“Do you know Humphrey’s in North Shields.’
“No, not off hand but I can make some enquiries for you;’ discretely of course.’
“Could you do something else for me too?’
“Could you find out who the mother was of George Martin who was killed at Artois in France. His date of birth is the 19th May 1889.
“For any particular reason?’
“Yes, I believe a friend of mine is the mother of an adopted child who my aunt is now looking after.
“Has she seen the child since she was born?’
No Gerry, but she longs to be reunited with her.’
“So what is the name of the child?
Leave this with me and I will get back to you within the week when we will have dinner together.’
“Thank you Gerry you have been a great help.’
Think nothing of it; we had better be getting back your Aunt will be wondering where on earth we are.
Muriel and Gerald returned to the hall to find her aunt in deep conversation with the Mallory family or so Gerry informed her.
“Sorry Aunt for leaving you so long but Gerry was telling me a fascinating story about one of his cases.’
Don’t you worry about me Muriel dear, just go, and enjoy yourself.
“Would you care to dance Muriel asked Gerald.’
“Alright, but I’m not that good mind you.’
There was a five piece band playing in the large hall with a young black singer called Pappy Jackson. He went through an array of songs by Al Jolson; then sang Ain’t misbehaving,’ My blue heaven,’ and then it livened up with “Basin Street blues.’ before Muriel went to a chair and sat down to get her breath back.’
“That was fun said Muriel.’
“You’re not a bad hoofer as they say.’
“Why thank you kindly Muriel said in a southern drawl meant to imitate someone from New Orleans.’
Gerry laughed and told her that she was the most refreshing person that he’d ever met.’
Gerald brought more drinks over and even though se was thirsty sipped on the champagne.
“So Gerry do you live far from here.’
“Actually I have a bungalow on Coton Road, I would like to show you it sometime. There is a canal nearby and I could take you on “Bessie” my boat.’
“Really that would be nice.’
“How about tomorrow, I have a few days off. It would give me a chance to make those enquiries you asked me for too.’
“I would like that.’
“Could I pick you up at say ten o’clock tomorrow morning, we could have lunch aboard “Bessie, then travel down the canal.’
“That sounds exciting Gerry.’
“Will you have to ask your aunt first?’
“No,’ I am nearly twenty one and I can take care of myself.’
After six glasses of champagne Muriel tried to stand up and her legs were a bit shaky.