The Wind

by Sam Lelliott
© 2012-2013
Your comments are appreciated.

Part 9

Angela normally didn't have a lot to say but as she and Tony lay together in bed she suddenly got very earnest.

Tony, am I right in thinking that you had a finger in those men resigning their jobs and leaving the UK?"

"I can't lie to you love and I had planned to tell you at a later date. Although I have retired from the army, the powers that be were concerned about some things that go on in this country that powerful men get away with. One of those is molesting children. There are 6 of us that are used very quietly to clean up some of the terrible assaults on children by these powerful men. We don't know who employs us and neither do we care particularly. It was one of our team that went visiting the other night. The assault on children by men in powerful positions is rife and if we 6 can help clean it up then we will. I have not been asked to help as yet as we try to use only one person not known in the problem area to do the visiting. I was also only going to tell you once David was happy with you knowing, but I think the time is now. Those two heads of children's services assaulted David the morning before the visit."

"Darling, David, oh no how could they?"

"David was just one of many, many boys and girls they abused."

"But David, he is such a sweet boy."

"Yes and they could have turned him into something else."

"Why couldn't you report them to the police Tony, surely they would have prosecuted them."

"They may well have done love, but they would not have been convicted. Likely they would have got a slap on the wrist and moved quietly up to another position in another part of the country and carried on the same."

Angela hugged Tony and said. "I love you and thank you for David." Then she said,
"Tony, I don't want a white wedding. I only want a registry office one. I feel my previous wedding to James still sacred and as much as I love you, he is still in my heart."

Tony, this time equally serious said, "I would not want it and other way love. James was a fine man and soldier. You are right to remember him with love as much as I remember him with pride. Jamie will always be a constant reminder to both of us, more so as he grows older and becomes an adult. He already looks like James." At that Tony pecked Angela on the cheek and continued. "And a teeny bit of his mum as well."

"You old flatterer you." Angela said. "But seriously will the registry office be ok?"

"It'll be fine love. Save the boys being page boys which I am sure they would hate."

"I bet, anyway time marches on so I am for sleep, how about you love?"

Tony smiled and said, "I can hear me snoring already."

"Don't you dare, Mr Andrews, or we'll be divorced before we are married."

They turned off the light and wished each other goodnight.

In the morning Jamie was first up and decided he would cook his mum and new dad breakfast. All he could find were eggs and bread. There were 9 eggs to use so he decided on scrambled eggs on toast. He made the mixture and put the toast on, opened up the microwave and set the timer and switched it on. Then he set out plates, knives and forks ready for the food. 3 minutes later disaster, a smell of burning from both the microwave and the toaster set Jamie into a panic. Fortunately both appliances stopped at the same time but the toast was a tad black and when he looked at the eggs they were a solid lump. Jamie broke into tears after seeing the result of his efforts and to make it worse he could hear someone coming down the stairs.

Tony came into the kitchen and saw the distress Jamie was in. He immediately took hold of him and talked softly to him. He explained that all he did wrong was that he got the timings wrong and that that could be cured by some practice in cooking and promised the boy he would help him that evening. Then he said, "My Lord King Alfred please put all the errors into the bin and don't worry. It was a lovely thought. Now we can make a cup of tea and you can take it up to your mum with one of your famous big smiles."

Between them Tony and Jamie made the tea and very carefully Jamie took it up to his mother. He opened the door to see his mother sitting up in bed reading a book. Hearing the door she looked up and saw her pride and joy with the first ever cup of tea he had ever brought her in bed.

"Morning darling. Did you sleep well?"

Handing over the tea he said, "Yes thanks mum. I had an accident with the breakfast I was making for you and dad. I tried and it burnt but dad said that it was alright."

"So it is love. We will help you to learn how to cook if you would like."

"I would, thanks mum."

"What we will do today is to go to the cafe round the corner and get it made for us. Then we have to pick David up to come home. Dad has to go to see the solicitor about the house on the hill. And he has to see Miss Archer about something."

"Oh good, mum, I like the food at the cafe."

After the cafe they went their separate ways. Tony to the solicitors and Angela and Jamie to pick up David then go shopping and then off home to settle David down and put all the shopping away. Angela thought about buses but then changed her mind and used taxis instead.

Tony arrived at this solicitors to find everyone else there waiting for him. Everyone was introduced and the meeting finished with Tony as the new owner of the house on the hill and one dog named Bella. Bert had sold all the furnishings in the house to Tony because he couldn't take it to Australia. It was an excellent deal and it meant that they could all move in within one week.

