Subject: Stranger on a Train Chapter four This story is a work of fiction and no character in it is based on any real person living or dead. Where officials are described they are in no way intended to represent any real person who holds those offices, although I recognise that the Metropolitan Police does have some brave officers and that the “system”, however desensitised nowadays, does have some caring people within it. This story may include some sexual activity , though only of a gentle and loving nature, but there will be no graphic descriptions and those looking for pornography are advised to look elsewhere.There are pictures of some of the characters in this story on Jacob Lion’s website along with his story, “A Neglected Boy” also serialized on Nifty. If you like this story, you’ll certainly like his. You can find his website at: https://jacoblion.weebly/ If you wish to contact me for feedback, I can be reached ook. Nifty is kind enough to enable us to write and to read these stories so please consider making a donation. It costs money to run a site like fty/donate.html Stranger on a train Chapter four by Jonah The ride back to South Harrow in the police car was less frantic. Jenny was giving Monica a lift home, so Luke was in the back on his own. You could tell the boy was as shell-shocked as I was – and small wonder – he’d lost a mother and gained a father in a matter of hours. The judiciary couldn’t work that quickly, could it? “What just happened?” I said to Bob. He grinned. “The power of the district nurse….” he said. “What?” “Nurse Hardy nursed the judge’s children and grandchildren. I think he was already on our side because he knew all that activity from the police had to have a reason, but when he saw her sitting behind us, that clinched it. That’s why he didn’t let Jenny Fuller go through all the paperwork. As soon as he saw our Monica, he knew it wasn’t necessary.” “Wow!” I breathed, “remind me never to rub HER up the wrong way” “Not an easy thing to do,” said Bob grinning, “but if you ever did it – you’d know.” Ten minutes later we were sat drinking tea in the holy-of-holies, behind the bulletproof glass of South Harrow Police Station. The desk sergeant who I’d seen earlier sat down with us. “Congratulations Mr. Cummings,” he said, “and congratulations Luke.” “Just, Jonah”, I told him. “And I’m just Fred,” he responded, “Luke, Mrs Fuller just rang from Social Services. Now that you’re officially one of Jonah’s family there are just a couple of things she needs. She has to organize a birth certificate for you, because you don’t have one, but she needs to know what name you want on it. ” “Well my name of course” said a confused Luke. “That’s right”, said the sergeany patiently, “but what IS your name now? Do you want to carry on being Luke Calder, in memory of your mum, or do you want to be Luke Cummings, so that you feel more one of the family, or perhaps you’d like to do both and be Luke Calder-Cummings”. “Woah!” said the boy, “I ain’t doing that. I’ll just be Cummings, like my Dad”. Gentle reader, I should like , at this point, to write down words that would convey to you my feelings when I heard Luke say that; but neither the English language, nor any other language the whole world izmit escort wide, contains such words. To say that my cup of happiness ran over would be like saying that the North Pole is fairly cool. “Dad” said Luke on the train home. “What is it son? I said, “I can call you that now.” I got a black look. “All right Luke, what is it?” I said quickly. “I think I want to be a policeman when I grow up”. “If you do that my son,” I responded, “you’ll make me very proud, and if you change your mind and do something else, you’ll still make me proud”. He smiled as I gave his shoulder a quick squeeze. We arrived back at the flat just as Simon and Peter got off the bus. All four of us climbed the stairs together. Luke was chattering nineteen to the dozen, as he told his new step-brothers his news. As soon as we were in I collapsed on the sofa. Peter disappeared upstairs with his new brother, which left me and Simon. He at down beside me. “Are you worrried that this will change things Simon?” “Of course it will change things,” he replied.” He’s a good kid and we couldn’t have left him how he was”. “No,” I said, struggling to put my thoughts into words, “I meant that it will change things for you and Peter”. “You still love us don’t you?” It sounded more like a statement than a question. “Of course I do….” I began. “Well then,” he said,” love isn’t like sweets, where the more you give away the less you have left for everybody else. It’s more like playing the piano. The more you do it, the better you get at it”. “Simon,” I said, “where did you learn that?” “From a good man”, he replied. “Well this man”, I told him, “is taking you boys out for dinner, since we have something to celebrate. Where would you like to go?” “Shree Sai Vada Pav,” he replied,”but I don’t know if Luke likes Indian cooking”. “Luke eats anything,” I replied, “if you can call that hoovering-up thing he does eating”. It took a brisk walk to get us to Pinner, since we took a detour by Monica’s house, which was definitely out of our way. It was certain that Monica would have told the news to Joe and Miriam, but Luke insisted that he wanted to tell it to them in person. Of course that wasn’t the real reason. He was just looking for another chance to hold baby Jacob. Sometimes children are suckers for small babies, and I’d noticed earlier, when we picked Luke up from Monica’s, that he was definitely hooked. Of course I wasn’t unhappy about this, and neither were Simon nor Peter, when they finally persuaded Luke to share. Jacob, for his part, was perfectly content with the situation. He gurgled and bubbled happily at whichever child happened to be holding him. Joe proudly told the boys, “He really likes you, and he’s growing fast. He said his first word today.” “He’s five weeks old,” I told him.” It’s a bit early for him to be talking yet” “Oh, but he did”, Joe replied. “What did he say”, Simon wanted to know. “Bubb”, replied Joe. “That’s not a word, “said Luke, laughing. “It’s Swahili, ” said Joe, poker-faced. ” That is one clever boy. ” Simon grinned and lightly punched Luke in the arm. Luke burst out laughing again, and Jacob? He looked up at Peter and gurgled happily. Twenty minutes later we were seated at the Shree Sai Vada Pav, Pinner’s yahya kaptan escort best known Indian fast food Restaurant. The restaurant specialises in Mumbai