Author Topic: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling  (Read 2830 times)

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2014, 06:47:52 AM »
disappointed if you don't go. I'm not intending to come back after I've picked daddy up so I thought he and I might go for a coffee somewhere and then we'll come and pick you up-how's that sound?'
'Yes!' said Jeff.
'Marianne and Eddie were going to look after Pru so Dora took her to them as soon as she'd had breakfast the next day. Jeff was excited and when he got to Playschool he found Chantelle and told her his dad was coming out of hospital.
'Can I come and play with Jeff?' Chantelle asked Dora because Steve usually let her have a ride before he took her home.'
'Not for a while I'm afraid.'
'Dad has to take it easy and if he gets cross we have to make a lowance for him.'
'What's a lowance?'
Dora didn't wait to hear Jeff's explanation but went out to the car smiling. It was a beautiful May day and the Whitsun holidays were looming. The apartments were booked and they expected several touring caravans. There was also a wedding reception on Bank Holiday Saturday-all these had been booked long before Steve's hernia. On top of this there were extra riding lessons for the children. She was worried about how they were going to cope with everything but put this all to the back of her mind and concentrated on her driving. She was glad that the clinic had it's own car park as parking in the city was never easy and Leeds United had a friendly international with Real Madrid that evening and already supporters of both teams were converging on the city to spend the day shopping, sightseeing and most of all drinking. She wanted to get out of the city as soon as possible.
Steve was sitting in the easy chair by his bed fully dressed with his leg up on a footstool.
'Oh-I thought you'd need help dressing!'
'Tom helped me. You get service here you know! Did you remember to bring the cheque book?'
'Of course. I thought they might not let you come home otherwise!'
'Well I'm signed out so all we have to do is pay then we can go home. I can't wait.'
'Will you mind if we drive out to 'The Golden Plover' for a while. I promised Jeff we'd pick him up together from Playschool. I'd like to go to the farm shop and stock up and I want to get clear of the city as soon as I can.'
She picked up Steve's bag and handed him his stick. As Dora was writing out the cheque at the reception desk Elliott came out of his room.
'Take care Steve . You have your follow up appointment date, I'll see you then.'
He shook hands with Dora and to her surprise took Steve's bag from her and walked with them to the car holding the door open for Steve to get in and seeing him comfortably settled before seeing them off with a cheery wave.
Over coffee Dora told Steve how the missing money had been found and what Eddie had said about not using their safe.
'I do worry sometimes when we have quite a bit of cash to go to the bank. Make sure while I'm not doing the banking that you get one of the boys to go with you.' Dora shivered.
'Before all this blew up I never gave the possibility that we could be robbed a second

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2014, 06:48:24 AM »
thought but now-I just wish Benny wasn't such a friendly dog!'
'Don't underestimate him love-he's never been tested.'
'Mmnn these cream cakes are delicious. They remind me of the ones Mr. Plum used to make.' she said deliberately turning her mind from thoughts of theft.
 Let's take some home and invite everyone for afternoon tea' said Steve.
Dora agreed and said to him that it would be a good opportunity to decide who was to do what over the holiday '
 'I can help in the pony centre shop sitting down and taking the money while Katie and Angela serve and wrap.' said Steve.
(Angie Buckley had started working for them at weekends and school holidays riding over from her home on Dark Song.)
'We'll see how you go over the next two weeks.'
'Dora-I have to do something or I'll go mad! One thing I have been thinking about is to officially employ Eddie. He could look after the touring side of things and he's also good at general repairs.'
'That's a good idea' she said and went off to pay and buy a selection of cakes. She asked if they minded if Steve stayed there while she went to the farm shop next door and they were quite happy to let him do so. When everything was stowed away in the car she took his arm and they walked back together.
'We're going to be a bit early for Jeff but we can wait in the car till it's time.' she said.
When they were almost back to the village the traffic began to build up and they heard the sound of an emergency vehicle. They crawled along at a snails pace.
'Take the next turning right-it's a longer way round but we should get there in time' said Steve,
Several cars ahead of them did the same thing and they were relieved when they got to the village just as the children began coming out of playschool with their parents. Dora hurried in. Jeff was standing clutching his picture looking a bit forlorn. Chantelle and her mother were with him.
'Sorry darling- there was an accident on the main road and we had to come the back way' she said.
'Oh bother' said Louise, Chantelle's mum. We live close to the main road. I hope we can get home.
By the way Dora-it's Channy's birthday next Saturday. Jeff will come to her party won't he? I'll give out the invitations next week but I thought I'd let you know now because I know you're busy. It's from 2-4 but Jeff can come early and stay later if that'll help.'
'Thanks- I'll see what I can arrange. See you here on Monday.' She took Jeff's hand and led him outside. 'Now remember that you must be very careful when you're cuddling daddy. No trying to sit on his lap. He's getting better but he needs a lot of rest.'
