The escapade up the Kanijiroba mountain took place early in
the morning and there were in total nine participants,the guide,two
Americans,two Swiss climbers,one national of the Netherlands,one Englishman,John
Ruchter and Tadek Vangard.One of the Americans was a lovely,sporty woman,Carla
from San Francisco.She was often nearly glued to John Ruchter and their laugh
was heard through a thousand and one echoes which spread from one chain of
mountains to the other one.The mountains had indeed an exellent hearing.
Getting to the fourth thousandh level where the renowned “Yeti Hostel”
stayed was relatively simple and everybody got through this part of the route in
a remarkably easy way.They enjoyed a yeti menu and an hour later continued their
climbing.This time it happened to be more and more difficult,with many
precipities on their way.One mistake and one would fall into the jaws of abyss.
Tadek Vangard was astonished to see his friend as the one who was most fit of
all the participants,he was incredibly dynamical and at one point Tadek Vangard
had an image of Steven Mac Dantosch fighting with Carlos.He shivered because his
friend’s movements were suddenly so much similar to the movements of
Carlos,the assassin.Nearly identical or even…identical! No,it could not be!
John Ruchter certainly did not know more about Carlos than anybody else in this
pack of innocent tourists turned mountaineers,the ones who tried their best to
be good citizens.
They have already been nearing the fifth thousand meters’ level and felt
The Englishman,John Thompson, looked at his watch.
-“My friends,we’re perfectly on time!”- He announced to everyone.
-“Let’s make a stop.I’m hungry like a homeless dog.”- Hans Grotbieger,a
climber from Switzerland proposed.
They had a rest of only fifteen minutes,drank strong,black coffee and then began
to continue climbing.There was even more snow now and lots of icy bricks.The
American couple gave up and decided to go back.There were now seven of them.They
followed each other while tied by a rope.In a case if someone was faaling the
others would hold him,thanks to the rope.It was indeed a team work,something
what was a necessity in the unfriendly environment of high mountains,the
guardians of virginity.They moved up icy rocks which rose sheer above their
lower counterparts.It was better not to look down there,to the jaws of the
abyss.Tadek Vangard followed John Ruchter who in his turn followed the
guide.There was a bigger piece of rock ahead of them,which had a sort of a large
cave within itself,so large that if there was a sudden snow-storm or even
hailstorm or both then ten or even fifteen people could easily find a shelter
there.Tadek Vangard shivered at a thought of a sudden storm in such conditions
as they were right now,so vulnerable! He would not like to stir up a net of
hornets.Or to wake snakes either.
The guide was already there.John Ruchter needed yet two or three more movements
and then Tadek Vangard followed the suit.He was tired but happy.There was a
thousand meters yet,before they could get to the top.A thousand meters of nearly
a vertical direction.
There was a sudden,vicious movement,something as if an enormous stream of air
engulfed them and Tadek Vangard saw,with an overwhelming thrill in his eyes,that
the guide was falling down to the jaws of abyss.Strong arms of John Ruchter were
still in a position which suggested without a doubt that he was the one who
commited the crime of killing.Before Tadek Vangard managed to say a word,in
order to protest,John Ruchter cut off the rope via which the others were
interconnected to Tadek Vangard.An echo of absolute despair,heard from the
mouths of the falling victims sang a deadly tune throughout the chains of the
Tadek Vangard got such an enormous blow of shock inside his entire being he
thought he turned into a stone.He was unable to move at first,just looked at the
deadly fall of his fellow climbers and listened to their cry of uittermost
despair which was then caught by the listening chain of mountains and spread
over Himalayas as an unspeakable story of horror which could not be understood
in any way.He vomited to the ground and felt sickeningly as never before.Then he
looked up at the guy he shared so many days and nights together.Ha saw him
standing there on the edge of the cave,unnaturally quiet and even…smiling.No!
He was actually laughing! The guy must have had bonds with Satan alone!
-“You’re ashole! You’re a pig! You’re a murderer! I hate you! “- Tadek
Vangard screamed aloud and the echo of the mountains repeated his words.
John Ruchter turned to him and made a few steps.
-“You forgot to ask me who am I ?”- He said,instead.
-“I don’t have to ask it! You’re a pig,pig,pig! A thousand times a pig!
-“Ha,ha,ha,ha! I’m much worse than that,guy. And I must tell you we know
each other much longer than you think”.
