Poison: Chapter 11

The Adventures of Nathan Sunnybank and Joe Greenfield

Book 1: Poison

Chapter Eleven

TONY stared back at the creature as it moved off along the riverbank road behind the three humans. He looked again at the profile of the taller of the two boys and gulped.

“Blimey, that is Master Joe and I’ll be a Dutch man if that isn’t his wolf with him,” he muttered to himself.

Quietly, the 20-year-old opened the leather lined car door and stepped onto the pavement next to the Bed and Breakfast. He felt a burden of guilt towards Lady Felicity that compelled him to investigate further.

Meanwhile, 100 yards away on the riverbank road, Amy climbed back over a wooden fence with a look of relief on her face.

“Well, that’s those horrible guns taken care of,” she said. “Now I want to introduce you to Gertrude,” she added, pointing to a large parking bay opposite.

“Gertrude?” exclaimed Joe.

“Yes, she is TJ’s – and my – pride and joy. She is awesome,” Amy enthused.

Across the road was parked an old brown and cream VW camper van, which even at first glance looked like it had seen better days.

“We have been to six music festivals in her,” said Amy, “and this summer we had planned to take her to France… but I guess things have changed.”

“So does she still go?” asked Joe eagerly.

“Yes, of course she does,” Amy replied with a hint of hurt in her voice. “I have not driven her in a couple of weeks and she needs some petrol, but I reckon she will get us to London.

“And, yes Joe, you can bring your wolf with us, if you promise it won’t eat us all on the way,” she added, smiling at the young boy.

Joe grinned. “Did you bring that cheese,” he asked, “cos Blue is hungry.”

“Cheese!” exclaimed Amy. “A wolf eats cheese?”

“Yep, he loves it,” Joe volunteered, “seen him eat two pounds of cheddar in one sitting.”

“Yeah, and he was sick all over your mum’s floor right afterwards,” Nathan reminded him.

Joe grimaced at the memory of being forced by Joy the scullery maid to clean up the mess before his mum found out.

“Anyway, I think we all need to get away from here before that blonde haired guy breaks free and follows us,” Nathan added with renewed urgency.

Amy unlocked the camper van and the boys bundled their belongings into the back and battled over who would sit in the front. Amy stopped a row developing by insisting that both Joe and Nathan sit in the back and keep Blue company.

Once inside, Amy pulled out the choke and turned the ignition key. It took three turns before the engine spluttered into life and a loud rumbling sound emanated from beneath the bonnet.

“Exactly how old is Gertrude?” asked Nathan.

“Ooh, she was born in about 1978,” replied Amy. “She is a later model, you can tell by the big bay windscreen,” she added.

“Wow that makes her over 30 years old,” exclaimed Nathan, “You sure she will get us to London?”

“No problem,” said Amy as the camper van pulled out along the riverbank road in the direction of the old prison.

Just 50 yards away, behind a large rhododendron bush at the corner of Albert Avenue, Tony was watching everything. He had noted down the registration number of the camper van and was convinced he heard the girl say ‘London’.

He knew he needed to move fast.

Inside 24 Severn Avenue, Klaus had pulled the parcel tape, which had bound him to the bannister newel, from his left wrist and hand and was carefully unwrapping the tape from his other wrist. He squirmed in pain, as the wolf’s bite had gone deep and blood was still oozing from his wrist and leg. He glanced across at the body of Rolf and considered himself lucky.

“Those verdammf kids,” he said aloud. “They, and that wolf, are going to pay for this… this is now personal,” he added with menace in his voice.

Three minutes later, he had freed himself from the amateur bindings of the parcel tape and pulled himself to his feet, crying out in pain as he straightened his right leg.

He looked down at Rolf, bent over and felt for a pulse. But his colleague’s purple face betrayed the fact that he had been dead for a while.

Klaus limped to the front door and walked gingerly across the road to his parked black BMW.

He opened the driver’s door and climbed inside. The car felt cold and stank of cigarette smoke and stale sweet and sour chicken.

He look at his mobile phone in the door pocket. It told him he had received eight unanswered calls from headquarters, two voice mail messages and three text messages. He read the texts first then listened to the voicemails. His face whitened some more and his lips tightened.