Dora phoned round telling everyone with the exception of those working at the Pony centre to meet at the bungalow for afternoon tea. They didn't give the accident a second thought until the phone rang just before everyone was due to arrive. Jeff had by then gone off to his room to play and Pru was lying on the floor on her playmat with Benny in close attendance. The telephone rang and Dora  picked it up.

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 06:48:49 AM »
'D-Dora' said a shaky tearful voice. 'It's Gip. T-there's been an accident. I'm at  Leeds hospital.'
'Are you alright Gip?'
'I am- b-but it's me family. Willie and Julie and me mum and the little-uns.'
'What's happened?'
'They had a car accident this morning. Willie's hurt bad. He's in intensive care. The others are all injured too but I don't know anything definite yet. I don't know what to do Dora. One of my teachers brought me here but he's got to go home. I'm scared.'
'Someone will come to be with you Gip. I don't know who. Steve's only just out of hospital himself but don't worry, we'll think of something. Whereabouts in the hospital are you?'
'I'm in the Casualty department. If I go anywhere else I'll leave word where I'm going.'
Dora sat down on the sofa and buried her face in her hands. Milly had just come in, saw Dora was in distress and quickly put the kettle on. When everyone had arrived, Steve, who by now had extracted from Dora the information he hadn't picked up from listening to her conversation, told everyone what had happened.
'I'll go' volunteered Tony. 'I feel quite close to Gip since he turned up in our barn that time.'
He quickly downed a cup of tea and bit into a cake.
'I don't know when I'll get to eat anything else.' he said.
'I don't think Gip's got any other relatives and I know Julie hasn't.You must bring Gip back here. He can have the spare bed in Jeff's room' said Dora.
'I was going to go back next door now Steve's back but I think it's best if I stay here.' said Milly.
'Before I go' said Tony. 'Ellie says she'll be glad to help out with anything she can do during the holiday week. I'll be working so it'll mean we can see something of each other. She'd obviously prefer not to be down at the Pony Centre where the children are!'
After they'd talked everything over Dora was re-assured that provided Gip was ok all would work out well in the next few weeks till Steve was able to return to work. Ben had bank holiday  week off and Callie would be at home.
It was gone 10 o'clock when Tony finally brought a distraught Gip into the bungalow and he told them the situation because Gip was unable to.
'Willie has died and Julie is in a coma. Gips mum and the two children have all got injuries but nothing life threatening. I was able to speak to Mrs Willens and of course she's very upset but is quite agreeable to Gip staying here with you.'
On reflection it had been decided that it would be better for Milly to go home to sleep so that Gip could have a room to himself and Jeff would not be disturbed. Tony put a hand on Gip's shoulder.
'I'd best be getting off mate. I'll see you in the morning.'
Gip managed a mumbled 'Thankyou.'
'You must be hungry luv. Shall I make you summat t'eat?' asked Milly.
She didn't wait for an answer but bustled about making tea for everyone and ham sandwich for Gip. He drank the tea and managed a few bites of the sandwich. Steve

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 06:49:10 AM »
thought it would be better for Gip if he talked instead of sitting in silence as he was now except for the occasional wiping tears from his eyes, blowing his nose and shaking his head.
'You get off home now auntie. Thanks  for everything, we'll see you in the morning.' he said.
'Why don't you go to bed Dora. I'll sit with Gip till he's ready to go '
'You should be resting.'
'I can rest any time. You'll need to get up to Pru in the night so get some rest while you can.'
She thought that Gip might be better left with just Steve so she kissed Steve, gave Gip a hug and went to bed not expecting to sleep.
'I did love him you know. We argued a lot but he was always there for me . Thought the world of the littluns and Julie he did and he was good to our mum. I never told him how I felt about him Steve and now he'll never know.' Gip began to weep. Steve was sitting next to him and put his arm about his shoulder.
'Steve- Dora said you'd just come out of hospital' he said suddenly . 'I'm sorry. I hope it was nothing serious. I shouldn't be going on like this.'
'Course you should. I'm your friend. I only had a hernia operation. Now you talk all you want and if you still want to cry just go ahead. It's not a sign of weakness.'
Gip gave a deep sigh and then began to talk about his childhood and how his dad had died when Gip was about four. He hardly remembered him but there was a wedding photograph on the sideboard and next to it a photo of his dad. '
'Me mum says that Willie and I look like him.'
There followed another bout of weeping.
'That's it-you let it all go.' Steve said softly.
'I'm going to have to be the man of the house now.'
'You'll be a great help to your mum I'm sure. Now I really think it's time you went to bed. Go and wash your face-you know where the bathroom is. I'll give you a couple of my painkillers. They might help you sleep.'
Steve saw him to bed. 'Someone will take you to pick up some more clothes tomorrow and anything else you need. If you want me just knock on the bedroom door. '
'What about school?'
'We'll let them know where you are. They'll understand if you have some time off.'
