The Spy Tale: Back in the Lions Den to Rescue Part 3
John Mathews was a restless individual. He was not happy with his life in Lucknow. Firstly, he missed his wives and children, and secondly, he craved adventure. When he was alone, he was assailed by a myriad thoughts and wondered why he didn't stay back and take his wive's along with him. A feeling of guilt would overtake him and he resolved that he must make another a trip into the lion's den and try and get his wives and children to the home country.
This was a challenge because it was extremely difficult but he was confident that in case the chief had faith in him he would be successful. The chief was a man with a one-track mind and why would he help him to go back to the enemy country?
The Gita says that it is the Lord who decides what to do and how to do and he will create the situation because as stated not a leaf moves without his will. To get over his guilt John decided to confess to the local priest and after Sunday mass he made his confession to the priest. He told him everything without mentioning about his espionage activities.
The priest listened intently and just said," have faith in the Lord something will happen." Something did happen because the chief telephoned John. He told him to come to his office as he had an assignment for him.
"What sort of assignment sir?"
The chief replied, "I know your problem and since I have created it I will help you solve it."
John told his parents that he would be going for some work for a few weeks and took leave from them and caught the Lucknow express to the capital. There he was ushered into the presence of the chief. As John entered the chief came forward and shook his hand. "John," he said, "I remember my first meeting with you where you had said you were ready for any adventure, well I have got a very big adventure for you now and this also will give you a very big chance."
"What is the big chance for me"
"My friend the big chance is to go and get your family out of the enemy country. As I have told you I have created this problem for you and I will solve it but this means going into the lion's den and it can be very dangerous. At the same time, I am going to facilitate your travel to the enemy country. You will receive a lot of support in the enemy country because after losing the war they are in a state of ferment and there is a lot of opposition to the government."
"How am I going to go about it and what else I have to do, sir?"
"You will make your plan of action but the broad framework is that you will enter the enemy country and go back to your home you will tell your family that you have escaped from the persons who had kidnapped you. Now here is the crunch. My way of thinking is that you will tell your family the truth as to who you are and give them the option to come with you and in case your wive's love you they will come with you, in case they don't then you will have to come back alone."
John listened intently. His heart was beating virulently as he was aware of the dangers involved but he was confident that he would succeed.
The chief continued," besides, you will also bring along with you the Imam of the village mosque."
The chief smiled, " you know I am like an octopus. I have my arms everywhere but now the same Imam who you had met the first time is on the verge of being arrested as an informer. You will recollect you have married his daughter. You will bring the Imam along with you."
"You mean the Imam is your man?"
"Yes, you have perhaps forgotten that I told you that I was in one of the Mosques close to the capital city for six years."
The enemy intelligence has now got wind of this man and you have to move very fast otherwise he will be captured and shot.
John Matthews's nose smelled adventure. He was once again reminded of that famous quote of Sherlock Holmes, "Watson the game is afoot."
"Lastly, our contacts in the enemy country will arrange a four-wheel-drive Jeep for you. You will decide at the moment how to escape from the enemy country with your family and the Imam
Inside the Den
John Mathews once again became Akram Khan. He caught the flight to Kabul and wearing the dress of an Arab alighted from the liner. He decided to hire a taxi to take him to the border. Dressed as an Arab, Akram Khan caught a taxi to the border. This was the time when the enemy country was in great ferment and the opposition had launched an agitation against the Prime Minister. They had accused the head of the government or having rigged the election and thus massive demonstrations were continuing throughout the country. The army after its defeat where it had lost 90,000 soldiers as POW was quiet.
Thus it was relatively easy for Akram to cross the border into the enemy country. As per the plan he was met on the other side by a tall Pathan.No word was spoken and the only word used by the Pathan was the code word, " cuckoo is calling."Akram replied, " yes I know." The Pathan lead the way forward to a jeep parked under a cluster of trees. He gave him the keys and then walked away. No words were spoken pointing to the professionalism of the men hired by the chief.
Akram was well aware of the route and he was on his way to the desert. After a few hours of driving, he had entered the famous desert. He continues driving towards the village. He was alert all around and hoped that his contact had put sufficient petrol in the jeep. He looked back and saw three Jerry cans and he was confident this would take him home.
The entire country was in turmoil as after the defeat of the army in the last war there was instability all around. The opposition parties had all ganged up against the Prime Minister and a countrywide agitation had commenced. There were demonstrations and morchas all over the country. The Army was lying low and licking its sores after the defeat in the east.
The intelligence of the enemy was trying its best to come to grips with the situation. The chief of intelligence stood before a large map and told a few senior officers sitting before him, "gentlemen I do not doubt that somebody in this vast desert is passing information to the enemy. I am unable to pinpoint the place but very soon I am likely to get information and then we shall catch the informer and the spy."
