Algeria Here I Come
By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Chapter 6 - You Aren't a Muslim
As Allie and Brahim and I left our suite, we saw Amir at the elevator door. We waited until he had started his descent before we pushed the call button. When we arrived in the lobby, we saw that he was talking to Hussein. Amir climbed into a car that arrived.
The desk attendant, Abbas, motioned for us, "Mr. Waller, I have a message. It was just delivered."
I opened the note and read it and handed it to Brahim.
The message read:
I am going to be sending a car for you. The driver will be Kadeen. He will be accompanied by Salah. Have Brahim tell Hussein in Arabic that you are going to be having dinner at Mr. Kazan's house.
Brahim nodded and we walked to the front door and Brahim was talking quietly to Hussein in Arabic.
As Brahim was talking to Hussein, a car pulled up and the driver jumped out, "Mr. Waller, I am here to take you and your friends to the Kazan residence."
The driver opened the doors and Brahim sat in the front seat and Allie and I entered the back. The driver pulled away from in front of the hotel. I was not sure what was happening. We started to turn all sorts of directions and it seemed as if we were going around in circles. We finally pulled into the garage where Khalid had let us out at lunchtime.
Another car pulled up and now Brahim, Allie and I were in the back seat with two men we didn't know in the front seat. Brahim tried to talk to them but they remained silent.
The driver took us to an area of the city where I hadn't been before, and I am not sure that Brahim or Allie had been either. We pulled into a circular driveway and when the car stopped, the two men opened the doors for us to exit. We were met at the door of the house by Inspector Khalid. He welcomed us, and led us to a dining room where Amir was already seated along with Mr. Kazan.
The door opened and the two gentlemen who had brought us in the car entered the room and were standing by the doors. Mr. Khalid looked at me, "Mr. Waller, the two gentlemen at the doors will be with you every evening until you leave our country. I gather you have rather upset some people by not including Mr. Stransky in your loop."
"Kadeen and Salah will be at your side, in the evening, in addition to Brahim whenever you go anywhere. When you leave the hotel in the morning, please take Allie to the police station, so nothing can happen to him. You have made some powerful enemies. The least of them is Mr. Stransky. We have no idea who he is working for, but we have reason to believe that he and his friends are stealing from the company and thus the Algerian government."
"I don't mean to alarm you but there have been a number of unknown people watching your hotel. You're either very shrewd or very naïve not to realize that you have stirred up such a hornets nest."
Mr. Kazan spoke for the first time, "Mr. Waller, ever since you told Mr. Stransky that you were going to report only to me, I have had workmen in my office constantly doing something. Please don't say anything that you don't want the people who are doing, whatever they are doing, to hear, while you are in the office."
Inspector Khalid interrupted, "Gentlemen, dinner is about to be served; Kadeen and Salah, please join us."
Dinner was served by two good looking young men. I was going to have to ask Allie and Brahim what it was that we were eating, later. Whatever it was, it was very good.
Mr. Kazan asked, "Mr. Waller, do you have any idea what might be happening at the refinery?"
I was hesitant to answer because I didn't know who all of the people around the table actually were. Inspector Khalid must have realized my reluctance to say anything, "Mr. Waller, Amir, Kadeen and Salah are completely trustworthy, as is the kitchen help. They have been carefully screened and that is why they have been assigned to you for the duration of your stay here in Algeria."
"They can all speak English, but they have been instructed to not say anything in English in front of others. Amir informs me that you have a laptop. If you need to communicate with them, then just write whatever you want to say to them on your laptop, but make certain you delete it as soon as the conversation is finished. Allie and Brahim, you need to be especially careful when you are around Amir in either of the suites. Most of the time Kadeen and Salah or their replacements will be out of sight."
I looked around, "In answer to Mr. Kazan's question, the end output does not reflect what the other logs suggest it should be. I have been trying to determine what might be happening. I would really like to be able to go into the facility at night and see what is happening in the distribution site."
"However, if I were to go into the refinery at night, I'm sure that whatever is happening might be stopped, or be hidden somehow."
Inspector Khalid nodded, "Kadeen and Salah have access to the refinery, but they would need to know what to look for. Why don't we take one of the harbor patrol boats and go see if you can determine anything strange from the waterfront area. We will need to be careful not to be too obvious."
"Kadeen and Salah, take Mr. Waller, Brahim and Allie to the harbor patrol complex at pier ten. Amir will drive Mr. Kazan and me. We will leave at different times, to avoid suspicion in the unlikely event that someone is following us."
We were met at the gate of harbor patrol compound by a young officer in uniform in a cart. He spoke in Arabic, and Allie was translating for me, "Please follow me. I'll show you where to park and we will go ahead and board the boat and wait for Inspector Khalid and his party to arrive."
