To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
After D’arby had spoken to Syafika he suddenly felt very tired so he decided to have a brief sleep before he called her back to see what she’d discovered in Anthony’s flat, but instead D’arby fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up until the sun had come up.
When D’arby did wake up he felt really sick, so instead of calling Syafika straight away he went to the bathroom to vomit in the toilet. Then D’arby called Syafika’s mobile phone and waited nervously as it rang.
“Hello?” said Syafika.
“It’s me – D’arby. How’d you go?” asked D’arby.
“Good. I’m just walking home now. Do you want to meet up?” said Syafika.
“Ok. Can you pass by our place on your way home?” asked D’arby.
“Ok” said Syafika.
“Good. Before you go – what’s Anthony’s flat number?” asked D’arby.
“63 on level 7” answered Syafika”, feeling proud of herself for having memorized it. “Why do you want to know?”
“I want to find out how owns it” said D’arby. Then to change the topic D’arby added “I think I caught your tummy bug”
“Oh no!” said Syafika. “Sorry!”
“Don’t worry. I wonder whether Anthony will catch it too” said D’arby.
When D’arby had finished talking to Syafika he remembered that he should have asked her what she’d done with the transmitter. Then D’arby realised that he could find out whether the transmitter was working by turning the receiver on.
D’arby picked up the tiny receiver and attached some headphones. He couldn’t hear anything so he checked the settings but still heard nothing so he took the headphones off and went to tell Fanta that Syafika was coming over.
D’arby found Fanta sitting at the dining table and packing library books into Ruby’s school bag.
“John is making pancakes” said Ruby when she saw D’arby. “Do you want some?”
“I’m too sick to eat pancakes today” said D’arby.
“Why?” asked Fanta.
“I think I caught the same tummy bug as Syafika” said D’arby.
“Don’t give the germs to me please” said Fanta and she leant away from D’arby.
“I’ll take care to wash my hands well” said D’arby. “Syafika is going to pass here on her way home. She is on her way now”
“How is she?” asked Fanta.
“Feeling better” said D’arby. “I’ll go and wait for her out the front so I don’t breathe any germs onto your pancakes”
D’arby went and sat down on the front steps to wait for Syafika. He was feeling very tired but doubted he’d get time to rest that day because he was supposed to organize to meet Anthony, and he should report what had been happening to RenewBank.
When Syafika came walking along D’arby thought she looked pleased with herself and couldn’t wait to hear what she’d discovered about Anthony.
Syafika smiled when she saw D’arby waiting for her.
As Syafika came in the front gate Fanta and her sisters came out the front door on their way to school.
“I wish I could stay and hear about your adventure but we are already late” said Fanta. “What if we visit you this afternoon?”
“That’s fine” said Syafika.
“Come inside” said D’arby and he led Syafika to the dining room where they found John clearing the table. The sight of leftover pancakes made D’arby feel sick. “I’ll be back soon” said D’arby and he rushed to the bathroom to vomit. On his way back to Syafika he picked up the receiver, a set of small speakers, a pen and a notebook.
When D’arby got back to the dining room John was bringing Syafika a cup of tea.
“I heard you vomiting” said Syafika.”How many times have you vomited now?”
“Only twice” said D’arby.
“I was better after four” said Syafika. “So maybe you just have two to go”
John looked alarmed at the talk of vomits. “I don’t want to catch that. It would be terrible if I infected people who came to my restaurant” said John. “They’d think I’d given them food poisoning”
“If you get it you’ll have to stay home until you’ve been better for 48 hours” said D’arby.
“I better call Tim and put him on notice that I might need him to run the restaurant for a few days” said John and he walked to the phone.
D’arby sat down at the dining table and opened his notebook. He could see that Syafika was enjoying her cup of tea and couldn’t wait until he felt better.
“Did you hide the transmitter at Anthony’s place?” asked D’arby.
“Yes. I hid it inside the collar of his jacket” said Syafika. “But I think he might know I did it. He knew I’d been sneaking around and I don’t know how. Maybe he has secret cameras and was watching me from his room”
“I tried listening to it before but I didn’t hear anything” said D’arby
“Anthony went out when I left and he wasn’t wearing the jacket so maybe you didn’t hear anything because there wasn’t anything to hear in his empty flat” said Syafika.
