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The Meandering Thoughts of a Nomadic Mind:
Crime Novellas Vol 1
by Peter C Byrnes

Genre/Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
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The Meandering Thoughts of a Nomadic Mind: Novellas Vol 1 by Peter C Byrnes
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Synopsis

This free ebook contains two unputdownable Crime Novellas from the pen of Peter C Byrnes.

Also by Peter C Byrnes on obooko:

The Meandering Thoughts of a Nomadic Kind: Short Stories, Book 1 by Peter C ByrnesThe Meandering Thoughts of a Nomadic Mind:  by Peter C ByrnesThe Meandering Thoughts of a Nomadic Mind: Short Stories, Book 1 by Peter C ByrnesVengeance is Sweet By Peter C Byrnes

Excerpt from The Blue Sapphire:

They'd both died paupers.

My dad suddenly. Unexpectedly in prison.

Grafton.

His life cut short by a shiv expertly thrust straight into his heart.

No-one has ever gone down for his murder.

I thought I knew who and why after several years of asking surreptitious questions. Sneaking about. Listening. Knowing when to shut my gob. There would come a payback day I knew that for sure.

I can remember us being relatively well-off with money never a problem. Once my Dad went down, my Mum and the rest of the tribe were out on the street. All of the wealth that we supposedly had, obtained by illegal means. According to the cops and the court. They took the lot not caring, so it seemed, about our welfare. That was an absolute bummer and for several years we had to rely on the charity of others before Mum got back on her feet running a brothel for a family friend of ours.

She was shot down in a hail of bullets. It was suspected but never proven that a Bikie gang wanted to establish their own joint in the area and no amount of cajoling would convince the brothel owner to quit the location. So they tried a bit of strong-arm tactics. Shot my Mum. A bit over the top I’d’ve thought. What-ever, they were known for that type of impromptu pro-active response! It seemed to be enough though. The Owner closed up shop immediately after and moved to the Gold Coast. A quiet retirement life that was also cut short by a hail of bullets when he tried to again open up shop on some-one else's turf.

Presumably another Bikie gang but nothing was ever proven.

I was fourteen at the time of my mother's death.

A chance suddenly appeared for me as a stable-hand which out of desperation, I grabbed with both hands. Wanting to escape this world on the edge of society where the cops always suspected the worse and you being the instigator, little boy or not! In age and stature.

The Trainer in question known more for his shady connections than his winning ways. He had been good mates with my Dad though. A favour repaid supposedly.

That was some thirty years ago and I found that I loved the job and more than that, loved horses. I seemed to have some sort of affiliation, a sense of what a horse was thinking that eventually became a well-worn rumour around the track and with other Trainers. I was snapped up, more or less stolen from my shady employer who seemed to want to keep me as a Strapper with no other future role thought of. The guy who convinced me that I had a future in the racing game was one of the most successful and honest Trainers in Australia. That is not a paradox but a truth. Most are not shady characters. He took me under his wing. A Strapper and Stable Hand and then quickly an Apprentice Jockey. For about fifteen years I was quite a successful Rider for him alone until several falls in close succession sucked me of my nerve.

After those couple of falls and some time in hospital, I'd mount a horse even to do some gentle training exercises and all I could see was flying horses catapulting, somersaulting and hitting the ground around me with sickening thumps and whumps of escaping hot air from their huge lungs. Other riders sailing through the air and the massive form of a horse falling toward me as I lay paralysed on the ground. The only thing that saved me was a stiff front leg of the horse that careened her massive body away from my frozen form by millimetres. The horrible and surprisingly loud crack as that front leg snapped. The death of this thoroughbred now assured. I will be for-ever certain that the horse knew exactly what was in store for her but she chose to hold those front legs stiff in an effort to avoid my still form saving me from a horrible death.

She suffering that fate instead.

The Trainer through connections, got me a job with the Race Course Security Group which meant that I could still stay around the industry that I had come to love. I would watch out over the race goers, milling with the crowds on the look-out for Pick-pockets, Conmen, winning ticket-stub thieves and the usual Barfly come con-artist. And the habitual drunken bully and yobbo spoiling a good day out by the majority of the racing fraternity. I became somewhat of a celebrity in this role. I don't stand out in a crowd. It never occurred to me that my small stature would be enough to make me almost unnoticeable. Invisible-like. I now always think that I can get lost in the crush; and often do!

My mentor, friend and former employee bank-rolled my introduction into the world of the Private Investigator some five years ago. I still do the security role on the Course when-ever there is a race meet in town as this is my steady meal ticket otherwise I couldn't survive.

Although there are lean times, the success stories are there.......Ok......they're rather lean too! As a PI and as a Course Detective. But I usually get by with a winning tip if things get desperate.

Yep, I love the life especially when I still get the chance to walk around a Race Course on race day. Talking to riders I once competed against. The young ones coming up. Giving them tips on how to handle certain rides. The sassy ones. The lazy ones. The impatient ones. The over-confident fillies who need to be taken down a peg or two before they can win with confidence. Most horses need to know the feeling of loosing before they can get that winning feeling. Listening to the hidden language of the horses as they prepare themselves for their race. Stirring up the stable hands and strappers. Getting the occasional inside tip on a sure bet. Mingling with the common folk, the hoy-polloy, and the movers and shakers of industry, the law and politics. I now know them all and they can be good to know.

An advantage.

More than one case has come my way because of this attachment, this common bond of racing. And more than one clue has been learnt the same way.

My siblings?

After our Mum was killed, we drifted apart. Both my sisters are interstate. Somewhere. Married I guess. One brother is in prison, another in a shady past-time down south which one can safely assume will end eventually in tragedy. Two of my younger brothers own some sort of Pub or two in Bangkok and Manila, just two breathes this side of the law.

The youngest brother by quite a few years is a Solicitor and a rising star in local politics. We still keep in touch. Him and I. We never mention the other siblings when we chat, which is not that often. An occasional beer with one another when he is in town at the more important race meetings. Nothing else; as though he wants to keep some distance believing the common fiction of PI's being a little on the shady side.

Surprisingly, he has steered several small jobs my way, though a Kindergarten kid could have solved them. But they paid well and on time. He sometimes hints at further consults. He's a good kid. Heading in the right direction with a brain and a streak of compassion and empathy a mile wild.

I'm rather proud of him though admitting this fact would never do.

As though by comparison my achievements in life in staying away from what one could call a hereditary flaw was so much less successful than his chosen path in life.