Coasting Chapter 10
Monday morning came early for George Gully, he was used to the phone cutting into the few hours of sleep he got. A shooting in Southport not fatal but quite nasty, a bloke took a gunshot wound to the left foot, was the vague message relayed to him, he took the call in his stride and offered a noise rather than a comment down the line, about ninety minutes later he received his second call of the night.
“Severe gun shot wound to the left foot,” the caller told him.
“Yeah, yeah, I know about that; Southport.”
“No Guv, this is Broadwater, and you might be interested in this one.”
“Why? Who?” He asked shaking the sleep from his head.
“Peter ‘Dolly’ Dawson,” the voice told him.
“Well, well.” He said hanging up.
Dave and Paul were passing through Coff’s Harbour when Charlie phoned them. It was the early hours of Monday morning.
“Fuck,” said Dave, “he’s on to us.”
“What does he know? Does he know what were driving, where were going?” Paul was driving, smoking with the window open.
“Let’s assume he does.”
“Who told him?”
“Gav. How the fuck did he find Gav so quickly? Why the fuck did Gav fucking shop us?”
Detective Inspector Gully found Dawson in a private ward in the Allamanda Private Hospital on Nerang Road. It was early and still dark outside and Dawson was out for the count, but Gully woke him up.
“Well, well Dolly, they never said you was armless, but they can now say you’re footless.” Gully chuckled at his little joke. There was no love lost between them.
Dawson was barely conscious. “What do you want Mr. Gully? Dawson asked.
“I want to know who done it.” Gully said, pulling a chair up to the side of Dawson’s bed. “I want help you get the bastard.”
“I don’t know who done it.”
“So someone you’ve never met walks into your front room and blows your foot off?”
“Something like that.”
“Why did he blow your foot off?”
“I don’t know, they didn’t tell me.”
“They? So there was more than one?”
“I don’t remember.”
Dawson gave him precious little information, and Gully left to drift of into oblivion and went in search of the other gunshot victim. He found Gavin drooling just up the road in the Southport Hospital in a very similar state. Gav wasn’t known to the police, but Gully knew that Dave Williams worked for him and Paul was driving Dawson’s car- a coincidence, Gully didn’t think so; this was already fitting together quite nicely.
“Gavin, despite being drugged up to the eyeballs, was a lot more cooperative than Dawson, Gully couldn’t stop him talking.
“There was four of ‘em, three blokes and a Sheila…….they wanted to know where Paul Williams was…….” There it was the last little piece.
“And where is Paul Williams?” Gully asked.
“On his way to Sydney in an Avis hire car, paid for with my fucking credit card.”
This was going to be too easy. He left Gavin who was still talking.
“………I got one barrel, and they blew Rachel to the shit house with the other.
“Who’s Rachel? Gully asked at the door.
“Doesn’t matter.” And Gavin finally shut up.
Gully was on his way to Coolangatta airport when his phone rang. It was Chris Long from East Brisbane.
“George its Chris Long, how are you? I understand that you’ve had a couple of shootings down there last night.
“Yeah similar MO.”
“We had the gunfight at the OK Canal in Lyton last night. One bloke has half his face missing, and two others have multiple gunshot wounds, one bloke has lost half his foot.”
“It’s a fucking epidemic!” He turned his car around and drove back down the M1 and was outside the shed on O’Keeffe Street just in time for breakfast.
Lofty Long was a short balding bloke who had been with the force for twenty years and still took his job very seriously, not as experienced as Gully, but a first year apprentice could see there had been a bit of a dust up here last night.
“Who found it?” Asked Gully.
“Local Securicor does a 360 of the area every couple of hours, they found the bloody mess.” Lofty told him, and in the cold light of day it was a bloody mess; spent cartridge and brass shell casing covered the ground like confetti. And blood was everywhere and in the centre of the carnage was the maroon Jag he’d seen Paul Williams driving less than a week ago.
“You’ve spoken to them?” Gully asked
“Yeah but they’re Rag heads ‘don’t speaka de Inglis.’” Lofty mimicked.
“They clam up, don’t collaborate, sort it all out in house.” They walked through the shed.
“The Jag is owned by Dolly Dawson, local villain, and Paul Williams was driving it on the coast last week; Dolly was one of my first visit this morning, won’t be wearing thongs this summer, the second was Gavin White, no form but he employs Dave Williams, Paul’s brother occasionally; and Gavin last saw Dave and Paul last night at Coolangatta airport heading south in hire car from Avis that Gavin paid for on his credit card.”
“Does it get any easier? Let’s go and get ‘em” Lofty said.
