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The Girl With A Bicycle 30


The girl With A Bicycle - 30 By Wandering Lanes

(Story codes No-sex, slow)

I was sitting in the living room - with me was Maria from the local
Social Security office and DS Nichols of the police. Nichols turned to me.
"Is it okay if I phone in, I'll get the boys in blue out onto the streets -
I think I can swing this as Becky was on the at_risk register."

I nodded to give my assent and he picked up the phone, I turned to
Maria. "Becky was on the at_risk?"

She nodded then said, "But that was before Darren's attack! Since Becky
is now a ward of court and with foster parents she has been down graded,"
she looked at Nichols, "But don't tell them that until after we find her."
She grabbed my hand, "Don't worry Mike - we will find her." I looked down
at the hand, then along my wrist - The radios!

I looked at both Maria and Nichols, "I'm a fool!"

They both looked at me questioning my statement, I showed the radio. I
pressed the talk button. "Becky can you hear me," there was no reply, I
tried a different approach. "Kylie this is Uncle Mike, Becky is hiding, do
you know where she is?"

Becky's voice then came over the receiver. "DON'T TELL HIM KYLIE, YOU

Kylie's voice could then be heard. "I'm sorry Uncle Mike, I did promise
Becky that I wouldn't tell, and you did say to keep a secret."

I tried to convince her. "Kylie I did say that if someone was in
trouble then it was okay to tell."

But Becky had other plans, "Don't tell him Kylie, I'll be in worse
trouble if you do."

I jumped in. "No Becky, you're not in trouble, you're just confused,
it's normal, please tell us where you are, I'm worried about you."

Her reply was short, "NO. And Kylie don't tell them okay?"

Kylies response wasn't what I wanted to hear, "Okay Becky I did

I shook my head - Maria held my hands again. "Don't worry Mike, Kylie
doesn't know how serious the situation is?"

Nichols added "Well I've asked for all the uniforms and cars available
to keep an eye out for Becky, we'll find her." But I remembered what Becky
was saying to Kylie on that Sunday when we had her parents round, 'see I
told you it was a great place!' it had to be close by, but where?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I pushed the talk button,
"Becky, where are you"

Her angry voice answered "Go away Mr. Mike, I don't want to go back and
that's what you'd tell me to do," I looked at Maria who nodded her head.

I answered her "Yes, Becky, I won't lie, you will have to go back to
your foster parents, but its only for a short time, I promise," Should I
tell her, yes I had to, "Becky I'm trying to adopt you, but I can't if we
can't find you"

I could hear her sobs over the radio "I'd like to believe you Mr. Mike,
but I just can't, I'm sorry, Mr. Mike but I don't want to talk to you,

"Becky, Becky answer me please," no reply, I looked at Nichols, "She's
switched off." Then I thought 'Switched off? How? -what did Greg say,
remote tracker. Of course!' I reached for my mobile phone, Nichols looked
on in astonishment.

"Greg's electrical outlet..." I never gave him a chance,

"Greg, Mike here - get those instructions for the radios, find the
section on remote tracker, Don't ask I haven't got time."

My voice must have shown my anguish because after a few seconds Greg's
voice came back, "Okay Mike, on the master radio tune into the frequency,
now press the 'find me' and broadcast buttons together, hold until the
radio bleeps twice, then press tracker." - I wrote down the instructions
and read them back to Greg who agreed with my check.

I phoned up Sharon, when she answered I had to say, "Sharon can you
re-tune your radio, it doesn't matter which frequency as long as its not
our private one!"

She didn't ask why but a few seconds later she said, "Done," then she
asked, "Why Mike?"

I told her, she thought for a moment then said, "What about Kylie, would
she know where Becky might be?"

I said, "I've tried, but Becky's asked her not to tell, I don't want to
force Kylie on this." I said a quick goodbye to Sharon. and pressed the
talk button on my radio, "Kylie, I want you to retune your radio from our
frequency, don't worry it's just for a short time, okay"

Her reply was slow in arriving, "Uncle Mike, I. I'm. Sorry about not
obeying you, but Becky's my friend, please don't make me betray her trust
in me, she'd never talk to me again." I reassured her, telling her I
understood and asked her to retune her radio to a Brownie frequency which
she promised to do.

