Kim Samuels headed out of the hotel and into the quiet pedestrian street. She looked around and saw it was another lovely, sunny day. Blue sky was behind the ornate architecture. Birds, proper birds, not pigeons and crows, were twittering in the trees in the park at the end of the road. It was a little windy, and she made sure she rammed her hat on her head. The bag was over her left shoulder and the knife rested along the inside of her right arm.
Samuels had bought tickets to the Islas Cies for both of the next two days. People have to book in advance to visit these lovely small islands in the mouth of the Ria de Vigo, more like an estuary than a fjord. As with all her advance bookings, for hotels, railways, and flights she’d used a small Internet cafe in Corfu Town three weeks ago. Their printer wasn’t the best, but no one would trace the paper.
She headed towards the waterfront, wondering whether to go to Cangas or to the islands in the estuary. As she approached the ferry dock, a gust of wind blew off a lady’s hat. As it was about to fly past her, Samuels leapt to her left, caught the hat, and landed on her feet.
It was an athletic act, one witnessed by several people, including a man of North African descent standing by the gangplank to the ferry. The man stared and looked at his phone – there seemed a definite resemblance, a resemblance that only increased when he heard the man talking in Spanish with an English accent. The man stared at the Englishmen and decided; this is the one. Unfortunately, he stared at Samuels just too long for it not to be noticeable.
Samuels acted rapidly. She removed her ticket for the Islas Cies and handed it to the collector before boarding the cruise boat. She headed inside with its grey seats on bright red panels and found a spot where she would view the dock. The man lit a cigarette. He shouted to the collector who gave a negative sounding reply.
What are you going to do? wondered Samuels. Will you wait all day for me or come and get me? You’re the impatient kind, you’ll come to the islands and try to find me and when you do, I will be ready. She observed the jetty as the crew readied the boat for departure. The man made no last-minute attempt to board, but jogged away from the harbour. Samuels monitored him until the man disappeared into the marina. Going to steal a boat, are you? Or have you already got one?
Samuels went on deck and trained her binoculars on the entrance to the marina. Sure enough, after about ten minutes a small motorboat came out of the entrance and turned to the west, towards the Islas Cies. They don’t do a very good job of training them these days, Samuels decided, I will see him all the way. Unless he’s a decoy. Samuels looked around the ria, but no other vessels appeared to be following the small cruising boat. Once on the islands, she ostentatiously headed away from the sheltered side to the Atlantic side of the island.
The boat containing the would-be assassin was riding the small white-topped waves with difficulty, hitting the top of some waves and plunging into the next one. He was heading for the secluded side on the Atlantic, where there would be fewer people on a windy day like today.
What a good idea, thought Samuels, to keep my execution private. She smiled and looked around the beautiful scenery and wondered how long to wait before returning to Vigo, to the mainland. It would raise suspicions to return straightaway, perhaps it would be better to wait two hours and then return? The boat came into view and moored in a secluded cove. Perfect, thought Samuels, for me that is.
Samuels put her bag down and watched through binoculars as the man came closer. He was carrying a gun with no silencer, what was he doing? Was the man now a martyr for his cause? Oh yes, he would be soon.
Samuels placed her bag on a dune by the path, so the man would see it as he came along. She hid on the opposite side. The man came around the bend and stared at the bag. He glanced up, and that was the last thing he ever did.
Damn! thought Samuels as she dragged the man to the boat. I just got used to being Kim Samuels, but now I will have to change names again and buy some new clothes. She put the body in the boat under a convenient tarpaulin, took away some bullets, but not the gun, and washed the knife in the water. Samuels then had a good look around the island.
She admired the Spanish for setting aside one whole island as a bird sanctuary. Visitors could not go there and rightly so. It showed a commitment to the environment that she appreciated more and more each time she pondered it. Someone had to stand up for animals and for the environment and she would do what she could for as long as she could to help.
Just before returning to the ferry jetty, Samuels came back to the cove and cut the rope on the boat. In forty-five minutes, when the tide changed, it would take the boat out to sea where she assumed a craft returning from the fishing grounds would discover the corpse. By then, Samuels hoped to be back in Vigo, masquerading as another person, Chris Anderson.