Chapter 46 (DO UNTO OTHERS…)
‘Where’s your daughter, sir?’ Deric asked as he looked around as if she would pop out from somewhere. He then pushed back his chair with a loud screech as he said loudly, ‘Wasn’t she here? Where’s your daughter?’
‘Some or other student-bash…a boy’s birthday…oh my God…’ Mirna de Wet uttered breathy. She suddenly realised she had no idea to the address her daughter went too. She stabbed at the button on her phone but apparently just a voice-mail voice came through.
‘Her phone…I tried to phone her…it’s…it’s…voicemail’ the woman looked positively like wax.
Just then Deric’s phone buzzed like a dying mosquito. It’s an SMS and it read:
If Judge Rodney Gust had made a full confession to the murder of Minke Blignaut on the 13th of November 1980, you have to confirm it NOW. Not just a “Yes” - I want the video-link sent to the following (the link was given). Within fifteen minutes from now…or Kimberley Gust dies. The authentication will be ascertained by the people it’s been send to. They will inform me. I will let you know where to find the girl as soon as I’ve received word from them. You have a window of fifteen minutes! She has been roughed-up a little, but is still alive. However, I cannot guarantee anything! I’m not the one who deciding her fate – you are. The kidnappers is on a timeline, too. If they hear nothing from me by a certain time they will kill her and there is nothing I can do to prevent it.”
Gust knew it was the same people informing Deric about the proceedings concerning the confession.
‘Please Captain Offbach, hurry up!’ He said with a stronger voice as before. He turned to tend to his wife who in turn was trying her best not to let him touch her. She was in a silent hysterics by now. She slapped his hands away and her face was distorted with shock and fright. Mae intervened and took the woman by the arms and nearly wrestled her to the restroom. The Judge looked totally rejected, but there was also something else as well, maybe resolve or relief.
While Monty did as was asked with the video-link, Deric again looked at the video that was send to the Judge’s phone.
Kimberley Gust was lying on some white plastic sheet-like background. Eyes closed. He hoped she wasn’t already dead. She looked in bad shape. One of her eyes was swollen the size of a golf ball. Red marks - what looked like finger-marks - around her left upper-arm and also some red marks around her neck! Blood on her one cheek, arms and hands. Her hair was tangled and messy. Lacy, black panties dangled round one of her ankles and her legs was spread open. No shoes. One arm was above her head. The pink see-through blouse – unbuttoned - wide open to show up a low-cut perky rose-patterned pink bra that was unhooked at the front. Barely protecting the two nipples. The part of the breasts showing looked bruised. Thankfully her black mini-skirt was pulled down, just a little, but enough to protect her from total nakedness. Something shiny (semen?) streaked the inside of her thighs. God knows what happened to her, but if he had to judge by the photo, something bad! No wonder Rodney Gust was in such a frenzy and Deric could understand why he didn’t want his wife to see it.
This person, or persons, did exactly to Kimberley Gust what her father did to Minke Blignaut thirty-five years ago. With one difference: Kimberley Gust was still alive. Or so they claim!
Hope to God they’re not too late!
Nothing prevented these people from killing her anyway. That will be even worse for Rodney Gust. He would lost not only his life and wife, but his daughter with one fell swoop.
After an agonising few minutes Monty said, ’It’s done Cappie, now it’s up to them.
‘I hope they’re not that diligent with their planning as to…’ Jim said softly, but swallowed the word “murder”.
They all waited in a long, pregnant, agonising silence.
They could do no more than wait.
12:45 – 30 January!
The sudden sound of Deric’s phone. A SMS!
’Thank you Captain Offbach – it’s done. Now it’s up to you, do NOT let a murderer get away as he did once before.’
‘My daughter, what about my daughter!’ The Judge shouted distorted.
Not a word about Kimberley Gust.
‘I don’t know, they didn’t say’ Deric looked at his phone.
Mae rushed in and said, ‘Missus Gust got in touch with a friend of her daughter – the party’s held in the same neighbourhood as the Gust residence - about four blocks down. Here’s the address – Marlboro Lane 339 - it’s the house of a Ben Prinsloo.’
‘Do you know him?’ Deric wanted to know as he indicated to Monty and Danny to get a head start.
