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A Good Find

By Beer, Gary L

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Book Id: WPLBN0002822005
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 1.31 mb
Reproduction Date: 12/24/2012

Title: A Good Find  
Author: Beer, Gary L
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Thriller, Crime Thriller
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Mystery Fiction
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: Gary L Beer
Member Page: Gary L Beer

Description
It is an intriguing tale and shows the cold business attitude of the drug dealers who plague our streets. The story captivated me immediately, many of the characters appear familiar I would not be at all surprised if some were my neighbours - they appear so normal George Burnson An amazing adventure – one fraught with danger and showing a darker side of life that many do not believe exists. The desire for money and power that the dealers crave is shown in this novel - and the lengths people are prepared to go to obtain it. Mr S. Ansenn

Summary
Gary L Beer the popular travel writer delves into the realms of fiction and presents us with a fascinating crime thriller. Three friends go for a cycle ride along the North Kent coast and find a bag of money belonging to local smugglers and drug dealers. The drug dealers are soon hot on their trail to regain their money and the three friends soon find themselves in very serious trouble. With twists and turns a complicated web of deceit amongst the drug dealers is woven and the unconcern they show for the health of their customers in the dangerous substance they sell is portrayed vividly. The gangland life appears very real and one that is shocking and violent and strangely often hilarious. S.Gregory

Excerpt
Chapter One Nicola looked down at the mess on the floor; torn cigarette papers, sweet wrappers, shopping receipts and what looks like dirt is now spread out on the floor where Stef, her boyfriend, has emptied his pockets out. Nicola feels her face flushing with anger as she had only cleaned and dusted the whole flat twenty minutes ago! “Stef!!” Nicola shouts. “What ya want?” answers Stef from the other room in a ‘do not bother’ me tone of voice. Stef has a light-hearted outlook to life; he knows his put-on tone of voice will upset Nicola and feels she takes life too seriously. “Get in here; now!” shouts an angrier Nicola as Stef’s attitude does infuriate her. Stef stomps his feet as he walks into the room; “What’s the matter with you now?” “Look at the mess you have made; you complain to me that I do not keep this place clean enough, how can I with you around?” Stef looks down at the floor; “Nothing to do with me.” he answers in a bored voice and starts to turn away. “Stay right where you are, how dare you say that to me?” screams Nicola. Stef turns and looks at Nicola’s red face; “You wanna learn how to take a joke, yeah sorry, I forgot about that.” Nicola is off balance with Stef’s calm voice and easy admission of guilt and she stares at him as the anger inside her slowly fades; “You bastard.” she laughs; “Do it now please.” “Of course dear, is there anything else that you would like me to do?” Nicola stares at Stef, not sure if he is being serious or sarcastic she decides that “No thank you.” is the safest answer. Stef nods in apparent obedience and walks into the kitchen for the dustpan and brush; opening the cupboard door under the sink he rummages around inside; “Come on; where you put it?” “Put what?” answers Nicola innocently from the dining room. “The dustpan and brush; what else?” “You had it last when you knocked my plant over.” “Oh yeah I remember.” Stef laughs and opens the back door as the telephone rings. “I’ll get it.” shouts Nicola. Stef is closer and reaches it in two steps, picking up the receiver he says in a put on common sounding voice; “What’dya want?” “Yo Dude, how yer doin?” “Simon, good to hear from you Dude, how was the States?” “Really great, had lotsa beer and bike rides.” “Strange mix, ouch!” shouts Stef as Nicola comes up behind him and punches him on the arm for answering the telephone. “Hi Simon” shouts Nicola into the telephone as she walks into the kitchen. “What’s goin on Dude?” asks Simon. “It’s Nic being a usual pain, hey, hope you didn’t spend too much on me present ya know I will get embarrassed.” laughs Stef. “You don’t have to worry about that I got you nowt,” laughs Simon, “I spent the money on a taxi to get to the airport.” “Thought you were going on the train?” “Yeah I was, got as far as Rainham and there was a bomb scare at Gillingham. We sat and waited for about an hour and then got shunted back to Sittingbourne as they were meant to be laying on buses. I waited along with about a