Carefully, he lifted the laptop out from under the passenger seat and switched on. The machine beeped four times and the familiar face of the controller peered at him from the 14 inch screen.

“What the hell is happening Klaus?” the voice of the grey haired man demanded.

“And why have you not answered my calls?”

Contrition battled with reason as Klaus spent the next 15 minutes explaining to his boss the night’s events. He used the words “I’m sorry boss” at least eight times as he recounted the story.

“Right, Klaus, you are now on borrowed time,” demanded the boss.

“You need to do three things… first get Rolf’s body out of that house and dispose of it somewhere where it will not be found. Make sure you take any identification from him before you do that. We don’t want the bungling British police crawling all over this, do we?”

“Then you get yourself cleaned up and get back to London as quickly as you can, while I call in some back-up for you.

“Finally, you make it your one mission to get the evidence left by that blasted girl and eliminate the other girl and her accomplices.

“Failure to do any of that and you will end up as fish feed… I will see to that personally.

“Do I make myself clear… we must protect the company.”

“Ya, I mean yes, boss, will see to it right away.”

And with that he closed the screen, dabbed at his leg and began the first task.

Outside the Bed and Breakfast, Tony sat in his Porsche and texted Clara his news.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the teenager had decided the leave a reply to her mother until the morning and try and grab a bit of sleep in the meantime.

Suddenly, her mobile beeped again and she glanced down to see the new message from Tony.

She read it twice and leapt out of bed to look out of the window. She waved down at the red car parked below. Tony looked up and waved back.

Her phone rang and Tony talked through everything he had seen and heard on the riverbank road a few minutes earlier.

“Oh crikey,” Clara exclaimed, “We need to follow them.”

“Bit late to do that now, but they won’t go very fast in the old van they are in,” he added. “And I have the registration number. There surely aren’t that many brown and cream bangers around like that anymore.”

Clara was already getting dressed while balancing her mobile phone between her chin and shoulder.

“I have had to pay for this blinkin’ room in advance, so I have no worries about leaving without saying goodbye. And if the breakfast is anything like the room, the old bat downstairs can keep it,” she said.

With that, Clara quietly opened her bedroom door and crept downstairs. She left her keys on the hall table and gently unlocked the front door.

On the street she and Tony hugged each other closely and kissed quickly.

“Come on darling, we need to move,” he urged. “A bag of things for you is in the back and we can stop at a service station soon, so you can freshen up. Anyway, I am low on petrol and need to fill up as well.”

“I reckon that to get to London, they will go by motorway all the way, unless that van falls apart before it gets to the M6,” he laughed.

Clara laughed with him and held his left hand tightly as they moved towards the Porsche.

They climbed inside and kissed briefly again.

The engine roared and soon the car was pulling onto the riverside road in the direction of the prison.

Back at Greenfield Mansion, Nicolas slept soundly in the Elizabeth Room. On the other side of the house, Felicity was not so lucky. She sat upright in her four poster, stewing over her daughter’s failure to respond to her text message and the fact she had seemingly now switched off her mobile phone. She also began to worry deeply about the safety of her darling Joe… and Nicolas’ rather lovely boy, Nathan. Then she thought about Nicolas himself and felt warmed by his kindness and resourcefulness over the past 16 hours. He was actually rather a handsome guy, she mused.

Sometime later, at an all-night service station off the M54 near Wolverhampton, a red Porsche Boxster pulled up at the pumps.

Tony turned to Clara, who was asleep next to him. “Hey girl, do you want to take this bag into the ladies room over there and change and things? I’ll fill up with fuel and get some snacks and drinks from the service area. Anything you fancy?”

Clara nodded: “A strong coffee please… and thank you Tony.”

She kissed him on the cheek, grabbed the leather holdall from behind the passenger seat and made her way across the forecourt.

Tony got out from the driver’s side and selected high performance green from the fuel pump.

Less than 200 yards away in the overnight parking area of the service station, two green eyes watched every move from the shelter of a brown and cream VW Camper van.

