Western Mail - - WM2 | OPINION - The Golden Or­phans by Gary Ray­mond

I WAS about to say the Turk­ish guards were com­ing – ur­gency came up through me like a flume – but as soon as I opened my mouth, the guards crashed through the door be­hind me, their ri­fles raised and all of them shout­ing or­ders. But the five did not move. In­deed I was the only one on that roof to cower.

I watched as through the line of guards, their ri­fles raised, came a com­mand­ing of­fi­cer or some such – a cap­tain – and the ri­fles low­ered. Lo­qua­ciously, this of­fi­cer went up to one of the two women of the five, and they be­gan con­vers­ing in Turk­ish.

The woman pointed at Dina and Darya, the of­fi­cer fol­lowed her in­struc­tion, and then she did the same to Lou and Stelly. And me? I placed Vik­tor’s re­volver care­fully on the floor to make clear I was cer­tainly no threat. The of­fi­cer, it seemed, had some­thing to con­tem­plate, and a phrase kept com­ing up in Turk­ish, and the woman pointed at Stelly, and Stelly, his shot-up arm now bound with a rag tourni­quet, looked up at them both, as if he was in school de­ten­tion. He licked his lips and smiled with that ugly rep­til­ian way of his.

The of­fi­cer rubbed his hand across his chin. It felt as though I was the least of any­body’s problems at this mo­ment, so I stepped for­ward to him. “Sir, you need to un­der­stand that these girls are the ones in dan­ger,” I said, ges­tur­ing to Dina and Darya. He looked at me as if he had not even no­ticed I was there. “This woman is try­ing to kill them, and she has al­ready killed two men down­stairs in one of the rooms.”

The look he gave me was al­most one of sur­prise that I was even talk­ing to him at all. And then I re­alised I had made the mis­take of think­ing he was the law here, that I was invit­ing my­self into a po­lice pro­ce­dure, that I was plead­ing with a court of­fi­cer.

“This woman?” he said point­ing down at Lou. “Try­ing to kill these girls?”

Lou glared at me.

“Is this true?” the cap­tain said to her.

“He has no idea what he’s talk­ing about,” she said.

He looked back at me. “She dis­agrees with you,” he said.

> The Golden Or­phans by Gary Ray­mond is pub­lished by Parthian www.parthi­an­

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