street food of a vegetarian nature, and we all tucked in. We followed with a dessert of Chocolate flavoured kulfi – a sort of thick ice cream. All too soon it was all eaten and it was time for a gentle walk home. I had just paid the bill when my mobile phone rang. “Jonah Cummings”, I said to the device. “Mr. Cummings, my name is Carol Ward. I’m a case offficer for Social Services. Where are you?” “Not that it’s any of your business Ms. Ward, but I’m at dinner with my family”. “There is no need to take that attitude Mr. Cummings,” said the caller, “you are a probationary foster parent and the terms of your probation are that you have to grant reasonable access to Social Services so that they can ensure your son’s welfare”. I counted to ten. “Mr. Cummings?” “Ms. Ward”. I replied, ” you just said yourself ‘reasonable access’. Harrassing my family at this hour is not reasonable. We will be home shortly and, if you are still there I will ask a police officer to remove you. Go home Ms. Ward and I will check in with Social Services in the morning”. I shut off the phone before she could reply. When I returned to our table the boys were busy donning coats and scarves. All three could see that something was wrong and none of them believed my assurances that it was nothing. As soon as we were outside the restaurant I told them I was just taking a precaution, then I called South Harrow Police Station. Sergeant Boone was on the desk and he recognised my name. I told him the details of the call. “That doesn’t surprise me”, he told me. ” I know that woman. Two other kids are dead because of her. Can you get to Pinner Police Station?” I told him I could. “Right, ask for PC Blackstone”, he said, ” I’ll brief him on it now. I’ll also ring Bob Drage at home because he’ll want to know about this. Don’t worry Mr. Cummings. We’ve got your back”. It was a longish trudge to Pinner Police Station – an attractive red brick building with half-timbered gables. “You’ll be Jonah Cummings,” said the desk sergeant. “Joe Field, and I’m pleased to make your aquaintance. I saw your picture in the Gazette when you picked up Vijay Khan’s medal – and those two young gentlemen. Neil…..” he called suddenly, “your guests have arrived. PC Neil Blackstone turned out to be a pleasant young man in his mid twenties with green eyes that smiled readily and dark hair that looked as if he used oil or gel. “Come in Jonah – boys. Joe’s just boiled the kettle”. We followed him to a side room in which a tray of cups and saucers had been set out with a brown teapot on a table. Tubular framed chairs were arranged round the walls and Neil pulled some of them toward the table. “Make yourself at home folks. Shall I be mother?”, he said cheerfully. He poured and settled us down then sat down himself. “I’ve just had PC Drage from South Harrow on the phone, spitting feathers. I wouldn’t mind spitting a few myself, I can tell you. I’m going to give you a lift home,” he said, “in case this woman’s still hanging around. I’ve also alerted the Director of Social Services, and she’s gebze escort going to meet us there. No blues and sirens at this time of night I’m afraid boys. It’d wake too many people up.” He kept his blue lights on, however, as he drove us home. Jenny’s car was already parked outside. She wound down her window as we approached. “That’s her car parked over there”, she told us, “I’ll wait then follow you in.” “Come on then folks, she can’t keep you out of your home. I’ll go in front,” said Neil. We followed him up the stairs. On the top step sat a dapper brunette in a smart trouser suit. “Are you Ms Carol Ward?” Neil asked. She nodded carelessly. “Officer I don’t know what…..” she began “I have to ask you to get up from there and go home” Neil said. “Officer I am a case officer for social…..” she tried again. “Ms. Ward, I am telling you for the second time to get up and go home. There won’t be a third time. You say you are a case officer?” She nodded again. “”Then you’ll have your case notes. I don’t see any brief case or docket. Can I see your case notes” “Those are confidential” “Ms. Ward a case officer is an officer of the Crown. The penalty for impersonating one is a severe custodial sentence. Why are you here without your case notes?” She reached inside her jacket. “I have my ID,” she said, handing Neil a card. “Which only proves that you work for Social Services,. Neil said, pocketing the card. “It doesn’t prove that you are authorised to be here. Your case notes please?” For the first time she seemed unsure of herself. “I – I couldn’t find them”. “I could”, said Jenny, from the bottom of the stairs. She flourished a docket. “These are they, and they are my authority to be here. Where’s yours Carol?” “Director…..” said the hapless woman as Jenny came upstairs. “Carol, ” she said, ” twice before you’ve escaped manslaughter charges and I don’t know how, but you don’t give up trying do you? Now you will either walk out of here and go home, or this officer will take you to a cell for the night. Either way you are no longer a case officer. You can go back to filing. Report to Bill Edwards in the morning, unlerss the police have more pressing need of you.” The woman leapt to her feet. “This is all your fault”, she spat, pushing Luke in the chest. He staggered backwards but was caught by Jenny. “It looks like she’s leaving with you”, she said quietly. “Officer, do your duty”. Neil attached his cuffs to the woman’s wrists. “Carol Ward”, he said, “In the presence of these witnesses, I am arresting you for impersonating an officer of the Crown, for obstructing an officer, for assault, and for attempted murder. You have the right to remain silent, but it may harm your defence if, when questioned, you do not say something that you will later rely on in court. Do you understand?” The woman scowled as Neil led her downstairs. It was a somewhat tired crew who went to bed that night. Luke asked if he could sleep with me. Under the circumstances I didn’t feel I could refuse. “Dad,” he said after I turned out the light. I loved to hear him say that. “Dad. Thanks for being there for me.” “That’s what a dad’s for”, I told him as I kissed the top of his head. “Yeah!” he said, “and the police, and Mrs Fuller, and the judge, and Monica, and I think Joe and Miriam and Simon and Peter, all these people are there for me. I never had anyone there for me before”. I hugged him. It wasn’t a moment for words. All I could say was, “Goodnight son”.

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