The contact man

The contact man

A Story by Haim Kadman

An excerpt of the thriller The Death Science, which was written at the end of the 80s; and is published with


The contact man

The Death Sciences

An excerpt

So close to the border am I, right under their watching eyes " and yet I’m free! Samir thought quite satisfied. It was a strange feeling no doubt. After all he might have been put behind bars, if he had been caught and arrested just a few hundred meters from the spot he was right now, at the hotel's elegant restroom in front of the broad mirror, rinsing his face with cold water and combing his dark hair.

When he returned back to the lobby he sat on one of the armchairs next to their luggage, waiting for Leila to return and join him.

Don't you find it an error?’ He asked before she managed to sit beside him, ‘a careless mistake letting us to know Taher's true identity, plus all his personal details?’

She was the expert in that sensitive field, or was supposed to be between the two of them, without him being aware to it; while he on the other hand obtained his scarce knowledge out of foreign thrillers, spy movies and through vast number of doubtful magazines.

But Leila wished he would have chosen a more trivial subject, whether the fact he mentioned was correct or not. These were not subjects she was eager to give her mind to. She looked around before answering him. The lobby was practically empty, a guest or two of them, a solitary waiter crossed its floor during long intervals; and when such activity took place it was usually far from their corner, out of possible earshot.

You're quite right in a way.’ She said at last with a nonchalant smile, as if the whole matter was not worth mentioning at all. ‘You may refer to it principally as to a professional error.’ She added calmly. ‘There're times and cases in which a rule or two have, or even must be ignored; according to the relevant circumstances, particularly when the prospects of success are certain. Our own operation, in which one of its objectives was as you know, rescuing you, serves us as a model for such circumstances. Think of it, there's hardly any possible chance of your meeting Taher again in the near future. You won't remember the few details you’ve learned about him during the ride. You are not supposed to cross the border back, in the next month or at the next year... And neither do I...’ She summed the question up in a short and content laugh. For although she did not wish to touch the matter at all, it had brought forward her ample understanding in that special field, and accentuated the deep gap between her as an almost a real "pro", and his lack of experience. On the other hand she could imagine herself that Taher and his cab was recruited at week’s notice, or who knows some three four days ago; and who would have thought of turning a cab driver into a secret agent in such a short time? It was wise of her not to bring those details forth; she thought watching Samir’s face, hoping he would change the subject or simply keep his mouth shut.

Well it was his out of place question that caused it, after all. He could have reached the same conclusions himself. If he had just tried to get down to it seriously, or maybe the mental stresses to which he stood up so successfully had exhausted him? She thought right on the next instant changing her mind, forgiving his thoughtless remark. While watching his face, for she realized how shocked he must have been, by her sudden and obvious revelations. It seemed to her that he was not exactly aware to the long years of exile, which were laying ahead of them; and she hastened to ease, in what way she could, his sorrow: ‘I share the same fate as you do, and as of many of our comrades, almost everyone of them as a matter of fact. I've no intention to return home, neither in the next month nor in the next decade! If by some unexpected chance an extreme change would take place, such as a retreat of the Zionist occupying forces; or a forced international political settlement, which shall enact as an outcome, our independence " only then I'll rush back home. But that's not and can't be the situation, and let's not cherish futile illusions!’ She made a short pause and watched Samir’s downcast face with compassion.

We'd better get back to your question.’ She went on changing her mind again. ‘Now, as I've already mentioned, you won't remember these particular details, which as a matter of fact you don't need to remember; for how long do you think you're going to use that name? It’s not supposed to serve you in the future, and that certain episode is over and behind us. Its most hazardous stage at any case isn't going to be a part of your life story or your cover story, as we do usually define it, so don't waste a single thought over it.’

That should cool him off, cut off his arguments for the time being at least. She assumed quite justly. ‘Do order us some cool drinks.’ She asked him smiling sweetly. ‘Before we’ll have our lunch, I'm still hungry, you know.’

