Five days after robbing the Securicor van Jaz pulls a mask over booze coloured ruddy red cheeks and face and, hungover, is back at work. Del and Dougie wait outside his house at lunch time, car engine running. Del jokes with him from the driver’s seat, when he gets in the back, Ford Cortinas are so easy to steal, even with a pair of children’s scissors, it’s almost criminal not to. Dougie is studying a folded-up street guide, mapping out a marriage of convenience, which he fills Jaz in on as they motor past the chippie. West End branches of Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland face each other across the road in a diagonal staggered by shops and a pub, banks ideally situated for withdrawals with a sawn-off shotgun and two handguns. The first bank is a study in time and motion and they’re outside in less than four minutes. The Cortina double parks outside the Royal Bank, which is more of a problem than the have-a-go hero at the counter, an elderly man with a walking stick and the appearance of a a blank-faced owl , who should have known better, flying at Del and making him lose his Fu Manchu false moustache. Jaz is near enough to force the barrel of his gun against the have-a-go hero’s ear, but Del with a flick of his wrist, and with his free hand, wrestles the old codger to the ground and starts laughing at his audacity. They leave the bank in their bright wigs like a girly gang giggling and drive off at high speed for a few hundred yards and swerve around the corner to Otago Lane, leaving the Cortina burnt out.
‘I’d rather walk than get in that thing,’ says Jaz, joking about the switch to a lime-green Lada as they stash the money and weapons in the boot.
‘Aye,’ say Dougie, not missing a beat. ‘But it’s raining and beggars can’t be choosers. Call it progress, or call it Russia’s fuck you to Western civilisation, but the fuckin’ pigs never stop a Lada because they’re too embarrassed for the driver’.
Jaz has a few drinks in Macs and met them later, his body still wired and jumpy with adrenalin, in top flat of a safe house in Kinfauns, the snobby bit of Drumchapel, near the road that cuts off to Bearsden, giving twin points of departure and arrival. A nice enough house with a lounge suite, which smells new and a telly and table with the green of a potted geranium at the window, two bedrooms. Del and Jaz follow indistinct sounds, the up-and-down drone of Northern Ireland accents. Money litters the bed and floor. Jaz and Del step lightly into the room, a soft plush landing for their plodding feet. But there’s nowhere to sit. They remain standing, edging nearer the bed. Dougie and Lizzie perch facing each other, knees touching, bundling loose notes into bundles of currency of the same denomination, pound notes, five pound notes, ten pound notes and fifty pound notes for sorting later and to make counting easier. Red elastic bands and clear plastic bags splashed at their feet. An old-fashioned chest of drawer spushed along the carpet to make more space, the square of wall behind the swing-mirror a lighter hue of powder blue. A transistor, an ashtray, two ceramic mugs and a pink plastic rattle clutter its dusty surface.
‘Turn that shite aff,’ Dougie says, gesturing towards the radio. ‘I cannae concentrate with it on.’
‘Och, goin’ raffle yerself.’ Lizzie laughs in a pleasant way, her breast jumping in her halter-neck top. She darts a look across at Jaz and smiles at Del standing in the doorway. ‘We’ll put it to the vote. On or aff?’
‘Eh, on,’ Del says.
‘Off,’ says Jaz. ‘I cannae stand that cunt Tony Blackburn. You jist want to put his face in a blender to get him to fuckin’ shut up.’ He scrunches his face as he reconsiders, ‘I’m no’ even sure that would fuckin’ work.’
‘You don’t get Tony Blackburn on the radio at night,’ Lizzie tells him.
‘But yeh never know wae that cunt,’ Jaz says, unconvinced.
‘Well,’ Dougie says. ‘Two votes each. We’ll need to toss a coin.’ He pats his pockets. ‘All this money and I’ve no’ got a coin.’
Jaz ferrets in his pockets and comes out with a handful of change in his hand. He flicks Dougie a fifty-pence. ‘Mind I want it back,’ he says, kicking over a wad of notes.
‘Heads or tails? Dougie smirks.
‘Tails never fails,’ shrieks Lizzie.
The coin somersaults in the air, Dougie catches it and smacks it down on the back of his left hand. ‘Heads.’ He pulls his fingers away and shows Lizzie.
‘Fuck,’ she says, quickly recovering her brio. ‘Best of three!’
She watches the coin spinning through the air and Del watches her watching. ‘Yes!’ Lizzie punches the air triumphant. ‘The tranny stays on.’
Dougie laughs through his nose and doesn’t seem too bothered, going back to sorting out the money.
At the end of the night, the bedroom is filled with cigarette smoke and mugs stained with cold tea and after a few false starts Dougie takes a deep breath and reckons they’ve made £62 221.
‘Fuck me,’ Lizzie’s eyes twinkle. ‘That’s enough cash to buy the whole of Northern Ireland and still have some change to buy that shitebox Dublin too.’
‘Aye,’ Dougie says. He rolls his neck and stretches his back. ‘There’ll be a few investments made over the next few days that’s fer sure.’
‘Time for a drink,’ Del says and grins.’
‘Too fucking right,’ says Jaz, laughing along. ‘I might even buy one of them Ladas, even though I cannae drive.’
Del wiggles a set of car keys at him. ‘I’ll take yeh hame son,’ he gets Jaz in a playful headlock, ‘but I’m sorry it’s no’ a Lada. There’s certain fuckin’ standards a man won’t go below.’