‘No, I don’t! But I know where Marlboro is – not far from our house!’
‘Do we need fingerprints, or a number, or anything to get in at the gate?’ Monty asked with urgency.
‘No, there’s a guard who lifts the boom, but nothing else – hurry!’ Mirna de Wet screamed.
Danny and Monty made their way to the car and departed with screeching tires as Jim called on the surveillance team to follow them.
’Mae, see that they get home,’ Deric pointed to Rodney Gust and his wife, ‘Maybe get a doctor to see to Mrs de Wet…the Judge…take them to a doctor or hospital first.’ He instructed as he took off after Jim.
‘I’m going with you!’ Gust hollered.
‘NO! I cannot allow it…I’ll let you know as soon…’ Deric started again.
‘I’m going with you.’
Deric took the man by the arm, ’Your Honour, your wife needs you now more than we do. There’s nothing you can do where we’re going. You cannot get mix-up in anything…anything else, understood?’ His voice was calm but extremely strict, ’Stay with your wife and Inspector Routan and I promise you, I’ll let you know as soon as I know something. We cannot at this point risk…well, we don’t know whose watching and what the…consequences may be.’
His shoulder’s sacked, but he nodded.
‘Please, call me as soon as you…know where…how Kimberley is!’ He shouted as Deric and Jim rushed after Danny and Monty.
‘What the hell do you think is going on?’ Jim asked, but kept quiet and reached for his seatbelt as Deric had accelerated before he’d even close his door.
’I don’t know, but I’m furious with myself that I didn’t think of the girl. I mean, if Brenda Blignaut really wanted to hurt the Judge, the girl was the obvious answer – not so?’
‘Wow-ha,’ Jim exclaimed as Deric took a sharp turn and the car backside slipped out and back again, ‘this is not your “Red Devil” FC! It wouldn’t help that girl any if we’re killed in the process of trying to save her. Slow down,’ Jim as he blue-lighted the car.
Deric calmed a little bit and slowed down a fraction.
‘I really hope the girl is not…’ He said quietly, ‘That photo…it looks…bad!’
They raced to the house in Marlboro in silence.
Deric’s phone buzzed.
‘I’ll get it.’ Jim said hastily before Deric decided to reach for his phone at high speed.
“Oh, nearly forget. Kimberley Gust is sleeping it off at home – in her own room. She will have a mother-fucker of a hangover tomorrow combined with a tad of amnesia, just asked Rodney Gust, but, at least, she’ll be alive and well! More than her father can say about Minke Blignaut – not so? One more thing, if the Judge or you, for that matter, try to by-pass this, a few, quite revealing photos of Kimberley Gust and a certain video confession will be a hit on Twitter, You Tube, Facebook and the papers. Is that clear?”
Deric stopped dead in the middle lane.
’You want to get us killed?’ Jim exclaimed as he looked back. Luckily the traffic was light that time of night, only two cars flickered lights at them and horned. ‘Pull over!’ Jim demanded.
Deric did so and Jim got out. He handed the phone back to Deric and said, ‘Now, scoot over, you’re in no state to drive rationally.’
Deric did as he was told and then called Mae on his mobile.
‘Where are you?’
‘Some ways behind you, I’m not Jenson Button. They do not want a doctor – I’ve really tried but…I’m taking them home. Why?’
‘Just got another SMS from our…whatever… apparently the girl is sleeping in her own bed. I don’t want her parents walking in on any surprises, so take it slow.’
’Then she’s…’Mae asked, but stop as she realize the passengers were listening intently.
‘Seems like it. However, we don’t know yet, it could be…so…go slow! Tell them it seems that she is okay and keep them outside till we give the all clear.’
‘Will do.’ Mae said as she ended the call.
Although the party was still in full swing, judging by the ten or more vehicles that were parked as tight as sardines in a can on the ample paving, only a faint drumming sound could be heard on the outside. Dim, blue lights adorned the front door.
A tired, yawning voice came through the intercom: “Prinsloo Residence”
‘Open up, it’s the police.’ Danny demanded with force.
‘What? The police? But, but…’
‘Guys,’ Danny called out at the two surveillance piling out of their vehicle as the gate slowly opened, ’keep watch at the gate. I think it’s the only exit. Nobody leaves! We’ll go see to the party. We’ll call in assistance if needed. Don’t let anyone leave till we tell you to, okay!’