Steve said goodnight and put the main light off leaving the little bedside lamp on. Dora was asleep so he undressed and slipped in bed beside her. He lay awake for a while but tiredness soon overcame him and he fell asleep. He heard Pru crying at five o'clock and Dora got up to give her a bottle and settle her. When she got into bed she said she was glad he'd been there for Gip.
'Well at least that's something I can do.'
'I would have just cried all over him.'
'I felt like crying too at times but we need to be strong for him.'
Dora was surprised when Steve was ready to get up when she did. Jeff got up too but when Steve checked on Gip he was still asleep.
'He can have breakfast later. He may not have been asleep long.'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2014, 06:49:34 AM »
When the phone rang as Milly was getting breakfast ready Dora said she take it in the bedroom. Steve picked up his stick and slowly followed her.
'Yes of course we'll tell Gip and if he feels like it someone will bring him in to see you this afternoon. He has to pick up some of his things from home. Is there anything you need for yourself or the children? Yes that's okay we'll sort that out too. If there's anything else we can do for you just let us know. I'm so very sorry.' Dora sat down on the bed and Steve joined her.
'Oh Steve-now Julie's died! Mrs Willen's is going to have her work cut out bringing up two children under 5. She's rung her next door neighbour who has a spare key and asked her to pack some things for her and the children. I think if you feel up to it you and I had better take Gip to the hospital. You needn't come in but I think he'd appreciate you being there when we come out.'
'Sure-I'll be okay. Do you want me to break the news about Julie?'
'Would you-I'll only cry.'
The news made Gip upset all over again. Dora took Jeff and Pru down to Follyfoot as soon as Gip appeared.
'I've never been to a funeral. I was too little when me dad died. What are they like Steve?'
'They're sad of course but they do give you the opportunity to say a proper goodbye. I expect it'll be a while before your mum is up to arranging things. Dora and I will give her whatever help we can.'
It was another harrowing day for Gip. His mother was doing her best to keep cheerful because of the children but when Gip arrived she broke down. The children were now able to go down to the playroom and Dora and Steve went to see them there and take them some sweets. They were really too young to understand what had happened to their mum and dad.
'Eh Gip- what are we going to do?  I've got some savings but that'll all go in funeral expenses.'
'We'll ask Dora and Steve for help.'
When they talked later Steve said that by the sound of it the other driver was to blame and that if so his insurance company should pay compensation.
'I'll get Ben to look into it for you' he said. 'This is his field.'
'They say we can all be released in a few days but I don't know if I'll be able to manage the two little ones with only Gip to help. My arm will be in plaster for a few weeks yet.'
'Leave it to us-we'll sort something out' said Dora.
When they got back home Steve was very tired and after he had drunk a strong cup of tea said he would go and lie down.
'I'm going to get Jeff and Pru- Gip. Do you want to come so Steve can have a bit of peace. I'll take the car because I also want to go to the Pony Centre.' Jeff was with Eddie and the dogs on the touring field and Pru was in the farmhouse with Jodie. Dora asked if they could stay where they were while she saw Hazel and Gip stayed with Eddie and Jeff.
There were only a couple of students on work experience at the pony centre so several rooms were empty.

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2014, 06:49:56 AM »
'Of course Mrs. Willens can stay here with the three children for a few weeks.' said Hazel and I'll have a word with Ben about legal matters. He'll be glad to help I'm sure.'
When his mother and niece and nephew were released from hospital a few days later Steve told Gip he should return to school after the weekend.
'There's only a couple of weeks till the half term break mate and you're going to need a day off for the funeral. It's important you don't miss too much .'
'I'll never be able to concentrate so what's the point. I need to leave school and get a job.'
'You can't leave school at 14  Gip.'
Gip had been in Ellie's class the year before last and he had got on well with her. Dora asked if she would talk to him and she was glad to be able to help.
'Your friends have all been asking about you Gip. Your form teacher Mr. Collins and the headmaster want you to know that they'll give you all the help you need. They both remember teaching Willie and were so very sad to hear about his death and Julie's too. She was in Mrs. Sullivan's class in her last year and so you see the school is going to be really supportive and the sooner you start back the sooner things can start to get back to a kind of normality. Eddie has said he'll drive you to school when he takes Tim.'
Gip bit his lip. 'Okay. I'll see how I go on.' When Ellie had gone Gip went into the stables and went round the ponies petting them and talking to them then headed off in the direction of Follyfoot. On the way he met Tim.                         
'Hey Gip- how are you feeling?'
'I'm coming on a'right I s'pose.'
'Will you be here for the half term holiday?'
'I reckon so.'
'Great-we can spend some time together. They might let us go riding by ourselves. Periwinkle knows his way round now. I reckon your horse does too.'
'He does that. He's a real goer though-reckon he'll leave Periwinkle behind.'
Tim's face fell. Gip was now very sensitive to the feelings of others.
'Eh I'm sorry Tim. I didn't mean owt-he's a goodun is Periwinkle whatever other people say!'
