19:03 Wednesday 5th October 2005, Maya
glq kuy kro nw iksi kolo fro nw
Translation: do right and fear no-one
Old Punjabi saying
I could’t fault Matt’s commitment to the job, he had left before six this morning to rally the team and get the big store up and running. I parked up outside. The building was already looking much improved compared to the estate agent brochures. As I closed the door on the car I had ‘borrowed’ for the day, I noticed several workers who were carrying planks of wood into the store.
‘Oi! Watch it! That’s a loan and needs to stay in good nick,’ Matt was shouting, as one of his workforce almost knocked over a TV screen.
‘How’s it going?’ I asked.
‘The decoration is pretty much done. Hardware might take a little longer,’ Matt answered, ‘so we’re going for a few furlong races?’
‘It’s a nice setup. Race should be over in a minute to a minute and a half.’
‘I know I’ve been out of the game for a while, but I remember how long a furlong race lasts,’ Matt sarcastically said.
‘I know, just teasing’, I smiled. ‘So you got enough supplies to finish this place?’
‘You’ll know when I haven’t. Shouldn’t you be getting ready for the curtain roll?’ Matt asked barely waiting for an answer. ‘Would you guys watch it!’ he yelled, walking toward the same young man, who had just knocked another screen. I took the cue to leave.
I picked up Riley and Walter and we made our way to the first performance for our client. This was the clincher, we had him hooked but needed to reel him in for the magic to work.
‘You sure this is the place Walter?’ I asked as we drove up to a five star hotel.
‘Quite sure, sugar. The valet may not want to park this fine specimen you’re driving without a key.’
‘Who said I don’t have a key?’ I asked.
‘Really, since when do you use keys? Where exactly did you ‘borrow’ this car from?’ Riley asked.
‘Right here,’ I answered pulling into the hotel as the valet looked on. ‘Some rich kid this morning mistook me for a parking attendant and threw her keys at me. It seemed rude not to accept,’ I quipped exiting the car. ‘Thanks doll and remember to take it easy on the clutch,’ I told the parking attendant as I handed him the keys.
The social mixer Walter had been invited to was in a stunning suite supporting a clear vaulted roof and a decadent Art Deco.
‘Derek, so glad you could make it,’ said a white haired aristocrat type, who I assumed Walter had met at his Gentleman’s club.
‘Lovely to see you again Peter. This is my nephew John and his young friend, Kate,’ Walter gushed. Walter was like very few con artists, in that he was actually an artist. Watching him run an con was like watching Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa.
‘Come in, I’ll fix you some drinks. Albert’s in the lounge,’ directed Peter, handing us each a glass of champagne. Not to look to keen to meet our client, we waited for him to approach us.
‘Ahh, I thought that was you old boy. Welcome Derek,’ Albert said coming over and patting Walter on the back.
‘John, nice to see you again,’ Albert said, moving his eyes from Riley toward me, ‘and who is this vision?’
‘Good to see you too sir. This is Kate,’ Riley answered putting his arm around my waist.
‘I’m delighted to make your acquaintance,’ Albert drooled, leaning forward to kiss my hand. ‘Would you mind if I stole this bright young man, my dear?’
‘Be my guest,’ I answered.
Albert led Riley through the crowded room onto the mezzanine. They were chatting for a good twenty minutes and by the looks of things Albert was trying to get information from Riley.
‘That’s what I like to see. A client who does all the hard work himself,’ I said to Walter, pouring another glass of champagne.
For magic to work, the spell you cast has to be perfect. Our spell had worked and the veil of illusion cast. Riley had fed Albert a story claiming he worked for a syndicate company that had teamed up with five other syndicates during the last year. As a result, the company now owned all the runners in a single race, which meant they were able to determine which horses would win certain races, before the race started. With a good spell you have to appeal to your audience, tap into their desires. Riley had claimed he was too junior to get the information, although he was seeing a high class escort, Kate (me), who was escorting his boss and overheard key information regarding the winner for the next race. From there is was simple math, if you put £1000 on a 12-to-1 you get back £12,000 (which Riley claimed he had from the race that Golden Nugget had won). But if you put down £10,000, you get £120,000. Our client was under our spell and ready to front up some cash.