Chapter 12 – New Beginnings

Marcus made sure that his ticket was in a secure place, along with his other winning tickets and left the pub. Despite being over 120 million dollars richer, he still had an uneasy feeling. There was still the matter of John. When he got back home he would realise that Leon and James had done a runner and that he, Mary and the kids were no longer there also. Would he send people out looking for them? Maybe. He needed to come up with a plan. But for now, they would have to lay low until they could get to the city on Monday morning to collect his winnings from the head office of the totaliser board.

He arrived at the cabin to find that Mary and the kids were not there. His heart sank. How could he have been so stupid to send them off on their own? He got too caught up in trying to get his bets on. “Dad, dad” he could hear one of the boys yelling out. He turned around and saw them splashing about in the swimming pool and Mary was on a deckchair reading the newspaper. He had never felt so relieved in his life. He walked over and gave them all another big hug. He felt like he never wanted to let go. They all finally sat down by the pool. “So what happened” asked Mary.

“Well, this is what I did”. He proceeded to tell her about the pub, the horses and how his horse only just won the last leg.

“Hang on. Did you say 120 million?” she asked.

“Well, to be technical around 120 million plus about sixty thousand. Oh and I have around four thousand in my pocket. See” he showed her the fat wad of fifty dollar bills.

“So where is the money, the 120 million?” she asked.

“I have the ticket. We need to go into Melbourne on Monday morning to cash it in. I still can't believe we did it. We are rich!”

“What about John and the others?”

“Yes well I was thinking we go straight to the police in Melbourne after we cash the ticket. If we go to the local police there, you never know, they might know him. You know how country towns work”

“Ok, but do you think he will come looking for us?”

“Maybe. But where can he look? We could be anywhere by now. Let's go on a holiday, a long one. Wherever we want. Where have you always wanted to go?”

“I never really have thought about it. Maybe Asia? Europe? What do you think?”

“How about all of them? Anyway, we need to celebrate. Let's go out for dinner tonight. What would you guys like?”

The mood in John's car was sombre to say the least. They drove back almost in silence. After they got out of the traffic in the city and hit the highway, John said “Give the boys a call. Tell them we are on the way”

“Take my phone and give them a bell if you like. Otherwise I will need to pull over to the side. What are we doing about their money? You going to pay them still?”

“Yeah ok. Well unless you want to both of us to get shot, I would say yes we pay them”

John took Jimmy's phone and called Leon's number. It rang out and went to voicemail. John didn't leave a message. He tried again shortly after, but got the same result.

“They aren't answering”

“He will probably call you back in a minute”

Back in Melbourne, Leon and Jimmy were pacing in their hotel room. They couldn't find a direct flight to Auckland from Melbourne for the night or the next day, the only real option was the Sunday night flight out of Sydney.

“We need to get out of here, like now” said James.

“I know. Let's hire a car and head to Sydney. Best we not fly just in case John starts looking for us. Where can we find a hire car at this time of night though?”

“The airport I guess” said James.

“Good idea. Call a taxi, grab your shit and let's go. I will dump the car around the corner first though”

Just as James was calling the taxi, Leon's phone rang. “Shit” it was John. He didn't answer it. It rang again. He decided to switch it off. They were out of here, John would find out as soon as he got home anyway. Leon took his phone out to the balcony and stomped all over it, smashing it to pieces. He then took the sim card out and put it in his pocket.

“Why the hell did you do that?”

“John was calling. Now hurry up”

Marcus, Mary and the kids decided to go to the local Australian Rules football club for dinner. They had a nice buffet, and a play area for the kids. After eating, the kids went off into the games room and Marcus and Mary went to the bar to get a drink.

“What are we doing tomorrow?” Asked Mary.

“We should lay low. Have a swim, go to bed early and then head into Melbourne in the morning. If we get there early we can miss the traffic and have breakfast before going to collect”

“I really should call mum and dad. They would be pretty worried”

“Should be ok I guess. Use the payphone here. Tell them we are fine. If they ask, do not under any circumstances tell them where we are. Say we are in Adelaide or something, that's what I told Dave”

“Ok, sure” said Mary and set off looking for a phone.

