Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Adventures in Cephalonia 5

Hello. My name is Kostas Economides and I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the South of England (USE for short). Well, actually that is not true really as the names of individuals and institutions in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent - and the guilty!

The holiday for Gus and Heather on the Greek island of Cephalonia had turned from a relaxing experience into a nightmare. Heather had been kidnapped - snatched and pulled into a car just after she, Gus and their new friend Rebecca had come out of a fishermen's cafe in Argostoli.

The police had told Gus to go back with Rebecca to her taverna and to wait there for news. Understandably Gus was distraught with worry, but Rebecca was hysterical and it forced him to try to remain calm and get her back home. When they got there they immediately came across a note pushed under the front door. This is what it said. "Dr Johns. Your wife is safe and well but will be held with us until you can assure us that you will leave the island without any further investigation of our activities. Leave a note to that effect in the cafe. Do not contact the police."

"What can this mean?" asked Gus. It was clear that the note must be from the fat man in the white jacket. What investigation does he think I am doing? I only met him for about twenty minutes in the cafe.

Rebecca said that she had no idea. But it did seem that the fat man must be involved. She said his name was Panos Maheras. And she said that she was even more worried for Heather as we had already contacted the police.

Gus asked Rebecca what Maheras did for a living as it was obvious that he was not a fisherman. This seemed to surprise Rebecca. She said that she didn't know. Maybe he just owned some of the boats but didn't actually go fishing himself?

Gus said that there must be something serious going on in order to justify the kidnapping. Maheras was obviously worried that he was the subject of some kind of investigation. He had something going on - probably criminal - that he didn't want to be known about.

Just then there was the sound of a motorbike outside and they guessed that George had returned. He rushed into the room and first ran across to Rebecca, hugging and kissing her. "Sorry about last night" he said. Then he turned to Gus and said how sorry he was to hear the news about Heather's kidnapping. Gus asked how George seemed already to know what had happened. George said that his family up in the mountains regularly monitored police communications - don't ask why - and as soon as he had been told what had happened he had hurried back to the taverna to see them. George said that his brother knew a bit about this Maheras character - it seems that he is also well known to the police and has been the subject of investigations for some time. It sounds like they think he is involved in some kind of smuggling activities.

Anyway, George said that he would be off again now to join his brother to look at some of the places that Maheras might have taken Heather. He went upstairs and came down carrying a gun. This started Rebecca off again. "Oh George, do be careful. These people sound dangerous. It might be better to leave everything to the police".

A cynical smile appeared on George's face. He kissed Rebecca and was soon back on his motorbike to rejoin his brother.

More tomorrow.

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