114 pages
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114 pages
English

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Description

The unimaginable becomes reality. This is the dark domain that Harry Davies enters by chance after helping a stranger in trouble. He is drawn ever deeper into an organization where corruption and treachery prevail. An experience that is set against the backdrop of life in Britain and Ireland during the Second World War.

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 24 juin 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781849891530
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0300€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Extrait

Title Page
Shadows of Deceit
By Patrick Cotter
Publisher Information
Shadows of Deceit published in 2010 by
Andrews UK Limited
www.andrewsuk.com
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published, and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening.
Copyright © Patrick Cotter
The right of Patrick Cotter to be identified as author of this book has been asserted in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Acknowledgements
Peader Kearney: ‘A Soldier’s Song.’
Text licensed by The Department of Finance, Dublin.
The Society of Authors. Laurence Binyon: Extract from
FOR THE FALLEN (September, 1914)
Finally, thanks to Barbara for her diligence and guidance.



Chapter 1
Glasgow 1942
The room stank of wet dogs mixed with a noxious blend of cigarette smoke, sputtering steam from a kettle and the unmistakable tinge of gas escaping from the perished hose of the ring used to heat the water. Harry joined the queue of people waiting in line. A youth at the front shuffled to the hatch and thrust a pocket watch through the grille to the woman staring at him from the other side. She examined it and beckoned the lad nearer.
“This will be profanity with intimacy, listen carefully.”
She coughed as his eyes narrowed quizzically.
“Come closer.”
He moved his head nearer to the barrier.
“Now bugger off you thieving prick. This is your Grandfather’s watch - your Mum would bring it in herself if she needed to pawn it again. Get out of here and take it back to her now!”
Stunned by the outburst the youth initially froze. Then his eyes began to blink rapidly just as the redness of his embarrassment flushed his neck and cheeks. A moment later he recovered enough to scoop the watch into his pocket and head out of the door mouthing some incoherent swear words of his own.
“Next!”
The woman shouted as she wiped her brow.
Harry looked around; nothing had changed since his last visit. The single low wattage bulb cast a faint radiance across faded pictures and some sad-looking stuffed animals in glass tanks. The queue dragged itself forward again. A man wearing a cap was now being interviewed at the wire hatch, clutching in his hands the mantel clock he had brought in to exchange for cash. The shopkeeper negotiated a value and some folded banknotes were handed over. The man turned with some difficulty, limping slightly, as he briefly looked up at Harry, then moved around him, concealing in the pocket of his overcoat, the hand that held the money. The shopkeeper lit another cigarette and coughed again, “Next!”
Harry watched her repeat the ritual of slowly examining the articles being presented before agreeing a modest price. Soon it was his turn; he held out the ticket and she looked up.
“That makes a change; you’re redeeming something - the first one today.”
Only when she leaned forward to look at the ticket could he see her properly. A large white bloated face with dyed black hair pulled tightly back. Her cheeks pock-marked and her eyes tiny and red-rimmed. She wore a generous faded linen dress that Harry thought was more suited to summer than the current wintry weather being experienced. She turned the ticket over to verify the serial number against the records listed in her ledger.
Two other customers entered the shop, a man and a young woman carrying a baby. The proprietor raised her eyes and squinted, trying to recognise them, and then turned her head towards Harry again.
“You’ll wait a minute while we get it.”
Her strong accent rasped in her throat as she turned her bulk with some difficulty towards an inner door.
“Fraser! Fraser!” She shouted with increasing volume.
There was a noise from the back room as though someone had just jumped to attention.
“Get this ring for me, here’s the ticket.”
As she slid the ticket down the counter Harry noticed that several of her over-sized fingers were tightly waisted by her display of expensive looking rings. She was almost breathless now; the energy needed to move having exhausted her. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and coughed again.
“I’ll serve someone else.”
Harry stepped aside. Almost two minutes passed before he looked at his watch, an action that had been observed by the woman.
She turned her head,