From the meeting he then went to see Miss Archer who seemed pleased to see him. She ordered coffee for them both and then got down to business.

"There are a few things mister Andrews. First there are David's school records. When you look at them you will see he excels in art."

"Yes I have seen his work already that came from his home." Tony replied.

"And secondly I have collected all his personal bits and pieces from the house before they were destroyed in the council's house clearance."

There was a box of stuff on the desk, it didn't look much but Tony spotted a picture of a woman who must have been David's mother. She was beautiful with that lovely Asiatic look that Indonesian ladies have.

Tony had a question for Miss Archer. "I start work next Monday. Would you like to come in and give me some pointers for working with children? My future wife knows all about the hospital side but you know the social work side of things."

"Why, yes with pleasure, we are not perfect but we do the best we can with what we have. I have to admit, if we get the right director and deputy along with a new house manager."

"Who selects the people for those posts Miss Archer?"

"Brighton council do that. The ads are posted nationally and people apply for them. The trouble is most of the selection board know nothing of children or their needs, so frequently the wrong people get appointed. For example the last lot of incumbents. They are given so much power which can be easily abused."

"Do you think when the final shortlist is made that you could get me a copy of it. I have contacts that can double check their past."

"Easily, it will be a while yet before they will get to that part of the selection but sure, I can oblige you. Is there anything else I can do?"

"Not for the moment thank you Miss Archer. Have you applied by any chance?"

"Well no. I am not sure I am qualified enough."

"How long have you been a children's officer?" Tony asked.

"Over eight years to date Mister Andrews, why?"

"I think you should fill the applications out for all three jobs Miss Archer." You have worked directly with children and would be ideal for any of the jobs. You are single I guess and therefore flexible and you give me the impression that you love children."

"Women tend to not get the top jobs Mister Andrews, at least with this Council."

"Just try Miss Archer, just try. I will leave you with that thought and thank you for getting all this stuff for David."

"My pleasure and thank you for caring for David."

"I will love it, he comes home from hospital today and on Wednesday we will be having a birthday party for him and Jamie his new brother."

"Very nice, well until we meet on Monday then and if we are likely to work closely my name is June."

"Fine, in that case I am Tony but I expect you knew that anyway."

Tony went back to the car and was greeted by Bella with licks and a wagging tail. "Your new master is going to be so happy to see you young lady."

Tony had 2 more errands to do before going home and he set off to see to them.

At the hospital David was waiting for Jamie and his new mum. It was 9 o'clock and he was itching to go to his new family home. Jamie had told him they would share a bedroom until the house on the hill was ready to move into. He had dressed in the new clothes that Tony had bought for him and he had to admit they were trendy for being picked out by an old man. He had said goodbye to the sister and nurses. One had given him a kiss causing him to blush deep red. They had all been so nice and kind to him but he was sad that he hadn't met any other children on the ward. His wounds were all healing nicely and he hardly had any pain at all.

Just then his new brother Jamie came running into the ward and they hugged together like they hadn't seen each other for a week instead of only yesterday. Following on was his new mum. She said straight away, "Dad couldn't come, he had some errands to run that are important but he will be at home by the time we get there. We, young David, have shopping to do for food and things for a couple of children's birthdays on Wednesday. The boys beamed.

"Come on then, let's go they said as one."

"Jamie, please help David with his things."

"OK mum, I will."

The three of them set of back to the waiting taxi, waving goodbye to the nurses as they went. Angela thought to herself 'thank goodness they insisted I had a week off.'

They went to one of the new big 'Tesco' stores that were starting to spring up out of towns. It was a huge place compared to the high street grocers and they sold so much more. Davis and Jamie got a wobbly trolley and were having fun when they banged into a Lady.

"Hello there young David, it is nice to see you out of hospital already?"

Both boys recognised her, Miss Archer from children's services.

"Yes Miss Archer, this morning we're shopping with mum."

Then she saw Angela and asked her how she liked being mum to 2 boys now.

Angela replied. "Not a lot difference to one except for twice the trouble." Then she smiled.

"I have just seen your fiancé, I gave him some of David's possessions. See you again Mrs Wills."

With that she was gone among the mass of shoppers.

Tony finished his chores and headed home to organize some lunch. He got hold of David's records and other bits then got Bella out of the car. When he got indoors the post revealed a letter from the hospital. It was a letter from Bill. He had arranged a meeting for 9am next Monday to run over the latest hospital figures and the general topics that would be his concern in the new post.

Tony entered it in his diary and then opened another letter marked with a 'z' in the left hand corner.

It was brief.

