No Greater Love

Stephanie Cole is a girl who loves the spotlight. She will do anything to get it, anything at all. But when suspicions arise about her life and her being the cause for a former teachers suicide she is all too quick to run from her love of the light. But when she is reported missing it falls to Detective Inspector Henry Quinton and his DC Wilson Drake to find her before something terrible happens. Soon St. Grandorf's school for girls is back to normal and Stephanie is home again yet when she is found murdered there are a number of suspects for Quinton to look at before he can find the true perpetrator of this terrible crime....

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12. Stephanie and Scruffy have an interesting conversation

Chapter Twelve:

 

Stephanie and Scruffy have an interesting conversation

 

Not a word had been spoken since Susan had decided to leave the cluttered house some thirty minutes previously. However, this was about to change. Stephanie was still only a teenager, and teenagers get bored. They get very bored and they get very bored very quickly. And though the noise of the violin was quite nice for a while it quickly became annoying (the player only knew one small song). It was at this point that the extremely annoyed and extremely bored Stephanie decided to put her foot down…

“For God’s sake will you please stop with that violin!”

Immediately the man stopped, he slowly placed it back into its box and cleared his throat. He didn’t turn to face Stephanie but still he started a conversation with her.

“Are you a religious woman?”

“No. not really.”

“What do you mean “not really” you either are or you aren’t.”

“Then if that is the case, I am no religious believer. Why do you ask?”

“It’s just that you and the almighty seem to be quite close.”

Stephanie’s face wrinkled up into a ball of confusion.

“I reckon that neither you nor I shall ever know what God enjoys or what he doesn’t. So don’t use God as an excuse to better yourself!” Still he didn’t look at her.

“Are you religious?”

“I have a name.”

“And so do I!”

“Then why don’t we both use them, hello Stephanie.”

“Hello there Scruffy.” It was now that he turned around to her and shook her warmly by the hand. She smiled at him.

“I am quite religious, yes.” The scruffy man said.

“But you just said that you either are or you aren’t. And now you’re saying that you’re “quite religious”.” Again a wrinkled ball of confusion came upon Stephanie’s face.

“You learn fast. Not like some of the others that I’ve had. Took ‘em ages to even realise that I was contradicting myself.”

“Susan said you were a….a…what are they called?” Stephanie asked herself.

“A tosher. I’m a tosher. And you are a missing school girl.”

Stephanie’s smile fell from her face.

“Why are you here?” Scruffy took from his coat pocket a small silver flask, it smelt like whisky. It was a familiar smell to Stephanie as her father was an avid whisky drinker.

“Because I haven’t got anywhere to go.” Stephanie turned down Scruffy’s offer of a swig of whisky smelling liquor. Scruffy chuckled at hearing this and limped over towards a large rectangular oak cupboard on the left hand side of the wall.

Stephanie was puzzled by the man’s limp but didn’t get chance to ask why or how it had come about, for it was Scruffy who had begun to talk. He limped back over towards her with a small leather bound book in his left hand. Stephanie was perplexed and eager to find out what the little book was.

“You have got somewhere to go.” Scruffy had begun to flick through the book; he sat down on one of the chairs that were piled high against the right hand side of the wall.

“Where?” Stephanie asked.

“It is the place from where you came.” Scruffy didn’t look up.

“I do miss it a little I suppose.” Stephanie confessed.

“Honour your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the lord your God has given you.” Scruffy looked up and starred into Stephanie’s eyes as he said this. Stephanie straightened up and cleared her throat.

“Mister Scruffy.”

“Yes?”

“I want to go home.”

Scruffy nodded and stood up. The strolled together.

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