(Continued from Part I, Part II , and Part III:
Chapter 9 (D'Arcy)
After pushing him aside to dodge the bullet, Schmuck grabs the albino’s arm and propels him out the back door of the Black Pearl. Inside it is total mayhem. "Quick," he says, "We have to find the Dart and make our way to the island. That bitch would have nailed you between the eyes had I not seen her pulling the derringer from her purse."
The albino clasps Schmuck in the darkness of the rear parking lot. "This is the second time, since Vienna two years ago, that you have saved my life, dear friend. How can I possibly repay you?"
"The same as always, Silas. The same as always," says Schmuck as he plants a wet kiss on the albino’s mouth.
Silas, wishing that he’d worn his knee pads this evening, giggles. "You mean right here, and right now?"
"No, you love-struck fool; there’ll be time for that later. Right now our mission is to get to Oak Island as quickly as possible. I’ll hot wire the Dart," he adds, remembering that the keys were in the possession of Tank.
From inside the building came another burst of staccato fire. "That would be the good lady Mrs. Tank," says Schmuck. "I’d recognize the sound of her Uzi anywhere. She’s a wild broad that one. Ain’t nothing turn her on more than grasping and stroking a hot and hard piece, and then spraying its contents all over the ceiling. Mind you, she’s married to that dork Tank, so I guess she’s gotta compensate somehow."
As they approach the car, a sultry British-accented woman’s voice calls out: "Hi fellas. What took you so long?"
Looming out of the darkness emerges an attractive raven-haired woman. On each side of her is a menacing-looking skinhead, both wearing Manchester United soccer shirts, and pointing 9-mm Beretta pistols at Silas and Schmuck.
"These are my boy toys," says the woman. "And they would be delighted if you would accompany us to our bus at the rear of the parking lot."
Prodded ahead by the pistol-wielding soccer hooligans, Silas and Schmuck approach a red white and blue double-decker bus hidden in the dark shadows of the lot. They are ushered inside where they find a bus like neither had ever seen in London. There is no second tier, only a main floor that has several plush leather armchairs bolted to the floor. On the port windowless wall are chain plates affixed at the bottom and the top. The captives are pushed against this wall, where their wrists and ankles are securely manacled.
"Search them!" commands the woman.
"Hey, this guy’s got the teeniest little weenie you could ever imagine. But he’s clean," says the skinhead who is frisking Schmuck.
"My boy is hung like a horse! But look what we got here," says the other skinhead as he draws a Heckler & Koch automatic from the holster strapped to Silas’s right thigh. He tosses the gun over to the woman.
"Okay, enough of that, you wankers. Settle down and let’s get the show on the road," says the woman.
One of the skinheads goes to the front of the bus, gets in the driver’s seat and steers the vehicle out of the dark parking lot and onto the Lighthouse Route road west towards Oak Island.
The woman settles into an armchair directly behind the two captives who are manacled face-first against the wall. Scraping a wooden match across the fly of her Levis, she lights an unfiltered Pell Mell cigarette, draws deeply, and announces: "Perhaps it is time for introductions. I am Josephine, although my friends call me Jo. And you sir," she says, kicking the albino in the back of the leg, "are the man known as Silas, an assassin who has left a trail of many bodies on the orders of your masters at Opus Dei. You may have missed me tonight in the Black Pearl, but that is perhaps a blessing for us both. For you now have become my passkey to The Mayor of Oak Island."
Inhaling another deep puff from her cigarette, the woman known as Jo kicks the second man behind his knee. "And you, sir, are an undercover operative with Opus Dei, sent to Nova Scotia to infiltrate the home of the naïve Mr. and Mrs. Tank, posing as their trusted man servant."
Silas twists his head around and stares with red-eyed glowing hatred into the woman’s eyes. "You are a fool!" he spits. "Have you no idea of the power of our organization?"
Jo chuckles. "Oh yes, I am sure you people have power over oppressed women and rosy-cheeked altar boys. But your power wanes in comparison to that of the OITS!"
Schmuck, having heard those initials murmured during late-night conferences at the Tank estate, twists his head to face the woman in the armchair. "Exactly what is the OITS?" he demands.
Jo flicks the stub of the cigarette onto the floor and extinguishes it with the toe of her suede boot. "Gentlemen," she intones, the Oddly Insane Treasure Seekers is a cabal that goes back to the 15th century, to a time when it had two main purposes in life. The first was to make sure that the most holy of holy chalices should never again fall into the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. Which, of course, is the quest that I am embarking on tonight."
"And its second purpose?" asks Schmuck.
"That gentlemen, is a far grander and more complicated quest…. It is to discover how they put the milk into a Dairymilk chocolate bar."
As the bus turns off the main road to the one leading to Oak Island, Silas turns to Schmuck, and they share a grin. For they both know the answer to that last enigma.
"Miss Jo," announces the skinhead behind the wheel. "We’re approaching the causeway to Oak Island." He glances into his side mirror. "And I think we may be having company soon. Got some headlights coming down the road a bit back of us."
"Perfect," muses Jo. "On this island tonight they shall reap what they have sown."
The double-decker bus pulls up to a chain link fence at the start of the 600-foot boulder and stone causeway that leads to the island. In the distance, on the southwestern tip of the island, there are lights on in The Mayor’s house, despite the fact that is is almost midnight.
Chapter 10 (Tank)
Dashing from the Black Pearl the Tanks rush toward the old Dodge Dart parked carefully next to the idling Buell motorcycle blowing out large gushes of oil and smoke. Freezing in his tracks, Tank comes screeching to a standstill, “Look” he cries. Disappearing over the hill he spies the tail lights of an odd looking bus, “it’s a double decker” he admonishes. “Smell that” he queried,” it’s Pell Mell cigarette smoke, and you know what that means, OjO is here”.
Tank fires up the fine tuned, ported and balanced six cylinder, vintage Dart engine and they careen from the parking lot. Winding through all three gears, the old Dart races forward like a thoroughbred race horse. Mrs. Tank checks the on board radar (my fantasy) and informs Tank the target vehicle is within half a mile. White knuckles grip the chrome plated chain like steering wheel as the dart bounces down the pock marked Oak Island road, with the grace and daring he learned from his days at the Indy circuit, Tank skillfully power slides the Detroit iron around the hair pin turns, as the cruel lament of an Ernie Marrs tune pours from the 8 track stereo, “I don’t care if it rains or freezes, ‘long as I got my plastic Jesus, up on the dash board of life...” vibrates the ten inch speakers beneath the orange shag rear window deck.
Mrs. Tank re loads her Uzi and with a quick snap of the clip into the chamber she exclaims, “locked and loaded my pookey wookey”. Tank leans toward his woman, the glow dash board lights illuminates her girlish figure, he thinks, “ooooh, if this were another time and place...” SUDDENLY, Mrs. Tank screams, “Look out”. Just then a dark figure cuts across the path of the speeding automobile, Tank cuts right, the Dart responds but fish tails hard to the left, out of control the car dashes to the right now and comes to a stop in a cloud of dust and the smell of burning rubber.
“What the hell was that” Tanks exclaims, his tight coursing muscles flexing, his expansive well developed chest heaves. Mrs. Tank bails from the car, her OITS training received at the secret underground facility in New Ross takes over, Tank relaxes and rests assured his woman will bag the shadowy figure and bring it forth for “talk”.
Mrs. Tank emerges from the bushes with a struggling figure firmly gripped in a painful thumb lock. “Look who I have” she proudly teased, “it’s that reporter from the WSJ, (Wacky Secrets Journal) “Karcy O’Donner”. “O’Donner” Tank playfully spits, “I see you have met Mrs. Tank. We would have chilled a bottle of wine had we known you were coming to dinner”, the Tanks roll with laughter. “Yeah, it’s funny for you, you are laughing now, but wait till I tell you who I just saw go across the causeway”, “spill it” Tank threatens, Mrs. Tank tightens her grip on his thumb. “Ok, ok. It was OjO and her henchmen”. “Care to renew you vows to the OITS and help us out” asks Mrs. Tank with a wry grin, “funny you should ask, I was on my way to the island anyway” O’Donner exclaims.
By the light of a distant street light and in witness of the lapping waves of the Atlantic ocean, the Tanks and O’Donner prepare to repeat the sacred vow that has spilled across a mere hundred or so lips, an oath heard only by kings and their confidants, so old it spans eons of history and strikes at the very heart of the origins of the ancient worldly secrets, “how does that go again’ Tanks asks, “damned if I know” says O’Donner, “beats me” says Mrs. Tank.
They hide the Dart and cross the causeway on foot, slinking between the rocks and land mines set up by the mayor of Oak Island like minks on a fish scent. The trio freeze their advance. There at the egress point of the causeway, not fifty feet from their position, the most fearsome guard ever to thwart the visitation of Oak Island. O’Donner asks Tank in a hoarse whisper, “what is it, a Doberman, a poisonous snake, a guard tower with a sniper, a dog with fiery red eyes, what”? Slowly and quietly so as not to draw attention their position, Tanks says, “it’s none of those, it’s Mrs. Mayor of Oak Island, and she is the most fearsome guard they have for Oak Island”.
They wait for a few minutes and the coast is clear, “Whew, that was close” said Mrs. Tank, “had she caught us, we would be in a world of hurt”. With great stealth, the trio crawled on their bellies up to the bus, the engine still crackling from it’s ride to the island from the Black Pearl, muffled voices could be heard inside. The smell of bacon and butty sandwiches wafted through the night air, the sound of beer cans (McGuiness Stout no doubt) being popped open assaulted their ears. They crept closer to hear what was being said.
“Now that we have the Mayor tied up and Mrs. Mayor whacked out on speed balls, we can get to the bottom of this Chalice business” she cackled to her skin head boy toys. “As for you two, I have a very gay and happy time planned for you both”. Silas and Schmuck looked at each other with trepidation, their long distance affair, may soon be snuffed out like a candle in the wind, never knowing who to cling to, when the rain set in. “Prepare them for the descent” OjO suddenly shrieked, “we go to 10X within the hour”.
A crooked smile broadens into a maniacal laugh that contorts her fine alabaster features.. OjO throws back her tousled head, her raven hair streaming across her pretty but evil face, her eyes aglow with the satisfaction she was about to go where no one has been for four centuries, the very bowels of Oak Island and the lost treasure chambers.