If anything Charlies phone call had done them a favour; they left the car in a shopping centre in Coff’s Harbour and caught the bus to Newcastle. They weren’t exactly travelling light, a holdall with the money weigh enough and they had all of their worldly possessions with them too, but the bus wasn’t crowded and they spread themselves out and slept all the way down to Newcastle.
They arrived at Queens Street station at just after eight, about the same time as Lofty and Gully left Lytton, it was a grey damp morning and both complained about how much they hated New South Wales. There were plenty of cheap motels in the area that would take cash over a credit card and they booked into one and wondered what this day would bring.
Russell reluctantly left Wes at the hotel; he had forged another gay friendship and was feeling quite pleased with himself as he walked home, that was until he saw the Bentley sitting outside his house. He recognised the car immediately; he had seen it at the hotel in the Valley. ‘What does he want?’ he said to himself, but he didn’t want to find out, he done an about face and quickly returned the hotel.
Charlie was sitting in Russell’s front room he had slept for a few hours and was enjoying breakfast in front of the telly; he was watching the news on Russell’s giant flat screen, it was a slow news day and the shooting in Brisbane was one of the lead stories.
“Police are looking for these two men,” the announcer droned and the faces of the Williams boys were splashed across the screen.
“So that who I’m looking for.” Charlie said to himself.
The Doc and Brad were on their way down the Pacific Highway looking for a grey Camry, Gav gave them all the details he could, he sang like a budgie after they blasted Rachel, but as they approached Sydney what seemed like a needle in a haystack mission became mission impossible.
They phoned Charlie from filling station in Hornsby to say that they had found no sign of the car or the brothers. He told them to stay there he was coming down and his two sons’ were coming up from Melbourne.
Charlie’s phone call was the only mistake he had made, but he was beginning to think it was going to cost him.
Russell phoned Dawson a couple of times but had no luck and then during the course of the morning he heard that Dawson had been shot. Information was sketchy but apparently while he was exploring his new boyfriend there had been fireworks all over the coast of a completely different nature. Russell knew that the Bentley belonged to Charlie Jennings, Russell wanted Dawson, to nail Jennings, but things had obviously been turned around and now Charlie who had topped Dawson was looking for him, and he didn’t think Dolly Dawson would have a lot of sympathy for him either when he got out of hospital.
Russell Cooper was in deep shit, he had been up to his nuts in it last night, but this was serious shit.
Another couple of blokes who were starting to feel very similar were the Williams boys. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw there photos on the box.
“Holy Fuck, the whole fucking country is looking for us.” Paul yelled. The pictures being distributed were fairly old they showed Paul with a goatee and Dave with a moustache, and both had short hair, Dave had long since lost the mo and Paul now sported a full beard, they were both average height and average build and their hair was longer than shown; unless they were put under the microscope it would be difficult to pin them, but together they might be an easier target so they decided to split.
‘Who’s taking the money? Dave asked.
“Split it.” Paul said, it had been the top of his questions to ask too. Two and a half million dollars will test the best of friendships. They left the motel at midday and went in separate direction and met at a telecom shop and bought a new phone each. Paul caught the train to Sydney and Dave returned to the Queen Street terminal and caught the Ferry across to Hunter Street and the Newcastle Yacht club.
At about the same time a police car reported finding the Avis car in a supermarket car park and a stake out began. A short time after the car was found Lora’s contact in the force informed her of the finding and she in turn phoned Charlie, who had given up on Russell Cooper coming home and was on his way to the airport, and they all caught the two o’clock City Shuttle to Sydney.
Russell scampered around from one location to another he knew Charlie was after him he knew Dawson was going to something nasty to him, he had to get out of town he had some money and put a few things together and returned to the Watermark Hotel and was disappointed to find that Wes was no longer there. But he booked a room and made a few phone calls
Paul spent the afternoon on the train and got into Sydney a little after three. He went to Myers in George Street and bought some clothes, he needed to look the part, and after an hour in there he went to the barbers and had a trim and a shave, he changed in the public toilet at the station and caught a taxi to The Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Lavender Bay.
He wasn’t a member but on a Monday evening in March they were pleased to see anybody, he was signed in and made his way to the bar and in less than a minute he saw what he was looking for.
FAST LONG DISTANCE CRUISING YACHT
Launched in 1992 Refit 2005
Priced to sell
Contact Brad Craigshaw
And there was a phone number. Paul took his glass to the window and looked out over Lavender Bay and waited for his call to be answered, it was after the third ring. Paul arranged a meeting and then called Dave.
The afternoon had turned a bit brisk and whitecaps were chopping up Sydney Harbour he shuddered involuntarily, then Dave answered.
“Dave I might have found something.”
“That’s was quick.”
“I thought so too, but we haven’t got it yet. I’m meeting him in an hour. No luck over there?”
