For hours, Denny drove the ancient Land Rover over numerous back roads of the kind that Cooper and Jake had frequented before Lise brought them in. He didn’t doubt that the people he could see in the shadows intended to be there, avoiding discovery by anyone who might be looking for them. What he questioned was whether or not the silent, hard man who drove the antiquated SUV actually knew where to find Lise and Teresa.
Cooper looked to Rick, who was looking out the other side of the vehicle, his eyes studying the topography and the faces as they rolled past. Deciding that he could no longer wait, Cooper broke the silence and asked “Where are we going?”
Denny’s eyes never left the road as he stated ” A warehouse. It’s in the middle of no where. Our southern neighbors use it as a staging area for their ops here. It has a clearing where helicopters can go in and out. That’s how they plan on getting your fiancee and your wife to Toronto, where they will be put on a boat, and ferried across to the US.”
Cooper marveled at the matter-of-fact way Denny announced this, and how his own brain seemed to fill in the omitted “Everyone knows this.” at the end of Denny’s declaration. He barely started to ask “How…” when Denny, trying not to look perturbed, turned to him and said “Did you think Agent Roy was kidding when he said he wanted to help? They’ve known about this place for years. It’s under constant surveillance. You can say what you want about the RCMP, but they observe the Coventry rule better than any outfit I’m aware of, and the fact that we’re going to act on this information means that someone is going to lose their intelligence gathering capabilities. Roy’s got pull with his peers, and even some of his superiors…maybe even enough to avoid getting in trouble for using those connections to get us this information.”
Denny’s gaze returned to the road before him, and before another five minutes had passed, he pulled off to the side of the road, and put the Land Rover in park. He turned to Rick and Cooper and said “Right. The warehouse is less than a kilometer in that direction.” as he pointed to the right, where the trees were thick enough to obscure their view of anything. “I’ll go first and take out the sentries. Then you two can follow. Try to be quiet. I’m certain that they have a man advantage on us, but I’m equally certain that as long as we maintain the advantage of surprise, I can cut their advantage down to size.”
The three got out and checked their equipment, and then Denny quietly walked off toward the warehouse. Cooper watched him leave, then turned to Rick, who was checking ammunition and his knives. “You haven’t had much to say, Old Man.”
Rick holstered his knives, and looked at Cooper, his expression neutral, but his eyes smiling. “You remember that bit of Yankee poetry you used ta be fond of quotin’?” he asked Cooper. Cooper looked at him and asked “The hand that knows his work won’t be told to do it better or faster; those two things?” Rick nodded and said “Yup. That’s it.” He paused for effect, then said “That guy? He knows his work, and he’s a damn sight better at it than I’ll ever be, despite the best training available at Ma Benning’s Home for Wayward Boys.” Cooper paused. Coming from Rick, this was high praise, and he decided to let it go. Rick looked at his watch, and said “I reckon it’s been long enough. We should follow on, now.”
Lise could hear the sound of her own heart beating in her ears. She didn’t relish dying, but the idea that she would be used to lure the only man she ever loved to her death was more than she wanted to live with. She finished untying the ropes on Teresa’s wrists, and waited as Teresa untied those around her own wrists.
After they had each untied the ropes around their ankles, they stood up. Lise realized for the first time that they were about the same height. Teresa looked at Lise with a look of disdain, then allowed it to soften. “I see what he sees in you.” Teresa said quietly. Then, almost as an afterthought, she asked “Is he happy?”
Lise was caught off guard by the question, and by how earnestly it was asked. She replied softly “Yes. At least as much as can be expected.” Teresa nodded, then said “Ok. Let’s go save his life.” and she opened the door, only to find the guard on the floor, his lifeless eyes staring at the growing pool of blood running out of his body.