Poison: Chapter Nine

The Adventures of Nathan Sunnybank and Joe Greenfield

Book 1: Poison

Chapter Nine

NICOLAS pulled his car onto the now familiar gravel outside Greenfield Mansion. The moon played shadows on the steps to the front door as he and Felicity quickly made their way indoors. The lobby and drawing room lights were still burning and the house seemed unusually warm. Nicolas suddenly remembered that he had probably left his own back door open and his cottage would be far from warm.

“Blinkin’ goats!” he spouted involuntarily.

“Pardon?” exclaimed Felicity.

“Oh, nothing important,” answered Nicolas. “I have just remembered that I probably left my back door open and you can bet the goats will be in the kitchen or conservatory again… the blighters make such a mess if they get inside.”

Felicity smiled broadly and giggled to herself quietly. Nicolas’s cottage was a mess anyway, she thought.

“Look, I have an idea,” she said, brightening suddenly.

“Why don’t you pop home and sort out your goats and things, pack a bag and come back. I can get Bob to make up a bed for you in the West Wing and we can plan what to do next.

“Meanwhile I will telephone the police station,” she added.

“Sounds like a plan,” said Nicolas. “And a good one too… I won’t be long,” he added. He made his way back towards the front door, the stopped and turned towards Felicity.

“Oh, the registration plate on Tony’s Porsche is T04Y WWD,” he said.

“Crikey, that was observant of you,” Felicity replied, blowing an air kiss in his direction.

Nicolas blushed and waved as he hurried outside.

Back at Severn Avenue, all hell had broken loose.

In what seemed to be a co-ordinated simultaneous action the younger man, Rolf, tumbled forward down the stairs cracking his head hard on the bottom banister as he fell.

At that same moment a grey haired animal leapt from the open front door and sank its fangs into the right leg of the blonde haired man Klaus. The pain of the animal’s bite shot up his leg into his thigh and groin. He crumpled to one side, firing his silenced Walther revolver three times into the kitchen door. The wolf was upon him, now biting hard into his right wrist until the gun dropped onto the hallway carpet. Quick as a flash Nathan kicked out and sent the revolver spinning into the open living room.

Amy froze.

“Blue!” Joe yelled. “You beauty!”

“Blinkin’ heck,” gasped Nathan, “What is he doing here and what a life saver!”

The wolf was now standing astride a terrified Klaus, slavering onto his face.

The wolf made eye contact with Joe as the young boy ordered: “Hold… don’t kill!”

Nathan moved towards the body of Rolf, who lay just four feet away. The man’s swollen right hand gave away the secret. TJ’s bag and its contents lay scattered on the stairs, and in the half-light, Nathan examined where the pieces of fungi had fallen.

Nathan turned to Amy and Joe, who were now both on their feet.

Amy was shaking almost uncontrollably as Nathan ordered: “Don’t touch anything… this other guy is dead… but I think it was the fall that killed him and not the Grey Skull shrooms!”

Joe placed a hand on Amy’s arm and hugged her.

“Don’t touch that grey stuff on your stairs, Amy, they are poisonous,” he told her.

He turned to Nathan and added: “And you, matey, are a legend.”

Amy was slowly regaining her composure. She moved quickly and closed the front door. As she did so she noticed the lights in a number of houses opposite were switched on and she could see faces peering out of one upstairs window.

“Whaaaat is that?” she stammered pointing at Blue.

“Never seen a wolf before,” Joe grinned back at her. “He’s mine, he’s called Blue… but I’ll be blowed how he got here! Look, he will let you pet him,” he added, tousling Blue’s mane.

Under the wolf, the blond haired man’s face was almost white with fear as the animal’s dribble trickled around his chin and throat. Blood oozed from his leg and right wrist. His grey eyes blinked into the unflinching green eyes of his captor and guard.

“We need to ring the police now,” interrupted Amy urgently.

At Landfill Cottage, Nicolas’s VW pulled up outside the back door. He jumped out and ran into the conservatory. The door was still open, blowing back and forth in the gentle night time breeze. He reached for the light switch and in the electric glow he surveyed the devastation that two unattended goats could cause. Chewed wicker furniture, a broken mug, a ruined rug and half eaten tomato plants gave an indication what lay ahead.

