COTSWOLD’S CAPERS By Ray Abinett

The Tiger Moth Bi-Plane swept low over the snow covered landscape of Windrush Valley in the Cotswold’s, its fixed wheels almost touching the tops of the stone walls and hedgerows that surrounded the many fields. Bono Stewart, the pilot of the aircraft laughed as he saw old Wally Sedgwick duck thinking he would be struck by the wheels, and losing his cap as he threw himself to the ground. The Tiger Moth climbed away into the sky leaving Wally smothered in snow and waving his fist and swearing as it disappeared into the distance.

‘I’ll get my own back on that idiot if it’s the last thing I do.’ Wally mumbled to himself as he stumbled away towards the Red Dragon Pub.

If hadn’t been for the bad weather he would normally have used his old Ford Avenger car to get to the pub from his small farm, but it was past it’s sell by date and not suitable for such weather conditions, so he had decided to walk. It wasn’t the first time he had been buzzed by bono in his Tiger Moth, and the other framers in the area were also up in arms because of it.

Bono Stewart was a shares dealer in the City of London and had bought an impressive Manor House near to Bourton-On-The-Water, a pretty village located in a valley amongst the gentle rolling hills of the Cotswold’s. As he was a Londoner at heart he was a stranger to the traditions of country life, and had only bought the house in order to impress his peers at the offices of Trottcliffe-Trottcliffe-Herbert and Jones, where he worked. He had obtained his pilots licence two years before, having always been interested in flying from when he was boy. The Tiger Moth was a recent purchase after he had made a killing on the stock exchange and earned himself a large bonus. Bono Stewart was not a nice man to know as his previous girlfriends could tell you. He was selfish, self opinionated and talked of nothing but himself, and what he had accrued financially.

His last girlfriend Molly, a pleasant friendly girl, a native of Bourton-On-The-Water, had been badly let down after she had been pressured by him to invest in some overseas shares. He had told her;

‘They can’t fail Old Girl, they will double in value in a couple of months, take my word for it.’ and grinned as he handed her the papers to sign.

Well as you might have guessed, they didn’t, and Molly lost ten thousand pounds. When she confronted him, she said;

‘I thought you said these were Cast Iron, Bono. What are you going to do about it, I think you aught to at least take some of the responsibility for my £10,000 loss. You know I can’t afford all that money.’

Bono looked aghast at her and replied;

‘It doesn’t work like that old love; you puts your money in, and if your lucky you win; if not then it’s the chance you take.’ and turned as if to walk away.

Molly was fuming at his arrogance, she had thought he loved her but saw she had been wrong.

‘You listen to me Bono, I’m not going to let you get away with this, you’ll see.’

Bono wasn’t at all concerned, he had made his commission on the deal and that was all that mattered. As far as he was concerned, love, nor conscience ever entered into his business deals.

‘Sorry old Love, gotta dash I’m expected at the airfield to fly off to work. I assume I won’t see you again….ta ta.’ and walked away sniggering.

Molly watched angrily as he jumped into his Jaguar XK suped up saloon, hooting the horn as he drove off; the car slithering in the fresh layer of snow that had fallen overnight.

This had been a couple of days ago, and every time she thought about Bono and his attitude over the shares, and money she had lost, she got angrier and angrier. On the day that Wally Sedgwick had been buzzed by Bono in his Tiger Moth she decided to visit the Red Dragon pub for a drink to try and settle her temper down, and to plan her revenge. Snow was falling again as she got to the pub.  When she walked through into the snug bar she saw her Uncles friend, Wally Sedgwick, sitting by himself in front of a friendly looking log fire burning in the hearth, a very welcome sight considering the weather outside. He was nursing an empty glass and looking down at the table, his thoughts seemingly miles a way.

‘Hello Wally, can I get you another drink?’ she said as she lowered the snow covered hood of her anorak and shook it.

‘Ay Molly lass, that’s right good of you.’ and passed his empty glass to her.

After Molly got the drinks she sat down at Wally’s table;

Passing his pint of Guinness to him, she said ‘Have you got problems Wally?’

Wally knew that Molly was going out with Bono so he was hesitant to say too much about what had just happened to him.

‘I don’t know if I should tell you all my problems lass.  You may not like them.’

Molly was intrigued and eventually she got him to tell her the full story of how he was frequently buzzed by Bono in his Tiger Moth, and how it caused the sheep on his small farm to become distressed. He had lost several due to Bono’s antics.

