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THE BODY

Two Austrian majors are found murdered in ‘The Buffer Zone’, just outside an area controlled by the Turks on the island of Cyprus. Their bodies have horrific injuries. Investigations at the crime scene indicate they were dragged along a deserted bitumen road by a vehicle in the area of Famagusta. An Australian chief inspector and a Canadian major in charge of the military police with the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces are assigned to investigate. 

They set out on a journey. Their lives will change forever. One will be shot and will survive while the other will die in the search for the truth. ‘Honour killing’ will raise its head as events unfold. 

Who is the person who wears a gold sovereign ring depicting St George fighting the dragon?

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ISBN: 978-1-921574-23-8  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 176
Genre: Fiction

Cover design: Clive Dalkins.
By the same author:
The Mt. Mee Murders

 

Author: Peter Wise
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2009
Language: English

HOME PAGE

AUTHOR BIO  

Peter Wise’s career began in the Queensland Public Service and later continued in the Commonwealth arena. 

He commenced writing nine years ago, making crime fiction his genre. 

He retired to the Glass House Mountains where he now writes.

CHAPTER ONE  

 

He looked down at the bodies of the two faceless men. The sun rays drying the blood on their mutilated heads. The Austrian colonel stood beside Chief Inspector Sage and Major Sam and said with angry emotion, “What animals would have done this to my men – and why?”

Sage placed his right hand on the shoulder of the Austrian colonel in his way of supporting another man who was now visibly shaken by what lay at their feet. “Horrific Colonel, I am lost for words.”

Major Sam Stone, Military Police Operations Officer and a Canadian who led the Military Police in the United Nations Forces now serving in Cyprus, shook his head and said, “We will do all we can to get to the bottom of this and find the persons responsible and now I am declaring this a Murder Crime Scene.”

Sage himself was upset at the sight of the cadavers at his feet. Their uniforms torn to shreds and open flesh wounds on their upper bodies and legs still oozing fluids.

Sage thought to himself, I saw dingoes rip faces of goats back in Australia. What human dingoes have done this?

 

Mid August in Cyprus the heat in the middle of the day was oppressive. One would realise and understand why Cypriots enjoy their afternoon Siestas. Sage came to Cyprus in April with the 17th Australian Police Contingent. The historically first Australian Federal Police members made up of twenty men whom at this point were to serve a twelve months tour of duty. Sage stood looking down the deserted streets of the once bustling tourist town of Famugusta now occupied by the Turkish Forces who invaded the northern part of this magnificent Mediterranean Island on the 20 July, 1974. The hotels in the distance were deserted, as were the beaches, and now some of the rooms occupied by soldiers. The strong hot wind blew dust across the worn bitumen road he looked at and the sight reminded him of how alone one would be out here at night and the movie High Noon came into his thoughts with Gary Cooper, the lone marshall facing his outnumbered enemy on a hot dry windswept street in a western town in America. Funny what one thinks of in situations like this and right now I am angry and I must control my emotions as I have work to do with Major Sam as this investigation begins.                                                        

***

 

Six months ago Brigadier General Ipelki arrived in Cyprus and took command of the twenty thousand plus Turkish troops on the northern part of the Island and approximately 1500 Turkish Cypriot conscripts ranging in age between 18 and 40 years. He took up residence in a magnificent villa overlooking Kyrenia Harbour rumoured to be once owned by a millionaire bakery owner. He brought with him his beautiful wife, Tekke, and they enjoyed a happy and loving ten-year marriage.

The General, who she called Hat short for Hatun, sat on the white timber deck chair smoking.

“My darling, it is time we invited the colonel and his officers from the Austrian UN Forces to a dinner party. What do you think?” Her black coloured eyes looking wide-eyed and directly into his as she knelt before him in her bikini. He leaned forward and kissed her. “You are a beautiful woman and I love you so much. Yes my dear, anything for you.”

“Thank you my darling, I will make plans for the dinner to take place here beside the pool. It will be a grand night. I will make it so.”

She kissed him on the forehead and turned and walked to the edge of the swimming pool and dived in and swam for the next fifteen minutes. The General sipped his Scotch and watched her. Life is good.