Later in the day Gip sought out Steve.
'Do me and mum and the kids have to go back home?'
'Of course you must. Your mum's lived in that house all her married life. She's got lots of friends round about and they'll all rally round to help her I'm sure. You've got friends too haven't you?'
'Yes but I like being around the ponies,hanging out with Tim and helping Dora with Jeff and Benny.'
'Well I'm sure your mum will still let you visit some Saturdays.'
'When I'm old enough can I have a job here?'
'We'll see.'
Since the incident of the missing money Eddie and Marianne had started seriously searching for a mobile home but the sites they visited viewed them with suspicion. After yet another day of unsuccessful searching Eddie went to visit Steve.

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2014, 06:50:19 AM »
You're doing quite good business with your touring vans now aren't you Steve?'
'Yes, not bad why?'
'Well- if you took in another field and added more facilities it would make sense with me working for you now to live on site-have a mobile home here-site warden's residence. I'll be honest Steve, Marianne and I and the kids fit in well here. You trust us and we really don't want to move. If we could get permission to have a  permanent mobile home sited here it would suit us fine.'
'I dunno Eddie. I wouldn't mind taking in the field where Mrs Oldcastle used to keep her horse but building more toilets and showers would cost a fair bit. I don't know whether Dora would want any more caravans here although I can see your point of view. Let me have a think and talk things over with her.'
'Of course-and I hope you don't mind but I've drawn up some rough plans. You could get a maximum of  9 extra vans plus facilities I reckon and if you were to buy out the old tent site between here and the Pony centre a few more.'
'Well I must admit that old Mr. Jenkins has done nothing on that site for the past year. It does seem a pity to see the land go to waste. I'll have to make some enquiries before I speak to Dora so please don't say anything.' Eddie agreed.
Steve folded the plans up and put them in a drawer in the office. He was getting very fed up with not being able to work and knew that everyone else was going to be working flat out during the holiday week which began on Saturday so he decided he would spend some time on the telephone after the bank holiday weekend.
The weather was fine for the wedding and everything went well but Sunday brought rain which persisted on Monday. Steve wondered whether they really wanted to put more money into touring sites when weather like this could really put the damper on things. Two people whose vans had been booked to arrive on Monday phoned and cancelled as did the parents of some children who should be having riding lessons. Dora was fed up and grumpy, Jeff was bored and Steve got annoyed with him for playing ball with Benny in the lounge. As the day wore on everyone's mood grew blacker.
Pru was grizzly and even Milly was not in a good mood as she had made dozens of cakes for the church fete which had to be cancelled. Dora was in the bedroom changing Pru when Eddie, who was sure that the weather would have given Steve the chance for a preliminary talk with Dora, came in with Lily.
'Well- have you talked to Dora about my idea?'
'What idea?' she asked emerging with Pru on her hip and setting her down on the carpet beside Lily.'
'Er  Eddie and Marianne want to buy a mobile home and site it here- but of course we'd have to talk to the planning people and as it's the bank holiday I haven't done anything about it yet which is why I've not said anything.' Dora picked up the look which passed between the two of them and was determined to get the full story from Steve later. Milly came in with two tins of cakes.
'I saw you come in Eddie. You'd best take some of these cakes to your family. I don't want them wasted. Shame I got up early when it was not raining and iced them or they could have gone in the freezer. I'll make a pot of tea shall I and we can all have one. I know Jeff'll like a butterfly cake.'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2014, 06:51:33 AM »
'Jeff's in his room. He's been naughty' said Steve.
'Well 'appen he can have one later.'
'I reckon Marianne'll have the kettle on so I'll take these back' Eddie said and Milly handed him a tin.He picked Lily up too and left. Milly opened the other tin and set the cakes on a plate. Just then Ron arrived with Rikki,
'I thought I'd bring her round to play with Jeff. Cor them cakes look good.'
Rikki stretched out her hand and took a chocolate cake from the plate and was soon happily eating it and getting messed up. Benny wandered over.
'He's not allowed chocolate Rikki' Steve said crossly. Uncle Steve had never spoken to her like that before. She began to cry and Ron sat down with her till she had eaten most of the cake then took her over to the sink clean her up. Dora put Pru in her playpen and Benny sat outside with his nose poking through the bars.
'Steve- I think we should let Rikki go in and play with Jeff' said Dora and he shrugged and said it was okay. Ron took her in then accepted tea and a cake from Milly.
'What's with the long faces?'
'I think we're literally under the weather.' said Dora.
'Well- how would you like to hear a bit of good news?' said Ron and they looked at him expectantly.
'I got the letter on Saturday but everyone was caught up with the wedding so I kept it till today.
I haven't got to go to court about me compensation. The legal blokes and the insurance company have agreed a figure £35,000. That means Teri and I can afford to buy our own bungalow. We're gonna start looking next weekend!'
'That's great mate' said Steve. Dora said nothing and just then the telephone rang.
