Austin Bevis was gradually starting to feel as if he hadn’t been away as he walked round his old manor in the East End of London. After all it was five years since he had been locked up in Wormwood Scrubs prison. He carried a brown paper parcel which contained his personnel items he had been given before he was released. He had brought out one item which the prison authorities would have loved to get there hands on if they had known what it was. To them it would have looked like a daily diary, to Austin it was his revenge information written in his own private code.
‘Hi Austin, is it really you? I didn’t recognise you at first you look thinner, but healthier than you used to be.’ Shorty Dugdale had spotted Austin as he came out of Joe’s Café on the corner of Stanley Road.
Shorty was one of the East End of London characters Austin remembered well. Everyone knew Shorty around the manor. He was harmless enough but Austin knew he kept a lot of secrets to himself as life insurance. Shorty was a runner for anyone who wanted a message delivered. Especially for dodgy characters that were tied up with gangland business in the area.
‘Yeh it’s me alright Shorty. Still operating around here I see? What’s the word on the street about me then?’
‘Don’t say I told you Austin but Big Ed Roydon aint pleased. He thought you would be kept inside for another five years or maybe longer.’
‘Well I’ve been a good boy ain’t I? They thought I was the best behaved prisoner they ever had so they let me out early. I’m really glad that Big Ed’s not a happy bunny, the lying toad. See how prison educates you Shorty, I mean five years ago I would have used much stronger language than that wouldn’t I?’
Glancing nervously around, Shorty whispered; ‘Will you be visiting Big Ed then Austin. If you do I’d be careful. I think he’s got something lined up for you. A surprise you might say.’
‘Don’t worry about me and Big Ed Shorty. I’m more interested how Sheila is. Where’s she living now? I want to see her.’
Sheila had been Austin’s woman before he was sent to prison, but he hadn’t seen hide or hair of her while he was inside. He had heard stories about her but nothing positive. Shorty hesitated and looked down at his feet and at a cigarette packet lying nearby then kicking it into the gutter said in a whining way;
‘Austin you’ve been away a long time and you know what women are like, especially women like Sheila.’
Austin grabbed Shorty’s lapels and pulled him to him and brought Shorty’s face up close to his, saying;
‘Why what’s happened? Where is she? It better not be bad news.’
‘It….its Big Ed. She shacked up with him when you went inside. I heard that she was made to believe that you did deal in those drugs and that you let her down. Apparently Big Ed was good to her and calmed her down. I don’t know what her physical relationship is with Big Ed. She doesn’t look very happy when I see her so perhaps she is forced into doing things that she dislikes. I just don’t know Austin.’
Austin pushed Shorty away and brushed his lapels to straighten them.
‘She does like her own way a lot which I always put down to her being a red head. And if she looks unhappy then there’s gotta be a good reason, and maybe it’s why she didn’t visit me seeing as Big Ed is involved.’ Austin said mainly for his own benefit.
Then putting his arm around Shorty’s shoulder he whispered menacingly in his ear;
‘Where is she?’
Shorty looked up at Austin and mumbled; ‘Big Ed’s got a new night club. She sings in it, you know she has a good voice and ………..’
‘Never mind the rest where’s this club?’
Shorty told him and Austin turned and walked off, leaving Shorty staring after him and nearly wetting himself.
Austin had got involved in a lot of dodgy deals in his time, but one thing he never touched was drugs – dealing or otherwise. But Big Ed had set him up five years ago and arranged for drug residue to be put in his coat pocket. Then some bags of the stuff in the spare tyre well in his car. It was obvious the police would find it after they were tipped off. Big Ed had wanted him out of the way bad as Austin had a reputation that if he did see drug dealing he would intervene and stop it. He wanted a drug free manor. He had seen the result of kids taking them and it was when his cousin got hooked that he got angry, really angry, but there were others that got even angrier.
The next morning, after having spent the night at his old apartment and settling in, he made his way to Big Eds new club. The main door wasn’t locked, so pushing it open he walked in. He stood looking around at the elaborate and classy décor. The inside was
half in darkness but he could see and feel the floor was carpeted, except for an area over by the stage, presumably a dance area. A lot of money had been spent in doing the place up. There were thirty or more round black sparkly tables and chairs dotted around the room. A long black granite bar with chrome bar stools in front took up most of one side of the room. A barman was moving about behind it moving bottles and glasses around. Where the dance area was at the far end there was a stage with a piano and drum set on it; but what pulled him up in his tracks was the girl leaning over a piano player and pointing at a sheet of music. He walked slowly down until he was close to the girl then said;
‘Hello Sheila, are you pleased to see me?’
