Paula wondered whether Doug felt the same; tomorrow she would tell him she decided.
She slipped into bed and closed her eyes.
Billy Burston opened his shop on a Sunday at nine o’clock one hour later than usual
Ronnie had been open since seven thirty as usual. He liked to get the jump on his rival by getting the first customers. He had been thinking of a way to get back at Billy Burston after the manure incident that had cost him time and money.’
He had gone to the joke shop in North Shields on the bottom of Clive Street and come back with something that would keep his shop closed for days.
He sneaked out of bed not disturbing Morag it was five o’clock in the morning then slipped out the front door. He went to the front door of Burston’s shop and then took out the catapult he had bought he loaded it with a glass phial then opened the letter box and fired over and over. He sent the glass phials bursting into the shop until all twenty had been used.
He laughed away to himself as he went back into his shop then put on the kettle and made himself a cup of Brooke bond tea. It was over an hour later when all hell let loose in Burston’s shop The twenty phials were stink bombs and had his shop and his house reeking.
He opened all the windows and doors but the smell was so strong it had you gagging.
He mopped the floors with Jeyes fluid but it made no difference. He could not get shot of the smell.
Billy went into Hancock’s shop and told him he knew that it was him who had a hand in this and he would see his day with him. The argument carried on and they almost came to blows. Morag called the police and Billy Burston was forced to leave Hancock’s shop. Billy Burston’s was closed for nearly three days whilst the place was fumigated which cost Billy over a thousand pounds in lost business and he had to pay the council to fumigate the place. Luckily he was open for the Christmas and he opened for half a day on both Christmas day and Boxing Day and made up the money he’d lost.
Billy bided his time though and when the last day of the year fell Ronnie Hancock and his family travelled to Scotland where they celebrated Hogmanay. It was perfect because a lot of fireworks were set off that night. Billy waited just before twelve then came down with a petrol can he pour enough petrol through his letterbox Then lit a firework at the stroke of twelve and pushed it through the letterbox. Boom went the firework and up went the flames.
“Happy New Year you Scots bastard shouted Billy as fireworks were set off all over the estate.’
A half hour later both the shop and his house were gutted. A woman opening the front door for her first foot saw the flames rising out of the broken windows up stairs and called the fire brigade. Billy’s party was in full swing with music playing loudly when there was a knock at the front door and Sally answered it.
“Three burly firemen in uniform asked everyone to leave the house in case the fire spread.’
“I had better check my shop said Billy when he came down stairs.’
He got the keys then opened the front door to his shop and checked everywhere.’
“It seems to be okay.’