The Jonah

The Jonah by James Herbert

Book: The Jonah by James Herbert Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Herbert
they’d want to find out.’
    There was a new tenseness in Kelso and she knew it was because he felt things were beginning to move; the other side had shown a face, they were no longer an imagined nor inanimate entity. Kelso
was beginning to enjoy the situation and she felt the same excitement, despite the throbbing ache in her head.
    ‘So what happens now?’
    ‘I carry on in the same way.’
    ‘What about me?’
    ‘I want you out of it.’
    ‘No way. You can’t unload me.’
    ‘Ellie, I think it really could get dangerous.’
    ‘It wouldn’t be the first time.’
    The determination in her voice told him that there would be no point in arguing. Later he would try to get his DI to haul her off the operation.
    ‘Okay,’ he said, avoiding her look by sipping his drink.
    ‘Do we go to the local police, report an attempted burglary? That would be the thing to do in normal circumstances.’
    ‘No, we keep it to ourselves. I think we’ll be watched, so let’s give them a little mystery. If I’m mixed up in some shady business with Trewick, the last thing I’d
do is go to the pigs. Let’s lead them on a bit, see how they react.’
    ‘It’s risky.’ She saw him ready to pounce and quickly added, ‘But okay, I’m game.’ She smiled smugly to herself when she saw his disappointment; she
wasn’t going to give him any excuse to ease her out.
    ‘Why don’t you rest? I’ll have a snoop around outside, see if there’s any bogeymen.’
    There were no protestations and he guessed she was more groggy than she was letting on. He left her and stepped outside. The breeze had a definite chill to it and the falling sun had no warmth.
Kelso strolled across to the blockhouse containing the toilets and showers, peering into the segregated sections to check that they were empty. He toured the perimeter of the site, then went out
into the street beyond. From there he had a view of the sea, its blueness made sombre by the silt suspended in its depths; a few people trudged along the shingle beach, and one or two anglers sat
patiently waiting for something to bite. The road opposite leading back to the town’s high street was deserted save for a single dog who sniffed its way along the gutter.
    Kelso went back into the site and surveyed the twenty or so caravans there. He knew that only two others were occupied, the rest empty and waiting for seasonal clients. At least, they were
supposed to be empty.
    The tension was tightening his spinal cord again, and he knew it wasn’t just because any one of the trailers could be hiding watchful, suspicious eyes, nor because he was sure things were
beginning to break at last. It had more to do with the old, familiar tension, the mounting unease that had visited him many times in the past. The unnatural malevolence that had caused so much
destruction in his life.
    He went in first and held the door open for Ellie. Many heads turned and watched her with interest as she linked Kelso’s arm and went with him to the bar. She smiled at one or two of the
less discreet customers and they grinned back, pleased by her attention.
    ‘Don’t overdo it,’ Kelso whispered. ‘They’ll have you on your back behind the bar if you’re not careful.’
    ‘Just trying to be friendly.’
    ‘Some of these characters might see it differently. What’ll you have?’
    ‘I’ll stick to Scotch.’
    Ellie felt a lot better, having rested earlier, showered, and eaten. Kelso had cooked the meal and it hadn’t turned out half so bad as she’d expected. Not good, but not that bad.
They had walked along the beach before turning off into the town at the appropriate sidestreet, and the cold air had blown away the last of the fogginess from her head. It was dark out, almost
black along the shoreline, and each wave was a lonely sound as it crashed against the beach.
    ‘Evening,’ the barman said, eyeing Ellie with undisguised appreciation. ‘Pint of Old for you, then, and what’ll it be for the

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