The Ferryboat – Episode 27

I’M going to stay up for a bit. Me and Ed are going to play cards,” Louise said at eleven o’clock as Judy headed for bed. Tom was still in the lounge with some visitors who apparently didn’t realise that hotel owners needed to sleep sometimes.

“OK, sweetheart.” It would seem that Louise was an owl as well as a lark when it suited her.

Judy fell asleep instantly but half woke when Tom slid in beside her.

“What’s the time?” she asked sleepily.

“Just after one. Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Louise and Eddie still up?”

“Gone for a walk in the moonlight. I left the back door unlocked.”

“Very romantic.” Was there moonlight tonight, she wondered. Without it Eddie and Louise would be stumbling about in the dark. There were no street lights in Lorn. She dozed in and out of sleep worrying about them.

* * * *

“Mum. Dad.”

Was that Louise standing by the bed, or was she dreaming?

“Is something wrong?” she asked, nudging Tom at the same time.

“Me and Ed have had an adventure. Roberta’s downstairs.”


“And the police are on their way,” Louise said, forgetting to whisper.

“What! Are you all right? Is Ed OK?” Still not fully awake, Judy got out of bed and reached for her dressing-gown.

“’Course. We found . . . Can you come down and we’ll tell you.”

Judy reached for Tom’s hand. What on earth had happened?

Downstairs in the kitchen Louise and Eddie burst into their story, taking turns to tell how Eddie had wanted to walk across the bridge before it was officially open and Louise suggested they try at night when there was no-one around. Except there was someone. Someone throwing something off the bridge into the water. It seemed odd. Neither Louise nor Eddie had their phones with them but they saw a light on in one of the cottages and knocked . . .

“Couldn’t sleep.” Roberta took up the story. “I phoned Donnie and we went for a look. And there was the culprit of

all this mischief-making.

Donnie . . . ”

“Donnie was great,” Eddie interrupted, his eyes glittering with excitement. “He got a hold of the guy and managed to lock him in the hut. He’s keeping guard outside.”

“So was it Jim?” Tom asked. “I wondered if he was blaming Donnie when it was actually himself.”

“No,” Roberta said, as triumphantly as Hercule Poirot pointing an accusing finger in the library. “It was the foreman, would you believe? Why? Who knows? But there’s no doubt. We caught him red-handed.”

Judy looked at Eddie. So much for thinking he was a sensible boy. But Louise was just as much to blame for the escapade.

Tom seemed to be taking a different view.

“I wish I could have been there,” he said. “Good old Donnie! I’ll get dressed and go and keep him company.”

“I’ll put the kettle on,” Judy said. It was going to be a long night.


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