John Matthews drove straight to the mosque. He removed his shoes and entered inside, "Hazoor" he shouted," I have come."
The imam quickly appeared. Seeing John, he smiled, "I was waiting for you and getting worried. The chief told me that you would come. When do we leave?"
"Within two hours, get your stuff ready, I'm going to my house"
He drove quickly to the house and knocked on the door. Outside it was extremely hot and the temperature must have been 55°. There were ominous signs that a sandstorm was in the offing.
The younger wife opened the door and gasp, "Akram when did you come, we thought you were dead."
"Yes, but I am alive, where is Nasreen. The elder wife came and rushed into his arms "the children miss you"
"Where are they?"
John kissed both his wives and the pent-up desire of the last few months overtook him. He was an extremely strong man and he lifted both the girls one on each of his arms and with soft kisses carried them to the bed.
This time he threw propriety out of the window as his desire for both the woman was intense. He kissed both repeatedly and then commenced a glorious play.
Inside the room, it was a little cooler, and with the table fan blowing he carried out his nuptial duties. It was a hedonistic delight culminating in a sophomoric pleasure. He was also desperate as he had been denied both the girls for so many months. He felt that even if we were to die it was worth coming back for this.
After it was all over he kissed both the girls softly and said," I'm going to let you into a secret and the choice is entirely yours."
"What is it?"
John related everything to them and at the same time, he ended the story by saying, "I love both of you and that is why I have come back in the face of death. You have the option to come with me or you can stay here and will be looked after."
The daughter of the Imam, Nasreen was the first to speak. She had an inkling of everything and she had only one word to say," my Lord I understand my father is going with you and I am also coming".
John looked at his younger wife and all she did was to rush into his arms saying, "yes, yes let's go"
"There is no time to lose we have to pick up the imam from the mosque, let's go"
Both the woman and the children sat in the jeep. John drove the jeep towards the mosque. He pulled up outside but the trouble was at hand. A constable who had replaced the earlier constable who had been arrested appeared on the scene. He saw the jeep and asked, "who are you and where are you going.?"
John did not answer anything but just pulled out his revolver and fired at the constable who slumped on the sand. He was aware that either he or the constable must die. He regretted it but there was no choice. Both the girls were bewildered but kept their wits.
Hearing the shot the Imam came and sat in the front seat.."I have information" he said "that a platoon of the soldiers is heading this way we must make a quick getaway. What route will you follow?"
" I was thinking that I will follow the route to Afghanistan but I'm not going to do it. I am going to go through a dangerous route but it is shorter and if God wills within an hour we will be in safe territory."
"You mean you are going to cross the eastern border?"
"yes, but before that let's cover the body and then make our escape. Both girls were sitting bewildered. They knew that it was a matter of life and death now.
John put the land cruiser into 4x4 mode and got away from the path onto the dunes. Driving in the dunes is not something easy but John was an expert and the jeep began to go over the dunes. A sand storm was also brewing and John felt that it would be his savior.
John headed into the desert. He was lucky because just about 10 minutes after he left an army patrol reached the mosque. They wasted precious time searching the place for the imam and then discovered the body of the constable. By this time almost half an hour to 40 minutes had elapsed and John had already moved miles away.
One of the enemy soldiers saw the tire marks of the jeep on the sand and shouted, "the enemy agent has escaped with the imam in a jeep. Radio a message to the border to stop him."
The desert storm had now gathered momentum and all-round visibility was reduced to zero. The message was received by a border outpost but the captain in charge could not make any head or tail out of it because no locations were given.
With the storm raging he got into his jeep and by instinct began to drive westward. John was aware that crossing the border would be easier with the storm raging. It would be his savior.
The army jeep stood in the center of the desert and the captain tried to look around. Johns's land cruiser reached almost up to him and that is when he saw the vehicle. Before he could give the order to fire John had fired his pistol. The automatic belched smoke in the storm, its sound muffled by the wind. His training had come in handy, the captain received a bullet in his neck and slumped forward while the other two soldiers were shot dead.
John did not wait further and soon he was driving towards the border. His only fear was that portions of the border had been mined and he was wary that his vehicle would hit a mine be blown up into the sky. He trusted his judgment and sixth sense and then far away he could see the camels cops of the border security force. He drove up straight to them and said," I am a friend help me."
The soldier on top of the camel shouted," what is your code, I will radio to find out."
Much later they sat in a tent of the force and the chief came online.
" John," he said," you have done us proud, now you can go to your home in Lucknow and introduce your wive's to your mother and father.'
As John reached home his mother was delighted to see him as well as her two small grandchildren. She just said," It's the will and blessing of the Lord and now I will not let you go away because we have sufficient money to live comfortably."
Did John go on another mission?, I really don't know but the last report which came was that his young wife was in the family way.