“Let’s try again now. He might have gone home again” said D’arby and he plugged the speakers into the receiver.
D’arby and Syafika listened carefully for a minute or so. They could hear faint noises that could have been someone moving around. D’arby pictured Anthony sitting in his flat reading a book and realised that they could listen for hours and not hear anything.
“Why don’t you call him” suggested D’arby. “Then if he is at home when he answers we should hear that on our speaker. If we don’t hear anything then you can try to find out whether he is at home. If he is home and we can’t hear him we will know that the transmitter isn’t working. If he is still out we won’t know anything”
“Ok” said Syafika and she took out her mobile phone. She still didn’t like using it and hoped it wasn’t going to become a habit. Syafika rang Anthony’s number and waited.
After a couple of seconds the sound of a mobile phone ringing came out of the speaker. D’arby quickly turned the receiver off so Anthony wouldn’t hear them listening to him if he answered.
“Hello” said Anthony.
“It’s Syafika” said Syafika. “Are you ok? I hope you didn’t catch my tummy bug”
“I’m not ok actually. I had to come home because I feel nauseous. I haven’t vomited yet, but I think I’m going to soon” said Anthony.
“Sorry!” said Syafika. “Will you be ok?”
“I’ll be fine” said Anthony. “I’ll just have to stay home today”
“I’ll let you go and rest. Take care! Call me if you need anything” said Syafika.
“Ok. Bye” said Anthony and he hung up.
“He sounds cranky” said Syafika.
D’arby imagined Anthony was going to get even crankier later that day.
After Syafika left D’arby tried to plan the rest of his day. He needed to meet up with Anthony and give him the bad news that RenewBank wouldn’t be paying him any money and he also needed to call Rudnika and give her an update. What stopped D’arby doing anything straight away was that he was starting to feel nauseous again. To hurry things up D’arby drank a large glass of water. Not long after he had to rush to the toilet to vomit.
D’arby washed his face and hands thoroughly and then he called Anthony.
“Hello” said Anthony. “Who is this?”
“It’s D’arby” said D’arby.”We need to talk about your letter – let’s meet up this morning”
“I’ll be at the Rose Garden in the Botanic Gardens in 30 minutes” said Anthony, and he hung up without waiting to hear what D’arby thought of the plan.
D’arby wondered how he’d manage to get to the Botanic Gardens and back without vomiting, but realised that the worst that could happen was that he’d vomit in public.
Before D’arby left he called Rudnika. When D’arby told her about the plan to meet Anthony Rudnika said “Make it clear that we won’t be paying. And see what you can find out from him. Then I want you to use your judgement – if you think that he is at all reasonable or trustworthy offer him a job at RewewBank”
“What would he be doing?” asked D’arby.
“I’m not sure yet, but I’d rather keep him close. He may be useful in the next couple of months” said Rudnika.
D’arby didn’t like the sound of working with Anthony.
“But if we offer him a job mightn’t that sound like we are agreeing to pay him but want to call it something else?”
“That’s why you’ll need to choose your words carefully” said Rudnika.”First make it clear that we won’t be blackmailed but also show that we are not against him – he must have his reasons for what he has done. If you think his reasons are at all justifiable or that there is anything good in him, then offer him a job, but make it clear that he will be paid for doing work for us, not for keeping quiet. Basically be as friendly as you can about refusing to pay him and try to keep him talking as long as you can”
D’arby felt stressed after he finished talking to Rudnika. He was worried about how to talk to Anthony and he was worried he wouldn’t get to the meeting on time. D’arby got out his bike and as he started riding he began to calm down. He decided to not plan what he was going to say and that he wouldn’t look at his watch because he knew that Anthony would wait for him if he was late – their meeting was too important for Anthony not to wait.
D’arby dismounted at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens feeling a bit annoyed that there was a sign prohibiting bike riding, but he tried to stay cheerful and calm as he walked his bike to the Rose Garden.
As D’arby approached the meeting place he saw Anthony sitting on a seat and looking sick.
D’arby nodded at Anthony and as he sat down on the seat beside him he realised that he wasn’t going to enjoy giving Anthony bad news.