'I'll take it in the office' she said.
'Cripes-Dora don't look too happy!'
'Sorry mate- it's not got anything to do with your news. Eddie's just dropped a bit of a bombshell. She'll get over it.'
When Dora came back she was obviously very angry and Steve was shocked to see she was holding the document folder Eddie had put his plans in, Steve had added some notes of his own. Ron could see how annoyed she was but obviously didn't know why.
'Er any more cakes going Milly only I though perhaps I'd take Jeff back to ours for tea.'
Milly looked from Steve to Dora. 'I've got plenty more indoors. I'll get you some.'
'Can I take Jeff then?' Ron asked.
'Yes, please do Ron. I think Dora and I need to talk' said Steve.
'Ok- I'll bring him back around 7.'
Before going off happily with Ron Jeff gave both his parents a hug and said sorry for being naughty earlier. Steve hugged him back holding him a little longer than necessary and kissing him.He also gave Rikki a hug and said sorry he'd made her cry.
'Be a  good boy for auntie Teri and Uncle Ron Jeff mate.'
Milly popped back with the cakes for Ron.
'Here' she said to Dora. 'I made some little steak and kidney pies as well. Have a

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2014, 06:51:57 AM »
couple each for your tea.'
When she'd gone for a few moments there was an uneasy silence. Pru had drpped off to sleep in her playpen. Dora picked her up and settled her in her cot. Steve sat drumming his fingers on the settee waiting anxiously for her return. He sighed as once again she picked up the envelope and waved it under his nose.
'Well?'
'I left that in my desk drawer till I'd finished making enquiries. What were you doing looking in my things?'
'I wasn't aware we had secret drawers. I was looking for the desk diary which wasn't where it usually is and I thought perhaps you might have put it in with your things.'
'Well I didn't. Did you try looking on the floor? I seem to remember you knocked something off the desk when you put the new yellow pages on there yesterday then we both got called outside and it probably didn't get picked up.'
'Well anyway- why are you even considering this hair brained scheme of Eddie's?'
' You know they want to buy a decent mobile home and we think we have a better chance of getting permission if we say it's a warden's residence. The few vans we have on the site at the moment don't really warrant that but if we had around thirty with dedicated toilet and shower blocks and a laundrette I reckon we'd get enough trade to pay Eddie a decent wage.'
'Buying extra land and putting in new electric points and amenities would make the cost astronomical. I wouldn't fancy our chances with the bank if we needed money. I reckon we might find we get lots of opposition from the locals too what with Eddie being ex fairground!'
'Eddie's perfectly respectable.'
'I know that but some of his friends might not be and if they get wind of what's going on---'
Dora- for heaven's sake. No-one knows more about potential problems than you or I and it's a question of letting the locals know we're only interested in people who want holidays. Eddie's would be the only van allowed long term. Anyone else the maximum stay would be six weeks.'
'I'm still not happy about it. All those people-it would shatter our peace and put off potential customers for the hire accommodation and as I said money is a problem.'
'Not if we get another interest free loan from your parents.'
'Steve-you haven't gone behind my back and asked daddy have you?'
He hung his head.
'How could you ?'
'Well he rang to ask how I am and we got talking and I jist sort of mentioned Eddie's idea. You know your dad's always said he'd help if we needed anything.'
'You just sort of mentioned it? We don't need it Steve! It's just you wanting to add more to the place.'
Your dad thinks it's a sound investment. Not only that-think of the good we can do by providing jobs. We seem to attract human waifs and strays as well as horses.We can now possibly afford to employ Evie. Gip's already asked if he can work for us-then there's Tim---- Will you at least sit down with me and see exactly what we envisage. I promise you that if you're still not happy about it I won't take it any further except to

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2014, 06:52:22 AM »
try and get planning permission for a permanent home for Eddie.'
'Alright but I warn you I'm not going to be easy to convince.'
'I can hear Pru. Why don't you go and warm up  the pies? After the kids are settled we can go through the plans.'
'Okay, but I don't want to be late to bed. We've got Willie and Julie's funeral tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to it one bit.'
When Steve had painstakingly explained things to her Dora rubbed her eyes.
'No more tonight- I'm really tired.'
'I'm ready for bed too. I'll be glad when we can make love again but I still feel a bit wary of hurting myself.'
'Well don't stress yourself on my account- that's the last thing I feel like doing tonight.'
She flounced off into the bedroom.
'Damn, damn, damn' said Steve and followed her.
'Do you mind if I have a quick bath love?'
'Fine-just don't sing!'
'You could join me.'
