Chapter 1

             He walked into The Ship, a dark gloomy pub with its small windows and dull decoration and dark low ceiling beams and had to stand at the short bar next to a smelly old man in a black grubby jacket to wait to get served. It was so depressingly gloomy in there the curtains might as well have been drawn. The old man looked at him and smiled with brown teeth, then said, “old Sid’s down the hole changing a barrel.” Then he turned back to chew his cheek while studying his empty glass sitting on a brightly coloured beer mat tapping out a rhythm with chewed down fingernails. Robert Lucas thought some old men had a look that kind of made them seem sad and this old man seemed sad. Sad and pale. His hands shook a bit and the greying stubble on his chin was patchy like he only had a blunt blade that skipped a bit here and there. That stubble giving him a kind of whitish mouldy look. His eyes had that sort of watery look some older sad people have, looking as though he might be tired,

Chapter 2

           The glass of homemade lemonade was just as she liked it, cool, tart and refreshing, her grandmother’s recipe stretching back to the nineteenth century. Made with fresh lemons and not too much sugar and just a hint of ginger to add a little heat and of course a pile of crushed ice. She loved drinks with crushed ice and had this electric crusher that you filled with the big lumps and out came perfect little lumps that filled the glass with a cold slowly melting mush. Just perfect for a hot day. When fully extended the cream canvas awning easily covered the oak table and chairs perfectly positioned on the extensive weathered stone terrace. The welcome shade and slight breeze making a very comfortable entertaining area. The wide patio doors were fully open allowing the slight breeze to cool the lavishly furnished garden room with its array of exotic plants and tall glass windows open wide allowing air to circulate. Lilly Beauchamp liked the heat but preferred heat in the sha

Chapter 3

            It was about a quarter to five when Donny arrived. He parked down the road a bit around the corner in a side street in a bay with faded lines. Nodded a friendly one to the man with the long grey hair and neck scarf, thin wrinkled face and looking like a faded rocker who was cutting his hedge with some real blunt shears and cursing. The ruffled look with shortish blond hair and dark glasses gave Donny a sort of celebrity look as he kind of swaggered a bit, hamming it up to the pub and Bobby sitting outside on that uncomfortable looking seat talking to a blond girl. The grey short style jacket was slung on the back of the bench as he said, “too hot for that. Been sweating all day in that. Dumped the tie at two but the jacket, it was necessary.” “Heyyy... Donny,” Bobby said, getting up and giving him one of those casual light slap on the back type of hugs that sort of said great to see you in a kind of affectionate but not so affectionate way. “What’s the problem with th

Chapter 4

    Sid locked the door behind her as Gloria left The Ship about half an hour after closing.   The key turned and the bolts top and bottom rammed home leaving her kind of feeling a bit stranded on the street. There was a chorus of singing with an unusual melody. That sort of beer singing sounding like a very badly tuned Dean Martin with a kind of slurring crescendo. A song about money and wanting it, hanging out the word money in an extended …eee. And then I Love you yeah, yeah, yeah but still singing about money, cash money. Six builders sitting on the kerb waiting for their minibus that was parked on the building site across the road where they were paid in cash for weekend work. One of them tapping out the beat on the side of the waste bin with dry mortar split fingers. Headlights came on lighting up the timber gateway and the minibus crept through the gates of one of those fenced in sites with tall wooden panels and no flyers stencilled in big and bold red capitals on each panel,