Advancing with cat-like tread

“met Mevrouw Doornspijk.”, crackled the high-pitched, agitated voice in his ear.

“This is Nigel Noteboom calling, Missus Doornspijk. Have you or your husband got time for a quick question? It’s kind a important.”

Lapsing back into her frontier-flavored English,

“Ja, of course, Detective, have you found her yet?

“I’m working on it but I need more information from you folks”.

Grabbing the phone out his wife’s hand, Admiral van Doornspijk,

“What more do you need to know? We already told you. She’s missing. Find her, if you can.”

“Slow down, Admiral, I’ve got a good lead but I need to get your input in order to go ahead with it.”

“You can ask us anything, Detective. “, Mrs. Van Doornspijk yelled at no one in particular.

“Well, thanks for your cooperation. It’s nice to deal with reasonable people. So, here’s the deal: I’ve been in touch with the kidnappers they still want the Hundred Grand, but they needed to know how you would like to get the money to them. You know, where you will put it so they can get it without getting caught.”

“Are you serious?”, snapped the Admiral.

“That seemed like a reasonable request to me, so I offered to call and get your input. Why don’t the two of you come on in to my office and we can get closer to a solution and clearer on this dangerous business.”

“Roger that. We’ll be there in thirty minutes. You’re located in downtown Amsterdam, right?”

“Yes, my office is on the street level of the only three story building in town. You can’t miss it and the name “Noteboom” is on the door.”

After a brief and troubling ride into town van Doornspijk continues the interview with,

“We’ve never been involved with this sort of thing and there’s definitely a limit to what we can pay for a ransom. We’re a not well to do like some of these other Amsterdammers.”

Before Noteboom has a chance to respond to this latest fiduciary dodge the ding-a-ling of his office phone angrily interrupts the negotiations.


“What the hell is taking you so long?, Kaydub’s wheezy, demanding tenor.

Before Noteboom can reply, he can hear Delbert’s guttural but polite and threatening baritone,

“We thought this whole operation was supposed to be quick, down and dirty. Tell them if they can’t move it along quicker we’re gonna start cutting off fingers or thumbs, toes or something else.”

When the Admiral hears this he shouts,

“I knew I smelled an Indian in the woodpile on this deal.”

Adding her usual two cents worth Mevrouw Doornspijk bursts in with,

“We just want our Ameli back in one piece, Henk. She has always been a difficult person, but she doesn’t deserve to be cut up or die or anything else these terrible people are suggesting.”

Jumping in to keep things on track, Noteboom starts the automatic close,

“Well there’s no wiggle room on the amount. They want the whole hundred grand and they keep making threats and promises.”

“OK. Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll put the money in an empty MacDonald’s bag, will that work?”

“I don’t think so. How about a saddle bag? You can carry it in the side car and hang it on the back of that Hog you ride in the Bozeman Annual Labor Day Parade. That should make the delivery easier, too.”

“Then what?”

“Once we agree on where to drop it, you can just drive by and jettison the saddle bag.”

“I haven’t ridden that Harley since the 4th of July Celebration four years ago.”

“Come on, Henk. You can still cut the mustard. I’ll ride along in the side car like we used to do when you first got that Golden Eagle.”

“Crap! I guess I’m still able as long as it’s not uphill. Where do I have to ride it?”

“All right then. I’ll pick the spot for the drop off. You need to drop it off on the Southwest corner of Buffalo Jump and Shady Rest Roads at midnight on Monday two weeks from next Monday.”

“What’s Plan B, if the Hog won’t go or the lights won’t work?’

“In that case, you’ll have to call me and reschedule. I’ll need at least 48 hours advance notice to make a change and ensure the safety and protection of your daughter and the money.”

Mulling it all over and in reluctant agreement, the Admiral, mutters,

“I’m used to giving orders, not taking orders.”

In a futile attempt to move things along, Noteboom responded with a political side step,

“This is more about making choices than about giving or taking orders, don’t you think, Admiral?’

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