We got a tip. Allegedly there was a woman who knew Jack very well.
Jack was living in the city for three years and he didn’t have many friends. We were trying to find him, but he disappeared. He had something for us and we knew it was valuable. But he was gone and nobody knew where he went.
We didn’t know anyone in the city, so we didn’t know where to ask. But it didn’t stop us from asking around. In one bar a half-drunk man told us where to look. He knew Jack a bit. He played cards with him and Jack won a lot of money from him. The man was not happy and when he saw us looking for him, he was very helpful. He wanted us to find him and hurt him.
Jack had a girlfriend, some kind of an artist. She was painting pictures or what and she had a little atelier in the city centre. We were standing in front of it. A big gray building, it looked very old. There was a huge gate but no doorbells. We didn’t need any. We went in.
We went up the stairs to the top floor. There was only one door and we knew it was hers. My partner knocked on the door. A few seconds later a young woman opened and stopped. She was wearing an old black T-shirt and a big worn out khaki coat. It was too big for her, so she was wearing it with the sleeves rolled up.
‘Who are you?’ she asked when she saw us. But I think she knew.
‘We’re friends,’ I said.
‘I don’t think so,’ she replied and tried to shut the door. But my partner put his feet into the doorway and pushed the door open. We went in.
‘What do you want from me?’ she asked and went back to the sunlit room. She was afraid of us, I could see that.
‘Information,’ I said. ‘We are looking for Jack.’
‘Jack? Why? What do you want from him?’ she was looking right into my eyes.
‘He wants something from us. He sent us a message to come and help him. But then he disappeared and we cannot find him,’ I said and I walked to the window. ‘We need to know what happened to him. We need to know why he needed our help.’
‘Are you Ron Grieve?’ she asked.
‘Yes I am. Did he tell you about me?’
‘Yes, he did. He said he would call you. He said that you would come and help him,’ said the girl and came to the window. She was not afraid of us anymore. ‘But I think you’re late.’
‘What do you mean?’ I asked.
She took out a cigarette and looked for her lighter. After few seconds she found it in one of her pockets. She lit the cigarette and sat down on the windowsill. She blew out the smoke and told us about Jack.
valuable /ˈvæljuəbl/ – hodnotný, majúci vysokú hodnotu
doorbell /ˈdɔːbel/ – zvonček pri bráne/ dverách
knock /nɒk/ – klopať
worn out /ˌwɔːn ˈaʊt/ – obnosený
sunlit /ˈsʌnlɪt/ – osvetlený slnkom
lighter /ˈlaɪtə(r)/ – zapaľovač
windowsill /ˈwɪndəʊsɪl/ – okenica