thousand others for half an hour or more, so got a taxi to take me to Paddington for eighty quid.” “Bomb scare? Didn’t hear nothing about that.” asks Stef. “Yeah well, you wouldn’t would you as you don’t read the newspapers or watch the news on the telly do ya?” answers Simon, saying it as more of a statement than a question. “So what do you want then? As you haven’t got a present to bring over.” answers Stef in a put on rough voice. “Ha ha, sorry mate, now I got over the jet lag I was wondering if you and Nic fancy a bike ride.” “Where you thinking of going?” asks Stef. “Down to the cliffs, maybe bit further to the river if you feel up to it, sure is a nice day.” “Sounds a good idea, could do with getting out of here, hang on.” replies Stef into the telephone, covering the mouthpiece with his hand he shouts to Nicola to ‘Get here!’ “What now?” shouts Nicola from the kitchen. “Do you wanna go for a bike ride with Si?” “Depends where he’s going, I am not cycling ‘till we are exhausted like last time!” “Nah we’re only going as far as the cliffs, maybe go the other side.” “As long as you promise not to go too far.” says Nicola as she enters the room. Stef uncovers the telephone; “Yeah, she’s up for it; ouch!” exclaims Stef as he receives another punch on the arm from Nicola. “She?” shouts Nicola, “Who’s she?” “Yeah all right.” grumbles Stef in an angry voice as Nicola’s punches hurt! “That’s cool I’ll come right over as long as you two ain’t gonna have a fight.” says Simon in a nervous voice, he had witnessed their fights and arguments and would rather avoid the unpleasantness. “She knows better,” laughs Stef rubbing his arm painfully; “Give us a half hour.” “Yeah Ok see ya in a bit.” answers Simon as he disconnects the call. “That hurt bitch.” says Stef as he puts the receiver down. “I have got a name you know.” replies Nicola in a sarcastic voice. “Yeah, well I keep forgetting what it is,” laughs Stef “right now I’ll call you Joe as you can make me a sandwich or something nice to take with us.” “You can make your own sandwich, I’m gonna get changed.” laughs Nicola as she brushes past him and goes into the bedroom. Stef and Nicola live in a ground floor flat on the outskirts of a seaside town on the north Kent coast in England. The flat is large, as the building, built in the eighteen hundreds and of Victorian design, was originally built for a wealthy land owner to be a home for his large family of nine children; and as many servants to look after them! The house originally had a lounge, two dining rooms, a library, large kitchen and servant’s quarters on the ground floor, with an equally large cellar beneath. The cellar had been divided to accommodate more servants and had also been used for storage of hay for the horses. Upstairs was divided into two floors with each floor having a lounge, two bedrooms, with a modern kitchen and a toilet and wash room. Stef and Nicola are lucky in renting the ground floor as this included a small private area of the back garden that led directly from their back door. The area is about three metres square and surrounded by a high hedge of green privet, giving them a little privacy from the other tenants. The cellar below them remains empty as it is cold and slightly damp and unsuitable for living in. Immigrants from Poland live in the flat above; two young couples in their early twenties. One couple do night work at the local supermarket and the other couple work during the day as casual labour on a nearby chicken farm. The top floor also houses immigrants; three families from India who seemed to be involved in two restaurants and a Take Away. They do not appear to be short of money as each family owns a Mercedes and they have a multitude of children! Even though they all live in the same building their paths seldom cross. Stef and Nicola work long hours; Stef as a forklift driver at a haulage company about thirty miles away and Nicola as a qualified staff nurse, who is often called to work long hours at the local and other hospitals. Stef is a swarthy looking individual; about two metres tall with close cropped light brown hair sitting on top of a round chubby face that looks ten years younger than his true age of twenty five years. His body looks muscular, but is betrayed by the pot belly that hangs over his leather belted blue jeans. A belly that is due to the long hours spent in his forklift truck and the five pints of brown ale that he drinks each day. Nicola is three years older than Stef and appears delicate compared to Stef; being a good twenty centimetres shorter with a slim body and long brown shiny hair that reaches to her shoulders. Dark brown eyes look out from a thin face that appears to have seen troubled times. Slight worry lines are making an appearance across