The Jolly Boys

Shirley Stephenson is a bored housewife who never stops day in day out, its the same humdrum existence. Bob her husband is a lazy good for nothing. who lost his leg in an industrial accident and is claiming benefit fraudulently. he keeps her short and moans because she goes to the bingo. Shirley finds the courage to file for a divorce and free herself. her life is suddenly transformed after she finds all of the compensation that Bob has been hiding from her. she orders a taxi she takes £30.000 and takes a box with some things that her gran had left her.

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18. 18

Shirley's heart sank as she thought that the man was going to say hundred.'

"On a good day at Sotheby’s Mrs Stephenson and if we can get the collectors from around the world on the telephones these will certainly fetch four million pounds. possibly more.'

"Pardon, said Shirley unable to swallow as her mouth had suddenly gone dry.'

"You never now Mrs Stephenson they could fetch even more it depends on the bidding. Now if you don't mind I would like to see the other antiquities you have brought.'

"They are only some Chinese vases and some small bowls said Shirley.'

"Please, may I  see them?'

Arthur unwrapped a small bowl, it was red blood in colour and had lotus blossoms all hand painted upon them. Are these all yours asked Arthur.'

"Yes, my grandmother left them to me they belonged to her mother I believe.'

He opened the two matching vases which were beautifully hand painted with samurai warriors hand painted on them again they were blood red. he took out his eye glass and scanned the markings underneath; then carefully set the vase down.

It was Arthur who was swallowing hard now as he cleared his throat. If these markings are correct which I believe they are; then they are from either the Qing or Tang Dynasty around the 10th century. They are highly sought after and collectable pieces Mrs Stephenson. If you were to permit me I would like to take all your collection and have it valued at Sotheby's if we were to handle the sale of all your antiques there would be a ten percent fee. is that agreeable by you?'

"That would be fine.'

Arthur made out a receipt listing every Item on Sotheby's headed notepaper. Let's hope we can do business together Mrs Stephenson. Arthur took down Shirley’s details then signed the receipt. You are going to be a very wealthy woman and I’m pleased that you have brought it all in for me to look at. it is very rare that I come across two rare finds in one place. Gary and Shirley shook hands again with Arthur and Henry.

They left the shop and Gary was gob smacked. "Did you hear what he just said Shirley?'

"Yes, I can't believe it.'

If the paintings are worth four million pounds what are the Chinese vases and bowls worth.'

"I thought he was only joking Gary.' let's not say anything to anyone until they are sold okay.'

"Of course, because if your husband finds out he will want half.’

"I am going to delay the sale of the pictures and other stuff until I see my solicitor first.’  

"When they got back to the house Shirley picked up the phone and dialled the number of Paul Dodd’s after a brief conversation he told her that he would send out a letter to her husband for him to sign stating that he would not come after her looking for any monies once they were divorced unless he wanted to go to prison for fraud. The quickie divorce only took three months after Shirley took out a loan to push it through the courts.

Once she was now officially divorced Shirley changed her surname to Miller.

A month after her divorce Shirley and Gary sat in on the auction in Sotheby’s in London as the first picture came up for auction.

"Lot number 234 a Laurence Stephen Lowry painting of Piccadilly Circus can I start the bidding at two million pounds. Two million five, two million ten, two million fifty on the telephone.' two million and fifty thousand pounds, anyone else in the room. Three million. we have three million on the telephone, anyone else. I have a bid of Four million pounds in the room. going once for four million pounds, going twice, there was a hushed silence as the auctioneer brought down the gavel.

“Sold to the gentleman on my left for four million pounds.’

Gary looked at Shirley as the next one came up for auction. The bidding continued leaving Shirley in total shock as the other three paintings sold for 11.5 million pounds. Then up came the Chinese porcelain.

All told the total value of the things her sister Kate had called old tat came to over 19 million pounds.’

She left the auction and the flew back to Newcastle Airport. "What am I going to do with  19 million five hundred thousand pounds after Sotheby's take their cut Gary.'

"You could start your own business; you could travel the world; the possibilities are endless.’

“The first thing I want to do is make sure that my family is well taken care of.’

"You can do that on the interest alone that you will receive each month.'

 "You can sell your home and move into some mansion if you so wish.'

"No, I like it here in Whitley Bay but there's nothing stopping you from selling yours and moving in with me.'

"Are you serious?'

"I've never been more serious in my whole life and you can quit your job as a driver too because we are going into the property developing business.’

 

"How did yyer ddate go then asked Rob Townsend when he saw Mickey Moat on the high street.'

"Not bad mate, not bad; I took her to this fancy restaurant and we had a couple of bottles of wine then I took her home in the taxi.

"Dddid yyou give hher one tthen.'

"No, we like kissed but that was all.'

"Wwwhat yyou wwined and DDined hher and ddidn't eeven get a shag.' "You ssseeing hher again tthen.'

"Yes,' as a matter of fact we are going to see McVicar with Roger Daltry, Adam Faith, and Cheryl Campbell tonight at the Odeon.

"Is it a mmusical like?'

"Musical,' do you honestly think I’d sit through a bloody musical Rob.’  "It's about John McVicar the armed robber who Escaped from Durham nick.'

"That'll be ccanny tthen.'

"Well you nnnever know, sshe might take you back to her house later.'

"Aye she might.' Look I’ve got to go Rob I’ll see you on Thursday night at the quiz.'

"Will you nnot be sseeing Molly like.'

"Yes, she’s working behind the bar.'

"Right, I'll see you Thursday nnight then.'

"See you Rob. Micky crossed the road and headed home. he wanted to have a long soak in the bath before heading out to meet Molly.' He didn't want to rush things with her because she would only think he was like all the others, just after getting his end away.' No, he really liked Molly and he figured she liked him too.

