she led him to her motor car and they made the trip to the restaurant where they had breakfast and then they were off across the mountains to the airport where they met McHugh.
"There is a power outage north of here and both of the big government RADAR stations are out," said McHugh.
"What does that mean?" asked Sean.
"It means that if you want to see your airplane fly then this is your last chance and I wouldn't mind taking a short last ride in the old airplane myself," said McHugh. "It's all fueled up and ready," he added.
"If you are willing then so am I. How about you Sibyl? This man wants to take us up for a ride in our new airplane," said Sean.
"Yes I do," said Sibyl.
"We've got to move fast," said McHugh as he gave some orders to Ralph and another man, both of whom now ran to the airplane.
"Lets go then," said McHugh, and all three of them hastily moved to the airplane. They went in and then went forward to the cockpit and McHugh pulled down the jump seat for Sibyl.
"Sit here little lady and you proud new owner can sit in the right hand pilot's seat," McHugh said to Sean.
"But I don't know anything about all this stuff," said Sean.
"You know as much as a lot of them that I was forced to sit up here and fly with," said McHugh.
"Clear number one," yelled McHugh out of his window as he switched the starter switch and now operated both throttle and mixture controls himself as the right engine caught and roared to life.
"Yell 'Clear two.' out your window," said McHugh to Sean.
"Clear two!" yelled Sean and seconds later the tips of the big propeller blades on his side of the plane moved faster and faster as the noise got louder and louder.
"Pull the chocks," yelled McHugh to the two on the ground while McHugh held his feet on the rudder pedal toe brakes.
"Close that damn window," McHugh yelled to Sean over the roaring noise of the engines.
Sean finally found how to do it then the sound of the engines dropped perceptually inside the cockpit. McHugh released the brakes and the big plane headed for one end of the long airstrip while McHugh not only watched outside but ran his eyes all over the instrument panel in front of him. Sean felt helpless sitting there watching the plane moving along the ground with all the controls and instruments right in front of him but not knowing much about what they all did or meant, but he also had a feeling of awe about his new airplane. Sean turned and looked at Sibyl sitting directly behind both of them and saw she was wide eyed with amazement.
When the plane neared the end of the runway, McHugh pointed at the engine instruments and said, "They are both up to temp. now."
McHugh then stopped the big ship and held the toe brakes while he ran first the right then the left engine through their paces. Then he put the flaps one quarter of the way down and swung the nose of the plane around until it pointed straight down the long runway. He held the brakes while he advanced both throttles and at that point released the brakes and the plane lurched forward and bounded down the airstrip faster and faster until finally it was in the air. The ground below could only be seen for a short time and then they were over the ocean.
"Close that cockpit door if you would little lady," said McHugh and Sibyl released her seat belt and went over to the door and shut it and this eliminated even a bit more engine noise and now they could talk inside without yelling.
"We are eight hundred feet high," said McHugh pointing to his altimeter, " and we will keep it about here," he added.
They could see a myriad of boats below but the numbers of them started to decrease as the plane headed out to sea.
"We can't go much higher than this or other RADARs will spot us. Those mountains in back of us are now shielding us from England's expensive warning system. No one in England knows we are out here illegally," said McHugh laughing.
They flew in this same direction for a few minutes and then McHugh reached over to Sean and tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Thanks a million son for letting me take the old bird up one more time."
Then he abruptly banked and turned the aircraft around to go back and both Sean and Sibyl were astonished at how tiny and far away the mountains looked as the plane now headed back to them. "That's all that way folks; we better go home now," said McHugh.
The mountains that they had driven over were now in the distance ahead of them and the speed of the airplane was apparent as the mountains came closer and the huge expanse of the sea in front of them now shrunk. McHugh then adjusted his propeller pitch and his flaps for landing and lowered the landing gear and now all three of them could see the end of the runway ahead of them even though they were still over open sea. Then as ground replaced ocean under them they felt the bump of the tyres on the runway and McHugh reversed the pitch of the propellers making a terrible roar that shook the entire plane but slowed it down measurably and then the speed got slower and slower as the plane rolled down the runway. McHugh then swung the plane around and parked it in its old parking spot and the two men on the ground immediately put chocks under the big wheels as McHugh cut the engines.
"I hope that the power is still off and that RADAR didn't see us," said McHugh.
"I don't know how you even knew where we were, let alone how to get back," said Sean astonished by it all.
"Son, those are my wings out there," said McHugh.
"Even if the RADAR didn't see us, won't these people here tell?" asked Sibyl.
"No they won't little lady. Haven't you wondered why this isn't on the map?" asked McHugh.
"MI6," said Sean as it suddenly dawned on him that their power extended even to that small town.
"You said it, I didn't," said McHugh.
The rest of that day McHugh spent explaining the workings of the airplane to Sean with Sibyl as interested as he was and learning as much as him or even more about the big machine. It was dark when McHugh and Sean closed things up and no one from the government ever came to ask anything about their illicit flight.
"They were his wings weren't they," exclaimed Sibyl.
"Yes, that was simply amazing," said Sean.
"Like you said, it's so vast out there and we were so far away. Did you see how small these mountains looked? But like a big old bird he flew it right back to its nest," said Sibyl.
"Yes he did. How he did it though, I'll never know. An awful lot of training behind all of that Sibyl," said Sean.
"Do you think that he was the best in his field when these things were in their heyday?" asked Sibyl.
"He's a bit too young for that Sibyl. Maybe his daddy was the one who flew them and got him interested in them. Somebody from an older generation had to get him all fired up and curious about these," said Sean.
"Like my doctor and my priest with me," said Sibyl.
"Exactly," said Sean.
"If he would have made one mistake up there then we all would have died," said Sibyl.
"What on earth made you think of that?" asked Sean.
"If a doctor makes a mistake then it's the other person who dies," said Sibyl.
"Some people take on riskier occupations than other people," said Sean.
"It's the thrill though isn't it? That thing is pretty old. We all took a risk merely for the thrill, didn't we?" she asked.
"Well, it's like you reading all that history except that we didn't read what they said; we actually experienced what they experienced back then," said Sean.
"Tonight I'll dream about that ride." said Sibyl.
"Take me back with you beautiful creature," said Sean as they walked in the dark to her motor car.
As Sibyl drove back in her motor car with Sean sleeping peacefully beside her and with the experience of that airplane ride still vividly impressed on her mind, she knew that this man next to her was giving her a brand new world that she never knew existed. So too, she thought, I now will show him a world that he never knew existed.
The two spent that night in their caravan home and talked about airplanes. Sean was surprised to find out that Sibyl knew quite a few more things about this airplane than even Sean himself did.
After breakfast they were again on their way to the airfield when Sean said, "Sibyl, McHugh will only be here a few more days and I have to make the most out of this time that I have while he is still here. Would you want to go to London tomorrow and get those clothes while I stay here with McHugh, or we could wait 'til McHugh leaves and then I could go with you," explained Sean.
"Let's wait then. I want to learn about that airplane too. I like being with you and I'd love to be able to sit next to you while we go to London," said Sibyl.
"OK, that's the way we'll do it then," said Sean.
"Sean," said Sibyl.
"Yes," said Sean, answering her.
"Honesty is very important in a relationship," said Sibyl.
"You say yes, but you have not been honest with me Sean," she told him as his mind now raced to try to figure what she could have possibly discovered.
"Why do you say that Sibyl?" asked Sean.
"I am an expert Sean; you cannot fool me," said Sibyl.
"I don't understand," said Sean.
Something is worrying you Sean," said Sibyl.
"Sibyl darling, I could never fool you could I? Yes, when I was away I discovered something that has me very, very worried. I cannot tell you because I will not have you involved in it. I did what I thought was right Sibyl and I still do think it was right and always will believe it to be right. Others though see it as an attempt to destroy their control over people. Yes, I am worried," said Sean.
Oh Sean, now that I know you are worried I will have to cheer you up somehow," said Sibyl.
At the airplane McHugh explained to Sean and Sibyl how one could quickly spot incorrect loading of the airplane and why this was extremely dangerous. He explained that exact measurements and scales measuring the weight on every wheel were absolutely essential when the airplane was going to be loaded near maximum; this maximum would vary too with runway length. With ample runway though this airplane could safely lift and carry a useful load aboard that could weigh as much as one third of the gross weight of the airplane with a full load of fuel aboard for a thousand mile trip and even more than half the gross weight on a short run where less fuel was required.
McHugh showed Sean and Sibyl how to look for specks of metal as he allowed some fuel to wash the oil from the oil screen on to a clean cloth. Tiny specs of brass metal could be barely seen with a magnifying glass. These were normal. It would be shiny white pieces that would be attracted to a magnet that would be immediate cause for alarm.
McHugh felt the aluminum skin of the airplane and it was hot to touch because it was noon and the sun had been shining. He saw some rain clouds approaching and said, "I'm going to show you why temperature is so important when you take cable tension readings."
Sibyl and Sean followed McHugh into the main belly compartment where he clamped a cable tensionmeter on to one of the aileron cables and it read two hundred pounds. When the cloud passed over and the rain drops came down on the airplane the needle started dropping and kept falling as the rain kept coming down. When the rain was over the meter only read one hundred eighty pounds.
"The wing was hot in that sun. The aluminum wing expands when it's hot and contracts when it is cooled. This steel cable that we are reading the tension on is inside and stays at the same temperature as it was before and therefore stays the same length. What you saw on the meter was the wing actually shrinking in length and loosening the tensioned cable," said McHugh.
McHugh went on to show them many more things about the airplane. Then as it got dark they all got ready to leave when McHugh warned them:
"This is Friday night and a bad night to lose petrol. Everyone likes to take an auto trip on the weekend and some like to get their petrol free because it's so easy to steal from these old airplanes. No one thought of that problem when these were built and petrol was so cheap. I've wired those drain valves shut with steel wire but have often found it cut in the morning," said McHugh.
"That would be a problem, wouldn't it," remarked Sean.
"Constantly," said McHugh.
"What do you do about it?" asked Sean.
"I carry a flash camera and keep paying nightly visits hoping to get some pictures of someone stealing my fuel," said McHugh.