“Oh dang it, blinkin’ goats,” Nicolas swore.

He turned on the kitchen lights and viewed the mess, which included a well gnawed pine chair and two decimated wooden door handles, while the entire contents of the veg rack and the kitchen waste bin were strewn everywhere.

Next to the kitchen range, two content goats slept soundly.

Nicolas moved quickly towards the animals. He poked the first goat with his foot and shouted: “Right you two… outside!”

The animals started, before obediently trotting out through the kitchen door and into the conservatory. Nicolas followed and watched as the younger of the two animals stopped to take a bite out of what was left of a tomato plant.

“No, Annie, get outside!” he shouted.

The goats broke into a run through the conservatory door and onto the veranda, leaving pebble-shaped involuntary mementoes of their stay as they ran.

Nicolas shut the door behind them and began the tiresome task of cleaning up the mess.

Two full black bin bags and a matted broom later, the kitchen was passable. He would need to clean it properly another time.

The conservatory was a different matter. The mess of chewed tomato plants, strewn compost and goat poo needed a shovel, a bucket, disinfectant and a mop.

Nicolas had just finished the cleaning and was thinking about selling the goats and packing an overnight bag when he noticed a piece of half chewed note paper on the floor by the left hand window. The paper betrayed his son’s neat handwriting and he could make out the words: “Love Nathan”. He bent down, picked up what remained of the note and began to read it.

A mile away in the lobby of Greenfield Mansion, her Ladyship was explaining to Bob about their pursuit of Master Anthony.

“I need to speak to his father,” she was saying, “He has as good as abducted my daughter. He is in real trouble when I catch up with him.”

“Yes Ma’am,” said Bob, yawning.

“Oh, Bob,” I am so very sorry,” gulped Lady Felicity. “It is well past your duty hours and your bedtime. Please get yourself to bed and thank you for everything you have done.” “Thank you Ma’am,” answered the butler, “But as long as you are sure there is nothing else I can do tonight.”

“Oh, just one small thing,” Lady Felicity remembered. “Do you mind turning back the bed and putting a radiator on in the Elizabeth Room in the West Wing… Mr Sunnybank may be staying tonight?”

“Not at all,” answered Bob as he trotted off towards the back staircase, grinning quietly to himself.

Felicity sat on the chaise longue next to the landline telephone in the lobby and prepared to give the local police station both barrels of her anger.

She breathed in deeply and was about to dial the station’s number when she noticed Clara’s pink mobile phone on the lobby table next to her.

“Blimey, I thought Master Anthony had taken that,” she exclaimed loudly.

She picked up the phone and for the first time since her daughter was fourteen decided to read her text messages.

“I know I shouldn’t but a mother must do what a mother must do,” she muttered.

Felicity quickly scanned the most recent text conversation and grew quickly agitated when she read the recent exchange between Clara and Tony.

The agitation turned to fear and anger when she then read Clara’s original text message.

“I am unsure who is going to feel my wrath first,” she fumed, “my darling daughter or that duplicitous boy!”

“But I am sure of one thing… the police need to know now!!

And she began to dial the police station number on her landline phone.

At Albert Avenue in Shrewsbury, a red Porsche Boxster pulled up under a leafy Rowan tree outside a terraced house advertising bed and breakfast. The car’s occupant glanced at the upstairs windows of the building and then at the packed holdall on the passenger seat.

“Phew, that was close getting away from Lady Felicity and that guy from the cottage,” Tony thought to himself. “I hope she doesn’t involve dad in all of this or there could be hell to pay. I just hope it is all worth it.”

He turned to his mobile phone and sent a short text to Clara.

Two streets away in a black BMW, a laptop computer was beeping for attention. Almost 140 miles further away, the caller’s steel grey eyes were growing agitated at the failure of his operatives to respond.

The last text message on his phone simply read: “We are moving on the girl now.”

But there had been no further contact for more than an hour.

In a room less than three miles from this location two blank eyes gazed towards the ceiling of a surgically clean painted room.