Tadek Vangard felt now not only sickeningly but also damned.
-“I don’t think I have ever met you in any other part of the world,except of
here,in Himalayas.You’re an evil,evil,evil guy! And you must know that if I
have ever met you earlier than I think as you suggest it now to me,then I would
myself jump there,to my death,without you asking me to do it.”
-“Ha,ha,ha,ha…Then you’ll have to do it,because you indeed know me longer
than you think.”
-“O.K.Can you explain yourself?! And why have you killed those people?!
You’re a pig,pig,pig! I hate you! I hate you as no one else.”
-“Ha,ha,ha,ha,there is someone you hate even more!”
-“Shit,you’re really a madman!”
-“Yes,I’m a madman! Bigger than you think!
-“Then say,fucking,who are you!”
-“Certainly not John Ruchter as you thought!”
-“This I could believe,you’re a monster!”
-“Bigger than you think,guy! I’m… Carlos!”
Tadek Vangard nearly fell down to the ground.He felt now not only sickening but
actually as someone who was dying,because no more air could get to his lungs.He
understood suddenly everything.If the guy really was Carlos,the assassin,then
everything indeed was so incredibly simple.Carlos as he knew him and as the
world heard about was an image of Satan,perhaps even a seed of Satan.He now
recollected all that thoughts which compared John Ruchter to Carlos and which he
always put aside as a nonsense.God,his six sense warned him a couple of times
and he never got over it seriously.How could it be possible this guy whom he
thought was John Ruchter was in fact Carlos,the assassin? He saw Carlos before
so he knew how he looked.This guy did not resemble Carlos in his appearances at
all.Yet now,he felt he was slowly recognising the guy.The same deeds,the deeds
of evil,the same movements and the same silhuette.Only the face! The guy’s
face was totally different from the face which belonged to the real Carlos.If it
really was Carlos then how was it possible for him to change himself so
profoundly.It was as if Jack Nicholson turned himself into Marlon Brando.Was it
-“Listen,I saw the real Carlos,I was threatened by him a number of times.His
face is entirely different than your face! Besides,as you heard it just last
night,Carlos was arrested by the French secret police!”- Tadek Vangard felt
somehow he indeed dealt with Carlos.What he wanted to decipher was how was it
possible for Carlos to change himself so profoundly.Did he have a plastic
operation? No,a plastic operation would not change him so much! What was it
-“Ha,ha,ha…You’re going to die so I let you into my secrets. It’s
simple: I hade a gene transformation which changed the looks of my face into a
new image,unrecognisable to anyone.A plastic operation followed,but just as the
addition to the gene therapy.I became a new person and a new identity.To become
John Ruchter,the billionaire with a diamond fortune was as simple to do. I’ve
simply orchestrated a terrorist action which resulted with destroying a plane in
which the entire family of the real John Ruchter travelled to their wedding.I
took his place and the fortune is mine.Just as simple as that!”
Tadek Vangard had an impression his mind would blow apart at any time. How could
he never recognise the guy as the real Carlos?! How could he be so blind to his
own sixth sense which indeed warned him.The warnings were subtle but firm.And
yet he did not react to them.
-“What about Carlos,the one who was arrested by the French secret service?”-
He asked with a resigned voice.
-“I’ve told you yesterday. The guy is a double-ganger! And in fact I have a
number of doubles.So...I’m immortal this way!”
-“I have no words against you any more.You’re evil,evil,evil!”
-“Ha,ha,ha,ha…I’m evil and that’s what makes me happy.You’re the next
one to die and this time you won’t escape from me.We’re going to climb up to
the top and then I’ll do with you the same what I did with our fellow
climbers.The death is already dancing over your head,guy.”
-“I don’t fear death!”- Tadek Vangard answered with a venomous manner.His
thoughts rushed feverishly over and over as he tried to assess the situation and
Once again the maxime of his life shone in the forefront of his thoughts,the
famos maxime which was shared by uncountable numbers of people worldwide:
“Nothing is impossible”.
Yes,indeed,nothing was impossible! He had to believe in it especially in that
dark hours.Perhaps there was a way out.A miraculous one.
-“Well,I accept you’re Carlos.Nobody else would do so terrible,so
nonsensical crime.”- He added.-“But I suggest we rest here overnight.I’m
simply having no strength to climb up the mountain,after what I saw.So…you
have a choice: you kill me now or we do further climbing in the morning.”
