Chapter 20. Information.
Evening turned to night in Canterbury, Steve had exhausted his list, “ There is nothing more we can do tonight, but I don’t want you to be on your own, so I suggest that I stay over, I can sleep on the sofa so that if anything happens I will be here. Now I suggest we open a bottle of wine and you have something to eat and try to rest, you will need your energy tomorrow.” That made Maeve feel safe, she didn’t have to go through this alone. Giving Steve instructions on where to find the good red wine in the wine rack by the fridge and the trick with the special cork puller, she left him to it while she gave Ada and Orla a quick update. They put the phone on speaker phone so that all three could talk, Ada said “I had been wondering where the best place for us to be was too. I am worried about you, but then she might come here...I’m glad that Steve is there with you, it can be tough on your own.” Maeve told them the news from Steve that in Canterbury today another young man had been reported missing, and passed on Susan’s cryptic comment. Orla and Ada talked over each other, “she definitely doesn’t have a boyfriend at the moment” from Orla, and “why didn’t you say that before!”, from Ada who went on, “if the spirits are talking to you, and they know something, you can demand information from them! Go, first thing in the morning and demand answers from them. My guess is that Susan doesn’t have anything specific, but you could try her. Is there anyone else who has been holding out on you?” Maeve’s heart sank as she thought about Kevin, she knew that he had information. She filled the others in, Ada’s experience came into play, “Listen to me, you don’t have to take shit from him, pardon my language, but really they do try it on sometimes and actually you can and should take control. I know you are new at this and also in this case you really need the information, so maybe listen for a bit to get him on side then say ‘enough from you’ and demand some answers.That might work.” Ada didn’t sound as confident as Maeve would have liked, but it was the best plan they had so far. Earlier in Arras, as Marieanne had been watching the family get ready, thinking that there was no room in that car for her. She wasn’t a fan of the sea either, beach holidays meant sand in everything, going blue from the cold, and being sticky from the salt water, and it didn't matter if it was in Le Touquet or Margate, the results were the same. Nor did she want to spoil their fun. She could see Pascal on the phone preoccupied, she still hadn’t been seen by any of them, it was a good time to slip away unnoticed. Yet again she did something on the spur of the moment. She made the decision that she would head home but slowly in her own time, she had really enjoyed today, just a little longer would be good. It was getting late. She was still in regular contact with Julia, her bestie from maternelle, they each had half of their ‘friends forever’ necklace. So she would walk up to McDonalds to get free WiFi, send her a message and see if she could stay with her tonight. Twice today she had that liberating feeling, it was good. Home by Sunday for sure but maybe by tomorrow evening would be enough of a break, she did love their Sunday morning rituals. She loved talking through her life with Maeve and Orla, they were a good team, they just hadn’t been there for her recently. But she did need the time to make sure she was making the right decisions for herself. This trip was a good idea. Strange but good. Julia had laughed when they met up, “I never thought you of all people would just pitch up. You are always so organised. Well this is a treat. My Mom is so excited, she wants to hear all the gossip from Canterbury. First let’s celebrate. Let’s go to the ‘Petit Rat’, it’s where ‘Bad Bob’s’ used to be, and it has a great atmosphere. Or Vidocq? The pizza’s are still great.” In Maeve’s cozy sitting room, with the Ikea easy chairs and comfortable sofa bed, the wine was breathing, glasses on the coffee table. Steve had put on an Ella Fitzgerald cd as he continued “..people can do strange things just before exams. I was at college with a guy doing theoretical physics, it was a no brainer, he was going to ace his finals. He didn’t share with any of us but the stress got to him. And you won’t believe this, but, he really did run away and join the French foreign legion. I saw again, some years later, and heard the whole sad story, he had burst an eardrum on the final training exercise so he never even got to fight. What I mean is rational people can do irrational things in moments of stress. But Marieanne is 18 years old, judging by you, she is likely to be well able to look after herself, and she probably needed a break. Having Ada over, then Anne and all the press outside, I could imagine wanting to get away from it all. But you all get on well, don’t you? So she is likely to come back in a day or so.” Appreciating the sympathy but knowing her daughter Maeve came back with a quick “But not Marieanne! She is very thorough and precise about everything, she wouldn’t do something like this without letting me know. It’s not that she is not capable, but she would leave instructions. If not a phone message, then a note. This is really, really not like her.” Meanwhile over in France, Marieanne had not laughed so much in a long time, Julia and her parents were such good fun; they were full of funny stories about old friends and what had happened to them. Lying on the camp bed, on her own and exhausted Marieanne was thinking, why was she really here? Was she running away from the fuss at home, or was she afraid of the exams? What was she expecting from this father whom she loved but who wasn’t really a part of her world. She thought back to the time she spent with Pascal, she could hear him saying, ‘learn to love yourself for who you are’. He thought she pushed herself too far, and would say, ‘you are like your mother, always trying for more, bigger, better. This is not the way to happiness. You will be happy doing something you love, as well as you can, knowing you are doing your best. Be that growing flowers or cutting hair. You don’t have to be the best in the world, you have to know that you are doing the best you can, then you can be happy. Life is not a competition.’ In a moment of realisation she understood what he had been trying to say to her and that he was right. She was afraid of failing, of letting people down, actually really she was afraid of letting herself down. Again she could hear Pascal saying, ‘I know you, you have done everything you can, haven’t you? Now let go and enjoy the challenge,’, even if she hadn’t seen him in person, Dad had managed to lift a weight from her, with that she fell sound asleep. Maeve had not slept well. Throughout the night after what felt like a few minutes of sleep she would wake with a guilty start and would run through her relationship with Marieanne again and again. Had she missed something, were there clues that she should have picked up on? By 5am she was fully awake, Maeve had decided to see if she could find Kevin and confront him. She slipped out of the house leaving Steve sound asleep on the sofa bed. The morning air smelt fresh, of new growth, of an abundance of green and early blossom. It was early enough that there were no cars around as she crossed the road up to the footpath through the woods, and on up the steep hill and finally across the campus. Not knowing where exactly to find Kevin she headed over to Parkwood, the old launch site for the rocket society, walking the long way around to avoid the cordoned off area where she had found Anne. There he was, hands in his pocket, fag in his mouth, dirty shirt with grime from overuse around the shirt pocket where he kept his cigarettes, “I knew you’d have to come back! Time for me now, do you? Well, I don’t know that I want to tell you things now…” For a moment Maeve thought that she had blown it, but no, there was never a chance that anyone would stop Kev, from talking, telling everyone how the world ‘really’ works. “You see, girlie, you are privileged, so you don’t even look around you. You don’t see who is really in charge, of course there are the Jews they have all the money - and don’t try and tell me that’s not true - just look at the banks, Rothschilds, and the Bank of England and the Fed in America are privately owned by you guessed it, the Jews ….. huh! But they are not the only problem. The cabal who run the world, the Jews are in that but there are others too, the Catholics! People don’t look at the Catholics but they control one hell of a lot of the people. The word CABAL comes from the Secret Treaty of Dover where Charles II signed up to convert to Catholicism for money, bet you didn’t know that. Look it up. You have to watch out for Muslims now too, they are the terrorists, it used to be the Irish with their bombs now it's the Muslims. Got to keep them out.” Kevin hadn’t drawn breath yet, and Maeve wondered how much of this rant she should listen to before asking or as Ada said ‘demanding’ information. Kevin felt her thoughts, “okay, okay I know you want some information but I have to give you the background or you won’t see it either. Canterbury is a big centre for members of the cabal to meet. The Canterbury Archeological Trust were finding things that people didn’t want discovered. They won’t admit it but they are close to finding ‘anti gravity powder’, in theory it’s buried under a huge stone, what’s the biggest stone around here? You got it, the Cathedral. There are those of us who think it might be part of the Cathedral foundations, why do you think they are ‘repairing’ the stonework? It’s a cover to poke about. Of course they work with those of us who know that the earth is flat. I have been up to the top of the Cathedral tower 236ft and you can see that the earth is flat. I mean the horsemen of the apocalypse come from the ‘four corners of the world’ and if you look at the Canterbury cross you will see it’s got the four points inside a circle, a disk, the earth!” Maeve was now shifting from foot to foot with impatience, as Kev continued, “Anyway, you get where I am coming from, so I had to work with the societies as a University staff member, I chose the rocket society to keep an eye on them and when I could, I would show them that they were being played by the elite, they were just the pawns in someone else’s game. I met a guy there who shared my views. We got on but then it got a bit heavy. He was in with the Catholics, which was okay…..”, here, he seemed to hesitate so Maeve, trying to show that she had been following, chipped in “I thought you didn’t like the Catholics.” Back on track Kevin launched into,“I don’t but it doesn’t mean that they don’t know a thing or two about God!” By this time Maeve had had enough; time to try Ada’s strategy, “Kevin, you seem to know a lot about what’s going on around here. I demand that you tell me what you know about missing people.” She felt very strange saying it out loud but it seemed to have an effect on Kevin, “what exactly do you want to know?” He was a little cagey, almost sly, Maeve thought she would have to choose her words carefully, “if someone is missing, where are they?” Quick as a wink, Kevin replied “I don’t know, but if you asked me ‘where are they kept?’, I might have an answer.” Maeve was irritated, this wasn’t the time to play word games, “sure, where are they kept?” This time Kevin was very specific, “in my opinion they are kept over there in St John Stone House.”, as he pointed over towards the main entrance to the University. There was a derelict building opposite the entrance. Maeve didn’t want to spend any more time with Kevin that she absolutely had to, so with that she turned on her heel and left. As she retreated she could hear a fading Kevin shouting after her, “have a good look around and check the basement….there will be signs of the cabal meetings too.”