She didn't answer so Steve shrugged, ran his bath and was soon relaxing in the warm water almost but not quite falling asleep. He used his spicy bath soap and talc adding just a touch of the matching cologne. Once in bed he leaned over Dora who lay on her side with her eyes tightly shut. He brushed her cheek and whispered goodnight because he thought she was awake, then lay on his back beside her his hand on her thigh. Dora was not asleep but was lying thinking about the next afternoon and wishing that she was in Steve's arms and sharing her thoughts with him. When an hour had passed and she thought by Steve's regular breathing that he was asleep she slipped out of bed, put on her dressing gown and went into the kitchen to make a milky drink. A few minutes later Steve, also clad in his dressing gown came out of the bedroom. She was standing with the milk bottle in her hand staring down at the empty saucepan. Steve reached up and got two mugs.'Here-let me' he said taking the bottle and measuring out the amount needed. He placed spoonfuls of powder in the mugs and turned on the heat. Dora reached for the biscuit tin and began munching
 on a digestive. They usually played a game with these-Dora would put one in her mouth and Steve would take a small bite of the other end, they would each take small bites until the biscuit was gone and their lips met. They licked away the crumbs and then shared a kiss. Tonight Dora merely offered him the packet and he took one. Dora took her drink and sat in one of the armchairs. Steve sighed and sat on the sofa his brown eyes looked troubled. Dora could feel tears coming and she hastily wiped her eyes.
'Oh Dora!' Steve said softly and suddenly she was beside him on the sofa sobbing as if her heart would break.
'I can't stop thinking about them Steve- so young and those two little ones growing up with no parents.'
'I know, I feel the same.' he said softly putting his arm round her and kissing her hair.
Dora gave in  and snuggled close to him.
'Do I really have to come to the service- you could say I'm not well.'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2014, 06:52:43 AM »
'I could-but I'm not going to. Gip and his mum need us Dora.'
'What use will I be. I'll be crying my eyes out!'
'And so will almost everyone there-me included probably. Tears are a release-you should know that.'
'Yes- I do cry a lot don't I?'
'Not as much as you used to and now only with good reason. I'll make sure I take plenty of clean hankies. Now drink your Chocco and we'll see if that helps us to sleep.'
When they got back into bed Steve lay on his good side with Dora cuddled close.
'I love you sweetheart.' he said and she said she loved him too. Exhausted from crying she finally fell asleep and only woke up when Jeff came into the room complaining that Pru crying had woken him up.
'You get into bed with daddy while I see to Pru-and remember you mustn't be rough with him.'
Dora put on her dressing gown and went to see to Pru. Coming back into the bedroom after she'd fed and changed her she said 'I think she might have a bit of a temperature. Perhaps I'd better stay at home today.'
Steve frowned. 'We'll see!'
While they were eating breakfast Pru sat in her bouncing chair with Benny in close attendance. The little girl was laughing as Benny played with his squeaky bone. Although she dropped her rag doll near him he didn't attempt to pick it up and chew it.
'Don't think there's much wrong with her' said Steve and went to check her temperature.
'Normal. She'll be okay with Marianne and Evie.'
Later he took Pru and Jeff over to the caravan. Eddie and Tim, who had been off school with a heavy cold ,were outside.
'Dora wasn't too happy with my ideas was she?'
'Not all of them, no.'
'I've thought of a bit of a compromise but I'd like to tell you both together.'
'Leave it for today eh Eddie. I think she'll have enough to cope with.' Eddie nodded.
'Now you be good with Eddie and Tim Jeff.' Evie came out of the caravan and took Pru from him.
'He's always good for us-and Ray loves him.' she said.
Dora was dressed in a deep purple trouser suit because Mrs. Willens had insisted that she didn't want people wearing black. Steve wore his navy suit with white shirt and pale blue tie and Millie wore a burgundy dress and jacket. The sun shone brightly as they drove to the crematorium. Ron, Jodie, Hazel and Ben met them there. Grant stayed at the pony centre. Teri and Annabelle were also absent. Inside the building were some of the Willen's neighbours, staff from school including Ellie who sat with Tony and some of Willie and Julie's friends, Their two children were being cared for by another friend.
'Sit with Dora will you mate?' Steve asked Ron. 'Gip's asked me to wait and go in with him and his mum.'
Rev. Carmichael shook hands with Steve.

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2014, 06:53:03 AM »
'A very sad day this.' he said as the funeral cars arrived and the two flower decked coffins were unloaded. Mrs Willens was helped out of the car. She looked frail and small and Gip looked uncomfortable in his suit.
'Alright mate?' asked Steve.
'Gip gave a great sigh.
'I don't know as 'ow I'll ever be right again.' he said.
He took hold of his mother's good arm and Steve walked on her other side as they followed the pall bearers into the building while Rev. Carmichael began the funeral words.
'Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life......'
The sound of weeping filled the room led by Mrs Willens, As the small procession passed Steve saw Dora with a handkerchief held to her face. Ron had one arm round her and the other round Millie.
Ellie too was crying as were many of the young mums present. Steve bit his lip and put his arm carefully round Gip's mother. As Gip was struggling to hold back tears when they came to their seats at the front he positioned himself between mother and son.
