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 Write for The Iranian

Conspiracy at Desert One
A novel

By Bernace Charles
The Iranian

Chapter Nineteen

London 1999
Day Three

After the American Airliner touched down in London, Wes departed it to pass through the visa Que. He was soon on a train taking him into London. After entering the city, and leaving London's Victoria Station, he took a taxi to a bed and breakfast on Sussex Gardens. Being tired from the trip, he got a room and slept soundly through the night.


The next day he used the telephone. Tommy Emmons answered the double ring. Walker said in coded words, "This is Juniper. I'm in the city and I need the following items."

Wes listed several items he wanted delivered to him. The print shop on Edgeware Road was several blocks to his north. Hyde Park was a block to the south. It would be along the Serpentine where he would take delivery. Wes remembered the right code words for the right weapons. He knew where to take delivery and he knew how to use them. The months with men in North Ireland taught him of their plight that resulted into a best seller that questioned England's rule over a fragile truce.

Now, Wes knew he was part of another dangerous puzzle. The Raven had given him information and he was in London under an assumed name. Jerusalem would be his destination before traveling to southern Scotland. First, he needed to make preparations to protect himself while writing the story.


At noon, Wes left Albion Street at its intersection with Bayswater Road. He cut between the traffic of Bayswater to enter Hyde Park through the Albion Gate. As he strolled across open grass, Walker remembered the last time he was in London. On that day, the sky was overcast and the day dreary and forlorn. Now, the sky was bright and the sun was out. People moved through the park carrying novels, sketch pads, and deck chairs to take advantage of the day. Wes followed a pathway taking him across a field where a group of young men formed to do battle over a game of soccer. From there, he cut through a grouping of trees and down a slope leading to Serpentine Lake.

The contact was dressed as Walker instructed him. He wore a blue jacket with brown trousers. Tommy Emmons sat holding a brown shopping bag. He sat on the third bench to the left of the path facing the lake. On the ground next to Tommy's right leg was a black suitcase. Tommy's true name was Shaun O'Brady and he was from Belfast. He had lived in London for the past fifteen years. Walker stepped to the bench and took notice of scuffmarks on the case. It wouldn't attract attention.

Walker sat on the bench and unfolded a copy of a London paper. After doing so, he turned to view the brightly colored rowboats maneuvering the lake by people out for exercise. He said without looking in Shaun O'Brady's direction, "Place the case on your lap and open it." He then faced O'Brady and added, "If it's a bomb . . . I want it to take both of us."

Shaun moved the shopping bag off his lap and picked up the case. He said, "It's good to know you remember what we taught you. The novel was first-rate. It put a humane face on us. Tell me . . . are you planning to assassinate one of our British Conservatives or are you still writing?"


"Strange way of doing it." Shaun opened the case on his lap. He asked, "Did you bring the money?" Shaun O'Brady stared into the distance, before turning the case to give Walker a view of its contents. Tightly packed in formed Styrofoam was a field stripped Chinese AK47 assault rifle with night sighting device and grenade launcher. To the side was a Browning pistol with two extra clips. Three fragmentation grenades lay in a tight grouping. O'Brady said, "You make a strange request for a man writing a book. Perhaps you are going to war to do your research."

"Not unless I have to." Wess took a tourist booklet from a jacket pocket. Contained in it was twenty-five hundred dollars. Walker handed O'Brady the money and said, "I don't want anyone following me. This has noting to do with North Ireland . . . it's a different game. It's a game I'm not yet certain I can win."

"Mr. Walker, what you do is your business." Shaun said latching the case and placing it on the bench between them. He added, "You'll have no interference from us."

Walker felt no kinship with the man but only sadness the world didn't change with the passing of time. He said, "Don't place too great a value on your interpretation. It's a blind understanding."

Shaun took up the shopping bag. "It's good to know you haven't lost your interest in life. There will always be a certain amount of disorder tolerated if it's to one's benefit. Good luck with whatever you're hunting." O'Brady turned and walked away.