"I may just camp out here some nights," said Sean, thinking to himself that this excuse to catch someone stealing fuel would be a good cover to stay here at night and see if this really was an MI6 operation, and if it was, then there might be something to be learned.
That Friday night Sean camped out with Sibyl inside his new airplane. After an early breakfast the next morning, they met with McHugh early that Saturday and he taught them how to safely start the big engines and both Sean and Sibyl taxied the plane around the field until too much activity began on the field for McHugh to consider this to be safe any longer.
"Let's get a very early start tomorrow so you both can get a better idea of how to move this thing around on the ground safely. There are too many people around here right now and we don't need a collision," said McHugh.
For the rest of the day he showed them more about the machine and he showed them the maintenance that was regularly required to keep everything functioning properly. When McHugh was a distance from them Sibyl came closer to Sean.
She said: "Let's quit while that shop is still open. He stays open on Saturday afternoon and I will buy a foam mattress. The floor in that airplane is really hard."
Sean agreed and told McHugh they were calling it quits for the day and the two left and did manage to get an air mattress and then Sibyl drove them to a restaurant high in the mountains where they could look down as they ate and see the lights in the harbor below.
Sibyl said: "The most wonderful thing in life is getting these new experiences. I never imagined that I would be doing all these things like moving that big airplane around and learning how all those things on it work and why they are used. I will never be able to learn it all but now I can see that an airplane is a far more complicated thing than most people imagine. At first I wondered why I was drawn to you and now I see that I have a need for men that can teach me a lot of new things. The doctor and the priest knew more about the things that they were teaching me, but here, you are the cause of my learning all these new things plus you are learning them along with me and I think that's just super."
That night the two went back to their caravan and each took a badly needed shower. They had missed their daily bath the day they stayed aboard the airplane. They got a few hours sleep in the caravan. He was the one who had to wake her up four hours later as they took their new air mattress with them to the airfield. Now with the mattress on the sloping floor of the airplane they finished their night's sleep on the airplane.
An alarm clock woke the two and they dressed and packed their mattress away and ate a brown bag and thermos breakfast of sorts. They were sitting up front in the cockpit when McHugh arrived. Then there was more training with both of them at the controls. McHugh was particularly pleased with Sibyl's progress who was able to control the power of these big engines in much the same manner as she controlled these powerful men that allowed themselves to be put under her command.
They had been at this for over three hours when a small executive jet started up near them and McHugh then parked the big plane and Ralph threw chocks under the wheels. The rest of the day they followed McHugh into various nooks and crannies of this monstrous machine as he showed Sean and Sibyl the different devices hidden away in all of these many places.
On Monday, McHugh went over the various electrical and hydraulic systems and showed them how each could be repaired or set up correctly by reading the manual and he showed them how the manual was set up to do this and help them locate a failed item that might be causing a problem. That evening as it got dark McHugh shook both their hands.
He told them: "I'm not going to be leaving England for several months yet so I may stop by from time to time because I love this old bird so If you have any problems just write it all down so you'll remember. I'll answer your questions or at least point you in the right direction if it's a problem you need to solve."
He then walked to his car and was gone, leaving them alone with the C-46. The two stayed inside the plane until all airport activity ceased and then they opened one of the window hatches over the right wing and climbed out onto the massive wing bringing their air mattress with them and then they made love under the stars and high enough above the earth where they could not possibly be seen.
On Tuesday the couple went to London together to get Sibyl's reception clothes. They were back that night and this night they never visited the airplane but spent the entire night in their caravan.
He told her how good and beautiful she was and that he loved both her body and her mind. He said he would have to leave her right after lunch and he could not tell her exactly when he could return but they would both go to the reception together.
When Sibyl was entirely awake she put together a meal and they ate and then she drove him to the train station serenely happy that they had both shared this full week together.
In London when Sean called his answering service he had some messages from Tina and after contacting her he found that she felt that they both should have an advantage if the same outfit kept the books for both his and her corporate accounts. The very next day Sean met with Tina's banker and handed over his Paragon certificates that the banker signed for and then the banker set the same things up for Sean's Corporation as he had for the Christina Corporation.
When Sean arrived at McNeil's, he was again handed a phone number to call. He was soon joined by his IRA friend who, this time, managed to eat a complete meal with Sean. They left together and Sean tried on his new suit and he was shown how to operate the secret camera and tape recorder. Then his friend gave him a phone number to call and told him to call it some distance from where he now was. His IRA friend also was aware of the capabilities of MI5. His friend told him this was the girl's phone number who would be working with him at the reception. His friend felt there would be less chance for a slip up if the two first met and saw each other before the reception.
Sean called the number from several Underground stations away and the girl gave him an address to come to that evening, which he did. The girl who answered the door was about his height and had jet black hair with curly ringlets and she looked nothing like what Sean pictured they would have for a maid.
She greeted him saying: "Come on in. I'll not ask your name, nor will you give it to me."
"I hate a bossy woman," said Sean.
"My, how we are getting off to a flying start," she said while extending her hand to him that he refused.
"Sorry, I only screw the English," he told her looking directly into her eyes.
She burst out laughing.
"Let's go for a walk," said Sean, and she put on a light coat and stepped out the door and again held out her hand to him.
"I'm part English," she said.
This time he took her hand and they walked down the darkened street together and he said: "Never, never, never underestimate the English MI5. They may have your place bugged. Let's talk out here," said Sean.
They walked down the street and when they came to a lamppost, Sean stopped and took out one of his hundred dollar bills and handed it to her saying: "Look at these serial numbers. On this one it's a letter then eight numbers then a letter."
"And?" she asked.
"I'm thinking," he said, "there will be five thousand of these numbers. How many sheets of paper are we looking for if they need to give someone five thousand of these numbers?" he asked her.
The girl, being handed such a large bill and given all of this information, which she knew was seldom done by IRA agents, made her feel that this man saw her as a capable partner. On top of that, he had asked for her opinion. Usually on guard with all her male artisans, she now dropped all her defenses against this one that they had sent this time.
"I'll figure it out when I get back'" she told him.
"We'll figure it out when we get back," he said.
Now they both looked at each other.
"Yes," she said.
"These people are rich enough to have a copying machine, I may have to use one of those to copy this list of numbers that I'm looking for. You will be there long before I will and if you find one- say in the library - tell me, 'I saw a good book you'd want to read in the library.' We are almost certain that the entire kitchen will be bugged there, so we'll have to be careful what we say to each other there too," he told her.
"Thank you for your confidence in me," she told him.
"Mr. Thomas S. King is my name bossy woman,' he said to her as he handed her his fake driver's license.
"Yes, I'll bet," she said as she read the name on the license. "And what's the 'S.' for?" she asked him.
"Sean," he quickly replied.
"Well I'm pleased to meet you Mr. Thomas Sean King," she said. "Should I know anything else?" she added.
"Yes, my primary job there is not the list, but the list is important and Reed, who you are going to give the drink to, knows about the list. Also let's keep our options open. I may find something important that I simply cannot hide on my person and it will have to go out in the garbage where I can get to it later, and the sloppier the garbage the better but not in meat or something that they are going to feed the dogs with and find it," he said. "Anything you want to tell me?" he also asked her.
"No, they told me none of this. I was told to give him the liquid and you water," the girl said.
"I'm going to need you in there. That may be why they finally decided for us to meet in person first. You and I are now bound together by a common bond of fighting for Ireland.," Sean said.
"It may have been some of my doing. I told them I was afraid I wouldn't recognize you," she said.
"Is this your first time?" asked Sean.
"Oh Lord no, but it's the first time on something this big. It's all they are talking about right now I hear," replied the girl.
"If you can't think of anything else then we'll go back," said Sean, and he and the girl walked back still holding hands. When they arrived in front of the building in which she stayed, Sean stopped and said, "If you are a British agent then you will certainly not be inviting me in tonight."
She then turned and faced him. He wondered now what was going through her mind as she looked at him the best she could in the dim light of the street lamps. Sean felt as if ages were passing as they stood silently there in front of the steps.
"Come in Mr. King," said the girl.
"I believe that I will," said Sean, and they walked up the steps and inside. They did not speak much but even with a few words they both quickly got an idea of how may pages it would take for that list of serial numbers and then the girl looked at him,
"Tea?" she asked.
He shook his head 'no',
"Coffee?" she inquired.
Again he nodded 'no'.
"Me?" she questioned, but when he failed to respond to that, she laughed and they talked about Ireland but they purposely did not discuss the reception in case the English might actually have the residence bugged.
Sean stayed there that night with this girl. Each could hear the hearts and the breathing of the other and then they slept.
Sean O'Brien honestly liked all of his girls and he did feel that what he said was true: That he and this girl did have this common bond of wanting to fight for Ireland. Sean stayed with her and spent the better part of the next day with her walking through an Irish section of London that she knew well. While here, Sean discovered how years had modified these people's thinking from that of their parents and grandparents. The girl purposely stayed away from the area where she lived because she knew it might endanger both her and her new partner. But it was here in London's Irish section that both Sean and his new girl friend felt really at home. They ate Irish food and they sang Irish songs. This whole experience moved Sean so that he simply could not leave this girl and they took the last Underground train back to her place and he spent another night with her.
Their second day together was similar to their first and that evening they found themselves with a group singing Irish songs, but here the beer flowed and several in the crowd were noticeably drunk, especially one man next to Sean. Two Bobbies made their appearance and were looking around and when both had their backs turned, both the girl and Sean's eyes were glued to the drunken man who now had a Browning Hi-Power pistol in his hand with his finger on the trigger and he was using the side of the big table to help him steady his aim as he sighted in on one of the Bobbies. Sean hit the side of the gun, mashing gun and hand holding it sharply against the side of the table, with his right hand while his left hand caught the clip that was ejected from the handle when the sideways slam pushed the clip ejector button. Sean had first handed the clip to the girl who had it inside her bra in an instant and then when three other men pounced on the man and Sean was able to get the pistol, it went into her panties and she vanished out on to the street in a flash with Sean not far behind her. She and Sean were both gone by the time the two Bobbies had turned completely around to see what the noise was all about.