After we had boarded the patrol boat, Kadeen, Salah and Brahim were talking to the officer in Arabic, so I had no idea what was being said. Allie leaned over to me, "They are explaining to the officer that we want to get as close to oil refinery as we can without being detected."
We were joined by the Inspector and his party. The officer gave directions to the person at the controls of the craft and we headed toward the pier at the end of the oil complex. As we approached, the officer had the man at the controls slow down and stay out of range of the lights. As we got closer to the refinery, there seemed to be a lot of activity in the distribution area. There was an oil tanker that appeared as if it was being loaded.
We watched the activity as we drifted by and it seemed as if everyone was moving in fast motion. After we passed the tanker which was definitely sitting lower in the water than when we first arrived, we approached an area where four tanker trucks and three train fuel tanker cars were being loaded."
I turned to the assembled group, "We know for a fact that there was quite a bit of activity here tonight. I plan to examine the logs in the morning and see what they reflect. Mr. Kazan, when I come into your office tomorrow, don't believe a word I say."
"Inspector Khalid, would it be possible to meet somewhere tomorrow, so I can brief everyone on what Brahim and I find. I'm concerned about dropping Allie off at the police station. Wouldn't that be sending a red flag to the other side saying that we are on to something?"
Inspector Khalid thought for a short time, "Mr. Waller, you're probably right. I just don't want anything to happen to Allie."
Allie had to add his two cents, "Why would the people think that a ten year old would know anything?"
The Inspector nodded, "Allie, they wouldn't necessarily want you because they thought you might know anything, but they would hold you as a bartering tool to make sure that Mr. Waller's mission fails."
Allie started to giggle, "I never thought that I might be used as a ransom tool."
When we docked at the pier, Inspector Khalid spoke to Kadeen, "Kadeen, we're going out the front gate. Give us about ten minutes then go out the other exit just in case someone did follow us. I'm beginning to realize that maybe this operation is bigger than anyone imagined. Mr. Waller, and all of you, please be very careful. Kadeen and Salah, you're replacements will be relieving you at midnight. Amir knows who they are."
"Mr. Waller, I'll send a messenger with plans for tomorrow, I will have it delivered to Wahib. Have a good evening gentlemen."
We watched as the first car left. Kadeen looked at us and spoke in English, "I believe I might have a solution with regard to Allie's safety. Why don't I pick Allie up when you leave for the refinery in the morning. He can spend the day with my two sons who are about his age. Even if someone were to see him with my sons, it shouldn't arouse any suspicion. I will bring him back when I come on duty tomorrow evening. You can have Amir call me. I can be there in 15 minutes and I`ll meet Allie at the service door."
Brahim nodded, "Kadeen, I like that idea very much. I would feel so much better if Allie weren't alone. I think Mr. Waller was right; we would be letting the bad guys know that we were onto something if we took Allie to the police station, and there is always the possibility that someone there is not what they might seem to be, no matter how much they might be trusted."
Kadeen and Salah took us to the garage and Salah told us to give him ten minutes before we left so he could be at the hotel when we arrived. When we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by Hussein, "I trust you had a good time tonight."
Allie laughed, "Yep, Mr. Kazan called and canceled the dinner, so we ate at a restaurant and went to see this dumb movie. Poor Mr. Waller, couldn't understand any of it because it was in Arabic. But he still laughed."
I thought to myself, `This kid is really good.'
Allie approached Abbas, "Hey Abbas, do you have anything for us tonight."
Abbas looked up, "Not tonight, little one."
Allie frowned, "Watch who you're calling little, Mister."
As we started to the elevator, we saw Amir getting on, so we looked at the windows of the shops in the hotel before we went to the elevator. As we were getting on the elevator, I saw Kadeen and Salah watching us . They both nodded as the door of the elevator closed.
As we were getting off the elevator, we were met by Wahib. He greeted us, "Good evening Mr. Waller." He gestured toward the suite and nodded his head yes and ran his finger across his mouth to let us know that we had had visitors while we were gone, and that we needed to be careful what we said. He led us to the suite, not saying anything. As we passed Amir's door, Wahib motioned to the room and indicated that we should unlock the door that connected the two suites.
When we entered the room, Allie yelled, "Mr. Waller, is it okay for me to get a soda and a snack? I'm getting hungry."
I started to laugh, "I swear, Allie, you're always hungry. Why don't you go take your shower first, while I do some work. Brahim had opened the door and Amir came in the room. I went and got my laptop from the safe in his/our other room.
Amir was looking around and he was examining everything while Allie was singing in the shower. Brahim had turned on the television and turned the volume up, so that Amir's movements wouldn't be detected. I opened the laptop and booted it up.
