The sack is pulled off of his head, and his heart is pounding so much he can barely breath except to sputter, "Who are you and what do you want with me?"
The other man, who has just introduced himself as Sydney, looks at him with an unblinking stare, the posture of a pouncing pit bulldog, and says, almost as if it were an afterthought, "Sydney Thomson, may I call you Sydney, I know, it's going to be confusing, but haven't you ever watched the court shows on television, what they tell a barrister never to do?"
"Never ask a question if you aren't fairly sure of the answer."
"I am a citizen of the UK. I have rights. You have no reason to detain me."
"Well, that may very well be true if we were the police. However, I think," and he fingers the prepay Sydney stole from Jake Jr., "I think they would have plenty of reason as well. But before we get to that point, you have some explaining to do."
"Explain what? The same person who set me up with those phone calls, the one who's phone you're holding? It's all a fraud. None of it is real."
Sydney notices he doesn't surrender a last name and that makes him more nervous than ever before he can only say, "Yes."
"You see, I know the young man in question. He is-" checking his watch "-about eighteen hours away from being declared a missing person, and the last information we have puts his mobile phone a few miles from your house."
"What are you accusing me of??"
The bulldog pounces, right in his face, and with a snarl, "If you hurt so much as a hair on that boy's head, you will suffer a death so-"
"I have a heart condition, please!" yells Sydney, "I'm cooperating!"
"You say you are cooperating, but you really aren't, are you?"
"I have all the files from the school, yes, we got those quite easily, where you recommended Jacob Junior as an, and I'm quoting here, 'outstanding addition to the student body with great potential,' right?"
"Well as a matter of fact I did, and-"
"Now according to this you met with him alone, let's see, three times, before even meeting with his parents? Is that, is that procedure, is that normal, I mean, not just for you, but in general?"
"I mean, this would ordinarily be a matter for the local police, but now that we have all of these calls to Dubai, Islamabad, let's see, Tbilisi, the list goes on, not to mention that nice trick of a frequent call to a pre-paid mobile in a port city, well, you see where this is going, right, Sydney?"
"He approached me!"
"He approached you?"
"Yes, because it was either this school or the military school-"
"Something wrong with the military school?"
Sydney Thomson feels his chest tightening.
"I have done nothing wrong," he says.
"Oh, there isn't any need to tell me that, I mean, trust me, we'll find out."
A long uncomfortable silence while the interrogator taps something onto his own mobile phone.
"So now what?"
"Are you going to keep asking questions you don't want to know the answer to, you arrogant ass? The local police will begin processing your house, as well as this phone which contains some pictures of Jacob Junior I wish I had never seen, on top of everything else incriminating about it, so they can begin their investigation of you. In the meantime, they will begin combing the woods around here to see if they can recover the bodies of him or his brother-"
"Yes. They're both missing, and there is only one suspect. As they are doing this, our agencies overseas will begin to look into your contacts there-"
"I have no contacts there or anywhere! I'm a schoolteacher!"
"Well, not anymore, are you? We know you visited Cairo in 2002-"
"To scatter my wife's ashes by the pyramids!"
"Poetic, really, I give you credit, for a so-called ex-science teacher, that's poetic. Look, Sydney, you're going to jail. For what and for how long, well, that depends very much on whether we find our information before you tell us what we need to know."
Sydney swallows hard, "I am a British citizen! I have rights!"
"What do you want? You're not getting a barrister from me. Or do you just want me to pipe Billy Elliot into your cell for you?"