her brow and her eyes seem shadowed from lack of sleep and appear dark against her pale skin. Nicola looks through her wardrobe for something to wear over her blue sweatshirt and black slacks. Choosing a pale lightweight jacket she puts it on and looks at her reflection in the long wardrobe mirror. Twisting to the left and then to the right and with a stretch of her arms above her head she appears satisfied with her choice. Removing the jacket Nicola lays it carefully onto the bed and looks down at the array of shoes and trainers that cover the bottom of the wardrobe. Picking a pair of silver coloured trainers she flicks off her slippers and puts the trainers on, she ties them up tight and reaching over to her bedside table picks up a book and starts to read. Nicola likes to read, especially romance novels and this one, about a girl in Jamaica has become very exciting; and Nicola is finding it hard to put down! Avidly she reads, imagining herself on a Jamaican beach in the arms of a strong, Jamaican hotel owner when Stef snaps her away by shouting her name repeatedly, and loud! Annoyed to be taken away from the Jamaican sunshine Nicola throws her book down on the bed and with a; ‘I’m coming.’ goes into the kitchen; where Stef is still shouting. “Alright, alright I’m here what’s all the fuss?” says Nicola as she enters the kitchen. “Where you been? You been gone twenty minutes!” demands Stef in his loud voice as he knows what Nicola has been doing. “I’ve been getting changed.” Nicola replies defensively. Stef eyes her up and down; “Changed?” he asks in his indignant voice “All you’ve changed is your trainers!” “Well I been doing other things” “Like what? Reading your soppy novel, I bet.” “Maybe.” Nicola replies with a small smile on her face. “I can see you have, your eyes go all soft and dopey looking.” “They do not,” Nicola exclaims; “Have you made sandwiches for me?” she asks looking at the sandwich filled plastic containers on the worktop. “No they are mine, and there is no more bread left, well only what’s in the freezer.” Nicola looks dismayed and upset that Stef has used all the bread, before she can pass comment Stef laughs; “You don’t think I’m gonna eat all them do ya; especially the lemon curd?” Nicola looks at Stef’s smiling face; Stef does not like lemon curd and despite his denial had obviously made sandwiches for her as well as his own. Nicola smiles sweetly in reply, her whole face changing, the smile making her look younger and somehow more vulnerable; “Thank you kind sir, you are like Winston in the book I am reading.” “You’d better watch your language or I might confiscate your sandwiches.” says Stef sternly, now with only a hint of a smile, as he feels jealous of Nicola’s romantic dreams; even though they are only stories in a book. Nicola is saved from answering as the front door bell rings several times; Stef runs to the front door and opens it quickly to a stressed looking Simon. “About time you answered it I been standing here for ages.” “We never heard it, you have to push it dead centre to get it to work.” apologises Stef. “I weren’t sure if it was working or not, till I heard you running up the hall; you ready then?” Stef looks at Simons flushed face, Simon is breathing heavily from riding his bicycle, and his large chest pulsates heavily as he quickly draws breath in and out. Simon is a well-built man; over two metres tall in his socks, his long black hair is tied into a pony tail at the back and is tied tightly around a very round face. Weighing a hundred and eighty pounds few challenge his muscular form and he is used to getting his own way; he asks first but usually takes what he wants. “Just waiting for Nicola,” lies Stef “Come in for a second.” Stef stands back from the door opening it wider. Simon looks at his bike which is leaning against the wooden front fence; “No, I’ll wait here.” “Suit yourself” says Stef as he walks back into the flat. Nicola appears carrying two small rucksacks; “I heard that, Hello Simon, I am ready it’s him we’re waiting for.” “Hi Nic, yeah he’s always bragging you have to wait for him.” “Yeah, too right.” laughs Stef as he takes a rucksack from Nicola’s outstretched hand. “You as well? A lot of people believe his lies.” answers Nicola in a bored voice. Stef gives a snort as he opens the door to a front room, taking a couple of steps inside he pulls out Nicola’s shiny red bicycle and pushes it towards her. Nicola takes it from him, putting her rucksack over her shoulders and sitting astride her bike she rides it out of the open front door. Stef follows quickly, slamming the front door he jumps on his expensive shiny black bicycle. Costing five times the amount as Nicola’s, it comes complete with twenty one gears, suspension, disc brakes and ergonomic