Sorry for the delay posting this final segment of Life on the Left Side of the Fast Lane. December and early January were both busy and hectic with the death of our neighbor and a few days later the death of our close friend. These two women were the subject of a previous post, Views of God and Death in the Hospital. Computer problems also contributed, but I should not give excuses. I simply need to strive harder to deliver.
Life on the Left Side of the Fast Lane
(Ron and Amna go to Afghanistan in search of the missing Usman. Ron is disguised as Amna’s native driver. Along the way, they recruit Shauna, Usman’s girlfriend, to help them. Mohammed Ali captures them all, but Cedric helps them escape. Thus Ron finds himself driving the car with Amna, Cedric, Usman and Shauna as passengers. Of course he is on the left side of the road, driving fast because Mohamed Ali has given chase. Ron Cooper drifts to the right side of the road and discovers he is about to crash into oncoming traffic.)
The cars collided with a crash. Mohammed’s car came screeching to a halt beside the wreck. The driver deftly turned the car around and started back in the other direction, only to collide with another car that had pulled into the intersection.
Dazed by the crash, Ron wondered how it was that Kubla Kahn himself was emerging from the other car and running toward his car. He also wondered how the police had responded so quickly for there were now police cars with flashing lights both in front of and behind the crash scene. Police were running everywhere.
Kubla Kahn was hugging both of his children at once.
Zuftikhar opened the door and helped Ron climb out of the car. A policeman snapped handcuffs around Ron’s wrists, but when Zuftikhar protested, the cuffs were removed, and Zuftikhar asked, “You OK, Mr. Cooper?”
Ron could hear Usman explaining to his father how all of them had ended up in a car driven by a strange driver. Meanwhile, a tall man with a spectacular turban walked over from a car that had just arrived.
“Kubla, you corrupter of umpires,” said the tall man in a cheerful voice.
Kubla Kahn looked up in surprise. “Omar, you who doctors cricket balls so that they do not bounce true.” The two men shook hands warmly.
“When was it we saw each other last?”
“Thirty years ago at the national championships, I believe.”
“Yes, I had almost forgotten your treachery until Shauna introduced your son to me a couple of weeks ago. Of course I pretended not to know who he was. Shauna would have been so embarrassed.”
“My treachery? My dear Omar, with the city honor at stake, I had to include a bribe with my protest when you knocked down my wicket. My prospective father-in-law was in the stands. He never would have let me hear the end of it.”
Omar laughed, “You were such a superb batsman, I had to do something to protect my team’s reputation. That little trick with the ball was the only thing I could do to keep you from scoring any more runs. Even so, you kept hitting it.”
“The way your doctored ball bounced, I could barely get any wood on it. By rights, I should have hit most of your bowls out of the boundary. Then you knocked down my wicket clean to put me out. There was no way the crooked umpire could help me.”
“A bit of luck on my part, or you would have won the game single-handedly. By the way, what brings you here?”
“Usman was kidnapped last week, and yesterday my daughter, Amna, disappeared. My driver said she had gone into Afghanistan looking for her brother, so we were on the way to rescue them both. A police car was following us in case there was a need to arrest someone like Mohammed Ali over there.”
“My daughter also failed to come home last night so I mounted a search. A villager saw her in the back of a speeding car and told me immediately. Hence, I requisitioned police of my own and made chase.”
“Omar, what will we do about our children?”
“I do not know. They are too big to spank.”
“Last night I noticed that my wife no longer has the family locket. She admitted that Usman wanted to present it to your daughter as a–ah–a token of. . . .”
Omar broke in, “Shauna seems overly-fond of your son. Would it be out of order to encourage them to marry?”
Shauna shrieked with joy and sprang into Usman’s arms. The happy couple stood there kissing. Meanwhile, the police were leading Mohammed and his companions back to their car.
“By the way,” asked Kubla Kahn, “Where is Mr. Cooper? Can anyone account for him?”
Zuftikhar stepped forward with a bottle of alcohol and said something in Urdu. He pulled the turban off of Ron’s head and washed the stain from Ron’s face with alcohol.
Kubla Kahn said, “Mr. Cooper, it is a relief to see you in good health. Now Mr. Shaw, would you please step over here. This concerns you as well.”
Cedric stepped over, “Mr. Kahn, I’m sorry I. . . .”
Kubla Kahn interrupted him with a wave of his hand. “What matters is that you found evidence of fraud in the quality control records. Specifically, you found evidence of tampering with the shipment sent to Mr. Ali’s company. It was good that you took the initiative to involve security because they uncovered a sinister plot to create the illusion of a scandal against me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“There was nothing wrong with the shipment, but Mohammed Ali bribed one of our testers to make the data appear defective. On the basis of that, he and his father were blackmailing me to give him Amna’s hand in marriage, but. . .” he waved his hand, “the contract is null and void. That is why the police were with me. They are prepared with warrants to arrest Mohammed with dispatch. Not only was he blackmailing me, but this could also be construed to be a government contract irregularity. Cedric, I owe you a debt of gratitude.”
“But it was Mr. Cooper who pointed out to me. . . .”
Ron interrupted Cedric, “You did the hard work. You deserve the credit. I am a consultant. I only advise.”
Kubla Kahn spoke again, “Cedric, I understand you went to Afghanistan to rescue Amna. You are the hero, in fact, twice a hero. The only fitting reward for such heroism would be to give Amna to you as your bride.”
Amna covered her mouth with her hands as if to suppress her joy and began dancing happily.
Cedric said, “Mr. Kahn, I love Amna, but I am not worthy of marrying into your family. My social status is so far below yours, I would never be able to keep her or you happy.”
Kubla Kahn shrugged, “Suit yourself, but starting tomorrow, you are vice president of corporate quality control. On that salary, you should be able to support a wife in comfort. Furthermore, the Kahn family has more than enough social status. We should be able to lend a little of it to the man who will help Usman lead the company through the twenty-first century.”
All Cedric could say was, “Thank you. Sir.”
Amna and Cedric embraced and kissed passionately while Shauna and Ustman stood with arms around each others waists.
Kubla Kahn said to Omar, “How unfortunate they are too big to spank, We need some way to teach all of them not to display so much affection in public.”
This is one of my early works. I had fun writing it and hope you have had fun reading it.
My thriller, Chased Across Australia, is available from Xlibris, Amazon, Barnes and noble and many fine bookstores. You may wish to view the website Xlibris dedicated to my book, www.chasedacrossaustralia.com. Also visit my website, www.Congerbooks.info where you will probably get the best deal.
If you do read Chased Across Australia, I encourage you to post a review on GoodRead.com.