Sean and the girl were shortly back on an Underground train heading to her home. They sat together silently on the train, but it was on the walk back to her place and away from other people where they felt free to talk.
"When you turn that pistol in to your IRA friends tomorrow then you will rise a notch in their estimation of you," said Sean.
"That fool was going to kill the policeman," said the girl.
"That's right and it would have been the end of us. We were right next to him and they'd be looking for us too." said Sean.
"Lucky you got the bullets out," she said to him.
"I didn't get them all out. Cup your hands," he said to her as he moved into a dark area and held the gun upside down over her hands, and as he pulled back the slide a lonely bullet dropped into her grasp,
"The hammer was back; the bullet was in there and he was pulling on the trigger," said Sean.
"Why didn't it fire?" asked the girl.
"I'm certain that he was wondering the same thing," replied Sean.
But why didn't the gun go off?" she again asked him.
"Read the name on that gun, It's a Browning. I knew it as soon as I saw it. John Moses Browning designed his automatics so that they would all be perfectly safe once the clips were removed. It's a safety feature on Brownings. You simply cannot fire a Browning once that clip is removed. When I hit the gun on the side like I did, it pushed in the clip release button and released the clip. Now, if he had used a Colt automatic, or any other gun for that matter, then that policeman would be dead," said Sean.
"Holy Mary mother of God!" exclaimed the girl.
The first two nights she stayed with a stranger but this night she stayed with her hero. She knew that after tomorrow when she gave them the gun, she would be treated a lot better. She would have prestige and respect and her hero had given this to her. They were a team now she thought and life for her had a whole new meaning and it gave her a whole new feeling. She wanted to be part of a team with him. He, in turn, saw that he needed to be further insulated from the IRA and while he lay beside her, he thought out the role that he would have her play in this scheme of things. She would be his 'go between': The person who would be his invisible connection to the IRA.
The next day he told her that he would have to leave and he set up a way in which they could communicate together and he promised that they would meet regularly as much as possible. He left her several hundred pounds in English money and told her if she ever needed anything to contact him. Then he left.
When Sean arrived home this time Meg was there and she was worried about the rent. Sean met with Mrs. Williams and paid the rent for Meg and the other two girls and this made Mrs. Williams much relieved. When Sean took Meg out to eat that night all she did was talk about the airline and about all the rumors that were going on. Sean remembered Tina saying that Meg would move up and Sean tried to feel her out on what she might like to do without letting the cat out of the bag, but he got nowhere because she would be right back to another rumor about Paragon.
Sean never said a word about Harry Kirk. Sean knew that Meg had helped him more than anyone and if Paragon grew he wanted Meg to move up with it because she had told him she loved the airline and Tina wanted this too. But he couldn't tell Meg anything about this now because too much was at stake, and Meg didn't seem to be listening to him too much tonight anyway, but he had to stay very much in touch and not lose her he thought. Sean then listened to her rattle on. Later they left hand in hand for their boarding house.
Many days later, Tina had talked to Sean and told him that things were going well and they talked about Meg and both of them thought that they could bring both Meg and Harry Kirk into their confidence on a sort of need-to-know basis for the present and that both of them would begin to start learning in an airline management class given by one of their competitor airlines who had agreed to take applicants from Paragon provided they were paid for this. Meg and Harry would also be paid close to what they were paid when flying. That should keep them both from leaving Paragon. This would start several days from now when the classes began.
Sean worried about what he had to do now. He and Meg had returned late from dinner one night and the house was empty so they both went into her room and closed the door. It was a good hour later that Sean, now, resolved to tell Meg what he knew he had to.
He said: "I've got a job for you at Paragon, at about what you made before. It begins in three days. Paragon is paying you to take a management course set up by another airline. Tina Covington's father knows nothing about airlines but he has bought some stock in Paragon. Tina and I have an interest in Paragon too. Tina is going to be in charge of Paragon Airlines and she is going to need help running it. She has picked you as one of the people to help her and I told her I agreed with her, whether that makes any difference because it's her decision. Right now we all have to keep our mouths shut about what I have just told you because Tina needs some tax concessions yet and other things. Tina will tell you what to tell people and what not to tell them. I imagine that you will get a lot of this in your new management job. As for me, I do not want anyone to know I even own one share of that airline and for God sakes don't start telling all your friends to start buying that worthless stuff. Let's wait and see what happens. If a bit later you see that you and Tina are able to run this thing then go out and buy some shares, but not now."
"Oh yes," Sean said, Tina has also picked your good friend Harry Kirk to go to the classes with you and both of you will be making about what you made flying," he added.
But Meg had heard nothing after the words 'good friend Harry Kirk' and she simply stared at him. Then he gently kissed her.
"You knew," she said.
When Sean was at McNeil's for breakfast the next morning his friend from the IRA arrived and sat down next to him and after breakfast they left together and talked as they walked.
"You and that girl saved us the other night. The three men who jumped that drunk were our boys. I can't tell you what was going on then but it could not have withstood a full onslaught of police. I'm here to thank you," he said.
Sean told him: "That girl is good. I wouldn't want anyone but her with me on this MI6 thing. I am going to stay in regular contact with her and if you people want to get a hold of me then best do it through her. It will be faster that way and, no offense, but I find that now I must insulate myself better from the IRA. I have a position coming up with a large Corporation and I may be able to do more good for Ireland there than on these other kinds of jobs."
Several days had past and Meg was gone to her class. Sean had come in but had not locked his door and he had plopped down on his bed and dozed off. He awoke in the dark to feel a girl laying next to him who he at first thought was Meg but soon he discovered it was not because this girl was not nearly as tall. He tried to switch on several lights but none of them worked because this girl had evidently removed all the bulbs. He went back to bed and slept next to her again. When he woke up in the morning she was gone. He then purposely talked to each of the girls, all who were home that morning but nothing in their speech or action would tell him which of them it was. Many days past and he always kept his door unlocked after that hoping to find which of the girls it was but she never returned.
Sean finally called Sibyl and told her to pick him up at the station and then he took the train and was pleased to find his sixteen year old friend happily waiting for him when the train pulled in.
At about this time James Axelrod had arrived for his second day on the job. He had been fired from six jobs already this year but had failed to note this on his job application blank. And now he stood by while a measured amount of fuel was placed into the fuel truck that he was supposed to drive. A phone call interrupted this process and the person fueling his truck had to stop and go inside an office to answer the phone. Immediately James Axelrod pulled a heavy magnet that he kept in his pocket, just for this occasion, and placed it at a certain spot on the big fuel gage and now when Jim Axelrod put in fuel himself the gage did not move. He timed this duration with his watch and then put the hose back in place and removed the magnet and waited for the fueler to return. When the man finally returned and again finished fueling his truck, Jim Axelrod looked at his watch and the gage and ascertained that he had about two hundred extra gallons of fuel inside his truck that no one knew about but him. This was two hundred gallons of free fuel for him to sell or do with whatever he wanted.
That evening Axelrod had finished refueling a plane and as he drove his truck near the C-46, Sean stopped him and asked if he could get some fuel.
"I've only got about two hundred fifty gallons and I'm not allowed to take a check so it will have to be cash," said Axelrod, and Sean agreed.
Sean told him to put it all in the center tank on the right hand side of the airplane, figuring if it was all in one tank then it might be harder to steal that way. Sean helped put the ladder up against the front of the wing and Axelrod went up and opened the center tank cover and shoved in the nozzle and started pumping in the fuel. He had intended to charge Sean for fifty gallons more than he actually gave but Sibyl and Sean were watching the gage when he stopped.
"That's only two hundred," said Sean.
"That's it. That's all you get. It's empty," said Axelrod.
He put the cap back on the tank and came down the ladder and put the ladder back on his truck and went inside the cab and erased the total on an old pink receipt slip that a customer had forgotten to take. Axelrod wrote through a piece of carbon paper so the whole thing would match and handed the bill to Sean who paid him.
It started to get dark soon after the truck left and Sean and Sibyl now called it a day and left their airplane for more exotic pleasures in their caravan.
It was some days later that the two were up early in the morning getting ready to see Sibyl's friend get married. Sean made certain that he stayed well in the background when the newly weds emerged from the church. Sean had not told Sibyl about the new King name because he was not certain that the IRA was right about them wanting identification from everyone. Now Sean felt certain that he had made the right decision when he saw that as the cars in front of them pulled up to the gate, someone checked the driver's identification only. Sean felt relieved until Sibyl pulled up and she was asked for her driver's license.
"I have no driver's license," she told the uniformed gate guard,
"What?" Sean loudly questioned.
The uniformed guard now took her name and typed it on a computer terminal inside a small room next to the gate and then he returned.
"Yes she's told us about you Miss Hall but I still need some type of identification," he said as he wrote down her motor car license number.
She handed him her entire purse that he opened right in front of her and then he found something that seemed to please him; then he closed her purse, handed it back and motioned her through.
"How on earth do you drive without a license?" asked Sean.
"There aren't that many people here and they don't worry about things like that," said Sibyl.
"You never cease to amaze me<" said Sean.
Inside Sean did his thing and let Sibyl introduce them to various people and Sean got their photos while they spoke to Sibyl. Sean mostly stayed by her side and listened and smiled. When Sean got a chance he moved close to his Irish IRA girlfriend who was now heading back into the kitchen with a tray. Now she noticed him.
She said softly, "The groom has been drinking." Then she was quickly gone through the door into the kitchen.
This told Sean that even if John Day saw him later he might not even recognize him. Sean was in no hurry to test this theory out so he stayed well away from the bride and groom. Sean had been given a photo of Reed, the man he was to question, but as yet had not found him. One of Sibyl's girl friends, however, interested Sean because she had done some overseas traveling. Sean had studied the information that the IRA had given him on Thomas Reed and Sean knew every country that Reed had visited and now as he talked to Sibyl's girl friend he asked her about these countries and found they had both been to many of the same ones. These Sean tried to memorize. People had not yet been seated yet at the tables and this looked as if it was going to be very informal and everyone might sit where they pleased and this gave Sean the idea of introducing Reed to the girl and then trying to sit next to him at one of the tables, It was then that Sean spotted Reed.