Carlos did not answer immediately.He was thinking and it looked he also assessed
-“Well,you might be right.”- He said.-“I want to drop you down from the
top of this mountain and I think it’s better to continue the climbing in the
morning.By the way,I’ll have my own Guiness Record! Nobody else did before
what I’m going to do with you! Ha,ha,ha,ha…”
Tadek Vangard boiled from hatred but said nothing this time.He just walked to
the other end of the cave and opened his enormous bag in which there was a
sleeping bag,thermos of hot tea and some food.He had also a book which he could
pretend to read.In fact it was already a late afternoon and it was better to
have a good sleep.Perhaps the last one before a terrible death which was awaitig
him.Falling down into the jaws of abyss,the jaws of death,what a horror!
He had no appetite,so he opened a book and pretended to read it.He understood no
word from it,naturally.He was too agonising and too much overwhelmed by the
horror images which stayed within him like hyenas which wanted to eat his mind
away.He watched Carlos with a corner of his eye and saw him pouring tea out of
He was strucked suddenly by a thought.God,he had sleep inducing,soporific set of
tablets in the pocket of his jacket.He bought it just a couple of days ago
because he had sleepless nights.What if he dropped all the tablets into the
Carlos’ thermos?! Perhaps then he would be able to escape.God,there was a
But how to do it? How on Heaven to do it? There was a chance only if he stayed
nearer to Carlos but above all if Carlos got asleep. He had no choice but to
try.He packed up,got up walked towards Carlos and when he was already about four
meters from him,he stopped and without looking at Carlos he opened his bag and
got a sleeping bag out of it.Perhaps what he did might have looked strange to
Carlos but not to a point of inducing some sort of alarm within his mind.At
least he hoped so.The thermos belonging to Carlos was now only about two and
half meters away.Plan one was over.Plan two was that Carlos would fall asleep
and that there would be at least some light,perhaps from one of the sky’s
stars,so he could see the thermos.Plan three was to get to it and drop all the
soporific tablets into it.And finally the plan four that Carlos would indeed
drink the tea from the thermos.Tadek Vangard promised to himself to feel the
luckiest man in the world if all the plans can get realized.As of the moment it
was rather death which hanged around him and made fun of him.He opened his
sleeping bag and got into it.He did not close it.He observed Carlos in the
meantime with a corner of his eye.He was satisfied to see Carlos intended to
have a sleep,perhaps confident that the victim who lay just a few meters away
from him would have a courage to do anything.
Tadek Vangard had terrible nightmares,demons were engulfing him and eating him
alive,leaving not a piece of him and then he woke up with a sheer
thought:”Shit,I got asleep! How could I do it ! As if I didn’t know my life
is already hanging on one only thread of my hair! He looked carefully towards
the place where Carlos lay.The guy slept.He had a real sleep!
Tadek Vangard looked at his watch which showed to him there was already 4
a’clock in the morning.Just one hour longer and he could consider himself part
of the kingdom of death.
He got up and moved noiselessly towards the thermos,the magic object which could
give him a chance of being alive.The thermos was his only chance! He heard
rhythmic breathing of Carlos what suggested the guy slept.He had already the
thermos in his hands,opened it and dropped all the soporific tablets he had.He
closed it and turned back towards his sleeping bag,with not a rustle being
heard.He approached his sleeping bag and got into it,and then looked at sleeping
Carlos.He was still breathing in the same manner as a moment ago,what was a
proof enough that he was not awoken by Tadek Vangard’s venture to his thermos.
-“God,I made it”- Tadek Vangard thanked the Allmighty.
Now everything depended on whether Carlos will have enough thirst in the morning
and will reach for his thermos.The rest of the night Tadek Vangard did not sleep
and it was around six a’clock when he saw Carlos getting awoken.He closed his
eyes and pretended to be still sleeping.Half an hour later he made a yawn and
spread his hands,what was a sign to Carlos he was also awoken.
He saw Carlos sitting on his sleeping bag and holding the thermos in his hands.
-“Drink,drink!…”- Thoughts of desire spread within Tadek Vangard’s
head.He never desired it more as now.It was a matter of death and life.His life
depended on this very moment.Will Carlos drink it? And if he drinks it will he
recognise something strange in the essense of his tea? He sat up and looked at
Carlos,without saying a word.
-“Want tea?”- He heard Carlos asking him.
