Inspector Maria Sanchez was enjoying herself, wearing her little black party dress at work, or more accurately for police work. All in the line of duty. She was portraying the man in the photograph she carried as her boyfriend who’d left her after he’d found out he’d made her pregnant.
She thought she would elicit sympathetic responses from the shopkeepers and householders in the area. She was mostly correct. One or two older people thought she dressed like a whore and deserved to be in the predicament she found herself, but their morals probably dated back to the time of Franco, the local boy from just across the ria.
Eventually, the police found a pizza delivery place that had delivered to the address where the man in the photograph lived. It was six weeks ago. The man seemed sure. Inspector Sanchez asked whether he would take her there, so she might wait for her boyfriend to return. The man blushed and agreed but made her promise not to tell. She agreed and liked the attitude of the man.
Once outside the house, Inspector Sanchez thanked the man and said she would name the baby after him regardless of the sex. The man smiled and headed back to work. Sanchez pulled out her phone and asked her colleagues to join her.
She was wary in case the place was booby-trapped. The cream-coloured garage door was locked, and the windows had their shutters closed. She had checked the address on the city records and found that seven people had used this address at different times in the last six months. All men.
Inspector Sanchez decided they should blow the hinges off the front door and force the lock on the garage at the same time. If anyone was inside, they wouldn’t know which entry to counteract first. Sanchez stood back as the explosives people placed a small charge on the garage lock and on the three hinges on the front door. Once the front door was no longer a barrier, they would throw stun grenades inside.
This operation worked well and the armed police entered the house and garage. They established each room was clear and then started to search the garage. Here they found what they’d been looking for, fifteen semi-automatic rifles like the one used in Santiago de Compostela, plus five hundred rounds for each gun. They also found twenty-four grenades and nine revolvers with silencers.
“You could start a war with these items,” said Sanchez to her Sergeant, Andres Villa.
“They hoped to,” replied the Sergeant, “but the question is, Inspector, how did all this get into the country without us finding it?”
“Yes, that’s a great question. This bag looks waterproof and smells of the sea, so perhaps they smuggled these in along the rias or a fishing boat dumped them on a beach or in a cave.”
“The rifle is the same as the one used on the 21st August,” Villa confirmed. “Maybe, just maybe the man who shot that tourist has done us all a favour. We wouldn’t have found these guns otherwise. Heaven knows how many lives we’ve saved by finding this lot.”
Sanchez nodded in agreement. She now felt conspicuous in her short skirt and couldn’t wait to get back into some proper clothing. She waited for the army to come and collect the armaments before she returned to Santiago de Compostela in the company of her colleagues. Just before she left A Coruna, she received a message on her phone – she would not be spending long in Santiago, before she had to head down to Vigo.
Events were speeding along.