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April 27, 2017

UNDERCOVER

UNDERCOVER

They said he’d have a sign. A placard printed with his name in thick black letters. Ladislaw Polk. What they don’t tell Weston is what the bloody chap looks like. Without a hint of description, he could be any one of the arrivals. A spare figure of a fellow or beefy? Bearded or stubble-free?

He expects more from Scotland Yard, but this time he suspects some Metropolitan bloke spent overtime in the loo and missed the chief’s briefing on Polk. A field man, Weston is already out on the street; in fact, he is at the baggage station at Heathrow, waiting for the Yard to give him a bell, but no joy there. Not a peep from his mobile. He keeps it nestled in his side pocket. 

Why attempt a conspicuous move that might alert Polk? For all Police Constable Edward Weston knows, the killer could well be poking his hidden revolver at him, breaths away from squeezing the trigger.

This time in desperation Weston tries giving a bell to the Chief. No one answers.


Out from the crowd, gripping an overnight valise, a man walks smilingly toward him. Weston reads “Ladislaw Polk” on the white placard before Polk rests it against the revolving baggage carousel. He is tall, imperially slim, clean-shaven.
“Might you help me? It appears I am carrying too much baggage today.”

                                                ###

 “Polk, the best of them?”

The bobbies nod in unison like carnival clown dolls.

Chief Constable counters with quick shakes of his shiny head. Finally, he snaps the pencil he is twirling finger to finger and says, “Weston fooled us all. Took us for barmy fools. You know what ticks me more than most anything in this job.”

Again, the bobbing heads.

“A good man, years of service high on the honor pole, and one day he wakes up, sees there’s a world out there filled with euros for the taking-- millions of them! And he puts himself under the hot lights of his own self-grilling where each question “Why” grows easier to ask, “Why not?”

All heads turn to the telephone on the desk of the chief who, without speaking, holds it to his ear.

On the other end, Polk says, “It was a delightful trip.”

The chief is relieved.

“Difficulties?”

“None,” says Polk. “I got lost in the crowd.”





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