9     Jack and the tramp 

Sick of being afraid, Jack confronts the tramp

Jack Hughes - schoolboy: hero

Thinking the tramp was back on old Gibson’s wall, Jack crept down the hall to the front door. Getting a fingernail under each side of the letterbox, he pulled it up to look out. Staring back were the tramp’s black, dead eyes.Screaming, Jack fell back; letting the letterbox slam shut. He lay on the carpet, shaking as the flap slowly opened. Feeling his mobile in his pocket was all the courage he needed. He would call the police.

He stood uppressing ninety-nine without even looking. All he had to do was press one more nine and tell the police who he was. His brother went missing a week ago. They would be round like a shot. Of course, they would.

Holding up his mobile to show the tramp peering through the letterbox, he cried out, “I’m going to phone the police, I am. They’re going to lock you up and throw away the key.”

from Chapter 6    Yesterday upon the Stair

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