I said to Nichols, "How many uniform officers are there in the area?"

He looked baffled at the question then pulled out a police radio, spoke
into it then said, "There's 20 on the beat and 8 in cars, why?"

I ignored the question, but asked, "In the cars do they have tracker?"
He nodded, I continued, "Good, ask the cars to tune to 47.2 MHz. Ask the
beat officers to make themselves conspicuous, I'm going to get the Brownies
to help us track down where Becky is!" While he spoke to the control room I
pressed the broadcast button on the radio.

"Flamingo, flamingo, flamingo - this is Mike Moore with an important
announcement, All Brownies I need your help, Brown Owl, Tawny or Snowy Owl
please respond on Broadcast mode."

I heard Margaret's voice respond "This is Brown Owl, Mike what's wrong?"
I explained the situation and what I wanted to do, Margaret agreed and
asked all the Brownies who were listening to go to the nearest policeman
and await instructions.

I followed my written instructions, relieved to hear the bleeps sounding
from the radio, then I pressed the tracker button, a single light pointed
at 45 degrees. I turned until the light was pointing ahead. Then I
pressed the broadcast button.

"All Brownies the tracker is active, please tune your radios to 47.2
MHz, press find and tell the nearest police officer the direction."

Nichols was onto the control room, he reported back to me, "Well, you've
got most of the force talking to Brownies at the moment, I've asked the
control room to use a map and line up the directions given."

We all got into Nichols car and started to follow the tracker, after a
few minutes his radio crackled, he answered it and was given directions to
where the lines had intersected.

When we arrived in the area there were 3 police cars moving in the
roads, and a couple of policemen with some Brownies concentrating on their

I spoke into my radio, "This is Mike Moore, thank you everybody, I think
we've found her, you can re-tune to your normal frequency, I'll let you
know what happened later." I asked the few Brownies with us to keep their
radio's tracking

As the Brownies had already found out, with several trackers we
triangulated Becky's position, an old derelict house quite near to mine, a
small flapping piece of wood showing an opening large enough for a child to

We managed to force the door open and Nichols allowed me to enter, Maria
stayed behind with the others, the pointer showed ahead, but there was a
wall in my way, I angled the radio up and a new direction was given, she
was upstairs.

The stairs were rotting, but we managed to negotiate our way up them to
the first floor, the sounds of sobbing could now be made out coming from
one of the bedrooms, we entered to find Becky sitting on the floor hugging
her legs with her head on her knees.

I walked towards her, "Becky, Oh Becky - I know its difficult"

She looked up at me, "No you don't"

I sat down beside her, "Yes, I do. I promised to look after you, and I
am trying to do so."

She spat out the words "But why can't I stay with you, why do I have to
stay with them, I want to stay with you Mr. Mike, Please let me."

Nichols spoke from the doorway "Becky, until Mike can get the adoption
papers sorted out you have to stay with a responsible family, the
McGruder's have looked after loads of children, But Mike is a single person
the rules don't allow him, or people like him, to quickly adopt children. I
know Maria and Nancy have already spoken up for him, but it takes Judges to

Becky looked at him, "But Mr. Mike has looked after me, he's even saved
me, why can't they just let me stay with him?"

Nichols looked at her, "Because too many are like Darren, and the judges
don't know which is which, so until they decide Mike has to prove to them
that he isn't another Darren in disguise."

Becky was in tears, "Bu, but Mr. Mike isn't like Darren, can't you tell
them? You're a policeman, they'd listen to you."

Nichols was now crouching down, "I have Becky," I looked at him, he
nodded, "I was called as a witness yesterday - You should be called in a
few day's time," He turned back to Becky, "So you see, Becky you have to go
back to the McGruder's, it'll only be for a short time, and you'll be able
to talk to Mike and Kylie whenever you want, I'll ensure your radio isn't
taken away again, okay?"