'To Zulu 5. Latest news on Zulu 1 op. Subjects all in Madrid. They bought a house. Will keep you informed.' Tony destroyed the letter. 'Were they going to be at it again' He thought? Bella having done her tour of the house hinted to Tony that she needed to go out. He let her out of the back door leaving it open for her to come back in when she was ready.

Having thought about lunch he realised that they were low on food so there was little to cook. 'Ah, we will go out to lunch instead. We can celebrate our first day as a family together.'

He sat down and opened yesterday's Evening Argus. He got to the adverts for jobs and saw the children's services posts advertised. A sudden thought hit him. 'Who better than Angela for the deputies job? She worked with children and could see if they were in trouble in a wink of an eye. I'll mention it to her later.' Then went to the quick crossword and did it in five minutes. He got up and put the kettle on ready for Angela's return from the shopping spree. It had just boiled when he heard the key in the lock and the two boys came in laden down with bags of shopping, followed by Angela with even more.

"Hello love." She said. "I think we are broke, the amount we spent this morning. Whew I am shattered."

"Will you partake of tea then milady?"

"Oh, yes please love, in a bucket please."

"Tea is coming right up ma'am, personal service as usual."

David having put the bag down on the floor went up to his dad and gave him a hug.

Hugging him back Tony said, "Welcome home to you son. I am so happy to see you home at last. How do you feel?"

"Much much better thanks dad and Jamie helped me a lot. Oh, my things are outside the door."

"Go gettum tiger, I have some fruit juice for you both when you get back," Tony said.

Both boys went to get David's bits and pieces, came back and put them on the table.

"Here you are boys, orange juice for two."

They both thanked Tony for the drinks and sat down at the table. Tony went over to the sitting Angela and leaned over to give her a kiss.

"Euwwww you two." The boys said in unison which made both adults laugh and Angela said.

"Are you two twins? You act like it sometimes."

Bella had heard David's voice and came bounding in and nearly knocked him over.

"Bella," He shrieked stroking her head. Dad we have her already?"

"Yes David. Bert wanted her to get used to us as soon as possible. Oh and by the way Angela. He sold us all the contents of the house on the hill which will save us a lot of worry."

"That is great news, Tony, we won't have to go hunting for furniture and stuff. Did that include the bedding?"

"Yes love every single thing in the house including all the tinned food as well."

"So all we need is a bed for Bella."

"Nope, I have it in the car."

David heard that and asked if he could get it.

"Go ahead David. It is in the back."

"I'll start to put some of this away love." Tony said diving into the first bag.

"OK love, err, can you leave the green bag to take upstairs."

"Sure thing ma'am, is it secret?"

"Wait and see kind knight."

"It's a frilly thing like a frock." Jamie blurted out.

"Ooh I can't wait boys." Tony said.

Angela blushed and said. "Children, what can we do with them?"

Tony picked up Jamie and held him upside down to his shrieks of joy and said. "We can shake him till his eyes pop out."

David who had returned with dog bed in hand said. "Me next dad," but Tony told him, sorry but he wasn't fit enough yet for him to do that to.

David understood but was a bit disappointed and then asked where to put Bella's bed.

Suddenly Tony realised just how small the terrace house was. Thought about the question and then said, "Find a corner in the lounge for her love and perhaps at night she can stay in your bedroom."

David was delighted with that suggestion but still thoughtfully asked Jamie if he minded Bella in the bedroom. Jamie of course was in full agreement and said so.

Tony put the laughing Jamie down and said, "The other thing we can do is to take them out to lunch and make them eat snails and worms."

"What a lovely Idea dad." Angela spoke up. "And we can have sausage egg and chips."

The boys groaned and then giggled. "Snails and puppy dog tails please mum we don't like worms", Jamie said.

That set them all off laughing.

Angela brought sanity back to the house by saying, "Boys, go and wash your hands then we can all go out as a family."

The boys were off like a shot and back much too soon. Angela gave them a mum stare and they went back and washed them properly.

The plan had been hatched by Tony and Angela the previous night. They would travel by bus and have lunch at The Devils Dyke pub. Then have a slow walk back into Brighton. Angela had wanted them all to go to the spot where the wind had started all of this only a short time ago. So much had happened so quickly.

Of course David piped up and wanted to know if Bella could go too. Angela told him that today was not a good day as they were going to eat out and Bella wouldn't be allowed into the pub. Tony however suggested they could eat outside and Bella could stay with them then.

That was a popular decision all round.

They all set off to the station and got the bus up to the dyke. Bella got on the bus as if she had done it all her life and settled down at the back of the bus with the boys. The ride up there was good with nice views over the Downs but by the time they arrived there they had had enough of the bumpy bus, especially the boys.