She came back not long after. “It's all good” she said. “I told them we will be back next week some time”.

John tried calling Leon's phone again. This time it went straight to message bank. “He's switched it off”

“Hmm that's odd” said Jimmy. “Maybe he is out of battery”

“I doubt it. Something is up. Move it”

Jimmy put his foot down and the Lexus purred. It wasn't long before they had reached the driveway. They both glanced at each other when they saw that the gate was open. Now John was sure something had gone wrong. “Could it be the cops?” asked Jimmy.

“Nah. They would have called us or something. Everyone knows where we are each Saturday”

When they pulled up to the farm house it was almost dark, and there were no lights on in the house. “Don't go into the garage. Park outside, let's have a good look around” said John. Jimmy stopped the car near the front door and started to walk towards the rear of the house, and the bungalow. It too was in darkness. “Shit, where is everybody?” remarked Jimmy.

“Look. The door”

They got to the front door of the bungalow and and could clearly see it had been forced open. Jimmy pulled out his handgun and slowly entered. He switched on the light and they could see Marcus's tool bag still open, and some tools on the floor. John went down the hallway and entered Marcus's room.

“Jimmy, come here, have a look at this”

Jimmy also entered the room and they saw the lamp sitting by the bedside table. “What the hell?” said Jimmy, almost to himself. There were still bits and pieces of clothing that Marcus had left behind also.

“I told those blokes to get rid of all of this shit after they got rid of him”

“Mate, are you blind or stupid?” roared John. “It's bloody obvious they didn't do it. Both the boys and that idiot are long gone. Shit”

“What about Andy?” asked Jimmy.

“What about him?”

“Well he would have called us if things went askew”

“Who knows. Maybe he was in on it too”

They left the bungalow and went into the garage of the farm house. Jimmy turned and looked at John “Was the Ford here this morning?”

John nodded his head. “Of course it bloody was. Let's have a look upstairs”

They both rushed up the stairs and immediately knew what had happened. The door of the room in which Mary and the boys were being held had also been busted open, and there was no sign of Andy. “Check the other room. I will check my room” said John.

John went into the master bedroom. 'What the hell' he thought. 'Why is there a bloody padlock on my safe closet?'. “Jimmy”

Jimmy entered the room. “Have a look at that will you”

“Did you put that there?”

“Mate, what do you reckon? Go down and get the bolt cutters”

Jimmy soon returned with the bolt cutters and they managed to snap off the padlock. Andrew was inside, tied up and his face looked a mess. He had a handkerchief tied around his mouth. Jimmy undid the handkerchief and Andrew coughed. “Thanks mate”

“What the hell happened?”

“Buggered if I know. I was sitting there, one of the boys came up and said they were just checking on something. Then bang, he hit me with his fist or something, I don't know. I was out for a while, and I woke up here. Thank god, I thought I had been left for dead”

“Don't worry mate, you'll be fine” said John. “We need to sort this shit out. It's obvious what has happened. The two coconuts had a change of heart. They got rid of Andy here and pissed off in the Ford. They probably just locked that other idiot in the bungalow and took off. Jimmy, did those dropkicks see which horses Marcus picked?”

“I'm not sure. It's possible, they were sitting on the bus together”

“Well, I think I know who those other 500 units in the pick six belonged to”

“What now?” asked Jimmy.

“Let's go downstairs. Andy clean yourself up and come down, Jimmy you and I need to get rid of all of the clothes and any other shit that may belong to those idiots. I will get the ones here, you go to the bungalow. Take them down to the incinerator and burn the lot. I will meet you down in the kitchen afterwards”

They gathered everything they could find and Jimmy took it all to the incinerator. John and Andrew were sitting on the kitchen table, each with a scotch in hand. “Is your nephew still around these parts Andy. You know, the carpenter?”

“Yeah he is. He leaves Monday week. Why's that?”

“Give him a call. I need those two doors fixed, like straight away. Tell him two grand cash if he can do it tonight”

“Ok, I will call him” Andrew said and went to ring his nephew.

