فصل 16

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Chapter sixteen

Goodbye Amsterdam

I opened the door of de Vries’s office. I had been awake all night and I was beginning to feel it. Elly followed me out.

‘Are you going back to the hotel?’ she asked.

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I’ve got a story to write if I still want my job in London.’ I smiled at her and added, ‘Oh, and Elly, thanks for everything. You’ve been a real friend.’

She put her arms around me. ‘Yeah, thank you too, Kate,’ said Elly. ‘And Kate… ‘

‘Mmm?’

‘Don’t come back to Amsterdam for a while, eh? I don’t think I can take it.’ She laughed.

I kissed Elly and left the police station. I walked back to the hotel through the city’s empty streets. They were safe for me now that Christiaans was in a police cell. The salt smell of the sea cleared my head and the morning light danced on the water of the canals. Amsterdam was beautiful once more.

As I walked back I thought about the people I was leaving behind in Amsterdam: Elly, who had put herself in so much danger to help me; Raul who had finally been brave enough to do what was right; my poor ‘freind’ Jos who had lost his life and Tom Carson who had lost his brother. I looked into the dark water of the canal and thought about Max. Max had saved my life all those years ago. He had fought for me when I needed it. And I had to fight for him when he couldn’t fight for himself. Perhaps that was the meaning of friendship. Perhaps the only true one.

I wrote my story. An hour later, at 8.30 in the morning, it was finished. I faxed it through to the office back in London. It would be waiting for Balzano when he got into work.

I lay on my bed. I was exhausted and fell asleep. The phone woke me up. It was Balzano, shouting, but this time he was happy. ‘Great story, Jensen!’

‘Thanks,’ I said. ‘Oh, and Dave, I’d like to take two weeks off. I need a holiday.’

I held the telephone away from my ear and smiled. Some things never changed.

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