"I want you to meet another world traveler," Sean said to the girl and then he went over to Reed who looked like he had come alone.
"Tom, a little lady wants to talk to you," said Sean and he took his hand and put it on Reed's shoulder and guided him over to the table where he, Sibyl and the girl were sitting.
Then Sean said to the girl: "Tom Reed here has been to India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Greece too. You both certainly have a lot in common."
When the announcement came to sit down at the tables, Sean pulled Sibyl away from her girl friend and said: "She doesn't want to talk to you. She wants to talk to him."
Sean then seated the girl first then Tom then himself and finally Sibyl. Sean knew that later liquor would be served but Sean had brought enough vodka to start Tom off and as the conversation between Tom and the girl began to falter, Sean increased Tom's vodka portion. After dinner when people started assembling into groups Tom found that his new girl friend had vanished but when the liquor came around Sean found that he had primed the pump sufficiently because now Tom drank like a fish and Sean noticed various people observing this. Now, Sean knew was the time to act.
"I'm going to take him into the kitchen before he throws up out here; wait for me," Sean told Sibyl.
Then Sean and Tom headed into the kitchen where they were immediately met by the Irish girl who, when she saw her chance to be alone with them, gave Tom the drug and Sean the water,
"Bottoms up Tom," said Sean drinking the harmless water while Tom watching him, drank down the drug.
The Irish girl told several of the others that this was a man helping his drunken friend and then she was gone from the scene and not much attention was paid to the pair in this unused corner of the kitchen.
Sean then took his friend outside where there could be no listening devices. Here Sean discovered that Tom himself had already delivered the list of serial numbers to a Mr. Cromwell. But then Sean discovered something even more relevant: Tom had made a duplicate list just to be safe and this he still had at his apartment. Sean asked him if he had an extra key and was astonished at his answer.
"The extra key is under the hallway carpet two inches from the edge and centered in the door opening," said Tom.
Sean could not believe his ears. He took Tom back inside and returned him to his obscure seat in the corner of the kitchen. Sean then spotted the Irish girl and gave her the code word that everything had been accomplished. He then left the kitchen and was back with Sibyl and his photo making.
During the reception Sean heard someone say, "Well I'll ask Cromwell right now and we'll see."
When this man walked over to another person, Sean followed him to see what this Cromwell looked like, and he got some pictures of him. Sean felt that he had seen this man someplace before. Sean had seen him. Sean was kissing Meg one day on the Thames Embankment and Cromwell saw them and stood there reminiscing of what might have been. But Sean did not remember this was where he saw the man and Cromwell never recognized Sean at all.
Shortly after this the party ended and Sean was extremely pleased with himself. He had completely avoided John Day. He had the photos and, for all practical purposes, the list of serial numbers. He felt good about the girl too because the IRA knowing the girl was involved would give her even more recognition especially when they saw the photos of Cromwell, who Sean surmised, was the 'medium size fish' they had spoken about.
He had pulled it off. He had done it. He had penetrated the Inner Sanctum of MI6 and had the proof too. He had put the girl in a position that she could now be his go between and he could slide out of view. He would miss the breakfasts at McNeil's but he knew that he had to step entirely away from even the slightest IRA association now. Cromwell, he thought to himself, you are too late with your serial numbers now because after tonight over a thousand Irish here in London would be on my side helping me to get back home to Ireland for a hero's welcome. But this was all if he was caught. They should have had those serial numbers months ago. Why did they only get these serial numbers now? This puzzled him.
Tonight was important to the IRA and they had extra men standing by and when Sean and Sibyl left the party and she had driven a short distance. Sean told her to let him off where some cars were parked together and he would meet her back at the caravan later.
Here he met the IRA group and told them that they had to locate someone with a copier as close as they could to Tom Reed's apartment building.
"I will get the originals at his apartment. You will take them and copy them as fast as you can. I will remain there while you do this. Then bring the originals back to me," he told them.
Several cars then sped away to solve the copier problem. Sean stepped into another car and the driver now raced to Tom's apartment. When inside the building Sean found the key exactly where Tom said it would be and he also found the list of serial numbers exactly where Tom said he had placed them.
Sean then walked back outside the apartment and handed the list to a person in another car that had just pulled up and it was off in a flash. Sean and the driver of his car then sat and waited for the list to return.
Some twenty minutes later the car was back and Sean was handed his original list that he carried back inside the building with him. But he did not put the original list back. He put the list under his shirt and waited some time and went back outside and then climbed back into the car and was driven to the caravan site. He wanted the IRA to think the list had been returned. He did not want the IRA to have any idea that he might be interested in the list. He, himself, felt that the smaller the number of copies of that list then the slower it would be that they might get to him.
At the caravan site Sean removed only his suit jacket, with the camera and recorder in it, and handed it to the driver.
"Everything that you want is all in there so be careful with it. We will have both helped Ireland if you can get this to where it has to go," said Sean to the driver before he sped off.
Sean spent that night with Sibyl talking about airplanes and old Latin manuscripts and then told her he would have to catch the first train in the morning back to London.
The very first thing that Sean did on his arrival at his room in London was to lock his door and spend several hours matching all of his remaining bills to the numbers on that list. It was only after several hours of this that Sean was certain that this list had nothing whatsoever to do with his money. Only the amount and type of money involved was similar.
That night, on an airstrip on the English coast, an MI6 flight with Special Air Service personnel got ready to make their flight. Aboard they had with them about half a million in American Dollars and this flight would fly from England low over the water then low over a portion of Wales that was not much higher than sea level, then it would fly over the sea almost to Dublin where the men would parachute with the money to a waiting boat while the plane turned and flew back to England.
Now, however, there was a delay. Their fuel delivery had failed to arrive.
"They say they are short handed tonight?" asked a Special Air Service officer.
"Yes, It seems a supervisor came in and caught one of their new blokes using a magnet to stop the meter from showing how much fuel was being put into his fuel truck so they knew he was stealing fuel and they had to fire him. They are going to call someone in now to work overtime and take his place," the man at the phone replied.
"We can't wait! We need a hundred and fifty gallons of fuel right now. Did you see the way that old C-46 was leaning to the right out there? Well those two love birds aren't there tonight and one or two of the tanks on the right side must be full. We have those long hoses and that battery operated fuel pump. Taxi our airplane over to that C-46 and get on top of its right wing and suck out a hundred and fifty gallons. It uses exactly the same fuel that we do. Put seventy five gallons each into those left and right tanks that have to be topped off and then get the hell out of here!" the officer commanded.
He was quickly obeyed. Less than half an hour later this MI6 flight roared off on its way to Ireland.
The first half of their low level flight went perfectly: First over Liverpool bay, then over a portion of Wales, then over the Irish Sea until they could see the lights of Dublin approaching, but then one of the left engine's tanks ran dry and the pilot switched to the full tank but the engine acted horribly and he had no other alternative but to feather the propeller and shut the engine down. They were still OK and holding altitude with one engine still going and the pilot now looked for the ship the men were supposed to parachute to. Before he could locate it the first right tank ran dry and when he switched his engine to the second full right tank this engine too sputtered and he could no longer hold the aircraft in the air and down they came into the water within sight of Dublin.
They had come down close to a group of Irish fishing boats, several of which radioed for help. Helicopters from Dublin came immediately along with emergency flotation devices to keep the airplane afloat, and soon the men and the money and the airplane were all being detained by the Republic of Ireland who, in a few hours time, knew it had really uncorked something big now.
Sean and Sibyl were at the airplane together when McHugh arrived and because of a question from Sean about the hydraulic system, McHugh started the right engine to run the hydraulic pump for pressure. When McHugh turned the red wheel that shifted to the center tank the engine sputtered and balked until McHugh shifted to either the front or the rear tank on that side. On those other two tanks the engine ran smoothly. McHugh then shut the engine down and got out of his seat and went into the main cabin and yanked out one of the emergency exit windows and climbed out on to the right wing. He opened the fuel cap on the right center tank and put the fuel dipstick into the center tank. Then he smelled both the tank and dipstick. Then he returned.
"Who the hell filled that right center tank?" he asked.
"The airplane fuel truck filled it with aviation fuel," said Sean.
"I don't doubt that it is filled with aviation fuel son, but they put in jet engine fuel. Jets use paraffin or what us American's call kerosene. This plane uses petrol, or what we Americans call gasoline. That tank has a mixture of both in it right now, mostly kerosene though. If they steal that and put it into their cars they will certainly have some real problems," said McHugh.
All the newspapers in both England and Ireland were full of stories about the English spies captured off the coast of Ireland. Sean received a message from his Irish girl to meet with her and he did.
"We sent that list of serial numbers, that you acquired, to Dublin and it's a perfect match to all those bills found in the water, so we've nailed it right to MI6 and Cromwell himself," she told him.
The two celebrated with Sean taking her to one of the best restaurants in London that evening. That night with all of the serial number worries gone and completely forgotten, Sean was able to really enjoy this meal with this Irish-English girl that evening who was now at the table celebrating the victory with him. Several more days would pass before Tina got in touch with him for his monthly meeting with her.
Tina told him that things were going even better than anyone had thought possible and more management classes were planned. She told him that her father had managed to accumulate another five percent of Paragon's stock but this amount shifted up and down as he bought and sold to make the market that now was incredibly thin. All of them together now held an incredible ninety-six percent of the airline's stock.
Tina was now telling her loyal employees to buy Paragon's stock on the open market and her father was going to watch the flow and he would now allow the price to rise just fast enough so that the net flow in and out to him stayed about neutral. He was going to have no hesitation of knocking it down if it shot up too fast so Tina was cautioning her people to buy only if they could hold it for the long haul and they would get hurt if they gambled with it.
One thing that bothered Tina was the fact that a member of the house of Lords wanted to talk to a high Paragon official and her father had definitely warned her about dealing with this particular lord because he was mixed up to his eye teeth with subversive governmental deals. Sean told her to make him some official sounding title and he would deal directly with the lord himself and no others need know what took place. This alone took a considerable load off of Tina's mind. That night, stripped of anything that might worry him, and with a beautiful female that had not seen him in a month, Tina and Sean had their very best night together.