saddle. He speeds down the path and out onto the road, without a backward glance as he passes Nicola and Simon, he pedals quickly down the road and is soon lost to sight around the corner. “Looks like someone’s in a hurry, you two had a row?” asks Simon. “Not that I know of.” replies Nicola as she pedals after Stef. Simon’s bike is similar to Stef’s but in a metallic blue with down swept handlebars and hard thin leather saddle, he pulls it away from the fence and follows Nicola and Stef down the road. Stef is waiting impatiently further on at the entrance to the path that leads down to the seafront. There were steep cliffs here years ago; now the cliffs have been landscaped to an angle of forty degrees to stop the erosion. Paths criss cross the grass covered slope that is interspersed with small bushes of gorse and young trees, giving it the appearance of a park in its early years. As Nicola approaches the path Stef turns and rides down the slope, not giving her a chance to stop and catch her breath. Nicola is annoyed with Stef’s behaviour and would much prefer a gentler ride. She turns right halfway down the slope, as she knows that riding down to the beach will mean cycling back up; as steep cliffs bar their way further on. Simon speeds past her as she takes the turning and he joins Stef to cycle along the concrete sea defences that border the shingle beach. Nicola does not mind cycling alone, in fact she is getting used to it as more and more these days she finds herself separated from Stef somewhere along the ride. She looks down at the two men cycling side by side; already they are fifty feet in front of her and seem oblivious to her presence. “How far do ya wanna go Dude?” asks Simon as he pulls level with Stef. “Dunno, not too far depends on Nic, we’ll ask her when we get to the Towers.” he replies in an impatient voice. “Nice day for a ride Dude.” Simon enthuses looking up at the sky which is a deep blue. White cumulus clouds looking like giant balls of cotton wool drift on a high wind far above. “Yeah, lucky for this time of year it being only April.” replies Stef with enthusiasm warming to the favourite subject of the British; discussing the weather! “The forecast is for rain this evening.” replies Simon seriously. “You wouldn’t believe it.” answers Stef looking up at a big patch of blue sky. He looks behind only now remembering that Nicola is meant to be with them, not seeing her he looks up the slope. For a moment he cannot see her as she is far behind them; “What’s she doing up there?” he asks. “She ain’t daft, we will have to go up there at the end, unless you wanna carry your bike up the one hundred steps?” asks Simon, referring to the steel steps that scale the steep cliffs at the end of the concrete sea defences. “No, better not, Nicola won’t wanna do that and we can’t let her ride around The Glen on her own.” “Yeah, that is what I was thinking, that’s a lonely path around there you would never hear the last of it if she slipped and fell.” says Simon with a wry grin. “If she fell down there, she would probably break her neck.” replies Stef, picturing the fifteen metre drop to the bottom of the gorge. Though only created out of the sand and clay cliffs by a seasonal stream The Glen’s cliffs have become a sheer drop. The fall from the narrow path through trees and bracken onto the sand and rubbish of rusty bicycles and supermarket trolleys far below, would probably result in serious injury or death. Simon slows a little and looks up and back at Nicola who is now a good five hundred yards further behind. Stef pedals faster and pulls away suddenly seeming to be in a hurry, Simon, seeing Stef speeding up pedals hard to catch him up; “Slow down Dude, we got all day, give Nicola a chance to catch up man.” Apart from themselves the beach and path before them is deserted and Stef sees no reason to go slowly as they can meet Nicola at the entrance to The Glen. Ignoring Simon’s plea Stef pedals harder and soon leaves Simon far behind who frowns in irritation. Stef takes the path that leads off the seafront at speed, even though the path now leads upwards Stef is going too fast and skids on some loose dirt and gravel. In a big swirling of dust and stones Stef skids off the path and nearly loses complete control; as he wobbles dangerously, almost falling to the concrete several feet below. Putting on the brakes he skids to a halt and looks down at the front wheel as if something is wrong. The noise of Simon approaching makes him look up and he stares at Simon in embarrassment. Simon stares back at Stef with a blank expression on his face and rides past saying nothing as if they are strangers. Nicola pedalling furiously towards them sees Simon ride past Stef and seeing that Stef has come to no harm slows