Under The Streets Of London – Episode 19

Seamus shivered.

“Fair point. I just worry, you know?”

“I know. We all do, but messing around with slimy types like Eugene Thetford isn’t the answer. What we need to do is find the boss first thing tomorrow and make sure we volunteer for whatever clearing-up jobs are going – show them we’re useful.”

Seamus nodded slowly.

“You’re right, Niall, I know you are. I don’t know how I’d get on without you, lad.”

Niall grinned and laid an arm over his brother’s shoulders.

“Good job you don’t have to, eh? Anyway, we’re going to be famous, remember?”

“Those photographs? I don’t know about that, Niall. I reckon the company will never go for it.”

“They might. We’ll find out tomorrow.”

They had made an appointment to meet Miss Rutherford at her offices at five tomorrow to “discuss the project”.

Niall could hardly wait. He was dying to see the camera – he had heard wonderful things about them – and he had to admit he was dying to see Miss Rutherford again, too.

“She’s too good for you.” Seamus’s voice broke into his happy thoughts.

“Who is?”

“You know who – the pretty Metropolitan girl.”

“Who said I was interested?”

“You did, before the trench collapsed.”

“I just said she was pretty, which she is. I can look, can’t I?”

“You can look,” Seamus agreed, “just don’t get any ideas. I don’t want you hurt.”

Niall grinned.

“Very caring of you, big brother.”

Seamus punched at his arm.

“Not really. I just don’t want you to let your mind stray from the job before we’ve got enough money.”

Niall nodded. Seamus did have a point. That smart young man now poring over papers with the other engineers had been at Miss Rutherford’s side. Not that she’d seemed exactly with him, not in the courting sense, so maybe . . .”

“Niall! Snap out of it, man. Look, this lass here is far more your level.”

Seamus nudged him as the dark-haired girl from the grocer’s window came their way. She was leading a child in each hand, but as she noticed them looking over she shooed the youngsters on ahead of her and sidestepped towards Niall.

“I’ve seen you in the trench, haven’t I?” she said, directly to him. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

“I am, miss, yes, thank you.”

“Miss!” She giggled, a tinkling sound. “That sounds so posh. I’m Violet.”

She stuck out a slim hand and he took it, unsure whether to shake it or kiss it. Thankfully she gave a firm shake, somehow pulling herself a little closer to him at the same time.

She was pretty. Not in the open, intelligent way Miss Rutherford was, but with a certain dark charm, and a definite twinkle in her eye.

“Pleased to meet you, Violet. I’m Niall and this is my brother Seamus . . . oh!”

Seamus had disappeared.

“Maybe he thought we wanted to chat alone,” Violet suggested coyly.

“Maybe,” Niall agreed, feeling slightly awkward. He was used to having to make all the running with young women.

“You’re from Ireland?” she asked now.

“We are.”

“I love your accent. It sounds like you’re singing.”

“It does? Be thankful I’m not – I’ve no ear at all.”

“Oh, I can’t believe that.”

She smiled up at him and he laughed. This girl was bold, but she was here and she seemed fun, and what else had he to do with work cancelled?

“Can I buy you a drink?”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.