All alone with Anne’s Mother, not the Woman with the Lamp but certainly the one with the money, Les had known all along there would be a price to pay. But who cared? He was more than happy to throw honour out of the window and anything else that was surplus to requirements.
Les and Anne’s Mother Betty eventually emerged from the bedroom hand in hand; both were silent as they made their way to the settee. ‘Care for a refill?’ asked Betty as she handed him his empty glass. And passing him the bottle she suggested, ‘Help yourself’. And with that she headed straight to her sideboard. Rejoining Les on the settee Betty stroked his thigh somewhat provocatively and as she opened her chequebook, she smiled benignly as she began to write. She was more than happy to honour her part of the deal.
Later that night, as he cycled home, Les paused on Stoke Bridge and as the lights from the riverside pub played gently on the ripples of the slowly moving river just beneath him he reached for that little piece of paper he had so meticulously put in to his inside jacket pocket. With immense satisfaction he read out loudly to himself the words that were clearly written out on Betty’s cheque. Firstly his own name then those magical words, ‘One Thousand Pounds Only’. He had to admit he was, for the first time in his life, rich beyond compare and somewhat callously concluded that there could be more to come if he played his cards right.
As the weeks and months went by Les found himself spending more and more time at Flegg Green. Now the proud owner of an Austin Seven Saloon his cycling days were a thing of the past. Visits to see Anne, let alone her Mother, were now commonplace. He still found time to call in at his beloved Social Club meeting up with his old friend Stan who at every opportunity lost no time in telling him he couldn’t afford to buy a car on his farm workers wages and couldn’t understand how he could. When one night Les confided to Stan that he had won just a small amount on the pools. His friend gave him the same suspicious look as Anne had done when he told her the same story. By mid-summer, life had settled into a somewhat routine pattern. Anne and Les spending many a happy evening swimming and lounging around on the river bank just under Stoke bridge before adjourning to the nearby Bull Pub for the odd glass or two.
Anne enjoyed tennis, a game, which had little appeal for Les, so swimming had occasionally to take a back seat when Anne went off to the Factory Sports Club.
The ever-resourceful Betty, with Les’s interests and her investment very much at heart, would lose no time in inviting him over. “I shall be on my own. All my husband thinks about is his bowls; he’s never here”. Being alone with Betty he was never as relaxed as he would like. He knew only too well that, either her husband or Anne could return sooner than expected, and the chances of finding them both in a compromising situation could almost be guaranteed. Such was Betty’s almost insatiable!
Les knew he was playing a dangerous game but at least it was paying dividends. What more could he wish for? A gorgeous girl friend and a prospective mother-in-law who was more than willing to throw her money around and some of it in his direction. But even Les could not forecast the events which were about to unfold……