Part 12 - Enter My Cave

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A MAN IN paint-splattered overalls roared through Kanchanaburi town centre on a 250 cc trail bike. He remained on the road, which ran alongside the river before turning into a heavily wooded track. Pulling up at the hidden entrance to the cave.

Pushing aside branches with his right hand, his left hand busied itself undoing the fastening to his overalls. Mat could now see the baby's bald head.

"Christ, what an ugly child! No matter, good job looks don't count for anything," said Mat. He roared out a laugh that would make most fathers mad.

The overalls were discarded and forgotten on the stone floor as the man walked in. The father didn't react to the insult to his daughter. He handed his child to Mat. Now showing his scruffy t-shirt and torn jeans, he moved through the gap at the back.

Mat carried the silent baby and lifted her over some roughly cut wood and laid her on a towel. She took just a second to look at the new man in her life before sleeping soundlessly.

Minutes later, Debbie bent and picked up the discarded work gear, throwing it in the bin as she smiled at the new visitors. A glance at the father before her eyes brighten at the baby.

"Isn't she lovely," said Debbie, realising she had said the wrong thing.

Mat glared at her, before saying, "This gentleman needs a lift to Bangkok. Go now."

This time she made her way to Rama IV Road, hunting for the building site she had previously noticed, it was a little way back from the main road. Pulling up at the works gate, she leaned across, and opened the door, before rolling her passenger into a mound of builders sand at the entrance. It was now dark, a group of labourers in search of something to eat, noticed someone slumped across the pile of sand.

One man slapped the cement from his torn jeans, "Oi mate, are you okay?"

"What's the matter with him?" another dusty builder asked.

"Looks like he's been drinking your home-brew!" laughed a burly man. "Better get him inside the shack. Come on, help me."

The group managed to half lift and half drag the sign-maker to their huts.

"Should we leave him, or call someone?"

"Leave him to sober up, we can check on him after we've eaten. I'm starving."

Off they went to a street-side noodle shop. Joking about their guest while they enjoyed their well-earned food.

When they returned, he was sitting up, gently rocking backwards and forwards, drooling and muttering in what sounded like a foreign language.

"Mate, are you okay?"

A vacant stare was the reply. At least he had stopped moving.

"Better get someone, he doesn't look at all well," the burly mate was worried. "Call an ambulance, not the police," he said.

Ten minutes later the poster man was on his way to the general hospital.

In Hua Hin, Gatts was hugging yet another mug of Skylab's coffee.

"These incidents must be linked. We need to find the person or people who link them all."

"Murder of mother and baby, then the disappearance of a father and a live baby, why are you so sure they are connected?"

"We have the well-dressed man for a start? And the strange ballet shoe or small leather bag."

"And the timing," added Kev.

"We have run checks on both vehicles, nothing out of the ordinary. The fathers legally owned both of them. No hint of where or how they went after they left the original vehicles."

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