"I simply cannot wait for our next meeting," feebly said Tina before she went to sleep beside him.
Sean's meeting with the lord at his estate was every bit as grandiose as Sean imagined it would be. The essence of this meeting was that the government would see that Paragon would get special treatment and lucrative runs to the Republic if they would cooperate with certain agencies of the British Government. This lord had no idea that his little speech to Sean was being taped
"Yes we will cooperate with you in any way we can but this awful mess that you have recently made in the Republic of Ireland prevents us from presently offering our services to you in regard to that particular country. We will, however, offer our assistance if you have agents now trapped there and need to bring them home in a hurry, but that would be the extent of it," Sean said. The lord thanked him and he was gone. That same night Sean contacted McHugh and found out exactly what capabilities the C-46 could offer in bringing a load from Ireland to England.
Cromwell's world was in a shambles; there was nothing but bad news from all ends of his tiny empire. All of his well-prepared plans were for naught and to top it all off after the British Government had given assurances that no more agents were now in Ireland. The Dublin newspapers were printing both these words and a picture of yet another spy captured after this statement had been given. This man was caught not in the water outside Ireland but right in the center of Dublin itself. Not only did he have a British accent but he carried with him all the accouterments of an MI6 agent. A group of elderly women had alerted the Dublin police about this man. These women had him under their surveillance for several days, mainly because he had spent four whole days and nights in Phoenix Park in Dublin smelling each and every rose from all of the acres of rose bushes in those huge rose gardens.
It was not many days after the lord talked to Sean that Tina told him that several lengthy litigation cases that Paragon had with the English Government had been settled in Paragon's favor.
Sean then had another talk with his Irish girl friend. He had already given her the tape of the lord's conversation with him. The IRA had previously sent it to certain officials in Dublin who worked closely with them and who knew how to keep their mouths shut and take advantage of a good thing when it came their way. These people immediately knew that they now had a friend at the very top in Paragon Airlines. Sean told his Irish girl friend to send IRA people as job applicants to Paragon and he would hire a few of them who had no previous problems with the British Government. He told her that Paragon had been promised a route to the Republic but this was only to soften him because the British Government knew that with the present fiasco that no new British airline routes would be forthcoming from the Republic. Now Sean felt that if the right people in Ireland could be made aware of how Sean helped them in the past they could see the possibilities of even greater aid if Paragon indeed did get landing rights in Ireland.
Sean had to make another trip to see the lord who had something to discuss of a very personal nature. Sean knew that this was something that could not be discussed over the phone.
After the Irish found John Powell in the Dublin park smelling roses, the heat was really on to get the English agents out of Ireland fast, especially now since high English dignitaries had sworn that no more were there. When Sean met the lord he wanted to know if Paragon might be able to bring back about seven or eight tons of material on a remote airstrip in Ireland. This would include about a dozen people too. Sean wanted to know the length of the airstrip and was it grass? He had some other questions for the lord too. After some phone calls Sean had his answers.
Sean told the lord: "Paragon will take them out within twenty-four hours of obtaining a lease from the Government of their giant aircraft maintenance facility for one pound per year for ten years." Sean knew this could not be done instantly so he simply turned around and walked away.
Sean immediately called McHugh and told him to get the old C-46 ready to bring about ten tons and twenty people out of the Republic of Ireland and he asked McHugh if he wanted to do it. But McHugh held back.
"Make the trip and you get your airplane back free," Sean said.
"I'll have to think about it," said McHugh.
"And you begin flying in the captain's seat for Paragon Airlines the day you return," said Sean.
Since the big facility was standing idle anyway, the government- or several important people in it - decided to give Sean the lease he insisted upon and it was actually handed to him when the C-46 did indeed come back to England with all the people and incriminating spy gear aboard that had been in Ireland.
McHugh did not get to sit in the captain's seat as soon as Sean promised, but he did fly in the captain's seat on the first outgoing flight to Dublin that Paragon flew, because a few in Ireland realized that giving Paragon landing rights meant that the British would now have to give an Irish Airline landing rights in London and these few knowledgeable Irish knew that this really gave them two Irish Airlines flying to London.
These Paragon flights from London to Dublin were now routine and on one flight the first few people that entered the airplane in London never noticed that the person who came out of one of the lavatories and sat down in one of the seats, had not gone through the passport line with them. Nor did anyone notice when the plane landed in Dublin that this same man went back into a lavatory when the rest of the passengers left the airplane. Inside the lavatory this man changed into mechanic's clothes. When the last person left the airplane, this man came out of the lavatory and went through the trap door in the floor and came out the cargo compartment as a Dublin aircraft mechanic. He wore a Dublin Airport badge like all the other workers on the ramp. A car was waiting for him and as he walked over and got in, the driver turned to look at him.
"You've been away from Ireland a long time Sean O'Brien. It's good to see you back again," he said.
The first thing Sean did in Dublin was to apply for a new passport and an international driver's license. That night he had to treat all his neighbors to many glasses of Guinness before the night was through. His night did not end there. Later a small group of his family was waiting to hear what really happened to him.
Sean stayed in Ireland for several weeks and then with his Irish passport he boarded a Paragon plane for London and for the first time entered England legally. He was back in time for a meeting with Tina who told him that his half of Paragon now was worth over two million dollars. Tina and Sean held their own salary in Paragon to fifteen percent over their highest paid employee. Their fringe benefits, however, were considerably more. Even though Tina worked much harder than Sean, she knew he was worth the equal of her because he had gotten the maintenance facility for nothing and provided them with their key money making star, the Dublin route.
"Whatever I take as salary, I will also pay to you," said Tina.
"We are making money then?" asked Sean.
"Yes, but we need most of this money to expand before others move into what we have carved out. The money is not going to be made by salary or from what this airline makes. The real money is going to be made by holding the stock because I'm going to use every penny that this airline makes just to keep it growing as fast as possible," said Tina.
"And then what?" asked Sean.
"That's tax free money, You want to make as much as you can as fast as you can and pay the least tax you can. That is the game my friend," said Tina.
"You intend to keep this airline then," said Sean.
"You only keep something that continues to make money rapidly. I'm my father's daughter. I learned some good lessons from him. You might as well leave your money in the bank if your company doesn't make you a great deal more than interest in the bank. As soon as steam came in the Scotsman who owned the Cutty Sark sold her because he made more in steam ships. As long as Paragon is making money and the future looks even better, we'll continue to keep it," said Tina.
"You are putting your life into this airline; you have to keep it," said Sean.
"Not quite right. I hope to keep the capital that I've made. I may have to sell the airline one day to do that. The real money only comes by eternal vigilance," said Tina.
"Keep me posted," said Sean.
"Oh, I will," said Tina.
Sean looked forward to these meetings now that he found that he too was finally playing a role in Paragon's future. It had started out her airline but now Sean felt it was now really becoming our airline.
Next Sean concentrated on his Irish girl friend. He wanted to move her out of harm's way and away from England and get her interested in the social aspect of the IRA's work in the Republic of Ireland where the IRA money is the sole subsistence to the thousands whose breadwinners are inside the prison system. Sean knew that she would work out just fine in this area and she would be looked upon as a hero because she had already served in the front lines of the battle and had taken much the same risks of the ones already in prison. She had proved herself and was now worthy of a position back in Ireland that held no more risk of prison.
Sean took her on an extensive trip to Ireland meeting with the people who were some of the real powers in the Emerald Isle. They had dinner with these people and talked shop and she became acquainted with not only them but what they were trying to do and how they were trying to do it.
She also met with the Sinn Fein people and understood the importance of the IRA 'cell' system in dealing with MI6. She, herself, had been a part of that system. Each agent was kept in contact with only a few fellow agents- a cell - that he or she worked every day or every so often with. He knew no other IRA members but these, therefore if caught he could give the English no information that could bring down the entire organization. This was the real secret of the IRA's success inside England itself.
She saw how important these agencies were that collected money all over the world to feed the wives and children of the people who were kept housed inside both the Irish and British prison systems. Far more had to be diverted to this cause than most people would imagine. Money allotted to the men in the field often had to be shifted to these wives and children whenever these collections from America and other parts of the world would dry up.
She saw how these people were hurt by the long struggle between England and Ireland. She did not see here how the English people were being taken advantage of, but they were. All of this North Sea oil money should be making England a super rich country able to build better roads and it should be helping to pay the cost of increasing governmental services. Was it doing that? No. It was going to people like Sean who had even too much to spend now and who could only use the money to get even richer.
Like a great many in these groups like the IRA, these two lived and ate and drank and worked and even sometimes mated with a partner whose name they never really knew, exactly the same as Sean and this Irish girl. Now she knew him by his real name and he found hers was Miriam Malone. They both agreed that life had a little different seasoning now that they knew exactly who each of them really was. In a way Sean felt it was like having a different partner- a bit different anyway. For a woman it is not only that she has her man but it is the feeling of a happy environment and attention and pleasant communications. Here on her trip to Ireland Miriam got all that and more. This made her encounters with Sean even more appealing to her and she radiated this back to him.
An MP needed a few more votes to get the money he needed in Parliament and to prove that these expenditures were of good use he cited some figures and facts that had been cleared under the Secrecy Act. He told them of a very recent flight of this particular aircraft registered here in England as an experimental model and which enabled over a dozen English agents to escape from a foreign country and be returned safely home to England. Seven tons of critical material were also brought safely back with them. The British Government was still financing this experimental airplane, which might again be brought into further use in times of emergency by the English Government. He then asked the men to stand who were some of the actual agents rescued that commemorative day and as they stood there were cheers in Parliament and he got the necessary votes for his money.
In actuality the C-46 had been newly registered as experimental because it could not fly in England at all under the existing laws, and this way now Sibyl could get flying lessons in it. So what Parliament truly had voted in favor of was the financing, by the British taxpayers, for the flying lessons of a sixteen year old girl in an airplane that consumed staggering amounts of precious petrol every second that it stayed in the air.
Sean's next meeting with Tina was a very enlightening one. Tina's father had made more money by manipulating Paragon's stock than Sean and Tina and Paragon Airlines all together had so far made. He had given his daughter Tina a million English pounds outright in such a way that they totally evaded the taxing authority of the Crown. Tina now made all of this available to Sean because she gave him equal access to this account. When he saw what she had done, he could hardly believe it.
"But this is your money," he told her.
"It's our money," she told him.
"Your father gave it to you," he replied.
"But where did my father get it? Sean my father didn't have any money to start this thing with. He did it all with the money that you gave him. You were the only one that had any money to start with Sean. You had the money and we knew how to utilize it. I remember when you gave that four hundred dollars to that man to clinch the sale of that stock. I understood from that it was money you needed and I was nibbling right to the bone but I knew what had to be done so we could be where we are at today. No Sean, you made all your money available to me when I needed it and now I'm making mine available to you whenever you need it. And besides this, Paragon can afford to give us a bit more luxury in our lives now and while our pay will remain about the same, the company itself will be footing the bill on many more of our living expenses and I'll share that equally with you too and best of all Paragon writes it all off as an expense. That's the way we should pay ourselves and not in salary that is taxed," she said.
"Sean do you know that if you hadn't asked me to marry you that night then you wouldn't have all this. You would have lost everything. It is so important these words that men say to women. We will work our fingers to the bone for these words alone. Very few men really understand women and can get out of them very much besides trouble. but a man like you Sean who can and do say the right words, and yes, knows how to use tact properly, has the world in the palm of his hand. Sean, I'm finished with my little speech. This meeting is ended. I'm hungry for food and for you. But let's eat first," she said and they left hand in hand and that night it was divine because Sean knew now that he could completely trust her and this even made things that much better too.
Neither Meg nor Sean lived with Mrs. Williams any more but now they had adjoining apartments in a high rise on the outskirts of London. An interconnecting hidden door would allow an exchange between the apartments but now, unlike the dumbwaiter, an electronic safeguard system was installed so that there would be a sound resembling a short ring on the telephone that would indicate someone wanting to enter. A button then had to be pressed for the door to open from the side of the person hearing the ring. This simple device kept the Sean-Meg relationship very much alive but yet unobservable to other parties who also were being entertained in both these places. It had also allowed several fast escapes when they were needed.
Sean kept up his meetings with Sibyl and Sibyl even took him for a ride in the C-46 before her seventeenth birthday. It was slightly after her seventeenth birthday that she flew her check ride in America for her multi-engine rating and she still did not yet even have her British driver's license. And this was not all, because she did not let any of this interfere with her other activities with Sean or the doctor, and at school she still remained at the very top of her class.
Paragon was about a year old about a month after Sibyl's seventeenth birthday. Now Tina's father saw that his daughter might be proved right and that she might, in fact, eclipse her father in making money.
Some bad publicity in America cut off funds to the children of imprisoned IRA men and Sean himself made considerable money available directly to these families and Miriam Malone herself distributed most of it and in the minds of these people became a saint equal to Saint Patrick himself.
If someone had asked Sean what he was now worth, he couldn't have told them because he would not have known. He was not even interested. But Sean was interested in Paragon. Tina knew where Sean excelled.
"He has an uncanny ability to select people who have the 'spirit' to get with it and get those things done that have to be done," Tina once told her father.
Sean was never interested in the intricacies or the minutia of things. Sibyl was far ahead of him in learning the workings of the C-46 he once owned. Now she was even flying it, which he could probably have never done safely. Science. and how various mechanical things worked, never interested him at all. How people worked was what interested him. How the various groups of people interacted and how these systems interacted with people and various other systems, was Sean's realm.
Sean knew that one might win a few battles against the government but no one can continuously buck the system and survive. He was well aware that the system will always win out in the long run. He knew that when the lord called him over to his house 'to discuss some problems', Sean knew quite well that there were not going to be any discussions whatsoever, no matter how politely they were phrased by the lord. He knew, when he went to see the lord, that someone high up in the government wanted immediate action on the matter and the function of the lord was to give the command- in a nice way of course - and see that it was carried out. There was no discussing anything!
Sean knew that his friend, this lord, was but a small link in the long system chain. But it was an important link to Sean because if Sean instantly took these commands and acted upon them in a swift and decisive manner then the lord would always come to him rather than to his competitors who would always have to give the lord some static while they checked with their board or some of their majority stockholders.
Sean was into his second year with Paragon and Paragon grew rapidly. Tina was even well aware that this was not all her doing and that the largest factor in this growth was that Sean was being obsequious to the British Government in their operations which polite society termed ' on the fringes of the law' . Sean could afford to do this even when they dealt this way in Ireland because his employees were well infiltrated with IRA and they were always fully informed by Sean with what was taking place and they could- and very often did - completely thwart these British objectives.
It was in the third year of Paragon's operation that these things began to take place and Sean's disadvantage of having to deal with an unfriendly government were turned into distinct advantages by the IRA. One large shipment of ammunition to the hated 'Special Air Service' was held overnight where more than two hundred volunteers were rushed in during the darkness to wipe a thin coating of jet engine oil on all the brass cartridge cases. Then they were reloaded and shipped out to their destination in Northern Ireland. For over six months various Special Air Service units throughout Northern Ireland were sustaining a very high casualty rate from bursting machine guns and no one knew what the cause was. All they knew was that these guns all blew up because of some mysterious higher than normal pressure in the chamber when the guns were fired. It was only after months of costly investigation that a British scientist came up with the answer. The higher than normal pressure was there all the time even in normal operating guns but it was not transmitted to the gun itself because it only lasted a few micro-seconds and during this time the brass cartridge was still swelling and expanding and was still smaller than the gun chamber and thus unable to deliver this high pressure directly to the gun.
Aircraft jet engine oil is far different from ordinary motor oil that can only hold up to several hundred pounds of pressure before it is completely squeezed out. Jet engine oil can hold up to thousands of pounds of pressure and the thin coating of this type oil on the machine gun cartridges was not squeezed out and thereby remained in place and thus transmitted this lethal pressure instantaneously to the gun chambers, thereby bursting the guns.
Even before Sean's fourth year with Paragon began, the government's activities and the IRA activities had both grown to such a large extent that Sean saw that he had created a monster that would soon devour itself. Tina did not see this at all. She saw that she was in control of a very rapidly expanding airline while Sean wasted his time over in the Republic now starting an airline called Paragon Emerald Airlines, which even though she had a fifty percent share in this new all Irish Airline, she considered it had very little in the possibility of either growth or profit. It would, however, play an important part in being a feeder to Paragon itself and therefore Tina fully endorsed Sean's efforts in Ireland.
Sean knew himself well enough to know that with the mounting IRA activity it was not a matter of if, it was a matter of when he would get into trouble if he stayed in England so he knew that he had to make Paragon Emerald succeed. Now he only came back to England when he absolutely had to.
Saint Miriam- as even the press referred to her sometimes - and Sean now made the political circuit in Ireland to ensure the stability of Paragon Emerald Airlines. Both she and Sean were recognized heroes now here in the Republic and they were received by members of the dáil and by many important people in high places. While this was Sean's strongest area, he was weak in other aspects of setting up Paragon Emerald and needed more and more of Tina's expertise as time went on.
Tina, who had always worked closely with Meg, now turned Paragon over for Meg to run while she left for the Republic to set up the proper framework for Paragon Emerald in Ireland. She soon found out that things in Ireland were far different from those in England and Tina did make some errors but these were quickly corrected and in two months time she was certain that Paragon Emerald would not only succeed but she came to the conclusion that it had a good growth potential as well. This surprised her.
Now with Paragon Emerald running smoothly Tina decided to alternate between the two airlines and she sent Meg to Ireland so that Meg could learn the system there as well. Tina felt, however, that since the English airline was growing at such a rapid rate that here is where her main efforts should be and Tina allowed Meg to more-or-less cut her teeth in Paragon Emerald over in Ireland. Since Sean seemed to be agreeable too, that's the way it went. Sean had also picked a competent person to replace himself in dealing with the lord and the English Paragon continued as a government favorite.
In a well to do Dublin apartment complex, Sean and Meg had adjoining apartments again modified with a hidden connecting door arrangement that had proved so reliable in London. Harry Kirk would often visit Meg while on the Dublin flight and Sean was philosopher enough to be absent whenever he arrived. Harry Kirk was now Paragon's Chief of Maintenance and had to come often to Dublin to set up things and check how things were running. The proper maintenance of all of Paragon's aircraft were now his responsibility and now Sean had given him and McHugh an additional job of finding an airplane most suited to a cheap, no frills fare to well-traveled cities in Ireland. They studied all the latest airplanes then found one that they considered a perfect answer to fly these routes. The aircraft purchase was made and the routes flown. They were not very lucrative at first but Sean had absolutely no competition, so even more planes were purchased and added to these flights when it proved to be profitable. As both the mechanics and flight crew learned how to operate these airplanes more efficiently and as Sean's team found the best way to market these routes, the airplane picked by Kirk and McHugh turned out to be a real winner and the routes became Sean's best money maker. Although Sean was good at putting together things like this, it took Tina's guidance and attention to details to keep the entire organization headed down the right track.
It was the decision of Sibyl to attend a medical school in Dublin that was Sean's greatest joy. When Sibyl was in Ireland and separated from her doctor and Sean had to supply one hundred percent of all of her attentive needs, he lasted barely more than a week before he fixed her up with a free travel pass on Paragon so she could fly back to England and see her doctor as much as she desired. .
Now in England, Tina was worried. Airlines are complicated things, They cannot continue to run unless they have friends in the government and unless they continue to make a profit. Paragon's profit was still on the rise but not where Tina felt it should be. Tina saw she was not getting the government cooperation that she once had. This she attributed to Sean's absence, but it was more than that. Paragon's meteoric rise was being closely watched by those in England that have the real money and power and influence and who always will. These were the same people who had interests in the other airlines and who did not like losing business and money to Tina. They had no intention of losing more to her either. Tina had stepped on a few rich people's toes and now these English rich acted as only they knew how.