A man was approaching their table, while Samir was still engulfed in his thoughts, with his eyes fixed upon Leila's face. Samir has not noticed the approaching man yet. The stranger was a lean middle aged man of medium height, attired in a summer suit as befits the last fashion of a light green color and a pink shirt, which made a fine contrast with his dark complexion; a flimsy dark line of hair adorned his upper lip, and the top of his head glistened with oily brilliance. He came to offer them a sightseeing tour deal, he said, right after having introduced himself. He was the hotel's touring office manager. He was invited to join their company and sat down next to their table, and without waiting to any reaction or comment of theirs; he said he had an available car for them to rent, but could not offer them the services of a chauffeur. That all he could offer them right now, he said. They will have to drive the car themselves and they may leave the car at the Cairo Company's office on having arrived there.

At first Samir did not grasp the significance of that “coincidental” meeting, and he had no intention to make up his mind on the whole issue. But he wished to postpone the matter, have lunch first and decide later. There was enough time for such a matter yet. But one look on Leila's stern face, her pursed lips, made Samir realize the very bare truth. It was their contact man and his offer was one more piece in the puzzle of his escape route! His message was simple and very obvious: They could have their lunch and leave straight afterwards for Cairo!

By the way’ wondered Samir aloud. ‘Isn't the driver who picked us at the border, your man?’

Of course he's, but he isn't dispensable, I can't do without him as a matter of fact. His duty is to serve the hotel guests exclusively, and within the hotel's periphery not beyond it,’ the touring manager explained to them patiently.

Although the comparatively feelings of safety returned to him gradually Samir would have rather drive on without delay. The Israelis vindictive long arm was notorious, and if they did by that time solve the murder case his stay in Tabba on Egyptian soil, would not stop them from catching up with him. The threatening faces of those two huskies at the border, was a very fresh reminder of that long and ruthless arm. On the other hand even if Leila was a good and experienced driver, nobody can expect him to sit idle at her side while she will be driving... But if that contact man would recommend them to leave right away, would it be wise at all? If anything happens, if some car failure would stop them, in the middle of the desert, without a mechanic, or at least a skilled driver. No! We'd better stay at the hotel, and wait for the services of a skilled driver, or hire a team of two; a driver and a skilled mechanic, to escort us. That was his decision and he declared their intentions to the polite stranger. Another glance at Leila's face assured him that he made the right decision.

Their contact man did not express any unusual comments, but reminded them that their demand would be met only in twenty four hours time.

It isn't a bad idea to start your vacation right at this luxurious hotel.’ He added with a warm and friendly smile. ‘And I do recommend to you the hotel's restaurant with all my heart. It’s simply superb, I am sure you will enjoy it! You'll find many more advantages, that this modern complex has to offer you " especially now after we got rid of all the remnants of the Jewish personnel... Allah is praised!’ He raised his face upwards thankfully, expressing his deep satisfaction. ‘Tomorrow I'll have several drivers available.’ He continued undisturbed. ‘By the way have you by any chance heard their latest broadcast in Arabic?’ He asked pointing his thumb towards the Israeli border. ‘An Israeli professor was murdered this very morning in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), a researcher of international renown they say; and they as usual are raising hell,’ he added with a short content laugh.

What has exactly happened?’ Leila asked him with an apparent innocent curiosity.

Well, he crossed on foot some deserted grove on his way, and there his slain corpse was found. Some kind of a doctor Jekyll and mister Hide I dare say!’ He added scornfully. ‘Nobody knows what he was doing there, while he was on his own; in short they're lost in thick fog. It isn't clear yet whether it was a common criminal act, or whether we did the job? But though it might surprise you, it doesn't hinder our business down here, it won't stop the Israelis rush to the Sinai. They kept coming right after the "Ras-Burka" massacre. Well they're a nation of sheep bound for slaughter, that’s what they really are. But first of all we'll empty their pockets and when the right time arrives, in no more than two more decades "inshalla" (with God’s will); we'll uproot that alien plant, and shake the earth off its short roots! “Taieb” (good) see you at my office tomorrow morning at eight thirty I'll have my best driver at your service, and do enjoy yourselves as much as you can meanwhile.’ He advised them with a warm smile, and getting up he left

their pleasant company,

All rights © belong to Haim Kadman " July 2017.

© 2017 Haim Kadman

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Added on July 22, 2017
Last Updated on July 22, 2017
Tags: suspense, intelligence, espionage, action, adventure, love


Haim Kadman
Haim Kadman

Petach-Tikva, Israel

Profile: A few words about myself: being a native of a small country whose waist is seventeen kilometers wide in a certain area; and in seven to eight hours drive one can cross its length, I was amaze.. more..

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