Jack Higgins – The Savage Day

the saloon and the first-aid kit. You’ve got some patching

up to do.’

I moved into the wheelhouse and he cut me out of the wet suit and set to work. By the time I was on my third large Jameson, he’d bandaged the forearm, but the ribs were a different proposition. He taped them up as best he could, but each time I breathed it felt like a knife in the lungs. After that, he gave me two shots of morphine under my instructions and helped me dress.

zo8The Savage Day

I poured another krge Jameson and he said anxiously, ‘Sure, now, and didn’t I read somewhere that booze and that stuff don’t mix too well ?’

‘Maybe not,’ I said, ‘but I need them both for what I’ve got to do.’

‘And what would that be, Major?*

‘Oh, get back to Spanish Head and sort out that bastard, Barry, once and for all.’ I managed a grin. ‘He’s really beginning to annoy me, Binnie.’

‘I’m with you there all the way,’ he said.

‘All right, then let’s have a look at the situation. When we take theKathleen in, there are two possibilities. The first is that Barry will be waiting on the jetty in person, eager for his first sight of the gold.’

‘And the second?’

‘He’ll stay up at the house and leave his men, or some of them, to do the welcoming.’

*But they’ll know something is wrong the moment they see either of us at the wheel as we come in,’ Binnie pointed out.

I shook my head and fought hard to keep control of the pain in my side. ‘But neither of us will be at the wheel, Binnie, that’s the point.’

I looked out to where Dooley sprawled on his back on the deck, eyes wide for all eternity.


Fire From Heaven

We moved in towards the inlet below Spanish Head, Dooley in the helmsman’s seat in the wheelhouse, his hands on the wheel. The ropes which held him in place were concealed by his reefer coat and I was satisfied that he would pass muster at any but the closest range.

I steered on my hands and knees peering out through a hole I had kicked in the panelling of the wheelhouse for that very purpose. The pain wasn’t so bad now, but I felt strangely numb. It was as if nothing was real and anything could happen. The effects of mixing morphine, Jameson and nine millimetre bullets before breakfast. A dangerous combination.

We must certainly have been under surveillance for some considerable time for the mist had cleared now and

visibility was quite good although it was still raining heavily.

The Ford truck was parked half way along the jetty at the end of the road, but there was no sign of the Land-Rover. Two of Barry’s men waited at the jetty’s edge. One was smoking a cigarette. They both carried Sterlings.

I called softly to Bitxnie who waited in the shelter of the companionway, ‘No sign of Barry. Just the two of them. About a minute to go and when you hit, hit hard. We can’t afford any mistakes at this stage.’

One of the men called, ‘Heh, Mac, where are you ?’

And then the other leaned forward and stared at Dooley, an expression of horror on his face. ‘My God,’ I heard him say. ‘What’s wrong with him ?’

As something like the truth dawned on them, I yelled, ‘Now, Binnie.’

He sprang from the shelter of the companionway, the Sten-gun bucking in his hands as he sprayed the top of the jetty. As I have said, the Sten Mk IIS is probably one of the most remarkable sub-machine-guns ever invented, the only sound as it is fired being the bolt clicking backwards and forwards. As that is not audible above a distance of twenty yards, there was no danger of anyone at Spanish Head being alerted to the holocaust below.

Binnie cut them both down in that first second, knocking one of them clean over the edge of the jetty into the water, using all thirty-two rounds in the magazine as far as I could make out. He went over the rail to make theKathleen fast, then started up the steps.

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