The contact man

The contact man

A Story by Haim Kadman

An excerpt of the thriller "The death sciences".


‘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 notice 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 beige 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 sight seeing tour deal, he said �" right after having introduced himself. He was the hotel's touring office manager. Having been invited to join their company he 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 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,’ explained the touring manager patiently.  

Although the comparatively feeling of safety returned to him gradually Samir would have rather driven 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 one.

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 border. ‘An Israeli professor was murdered this very morning in El-Kuds (Jerusalem); a researcher of international renown they say �" and they as usual, are raising hell!’ He remarked 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 whatever were his deeds, while he was on his own, in short they're lost in thick fog. As it’s not 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 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 left their pleasant company

© Haim Kadman 1991 �" all rights reserved.

© 2012 Haim Kadman

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Added on November 13, 2012
Last Updated on November 13, 2012
Tags: hotel, lobby, discussion, briefing, contact


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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