Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Wednesdays and Sundays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
#2: Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 43
In the last post: Free at last, Bert set his dogs on Dick Charmer. He warned them not to eat him until he caught up…
Bert squinted in all directions. When sure nobody would see him, he dashed across the gravel road and plunged into the same copse of trees as Dick Charmer. Once out of view, he slowed his pace to a resolute march, fists clenched and a murderous snarl on his lips.
It wasn’t hard to follow Dick Charmer's path through the tangle of broken brush, and he soon caught the growl of his dogs and the man’s whimpering.
When Bert caught up, Dick Charmer stood with his back pressed against a tree and the two Alsatians glaring at him. Had he dared to move, they left no doubt they would have sunk their teeth into him.
“Get your dogs off me,” he wailed, lips and chin trembling.
“I ain’t going to let them hurt you,” said Bert, catching his breath, “because I’m going to do that myself.” He clicked a finger and the Alsatians slinked to his heels, one each side, never once taking their hungry eyes from Dick Charmer. “At ease, Chums.” They sat, and Bert patted their heads.
“What are you planning to do with me,” said Dick Charmer, eyes bulging with fright.
“I’m going to mangle that pretty face of yours so no women will ever look at you again.”
Dick Charmer released a huge breath of relief and shook his head. “Is that what this is all about?”
“Yeah. You’re a menace to women, and especially my Olive.”
“No,” said Dick Charmer, looking heavenward and clicking his tongue as if confronted by an idiot. “No, my friend, you’ve got me all wrong. I’m a professional pickpocket. I only pretend to flirt with women so as I can get close enough to rob them. Olive means nothing to me, none of them do.”
Bert scratched his stubbly cheek and leaned forward to glare his foe in the eye. “Oh yeah,” he drooled, forcing a sarcastic smile, “I never thought of that. I suppose we can be friends now and I can let you go.”
Dick Charmer nodded, but he must have recognised the contempt in Bert's words and manner because he swallowed hard and his bloodless lips twisted in a mockery of a smile.
At last Bert had the mischief maker at his mercy, and after all the bad luck he'd recently suffered, he needed to act fast before something else went wrong. All he required was five minutes to teach him a lesson that he wouldn't soon forget.
To be continued…
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
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Four Warned by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hmm, this is the first time I have read anything by Jeffrey Archer, and I'm impressed. His prose is silky smooth; a delightful style that lets you forget you're reading at all.
As for the four novels in this collection, I loved them. The settings are all from England, and like Roald Dahl, he takes ordinary day-to-day situations and turns them into tales of white-knuckle suspense. Each ends with a powerful twist. The first three took me by surprise, the fourth I saw coming.
This is one author I shall definitely read more of.
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James at Goodreads