 He walked down to the bus stop for the bus that would take him to Denbigh Avenue. He stood in the queue then looked at the time table; there was one due in seven minutes.' Mick slipped over the road past the camera shop to the newsagents and bought the Evening Chronicle. There was a few more waiting when he returned but he wasn't bothered he'd get on. The bus to Howdon turned past Station Road stopping outside the cheap shop. Mick waited until a woman with a push chair got on. And an old guy with a walking stick before paying his fare. he sat near the back of the bus because some passengers were smoking a few seats in front of him.

Mick reached over and opened the window much to the behest of those smoking who now had a breeze of fresh air blowing in their faces.

"Do you have to open that window said one woman; its fuckin' freezing here.'

"Well I can't breathe with your cigarette smoke so I’m afraid it stays open until everyone finishes smoking their cigarettes.' Smoking on buses is unfair to those who do not. We don't want to breathe smokey air thank you very much.'

"Who are you to say where we can or cannot smoke?'

"Who are you to say that I am not entitled to clean air, I don't want your smoke polluting my lungs.' the driver was getting himself into a right panic because he thought that there was going to be trouble on his bus. The woman who complained dumped the cigarette butt out the window then lit another straight up and began blowing the smoke down his way on purpose.

Mick couldn't wait to get off at his stop and when he did the woman shouted "Prick"

"Yes, I’ve got one and without one you wouldn't even be here.' enjoy your day smiled Mick as he got off.'

The woman was now more annoyed than ever and began to stick her fingers up at him. Mick just laughed then walked on.

Walking into the house he dropped his shopping on the table then then went to the bathroom and ran himself a bath.

 

After a quick shave Micky got himself dressed in some smart black trousers a casual shirt and his black leather three quarter length jacket. He had ordered a taxi to Molly's house and when he got there she came straight out. He got off and let her in then got back into the cab and he told the driver to go to the Odeon picture house. Molly was full of chat as usual as she told him that she liked both Roger Daltry from The Who rock band and Adam Faith. The Taxi driver informed her that he'd see them both live. and Molly then conducted her chat to him.

When the taxi pulled up outside the cinema Micky paid him; he then turned and escorted Molly into the cinema. He paid for two tickets then he went to the counter where they were selling chocolates and drinks and bought her some. They walked up the stairs to the new cinema rooms that were not a big now as the old big screens. There were three rooms with about 100 seats; 25 in each aisle. The screen was about fifteen feet by ten. They sat through the adverts until the film started. These day's you only got to see one film and it cost £3.50p to get in which Micky thought was scandalous. They sat through the film hardly saying a word Micky never even got a kiss. The film to its credit was good and Micky enjoyed it. He stood up then walked to the end of the row then waited until Molly came out.

“Thank you she said politely then they walked back down stairs.’

"I won't be long I have to go to the loo sorry.'

Micky waited in the foyer until Molly returned and they walked up to the Haymarket.’

"Maybe we can get some fish and chips if you like said Micky.'

"Yes, that would be nice, there's a one over the road from "The Railway." It’s not far from my house.'

"Oh, I see.'

Micky hailed another taxi and told the driver to take them to the fish and chip -shop near the pub.

"It was now quarter to eleven.'

"Been anywhere nice said the driver.'

"Just to the pictures said Micky.'

"Any good?'

"Yes, it wasn't bad, Roger Daltry and Adam Faith in McVicar the most wanted man in Britain.'

 "I remember reading that book, he escaped from the nick didn't he?'

"That's the one.'

"I liked him in Jesus Christ Super Star better. with his long curly hair. he had it cut short for this one and it didn't suit him at all said Molly.'

"Well I thought he looked better with it shorter added Micky as the cab stopped outside the fish and chippy and again Micky paid the driver.

"I'll get the supper said Molly as they went in but Micky would not allow her to pay and paid for them.

They ate them in the open air as they walked along and then he wiped his hands on a tissue he had in his pocket. When they reached Molly's house in Walkerville; Molly turned to him and said "thank you for a wonderful evening.' and gave him a quick peck on the lips then hurried off into the house.'

Micky would have stayed in the taxi had he known that he wasn't going to be invited in. He walked to the nearest bin and dumped his rubbish. He saw a bus outside of Barclays bank and ran for it. He got to the stop as it was pulling away. looking at the time table he saw that the next one wasn't for half an hour. He carried on and walked to Blue Line Taxi office where he was informed that there wouldn't be a taxi for at least twenty minutes as they were all busy.

"It just summed up Micky's night.' He thought that he was like a fish out of water and didn't know what to do about Molly, should he have been a bit more forward and asked if he could come into her house. or would she think that he was a gentleman and like him all the more for it. The taxi came at nearly eleven thirty and just as he got in the bus turned up across the road. It would have saved him a few quid.'

He got in the house and undressed and went to bed feeling very frustrated with himself.

"When Thursday came he thought that he'd invite, Molly to his house for dinner the following evening. He knew that she would be off that Friday so on his way to the quiz he called in at the Anson to see if Brian Nicholson was in. Brian worked in the abattoir and always had steak and bits of beef to sell cheaply.

He spotted him sitting in the corner of the bar and wondered over.

“Hi Brian, how are you doing?'

"Alreet mate. I thought that you go to a quiz on Thursday's?'

"I do but I came out early to see you.'

"Me,' what have I done.'

“Nowt yer daft bugger, I've come to buy some meat off you.'

"Just sold the last pack I had on me Mick.'

"Shit, I was hoping to entertain a young lady tomorrow night like.'

"You’re a dark horse, you never told me that you had a bird.'

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