فصل 06

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فصل 06

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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Chapter six

Hiding

After calling Naylor, Munro walked back towards the centre of town, past the bus station. The followers were still with him. He could also see one of the cars parked further down the street. When he arrived at the bottom of Aleksanterinkatu, he took a side street off to the right and turned immediately left into Hameenkatu. He was walking slowly as he came to the front door of the Hotel Lahti, but when he reached it, he stepped inside quickly and shut the door. For the first time in two hours none of the followers could see him. He had to act quickly.

He had visited the Hotel Lahti about ten years before. He was hoping that the inside of the hotel was the same as it was then. It was. There was no real reception desk - the front door led straight into the bar and restaurant. In front of Munro was a lift; to the left some double doors and stairs. There were a few drinkers in the bar but no barperson. Munro turned left and ran up the stairs. He needed to disappear, to find somewhere to hide.

He stopped at the first floor and looked left and right. There was no-one there. Just closed doors. He heard the front door crash open downstairs. Loud voices. Shouting. He ran up more stairs. As he reached the second floor, he looked left and saw a man trying to open the door to a room. It was only about two o’clock in the afternoon, but the man had clearly drunk far too much. In fact, he looked as if he had been up all night. He had very short grey hair, a grey denim jacket and black jeans. He was moving slowly from side to side while trying to put his key in the door.

‘Don’t move,’ the drunk said in Finnish to the door. ‘Voi, perkele! Stop moving while I put the key in you, you stupid door.’

Munro ran up to him and took the key out of his hand.

‘Let me help,’ he said.

He could hear the sound of someone running up the stairs. There was no time to lose.

Munro opened the door quickly and pulled the man into the room behind him. He closed the door quietly and looked round the room. On the right was a door to the bathroom; on the left a wardrobe. There were two single beds, a table with a television on it, an armchair and a couple of other chairs. Beside one of the beds was a small table with a half empty bottle of whisky on it.

The grey man moved slowly from side to side, looking at Munro as if he was trying to decide if he knew him or not. Munro thought quickly. He turned the television on and pulled the armchair round in front of it.

‘Sit down,’ he said. ‘Watch this. I’ll get you a drink.’

The grey man fell into the chair.

‘Room service,’ the man said quietly to himself. ‘Great room service here.’ His head fell forward and his eyes closed.

Munro put his ear to the door to try and hear what was happening outside. He heard a knock on one of the other bedroom doors. He heard the door open and the question: ‘Have you seen a man in a brown leather jacket and blue jeans?’

He couldn’t hear the answer.

He heard another knock. This time there was no answer. Then he heard the sound of keys. Oh no! They’d got the keys. They were going to search all the rooms. He turned and opened the wardrobe. Inside there were some clothes and a sports bag.

Munro heard the door to the next room open and the voices of the men looking for him.

‘He’s not in here. You try that one and I’ll try over here. We’ll search every room if we have to.’

Quickly Munro took off his shoes, his jacket, his shirt and his jeans. He put them in the sports bag and closed it. He took the whisky bottle and put some whisky on his hands, chest and in his hair. He ran his fingers through his hair to make it untidy. There was a black T-shirt lying over the back of one of the chairs. Munro pulled it on.

There was a knock at the door.

‘Anyone in there?’ a voice said.

The grey man continued sleeping.

Munro lay on the bed wearing only pants and socks and the black T-shirt. His head was turned away from the door, the almost empty whisky bottle close to his face.

He heard the key in the lock.

The door opened and a man walked into the room. He was short with dark hair. He saw the two men: the grey man asleep in front of the TV and Munro ‘asleep’ on the bed. He went to the first bed and looked under it.

He stood up and looked at the sleeping man on the bed. Munro could not see the man but he felt him move closer to try and look at Munro’s face. Then he heard the man make a noise and move back as the smell of the whisky reached his nose.

Munro’s heart began to slow down a little, but he knew he was not safe yet. The dark-haired man pushed open the door to the bathroom and looked inside. There was a noise as he pulled back the shower curtain. Munro heard the wardrobe doors open. Please don’t look in the bag, he thought.

‘Anything in there?’ a voice came from outside the room.

Munro heard the man speak: ‘No, he’s not in here. There’s just a couple of all-night drinkers sleeping off the whisky.’

Then Munro heard the wardrobe door close, followed by the door to the room.

Munro waited a few minutes, then turned on his back and looked at his watch. It was almost two-thirty. It would be some time before the followers left the hotel. He lay back on the bed, and thought.

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