The girl looked up, shocked at seeing him and gulped before answering;
‘Austin, I didn’t know you were out, why didn’t you let me know; I could have met you and driven you back.’
Austin stepped on to the stage and nodded at the pianist, indicating he should leave them alone. The pianist got up and shuffled his sheet music and said to Sheila.
‘I’ll see you later about the rest of the songs for tonight.’ and hurried off towards the bar.
‘Well well Sheila, you have done well. I take it Big Eds the one to thank for all this.’ and cast his hand around the club; ‘I suppose you have been busy otherwise you might have visited me. It certainly doesn’t appear that you have missed me. I mean not even a visit in the last five years must have meant that.’
Sheila felt sick and hot and cold at the same time, but managed to say;
‘I tried to get to see you Austin, but I was stopped from doing so. I was told that if I did it would be the last thing I did. And my Mother would get hurt. But I am so glad to see you.’
‘Yeh,Yeh I know you are. I take it Big Eds not around then at present? Has he still got Benny and Gormless Georgie in tow to carryout out his dirty deeds?’
‘He doesn’t come in until tonight. He goes to bed this time of day, and yes he still has those two goons around him.’
‘Good at least I know my opposition.’ replied Austin. Sheila walked up to Austin and said; ‘I really did miss you, you know. I had to just keep hoping that I would see you again one day. Austin held her by the shoulders and saw a look of fear and sadness in her eyes. He said;
‘Don’t worry about it Shell it will be alright soon. I’m off now but I’ll see you later. Just concentrate on your singing for now.’ and walked out of the club.
Austin had found out a lot of information about Big Ed when he was inside prison. He had met several inmates who owed their incarceration to him and were not averse to tell him about his movements. There was Ozzie Finn who had worked for Big Ed at times but then been caught in a drug trap the same as Austin, and he had told Austin about where Big Ed lived and his security arrangements. He had told him how to get into Big Ed’s apartment as he had found out his pass code. He also told him about the complete disappearance of a friend of his, Jermayn Hollis. He was last seen in a car with a couple of Big Ed’s goons being driven away and never seen again.
Then there was Herbie Winkleman who used to sell Big Ed cheap whiskey obtained illegally. He had discovered that Big Ed watered down the whiskey to get more out of it and when Big Ed thought he was going to spill the racket he got angry and set him up for drug dealing like the others. He had told Austin where Big Ed kept his large amount of cash in his apartment as he had seen him take it out of a wall safe to pay him for the whiskey. He also knew where he stored his drugs in his apartment as well. Austin had written all this information in his Diary of Revenge ready for the right time. The right time was now.
Big Ed’s security was poor. There was no sign of Benny and Gormless Georgie when Austin arrived at Big Ed’s apartment. He had no trouble getting in, thanks to Ozzy Finn’s information, all the curtains were drawn and Austin could hear loud snoring coming from the bedroom. He crept over and looked into the bedroom and saw Big Ed fast asleep and snoring loudly. But he wasn’t alone. There was a girl in bed with him, also fast asleep, it must have been one of his pickups, or perhaps he was pimping now as well.
Austin found the safe and as he was an expert safe cracker it didn’t cause him any problem opening it. Inside he found around £50,000 in bank notes, which he pocketed. He then found the stash of drugs that Herbie had told him about. He went back to the bedroom and put his hand over the girls mouth waking her immediately. He whispered for her to get her clothes and leave, giving her £200 to stop her complaining. After that it was plain sailing. When Austin left Big Ed’s apartment he was smiling and said to himself.
‘That’ll teach the lying toad a lesson. I just hate Liars.’
Austin went straight back to the Swan Club, and after telling Sheila to wait for him went into Big Ed’s office and found £250,000 in his safe. Going back to Sheila he said;
‘You won’t be having any problems with Big Ed for a long time, or his two goons Shell. How do you Fancy a long long holiday in the sun?’ and taking her by the hand, led her out of the club.
When the police arrived at Big Ed’s apartment later that day after a mysterious tip off, they found him tied up and dozing naked, sitting on the toilet. He had packets of drugs taped around his body and covering his personal parts. There were more drug packets down the toilet pan and a box of sleeping tablets on the floor in front of him. Around his neck was hung a sign which said “I AM A LIAR – I do trade in drugs and I Pimp as well. I am a crook and arrange for people to be jailed for drug dealing.” On the floor by his feet was a half used bottle of whiskey with a note saying “Try My Watered down Whiskey, it’s very cheap. Oh and another thing ask me about Jermayn Hollis who I got my goons Benny and Gormless Georgie to dispose of.