The Dunbar Case(28)
Author:Peter Corris


    It seemed to work out pretty much as Templeton had orchestrated it. I cooperated to the extent of helping him to recover his gun. Undercover police were given very wide terms of reference and Templeton hadn’t done anything too far outside the boundaries. Whether they believed he’d handcuffed Hector before he’d been executed I didn’t know, but they had two leading crime figures dead and one up on serious charges and were satisfied.

    When Roderick Fitzjames Templeton climbed into a police car and left the clearing outside the cave, that was the last I saw of him. I knew that, if the police bought his story, they’d protect him. They’d try not to use him as a witness against Joseph and, if they had to, they’d disguise him and give him a code name. W3 or some such. And then he’d disappear into the netherworld of undercover work. Or perhaps Jack Twizell’s theory was correct, and Templeton would just bide his time until he retired in comfort.

    Twizell’s parole was withdrawn. He faced charges of associating with criminals and was under investigation for his involvement in the death of Roy Flanagan. DNA analysis had confirmed the identity of the British backpacker. However, the state of his remains prevented any clear conclusion as to how he’d been killed and the investigation lapsed. So did the criminal association charge.

    It turned out that he’d had a nest egg tucked away that had financed him into a lease on his SUV and a short-term rental at the serviced apartments. He got the car back, paid the long-term parking fine I’d landed him with, and was soon driving around Newcastle looking for opportunities.

    Marisha came to Sydney to talk to her publisher and agent. We met up and spent a day and a night together. Inevitably, we talked a lot about what had happened.

    ‘Your friend Jack Twizell tried to tap me for money in return for information about what he called the showdown.’

    ‘That sounds right,’ I said. ‘What did you say?’

    ‘I told him to get lost. He’s a spiv, but you can’t help liking him a bit. I told him I’d got all the info I needed on that from you, which wasn’t quite true.’

    ‘How d’you mean?’

    ‘You didn’t use the bloody tape recorder.’

    I laughed. ‘The truth is I forgot about it, but it was no time with all those guns around for putting hands in pockets and fumbling for switches.’

    She went back to Newcastle and I took care of business. I got an email from Marisha telling me she’d applied for a job in Sydney and was hopeful. I wasn’t sure how things would go if she got it, but there were worse ways to spend time than with Marisha Henderson, author of The Tanners: Crime and family in Newcastle.

    I opened a file on the case and called it simply ‘Dunbar’. After a visit to Megan and Ben I walked through St Stephen’s cemetery again and looked at the monument, thinking that the wreck had claimed a few more victims.

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