Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (37) Still Waters Run Deep (Part 02)
On a beautiful day in June she had an early meeting with a Council Official, David Jamieson, regarding maintenance works on the Pier as they were trying to renege on their commitments.
Fortunately the Sharpington Pier, along with the yacht club, the Fun Park and the Seaview Hotel had all been saved and protected by the Mornington Estate, the head of which was Gabriel St John.
Very refreshingly, like his father before him, Gabriel conducted all of the estates affairs in the spirit of philanthropy and he was a man of honour and he had no truck with people who behaved dishonourably.
He was also a man with a sense of history and his stewardship of the Mornington Estate wasn’t restricted just to the land and properties within the Finchbottom Vale.
So when Gwen had phoned him to inform him of what was afoot he had no hesitation in volunteering himself and the estate solicitor, Rizalina Pugay, to attend the meeting with her.
When they got there they found that they were not meeting with one man as David Jamieson had told her and they were actually in front of the complete Council Finance Committee with assorted other minions on the periphery.
It turned out to be a very short meeting as Gabriel and Riza tied the council committee in knots and at the end there were a lot of red faces on the Council side and they were all looking daggers at Mr Jamieson.
After the meeting she had coffee with Gabriel and Riza before they returned to Mornington and then she had an hour to kill before her next meeting at St Lucy’s Church so she decided to take a walk on the very Pier that had been the subject of the first and kill time until her second.
About half way along she sat down on a bench and just enjoyed the view.
“That was very impressive in there” A man said
“Excuse me?” she asked when she turned to look at the lean upright figure in front of her
“You were very impressive in front of the committee”
“Were you there then?” she asked
“I watched from the gallery” he confided conspiratorially
“Ok let me explain, May I?” he said indicating the empty seat beside her
“Thank you” he said “I’m Dennis by the way”
“Pleased to meet you” she replied and added “Gwen”
“I’m a retired police Inspector” he said “and just to keep my mind alert I do a bit of Security Consultancy, and I had a meeting at the council this morning myself”
“Well afterwards I was using the facilities when two men entered the gents taking about you” he said
“How unsavory” she said and laughed “What were they saying?”
“Well I won’t give it to you verbatim but the gist of it was that they were expecting to bully “The frumpy middle aged busy body”” he said
“Charming” Gwen said
“Their words not mine I might add” Dennis said
“I certainly didn’t see you like that when you went into the chamber”
“Oh, thank you” Gwen said
“So I thought I would sneak into the gallery and see you in action, and I wasn’t disappointed” he said proudly
“And the looks on their faces will live with me forever”
They were both laughing when Gwen suddenly stiffened on hearing the Church clock and she realized she was late.
“I’m sorry I have to go” she said and meant it “but it was very nice to have met you”