She gave a quiet sob, then nodded, "Okay, I'll go back to them," she
looked at me, "I'm sorry Mr. Mike,"

I hugged her, "That's okay Becky, you were scared and didn't know what
you were doing or saying," I lifted her up into my arms.

How I managed to get down the stairs carrying Becky I don't remember,
but we left the house to find the three police cars, an ambulance and a
tearful Maria not to mention the police officers and Brownies standing

Becky looked at me, "Why are all these people here?"

I hugged her closer to me, "They were all worried about you, and have
been looking for you ever since you ran away!"

Her tears started to flow again, she wriggled in my arms trying to show
that she wanted to be put down, which I did.

She ran to the waiting crowd, "I so sorry, I didn't mean to cause such a
fuss, please forgive me." And her crying drowned out her words, but it
didn't matter, she was surrounded by all of them some offering
handkerchiefs, others just awkwardly trying to hug her.

After each had tried to calm her, the only person left was Maria, who
held out her arms to Becky, who ran into them, hugging her.

Becky looked up at Maria, "I know I have to go back, but please, is it
true that Mr. Mike's trying to adopt me?"

Maria nodded, "Yes, he has made an application, which is being decided
on now," she thought for a moment, "The McGruder's have said that you can
keep your radio, and - although he isn't really allowed to - Mike's going
to be able to visit you, just don't run away again okay?"

Becky nodded, "Yes Maria, as long as I know I can see Mr. Mike I'll be

Maria hugged Becky again, and waved me over, I said to Nichols, "Thank
you for your help,"

He shrugged, "No, that's okay, I didn't really help you, you were the
one with the tracker all I did was to call the boys in."

I shook his hand, "You were there, and you helped, so thank you." He
accepted my thanks and I joined Maria.

Becky held onto my hand, "Will you come with us Mr. Mike?"

I looked at Maria, "Is that allowed?"

She smiled and shook her head, "No, its against regulations, but I can't
see that it will do any harm." And taking hold of Becky's other hand we
walked to her car.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Becky clung to me all the time that Maria drove, she was sobbing away, I
remembered that Kylie was still unaware of the situation. I pressed the
broadcast button on my radio. "This is Mike to Kylie, you can tune your
radio back now. Brown Owl and Brownies, I thank you for your help" - Becky
pulled on my arm and nodded, "Becky also thanks you all, I'll try to see
you at the meeting tomorrow, Mike out."

Maria spoke up, "that was good of you Mike, I mean thanking the Brownies
like that."

I smiled - for the first time really that day. "Well I had to, without
their help we'd never have found Becky so quickly - I couldn't say nothing
to them could I?"

My radio crackled. "Becky are you there?" It was Kylie, I pointed to
Becky's radio.

I said, "I think you need to turn the volume up" She looked at the
radio, noticing that the tracking light was flashing and that the volume
was turned down - she switched off the 'find-me' button and turned up the

"Hello Ky. I'm here!" she said.

Kylie's voice came back. "Oh Becky, I didn't tell anyone about your
hiding place, honest!" she seemed scared - afraid of losing her friend.

Becky quickly answered. "I know Ky. Mr. Mike was being sneaky, he
managed to start my tracker and then played hide 'n' seek using the cops
and Brownies - he didn't play fair!" she managed to giggle at this, her
youthful exuberance finally coming out again.

I held onto Becky as she continued to talk to Kylie, Maria kept driving.

We soon arrived at an old house, two people were standing outside, Maria
parked and let us out of the car - she then walked to them. She spoke to
the McGruder's, for it was them, they were in their 50's and my first
reaction to them was of grandparents, they had a happy look about them.

I turned to Becky. "How could you run away from them?"

She shook her head. "Because they're not like you or Aunt Sharon," she
said. "I mean they are nice, but they don't hug as much and," she said in
an aside, "he can't keep up with me!"

Maria called me over to them, "Mike Moore this is Paul and Joan
McGruder. They've been in the foster parenting system for over 25 years." I
shook hands with them.

"I'm sorry Becky's been giving you problems." I said.

Paul shook his head. "She hasn't really been a problem you know, I mean
compared to some that we've had."

