|“What are you doing, Dad?” Peggy looked at her father. “Joining us?”|
He shook his head with a rueful face. “No can do. I've got to go through those papers about the new road and that means a good two hours' work. Have tea ready at four and I'll try and finish by then. Coming, Rix?”
Rix, who had been sprawled on one of the wide window seats, looking over the sea, got up lazily and stretched himself. “Guess so. You want me to check up on you figures.”
“Brat!” his father said affectionately. “All right; come along.”
They went out of the room laughing and carried on down the corridor to the office, which occupied another corner of the house. There they shut the sound proofed door, something Dick had insisted on in the renovations when they had first moved in (after the sudden demise of his Great-Uncle, which had occurred strangely enough, soon after Dick had decided to come home from India), and sat down in the comfortable black leather chairs.
“Well, it should be today,” Rix said.
“Yes, the arrangements are complete and the Perownes took off last week. What a good job we found that rich Uncle in Argentina, whose death no one would think unduly sudden and gave an excuse to get Loveday out of the way”
“Mmm, took some digging though. It's a good job we had practice with Samuel Carter.”
“Well I couldn't have my eldest child not being Head Boy at his school, I did say when I got back from that job in India that you three would have what ever you wanted to make up for our absence. Of course the Chalet School is easier to influence but I think we did a good job at your school. That last bit of blackmail sorted it right out.”
“Yeah, It took less time than Pegs to arrange.” he mused. “Did you really start planning that so long ago?”
“Yes, we got back from India. I could see that she wanted it more than anything even at that age. It took a bit of discussion in the committee and a few letters hinting at a Special Sixth to Madge, and then once we had that, it was a case of letting them hang themselves from the rope. Marilyn Evans helped enormously with that and with a bit more pushing backstage and Bobs' your uncle. Special Sixth can't be prefects and with a lot of leavers that year (with a bit of help), I got where I meant to be. Nothing stops me and no one ever gets away with it!” Here the cat that had been inhabiting the in tray on the desk jumped in alarm and finding that it couldn't leave the room, curled up in Dick's arms leaving behind a dusting of long white hairs on the paperwork.
“The war did me a bit of a favour, helping to spread my contact network. That chap in South America owed me a favour or two, thanks to some work I did for him a few years ago, just before we came back to Britain. I met him during the removal of Lindley Carrick, a few years before that. We both worked towards that goal for the same boss, it was after that I went for it on my own and now it's a family business.”
“Thanks, Dad” and he grinned at his father. “ Any plans for Noel, I mean Jackie, and the twins?” asked Rix.
“Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, we'll have your medical training by then as well. I may not need to call so many favours”
“True, I'll see what I can find out.”
Here conversation lapsed, and they went about the paperwork the family thought them to be working on, after all, they couldn't risk anyone else finding out, how they really earned money. About an hour later the doorbell rang and they heard the sounds of flying footsteps and women's voices. They grinned at each other, co-conspirators in crime at a well done success and then went back to work, only to be disturbed by Peggy sticking her head round the door.
“Auntie Hilda's here and tea's in a few minutes. Oh and Bride's got some exciting news to share with you.”
Here the door shut behind her and Dick and Rix were left to congratulate themselves once again in peace. Just as they were getting up, Dick remembered something, “Oh yes, tomorrow I may need your help on planning a little accident to a certain gentleman of our acquaintance, who hasn't been paying his money, and may need a little reminder...”
Chapter End Notes:
A plot bunny that wouldn't let go. I think I may have spent too much time lately learning words for a murder mystery play and I have now got murder plots on the brain.