Undercover Soldier-Chapter 2-Austin Mitchell
Two weeks later McDonald took Bendoo and Delbert Wood to see the Commissioner, Hubert Haskins. Haskins was a middle-aged man who had made it out
of the ranks to the top. After the
customary courtesies McDonald went straight to business.
“We’re going to give you two weeks to make contact. If you fail we’re going to cancel the whole operation. If you’re successful and reach Wareika, get in touch with Wood at the first opportunity.”
McDonald looked at Bendoo.
“They’ll allow you time to leave the camp so you do it then, but you have to be very careful.”
He paused and surveyed the room.
“Woody will drop you home, from now on you’re on your own.”
Bendoo returned to his lodgings. The two weeks he had spent preparing for the mission and trying to grow a beard had been of some help. He had been to the marijuana yards and had taken some of the stuff. Most nights he was out until late, either at bingo or card games. Sometimes he went to movies with some of the people from his yard. Everybody called him Bendoo. He had let it be known that his woman was in America and she was filing immigration papers for him.
Wood usually came to look for him in an unmarked car. He brought him letters from his girlfriend. He usually called her from a call box on Mountain View Avenue. So when Wood dropped him off at his gate that Monday morning, he knew that he was undercover and the real action was about to begin.
He began to move into areas, which he knew bad men frequented. He returned to his usual haunts. He kept his ears close to the ground hoping to get in contact with one of the gunmen from Wareika but with no luck.
He was desperate to make contact by Monday of the second week as time was running out. At about four o’clock that afternoon he was walking on Mountain View Avenue when someone shouted.
Bendoo didn’t recognize the voice, but froze, thinking that it might be a policeman. A tall, well-dressed dreadlocks came up to him.
“Bendoo, do you remember me?”
“What! Nigel it’s years now since I’ve seen you.”
“That’s true, then what are you doing for yourself now?”
“I’m just hustling, things are rough.”
“I know how it is, it’s the same thing I’m doing too.”
“Come and have a drink, Nigel. I was going to have one when you called me.”
Bendoo and Nigel had grown up in the same village, but at the age of fifteen he left for Kingston. Bendoo later heard that he converted to the Rastafarian faith. He heard little news about him after that, but here was the man standing before him with his long locks. The two of them went into the bar.
Bendoo bought a few malt beverages and learned that Nigel was now called Niah. Niah told him that if he wanted work he had some friends whom he could talk to. He told Niah that he wanted some work as he was low on cash.
They went outside and sat on a bamboo bench.
“Is it a long time since you came to town?”
“Country not saying anything. I used to load buses, then I got mixed up in the politics and started to fire guns for certain politicians.”
“Are you bad with a gun.”
“It’s few men who can test me. I’ve fired M-16, AK-47, Ruger, Bushmaster. Any gun you can think about I’ve fired it already. I was with the Dugout gang from Waterhouse and then I joined the Clappers from the Maxfield. Most a those shops and bars that you see close down on the avenue it’s because of us.”
Bendoo then explained to Niah how the Clappers gang met its demise. He told him how he and two other gang members escaped the police dragnet by hiding in an empty cesspool.
Lately the police turned up the heat on them forcing him to hide out in Mountain View at a brethren’s house.
“Men scatter all over the place. Some are even in the country.”
Niah told him where to meet them the next night. They then parted, Niah returning to where he lived and Bendoo to his yard.
Bendoo suspected that Niah was part of a gang and didn’t want to tell him. He would find out everything tomorrow night.
In the morning he phoned Wood to let him know that he believed he had made contact. He then informed his landlord that he was returning to the country.
Some of the tenants speculated that he was moving because his papers had come through. Bendoo simply told them that he wanted to enjoy some more country life before going to America. Wood brought an unmarked van and together they put the few pieces of furniture and other items into it and moved them back to his apartment.
So that night armed with a bag containing a few pieces of clothes and a gun specially assigned to him for such undercover work, he waited at the corner of Langston Road and Mountain View Avenue. He was there from ten o’clock and was getting impatient when a car drove up, its headlights drowning him. Two men dressed in military fatigues jumped out of the car guns lining him up.
“You name Bendoo? Get in, Niah old us about you,” one of them ordered.
Bendoo got in beside the driver.
This man’s face was hard, he had several scars from knife cuts, no dought, Bendoo thought. He guessed his age to be in the early thirties.