In England now Paragon was immediately hit with a dramatic decrease in government paid passengers and they were also hit with a great increase of governmental aircraft inspectors checking their airplanes especially when they could do this to delay Paragon's flights. Tina's paid passengers went down while the inspectors around her airplanes went up. Tina was a fighter and successfully fought all this and Paragon was able to expand a bit even with this added harassment, but Tina was smart enough to see the handwriting on the wall when Paragon's rapid expansion stopped. She called Sean back from Ireland and he and she and her father all had long discussions about what they possibly could do. They ended up making plans for several strategies.
About this same time Cromwell's computers unearthed several startling facts to him. He had been suspicious about Paragon Airlines ever since those bullets that they had shipped were found to be the cause of the gun failures and no valid reason had been given for the twelve hours that they were all delayed. But now Cromwell had some new evidence and the actual capture of IRA explosives and weapons at Paragon's maintenance facility that was actually government owned; this meant something swift and drastic had to be done. There was no doubt now that Paragon was an infested nest of IRA spies. Cromwell was busy on the phone for the rest of the day and by the time that he was ready to go home he received the important call that he had been waiting for. It had all been set up. There would now be a meeting of some of England's upper class and professional people at the lord's estate this Friday evening to discuss what should be done to Paragon.
The same afternoon that Cromwell was making his phone calls; Sean, Tina and Mr. Covington watched a swarm of British agents gather about the jetway as one of Paragon's international flights taxied up to it. Some agents were even on the jetway itself as it telescoped to the forward door of the big airplane and as soon as the hood was placed against the airplane's fuselage and the aircraft door was opened, these agents all swarmed inside and prevented anyone from leaving. First they checked the flight crew patting them all down and going through their briefcases and personal property. The crew were then allowed to leave and then came the passengers' turn to run the agents' gauntlet. The passengers were not patted down but each passenger's carry on luggage was politely but thoroughly gone through before the passenger was allowed to deplane. It was almost an hour before the last passenger left and the agents allowed the first of Paragon's maintenance crew to set foot aboard their own airplane. The day before one of Paragon's maintenance crew had gone aboard this same flight before these agents were finished checking the passengers and he was grabbed and taken to quarantine and given multiple shots. The agents claimed that they had done this because his name was not found on the aircraft manifest and they had to ensure that anyone who entered the country was inoculated against these many foreign diseases.
"This is the third week that they have been doing that to this particular flight when it arrives," said Tina.
"Is this a daily flight?" Sean asked.
"Yes, every day at this time they do this," said Tina.
A month before this, the son of a wealthy English lord, who then had a menial job in the Foreign Office told Tina that they had found that one of her pilots was bringing asthma medicine into the country that was not approved for sale in England and he had sold some to his neighbor. He asked Tina to do something about this. Tina had told him this was his job and had left and thought nothing more about it until a week later when these flights were all being held up every day. Under the law they had a perfect right to do what they were doing. But it was here this day that Sean and Tina and her father knew that they all had to make plans that would allow them to depart from Paragon without losing all their tail feathers.
The lord had a full house that Friday night and nobility mixed with those that merely had money, and these great minds met until early morning hours until an agreement was reached that suited all parties and which all of them thought would end with governmental control of Paragon Airlines. The Parliament of England was not the government that night. This 'Star Chamber' of nobility and wealthy were the government that night. Cromwell had told them of the bullets and other IRA activity in Paragon and how he needed it to be under their control. This group then decided to go the route that Britain went when it acquired control of the Suez Canal where Rothschild bought an entire third of it and then was later repaid by the government as soon as Parliament could be called into session. One lord had assured this group that if they followed Rothschild's example then they would be following a precedent already established which, he claimed, they would have the votes to approve. Numerous phone calls being made to several legal experts seemed to bear him out on that too. This group now would buy Paragon much the same way Rothschild bought one third of the Suez Canal and then the government would buy it, in turn, from them. They all, however, intended to profit far more than Rothschild did. The free enterprise system that England prided itself on was entirely forgotten that night as this group decided to steal an airline away from a girl who had worked night and day for many years to build it. It would be their will that would now be done, not hers . . . or so they thought.
Cromwell now had the one chance to use his gigantic computer to check on the feasibility of what this group planned to do. Cromwell had attended the Friday night meeting and stayed on into the morning hours assuring them all that his team would do their part. It turned out to be Cromwell who did not do his part. He was so inspired in obtaining this airline that he failed to ask his own colossal computer if it indeed was possible. His computer was probably the one and only thing in the city of London that held all the necessary information to tell him that it was not. He only needed to ask it and he failed to do this because he was so certain of the outcome. And this situation meant not millions but billions now that Paragon Airlines had grown and Paragon's stock had risen. This was not the first time many of these same people had stolen companies from their lawful owners; they had done this many, many times before. This was one of the reasons several of them had as much money as they did. With the majority of airlines being held in control by twenty or thirty percent of the stock, who would have ever even thought that someone would actually own absolute control of Paragon by owning over fifty percent of the stock let alone ninety-six percent. Cromwell himself, was about to become the weakest link in the chain of events that would now begin on Monday morning.
Covington was at the exchange as usual on Monday morning. He was an expert in these things and he knew full well what he was looking at. A well-organized group was out to buy Paragon Airlines stock and he and his daughter had only been thinking about selling it several short days ago, but with so much demand now he knew that if he worked this right, this would be his biggest triumph ever. Covington had been busy buying and selling Paragon stock everyday since he and his daughter had acquired ninety six percent of it because he knew that it would take his personal touch to make it look like there was an actual market for buying and selling this stock now that it was not really available anymore. Now he estimated this Monday morning, when the exchange opened, that Paragon's stock was selling for five times what the company was really worth. Seeing these large orders come in now on Monday morning, Covington immediately ran up the stock to four times what it opened at and sold Paragon all that day for twenty times what he thought it was really worth. When the closing bell sounded Paragon stock was four times what it had closed on Friday. On Tuesday the stock doubled again and still Covington had to make stock available to these voracious buyers so he continued to raise the price so that at the closing bell on Tuesday Paragon had doubled again. More orders came in on Wednesday and Covington immediately sold shares at twice what they had sold at the day before and he sold at this price all day long. This was eighty times what he considered these shares to be really worth and here he held the price day after day as he unloaded much of his daughter's and Sean's stock to people who thought that they were buying control of Paragon Airlines. These people who were buying were brokers just like himself and they were used to seeing fluctuations and other market happenings as they bought stock for their customers and Covington did not disappoint them, he provided all these extras for them to see on the tape as he sold them his stock. Covington was an artist who painted them a convincing picture that what they were buying into was a real live market, when it really was only one man selling it to them at as high a price as he thought their greed would bring him. And it all was legal. This was far better than buying a printing press and printing your own money thought Covington. In several weeks the group had spent many billions to get thirty percent of Paragon's stock and this was all that Covington intended to sell them at this price. If Tina and Sean wanted to retain control of Paragon then they would have to keep fifty-one percent of the stock and this only left fifteen percent more to sell to this voracious group. Covington knew that now he had them positively hooked and that this last fifteen percent was really going to cost them. Now Covington played the game as if another outfit was also trying to buy control and he doubled the price every hour for five hours and then held it there even though the other group now tried selling onslaughts to try to test the market to see how far they themselves could drive down the price, and now at a price of more than two hundred and fifty times what he felt Paragon stock was really worth he sold the group Tina and Sean's stock day after day after day. When there was only three percent more stock to sell he raised the price to five hundred times what the company was worth and here he met resistance but still the orders trickled in but at a much slower rate. And now he was getting large sell orders as well but Covington was surprised to find others still buying at this high level. The price of Paragon stayed in this lofty range and this was where the stock was selling at the stockholders meeting, which was announced in all the London papers, to be held at the end of the month.
Tina and Sean knew that many wealthy people were going to be at that meeting so they made certain that adequate police protection was there. When the stockholders meeting opened Tina and Sean announced that they still continued to hold office in Paragon by the votes of fifty-one percent of the company's stockholders and they went on to run the meeting among outcries of various others there. Tina and Sean announced that there would be no change in Paragon's dividend. They would continue the policy of not paying any. The meeting was then closed less than five minutes after it was opened. Hoots and howls and screams filled the hall as the two left.
When this stockholders meeting ended some of the wealthiest people in England knew that they had been conned by a girl and a smart Irishman. What had they in return for their money.? Nothing but a worthless piece of paper that would not even pay a dividend. They also knew that if they all put this stuff on the market tomorrow then the price might drop to zero so that night all of them had another meeting at the lord's house. When they met, Tina and Sean were already in Dublin but their representatives were at this meeting and much of Paragon's cash and liquid assets had been shipped out of England as a hedge against the worst possible of outcomes, but Sean knew that in the end cooler heads would prevail if these people got most of their money returned to them. He also knew that this money coming back to them wasn't going to have to come from him or Tina. If everything went right then Tina and Sean could still keep all of this money that they had relieved these English nobles of. And if Mr. Covington's plans went well then neither Sean nor Tina would pay any English taxes on this money either.
With both Tina and Sean now securely established in Dublin, Ireland and well away from the English law, legal experts shuttled daily between London and Dublin while Tina and Sean worked out an agreement with the other stockholders of Paragon Airlines.
The final agreement signed by all was for Tina and Sean to sell their fifty-one percent of Paragon's stock to the Government of England. But Tina and Sean realized that this group had already spent the limit that this government would pay for this airline and to get a settlement, these people needed to get their money back. The agreement therefore was that the English government would pay back to these people what they had spent to buy their Paragon stock and England would get their stock in return. Tina and Sean would give all their remaining stock to the English Government and get landing rights for their Irish Airline in England in exchange for their remaining fifty-one percent of the stock. This would enable Paragon Emerald Airlines to land in various English airports with no reciprocal rights for English airlines in Ireland. This way the people got back their money and Sean and Tina got tremendous landing rights, in not only England but other British territory as well, for Paragon Emerald. The English Government then, when all this was finally completed, would completely own all of the Paragon Airlines in England.
