"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


41. 41

George was standing up and he kept looking out of the window of the upstairs house. It was fifteen minutes later when a navy-blue Ford pulled up outside. The driver stayed inside with the engine running. George couldn’t see the man’ s face as he wore a trilby. He looked tall but that could have been because of the long coat he was wearing. Bob went down the stairs to let him in.

George and Brian stood up and had their guns ready to fire as the man came up the stairs.

George still couldn’t see his face until he got to the top then they saw him. He looked like a Jamaican which surprised all three men.

This is Clive O’Bannon he’s from Portland in Jamaica. He is our contact for getting rid of your merchandise.

“Do you really think that we are going to hand over thirty- five grands worth of gear without some kind of guarantee?

“You have my word as gentleman.’ said the broad- shouldered man who looked as though he could handle himself in a fist fight.

“That’s no good to me said Edward.

“What do you suggest Mr. Thompson?

Well we show you the gear and then you bring the money and we make an exchange.

“The man I work for doesn’t deal like that. I take him the stones and he then will give you a price for them. Don’t forget he has to get buyers.’

“We are aware of that and we think that we are being very generous giving him five thousand pounds. He won’t get a better deal not around here.

“May I see the Jewelry that you have?

George pulled out the velvet bag and tipped the haul onto the table gently and the man’s eyes lit up as he gazed at the diamonds.

Clive O’Bannon took out his loupe and pair of tweezers. He picked up each stone individually to check the quality and to see how carats there were then he looked for flawed stones. Each ring or diamond necklace was checked and it took the Jamaican some time before he agreed that they were the finest quality stones he’d seen for a long time. Clive asked if he could make a call which did but no mention of who he was speaking left his lips.

After a five- minute conversation it was agreed that the men would get thirty thousand pounds in cash. Just a moment said Clive. He stood up and so did Brian and George.

“Relax gentleman give me a moment and I’ll get you your money.

“You mean you had the money all along said Brian?

Yes,’ but I had to make sure the diamonds weren’t fake.

Clive went down to the car and then the driver came back with him carrying the case. Once they got upstairs the case was opened whereupon George counted it. It was in low denomination notes. Even Edward swallowed hard when he saw the money. He’d never seen that amount of cash in the whole of his life. The exchange was made and the Jamaican and the driver disappeared.

“So, what’s your cut in all of this Bob,

“I might get a ton if I’m lucky.’

“To the winner the spoils eh.’ said Edward with a smirk on his face. He was about to pick up the case but George stopped him.

I’ll take that Da,’ I mean, we don’t want you falling down those stairs do we.

Edward conceded and allowed George to carry the case.

See you later then Bob said George as they left. Keep your eyes peeled now because they might try and bush whack us.

Da’ this isn’t a western with Tex Ritter. Brian just drive I’ll keep my eyes open.

They drove back to the lock up. This time they hid the money in the roof space after taking out one hundred pounds each.

“Now,’ we leave that money alone for six months right; then when the heat is off us we can come down here and divvy it up then go our separate ways. Don’t go splashing that ton around Brian or the old bill will be onto us in a flash. If you are lifted, say you won the money in a card game. They will come sniffing around shortly, I can tell you so be ready with your alibi. Mind you they might not even suspect us because we are just small- time thieves right Da’

 “That’s right.’

This has got to be the biggest job ever pulled around here. I’m mighty proud of you lads. Come on let’s go and celebrate.’

“Like I said, don’t flash the cash put a fiver in your pocket and the rest in your inside pocket of your jacket.

Da’ if you’re playing cards don’t start bragging with tenner’s bet low like you always do and say nothing. The old Bill will have their snouts out looking for any information so we have to keep our mouths closed.  Thirty years from now we can sit and laugh when people talk about it in the pub. We will be bloody heroes because we never got caught.

They walked into the Red Lion and George went to the bar. “Three pints of mild.’ George looked around the bar to see if there were any strangers just sitting around earwigging. He paid for the beers with the fiver he had in his pocket then got his four pounds seventeen shillings and five pence change. He stood at the bar talking to John Kimber and Stan Chambers.

“Anybody been sniffing about Stan?

“Not since I’ve come in there hasn’t Georgie.’

John Kimber looked at Stan and said you haven’t been on the rob, have you?

“Don’t be daft, I gave that up years ago.’ No,’ I just thought the old bill would be looking around for the gang that pulled that Jewellry job.’

“That’ll be no one from around here Georgie lad, that’ll be a team from up the smoke like that council offices robbery. Stroke of genius though who ever pulled them jobs.’

They must have planned them to perfection said Stan. I mean it takes a lot of brain power to pull big job like that. Not like us petty thieves eh Georgie.’

“Aye your right there said George as he grinned then took a sip of his ale.

Edward was doing alright at the card table and Brian finished his pint then told his brother that he was off to see Lorraine.

“Keep your eyes on the job then, and give her one for me won’t you.’

Stan and John laughed, “has your kid got himself a bird?

“Aye, some new clippie on the number 68.’

“I’ve seen her, a right little bombshell an all.’

“Time, you were getting’ yourself a bird anyway.’

“Don’t you two start I’ve got enough with my Da’

“Give me another three pints Betty will you.’

Betty leaned on the pump then looked over a George suggestively.’ That’ll be three bob Georgie.’

George took out his change and paid her. She would get no free drink from George.

“Cheers said Stan and John.’

George stood at the bar until nearly eleven o’clock then drove the van back over to Peggy’s.

“What’s for supper this evening said George?

November 1956

The bitterly cold weather started to chill the bones of Elizabeth Thompson. She ached from head to foot, her head was pounding and her nose blocked. Filling up the kettle she made herself a hot lemonade and added a Beechham’s powder. She hated the winter weather now that she was a pensioner. When she was young it had been so different. She remembered playing on her sledge that her father had made for her and having snowball fights with the other kids in the street. Her hands and feet would freeze but she didn’t care. Nearing the Christmas, she sat around the table making Christmas decorations out of crepe paper and old newspapers sometimes painted in different colours and glued together. She and her mother would sit and write out Christmas cards to her school friends and neighbours all hand made using bits of holly berries and mistletoe. Sometime her mother would buy her some glitter from Woolworths. Elizabeth would then meticulously draw around reindeers from father’s newspaper cutting them out after painting them and then stick them on the insides of the cards with wallpaper paste. She would spend many hours. Helping her mother wrap Christmas gifts.

Sipping her hot drink, she then wiped her nose with a handkerchief. How she missed her parents.

Her father Michael Oliver was lost to the Second World War. He was a merchant seaman and his ship the Valliant was sunk in 1915. She was only 24 years old and had only been married a year. She remembered coming around to her mother’s house after tea and the postman had already been to deliver the telegram informing her that Michael was lost at sea and there was little hope of finding him or his crew.  Her mother was crying in the kitchen. Her older brothers William and Peter were both away fighting in France at the time. They were both allowed a week’s leave for the funeral. Not that his body was ever recovered. They held a service in the local church for all the 42 men lost at sea. Her mother never got over the death of her husband. She tried to carry 

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