The Ninth Victim – Except 24

Valjean decided that his first concern was to get de Peysac to a place of safety. Now that all the players were in place, the action would soon begin. With this thought in mind he drove over to de Peysac’s residence, as an extra precaution he had taken his automatic pistol from the concealed section at the bottom of his suitcase and placed it in his pocket within easy reach. Valjean was not a lover of guns, but admitted that at times they had their uses.

As he neared de Peysac’s, he saw the woman’s car approaching on the opposite side of the road. There appeared to be several occupants, maybe he had arrived too late to warn de Peysac. Valjean waited until the woman’s car rounded a bend, then took a swift ‘u’ turn and followed in pursuit. This might be his only opportunity to save de Peysac from whatever they had planned for him.

He hung back, though keeping then in sight, he did not want to make it obvious that he was pursuing them. He wanted to do nothing to further endanger de Peysac’s life. He had no idea as to exactly who was in the other car, h guessed that the woman was driving with Bruno’s cousin beside her and Bruno and de Peysac in the rear. Had he planned it that’s the way it would be, leave Bruno in the back to intimidate de Peysac.

Their destination was a mystery, although Valjean had a hunch that it would be the cousin’s boar farm, how better to dispose of de Peysac’s remains once they had taken their revenge. Valjean had only one concern, this was all going too well. He was sure that they hadn’t planned for his intervention, but that thought in itself bothered him. They had been successfully kidnapping and murdering girls for the past ten years undetected.

Why should things suddenly change? Was it de Peysac’s success that had precipitated them to make this rash move, or had she grown weary of toying with him? It all made perfect sense, but why now? there must surely be a reason. Was this some sort of bizarre anniversary. or had Bruno forced her hand. They were not even considered as suspects by the local police, It made no sense at all.

(C) Damian Grange 2021

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