The police in Leon had found the hotel on the Plaza del Grano. These constables had already been to fifteen previous hotels before finding the right one, a fair old distance from the train station and not near the tourist sights of the city.
The receptionist had remembered the person well, he’d been carrying a rucksack and spoke some Spanish. He was of medium height with a light, almost feminine voice. He didn’t seem like the murdering type. He’d pre-paid for his room but had still left a tip for the cleaners.
The police took his passport information and radioed the data to their headquarters, who then transmitted the details to every single airport, railway station, ferry terminal, and international crossing in the country.
The net appeared to be closing around their fugitive. When he presented his passport, they would detain him. The passport was a British one containing the name Pat Walker, born in Leicester in 1970. He obtained the passport in London.
The information also went to Interpol, who were helping behind the scenes with certain enquiries. The processing clerk, surrounded by senior officers, entered the personal details into the system and waited for a reply.
There was no match. There was no match for anyone with those initials, no match for anyone born on that day, and no one born in Leicester, Loughborough, Lincoln, or Lichfield with those initials on that day.
The clerk played their last viable card. She entered the Passport Number and waited. There was a match this time. With a Mr. Patrick Walker who’d passed away in 2017 in Chester, Cheshire, England.
“What does this mean?” asked the Interpol Liaison Officer for Spain.
“It points to someone who has access to this system, an officer in this organisation, or a customs officer, or border security, or a British Embassy staffer who has access.”
“So, that’s not narrowing down is it?” said the liaison officer.
“It’s the better bet,” replied the British representative.
“How do you mean?” asked the clerk.
“I mean it’s better than the other alternative, the only other option,” replied the British representative who was enjoying himself.
“Which is what?” asked the others almost in unison.
“Military,” replied the British representative, “and not any old military either, not the regular army, something more special if you like, someone who can put eight bullets into a space the size of a small plate, with a rifle they’re not familiar with, in two seconds with one burst of fire.”
“Who do you mean?” asked the Spanish liaison officer.
The British representative told them all and there was a murmur of disbelief.