The following morning Toni called the chauffeur, Larbi and advised him to go ahead and have Radouan moved to the Psychiatric Facility. Then come round and see her at five that evening.
At lunch there was a call from Pero who confirmed that Radouan had been quietly transferred from his isolation cell at Boulmaraz to a room in the Psychiatric Hospital, one leg chained to the side of his bed and watched over by two armed guards. The idea of Radouan now isolated in a private room disturbed Prospero as the guards could easily claim he had attacked them and shoot him.
‘Something more has to be done.’ He told Toni, ‘Either Radouan must be moved to a ward, or the guards must be disarmed... at least now there are no restrictions on our going to visit him.’
By the time Larbi arrived at Toni’s that evening to collect his three hundred thousand dirhams, Pero had set up a voice activated recording machine in one of the back bedrooms; with a remote microphone in the drawing room so powerful it could pick up heavy breathing. Toni made a point of going over the transaction and insisted before she handed over the money, Larbi, must promise that the men guarding Radouan would be disarmed.
At first he was adamant that it could not be done, wasn’t part of the deal. Radouan was a dangerous man. The guards had to be armed. He wanted his thirty bricks.
Toni was amazed, and amused by his audacity, so she offered him ten bricks more if Radouan was in good shape when he appeared before the Tribunal. She could tell Larbi’s mind was wavering. He actually looked around the room as if to be sure they were alone. ‘How do I know you will keep your word?’ he sneered quietly, ‘you are a very tricky woman.’
‘How do I know you will keep yours?’ she smiled, ‘you’re a very greedy fellow... I suppose we’ll have to trust each other.’
He laughed nervously at her frankness. ‘Yes of course,’ he said.
She motioned toward a black plastic garbage bag containing the money.
He opened it, counted out the number of bricks and carefully closed it. Then smiling seductively he got up and kissed both her hands, bid her good evening and made his way to the lift.
©Elwyn Chamberlain 2006