At Killorglin we continued on the N70 as I expected; it’s also where the N72 splits off and follows the River Laune down to Killarney, through some of the most beautiful land in Kerry, which is to say, some of the most beautiful land on earth.
At Castlemaine (“There was a wild, colonial boy . . . ” but I heard the Clancy Brothers, not John Wayne) we turned off the main road, right, onto a smudgy little track. I thought things I won’t write down. There’s only one reason to get off the N70 at Castlemaine, and that’s to cross over to Farranfore. Farranfore Airport.
We weren’t driving to wherever we were going. I hoped Siobhan could tail an airplane.
The seven miles to Farranfore, plus one to the airport, took almost twenty minutes. I suddenly recalled the only time I’ve felt alone in Ireland: walking in the rain after dropping off a rental car at Farranfore Airport; heading back to town to catch a bus. Nothing odd about my walking in Ireland, nor about it raining. I wondered briefly why the memory seemed so lonely. Ah, well; maybe it’s best that I don’t remember.
I wondered about Dubin’s use of this tiny road instead of the better-paved way around through Killarney. It adds six miles to the twelve-mile trip, but it takes the same time and the roads are more comfortable. Then I realized he was probably concerned about the same thing I was, but from the opposite perspective: there’s no way anyone could follow us down this winding country road, not without being seen, even in this dark. I couldn’t risk watching behind us, even if Dubin really was asleep, but I assumed there was no one there.
Maybe that’s what resurrected the lonely feeling of my earliest memory of Farranfore. Because I sure felt lonely right now.
We pulled onto the N22 just south of Farranfore, then crossed over and went down the airport road. The airport lights were blinding after the darkness of the country road.
Feany parked like a pig across three parking spaces at the back of the lot. He opened Dubin’s door, then came around to mine. Once we were all out, he opened the trunk and pulled out a briefcase, a nice one.
We walked through the glaring lights, past the cute little terminal, toward airplanes and the runway.
A Cessna Citation Bravo. Seven-passenger; top speed 430 miles per hour, long-range cruising speed, 385 miles per hour; maximum altitude, 45,000 feet (that’s eight flipping miles above the earth, kiddies.)
I almost giggled. I knew a whole lot more about this private jet than I should have. It almost made me forget that I was about to climb aboard the thing and be whisked away from the people most interested in prolonging my life; prolonging it, at least, until they’d given Conor Dubin what for.
“Certainly not economical for such a short trip, but more comfortable, and less likely to invite company.” Dubin voiced, as benefits, more than one of my concerns.
Once again Feany played doorman. He put me in the seat behind the cabin; Dubin sat across and back one seat. Feany brought us both whiskey before we took off. It was good stuff. So was his flying; I barely felt the Cessna leave the ground.
Dubin had made it clear back at the Ring Lyne that he knew I wasn’t wearing any government-provided electronics; he obviously had electronics of another sort at his disposal.
I hoped Siobhan’s friends had been able to get their magical tracking device onto Dubin’s car while I was chatting him up.
At least they’d know, when they got to Farranfore, where they’d lost my trail.