There was more in the agreement: There was a stipulation that before this agreement would take place that Parliament would pass a law where all Tina and Sean's profits would be tax free.
Unfortunately Mr. Covington was not covered in this agreement but he found several other ways that were equally effective of avoiding taxes on all of the money that he had already made. He was shrewd enough not to be caught with too many Paragon shares that he now agreed to tender to the English Government. He was forced to pay tax on the money he made on these but since his records indicated that he paid a high price for them, these taxes were minimal.
Tina was back in England running Paragon while the last phase of this agreement was taking place. This looked to be several weeks away. In addition to this Tina had teams reporting back to her from all of those air bases where the Irish Airline would be getting rights to land. These teams were getting contracts signed so that Paragon Emerald would be refueled and serviced when it did start flying to England.
Sean had McHugh and Harry Kirk and many others out negotiating with aircraft producers for the new airplanes that Paragon Emerald would fly into England that could be far more efficiently operated than most airplanes then being used in England.
By the time the entire deal with England was signed, sealed and delivered and Paragon became a part of the British Government, a fleet of airplanes with the Emerald colours painted on them were on their way to Dublin and other parts of Ireland. Overnight Paragon Emerald had grown to twenty times its prior size and those landing rights that England had bargained away thinking they would only be worth a billion or so, turned out to be worth a great many more billion to this brand new Paragon Emerald with its much larger fleet. It was now several times the size of the English Paragon and why shouldn't it have been? Tina and Sean had gotten enough money to buy thirty or forty English sized Paragons. Paragon Emerald had no debt and tremendous cash resources to expand and purchase the very latest aircraft. This gave it tremendous staying power over all of its competition where it could ride out the very worst recessions while many of its rivals might well go under the auction block.
Now for the very first time Tina stepped back away from the day to day airline operation and Meg ran Paragon Emerald Airlines. Tina and Sean now spent most of their time in obtaining new landing rights in other countries for Paragon Emerald Airlines. Paragon Emerald was only about one tenth of the total wealth that Tina and Sean now owned. The other ninety percent was in cash and other liquid assets and this ninety percent was far too high for a good business woman like Tina and now she was looking forward to world wide expansion.
Being badly burned once by the activities of the IRA and governments that operated on the legal fringes, Sean now was only seen with Miriam aiding women and children of imprisoned IRA men. Otherwise he disconnected himself completely from anything even remotely associated with the IRA.
Sean was always able to find time for each of his girlfriends and Meg, Tina and Miriam all were constantly engaged in their little empire building within the Emerald Isle.
And Sibyl did meet her priest and they both did put their arms around each other but that was about the extent of it. She did take him up in the C-46 and fly him around his old parish and this more than overwhelmed him.
Years have gone by and now the Common market has come and the barriers of transportation between Ireland and England, that Sean knew, have been all swept away. Peers, priests and prostitutes now regularly cross with virtually no checks whatsoever. Dublin has even changed. Now in Dublin one could watch television and see overfed, overdressed women, with their fat children beside them all with nicely trimmed fingernails, giving peace speeches to swarms of people surrounding and applauding them.
Far away in the hills of Ireland, in an area so poor that early at daybreak every morning one could see a line of carts each with one or two milk cans, all waiting their turn at the processing plant that was taking the milk- which the children of this area should have been drinking - and shipping it out of Ireland for the foreign exchange which Ireland so desperately needed. Far away in England the milk that these children, should be drinking but would never see, would be processed into English chocolate. A group of these children now followed a priest who did not forget them even though their own land had. None of these children was overweight or over clothed and their fingernails were all chewed off by their own teeth and all had the same colour underneath their finger nails as the dirt around the potatoes from which their meals came from. These children loved to listen to this priest because he made history come alive as if they were seeing it in the cinema and he would show them these inscriptions written years ago on old stones and tell them what they meant. And all of these children knew that this priest had met the legendary Sean O'Brien who everybody knew was a hero. A boy with thin arms and thin legs but with flashing blue eyes and red hair came up to the priest.
"You knew Sean O'Brien, didn't you?" asked the boy.
"Yes I've met him. He was a very good friend of a very good friend of mine," said the priest.
"They all talk about him. Why is he so famous?" asked the boy.
"Well, we put our heroes on pedestals like Daniel O'Connell whose statue stands on a pedestal on O'Connell Street in Dublin. And sometimes we remove them like that admiral fellow further on down the same street. But Sean O'Brien did essentially the same thing as Daniel O'Connell said that he did, away back long ago before anyone even thought about having motor cars and they all traveled by horse. Sean O'Brien is famous because he took a coach and four and drove it straight through their English law," said the priest.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Believe it or not, a good many of the things presented in this book actually did happen (See below.) The story of what Sean did is entirely fiction, of course, but it could have possibly been done in that particular time frame in those particular countries. What Fitzpatrick essentially does is that he gives you a "feel" for that particular period of time in that particular place. It's really a Horatio Alger story with a typical Irish-English stock buying and selling twist. Fitzpatrick, who also has a Bachelor of Science in Business, was a friend of stock broker James H. Price who continuously bought and sold- making the market - for Riddle Airlines stock in Miami.
ABOUT the AUTHOR
Daniel P. Fitzpatrick Jr. has held a Pilot License for more than 60 years and has an Aircraft and Engine Mechanics License and did hold a First Class Radio License while he was working. He has worked all over the world for several airlines and has traveled extensively in both Ireland and England during the time setting of this book. While there, he lived with these people and ate and slept in their private homes. He is well acquainted with both Dublin and London; in fact his daughter Helen Fitzpatrick got her Ph.D. from the University of London and this was handed to her by Queen Elizabeth herself.
So, many of these little stories in this long tale really did happen. Such as the two IRA men who stopped their overloaded van next to two London policemen and asked directions and the people running in all directions in Hyde Park to assist the escapees and more little episodes like Sean's stock buying that had similarities to Henry Ford who simply closed the plant after producing the last Model T car. Ford made everyone think he was broke so he could cheaply accumulate all of the Ford Motor Company stock in America while he secretly put together his new River Rouge plant to build the Model A car. While in this fiction story Sean and friends get 96% of the outstanding stock, the Ford Family did far better cleaning up even a higher percentage of the outstanding Ford Motor Company of America stock which simply was not available anymore to the public until just before the Edsel came out. When I was young one could only buy Ford Motor Company of Canada stock.
The names in these events have all been changed, except for a few like J. Paul Getty and Ian Paisley. Bernadette Devlin has since married and added McAliskey to her name. Anyway I hope you have enjoyed this bit of truth and blarney.
This well used Irish word blarney was given to us by Queen Elizabeth who wanted Blarney Castle in Ireland and was tired of hearing the explanations of why she couldn't have it turned over to her. She then told the owner she wanted no more of his "Blarney" and the word stuck forever, exactly as the queen used it, in the English language.
The phrase "Full of Blarney" was used by the Irish workers who, in America, worked alongside of Italian workers who did not know that Blarney was a castle so they took the word for bologna. Thus it came to be re-worded "Full of bologna". This new phrase completely eliminated the principle word "Blarney" but left Queen Elizabeth's meaning fully intact and unchanged.
Thanks for reading this.
Daniel P. Fitzpatrick Jr.
There is a direct parallel between Singapore and Sean in the landing rights. Many countries gave Singapore equal landing rights thinking they could fly more on their airlines than Singapore could. After Singapore obtained all the landing rights they wanted then Singapore ordered many Boeing 747s and many other aircraft to become one of the world's major air carriers.
The English who read this book will recognize expressions that Americans won't such as "I'm all right, Jack." Meaning "Yes, you did what you wanted to but it messed me up."
English readers will also recognize Admiral Nelson's signal to all his ships at the battle of Trafalgar. The MI6 psychiatrist quotes Nelson's famous signal, but changes a word in it, as he stamps John Powell's papers.
Irish readers will know what was mentioned about Lord Guinness is true and if they come from Dublin will know what Sean relates about the Guinness beer plant there is true.
Some older Irish readers might even remember reading the newspaper headline that said FAMOUS BRITISH ADMIRAL LEAVES DUBLIN BY AIR that came out when Admiral Nelson's column on O'Connell Street in Dublin was blown apart one night by the illegal IRA.
J. Paul Getty did indeed travel extensively on the London Underground System when he was the richest man in the world. He sat alongside the average person like everyone else. The reason that he never got to see his museum in California was that aircraft travel really did frighten him. He had run Spartan Aviation during the Second World War and had seen many of his good friends killed in the airplanes he made at Spartan. Later that same company built the Spartan house trailer.
My fiction stories are always based on facts and factual events because these, many times, are stranger than fiction. Henry Ford did better than my fictional Sean did. After Henry Ford finished building Model Ts, he simply closed that entire, enormous complex completely down and vanished. He couldn't be located by anyone. Most people thought he was finished in business while he secretly built his brand new River Rouge plant. People dumped their Ford stock for pennies on the dollar similarly to the way people did, in this story, as Covington pounded down Paragon Airlines stock price. Henry Ford - via this method - ended up owning all the Ford stock in America. In fact when I was a boy, one could only buy Ford Motor Company of Canada stock. But the rest of the Ford family lacked Henry's expertise. The Ford family, in the 1950s issued Ford stock once more to the public, to get money to build the most researched car in America. It was the Edsel and at the time became the largest financial disaster ever. Without the Mustang's spectacular success Ford would have gone under because the Edsel loss was so great. But in a few years another even bigger financial loss was suffered by General Dynamics in building the Convair 990 Jet Airliner. Convair had once built the most popular airliner ever made. But not this time. No airline bought any 990s. The principle stockholder in General Dynamics had to sell his prized possession - the Empire State building - to keep General Dynamics and its Convair division a-float. Fortune magazine - many decades ago - had a lengthy several issue article about it, "The tail that wagged the dog".
The six year old showing the people on the London Underground train that her father had taken a train in the wrong direction actually happened----to me.
If you do not think there are people like Sean, with money, who can get women to work hard for them and you do not think there are con men like Mr. Covington who can even con the rich then you had better think again.
Daniel P. Fitzpatrick Jr.
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