He was a few years her senior – ten to be exact. At fifty he looked fit. A tall man with a little weight around the belly. Over 180cm with black receding hair and a black moustache which he played with when deep thoughts came his way. Tekke, at forty, looked thirty. She, for reasons unbeknown to both, never fell pregnant. She didn’t really care. Her long black hair complemented her olive skin and her breasts were large and firm. Her waist small, her hips firm and rounded. She took good care of herself and she made sure she kept her husband happy in bed. Indeed an attractive and sensual woman with an unusual smile. Her teeth were capped in porcelain and the two top front teeth each had a small diamond inserted in the centre of the tooth. Her smile, you could say, cost a lot of money. “I love the diamonds there,” she would say if asked why?

This made her unique as a person as she herself said many times, “I haven’t seen anyone else yet with diamonds in their teeth, have you?” The answer by the person she may have been speaking to at the time was always in the negative.

Hatun, she knew, watched her like a hawk. Jealousy ran inside him and sometimes he could overpower her with it. She needed space and here in Cyprus she decided to find some.                                                        

***

 

Major Gond and Major Seib both arrived in Cyprus in April of 1980. About the same time as Sage did.

Sage asked the Austrian colonel, “Do we have some details about these men, Colonel?”

“Yes of course Chief Inspector, Major Gond arrived in April. He lived in the mountain village resort of Mayrhofen with his wife and two children, a boy fourteen and a girl thirteen. I believe he was happily married and his wife worked as a receptionist at a holiday resort in the town. He was forty five years of age.”

“And can you identify Major Gond?”

“Yes, he is here,” the colonel indicated with his right hand the cadaver to the right of the colonel.

“And the deceased here is?” Sage indicated the cadaver to the left of the colonel.

“He is Major Seib, he has a tattoo of a pair of skis on his right forearm. A champion he was. I believe he recently divorced. He served as an Austrian Army Reservist before coming here. He ran a business in Weis and I believe was a qualified pastry cook. A handsome man forty two.”

Major Sam added, “You of course will be advising next of kin of the deaths and arranging for transportation to Austria as soon as possible. I will see the Turkish police on this side are advised and give them the opportunity to visit the scene. We are in the ‘Buffer Zone’ area which makes this investigation our jurisdiction. Right now we need the force photographer here as soon as we can.”

Sage kneeled down and examined the right wrist of Major Seib. He saw raw skin. “The wrist is red raw and the other the same.” Major Sam examined the wrists of Major Gond and he nodded.

Somewhere in the past Sage remembered the history of the fifties of this Island where people were murdered in this fashion of dragging the victim along the road and leaving the body.

“Have you any idea Colonel, as to why these two men in your Contingent would be murdered in this way?”

“No, I have not. They were both Operation Officers and good at their jobs. It is beyond me.”

“We will some time later today go back to Camp Leopold and search their quarters. There has to be something for us to establish some motive for this,”Major Sam added.

The sun vanished for the day when Major Sam and Sage left the crime scene and the bodies transported back to Camp Duke Leopold Five at Famugusta in Sector Six.

They were tired and thirsty and were glad of the invitation to the Officers’ Mess for dinner and a cold beer. They both still were concentrating on this investigation. During dinner Sage spoke with several young officers. He learnt from his questioning the two dead men went everywhere off duty together and they were travelling across to South Nicosia with a woman. Her identity not known. That is a start. A woman. Who is she? Has sex come into this?I hope this is not what I am thinking.

The colonel advised Major Sam and Sage of his conversation with the Force Commander of the UN Forces here in Cyprus. It was agreed the bodies be taken to Austria; arrangements were being made now for a Canadian Hercules to fly them back and post mortem examinations held there. The Turkish police here were advised and seemed agreeable to this course of action. Sage made a comment to Major Sam, “Not interested these guys, strange real strange?”

“Yes, I agree, Peter.”

A search of the quarters of the two men in question revealed nothing of interest.