They gathered together and as a family went and got a table outside the Dyke pub. Tony went in and got a menu and brought it back to the others. It didn't take long to get a decision. The boys chose sausage, egg and chips while Angela wanted Gammon, egg and chips with peas. Tony decided on a ploughman's lunch having had one in Brighton some time ago. Drinks wise the boys wanted cokes Angela a glass of white wine and Tony a pint of lager.

The boys went with Tony to help with the drinks, He put in the food number along with the table and the boys took their drinks while Tony took his and Angela's.

It took a while for the food to be ready and as it was a hot day Tony got some more drinks in.

When the food arrived Angela and the boys were happy but Tony wasn't. His ploughman's lunch was three cross cuts of French bread a small wrapped portion of plastic cheddar and one pat of butter. A spoonful of pickle and that was it. Not satisfied that it was value for money he took it back and called for the manager. He came out of the kitchen and asked Tony what was wrong. Tony being Tony sarcastically said, "Don't get many ploughmen in here these days I suppose?"

"Well, no we don't."

Tony replied. "I am not surprised. I expect they all died of starvation judging by this meal."

The Manager spluttered and offered Tony his money back but he refused and said. "I ordered a ploughman's lunch and I would still like one please if it's not too much trouble."

The manager apologised saying that most of the customers that came to the pub were tourists and they were happy with the lunch as provided.

Tony got angry then and told the Manager to just see he had a proper meal as soon as possible and walked away.

Back at the table the others looked at Tony's face and thought better of saying anything. The manager appeared with the meal five minutes later and presented him with a perfect ploughman's lunch. A large wedge of cheese, two large bread rolls, Salad, pickles lots of butter and small bowl of assorted pickles. The manager laid the plate down and apologised profusely for the previous effort and told him bill for everyone was all paid. Tony thanked him for that but inwardly thought to himself that he would not be back again. Far too many of the places that tourists used were ripping them off.

Angela seeing the boys troubled by what went on spoke quietly to them and explained that if you pay for something then it should be good value or work properly. What dad had done was the correct thing to do if you are dissatisfied.

Tony followed up, mouth a bit full and said. "Sure boys, it is our right to have good service if we pay for it. If it's free, that's different."

The boys said they understood and were glad that Tony wasn't mad at them. Bella wasn't left out as she got a bit of sausage from each of the boys and there was a bowl of water near the table.

When the meals and drinks were finished they all got up to leave, untied Bella and then slowly made their way to the spot where Tony had first felt the wind.

They stood on the spot holding hands. They thought it might happen and it didn't let them down. It wasn't a heavy gust, just a slight swirling breeze surrounded all of them, Bella included and they all felt the final bonding feeling all through them. Then it was gone. None of them said anything; they just looked at each other in turn, feeling completely at ease. That seemed to include Bella whose tail was wagging.

The walk back to Brighton was just what they had wanted. They found Bella was excellent off the lead and she trotted quite happily beside David.

Back home the clock on the wall said 4-15pm. Bella was asleep on the settee she had commandeered while nobody was watching. She soon got down after a command from Tony. A quick word with the boys put down the rules about dogs on furniture. Bella next seen was in her bed fast asleep.

Angela beckoned Tony into the Kitchen and asked him if he had booked a visit to the dogs' home the next day. He said he had for 10 in the morning and also the magician would be there at 3-30. He had managed to contact the boy from school who had been fostered and another friend of the boys. They would arrive at 3 o'clock. Angela told him she had organised a caterer to bring the food for 2-30. The presents were all wrapped up except two residing next door for secrecy. The boy's already 10 years old. The evening passed with the boys getting more excited by the hour until at 8 o'clock they wanted to go to bed.

"How about Bella, she probably wants a wee."

"Sorry dad, it's a lot to remember on the first day." David said. "I'll take her out now."

"Good boy David."

Bella followed him out into the garden and watered the flowers and then they returned.

"You boys have a shower before you go to bed then I will come up and tuck you both in," Angela said.

"OK mum shall we have one together?"

"If you want to you carry on boys."

The lads rushed upstairs with Bella in hot pursuit and in minutes the upstairs sounded like a battle ground.

Angela and Tony looked at each other. Tony slapped her gently on her behind and said. "A frilly thing like a frock eh? That sounds interesting my dear."

Angela batted her eyelashes and said. "I might do the can-can if you ask nicely."

Later after the boys were asleep with Bella keeping an eye on them Tony was watching Angela doing.....well just doing. It was late before they got to sleep.

Part 10
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