Josh had made it his mission to leave college without any debt. He was entitled to a small grant, and took every chance he could to earn money: including some small-time pot dealing for Mo's uncle. He also had two part-time jobs, one in a book shop, the other in a coffee shop, both on campus. In the holidays he took factory jobs or picked vegetables. With the result that after two years of study, he had a net debt of £162, and had passed every examination and assignment.
"What the hell is this?"
"Cammo," answered Mo, daubing his cheek with black grease paint, "put it on."
"Is this necessary?"
"It is if you don't want to be seen. Hurry up, we need to get this done before midnight."
"Or we'll turn into pumpkins?" asked Josh sarcastically, taking off his jacket.
"No. Because after midnight the Old Bill will be out stopping drunk drivers and Dark-Skinned fellows in Four-by-Four's. Which means me," he nodded, at his uncle's car. "and they might get a bit suspicious is they find the boot full of dead sheep." He threw the cammo-paint to Josh, who missed it, "Right. Do you want the AK, or the shotgun?"
"What are you talking about Mo?"
Mo took the two guns from under the passenger seat of the car, and held one in each hand. "You have a choice, an AK-47 or a sawn-off shotgun."
"Where did you get those," asked Josh, picking up the cammo-paint.
"You take the sawn-off." Mo thrust the gun into Josh's hands, and disappeared round to the driver's side of the car. He re-appeared with a two large hunting knives, "come on, come on, we haven't got all night. Look, don't worry about the trousers. Those black jeans will do just fine for now."
"Look man! Stop whining. You either want the money or not. If you do, get ready quick. If you don't, stay here."
Josh made two smeared green-black lines across his cheeks, and another down the bridge of his nose. "I was going to say..."
"Yes well don't," said Mo, securing the the knife belt around his waist. "There's a first time for everything. The guns are for our protection. We'll do the killing with this, if need be." He thrust the other knife into the ankle of right boot, and took a large lump hammer from the rear of the truck. "Are you ready?"
Josh tossed his jacket onto the passenger seat, "Ready," he said, putting on his 1-D beanie.
"Good," said Mo. The indicators on the truck blinked twice. "Two rules, don't touch the trigger on the gun. You're not a cowboy. No matter how tempting it is, leave it alone. And two, don't puke."
"No shooting or puking. Fine."
Mo slung the pack on his shoulder, handed Josh the lump-hammer, and set off into the woods. The headlight of a car passed on the top road, the sloshing sound it made seemed very far away.