 

Two months before the murders Tekke sent out invitations to the commander of the Austrian Contingent, as well as six officers, to attend a dinner the following Saturday. “It will be a grand affair,” she told her husband, “and I want this night so much to be a success.”

The menu she selected would please everyone. ‘The Meze’ is a favourite with the Cypriot people and indeed with the thousands of tourists who flock to the Island. The locals have a saying to the visitors, “Don’t eat too much of each dish and you will enjoy.”

She selected the wines, which would be Cypriot. Heading her list the wine Othello…A rich full burgundy strong in flavour and ideal for meat dishes. Diomaine d Aheraa wine for the connoisseurs with a good strong grape taste. There would be an assortment of beers and Black Label Scotch. Quality Port and Brandy for after dinner coffee.

The starter courses would consist mainly of dips accompanied by hot pitta bread and fresh salads and vegetables. Talatouri is a dish of very finely chopped cucumber mixed with thick natural yoghurt, garlic and fresh mint. Houmousis a thick dip, made from ground chickpeas mixed with tahina, sesame oil with lots of garlic and sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Taramosalata is a delicious dish, bright pink in colour, made from smoked Cod’s roe, mixed with onion, lemon juice and parsley. Then comes grilled Halloume, which is grilled goat’s milk cheese.

Tahinosalada is a dip made from tahina, garlic, lemon and water eaten with hot fresh bread or used as a salad dressing. Yemista comprises tomatoes, potatoes and wine leaves stuffed with a meat and rice mixture. Melinzano Salata is a dip made from the pulp of cooked aubergines mixed with breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and fresh mint.

Excellent so far, yet I think we need more dishes, she thought and added subtle flavours with egg bases. Egg and Spinach with scrambled eggs, lemon and ground pepper. Chicken Livers to be served fried with fresh tomatoes and onions, mixed with scrambled eggs. At this point of the Meze, dishes of mushrooms sautéed in butter, slices of eggplant, fresh beetroot or other vegetables according to the season. There will be a short break from these course to give my guests time to digest, with hot towels to their face and hands, and drinks of their choice. Their tastebuds will come alive and we continue to dine.

 She continued with the menu. The fish first, Maridhes, deep fried whitebait to be eaten whole, heads, tails and all. Octapodi Krasato, is Octopus marinated in red wine, cooked with tomato, onion, bay leaves and cinnamon. Savoro are tiny red mullet deep fried and served cold in a wine vinegar sauce. Kalamaraki are bay squid deep fried and eaten very quickly. Afelia are small chunks of pork marinated in red wine and cooked with coriander seeds. Tavas is cubed lamb cooked in an earthenware pot in the oven with onions, tomatoes and flavoured with cumin. Stifado is a beef stew cooked in wine vinegar with onions and spices. Kieftedhes are tiny meatballs flavoured with onions and parsley. Souvakia are cubes of lamb or pork grilled over charcoal. Sheftalia is a sausage from minced pork and lamb, parsley, onions and cinnamon. These grills to be followed by and accompanied by a mixture of salad and tomatoes, cucumber, with olives and lemon juice. To finish the menu masses of fresh fruits in season and good strong black coffee. Other wines to accompany the meal were Bellapais, Arsinoe, Fair Lady and some rose wines, Cour de Lion, Semeli and Othello.

She gave the written menu to the head Chef at her residence and instructed he keep to her wishes and provide a well presented and delicious feast. She sat back in to the soft leather black coloured lounge sofa and sipped a glass of mineral water. She seemed relaxed after putting in an afternoon of deciding a menu.

The invitations were sent and the R. S. V. Ps returned. There would be at least a dozen people attending, including Major Seib and Major Gond. Ismail the Chef was congratulated by the General and his lady for the magnificently set table now displayed outside by the pool of this hilltop mansion. Tekke produced her finest silver and china with plates from England and the crystal wine glasses from Itlay.

On dusk the guests began arriving. The gods were smiling on Tekke tonight. Clear skies with a slight breeze coming off the harbour complemented the atmosphere of this night now beginning. The guests were being welcomed individually by the General and Tekke. The Austrian colonel and men arrived together. He, a dapper man, splendid in uniform. The pencil moustache gracing his upper lip set off his jet black hair and, at over 180cm, provided an imposing figure.