Poem: Fanny by Gaslight

Fanny turn the gaslight up
And tell me what you see
Your vision has been clouded
Do you still remember me?
The lies and old malt whisky
Have poisoned all that’s good
Your captives have been clever
Don’t let us be misunderstood

Fanny turn the gaslight up
And cut the wick down low
Your memory has been twisted
And truth returns too slow
The lies and old malt whisky
Have poisoned all that’s good
Your captives have been clever
Don’t let us be misunderstood

Fanny turn the gaslight up
Now open the curtains wide
The horizon goes on forever
And I am on the other side
The lies and old malt whisky
Have poisoned all that’s good
Your captives have been clever
Don’t let us be misunderstood

Fanny turn the gaslight up
Pack your toothbrush and your comb
The train awaits on platform six
So make your way back home
The lies and old malt whisky
Have poisoned all that’s good
Your captives have been clever
Don’t let us be misunderstood

Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters

During the past month I have republished seven of my newspaper articles written while I was working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. The first looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 another at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation, a third was a piece about the top secret Aurora aircraft, the fourth looked at big cats at large in the UK and the fifth was an investigation into the mysterious death of Scottish Nationalist leader Willie McRae. Another looked at the extent of 40-year cover-up on exposure of British servicemen to A-bomb tests and the last was a piece about secret dumps of deadly Sarin gas in the sea waters off Scotland.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 1995 about some very strange links between BNFL at Sellafield and genetic research into babies.

SCOTTISH babies could become involved in new genetic research by an experimental institute run by directors of British Nuclear Fuels.
The Labour Party has condemned the so-called independent DNA bank at a scientific site close to the Sellafield nuclear plant, which is funded by BNFL and backed by an English university linked to applications to conduct experiments on dead children without their parents’ consent.
An institute spokesman said fears of vested interest were groundless and any DNA experiments would be carried out independently of BNFL.
The disclosures come soon after a public outcry over revelations that more than 2000 dead Scots babies and 126 pregnant mothers were involved in secret nuclear experiments in the early 1960s.
The experiments were conducted by the UK Atomic Energy Authority in a bid to find out if fallout from atomic bomb tests had affected the youngsters.
MPs fear that that scenario could be recreated by studies at the Westlakes Research Institute, five miles from Sellafield.
The institute was formed with BNFL funding on the back of widespread concerns that the incidence of childhood leukemia in the village of Seascale, a mile-and-a-half from Sellafield, was 10 times the national average.
Despite proclamations of independence, records at Companies House reveal that 11 BNFL personnel form the board of Westlakes Research Trading Ltd, while five BNFL employees run the research institute.
It is widely believed that BNFL’s own genetics group will also become part of the DNA research establishment, which it will help fund with #1m over six years.
The institute proposes to collect, store, and analyse samples of genetic material and blood from 8000 babies born in Cumbria over the next five years at Westlakes and the Department of Child Health at Newcastle University.
It plans to use DNA samples to investigate evidence of genetic diseases, genetic damage related to radiation exposure, and possible radiation-linked diseases such as childhood leukemia.
A recent BNFL newsletter stated: ”While it could also help research into the effects of radiation, BNFL believes the study will prove there is no difference between the genetic make-up of children born to Sellafield fathers and those from the rest of the region.”
The environmental group Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (Core) is fighting the nuclear company’s interest in the research and expresses concern about the so-called impartial involvement of Newcastle University child health department.
According to confidential letters handed to The Herald, Dr Alan Craft, a Newcastle consultant paediatrician who works closely with the department, applied for permission in 1984 to dissect and experiment on placentas and organs from dead children for a nuclear industry-backed study of ”radionuclides in tissues from children” without consulting or reporting back to the deceased’s parents.
The proposals received ethical criticism from West Cumbria Health Authority which also warned of public concern over ”the BNFL connection”. But Dr Craft’s scheme helped provide impetus for the Westlakes initiative.
Core has welcomed genetic research to establish the causes of leukemia in children but questions the impartiality of BNFL and Newcastle University.
”We feel that this particular project, to be sited at a BNFL laboratory with research carried out by BNFL scientists and funded by BNFL money, sets a dangerous precedent for the future,” said a spokesman.
”Some parents involved in the Sellafield High Court leukemia cases, who believe radioactive contamination caused leukemia in their children, said that research carried out jointly by Westlakes and Newcastle University on behalf of BNFL had been used in evidence against them in the High Court.
”It is not surprising that the ‘independent’ label attributed to Westlakes is called into question.”
Dr David King, editor of GenEthics News, an independent newsletter on ethical issues, said it was ”not desirable” that a DNA bank should be run by a private organisation not directly accountable to the public or to those who have made donations.
He also expressed concern about the system of coding and confidentiality of the DNA samples. He cited possible abuses that could result in an individual with chromosonal abnormalities being denied employment at nuclear installations or experience genetic discrimination with insurance companies.
Although the Westlakes institute plans to experiment on DNA from Cumbrian-born babies, it is also proposed to take samples from Carlisle hospitals, which care for Scottish mothers, and to extend the project to an international scale.
MP John McAllion, Labour’s Scottish health spokesman, said he was extremely concerned about BNFL’s involvement in the DNA studies.
”It appears obvious that with their control over the study they will be able to release scientific reports into aspects of radiation under the guise of ‘independence’,” he said.
Mr Alex Smith, South of Scotland Euro-MP, said he found the involvement of BNFL in the DNA experiments ”disgraceful” and called for an inquiry into any pecuniary interest and complete transparency in all genetic research.
”It worries me greatly about what use the results from these experiments may be put to,” he said.
However, a spokesman for Westlakes told The Herald that only the medical and child health departments at Newcastle University would have access to the DNA sample details and these would be kept at ”arms length” from BNFL.
He said the institute had received ethical approval — including that of West Cumbria Health Authority ethics committee — to begin its research and had started anonymous trials to test ”statistical and technical correctness”. The full programme, which will last for at least 20 years, should be in operation by the end of this year.
”We are aware of public concerns and therefore aim to demonstrate independence from BNFL who have a general interest, but are only involved as funders,” he added.

