A Very Fine Solution IV (and the other half)
The Policia Local turned up first, brought in by a shaking private security guard. The owners of the gated community would no doubt get rid of someone who had dared let something so messy happen. The only word spoken was “Papeles”. I drew out a passport, it had my picture in it. My wallet was still in my trouser pocket: I hoped I'd get a chance to dump the identity card in it before I reached the police cells. The Local grabbed the passport, looked me up and down. The pistol he was pointing seemed to make him more nervous than me.
Two Guardia Civil made a standard TV movie police entrance: too much noise and lots of waving of pistols in a double-handed grip at corners high and low. I hoped the safeties were on. They spotted the Local's gun pointing at me and the barrels settled on a target at last.
The taller of the two grunted a question;
The Local spat, it wasn't going to ruin the carpet. 'Solo pasaporte.'
He grunted again. It could have meant anything.
The cuffs went on. The shorter Guardia went for a wander round the crime scene. I managed not to laugh.
The Local offered the remaining Guardia a cigarette. They both lit up. The Local started to offer the packet and got a blow on the shoulder for his trouble.
'Afuera, tu!' the tall guy said.
I didn't move.
'Ow – seye,' he pointed to the door and gave me a shove to help me on my way.
Outside the building an ambulance had drawn up by the bougainvillea. A scene of crime wagon was parked behind it. I was expecting Cajal to turn up. He didn't . The short guy came out of the building entrance and waved the medics and the SOCO team in. The Guardia put me in their 4x4: in the back. They got in the front and started smoking and discussing 'the case'. They hadn't been expecting to find 'David Somerset' at the scene, but it seemed any Englishman would do. I'd been cuffed in front, so I managed to get my wallet out of my front trouser pocket and jam it into the seat where the back joined the bit under my arse. A few hundred euros went with it, but I had to get rid of my semi-legal ID.
The car pulled up at Guardia Civil's Marbella site in Legantos and the two goons booked me in as Somerset. I didn't get a phone call. Not then. The cell was quite comfortable and I went to sleep.
My dream about Penelope Cruz and some raspberries was cruelly interrupted when the door opened. A man in a suit followed his extended hand into the cell.
'Domenech, Mr Somerset. I'm here to inform you of your rights. I take it the police haven't done so?'
I shook his hand, he was a tubby, balding chap, smiling round ill-fitting teeth. Most lawyers could afford better dentistry, in my experience.
'They did, but in Spanish. I pretended I didn't know any,' I said.
'Was that wise?'
'I needed somewhere to sleep.'
He laughed and his denture slipped. 'So you have called another lawyer? No, of course not.'
'You'll do. I'd like you to phone the Consul. Tell him to contact the FCO in Madrid. The message is Somerset.'
'They can hold you for 72 hours without charge, you know.'
He looked uncertain, as if he had expected me to be terrified or a strait-jacketed axe-murderer.
'They can try. They don't seem in any hurry to get me in front of a judge, though, do they?'
'Ah no, no they don't. Is there anyone...'
'No, no there isn't.' I laughed and lay down on the cot.
'Right... right. I'll just...'
I cut him off; 'Somerset. Don't forget, hey?'
He looked relieved to be leaving and a Guardia slammed the door shut as soon as the fat little man had done so.
The fat lawyer didn't waste any time, I was released three hours later, just before being escorted before a judge. I gave a false address and collected the Somerset passport, although I didn't keep it long. Despite rolling up my sleeve way past the elbow, I got some foul smelling vegetable matter on my shirt when I shoved the useless document deep into a wheely-bin. A familiar laugh made me look up as I was brushing the material down. Cajal was standing in front of an unmarked but expensive BMW.
'Need a lift, old chap?'
'Why not?' I asked him.
At least he didn't put me in the back.
'Banus?' He raised an eyebrow à la Roger Moore and I thought what an affected bastard he was.
'I don't care, you can buy me lunch, though.'
'Not Banus then.'
He drove well, manoeuvring the big car through the taxis, hire cars and limousines until we got to the Autopista. He headed west to La Cañada shopping mall, then turned north and inland.
'Where're we going?' I asked.
'We need to talk.' he said.
'I do, you need to listen.'
He turned the radio up loud and punched a button to get rid of the Flamenco and replace it with the soundtrack of someone's life: some turgid electro-pap from the Eighties. I wondered just how British Cajal wanted to be.