The Last Resort
The Last Resort
A lmost forty and very fit, Laurie Lyall was the epitome of a good dad, husband and employee. He was a vegetarian and a zealous environmentalist. Highly motivated and energetic, he was a man with causes to conquer, but right now, his problem was placating his wife.
"Look, love, I can't take a day off work every time you get stressed out. The police have things in hand and I doubt those mugs will try anything like that again. I'm sure they'll leave it at that." Determined to hide his distress, Laurie tried to avoid adding to the emotion of the situation.
Marian sounded furious. "So here we stay, like sitting ducks, waiting for the next attack on our children and our home."
"That's pretty unlikely. The police say that whoever was responsible for the attack was making a point and now they've done it. They were trying to scare us off. Me, that is."
"Well, they've certainly scared me off. I'm going to stay with Dad. I can't take chances with our children's lives. You do what you like." Marian pushed her long hair back from her face; she looked tired and older than her thirty-five years.
"Marian, please? I agree the risks are too great. I'm backing out, as of today. I remember when the first stage of the resort was being built, and Jon Chamberlaine took a major role in the protest. He eventually disappeared, no one knows where, but obviously someone scared him off in the same way they are trying intimidate me now. I assure you, there'll be no more caring about the environment or corrupt developers. I'm finished with the lot, I promise! I handed in my resignation to the group this afternoon." His voice was pleading as he walked toward his wife with his arms out.
"Well that may be, but I still don't feel safe staying here, Laurie. Whoever did this to us wouldn't know you've resigned and they could be back. These people obviously put no value on human life, and have no concern for the effects of today's attack on the kids, or me. What if the kids, or you, me, any of us, had been sitting at the dining room table behind the French doors, eh? Have you thought of that?"
Marian turned back to her packing with tears in her eyes. She had made it clear that she loved the way Laurie had stood up for what he believed in and she had been so proud of him when she saw the respect he engendered in others, but now, she could see that his ideals fell away to insignificance when tested against the lives of their family. She burst into tears, turned and walked into Laurie's arms, eager for the comfort and security of his love.
He held her close. "Things are very quiet with the computer repairs. Maybe we can have a little holiday. What if I ring the boss? I think he would be agreeable to my taking a week or so off. He's never agreed with my views, especially about development, but if I tell him I've quit the organization I think he'll come to the party."
Marian nodded and watched while her husband rang his boss and organised for them to disappear for two weeks. He turned to her and said "Surely, in a few weeks, things will have cooled off and maybe even be resolved."
Joe Monteno pushed his cap back and scratched his head in thought, as he drove home from his meeting with Karl. He could see how it all could work and he began to formulate a plan. He would begin with Reg, his old friend and neighbour of the past forty years. He would tell Reg, in confidence of course, about a few problems he'd been having for a long time that he had never mentioned before. Up until now, he would say, he had kept it to himself, but now that someone was showing an interest in buying his property, he was going to snap up the offer. He would say nothing to the buyer about the soil problems affecting his crops and his cattle. For a man, Reg was a good talker, even a better gossip than Beryl. Joe knew that his confidential talk with Reg