from Chapter 23...
They continued on down the track, and emerged onto the narrow paved road from Loch Hourn about ten minutes later. After a few moments, a dark blue Ford passed them going in the opposite direction. There were two occupants.
"Did you see that?" asked Meg. "I'm sure those men were police."
"They certainly had uniforms on," Kurt replied.
Dougal glanced in the rear view mirror instinctively, then swore. "Bloody hell! They've turned round and want us to stop!"
Meg, who was in a rear seat, looked back to see a magnetically attached red light flashing on the roof of the Ford. "You'll have to pull over, Dougal."
"Aye. Mebbe I was a wee bit over the limit. Still, to look on the bright side, we shouldn't have any problems with our friends from Norbase 2 with the cops around."
While the road had two lanes, it was narrow and without a shoulder. Instead, there was a low grassy bank topped by a hedge. This meant Dougal had no choice but to block the eastbound lane when he stopped. The police car pulled up about fifteen feet behind him. Dougal could see two officers in the rear view mirror, then the driver got out, opening his tunic pocket for the inevitable citation book.
Kurt, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, turned to Dougal. "I think you had better open the window."
When this had been done, the policeman leaned forward and peered into the car. "May I see your driver's license, sir? And I'll need some identification from your passengers."
Dougal began to go through his wallet, and Kurt started to reach inside his anorak pocket for his passport, but he didn't have a chance to get it out. Without any warning, Dougal dropped his wallet in his lap, slammed the Landrover into gear, and floored the gas pedal, all in a couple of short seconds. But instead of going forwards, the vehicle shot backwards. There was a jarring smash as its rear end hit the radiator grille of the Ford, pulverizing the plastic and bursting the radiator itself. Meanwhile the policeman, who had put a hand through the window to take Dougal's license, was thrown backwards off his feet against the bank. Instantly Dougal changed gear and they screeched away at high speed.
"Christ!" yelled Meg who had been flung sideways across the back seat. "What the hell did you do that for, Dougal? Now we're in real trouble! The entire police force will be after us!"
"No they won't," Dougal replied. "They won't even know we exist. That bloody Sassenach we left sitting in the grass wasn't a member of our esteemed Scottish Constabulary, he was a fake!"
"A fake?" snapped Kurt as the rover screamed round a sharp bend in the road. "How could you possibly tell?"
"His Scots accent was a put-on for a start, and a lousy one at that. Then there was a bulge under his tunic that looked like a gun. As you know Meg, the cops in this country aren't allowed to carry guns. And last but by no means least, his pants were all crumpled, without a proper crease. He'd never have been allowed on duty like that. Sloppy bastard!"
"So you reckon he was one of them?" said Meg.
"Aye, without the slightest doubt."
They came to a straight and level piece of road about half a mile long with open moorland on either side, and had almost reached the far end when Dougal checked the mirror. The police car swung into sight, and there was no way the Landrover could outrun it.
"Shit!" he said vehemently. "I thought I was being so clever, bashing in their radiator, but I suppose it didn't work."
Meg turned round in the back seat. "You must have done something, Dougal. It looks to me like it's steaming, so I don't imagine their engine will last long."
The Ford gained steadily on the Landrover until Meg could see the faces of the two men inside quite clearly. Then the passenger put his arm out of the window, and his hand held a gun. It seemed to Meg as though it was pointing straight at her head. "Dougal, he's going to shoot at us! Look out!"
Meg ducked out of sight, but nothing happened. The rover heeled over as Dougal tore round the next bend, and the bullet, if there was one, went wide. A range of hills lay directly ahead, and the road rose in a series of hairpin bends to make its way across them. Dougal hoped the pursuers' engine wouldn't make the grade, but before they reached the incline there was a length of straight road, and once again Meg saw the hand with the gun emerge from the window. But the Ford was beginning to fade, and the distance between the two vehicles widened. A bullet did smash into one of the Landrover's tail lights, which was already broken from its encounter with the bogus police car's radiator, but apart from that they escaped any damage. The hill got steeper, and just before the first hairpin bend, Dougal glanced in the rear view mirror. At that moment the Ford blew its engine, and he saw a puff of steam and smoke as its innards disintegrated. They were in the clear.
Dougal, noted that the road ahead climbed to the top of a pass between two low hills, their summits shrouded in cloud. In a few moments they would reach the crest.
"I wonder what would have happened if they'd caught us," he mused.
"Something unpleasant," said Kurt. "But your quick thinking was very professional."
Meg had ended up sprawled across the back seat. After straightening herself up, she put a hand on Dougal's shoulder. "Never let me underestimate a Scotsman again! Never!"
"What's that supposed ... oh, my God! Hold on!"
With a deafening roar, a silver helicopter reared itself up straight in front of them.