Boomsteeg 1992

Iris (part two)

Mulling this over Tamara realises that someone could come by at any moment to pick up the documents and that they need to come up with a plan, and quickly. ‘Who’s working across the street tonight?,’ she asks. ‘Is it someone we can trust?’ ‘I think Yvonne is working. But I haven’t seen her in a long time,’ Iris answers gloomily. ‘Yvonne is okay,’ says Tamara. ‘She will probably help us. We’ll ask her to take photos of the guy who comes to pick up the documents. She’s always standing there fiddling with her phone so no one would even notice. Then as a beginning, we’ll at lease have a picture of the person entering and leaving. Plus, I can also act as a witness about everything that detective just said.’

Iris looked at Tamara and said: ‘I’m not sure if I want to make enemies with these criminals. I have no idea who they are and what they would do if we frame them like this. Who knows what kind a mess I’d be walking into.’ Thinking things over Tamara realises that Iris is right. ‘Look, I don’t think that I have anything to worry about from these criminals unless I rat on them,’ says Iris. ‘My biggest problem is that dirty cop.’ ‘Do you know his name and which station he works from?’ asks Tamara. ‘Sure,’ Iris answers. ‘His name is Maurice van de Velde and he works at the police headquarters.’

‘I know someone we can trust there,’ says Tamara, picking up her mobile. ‘Not only that but I probably know his boss. He once invited me along to watch the mounted police horse training,’ she continues with a laugh while scrolling through her contact list. ‘Oh good, I still have his number. You tell me, should I call him?’ Uncertain, Iris asks whether she is sure that they are doing the right thing. ‘I am breaking out in a cold sweat Tamara. What if he’s also part of this and then any minute now they’ll all be standing here.’ Tamara assures her that her contact is definitely a ‘good cop’ and dials the number. ‘Barend!’ she says lightly when he picks up. ‘How are things with you?’ Without waiting for him to answer, Tamara tells him something is going on and that they could really use his help pronto. ‘Can you come here?’ she asks. ‘I’m working in the Oudekennissteeg, the second window in from the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.’ Tamara hangs up after he tells her that he’ll come.

‘Iris,’ she says, ‘if you don’t feel comfortable with this then we’ll forget about it. When you meet Barend trust your instincts. If you’re suspicious of him we’ll think of something else but this really needs to stop.’ Iris agrees with a sigh: ‘Okay, we’ll try it your way.’ ‘Then it’s settled,’ says Tamara. ‘Now for the next step. The documents that you have under your mattress. Is the envelop closed?’ ‘I think so,’ says Iris. ‘I’ll check.’ ‘Okay,’ says Tamara. ‘In the meantime, I’ll go see if Yvonne is there and ask if she can take pictures of every guy that comes and goes from your door.’

A little later, when Tamara returns, Iris is sitting waiting with the envelop. It’s sealed. ‘You have a kettle don’t you?’ asks Tamara. ‘If we hold the envelop over the steam we can carefully open it.’ After ten minutes or so the women are looking, a little shocked, at the pile of paper they have in their hands. They recognise the names right away. It’s a case and the main people mentioned in the witness statements have been in the news for weeks. These testimonies are really damaging for them. Horrified, they realise that the documents they are holding in their hands could create a lot of trouble. Not only for these men but also for the witnesses. ‘I’ll take pictures of as many pages as possible,’ Tamara tells Iris. Tamara quickly snaps a photo of each page as Iris holds them up. When they are finished they put everything back in the envelop. The envelop won’t stick closed and the flap is curling. Terrified and on the verge of tears Iris cries; ‘What now? They’ll notice right away that it’s been tampered with!’ Tamara is at her best under stress and she has already come up with a solution. She dresses quickly and goes to the cafe on the corner to see if they have any glue. ‘Keep your curtain shut, I’ll be right back,’ she tells Iris.

Tamara races through the packed street. Once at the cafe she takes a deep breath and sees that it’s completely packed with men dressed as ballerinas, all in pink. Of course there has to be a stag party just now! Andre Hazes booms from the loudspeakers as the groom-to-be, dressed in a tutu, is hoisted onto a bar stool and forced to sing along. She knows them and although she doesn’t want to interfere with their fun, she can’t think of another place quick enough where she’ll find glue or tape. Tamara decides to takes her chances and dives into the fray. She finally reaches the bar but only after stepping on a few toes and having a beer splashed over her as thanks. ‘Cor,’ she shouts. ‘Can I bother you for a minute please?’

As Cor goes to look for the glue she notices two men sitting at the other end of the bar who just don’t seem to fit in with the fury of pink. One of them seems familiar. She thinks she’s often seen him  around the neighbourhood and is certain he is no good. Normally she wouldn’t get wound up about this but tonight is different and her intuition is warning her. Cor returns with both a glue stick and a roll of tape. ‘That’s all I have here that sticks,’ he says. ‘Except for the bar but that’s no use to you.’ Giving him a quick kiss Tamara races back outside. As she leaves she can feel the eyes of the two men drilling into her back. Once in Iris’s room they close the envelop as best they can. The glue isn’t strong enough so they also use some tape. ‘It’s not as neat as it was but it will have to do,’ she says. Tamara is feeling restless and in a hurry and doesn’t bother to tell Iris about her suspicions of the two men in the cafe. That would only worry her more. ‘I think you should keep your curtain closed. That gives us more time if the ‘Don Vito’ guy comes before our man. I am going back to my window so that I can keep an eye out for him.

Next week the last part!

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