Walker watched him become lost among others. He left the park to Oxford Street and passed through the underground. Back on the street, he hailed a taxi to go to Euston Train Station. Within an hour, Wes was sitting in a first class car of the 11:32 train. The train began its run north to Carlisie. The rows of homes north of London soon gave away to the English countryside. Walker was safe. He managed to travel to England. The home on the Esk River was only an afternoon away. There, he would make preparations to write the novel after contacting Laleh Sanders. In his thoughts, Walker hoped the woman might accompany him to the home in Scotland where he could begin work. First, there were preparations should others track him. The home was his secret and private recluse where his mind could sort through the myriad details to put together a novel. There, he would be unhampered by those possibly protesting his work. As he stared at nothing out a train window, Walker thought of the day he gave the home the name "The Hawk's Lair" to instill within him the seriousness of past writing efforts. It was the hawk waiting patently for its prey and the symbolism for dedication to the writing task facing him. Walker thought of the code name The Raven. Now, The Raven's words and The Hawk's Lair would come together for a single purpose.


The sun was over the Irish Sea. It shone with brilliance. A lingering yellow light lay over it at Walker's arrival in Carlisle in North England. Following the train's arrival, Walker rented an Austin Saloon from the Rail Drive Office. After that, he made stops at a sporting goods shop and at a market before he drove the highway to the north. As he drove, the small car skirted the Solway Firth. Within an hour, the box shaped car turned to the northeast to cross into Scotland and followed the Esk River that emptied out of the Eskdale Hills and into the Irish Sea. Along the river were groupings of pine, birch, and juniper. The hillsides were holding blankets of brightly carpeted heather.

As the car passed through the town of Canonbie, Walker took notice of the heavy stone of its buildings, and he thought of how they reminded him of the stones of Jerusalem. Comparing the city in Israel to one of peace seemed abnormal to him. He didn't need to stop to have any utilities turned on at the home. Lin Thi's father forwarded the cost out of money sent to Lin Thi supposedly part of their separation agreement.


Several kilometers to the north of Canonbie, where the road follows to the west of the river, Walker turned the car onto a sidelane. There, the road followed the crest of the hills overlooking the river and Scotland's highway A1. A mile later, after the car traveled over a level stretch of the roadway, Walker steered it onto the shoulder, stopped, and got out. He took up a pair of binoculars he bought in Carlisle. After walking fifty yards up the crest of a hill, he positioned himself by leaning against a stone wall. He adjusted the field glasses in the late, afternoon light.

Below him, half a kilometer to the east was an unoccupied home. It sat on the far bank of the Esk River. It was a two-story home of English Tutor. A bridge arched over the river to an open courtyard. To the North, South, and behind the home were groupings of pine and birch. Beyond the trees were rolling hills covered with heather. The scene presented a bucolic picture of southern Scotland. It was a place of peace.

As Walker focused on the house, it was evident by the lack of kept grounds that it was empty. The home was in need of being painted and offered the appearance that its care came from a halfhearted caretaker. The home stood reflecting distant ownership. Only a few in the county knew an American sometimes came to stay in the house. Fewer knew the name given it. A stone mason chiseled "The Hawk's Lair" into a stone pillar standing to the right of the arching bridge.

Wes turned his interest to a rock formation down the slope of the hill. There would be nothing left to chance. He needed to make preparations, and he would have to secure the Austin. He rented the small car for three months with the pretext of taking an extended vacation through Scotland. He would also have to position the weapon case.

A refreshing wind struck Walker's face as he turned to walk back to the car. The green of the hill country gave way to a sky of a setting sun. He opened the weapon case and took out the Browning pistol and extra clips. He lay them on the passenger seat, started the car to drive back to the highway, and crossed the bridge to drive to the house. After parking to the back, he unloaded the groceries and sat them on a stone patio along with the pistol and clips of ammunition. He returned to the car to drive it back to the turn-off where he viewed the home with the binoculars. After hiding the small car in a ravine, he came down the incline running to the highway. Halfway down it, he placed the weapon case behind a bolder, covered it with heather, and descended to the highway.

Before crossing the bridge, Wes paused to study the stone pillar with its engraving. From there, he walked the gravel drive to the house. After reaching the back patio he took a key from a plastic case beneath a heavy stone and opened the door. He carried the bags of groceries into the house. Now he needed sleep.

Tomorrow he would thumb his way to Edinburgh where he would take a flight to London and continue to Jerusalem. There, a woman named Laleh Sanders knew the details of the deaths of eight American aviators. She possessed the papers to prove the accident in the desert wasn't what the White House told the American public. Unlike the novels on the IRA and the PLO, Walker felt a sense of fear for the unknown. If Harold Rush died because someone thought The Raven talked to him, his life was on a trading block. It was there for a story . . . a story that could rock the American public. >>> Go to Chapter Twenty

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