The white elephant stall was chock-a-block with lampshades and books, a strange combination of offerings from members of the Brookhampton Branch of Gardener's Forum.
Behind her a voice said, 'Afternoon,
'Not this weekend.' He grinned at
Moving to the front of the stall,
'Crikey, look at this.'
Sandra's ash-blonde hair swung like a curtain as she spun round to face Martin, who had his sturdy arm outstretched as if wanting to select a book but afraid to do so.
Forsaking her own search,
He pointed a stubby finger at a distinctive leather-bound volume, blue in colour with black lettering and a silk marker. 'Black Country Stories,' he said. 'Like Gran used to have, though if I remember rightly hers was thinner. This could be an omnibus edition.'
'Anecdotes about life in the industrial area known as the
'Don't be daft. He probably can't afford to buy it, that's all. Pity, though, I'd have liked it. It'll be worth a bob or two in a few years.' Suddenly,
'Who?' asked Sandra.
The following morning
While washing up at the sink,
Absorbing some of her urgency,
Emily took her in the kitchen and invited her to take a glass of squash but Sandra didn’t hear, she was already in full flight with an account of events rushing from her mouth like cascading utterances, each one rolling so close to the next it was impossible to decipher the arrangement. Eventually, after listening for a few minutes in complete bewilderment,
'Ooh, Miss J. Was I babbling?'
'Well, it was like this ....'
Apparently, by the time
The book had been stolen from
'You O.K. Miss Jenkins?'
'Course I am. Your news knocked me a bit off kilter, that's all.'
'He should be rewarded,'
'Oh, he was,'
Two thousand pounds! No wonder
Bustling into the dining room, she opened the sideboard drawer and withdrew the box of beautiful knives, the only item on the white-elephant which had taken her eye. Opening the lid, she selected one and took it to the window for a better view of it. The handle was so smooth it felt velvety and fitted her hand as though it had been specially crafted for her. She studied the tiny monogram. It wasn't easy to see, but she guessed it was the
Humming a cheerful ditty, she chose her best cardigan from those neatly arranged on the closet shelf. 'One day soon,' she muttered as she checked her appearance in the mirror, smoothing her hair and removing a speck of dirt from her chin, 'when
She felt exceptionally happy as she grabbed her bag and keys and stepped out of the front door. Numerous coveted items orbited her brain: bone china to display, silk sheets to lie on, Turkish carpet for the lounge. Pulling the door to with a bang, clutching the knife box to her bosom and singing, 'New coat, new shoes,' to the tune of