down to a sedate pace. Simon waits for her at the end of the path; “Bit of a daft one your bloke.” he says with a laugh. “He has got so much pent up energy he feels he has to go mad all the time.” Nicola replies in disapproval. “Well you are only young once I suppose.” Simon says in defence of Stef. “He is going to kill himself one day.” Nicola says with conviction. “Let’s hope it’s not today as be a long way to carry him home.” answers Simon drily. Nicola stares coldly into Simon’s eyes and pushing past him takes the lead going up the path, Simon looks back at Stef who is now only a few yards away; “You upset her today Dude?” he asks. Stef looks at Nicola as she rides away; “I dunno man, this always seems to happen when we go on bike rides together, I always end up riding on my own.” “Maybe you should try and go a bit slower and let her ride up front for once.” “I tried that but she goes so slowly.” laughs Stef in frustration. Simon looks at Stef and feeling as if it is none of his business cycles up the path behind Nicola. Nicola is waiting at the entrance to The Glen; seeing Simon and Stef as they enter the car park she rides slowly into the trees following the narrow path. As she approaches the bridge, made of scaffold poles and planks of wood, Stef squeezes past and overtakes her; making her wobble and weave on the narrow path. Nicola feels the blood draining out of her face as she tries to gain control of the handlebars; “What do you think you are doing?” she screams. Stef laughs as he passes her and not looking behind crosses the wooden bridge and pedals faster; only to have to screech to a halt, as a golden retriever pulling its master along appears from around the corner. The man, wearing a flat cap and long black coat, scowls at Stef. The way Stef is riding is too fast for this winding path; and he had nearly rode into him! Stef looks down at his front wheel ignoring the man and dog as they walk past. Nicola and Simon stop as they reach the bridge and let the man and his dog walk across first. The man stares at Nicola as he walks past; the leering look on his face shows what he would like to do to her. Simon, seeing the way the man is looking at his friend walks forward with his bike; narrowing the path and forcing the perverted man to the far side of the path. As soon as there is room Nicola pedals hard and crosses the bridge with Simon close behind, Stef has already gone on ahead and they cycle a little faster to catch him up. The path leads along the side of the gorge; the steep cliffs above and a horrendous drop below makes Nicola slow to a walking pace; Simon narrowly avoids crashing into the back of her as she gives no warning! They cycle slowly along the path which leads them up and out of the gorge and onto a large area that is heavily overgrown with gorse, brambles and small trees and bushes. The path weaves its way amongst the bushes and undulations in the ground until it reaches the top of the high cliffs that lead to The Towers. Stef sits out of the wind behind a large old building that looks out across the North Sea. The building was used as a Customs and Excise Headquarters many years ago, but is now empty and deteriorating in the wind and cold winters, and is a useful place to sit and rest. “You took your time.” laughs Stef as Nicola and Simon reach him. “We are in no hurry Dude.” answers Simon a little breathless as he lays his bike down on the grass and sits beside it. Nicola leans her bike against the brick of the building and sits down next to Stef; leaning back gratefully against the cold brickwork she closes her eyes and gives a little sigh. “You alright?” asks Stef. “Yes, fine, that last bit is all uphill.” Stef for all his apparent unconcerned attitude feels a deep love for Nicola and watches her with concern, Nicola had been ill over the winter months with constant colds and influenza and never seeming to recover before another virus would attack. “Well it’s all downhill to The Towers now, bumpy is all.” he smiles. Nicola smiles back; “Apart from the bit that goes uphill.” “That’s not much; anyway we will rest again at The Towers.” “What do you mean rest again, how far are we going?” “Only to the river, if you feel up to it, that is?” “Yeah, I’m Ok it feels good to be out.” Nicola replies looking up at the sky and at the surrounding fields. “Anyone want a drink?” asks Simon, offering a green water bottle. “Yes please.” answers Nicola holding out her hand. Simon hands it to her and gives a big sigh of happiness; “My legs feel better now after being all cramped up on planes and trains.” “Hark at the jetsetter; wish I could go to the states for sixty quid!” Nicola laughs. Simon’s face falls; “Don’t forget the extra eighty quid and the ulcer getting to the airport.” “Yeah, I wouldn’t