“You look like you are about to vomit” said D’arby.
Anthony couldn’t reply because he was too busy rushing off to vomit behind a shrub.
“You were right” said Anthony as he sat back down next to D’arby.
“I might need to vomit soon too. I’ve vomited twice since I woke up” said D’arby.
“That was my second time” said Anthony.
“You will probably feel ok for at least half an hour. We should make the most of this time” said D’arby. “I may as well let you know straight away that RenewBank isn’t going to pay you for keeping quiet. You can tell who you like about our secret office”
Anthony kept his face calm but D’arby was sure that inside he’d be feeling cross at what he’d just heard.
“It isn’t just about your secret office” said Anthony. “I will easily be able to find your new secret office and I can tell whoever pays me what ever they want to know about RenewBank. Nothing will be secret”
“I know this is your job, and that you are good at it” said D’arby. “But we’d rather not keep our secrets than be blackmailed. If you don’t tell people what you know this week, you might tell them next week.”
“I won’t. One payment is all I need and I won’t tell anyone ever” said Anthony.
“Who is your client anyway?” asked D’arby.
“If you paid I’d tell you, but I won’t say anything about my client otherwise” said Anthony.
“How can we trust that you are telling us the truth when we know you are double-crossing your client?” asked D’arby. “Why would you make us the offer anyway?”
“Because I like RenewBank more than I like my client. I want to help” said Anthony.
“But why make us pay you then?” asked D’arby. “If you want to help RenewBank, why not just lie to your client?”
“They only pay for results and I really need the money” said Anthony. “I want to get out of the game but to do that I have to buy myself out – I need the money to get out”
“Why do you need to buy your way out?” asked D’arby. “And why now?”
“I want to settle down and start a family but my life is not compatable with that while I’m doing this work. Family is a weakness – anything you care about can be used against you – people can threaten them. I can’t just leave because I know too much. I know dangerous secrets. I need money so I can disappear and start again somewhere else” said Anthony.
D’arby wondered how Syafika fitted in with Anthony’s plans – was he thinking of settling down with her? Did he expect her to run away with him? D’arby wondered whether he should tell Syafika this, then realised that maybe Anthony was telling him lies to make him think it would be worth paying him to stay quiet. D’arby decided he wouldn’t tell Syafika anything Anthony said unless he was sure it was true. If what Anthony was saying was true then D’arby felt sorry for him and wished he could help him.
“You could always work for RenewBank instead” said D’arby. “It doesn’t pay as much, but it would be an honest way out”
“How would you protect me though” asked Anthony.
“Not sure” said D’arby. “Maybe we could hide you. Maybe you should think about how we could help you and tell us”
“What work would I be doing?” asked Anthony.
“Not sure about that either. You might have a better idea than me. I’m just the messenger” said D’arby. “What could you do for us?”
Anthony didn’t reply for a few minutes and D’arby could tell that he was thinking.
“I could tell you who your enemies are and who your friends are” said Anthony. “And I could find out things about your enemies”. I am very good at my job. You probably know how many people were trying to find out about RenewBank and I was the only one who discovered anything” said Anthony. “Now I know all about RenewBank”
Anthony paused for a while and D’arby could tell that he was thinking again.
“Wait a minute” said Anthony. “Isn’t this just a trick to keep me quiet for much less money?”
“You don’t have to keep quiet though. That’s not a condition” said D’arby.
“Yes, but if I am relying on RenewBank to protect me then it would be stupid for me to tell anyone your secrets” said Anthony.
“If you know all about RenewBank, why didn’t you anticipate this move?” said D’arby, in a tone that he hoped showed he was joking.
“I should have” said Anthony. “Give me two days to consider what you’ve said and I’ll let you know what I decide – or I might propose a different deal”
“Right. Ok” said D’arby. “Just out of interest, why did you choose RenewBank?”
“What do you mean?” asked Anthony.
“I don’t believe you have a client. I think you just decided to find out about RenewBank. Why?” asked D’arby.
Anthony smiled and looked into the distance when said “I will get back to you in a couple of days but I want to go now so I get home before I vomit again”
As D’arby watched Anthony get up and walk away he felt quite satisfied with the way the conversation had gone.