Echoes From The Past – Episode 51

Angela was so angry with her son Ryan that she could barely speak to him. She had picked him up from the police station after they had given him his gravest warning yet, and taken him home, where he had been forbidden to leave his room. It seemed as if this last adventure had finally impinged on the boy. His friends, the ones who had actually knocked over the old man and stolen his change, were full of bravado throughout their sojourn in the police station, but Ryan had been downright scared. He had never been so grateful to an anonymous member of the public for clearing him of direct involvement.

So was Angela, of course.

“What was his name, then?” she asked, standing in Ryan’s bedroom, pinning him with her furious gaze. “I can assure you, you will go and thank him, whoever he is.”

She was annoyed with herself for not asking the police in the first place for the name of their benefactor, though they might well not have given it.

The boy looked thoroughly chastened.

“It wasn’t a him. It was a woman.”

“Fine. So what was her name? They must have told you.”

He shook his head.

“They didn’t. But I heard one of them say it. It was something like Seashore. That sounds daft, but that’s what I heard. Seashore. Or Seaside.”

Angela looked at her son in exasperation. What was she to do with him? Was there any chance that he had finally seen the light? And if not, what would his next exploit be? He certainly couldn’t depend on a public-spirited bystander to bail him out the next time.

It wasn’t until her next visit to Miss Seagrave’s house that she put two and two together. Seagrave. Was Holly’s name not Seagrave, too? Could it possibly have been her in the shopping precinct?

Holly was working in the dining-room when Angela appeared, full of questions for her. Holly looked up in surprise at the inquiry about the boys in the precinct, but automatically agreed that yes, it had been her. She asked if the red-haired boy had been Ryan?

Angela nodded.

“And I can’t thank you enough, Holly. I’ll get him to come to see you himself to say thanks. You saved his bacon, I can tell you.”

“Don’t bring him, Angela,” Holly told her, once she’d had time to think. “You don’t want anyone thinking I was doing him any favours just because he’s your son. I think it would be best to keep this to ourselves. You and I both know I didn’t know who he was, but it might be harder to convince others.”

“Right,” Angela said. “I see what you mean. I’m just so grateful that you did what you did.”

The conversation moved on to what Ryan’s prospects were for the future.

“His birthday’s coming up, and I can’t see him staying on at school for much longer,” his mother said, anxiety surfacing again. “He got a right fright this time, but who knows how long it’ll last. I’d love him to get a decent apprenticeship somewhere, but they’re thin on the ground around here these days. Anyway, I’ll get on with the kitchen now. I just wanted to say thank you.”

Holly smiled.

“You’re welcome.”


As Angela left at her usual bustling speed, Holly’s smile faded, and a more thoughtful expression took over. Could there be something for Ryan at Dunskillen?

She tried to remember her conversations with Daniel about Eric and his determination to do everything himself, but there might well be a case for employing assistance. And no boy who loved the outdoors could have a better teacher than a seasoned gardener like Eric, albeit a grumpy one. It was none of her business, of course, but it might be worth thinking about.

Thinking about Dunskillen and its inhabitants was something she tried not to indulge in, especially since she still had done nothing about Mrs Harris’s garden design. Could Daniel know this Ken Guthrie? Could he actually have employed him to do the garden on his behalf? Holly doubted it.

There were far too many imponderables for her just to wade in and make accusations, though, especially when she had no idea whom to accuse. If it was a question of someone sneaking a look at Dan’s computer, all sorts of people might come into the frame. Eric and Maisie Taylor had the run of the place, and they did seem to like money, even if they didn’t do anything with it. Perhaps they had commitments that Dan didn’t know about, and which required funding. But would they steal Dan’s ideas? Holly doubted it.


Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!