“Why do you want to join our gang, brethren?” the driver asked.
“Niah told me about you guys. I like what I heard. He said you guys would have no objections to me joining so long as I know how to use a gun.”
“The boss pays good money, but it’s dangerous work and you have to work hard.”
“I love hard work and I’m not afraid of the police or to fire my gun.”
He wondered why the two men in the back of the car kept so silent. Both had their fingers close to the triggers of their M-16 rifles.
A Ford pickup drew up beside them as they passed West Kings House Road and turned up Upper Waterloo Road. They were going on a raid, he realized.
Joe Simmonds, his wife and children plus their house guest, an American woman, returned home from an art exhibition in Liguenea. Joe stopped his car in front of his gate on Norbrook Drive and was about to get out to open the gate when a white Ford Escort drove up and stopped. Two men jumped out of the car guns pointed at them.
The driver of the car got out with a revolver in his hand.
“All of you come out,” he ordered.
“What’s the meaning of this, have you come to rob me? I can tell you that you aren’t going to get away with it.” Simmonds began to perspire, but he told the others to get out of the car.
“Where are the dogs, old man? We know that you have bad dogs,” the gang leader said.
“I don’t have any dogs. What do you want from me?”
“It’s a lie you are telling. You have them inside waiting to attack us. Where are they, old man?” the gang leader asked again.
Then the Ford pick-up drove up. In it were three men, two in the front and one in the back. It stopped behind the car and the occupants got out.
“Everything all right so far, Premba?” The driver of the van asked the gang leader. Premba nodded.
“What happened to the dogs, Premba?” One of the van sidemen asked.
“They are tied up, Dally,” Premba replied.
The two men who had been pointing guns at Simmonds and his family returned to the car.
“Hey, old man, we want all of you to go back into the house and you to find all the money you have and give us.”
The two van side-men moved to the front.
Simmonds started to protest.
“What do you want?”
“What do you have to give us. You have enough money in there, old man? It’s a long time we’ve been watching you.”
Simmonds reached the front door of his house now, the five men were breathing down his neck.
“Open the door, old man, don’t bother try anything. Don’t touch any buttons,” Premba warned.
Simmonds pushed open the front door of his two-story house. They led the way into the living room, two of them raced upstairs.
“Chaser and Dally, both of you come back down.”
The two youths retreated downstairs. Simmonds could see that they were mere boys.
“Where were both of you going? Just sit down and listen to what I have to say. You know that I don’t joke with no man.”
“Yes, Premba,” Dally replied as they both joined their companions on the soft couches.
Premba and Joe Simmonds were left standing.
“Now, old man, you are going to lead us upstairs. Who is up there?”
“Everybody who lives in this house is here. Nobody else is here.”
“You must have a helper and a gardener. Where are they?”
“They don’t live on,” Mrs. Simmonds replied.
“Are you his wife? Who is she and who are they?” Premba asked pointing to a thirty something white woman and a teenaged boy and girl.
The middle-aged woman hesitated before replying.
“I’m his wife and she is our house guest and those are our two children,” she replied, pointing to each person as she spoke.
“Old man, we want all that you can give us, the more cash the better. See we have a pick-up outside; we want it full before we leave.”
“Where is your vault with the money?”
“I don’t have any vault.”
“Where do you keep your valuables?”
Simmonds didn’t answer.
“Joe, give him whatever money we have,” Mrs Simmonds said.
“Duffus, did you cut the telephone wires?”
“See, you can’t get any help and the two men with the long guns will shoot anybody they see leaving their house.”
Simmonds gave Premba his wallet.
“It’s only a thousand dollars in there,” Premba said and threw the wallet on the floor.
“Old man, we know that you have a vault. Go and open it and let us see what you have in there.”
“Joe, why don’t you do as he says?”
Joe Simmonds climbed the stairs ahead of Premba. Two minutes later they descended the stairs. Premba had a money pan with him. He took the key from Simmonds and opened it. He took out the money and counted it.
“It’s just five thousand dollars in there. It’s a big vault the man has, full of paper.”
“Maybe if we took away your son, or your daughter we would get more money,” Duffus said.
Bendoo looked at their captives and could see them cringing up in fear at Duffus’ leatest pronouncement.
“We are going to take away their valuables. Come, Duffus and Bendoo let us see what else they have here.”