“Not at the first place I went to, I’m heading out to Swansea, I’m told they might have something.”
“I’ll let you know how I go.” Paul hung around the club for an hour before Craigshaw turned up he was very business like but a bit flustered He was younger than Paul and his hand told him he didn’t work for a living. They shook hands and they took their drinks to a table by the window.
“Its very strange, I’ve not had a single enquiry on the boat since the end of the summer and I get two calls about it in the space of an hour.”
“So what are you saying there competition and the price might go up?” Asked Paul getting just a bit annoyed,
“No, no nothing like that.” Brad quickly replied, “I usually lease it out and we go up the coast, sometimes to Queensland and occasionally all the way to Maggie Island, usually after the Mardi Grad. I take a few couples up the coast and we have a bit of a frolic, you know, and just before you called a friend of mine called me and wants to know if I can take him on a bit of an autumn escape.” He explained. Paul had him pinned as a shirt lifter and was a bit taken aback with him, but none the less he saw an excellent opportunity.
“Why don’t I come with you; we sail up to wherever you want to pick this bloke up and we head on up the coast and we learn how to handle her on the way. Sound good? Paul asked
“Sounds wonderful,” said Craigshaw.
“Can you sail?” Paul was asked.
“No but I’m pretty good on a surfboard.” Paul replied smiling.
Craigshaw smiled, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of Paul, but he liked what had been suggested after all he couldn’t crew her on his own.
“Where is she; can I have a look?” Paul asked
“Of course,” said Craigshaw, and they finished their drinks and walked down to the quay and along to the marina. The wind was blowing quite hard down there and it had become a very wintry afternoon, it was a brisk ten minute walk, but when Paul saw the boat he was impressed with what he saw.
“How much are you asking?” Paul asked
“Two thirty, but I’m open to offers.”
They went on board and the more Paul saw the more he like her, the stateroom was very comfortable as was the master bedroom, they spent an hour onboard kicking the tyres.
“I like the idea of a steel hull.” Paul confided, “I can weld and it’s a lot easier to repair that other types of construction.”
Craigshaw nodded then added “She is fully kitted out for deepwater; GPS, Silva Compass, Navman Depth Sounder; punch in a destination and the computer will give you a heading, couldn’t be easier. Why don’t I show you?”
Paul smiled “Why don’t you indeed.”
“I have to go home and get a few things and I’ll be back here at six. We can head out of here tonight if you like.
Craigshaw left and Paul got his bags together and they were both back at the Yacht club at six; just about the same time the police called off their stake out of the grey Toyota at Shopping Centre in Coffs Harbour.
The water was quite choppy but Craigshaw seemed unconcerned by the weather or the time.
“Are you ready?” He asked as they stowed the last of the provisions he had brought. “I keep quite a full galley pantry on board as I never know when I might get one of these calls, but you always need milk and some fresh produce, don’t you?” he asked
“Absolutely.” Paul agreed
“I’ve brought some extra wet weather gear it might get a bit rough running up the coast. You’re about my size.”
“I’ve got a request Brad; my brother is in Newcastle doing the same as me, looking for a boat, I seem to have found what we want. I’ve called him he’s at the Swansea Yacht Club; would it be possible to pick him up?” And again Craigshaw seemed quite happy to oblige
“Not a problem. I know where that is, I’ve been there a few times, but we won’t get there until the early hours. Where does he want to meet us?”
Paul made another phone call and a pick up point was arranged
They untied her and they slipped from their mooring and under motor power they headed out into the main channel, as the passed under the Harbour Bridge Craig started to give orders and Paul found himself understanding what he meant, he was a natural; well at least he thought he was, and as they past through Sydney Heads they were under full sail reaching into the wind and Craigshaw set course for Swansea.
Charlie was livid, his trail had gone cold all of his informants had nothing to offer, the phone call had been his big mistake. He stood at the window of the suite he was staying in and looked out across the harbour and in the fading light he saw a yacht sailing under the bridge; all of a sudden he felt very tired. He picked up his phone.
“Lora, book me on that Jetstar flight back to Maroochydore please luv.”
Charlie had had enough for one day he was going home.
In Brisbane George Gully was wrapping up another long day. It had started with so much promise, but now 14 hours later, there was nothing to show for all of their effort.
“Prints in the car are a match for David and Paul Williams,” Lofty had informed him.
“Well they would, wouldn’t they, they hired the car! Tell me something I don’t know, like where the hell are they.” Gully replied irritably.”
“Tomorrow George, we’ll find them tomorrow.”
Gully got up from his desk and walked to the window looked out across to the helipad where a police chopper was taking off into the night sky;
“Yeah and pigs will fly.”