The wailing sound was coming from the floor of the back seat. Turning and lowering my head, I saw a small silk black Spaniel curling comfortably at the floor adjoining to the backseat. As our eyes met, I braved myself to make a soft whistle and signaled the dog to come up. The dog obediently followed my signal and sat near to me.
I now saw the silk black Male Spaniel minutely. Dogs of this class cannot be stray dogs and are pets only. The cover on his body with proper bags for nature call further confirmed it.
Has anyone gone for an evening stroll in this lonely road and left his or her dear pet dog?
Perhaps this is the dog of that abandoned car owner. However, no pet shall ever abandon the master and enter into my car.
I looked at the small dog and it looked back straight to me. It appeared to me that something scared him and he is looking for a shelter from me.
For the night, he would stay in my apartment and tomorrow, before entering the office, I would keep him in a kennel and better put an advertisement in the local daily so that his owner might contact me.
I whistled at him and called him as Pluto. Pluto took out his tongue and licked his face twice and agreed reluctantly to his new name, with a low bark “grrr, grrr”
The pain was coming back, reminding me that the effect of the analgesic is temporary. As the signal became amber to green, I quickly shifted gear to reach my apartment soon.
As I entered my flat, Pluto made a quick round of my apartment and settled on a mat at the corner between the sofa and the divan of the big living room. Instead of freshening up, I opened the fridge, made a drink, took out a packet of Snacks, and put the marinated chicken for roasting in the Microwave.
I offered Pluto, few biscuits in a plate and a tumbler of water. He drank the entire water within a minute but pushed the plate away. I knew pet dogs take some time to accept food from a new environment. The aroma of roasted chicken was filing this living room. He might like a portion of the chicken.
Resting comfortably on the sofa, I put on the TV and my idea was to have a drink and see something in TV to brush off the bad memory of the happenings of past one hour from my mind before soaking in the warm water of the Tub of the bathroom. Little I was unaware that something else would happen in the following moment.
As I pressed on the remote button, the News channel came first. Right then, I was not interested in any News but looking for a reality show or music-cum dance channel. However, the News channel kept me glued.
There was a flash News. Some miscreants possibly kidnapped the well-known builder Monty Singh.
Monty is a bitter name to me with even a much bitter memory. He came up from the underworld with good connections in social high ups and power corridors. His kidnapping is big news in this city. A video clipping followed, showing his abandoned car. My heart thumped a bit.
It is that VW car in the same location of the dirt road where I stopped my car just an hour before.
The Newsreader was showing a clip of the interview with his family members. They said that he went out in his car after receiving a call in his mobile. He wore his usual blue Jeans and off white heavy snickers.
Media people are smarter than police are. They found out two guys, who crossed this dirt road to highway few hours before.
One of them saw a black spaniel, who barked at him loudly protruding his tiny head from the front seat of a Sky blue Bolero. There was no driver or passenger in that Bolero. Someone, just near the culvert, parked this Bolero in the lay by of the dirt road.
The other guy saw a man, who stood near the bonnet of the Bolero towards the passenger’s side. He has to slow down his car before crossing this Bolero and seen this man clearly. This jet-black curly haired man was tall and slender. He was wearing a formal black trouser and white full sleeve shirt and at the time of crossing, this guy was busy in picking up his striped golf cap from the bonnet of the Bolero.
It appeared to him that this tall man, most likely, is the owner cum driver of this bolero. The tall fellow had an anxious face and possibly, he was waiting for someone. However, none of them noted the Number plate of the Bolero.
Police is trying hard to trace Monty, this tall man and the sky blue Bolero Station wagon with dog but without any success until now. At the bottom of the culvert space, they found a single Kolhapuri Chappal, Few foot-marks and the top lid of a cheap briefcase. Incidentally, I saw a single pair of Kolhapuri Chappal and a handle of a briefcase just on the parapet of the culvert.
They are suspecting a kidnap case and looking for all his friends and known persons particularly those with whom he has business transactions. However, until now nobody telephoned and asked for ransom. This clip was enough to send tremors in my heart.
Monti was one of our bad clients. We agreed to prepare an integrated package of design of a shopping Mall to be built by him. Monty paid only half the amount. Although we submitted all the drawings before time, he turned out to a defaulter for the remaining amount. We sent in few reminders and finally gave up.
Things may go hot for me for the following reasons.
· Monti is a defaulter of fifty lakhs to us. There are cases when people resort to this practice of kidnapping to recover their debt. There are other points to make me an easy suspect.
· My physical description starting from the height, color and jet black curly hair on my head, matches well with the description of this tall person.
· I own a light blue colored Bolero and often wear a stripped golf cap.
· Only this afternoon, possibly just at the time of kidnapping, I changed my usual route and took this dirt road route. There is also an icing on the cake.
· Just before the highway, I stopped at the signal. Many people are now possibly ringing up the TV persons that they saw a sky blue Bolero coming from the dirt road with a protruding face of a black spaniel from the front seat and the vehicle driver was a curly haired possibly tall and dark person. Someone might have noted my Number plate, which the first two people did not.
Most likely, I am on the top of the suspicion list and the moment Police starts grilling me, the consequences are bad for me.
City group has not yet finalized the deal in black and white and they may make some excuse to withdraw from the contract. I have few ongoing projects of other companies. Going by legal reasons, they may not withdraw but may make things tough for me.
All these things may make me back to square no.1 of my struggle days.
I was about to call my lawyer friend but dropped the idea after thinking few things.
Just now, this News channel told that there was a call in Monty’s mobile following which he went out in his VW. Police is busy in tracing this call or the ransom call already done by the miscreants but not disclosed to media. Whatever may be the case, the Police shall be busy for the rest of the night in either one of them or both. I am not coming into picture in either of them. Let me not apprehend things and panic.
Monty’s underworld friends are much professional than Police .They must be on the prowl right now. With their strong network and connections, they are quite capable to narrow down the place where the miscreants kept Monti as a hostage.
The chicken roast is ready in the microwave. The aroma and the beep sounds were both telling that. I placed some portions of it in two dishes, one for me, and the rest for my guest Pluto. Pluto licked it and had a bite. As I leaned to Pluto to serve him the dish, a nauseating smell of Ether entered my nostrils. Surely, this dog was made senseless by spraying Ether, during the incident. I made another drink and carried the dish and the glass to washroom.
I shall have my dinner as well as soaking in the lukewarm bathtub. Before leaving from the living room, I changed the channel to a local music video channel and kept the bathroom door open.
Before I undressed, I had a bite from the soft roasted chicken breast and a big gulp of whisky and kept my drink and the plate on the wide side wall of the bathtub so that I can take majestically both of them while soaking in the tub.
The channel stopped music and possibly some anchor started saying something. I reached for my glass and heard the loud barks of Pluto. Pluto came running to me in the bathroom and went back to living room and balcony.
Monty’s Voice was filling the room. I quickly got up from the tub, put on the bathrobe and ran to the living room.
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