have liked the stress, but that’s still not a lot for a return to America!” “S’pose ya right,” laughs Simon; “We gonna sit here all day then?” Nicola, after taking a small drink from Simon’s water bottle, hands it back to him and stands up; “I’m ready.” Stef also stands and sits on his bicycle and waits for Nicola and Simon before he follows the path into a large open field of grass that borders the cliffs. They cycle slowly as the field is bumpy and now they are away from the building the view from the cliff top of the North Sea is awesome! A distant island appears to glow and move in the sunlight. A shingle beach forms a fantastic border between the grey of the sea and green of the land. Far beyond the island is the city, the grey of the buildings and skyscrapers look dirty from this distance and to the east, the hint of the French coastline shows as a dark line bordering the horizon. They all cycle steadily across the field avoiding the many dogs and dog walkers and soon arrive at the large car park and ‘The Towers’ visitor centre. Without a glance at the attractions Stef cycles across the car park to the public house. Getting off his bike he is already walking towards the entrance when Nicola and Simon arrive. “You wanna beer?” he asks. “No, I don’t want one.” replies Nicola with disapproval. “Yeah I’ll have a lager please mate.” Simon smiles. “You sure you don’t want a drink; coke, orange?” “No, I’m fine.” smiles Nicola as she gets off her bike, she leans it against the wall near Stef’s bike and sits down at a bench and table as Stef enters the public house. Simon lays his bike carefully on the ground and sits beside her and they wait quietly not speaking until Stef returns with the beers. “This is what I need.” he says putting Simon’s lager in front of him and Stef takes a long drink of his brown ale; “That’s better.” he says removing the now half empty glass from his mouth as he wipes the froth from his lips and belches contentedly. Simon raises his glass; “Cheers.” as he also drinks half the glass in one swallow. With the same contended smile and soft belch he raises his glass again and finishes the lager in one go. Stef quickly follows and reaching his hand out for Simon’s empty glass he goes back into the public house. “I hope he isn’t getting me another one, I won’t be able to ride me bike.” Simon laughs. “I noticed that you did not say no.” says Nicola with a smile. “I thought he was just taking the empty glasses back.” Simon laughs as a blush of red shows on his cheeks. Nicola smiles, tempted to criticise Simon’s addiction further but decides against it, instead she looks back across the car park and distant cliffs. There are not many cars in the car park this early in the season and she has an uninterrupted view of the magnificent sandy cliffs; that are topped with an amazing field of green. Stef comes out of the public house empty handed; retrieving his bicycle from the public house wall he jumps astride and looks at Nicola and Simon with impatience. Simon stands appearing relieved that Stef has not bought any more beer and picks his bicycle up. With a happy smile he puts a foot on the pedal and sits on the saddle as the bike is propelled along the path. Nicola takes her time; adjusting her rucksack she takes her bike from Stef who has been patiently holding it and pedals after Simon. The steep hill up to The Towers is too steep for Nicola to cycle up and she gets off and walks as Stef labours past her on his bicycle. Simon and Stef’s bicycles lay beside the path when she reaches the top and she looks about anxiously; they are by the wall of the old church looking out across the water, they appear excited as they both shout and point far out to sea. Nicola lays her bike down on the grass next to the others and runs across the old graveyard to see what all the excitement is about. About half a kilometre away a sleek speedboat with two large black engines on the back is being chased by a police launch. The speedboat weaves one way and then the other trying to escape the slightly slower launch. The speedboat slowly increases the gap and heads out to sea; Stef and Simon shout excitedly encouraging the speedboat in its escape. “Hope he makes it, whatever he’s been doing.” shouts Stef in excitement. “Probably speeding and scaring the locals in a boat like that.” laughs Simon. “Wrong time of day to be doing any smuggling.” confirms Stef, seeing Nicola behind them he asks; “Did you see that Nic?” “Don’t see what all the excitement is about; apart from a boat escaping the police.” “Well that’s worth seeing once in a while.” smiles Stef. Nicola turns and starts to walk back to the bicycles, with a last backward look at the speeding boats Simon and Stef run after her. Beyond The Towers the sea defences