Chapter 4

Written by: Ray Stone

Samantha pulled the girl sideways and pushed her into a chair.

“So you work here? Tell your boss you're having five minutes because you have an emergency to deal with.”

The girl turned to a passing colleague and spoke to her for a moment, then turned back to Samantha.

“You knew I was following some people and yet you came towards me. You must know who they are.”

The girl smiled. One of the diamonds set in a tooth sparkled now and again as daylight coming through the window behind Samantha was interrupted by passing travellers.

“Wot is it worf?” asked the girl.

Samantha leaned forward and glared into the girl’s eyes. “This is about something very serious. You can tell me now or I’ll call the police. What’s your name? I take it you have a proper work visa?”

The girl’s face clouded over. “Please, I didn’t wanna ‘urt you. I was nickin easy stuff. I’m Tina. I don’t get much here so I’m pickin' on way to work.”

“A pickpocket – you should be reported. How did you know I was following two people?”

“You was shouting at man in street – your fadder. I follow you off tube train.”

Samantha was still annoyed. If Tina had not crashed clumsily into her, she might now be with her father.

“Did you steal anything from my father?”

Tina shook her head. “No. I got the purse from your mother though. She carries it on top of big bag. Easy to take.”

“She’s not…” Samantha caught her breath, thinking quickly. “She’s my stepmother. Hand the purse to me or you’re not only going to be arrested, but you’ll also lose your job.” She held out her hand and beckoned her fingers. “Give.”

With reluctance, Tina pulled the purse from her work jacket. 

“I ‘ave not open it yet,” said Tina.

“Just as well,” thought Samantha. A roll of fifty-pound notes was stuffed inside together with three business cards and a scrap of paper. Among some loose change at the bottom, was a single cuff-link. Set in gold, the facia was mother-of-pearl and inside that a miniature set square and a compass, also in gold.

Samantha took five pounds from her own purse and handed it to Tina with a warning. “If you dare ever tell anyone about this, I will go to the police about you. Do you understand?”

Tina quickly grabbed the five pounds and pocketed it. With a nod, she got up and left.

The cards were of little significance – just commercial business cards but perhaps of some use later. As she unfolded the paper scrap, a card fell into her lap. She picked it up and felt numb. A picture of the mauve-haired woman looked up at her. Inspector June McCready – Metropolitan Police. A short notation read,

Next Thursday – 6.30 – meeting at Caledonian Lodge – Alan Sharp has agreed to a wire. Inform Vice of any change in arrangements.

Samantha Sharp blanched. ‘Oh, father, what are you involved in?’ 



Loved the unexpected twist at the end about the mauve haired woman Ray. The conflicting feelings that Samantha faces are so real - she is desperate to reunite with her father at the beginning of the chapter but gets extremely nervous about he might be up to next towards the end.
Thanks, Hemali.
Very clever! Love the way you have added layers to the mystery and left lots of threads for the following author(s) to explore and develop. Very believable character interaction and dialogue. A great chapter that leaves you wanting to know 'what happens next?' .
Thanks Gabrielle. The Story Mint serials get more and more involved in content and plot as we progress. I guess that's a great testament to how our writing is improving with the help of editors and the Stylefit. Your comments were very welcome.
I liked the sharp turn the chapter took midway. That was a surprise and a good one. A perfect way to reveal who the woman is. Now we know for sure Samantha's father is involved in something that is worrisome. Nicely done, Ray.