-“No,I have my own tea.”- He answered.
Carlos in the meantime poured tea to his cup,reached for a sandwich and began to
eat and drink.Then he poured another cup and yet another cup was filled later
on.Tadek Vangard felt warming up within his mind and his body.There was actually
an enormous chance of succeeding.
It looked Carlos had such a great thirst that he was intending to drink
everything what he had in the thermos.Tadek Vangard looked at the Carlos’ bag
and saw there yet another thermos. It meant Carlos did not bother about leaving
some tea for later because he had yet another thermos.Carlos indeed filled his
cup yet again and his thermos was empty.Now the only thing which was left was to
wait yet another couple of minutes to see the effects of the soporific tablets
being activated within the assassin’s body.It indeed was the case,eyes of
Carlos were closing more and more,to the point he himself began to realize that
something strange was happening with him.And then he looked at Tadek
Vangard,with eyes full of recognition but was unable to get up and fell down on
his sleeping bag.His eyes were closed and it was sure he would sleep for at
least four or five additional hours.
Tadek Vangard stood up and approached his enemy.He was now in a position of
killing his nemesis.But,God,he never killed and he would never kill.As simple as
He turned dus away from Carlos with a determination to go the same route back to
the Yetti hostel where he could call the police and ask them to contact
Interpol.Or whatever secret agency.He knew how to do a reverse mountaineering
because he was born in the mountains and practised climbing yet during his
college years.It got him three hours before he was back at the “Yetti
Hostel”.He alarmed there everyone about a threat in the air,at the hands of
visious Carlos who might appear there within the next hours.Then there was just
a chain reaction.
The police and army helicopters appeared before the hostel and Tadek Vangard
were interrogated.He cooperated and said everything he knew.They did not believe
him that the man Tadek Vangard was warning them about was Carlos,the real one
because they knew the news about Carlos being arrested by the French special
forces. Yet,at the same time,they had already reports of several deaths and the
guy who was left on the slopes of Kanijiroba was a ruthless murderer which
should be arrested.
They thankt Tadek Vangard and promised him to provide him with information over
the guy he called Carlos.Yet another military helicopter showed up and Tadek
Vangard was asked to get aboard of it.He did so and found himself downtown
Kathmandu within an hour or so.
He got news a few hours later from the secret service officials.They have not
found the guy whom he called Carlos.The murderer managed to escape.Tadek Vangard
again shivered from the agony.He realized he was once again in a danger.Carlos
could track him down at any moment.He had to act.No a minute could be lost.He
contacted with the special services unit and asked to let him to make a few
telephone calls to people who were as much in a danger from Carlos as he was and
also to make a plane reservation for him back to Belgium. What he requested for
was granted to him and the first telephone call which he made was to Helene and
Herman Van Veenen.He heard Helene’s voice.
-“Hello,I call to warn you about John Ruchter.He is not really the one as you
think he is.He is Carlos!”- Tadek Vangard announced.
-“Tadek,you joke! It can’t be! We heard…”
-“Helene,I’m sorry,I know what do you want to say.No,the guy which was
arrested by the French secret services is not really Carlos.John Ruchter is the
real one.He killed ruthlessly fellow climbers and threatened to kill me but
fortunately I managed to escape.Helene,believe me,please,he’s Carlos! He
transformed himself to another identity by a gene therapy,plastic operation and
killing the entire family of the real Ruchters,including the real John
Ruchter.Only Carlos is capable to do something as this!
-“Oh my God,what have I done…What have we done?!”- He heard Helene Van
-“I think,Helene,you’ll have to move away from Your s’Gravenwezel
Villa.It’s too dangerous for you there! Be careful! Bye”
He made yet a call to his best friend,Steven Mac Dantosch and narrated to him
about Carlos alias John Ruchter.
-“Tadek,I’m happy you managed to escape from him.Be careful,try to get out
of Nepal yet the same day!”- He heard his friend advising him.
-“I have a plane back to Brussels in two hours.Thank you,Steven.Say
‘Hello’ to Melissa and her mother!”- Tadek Vangard felt rays of
light,which engulfed his entire being.He did not end in the jaws of abyss,he was
engulfed by the rays of light,instead.The special ones,the ones which came from
his best friend whom he longed to see again.
To be continued…...
Author: Thaddeus Hutyra.
Address: Frederik de Merodestraat 1.
All Rights Reserved.
See the next chapter