stretch all the way to the next town which can just be seen in the distance. The sea defences are made up of a high concrete thick wall topped by a flat single track road; and makes an ideal cycle path. The views of the distant seaside town and across the marshland keep them occupied as they cycle along at a steady pace. The sea is at high tide; waves splash gently on the shingle beach as small birds run between the waves catching food, and not seeming to get their feet wet. The speeding boats are now lost to sight amongst the waves and only the faint hum of their engines can be heard as seagulls float lazily on the light wind. Stef, impatient with the slow progress starts to pull ahead; turning his head he shouts that he will meet them at the river and pedals hard. He is proud of his physique and likes to push himself to the limit; along with the excitement of going fast the blood coursing through his veins as he pedals makes him feel alive and proud. Furiously he pedals, his heart beat increasing as he looks at the blur of concrete below him, tucking his head down he pedals faster. “Look at him go.” enthuses Simon. “And on only one pint of beer.” laughs Nicola. They watch Stef’s departing figure as they cycle slowly along enjoying the peace and smell and sound of the sea. Skylarks sing from above the marsh making it appear a beautiful place. The sun soon changes that by disappearing behind a cloud, silencing the Skylarks and bringing a chill wind from the east. Nicola stops and taking out a thin waterproof jacket puts it on as Simon waits and looks out to sea. Dark clouds now line the horizon to the north and east and they seem to be coming this way. With jacket on Nicola continues cycling at a sedate pace with Simon riding beside her. They talk of Simon’s recent trip to America and of Nicola and Stef’s desire to move to Australia until they reach the river; and a very excited Stef! Chapter Two As they had approached Stef, who was waiting beside the river, Nicola could tell by his posture that something was wrong; pedalling faster she rides up to him and pulls up sharply; “What’s wrong?” she asks as Stef’s face is flushed red with excitement. He stares deep into Nicola’s eyes, his eyes flash and sparkle with excitement and he jumps nervously backwards when Simon screeches to a stop in front of him. “What’s up Dude?” Simon asks. Stef turns and looks deep into Simon’s eyes not saying anything. He appears proud and sure of himself, but at the same time there is a strange look in his eyes. Stef looks at Simon and back at Nicola unable to speak; the thoughts racing through his mind become a jumble of excitement to what he has found. He opens his mouth to speak but finds it too dry, reaching down to his rucksack, which is on the ground beside his feet, he takes out a small bottle of water. Unscrewing the lid hurriedly he takes a long drink. Mouth no longer dry he turns back to Nicola and Simon, the excitement he feels makes him stutter; “Loo-Look what I f-found.” and waving his arm he indicates to them to follow him. Nicola and Simon lay their bikes down on the soft grass and follow Stef along the riverbank until they reach a large area of reeds growing on marshland. Stef looks around mysteriously to make sure no one can see him before he enters the reeds; “Stay there.” he commands as he disappears into the reeds. A few moments later he emerges from the reeds carrying a long black holdall; the holdall looks heavy as he struggles to carry it towards them. Dropping the bag in front of them he lets out a big breath; “I think those fellas the old bill were chasing were smugglers; cop this!” he says excitedly. Simon looks surprised and leans down to unzip the bag. “What is it?” asks Nicola. Simon unzips the bag as Stef says; “Have a look.” and attempts a scared smile. “Oh my good god!” Simon exclaims as he looks inside the bag. Nicola peers inside; the bag is full of money, Simon reaches in and takes out a thick bundle of twenty pound notes. There must be five thousand, if not ten thousand pounds in this one bundle, and the bag is full of them and many bundles that look composed of fifty’s! Nicola takes the money from Simon’s shocked hand; the money is wrapped tightly with an elastic band and she struggles to pull a single note from the middle of the bundle. Not succeeding she impatiently removes the elastic band and then holds a note up to the sky; “Hey, these are real.” she says with rising excitement. The realisation of what Stef has found hits Simon and Nicola at the same time; “What are we going to do?” asks Nicola in a worried voice.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents The Author Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve

 

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