‘Well I am afraid I have also good reason not to like Bono, Wally’ and she told him about her situation with the shares.

Wally was amazed at Molly’s story and felt sorry for her, and said

‘What a lousy trick, I suppose we couldn’t join forces lass and get our own back on him somehow; do you?’

‘That’s not a bad idea. All we have to do is work out how and what way.’ replied Molly.

‘I’ve been sitting here trying to work out what, but haven’t come up with anything yet.’ said Wally.

‘Well his biggest weakness is money and making it; also possessions. As you can see from the Tiger Moth he just loves to own something other people haven’t got.’ replied Molly.

‘Is there anything you can think of Molly, that he would really like to own, and pay anything for the privilege?’ asked Wally.

Molly sat sipping her drink and trying to think back to some of the conversations she had had with Bono, as she did this she opened her handbag to get a tissue out but stopped staring at a key sitting at the bottom of the bag, and then she had an idea.

‘Wally, you have three sons don’t you? Do you think they would help us to get our revenge on Bono Stewart?

Wally looked at Molly and without hesitation, said; ‘Yes, and three strong lads they are too, their a great help around the farm. What were you thinking then lass?’

.         Molly explained her plan and as she did so Wally’s eyes grew bigger and bigger and he nearly choked on his glass of Guinness. But when he stopped coughing, he wholeheartedly agreed it was a great idea.

Bono liked his holidays abroad, and frequently spent several days at a time in Lanzarotte at a friend’s villa. Several weeks after Molly and Wally had discussed Molly’s plan Bono flew off for one of these breaks.

When he returned a week later to his house he was shocked as he went through the front door. Nearly every item of furniture had gone, and the rooms echoed with the sound of his footsteps as he rushed from room to room, distraught at seeing the empty house. All the thieves had left behind was an antique clock on the fireplace mantle shelf in the lounge. He stopped and stared at an envelope propped against it addressed to Mr Bono Stewart. He quickly opened it and read;

Dear Mr Stewart,

          If you want to see your furniture again we will willingly tell you where it is stored for the price of £26,000, which is considered cheap as you had some good stuff in the house. We especially like the Claris Cliff crockery you had in the glass cabinet. We were careful with it for we know how valuable this is.

By the way, don’t contact the Police, because if you do you will not see it again.

          To confirm your agreement to this, just put a For Sale advert for a Tiger Moth Bi-Plane on EBAY for the sum of £45720.00. Arrangements will then be made with you for the furniture deal to be completed.

Oh – and by the way make sure you complete the sale of the Tiger Moth as we have this to, and its whereabouts will disclosed to the successful buyer; overseen by us of course. The local residents have requested this so they can get some peace and quiet from your incessant buzzing of sheep and population. As for the furniture, you will not see the Tiger Moth again if you contact the police.

Lastly it might be a good idea to consider moving back to London.

Yours Sincerely

The Country Lovers

Bono saw no alternative but to agree with the requirements of the letter, thinking that at least he would get the money from the sale of the tiger Moth Bi-Plane. But it wasn’t to be, for the perpetrators arranged for the £45720.00 to be paid into a special PayPal account that was instantly deleted after the sale.

When Wally met up with Molly at the Red Dragon pub after the deal had been made, she was pleasantly surprised when he handed her the full £10000 she lost on her shares, plus a bonus of £500 for distress caused. He informed her that Bono was moving back to London and that most of the £45720.00 from the sale of the Tiger Moth had been given to a local children’s charity.

‘You didn’t have any problems then Wally?’

‘No lass. Using my farm tractor it was easy towing the Tiger Moth out of the hanger and hide it with a screen of foliage the other side of the airdrome. In fact it was a piece of cake. My boys worked really hard, and enjoyed every minute.’

‘I hope you gave them something for their hard work?’  said Molly.

‘Oh yes; their happy enough lass.’

‘By the way here’s the key to Bono’s house that you lent Me.’ said Wally handing over the key to Bono’s house which she had forgotten to return to him after their break up.

‘Thanks Wally, I’ll post it to the new owners of his house.’

So peace returned to the Cotswolds, and everyone, apart from Bono, was happy. A few days, later as Molly walked through the village she laughed as Wally, driving a brand new red Toyota Yaris, honked at her as he went past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About highamwriters

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