Dr Filth is in charge of the cyanide hole

During the past three weeks I have republished six of my newspaper articles written while I was working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. The first looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 another at the secrecy of the Bilderberg organisation, a third was a piece about the top secret Aurora aircraft, the fourth looked at big cats at large in the UK and the fifth was an investigation into the mysterious death of Scottish Nationalist leader Willie McRae. The last piece looked at the extent of 40-year cover-up on exposure of British servicemen to A-bomb tests.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 1995 about secret dumps of deadly Sarin gas in the sea waters off Scotland.

THOUSANDS of tonnes of the deadly Sarin gas are dumped in corroding drums off the Scottish coast.
Experts and environmentalists last night warned that it is only a matter of time before some of the nerve agent, buried in Scottish waters after the Second World War, could be washed ashore or trawled up by unsuspecting fishermen.
They also warn that the Japanese attack might encourage people to recover some of the nerve agent from its underwater repository for political extortion or terrorist activities.
The Nazis produced at least 300,000 tonnes of the substance during the war but never used it in battle. After the Third Reich fell, most of it was buried, burned or dumped in rivers, lakes, and the Baltic Sea.
Until the early 1980s, the US army had about four million litres of the gas in store in West Germany. It has also been produced in the Middle East.
Inhalation of just 0.5 milligrams of Sarin can kill almost instantly. The gas reduces the level of a key enzyme needed by the nervous system, causing difficulty in breathing, a decline in blood pressure, and contraction of the pupils. Survivors could still suffer nerve, brain, and liver damage.
German scientists said Sarin, 20 times as deadly as potassium cyanide, ranks as probably the world’s second most lethal chemical after a related gas called Soman.
More than 120,000 tonnes of chemical weapons captured from Nazi Germany were dumped by the British Government at sites in the North Channel, North Atlantic, the Skagerrak and the deep channel approaches to the Western Isles between 1945 and 1956.
The deep water repositories contain drums of Sarin, also known as GB, cyanide, the deadly blistering agent phosgene, and large quantities of mustard gas.
Official documents reveal that many of the dumps used to dispose of sarin between 1945 and 1947 are considerably shallower than the 1000 fathoms judged to be safe by 1956.
The Government remains adamant that the sites pose no threat to fish stocks or human life, despite fears raised by Irish politicians in 1986 of a link with an unusual number of birth defects.
Hundreds of dead birds and sea mammals have also been found, some of which displayed burns similar to those caused by nerve gases.
Two months ago, Greenpeace condemned plans by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to undertake exploratory fishing trials in deep waters off the Western Isles close to one of the dump sites.
Dr Rune Eriksen, a Swedish expert who sits on the Helsinki Committee for Chemical Weapons, said there had been more than 400 cases of Scandinavian fishermen trawling up pieces of solid mustard gas and other chemicals in the Baltic, where weapons were dumped by the Russians.
Many fishermen have been hospitalised and there have also been fatalities.
Dr Paul Johnston of Exeter University said it would only be a matter of time before Scottish fishermen suffer that same fate.
”These weapons are still active and potentially lethal,” he said, ”The drums are corroding and some may have punctured.”
