"Been galavantin' down west, 'av he?"
"I've been doing some research, yes." I sat in the darkness, my eyes flicking between him and the "muscle" he had brought with him. I had been waiting there, on the bench, for an hour. Drizzling. Cold. The Meber and his monkey were later than I would normally wait. I stood up from the bench and offered my hand to the contact. He turned, I think just to check that his security was there, and he held out his hand to shake mine. His fingers had the cold dampness of a man who has killed more than once.
The monkey stood beside me.
"So... what is it you wanna know?" the contact asked. As he waited for my answer, I reached into my jacked to get out my notepad. Ummmph! My face was being pushed up hard against the back of the bench and my arm, close to snapping off, was being compressed into my back. I was suddenly in the middle of a rather impromptu fracas. I thought fast. Should I Tai Chi their asses into oblivion or plead and beg and negotiate. Remembering that I only did Tai Chi for one summer, nearly twenty years ago, I began to beg...
Some moments of begging later...
"Sorry about that Chester; he thought you were going for a gun." The monkey was standing well back now and gave a thuggish shrug. I looked at him with that faux sternness of a man who feels safe, rather than dominant, in a dangerous situation. Regaining some composure and slightly less dignity, I started to take notes.
"Can I ask about how you got into Mebyon Kernow?" I asked.
"No, you cannot."
"Can I ask about the history of MK?""The first rule of MK is - you do not talk about MK." His voice was commanding. "The second rule of MK is - you DO NOT talk about MK". His gimp nodded in sage agreement.
"So what can we talk about?"
"Anything but MK." He could see I was getting irked at his responses. I didn't know how to play it. What with the Nanpean wookie and my general fear of how tough MK could get, I wasn't holding too many cards to play.
"So... you knew I wanted to talk to you about MK. Don't you think it would have been fair for you to tell me about the first and second rule of MK before I drove thirty miles and waited over an hour for you?"
"You want to know what's not fair, Chester? I'll tell you what's not fair..." He turned to the muscle and nodded that he should go and sit in the car. We waited. When we both heard the car door shut, the MK contact asked me if I was prepared to go off the record. Strictly. I thought for a moment about my responsibility to pass on the truth and weighed this against my life-long curiosity about MK. Truth is a beguiling mistress, but often her perfume stinks of falsehood.
"You can't tell me then, I'm sorry. I cant go off the record on this. " I said, not sure if I made the right choice. He nodded, and I think in his eyes I got a little bit more respect."It's time for me to go. But I like you Chester. I'll be in touch."
"Thanks for meeting me," I said, trying not to sound like a pussycat. He started walking and I plucked up the courage to interject into his departure.
"Can I know your name, at least?" I asked. He stopped in his tracks and slowly turned just enough for his head to be facing me.
"I am a friend of Tresozee."
Part Four - Tresozee's Dark Header, will be published shortly.