There were no hymns just a couple of pieces of music Willie and Julie liked chosen by Alex who had been best man at their wedding. Dora found she could switch off the readings and prayers but however much she tried to avoid looking at the coffins her eyes kept straying to them. Her hands shook as she held the prayer book and for the umpteenth time she wished she wasn't there making a fool of herself. Although the whole thing took less than half an hour it seemed to her they had been there ages. As soon as it was over Hazel, Ben and Jodie left to return to the pony centre and see to the buffet. The rest of the mourners stood in sad little groups talking, looking at the flowers or staring into the fish pond.
'Me mam doesn't want to go back in t'hearse Steve. Can we come wi you?'
'I can take Milly' said Ron.'
'No- I'll go with you Ron' said Dora not wanting to be in the gloomy atmosphere of Steve's car.
Steve raised his eyebrows but didn't argue.
'You sit in the front with me Gip .' he said and helped Millie and  Gip's mum into the back. He went over and  told the driver that the funeral car could return to base.
'Come on girl. Dry those tears or there'll be a flood' said Ron as he prepared to drive off.
'Oh Ron why do things have to change?' she asked.
'Oh we back to that ole chestnut are we? What's up this time?'
He sat and listened while Dora told him about Eddie's plans
'Steve's all for it-evidently daddy thinks it's a good investment but it'll mean even more hard work and we're busy enough as it is.'
'You'd need more help that's for sure but you know there's a shortage of jobs round here since Hammonds and Lockwoods closed and that on top of the tent site going and all.'
'Don't tell me you're a philanthropist now Ron!'
'Na- gave up stamp collecting years ago!'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2014, 06:53:24 AM »
'Oh Ron!' she said laughing in spite of herself.
He started the engine. 'Best be off or Steve'll think we've run off together!'
'How are you feeling now luv?' Millie asked as they arrived back at the pony centre.
'I feel drained 'replied Kathy.
'Let's get you a nice cup of strong tea and a couple of sandwiches. I bet you've not eaten much today.'
'I couldn't!'
'Well yer've got to keep yer strength up for the sake of the littluns. Now Gip-you get yer mam settled inside and I'll get Steve to bring her some tea and sandwiches.'
Ron arrived by himself. 'I dropped Dora off at your place mate. Said she was going to have a lie down as she had a headache.'
' She did cry rather a lot and we were a while getting off to sleep last night. Perhaps I shouldn't have made her come. Anyway I've promised Kathy I'll go and pick the kids up. Dora can have some time to rest. I'll see everyone's okay before I go home. Will you look after Milly and take her home for me. She's been a brick looking after Kathy but she's looking tired now.'
'Ok mate. I'll just have a cuppa and a couple of sausage rolls.'
Steve spent some time with the children before going to pick up Pru and Jeff. 'Can we leave our talk till tomorrow Eddie? Dora really upset herself this afternoon and she'll be in no mood to listen.'
Marianne's made you a chicken casserole with plenty of vegetables in. She didn't think Dora would feel like cooking or Milly either-there's plenty for her too. I'll send Tim back with you as you've got the buggy to push. Jeff can manage Benny.'
Steve had been very quiet when he'd parked the car outside the bungalow and he put his finger on his lips as he and the children went in. 'Thanks Tim- just put it over by the microwave' he said.
Tiredness was creeping over him too and he would have loved to go and curl up on the bed beside Dora but Jeff wanted to tell him about his day and Pru needed changing. Benny headed straight for his basket and soon his doggy snores could be heard making Jeff and Pru laugh. Steve dealt with Pru's nappy then sat with her in the crook of one arm with Jeff sitting his other side.
'Eddie's going to make a tree house for us dad. He's drawn proper plans and everything. I do think he's clever don't you dad? '
'Mmmn yes he is.'
'Can you keep an eye on Pru for me?' Steve asked putting her in her chair. 'I just want to look in and make sure your mum's okay then I'll reheat the casserole.'
Dora was curled up on her side but her eyes were open. Steve sat down on the bed.
'How are you feeling now girl?'
'A bit better. I could do with a nice strong cup of tea.'
'Okay-I'll bring you one. Marianne made us a casserole and I'm going to heat it up. I need to go and see if Milly wants to come in.'
'I could do with some fresh air. After I've had my tea I'll go for a bit of a walk then go to Milly's. You look tired Steve. You need to be careful you don't overdo  it. I know your check up went okay but it's better to be safe than sorry. I reckon it's your turn for a lie down after tea.'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2014, 06:53:45 AM »
She got up,washed her face and went through to the lounge.
'Is the sad time over mum?' asked Jeff.
'It won't be over for Gip and his mum for ages yet but the rest of us will have to put it behind us and get on with things.'
Milly shared their meal with them and helped Dora wash up. Steve lay back on the couch watching Jeff and Pru playing with Benny feeling his eyes closing and not being able to stop sleep from coming. Milly went home and Dora picked Pru up and took her to the bathroom.
'Don't wake daddy  up Jeff-he needs a rest.'