Jimmy came back. “All done” he said. “So what's the plan”

“Firstly we are getting those doors fixed, hopefully tonight. Next step is to find that idiot Marcus and his idiot family. And the two coconuts. Maybe give Steve a call. Tell him and his boys that there is 50 grand on the head of each of those. Actually make it a hundred for each of those coconuts. Also tell Steve to let the other bikies know about the bounty. If anyone sees them just tell them to follow them and let us know”

“I still have their phones. There will have to be pictures of them in there. I will get them out to everyone. How do we know they haven't been to the police yet?” asked Jimmy.

“Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. Who the hell do you think won the 120 million today? If he had called the cops, they would be crawling all over this place by now. He will try and collect his money first won't he”

“That's where we will wait too” said Jimmy.

“You got it”

“What about the brothers?”

“They will panic. No doubt they will try and piss off home. Where can you fly direct to New Zealand from?”

“Well, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane I think”

“Call Ahmed in Sydney, get their photos to him and tell him to put a couple of guys at the international airport. Also call Tom in Brisbane. Tell him to do the same. Just get them to grab them, keep them somewhere safe until we can get there. I will also call Shane and get him to put some guys at the airport here. I'm sure those coconuts will try and go home”

Andrew's nephew came at around midnight and fixed the two doors. “Jimmy got a little drunk last night and kicked the doors in when he couldn't open them” said John. Jimmy looked at him oddly. “Take the locks of both off those doors too would you mate? Just so it doesn't happen again. The wife will be home tomorrow, can't let her see it like this”

On Sunday morning Marcus and Mary were up early. Marcus couldn't sleep, he kept waking up, thinking he heard noises outside of their cabin. Mary was also edgy. “You didn't sleep either did you?” he asked Mary.

“Not really, but I'm fine”

“Are you hungry?”

“A little” she replied.

“Ok, there is a bakery next to the pub. I will go and grab us something”

“Be careful”

Marcus walked to the bakery and got some pies, cakes and pasties. He also got coffee for himself and Mary, and got the boys chocolate milk and some bottles of water. 'This should do us for the day' he thought. They spent the rest of the day hanging around the pool but Marcus continued to feel uneasy. He pictured John's Lexus driving into the caravan park and finding them. Something just didn't feel right, but the last thing he wanted was to worry Mary any more than she already was. They returned to the same place as the night before for dinner but this time they didn't hang around as long, despite protests from the twins.

In the meantime, Leon and James had arrived in Sydney. They drove through the night and checked into a motel just outside of Sydney. Their flight wasn't until 7.30 that evening, but they decided not to go to the airport until the last possible moment. You could never be too sure. “Do you reckon it will be safe at the airport?” asked James.

“I can't say bro. John can be unpredictable. He might just let it go, or he might have half of Melbourne looking for us, maybe even here in Sydney”

“Shit. What else can we do though?”

“Nothing. We don't have any luggage. We walk in, once we are through the metal detectors we are sweet. It's just that little walk between entering the terminal, checking in the gates”

“Still, no one will have the balls to take a gun to an airport. We can handle it bro”

“I hope you are right” said Leon.

As Sunday went on, John was getting more and more impatient. He kept checking his phone for any calls or messages, between peering out of the window, looking out for the police. “Anything?” he asked Jimmy.

“Nah mate. I got the photos out there, it's just a matter of time. If not we will nail that prick tomorrow morning anyway. How do you want to do it anyway?”

“We get there early. Have you checked the building? How many entries and exits?”

“Just the one as far as I can see”

“Good. Like I said we get there early. Park down the road out of the way. We will play it by ear, but we watch the entrance. He will turn up there for sure, if it was indeed him that got the jackpot”

“Then what?” asked Jimmy.

“We put the prick in the car and grab the ticket. Put a bullet in his head if we have to. No mucking around, nice and quickly. We can dump his idiot ass in that quarry out Warragul way”

“What about the wife?”

“What about her?”

“What if she goes to the police?”

“Let her go. She can't prove anything. There is no proof she was ever at my house. Nothing. If she becomes a problem, we just threaten the kids. Easy as”

“Ok, fair enough”

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