CHAPTER: 12345, 6789101112131415161718192021222324252627, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32EPILOGUE

The drugs of Farlow are moved in the most efficient ways possible, like in most places. And in Farlow that means moving via the cycle paths. They’re completely unpoliced and usually empty, especially at night when most deals are made. They go all the way around the town, passing through places that are usually ignored by the police, and they’re actually faster than roads most of the time. Judd likes his guys using them and their bikes for another reason too, not just because they’re quiet and deserted. It stops them from being caught too. If someone gets too nosey and dares to report any of the dealers to the police it’s a lot harder for a push bike to be tracked down than it is for a car. Bikes look the same, don’t have license plates to be noted down and if the dealer is wearing a helmet and a hoodie they’re virtually indistinguishable from the law abiding users of the cycle paths. Judd likes that it keeps his guys fit too, they’re able to run and cycle at the speeds of fully trained athletes and for just as long. They get fresh air and leave the flats that they’d live in otherwise.

With the bike paths being deserted most of the time, particularly at night because most people are afraid to use them then, no one really gets noticed or interrupted. The darkness and trees all around mean that if a customer does try to dick one of Judd’s guys around then a little rough justice can be administered, without question and without anyone else noticing. The customers know by now that they shouldn’t try to double cross Judd and his gang, that they should keep their end of the deal and Judd will keep his. Of course though there are always new customers who don’t know the score and try to rip of Judd’s guys. Or there are the little gangster wannabes who wander around after dark and who think that a dealer on his own is fair game, ripe for the picking. Thanks to the darkness and the solitude of the cycle paths his guys can defend themselves easily and without worry of reprisal.

Of course Judd has rules. He made them, he sticks to them and he enforces them strictly and without compromise. And anyone who breaks the rules is swiftly and firmly punished, just as Dev had been. But Dev was lucky, lucky that Reece had been there to calm Judd down, lucky that Judd hadn’t beaten him to a pulp as he initially intended to do before Reece stepped in. Sticking to the rules keeps you safe and Judd makes sure that all his dealers know them and knows to stick to them. The operations go down on the cycle paths, with bikes, never by car. Even if the customer lives a fair distance from the paths they have to cover that distances themselves. The customer had to come part of the way, share the risk of the dealer by meeting in the open. Judd’s guys stay to the path and only ever carry out their deals at a junction of the cycle path. A junction means lots of directions to run in if things go bad. Judd’s guys know the cycle paths like the back of their hands or their childhood homes, they can get from point a to point b in the quickest time needed, even if it isn’t the most direct route.

And the number one rule, that everyone HAS to stick to is that they never enter any of the housing estates or the shopping centres. The dealing stays on the cycle paths. It’s how they never get caught, ever. There are no nosey old grannies on the bike paths, sticking their noses in, there are no overprotective parents looking out for their kids. The cycle paths are safe, out in the open and surrounded by trees. The dealers run less risk of being jumped and the customers share the risk of getting caught if a stray copper happens to be taking a wander. And of course having the deals done on the cycle paths means that none of the younger, impressionable kids see what is happening. That’s another of Judd’s rules. Kids are not involved, ever. If they’re not old enough to have sex they’re not old enough to do drugs, it’s an attitude that Judd enforces on all of his guys. Dealing on the paths means that kids who don’t actually understand what’s going on don’t see it and don’t get too curious or get any strange ideas. Judd may be a criminal but he still has morals. Kids and drugs don’t mix. End of story.

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