The three men then went through a systematic search of the house. Everything valuable was taken. The whole operation lasted the forty-five minutes it had been timed for. Simmonds and his family and their guest could only look in awe as the robbers moved their loot out of the house to the pickup.
“We are finished now,” Premba announced. He was holding a videocassette recorder in his hand.
“It’s a long time I’ve wanted one of these things, now I and my girlfriend can get to watch some blue movies.”
“What are we going to do with these people?” Duffus asked.
“Let them stay, hey, Mister Simmonds, you see the man with the long gun, the big fat one. You must thank the Lord that I and he are not the same. If I ever let him lose, he would smash up your house,” Premba declared as his captives cowered before him.
“What happen, aren’t you going to take away these women’s rings and the old man’s too?” Bendoo asked.
“Come take off the rings and the chains. And you, Mr. Simmonds, we are still not pleased that it’s just that little amount of money we find in your house?”
“How is that, old man? A rich man like you should have more money than that,” Duffus stated.
“Where is the rest of the money, daddy?” Bendoo asked.
“Please my husband has no more money. Why do you believe that because we live in a big house we are rich?” Mrs. Simmonds asked.
“Your husband owns a lot of companies. He is a multi- millionaire. Just give us the rest of the money that you have.”
“They are trying to fool us. They must have more money in their house,” Bendoo insisted.
“Those things you have taken are worth thousands of dollars. I could never replace them, what more do you want?” Simmonds pleaded.
Premba looked at him.
“You want us to beat you up, old man, where’s the rest of the money?”
“Make him get up and go show us,” Bendoo suggested.
“He doesn’t have any more money,” their guest cried. “Can’t you understand?”
“Where is your money?” Premba turned on her.
“I only have two thousand dollars. If I give it to you, will you take it and go?”
“Sure, just give it to us.”
“Come with me,” she said and stood up.
Premba followed her up the stairs into her room. Presently he returned with a roll of bills, the woman behind him, he was smiling.
“Come, my friends, let’s leave.”
“You get the money?” Bendoo asked.
“Yes, these people don’t have any more money.”
Premba pointed his gun at each of his captive, in turn.
“Any of you ever feel gunshot yet. You see if any of you ever report this to the police, those two guys with the long guns will be coming back for all of you.”
“Cut off the lights, Duffus.”
The whole house was soon plunged into darkness as the robbers ran towards the gate. Bendoo and Premba got into the car and the latter started it.
The two men were in the back with their M-16s at the ready. One of them fished some marijuana cigarettes out of a bag and lit one each for himself, the other man, Bendoo and Premba.
Duffus drove off the Ford pick-up a few seconds before them, a tarpaulin covering the stolen merchandise. Dally and Chaser were beside him in the front of the pickup. The time was one o’clock.
Premba drove onto a dirt road and stopped. Duffus had also parked on the main road near the dirt track. Bendoo was surprised at the number of heavily armed men waiting for them. In a short time the pick-up was emptied of its contents as the robbers and their cronies made their way back to Wareika with the Simmonds’ possessions.
Dally crept into his house through the back door. He shared the room with his younger brother, Clive who was now snoring very loudly. He closed the door and dug into his pocket for his matches and lit the kerosene lamp. His mother couldn’t afford electricity so she made them use the kerosene oil lamp.
He sat himself down in a chair. His dinner was on the table, but he wasn’t hungry. He was thinking about Mr. Sommond’s son, Sale. They had plated both football and cricket against each other. He had seen the look of stark reconition on the youth’s face. The boy would inform the police that Dalton Spence was a member of the gang that had robbed his parent’s home. The police only had to check at school or come into the area to find out where he lived. He had to leave the area and give up school. He should have shot Dale or at least tell Premba about it. They should have worn masks. Now he alone was in this predicament.
He went to the small dresser and quietly opened the drawers. He began to take out his clothes. He took his other pair of shoes and a few more pieces of clothes as much as the bag could hold.
Clive was snoring even louder now. He took out his wallet and counted eighty-four dollars in it. He took a twenty-dollar bill and threw it on the bed.
He then picked up his bag and went through the door gently closing it behind him so as not to awaken Clive. His next move would be to check Chaser. He would tell him about Dale, as Chaser didn’t know the youth as he went to a junior high school. The two of them would go to the Factory and then be taken to Wareika Hills.To be continued. Please read my blog at:http://stredwick.blogspot.com