He said chemical changes which may have occurred make Sarin ”even more corrosive and dangerous.
”It would be a triumph of hope over experience if there was not an accident before too long.”
However, he said of greater concern was that yesterday’s attack could give people the impetus to search for the drums of gas.
”It would be a highly dangerous enterprise but the gas could be used on the black market or for terrorist activities,” he warned.
Western Isles MP, Mr Calum MacDonald, said the Government must remain fully aware of the potential danger of the dump sites to fishermen and the general public.
He said he was also extremely concerned that members of the public might be tempted to search for the dumps. ”After what happened in Japan, there is quite an alarming prospect for the future lying off our coast,” he added.
A Greenpeace spokesman said: ”This tragedy in Japan proves how dangerous the gases are. We repeat our call made in January for the Government to conduct an urgent investigation into what exactly has been dumped and then to do something about cleaning it up or making it safe.”

Poison Chapter 1

The Adventures of Nathan Sunnybank and Joe Greenfield
Book 1: Poison
Chapter One

NATHAN stirred under the duvet and blinked his sleepy eyes. The late July sun was burning into the blinds of his bedroom window, whispering that it was almost midday.
The boy stirred again and he peered out into the golden glow of the room. He knew he should be up by now… but last night had been very late – past midnight even – he was so tired, and, after all, Dad said there was no rush today.
“No rush,” he asked himself. “Why?”
The reason slowly dawned… it was the first day of the summer holidays.
“Yep,” he thought. “Six whole weeks and no school!”
Life couldn’t get any better.
Or could it?
Nathan stirred for a third time and as he crawled out of bed, he remembered something far more important… the quest that he and his best friend Joe had vowed to undertake.
A quest that could take the whole six weeks of the holidays… and that was a little frightening.

A mile away at Greenfield Mansion, Joe was humming to himself in quiet contentment.
He had just locked his sister Clara in the horse stable store and was now stroking his brother’s venomous Green Tree Viper Sid, while contemplating other plans for Clara.
In the distance, he could hear her cries of “Let me out, let me out, let me out, you little ……”
But Joe could not hear her last word, he was too proud of how he had lured his horrible sister into the storehouse and then persuaded her to find the lost set of car keys he had secreted on the back shelf, while he triumphantly turned and locked the door.
“Well, that’s her out of the way till tea-time,” he thought.
Joe’s pet wolf Blue licked his hand, while paying an unhealthy interest in the viper.
The boy toe-poked Blue away and began to milk the venom from the snake into the finger of a rubber glove.
He sat and watched the yellow fluid drip dangerously into the small jar he had rested on the patio table.
“That should be enough,” he thought.
He trusted that his older brother Sam – Glenwing University’s leading expert on poisonous reptiles – would not notice that his prized snake was now completely dry.
But Sam being Sam, Joe was sure he would understand, even if he had taken more venom than should.
Joe now carefully carried the viper into his brother’s reptile sanctum beyond the stables and returned it to its aquarium.
Momentarily, he looked at the large King Brown snake in the corner cabinet and thought of Clara again, but his conscience knew better and he went back outside.
Joe smiled and relaxed his shoulders. His musings turned to Nathan and their dangerous quest.
He laughed out loud in contemplation and stopped to listen to whether his sister was still calling out.
But all was silent.