It took much longer for Dora to settle the children than it did when Steve helped but at last they were both asleep. She shook Steve gently. 'Why don't you go to bed?'
'What about the kids?'
'They're asleep.'
'You should have woken me. You look exhausted too so why don't we both have an early night?'
They both slept well and the next day dawned bright and clear. Eddie came in as they were having breakfast. 'Can I speak to you both later? Bring the children to the caravan after lunch. Marianne and Evie will look after them for an hour while we have a walk round.'
Dora reluctantly agreed to go and Eddie walked with them to the boundary of their land where they could see the tent site which was separated from them by a stream. They could also see the road bridge which led to the campsite and to the pony centre.
'You can get horse boxes over that bridge so caravans shouldn't be a problem. What I would suggest for now though if you buy that field is that you leave it as a tent site. It's still got the amenity block which we could improve. The corner of Mrs. Oldfield's old horse field is quite close to the stream and there is a little footbridge there which we could strengthen so that if we put tourers on the field they could have access to the amenities on the campsite as well as those on our present touring site. If we owned the tent site we could make a path through it onto the pony centre which would mean easy access to the shops there for everyone holidaying with us.'
'You make a good case Eddie but it would depend on how much the tent site raises and I believe it's going to auction and also how much we would need to spend to upgrade the amenity blocks and put in additional electric points for the extra tourers.'
It needn't be done all at once. I think the first step would be to sort the tent site out then hopefully with the extra revenue you get from it including more business for the pony centre you can extend your touring site. I don't think that anyone would get planning permission to build houses on the tent site so you might find it goes relatively cheaply. You could try making an offer to see if it would be enough to have it withdrawn for sale.'
'You're right about the auction Eddie-look there's a notice over there. It's at the end of June. We'll have to make up our minds soon Dora.'
'I think you've made up your mind. You still have to convince me. We'll need more staff.'
In the interim yes- but don't forget we've a new generation to look to. I know our Tim will love to work here.'

Offline Jane

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Re: Theft at Follyfoot by Norfolk Dumpling
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2014, 06:54:04 AM »
'I need to have some time to myself to think all this over. I'm going over to the pony centre to take a couple of lessons. I'll walk.'
'It's a long walk Dora' said Steve.'
'Just what I need.'
'If you ring me when you're ready and I'll  come and get you' said Steve.
The walk did little to help Dora make up her mind and she had to work hard to bring her attention back to the job of giving riding lessons. Grant had been working with the ponies and he said he'd wait for her and give her a lift as far as the farm. Dora put the money from the lessons and the days takings from the shop in her backpack to put in the safe. Grant phoned Steve from the farmhouse to say Dora was going for a walk to a nearby field where they sold pick your own strawberries before  going home so Steve decided to walk slowly there with Benny. The day had been quite warm but the sun had gone in and Dora shivered. This walk was one of her favourites but today she felt a bit out of sorts and uneasy and thought perhaps she should go back to the bungalow.She sat down to rest on a tree trunk and her head felt swimmy. She took off the backpack and laid it at her feet taking deep breaths and finally put her head between her knees. She closed her eyes and opened them she thought only moments later to see someone creeping towards her. As she went to grab her backpack and run the other person quickened their pace, pushed her to the ground roughly, snatched the bag and ran. Benny was running ahead of Steve and barked when he saw someone running towards the road. Arriving minutes later Steve only saw a retreating back but noticed the figure had a backpack. God it looked like Dora's. She'd stuck  a  white felt horse shape on the back. Steve called out her name. Benny had got to where she lay stunned and was barking and licking her face. She began to come round as Steve got there.
'M-m my bag with today's takings. It's been stolen!'
'Never mind that. Are you hurt?'
'I was feeling dizzy before it happened. I'm Still dizzy. No  Steve. Don't bend down.'
'Damn! I can't even carry you. I'll have to go for help. He took his coat off and put it over her.
'Benny-stay!' he said and the dog obediently lay down close to Dora.
'I'll be as quick as I can. Try and stay awake!' Steve couldn't run or even walk very fast because he was still recovering from his operation he hoped that he would meet someone and not have to go all the way back to Follyfoot to get help for Dora. It had started to rain and he had no coat. Another dog came bounding towards him-Eddie's dog, Prince. Recognising Steve the dog stopped and Steve took him by the collar. 'Eddie' yelled Steve. 'If you can hear me Eddie come quick, Dora's in trouble. Benny's with her. Eddie hurried up moments later hampered by his own injury. When Steve explained Eddie cursed because he knew he wouldn't be able to carry Dora either.
'You go for help. I'll go back to Dora.' said Steve.
'You're getting soaked. You'd best keep walking. We'll send Prince. You've got Benny's scent on your hands. He'll help keep Dora warm and she'll know help's on the way. .'
Steve put his hands round Prince's nose. 'Find Benny, boy!' he said. The dog wagged his tail and bounded off in the direction Steve had come from. Eddie turned round and