The Emerald CrossChapter 14

"Finally, we managed to get a warrant to search Belle Mahoney's house!" Emily and Danny were driving along the coast road. They had radioed for a police car with uniformed officers to meet them there.

"I expect they will have got rid of anything they don't want us to see by now," Danny said gloomily, "they must know we would be back, after what Jason did to you."

"Yes, his reaction certainly did give away that they've got something to hide! The average person doesn't beat up their party guests for snooping around."

They arrive at the gate of the house. Danny went over to where a dark blue car was parked a few yards away from the gate. After a short conversation with the man in the car he came back.

"I asked Jim to keep an eye on the house. Robinson and Mahoney went out this morning and they haven't yet come back. Shall we go and see if they've left a window open?"

They walked up to the big front door and examined the lock. "Let's see if there's an easier way in," said Emily. They continued round the house to the base of the tower. Here there was a small door which she examined carefully. "I think I can get this one open," she said. A few minutes work with her skeleton keys was enough to get the door open. When they got inside she saw a large bolt and chain on the inside of the door; luckily it had not been fastened. "Belle needs to be more careful. With all the jewellery she's got, it's just too tempting for burglars."

They went up the tower stairs and past the pink bedroom. Cautiously they entered the study on the top floor where Jason had locked Emily in the night before. She showed Danny how to open the hidden door and together they entered the secret room. Now at last she would find out what was in all those filing cabinets. To her surprise, the first one she tried was unlocked. She pulled the deep drawers open one by one. They were completely empty.

A few of the filing cabinets remained locked and they decided to try to get these open. "They probably took all the good stuff out and moved it somewhere else," Danny grumbled. Just then Emily heard a noise. It sounded like a door closing downstairs.

"I hope that's not Belle coming back," she whispered to Danny, "it might be Jim, I suppose, with a message for us. I'll go down quietly and see what it is."

As silently as possible, she crept down the little winding staircase that went down from the secret room to the ground floor. She stopped and put her ear to the door to the small sitting room. She heard the unmistakable lilt of Belle Mahoney's voice.

"Don't worry, Jason, we'll get you away from here, but first Paul and I must make another trip to move the rest of the papers. If some of those documents get into the hands of the Garda then we're all in real trouble."

Jason was in the next room! She should have known he would get in touch with Belle as soon as he could. At least there were still some useful documents in the filing cabinets.

"I've got a fake passport." That was Jason's voice. "I just need that and a change of clothes and I'm out of here."

"We'll give you a lift to your place as soon as we've got the papers to the safe house. But we must make sure we're not followed. Belle, I noticed a dark blue car in the road when we left and it's still parked not far from your gate. I think the Garda are keeping an eye on us. I'm surprised they haven't sent someone to search the house." That was the voice of Paul Robinson.

"The passport's not at my flat, thank God." That was Jason again. "The Garda are probably waiting for me there. No, I put everything I need somewhere else in case I was suspected and they searched my flat."

"Here, take my car keys and get away quickly," Belle exclaimed, "if the Garda are watching the house, they might come for you at any moment!"

"I'd like a few minutes alone with you, Belle, to say goodbye. Who knows when we will be able to see each other again?"

At that moment a loud thump was heard from the top of the tower. It sounded as if Danny had dropped a big pile of papers.

"What on earth was that!" said Belle in alarm.

"The Garda! I knew it! They must have got in to search the house," said Paul.

"We've got to stop them!" Belle wailed, "there's far too much evidence still left upstairs!"

"Your father's gun, Belle! Where is it?"

"Jason! If you go up there with a gun, they might kill you!"

"No, they won't. The Garda will be sorry they tried to interfere with our plans. I won't let them stop us if I have to kill the lot of them. I'm going up there, Belle. I hope one of them is that bitch Emily."

Emily had to think fast. She couldn't let Jason get hold of a gun and then go upstairs and shoot Danny. Taking out her gun, she shouted as loud as she could, "Garda! Put your hands up!" and kicked open the door. As she did so she heard the sound of a siren. Her back up team were on their way and not a moment too soon!

Belle and Paul realised at once that it was hopeless and put up their hands in surrender. Jason was standing in front of the window. Determined to evade capture, he jumped out before Emily could stop him and ran quickly to where Belle had parked her car. In an instant he was speeding away from the house, vanishing at the end of the road as the Garda car turned in at the gate. At once Jim, who was still watching the house, took off after him.

There was a loud knocking at the door. "That will be my men," Emily said to Belle, "could you let them in, please? And for your information we have a search warrant."

Four men came in and Emily was pleased to see that one of them was Liam. "Good! You're back from Italy! Any luck?"

"Emily, I've got something amazing to show you!"

Danny came into the room from upstairs. "So have I!" he said. "I've found records of the meetings of the Secret IRB going back several years. At last we can put that gang of terrorists where they belong - in prison!"

"You can't put me in prison!" Belle was horrified. "All I've done is let them use my house for meetings and fund raisers. I can't go to prison for that!"

Emily said to the uniformed men, "Arrest them both on charges of terrorism." Then turning to Belle she said, "If you really want to stay out of prison, tell us where the rest of the files are hidden. I won't promise anything, but that's your best chance of making a deal."

"Don't tell them anything, Belle!" Paul Robinson shouted as he was dragged away.

"I don't know anything," Belle protested, opening her eyes wide.

"Take her away and lock her up," was Emily's retort.

Danny added, "There's plenty of evidence upstairs to convict her."

After the two conspirators had been taken away, Belle still loudly protesting her innocence, Paul stubbornly silent, Emily said, "There's one place we haven't searched that might be interesting. Belle's bedroom!"

Emily, Danny and Liam went up the main staircase to the pink bedroom. Belle had large quantities of elegant designer clothes in her immaculately tidy wardrobe. There was an antique dressing table covered with a pale pink embroidered cloth. On it were jars of expensive face cream and several bottles of perfume. In a drawer of this dressing table Emily found a jewel case. Inside were a string of pearls, a pair of diamond earrings, a gold and diamond necklace and a few other pieces of jewellery. At the bottom lay something wrapped carefully in tissue paper. Emily opened it and gazed down in triumph at the object in her hands.

"Here it is! We've found the emerald cross!"

Garda Headquarters, Dublin 2007