In the kitchen, Lady Greenfield was yelling at the scullery maid.
“More bleach! More bleach… these Belfast sinks need more bleach, they are a disgrace!”
The maid stopped sweeping the dog hairs from the quarry-tiled floor and muttered: “Yes Felicity… I mean ma’am, I will do it right away!”
Then she muttered more quietly: “Blinking bleach and dogs, I really don’t need this job… thank God that blinking wolf isn’t allowed indoors!”
Lady Greenfield sipped ice chilled champagne from a cut glass flute, her freckled face smiled with contentment as she carried on potting up her geraniums.
“I love clean sinks,” she thought to herself, “almost as much as morning champers!”
The maid hurried to the scullery cupboard to open another case of Domestic Quick Action bleach, as Joe slipped past the two adults and into the west wing hallway.
Once there, he tiptoed up the back staircase to his bedroom.
In the corner of the room, next to his drum kit, was the khaki canvas shoulder bag he had packed the night before.
He carefully slipped the jar of snake venom into a side pocket of the bag, stashed a bag of jelly beans into another pocket along with his favourite high powered torch.
“Now I must get over and see Nathan,” he thought.
The next bit was going to be tricky.

Back at Landfill Cottage, Nathan was also preparing for the quest ahead.
He too had packed a small canvas holdall and was adding some essentials: a box of chocolate fingers, his grandfather’s old war-time combat knife, two carefully folded maps and the old mobile phone his sister had given him.
He walked over to his bedside table and quietly dragged it away from the wall.
Nathan stooped low and rolled back the edge of the carpet and from under the green rug took a large brown envelope.
He replaced the carpet and table and sat on his bed with the envelope on his lap.
But a sudden panic overtook his next action and he rushed to his bedroom door and crept onto the landing.
He lay by the stairwell banisters and peered downstairs.
The coast was clear.
Nathan returned to his bed and opened the envelope.
He counted the £20 notes inside… exactly 18 of them.
“£360 should be enough,” he thought, “Just hope we get everything finished before dad realises I sold my X Box and his old electric guitar on Ebay!” he chuckled nervously.
He stuffed the wad of banknotes into his jeans back pocket and slipped his hand into the envelope to pull out a small, but clear, photograph and a handwritten note.
He looked at the photo carefully.
“Oh TJ,” he whispered, “I do hope we find you and make you better.”
The face in the photo was of a 20-something-year-old girl with a broad smile, blue eyes and long blonde hair. She was cuddling a baby orang-utan and the background of the picture betrayed a tropical jungle.
Nathan brushed back his own blonde hair from his forehead and small tears welled in his blue eyes.
Everything gathered, he slipped on a light waterproof jacket and with the canvas bag under his left arm, crept downstairs.
He stopped in the hallway of the cottage for a moment and peeked through the crack of the old study door.
Sitting at the desk, his father was hunched over, writing more chapters of his new book and vaguely staring at two separate photos on his desk.
“In another world,” thought Nathan, as he made his way to the back door.
“Sorry, Dad, but you will understand one day,” he said quietly.
He left a scrawled note on the conservatory table, walked out into the sunshine and made his way across the neighbouring field in the direction of Greenfield Mansion.

Joe’s escape was fraught with more difficulty and danger than his friend.
First, he realised that the back doors were patrolled by his mother and the scullery maid, Joy.
The dogs would surely bark if he exited through the veranda, and Bob the butler, and Helen Wills, the cook – both about their daily duties – blocked the other outside doors.
So, bag over shoulder, Joe clambered out of the sash window of his bedroom and, perched between a black drainpipe and an ancient Virginia Creeper, he began his descent.
Halfway down, he glanced into the distance beyond the coppice and garden wall and could just make out Nathan ambling over the hill.
Joe let himself fall to the ground and sprinted for the cover of the herbaceous border and the trees beyond.
He was safe and now the quest could begin.
But a short distance away, from behind rusty wrought iron railings of an old air-raid shelter, a pair of angry brown eyes watched his every move.