Amir started to type, "They have put more sophisticated listening devices in the room, so you must be very careful what you say. Brahim, as soon as Allie is out of the shower, go take one, while I see if I can come up with a way counteract the devices. Everyone, exaggerate all of the sounds you make and talk about anything that will make these people think that we don't know what is happening."
When Allie came out of the shower, he was naked and went to put on some briefs. When he read the note, he yelled, "Brahim, take your shower while Mr. Waller is sending a message to his office in Houston telling them that he doesn't have any idea what the problem is. Mr. Waller, is it okay if I have a snack and a drink now?"
"Yes, Allie, that will be fine; just make sure you brush your teeth after you finish."
Amir followed me into the bedroom and was looking around when Brahim came out of the shower without any clothes. "Your turn, Mr. Waller and no singing in the shower. I really don't think we are ready for that."
Amir had to stifle a laugh and wrote, `Brahim, you sure have a beautiful body. All of you.'
`Watch it Amir. It's already reserved.'
Amir started to type, 'That's okay. I already have a friend of my own.'
I could hardly keep myself from laughing as I stripped to go take my shower. I decided to give the guys something to laugh about and started singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Here Comes Peter Cottontail as loud as I could. I never even thought that Muslims probably didn't celebrate either Christmas or Easter.
When I got out of the shower, Allie yelled, "Mr. Waller, not only can't you sing, but your songs don't make any sense. Why would a reindeer be flying, and why would a bunny care about boys and girls? You Americans have some silly songs."
Amir wrote, `Yeh, but they have nice big penises.'
Allie saw the note and wrote, `Okay, Mr. Amir, why don't we go to your suite and you can show us what you look like since you have been looking at all of us?'
We went into the other suite and shut the door. Amir shed his clothes and Allie started to laugh and sputtered, "Mr. Amir, you sure aren't a Muslim because you haven't been circumcised. Are you sure that you're an Algerian?"
"I'm an Algerian, but I'm not a Muslim. Not every Algerian is Muslim."
"I suggest we throw our eavesdroppers an earful of noises Those people will have a headache from listening to the sound of you three snoring and mumbling in your sleep. The players are set on a timer. We need to disconnect them before you start talking in the morning We'll also leave the television on in the living room and turn on the radio beside the bed in the bedroom.
We went into the suite 3201 and messed up the beds and made sure all of the doors and windows were securely locked. Allie yelled, "Good night Mr. Waller, we'll see you in the morning."
"Good night guys."
As soon as Amir had plugged in the player devices, we went to his suite and made sure everything was secure and shut the door to the adjoining suite. Allie started on Amir, "Mr. Amir, who is this other person that you are talking about?"
Amir was somewhat taken back by Allie confronting him. "Allie, that is really none of your business. My job here is to make sure that you, Mr. Waller and your brother are not harmed."
Allie started to giggle, "Whatever, Mr. Amir. I think I already know who it is, anyway. I think we had dinner with him tonight. How did you and Inspector Khalid meet?"
Brahim raised his voice, "Allie, that's enough. What Amir does is his business. Not ours."
Amir looked at Allie, "Whatever made you think that there might be something going on between Inspector Khalid and me?"
Allie lowered the boom, "That's easy; I was sitting across from the two of you at dinner and I saw how you two looked at each other and even on the patrol boat, you were at each other's side constantly. I'm not blind. I can feel when someone cares for someone, just like Brahim and Mr. Waller."
Brahim was absolutely red, "Allie, you have no business talking like that. Why are you talking like this, all of a sudden?"
Allie looked at Brahim, "Look brother, I really like Mr. Waller and would be glad to call him Dad. But we both know that he will be leaving once he gets the mess at the oil refinery resolved. We have to be strong, because people would never understand if we stopped living. Bra, you're all I have."
I wanted to say something, but the words just wouldn't come out. Fortunately Amir stood, "Allie, let's go to bed so these two old men can get their beauty sleep. I think tomorrow is going to be a ball buster of a day."
Allie looked at Amir, "It won't take very much to bust mine. Mr. Waller may be suffering for a long time."
Brahim raised his voice again, "Alexander, stop acting like this. What are these gentlemen going to think of us?"
Author's Note: If would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories. You might wish to visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Editor's notes: I think Allie is getting a little frustrated and is acting out his frustrations a bit. Young people seem to do that sometimes. It's a very good thing that we old people don't ever do anything like that.
I don't want to live in a country where a few, or maybe more than a few religious zealots have the control of how people are supposed to act.
Unfortunately, I am somewhat afraid that I already do.
Many wars have been fought over the centuries in the name of one or another's version of God and what he supposedly wants people to act like.
Of course, that is not the subject of this wonderful story, or at least not entirely.
I am certainly ready for the next chapter.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher