"You’ll Be the Second to Know" [Mr Martínez Twelve]
‘Did you call it in? The stop?’ Martínez poked the barrel further into Elizondo’s neck.
‘Of course, I did. Won’t be long now.’ Elizondo looked in the rear view mirror catching Martínez’s eye.
‘No chance, there’d be a helo overhead by now. The only things flying above us are some lost honey buzzards.’ He jerked the gun-barrel upwards, just enough to make Elizondo grip the wheel tighter and cause the SUV to swerve slightly.
‘I didn’t have you down as an ornitologo,’ The policeman said.
‘A man has to have a hobby. Especially in retirement.’
‘You retired? You are very young, Señor Martínez. What did you do?’
‘I was a deliverance man.’
‘You mean delivery.’
‘No, I delivered people from the evils of life. Whether they wanted it or not.’
‘Why are they looking for you?’
‘I’m going to take the gun from the back of your neck now. Don’t do anything stupid. You seem like a guy who’d like to enjoy the evils of life a little longer.’
Martínez sat back in the seat, let out a long sigh. Elizondo chanced a brief look over his shoulder.
‘Don’t.’ He brought the pistol up. ‘The safety catch is off. Drive carefully. One jolt and the gun might go off on its own.’
‘For me. I’ll tell you where you can drop me off later.’
The Teniente drove in silence north on the Ruta Nacional 401 past Toledo before hitting the A-42 for Getafe. Martínez gave Elizondo a gold star for avoiding the toll roads. As they were approaching the communidad de Madrid, he told him to take exit 14 off the 42, and head for Getafe Industrial.
‘The Cercanias train into Madrid? They’ll have people at Atocha waiting for you. Five minutes after you get out of the vehicle.’
‘I could shoot you first.’
‘But will you?’
‘You’ll be the second to know…’
In the car lot in front of the TRYP hotel Los Angeles was deserted. Martínez applied the safety catch. No point shooting a hole in the roof. He cold-cocked the Guardia Civil with the pistol butt, as soon as he’d put the stick-shift in neutral. He searched Elizondo’s pockets until he found a pen-knife, which made short work of the tie-wrap cuffs. He walked out to the main road and held out a thumb, whilst walking alongside.
No-one stopped before he got to a bus-stop with one waiting. Perhaps the driver was early, or not late enough. Either way the bus was going to Getafe Central. He could catch a bus to Madrid from there. No-one ever expected fugitives to take the bus.
Linea 456 was a circular, just stopping off at Getafe Central. Martínez sat up front, asked the driver to wake him up when the bus got to La Estacion de Autobuses Central. It seemed a good place to leave Rueda’s cell, so he stuffed it down the back of the seat, after switching it on. It was just after five. The bus was half-full. He closed his eyes, and dreamed of sleep.