“Fraser, how often do I have to tell you, can you get this article!”
Fraser emerged from the gloom of the back room chewing something. He was small and thin, his eyes flashed nervously upon realising that he was now in the gaze of the public. He avoided any contact with his wife whilst he reached for the ticket, retrieved the ring and pushed it towards her with his slender fingertips. He then returned to his refuge, cat-like, creeping, so as not to create any sound.
Harry exchanged money for the ring and left.
It was now dark and damp, and earlier rain showers had left the cobbles shiny and slippery. The light from the moon, struggling to win through the mist of fast moving clouds, was the only illumination. He stopped in a shop doorway and lit a cigarette. The view across the street was fairly depressing; some boarded-up shops with apartments above and the remains of market produce trodden into the road. A distant locomotive whistle was the only sound drifting towards him until he became distracted by something closer. He heard a commotion, a fight. He looked down the street to see a man being beaten up by two youths. Harry immediately ran to the scene and managed to frighten off the attackers as he approached.
“Are you alright?” he asked helping the victim to his feet.
Still quite breathless the man was barely able to squeeze out a response.
“I’ll be fine, they didn’t get anything. I was just surprised, shock I suppose.”
Harry realised that he was helping the person in the long overcoat whom he’d seen in the pawn shop queue.
“They must have seen me coming out.”
“Can I walk you to your door or get a taxi for you?”
The man pointed across the street, grateful for Harry’s arm in support .
“I live just over there.”
His breathing returned to normal as they made their way slowly across the road. He carefully turned the key of the peeling front door and pushed it open with some effort,
“It sticks a bit. Please come in and I’ll shut it again.”
Harry followed inside as the man switched on the light that lit the top of the staircase.
“I’ll help you up.” Harry said.
“I’m grateful.”
The man supported the side of his ribs as he ascended.
The stairs were bare and unpainted. The heavy embossed wallpaper was ragged and worn away where generations of grubby hands had sought additional support on the opposite wall to the banister. Once at the top another key was used to open the apartment door.
“Please let me offer you a drink for your troubles?”
“No it’s OK, but thanks. Let’s just get you safely inside then I’ll be on my way.”
“I insist. You intervened and helped me, it’s the least I can do. Please let me get you a drink?”
Harry thought for a moment, he had nothing else pressing his time, so he followed the man in.
“OK, if you’re sure, thanks, but just for a few minutes then.”
The stranger closed the door and pulled the blackout curtains before putting on the lights.
“Hey that’s impressive - ” Harry said noticing that with one switch all the table and wall lamps came on in the room;
“ - just like in Hollywood films!”
The man smiled and turned to Harry,
“I had to get the place rewired a few years ago so I thought I would indulge myself. There’s even a dimmer control!”
He tried to laugh but immediately stopped as the pain in his ribs returned.
“You need to sit down.”
“I’ll be OK, it’s easing again now.”
A few seconds later he recovered sufficiently to kick his wet shoes off,
“Sorry, I’ve not introduced myself. My name’s Andrew Kirkland, and your’s is?”
“Harry Davies.”
They shook hands. Harry noticed he wasn’t limping anymore.
“Please take your coat off and sit down Harry.”
Harry removed his light-coloured trench coat or mac as he preferred to call it and sat down. He looked around the room and was astonished to see new furnishings, carpets and light fittings. The place was opulent, warm and welcoming.
Andrew took his threadbare coat and cap off to reveal a smart pair of grey trousers, clean white shirt and blue pullover. He was just less than six foot tall, Harry thought; clean-shaven with neat, dark brown hair and aged about forty, he guessed.
“I don’t understand.”
Harry said feeling slightly uneasy.
Andrew grinned,
“First appearances, never trust first appearances old man. I’ll get us some drinks.”
The accent was English now, not local as Harry had heard earlier.
“How are your injuries?”
“It’s nothing too serious,” said Andrew,
“ just my shoulder and ribs feel a bit bruised. I fell onto the kerb when they knocked me over.”
As he explained this he brushed vigorously at a mark he had noticed on his trousers.
“Did you recognise them?”
“’Fraid not, it was too dark.”
“Has that sort of thing happened before to you?”
“Once it did, but that was just after I moved here.”
Andrew moved slowly across to a drinks cabinet and returned with two large whiskies, handing one to Harry. The other he placed on a side table before carefully tugging at his trouser

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