IMPORTANT NOTICE: this is the last part of 'Enchanter On The Roof'. Next up is 'Gamblers who Cheat'.
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 50
In the last post: Confounded, Chief Inspector Dobbs begged Bert for information. Bert made him say please…
Bert wielded his handcuffed arms straight out. “Let me go and I'll tell everything.”
A sheen of sweat glistened on Chief Inspector Dobbs cheeks, chin, and forehead. “And the keys?” he asked, hands clasped behind his back.
“Oh yeah. The keys are up on the scaffolding where Dick Charmer threw them. He pick-pocketed them right out of your dressing gown. And then when you was eating breakfast he scampered.”
On his own initiative, one of the constables sprung up the scaffolding ladder. “Here they are, Sir.” He clattered back down and handed the keys to his boss.
Chief Inspector Dobbs paused before turning the key in Bert’s handcuffs. His hands shook. “You promise to co-operate and inform us where he went?”
“I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.”
"You can save all that gibberish for the judge." Still, he wavered with the key. Grunting, he spread his stance. “I see you’re wearing your watch again.” He glared straight into Bert’s eyes. “Where did that come from?”
An impish smile made Bert’s mouth twitch. “Dick Charmer gave me watch back and apologised for messing me about. Gave me Olive’s engagement ring back too and said sorry for making me jealous. He’s a really swell guy when you get to know him like what I did.”
The handcuffs snapped open, and Bert rubbed his wrists. “He went that way.” Bert pointed along the pebble road towards the gate and main road. “He said he was going to take a bus.”
“Didn’t say. But I said that would be a terrific trick if he pick-pocketed a whole bus.” Bert chortled. “Get it? Said he was going to take a bus.”
"You heard," snapped Chief Inspector Dobbs to his two patrolmen. "Go after him."
They didn't hang about, and neither did Bert. He trudged to his house, dogs at heel, and slammed the front door.
Chief Inspector Dobbs wheeled around and stalked away. If anyone were close enough, they would have caught him muttering, “One day… One day… One day I’ll have the lot of them behind bars.”
Next up is 'Gamblers who Cheat'.
The real world:
Rather than miss an instalment, it’s easy to follow my blog on bloglovin’. They’ll give you a friendly nudge as I release new parts.
Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
'Enchanter On The Roof' is at its end. Next up is 'Gamblers who Cheat'.
She contested the bygone will. He stood to lose his life's work. But neither had gambled on Alf.
See you there ;-)
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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