Danny and Monty stormed the front door. The yawning voice (now wide awake) belonged to a guard. He let them in and escorted them into the house and down a flight of stairs. He opened a door that stated “Man-Cave” and the music-waves nearly blew them off their feet. Took another ten minutes or so to get to the source of the music and to stop the noise. The sudden silence made the voices sound loud. Objections flew at Danny but he put a stop to all with a powerful “Police” as he held his badge out. Monty was on the counter, already videoing away at the scene. He made a slow three-sixty just to make sure he captured all the faces present – if possible – and back again. He knew some would be in the rooms or outside, he’ll record them later.
‘Have you’ve seen this girl?’ Danny shouted. He had the photo of the painting of Kimberley Gust on his phone.
Some drunken voice called mockingly back, ‘Yes, now we’ve seen her! Not bad looking at all!’
Lots of laughter
Another one shouted, ’Not howling-at-the-moon ugly! Where can we get one?
A voice somewhere said, ‘Yes, she’s as drunk as a fart –’
‘Aren’t we all?’
This time it was that real silly drunken, bent-in-the-middle, falling on the floor laughter.
‘Where is she?’ Danny shouted back at unknown voice.
‘Went outside a while ago for some “fresh air”.’
‘Whoop, whoop!’ Some more silly sounds.
‘When?’ Danny tried to pinpoint the voice, ‘Was she alone?’ He tried again without any success. Monty was now taking some photos from the floor. Some of the drunken party-goers pretended to be models as the camera pointed their way. Others shouted “Selfie, selfie, best party ever.” A few, little less drunk, started to make their own phone videos. Most probable to post on Facebook or You Tube.
One guy on the floor shouted “Harassment!” and nearly pissed himself with laughter.
‘Where is she?’ Monty shouted loudly.
‘What’s going on?’ A young man with a beer in hand appeared in the door, ‘it’s my party…’
‘And he can cry if he wants to…’ the floor character yelled again and nearly killed himself over his own wit.
Other drunken giggles and hysterics followed.
‘Well, he’s quite funny,’ Monty said to Danny, ’although not a “stand-up” comedian in a literary sort of way, at the moment.’ He pointed the camera floor-wards. He tried to get as much from all angles as possible. He hoped it will give them something to go on for later - if need be.
‘What’s your name?’ Danny wants to know from the guy at the door. He nearly looked sober next to some of his buddies.
‘I’m Marius Prinsloo, this is my – our place - and this here,’ he made circles with his free hands to indicate the cellar-room or so-called “Man Cave”, ‘is sound-proof, so I don’t believe any of the neighbours complained about the noise or anything.’
‘Where’s your parents?’
‘Well, they certainly didn’t complain about the noise, they’re in Brazil!’ Marius wise-cracked, and again the “hangovers-in-waiting” got totally hysterical.
‘Man,’ Danny said to Monty in a muted voice, ‘I wouldn’t trade places with any of them tomorrow. They’ll need wheelbarrows for their heads!’
Monty was at last satisfied that he captured everything, and everyone, inside, at least twice. He’ll get those outside as soon as the Captain and Lieutenant Cruse arrive – nobody is leaving anyway.
‘I know that girl,’ a girl with cherry-red hair said to Monty, making sure he took notice of her, ‘that’s Kimberley…’ She started snapping her fingers at her lost memory as to a surname, ‘…Kimberley…’
‘Gust.’ A guy behind the bar helped out.
Monty’s phone went.
He listened credulously and then said, ‘Will do, Cappie.’
He gave Danny a look of surprise and whispered something in his ear. Danny looked at his phone and then nodded. The noise in here was so loud he didn’t even heard the thing going.
Monty wanted to ask the girl with the red hair if Kimberley Gust attended the party but as he turned around she was nowhere to be seen.
Well, according to Lieutenant Jim Cruse, it doesn’t matter anymore. The girl was found. Apparently safe.
They left under an impromptu clapping of hands and snide remarks.
Nothing comes with respect these days, except drugs, liquor and so-called freedom. That freedom tie you up in more kinds of binds than any regime or –ism or -phobia!
Freedom should be a privileged, not a right!