The Last of The Smoker - Chapter 2 - page 4

"The garage door is very flimsy," I said as we climbed into the car, sensing that there were people on the street outside. "Just drive straight through it."

Kusakabe's car was a Mercedes Benz, as tough as a tank. My son had been using my car as his own, and had driven it with my wife when they moved to her parents' house.

The Mercedes set off, crashed through the garage door and flew onto the street. Without slowing down we turned and headed for the main road. We had run over several of the cameramen and reporters gathered lik e garbage in front of the house, but we weren't too bothered about that.

"Well, that was pretty exciting!" Kusakabe laughed as we drove away.

When I think about it now, we did very well to get to Tokyo with all those roadblocks on the highways. After all, the fires at our houses would certainly have been broadcast on TV and radio, and both the A.S.L. and the police were after us. We drove all night and arrived at Tokyo in the morning.

Kusakabe's secret safehouse was in the basement of a magnificent apartment in Roppongi. About twenty people from all over the country whose houses had also been burned to the ground were gathered there. It was a luxury club of which Kusakabe had been a founding investor. The owner was also one of those present. Here we pledged our solidarity and resistance to the enemy. We worshipped the god of tobacco and prayed for victory in our struggle. Of course the god of tobacco has no physical form, so we worshipped by smoking huge numbers of cigarettes, with the Lucky Strike red circle as the symbol on our flag.

A description of how our struggle developed over the following week would be far too tedious to relate in detail here. Briefly, it would be fair to say that we fought relatively well. Our enemies were not only the Anti-Smoking League and the police and Self Defence Forces, who had by now become nothing more than agents of the League, but also the World Health Organisation and the Red Cross who were supported by the common sense of the whole world - these were the fiends we were fighting against. In the face of this, the only support we could hope for would be from gangsters running secret tobacco sales. Asking for help from those sorts of characters would have been against the noble spirit of smokers.