Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (33) Love at a Gallop (Part 06)
After she found out about Bobs gambling Hazel’s world fell apart, as one by one the bricks that formed the foundations of her life and their relationship were removed.
The roof over her head was repossessed, their car was taken off their drive in the dead of night, and bailiffs took away all their possessions.
Credit cards had been maxed out and bank accounts emptied and insurance policies cashed in.
But as if that wasn’t bad enough it then transpired that it wasn’t only their money he was gambling with, he had stolen from the company he worked for.
And during the time the bailiffs were removing her belongings she had a visit from a Sgt Griffin and a DC Deacon from Sharpington CID who were looking for her husband in relation to the theft.
All she could say was that she hadn’t seen him for more than a week and when she did they would have to investigate his murder.
But she never saw him again or even heard from him for that matter though the police were still anxious to speak with him.
So getting a call out of the blue from him shocked her to the core.
“Don’t you dare babe me you bastard” she snapped
“Alright calm down” he said and she hung up but a minute later the phone rang again.
She let it ring three times before she picked it up again.
“That wasn’t very friendly” he said
“What do you want Bob I’m busy?”
“I need my share of the house” he said and she laughed out loud
“The bank has your half of the house along with my half plus the car and every stitch of furniture we owned”
“Well you must have a few quid tucked away” he said “you could give a stake for old time’s sake”
She was so angry that his antics had pulled the rug from under her and left her to cope with the fall out on her own so her first thought was to tell him in no uncertain terms where to go, and she was actually on the brink of saying it when she said
“Ok for old time’s sake, a one off, never to be repeated payment, give me an address and I’ll send you a cheque” she said
“I’d rather do it face to face” he said
“Ok” she said “Where?”
“There’s a pub in Sharpington called the Ancient Mariner I’ll meet you there at 12 on Friday”
“Ok” she said and hung up.
On Thursday she travelled over to Nettlefield in the horse box with Chris Harper.
Although she had been looking forward to the trip she was in pensive mood on the journey over.
When they arrived he introduced her to Inky and then left them to get acquainted while he touched base with a few of his ex-colleagues and then they got him on board the horsebox and settled before setting off on the return journey to the Dulcets.
She was a little more conversant on the way back so Chris chanced his arm and asked her out to dinner.
“Oh I don’t know” she said “my life is a bit complicated at the moment”
“Another time perhaps” he said and she nodded then after a few minutes she said
“Could I ask you a favour?”
“Of course” he replied and she proceeded to explain the complications in her life
On Friday Chris Harper drove a pensive Hazel to Sharpington and waited a discreet distance away and watched Hazel as she sat alone at a table and continued to watch as a shifty looking man joined her but he couldn’t hear what was said.
“Hello Haze” Bob said and moved to embrace her “it’s good to see you”
“It’s not mutual” she said and evaded his embrace
“Well without being indelicate how much have you got for me?” he asked
“Nothing” she replied “but they’ve got something for you”
And when he turned around Sgt Griffin and Detective Deacon were there and quickly took him into custody.
A tirade of abuse was levelled at her as the police handcuffed him.
“You ugly ginger bitch” he screamed “You won’t find anyone better than me”
“I already have” she shouted back and ran to where Chris was standing and buried her face in his chest and he wrapped his arms around her and after a few minutes she said
“My life just got a lot less complicated, so is the offer of dinner still on?”