“Call me Gunther,” he told Tekke as he kissed her hand.

Major Gond and Major Seib were behind the colonel and saw Tekke for the first time, standing there dressed in the deepest red coloured evening gown, enhancing her body. The garment clung to those parts of the body men liked to look at. Their eyes met and she flirted back and forth with both men. ‘Yes. It is all in the eyes,’ she thought.

The other guests were from the General’s army, a colonel, three majors, the Police Commissioner and a doctor. The General gave his welcoming speech and there was a responding ‘thank you’ speech by the Austrian colonel. The formalities over, the dinner began, as all were seated and the chatter echoed over the stillness of the glimmering water of the swimming pool.

Tekke concentrated her attention on engaging the two handsome majors in her conversation, learning one was married and one recently divorced. She informed both that her skiing abilities were non-existent and both men loved to ski.

She learnt they visited the southern part of Cyprus daily, to attend the operational meeting at Blue Beret Camp in the United Nations Protected Area, in Nicosia.

“Could it be possible for me to see this part of the Island?” she asked.

“Yes, it can be done,” Major Gond answered.

Major Seib added, “We could arrange a pass in an Austrian or German name and you could be a relative of either one of us from Austria.”

Her eyes widened with a look of excitement that she expressed to both majors as she replied, “It sounds exciting and dangerous and if I were identified as the General’s wife I would be detained. Yes?”

Major Seib responded, “Yes, however, we would not let anything happen to you. We would be in trouble giving you a false identification card and our jobs would be in jeopardy for sure!”

“Are you prepared to take this risk for me?” The black pearl-coloured eyes, with the pupils enlarging as she spoke, told both men the same message. Here is an exciting woman.

Before the night ended Tekke placed the business cards of the two majors down the front of her bra. Major Gond looked at her as she placed them against her breasts, thinking to himself, I wish I could be a little card right now.

“I will ring you for sure,” she whispered to both men as the evening came to a close.

In the UN Land Rover on the drive back to Camp Leopold, Seib spoke to Gond, “Isn’t she a beauty? What about her asking us to take her across the checkpoint to the south, I think we have a wild one here, Gondy?”

“I’d give anything to get between her legs right now.”

“So would I. And how I would try and make the river run.”

“She would be hot, did you see her nipples coming erect?”                             

***

 

Sage and the General meet. At the time Tekke hosted her wonderful dinner party Sage drank with the Swedish police in Larnaca, where the Swedes were stationed. They were a great bunch of blokes, Sage muttered to himself, as he listened to a big Swede cop called Sven play the guitar and entertain a number of nurses from Dheklia, just up the road from Larnaca. The nurses were British and alive. Sage believed all English women who came to Cyprus took their knickers off and didn’t put them back on until they returned to England. It was, of course, a fantasy running through his head. He often slept over with the Swedes and this night was no exception. Get pissed and get laid maybe not in that order – the laid part first. Sage, separated from his wife and not yet divorced, came to Cyprus to give her time to think where their marriage stood after some twenty years. Would he play up in Cyprus, “No of course not,” he would tell his mates.

The Island of Aphrodite – the Island of Love – an education in history and beauty. Right now life on the Island for him seemed magical. Cocktail parties with the military from the Canadians, the Swedes, the Brits, the Austrians, the Danes and the Fins. And then came the American Marines, the High Commissions and UN Staff. Sage decided to make it his business to meet them all. The Force Commander, Jim Quinn an Irishman and a gentleman led the UN soldiers on the Island.

How quickly life can change and this would be one of those times for Sage. The following morning, after the Swedish party, he got pissed and slept at their headquarters. He felt the firm hand of Sven shake his shoulder.

“Peter, you have fifteen minutes to be at the helicopter pad. The call from Joint Operations centre at Blue Beret Camp. The Chief of Staff has requested you assist in a matter, North Nicosia Police Headquarters. They told me…Urgent…Real urgent.”

 

Ω 

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