Becky seemed amused at that. "What? Some boy was worse than me?"

Paul laughed. "No, not a boy! It was a girl! Let see she was eleven
at the time, couldn't be held in any house and ran away from us four times.
She finally settled down! What was her name again?"

Joan spoke up "Paul stop playing around, you know that Maria doesn't
like you talking about her like that."

Becky looked at Maria who nodded, Becky said in astonishment "Maria, you
were a. a. " She didn't know what to say

Maria came to her rescue. "Yes, I was orphaned when I was seven, I was
moved from one family to another, I couldn't allow myself to stay
anywhere." She smiled - "I was sure my parents would be looking for me,
even though I knew they couldn't." she started to look wistful at the
memory. "Then I was moved onto the McGruder's." She held onto Joan's hand.
"I thought they were pretty weak at first, but after the fourth time I ran
away they showed me compassion, normally kids are re-assigned to different
parents or even placed into a foster home, I didn't want that so I accepted
their help, and that's put me where I am now." She hugged Joan and then

Paul looked at Becky, "I know you don't want to be with us, we're not
the people you know or trust, all I ask is that you give us a chance, we're
not judging you, we're trying to provide you with a base, somewhere to fall
back on." I was hearing my words being repeated from someone else's lips. "

Becky looked at me, "But I don't want to lose you Mr. Mike."

I ruffled her hair. "You won't Becky, just because you're staying here
doesn't mean that you are stuck here, you still have your friends, I'm sure
that Paul and Joan aren't going to stop you from having your friends
visiting you."

Paul agreed with me. "Heck no, we love having children round." Becky
started to put her hands on her hips. "I'm sorry Becky, I meant having
other people around." His smile showed that he knew what her reaction was
going to be, it became infectious, Becky realised it as well and started to
smile, then giggle finally laughing, which we all joined in with.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We were shown inside, Maria wanted to talk to Becky - this time to
ensure that she wasn't going to run away again and to get her to talk about
her fears. I was left to the tender mercies of the McGruders - No I didn't
mean that, they are quite a pleasant couple.

I tried to break the ice. "I have to thank you for your patience with

Paul smiled, "We're used to it, Maria always sends us her worse, and
most of the time we're successful in helping them." He got a wistful look
on his face. "Unfortunately we don't always succeed, we've had a couple of
kids who wouldn't trust us." He looked hard at me. "I suppose we're like

I was taken aback with that. "I don't understand, I mean I couldn't do

Paul smiled. "But you are, when Becky talks of Mr. Mike, there's a
touch of hero worship in her voice, I know you're not related to her, but
you've had a profound effect on her, I understand you're trying to adopt
her." I nodded, he continued, "I'd better warn you - the courts prefer
married couples to adopt, I'm not trying to railroad you into anything, but
I think you'd better plan for when you're request is refused."

My shock was apparent on my face - refused! How can they refuse? Joan
spoke up, "I'm afraid Paul is right. Good intentions aren't the only
criteria that other people look for. Do you have a girlfriend?" I nodded,
"Are you planning to marry her?"

I immediately replied, "Yes - but only when she in a position to be able
to rely on her own judgement, without my pressuring her. I've had my share
of pressure and I don't want to inflict it on others!"

Paul said, "and what about Darren?"

I looked down. "You know about Darren?" Paul nodded, I drew a deep
breath, "I didn't like Darren - for what he was and what he did to Becky, I
could have cheerfully killed the bastard for what he did," I looked at
Joan, "I'm sorry about my language."

She smiled. "Don't worry Mike, we've heard worse, and from much

Paul then said, "Maria let us have the official notes about Becky, but I
believe there's some details she hasn't included." He held up his hand. "I
don't know and I don't care, I just think that you have been doing the
right thing with her, however awkward it may be for you. Becky does need
you, for your understanding and for you yourself. I wish you luck, but use
your bloody head, or you will lose her!"

I looked shocked - Joan nodded. "He means it, there are times when he
seems to know things without realising it! He surprises me at times."

I smiled wryly. "I think I know what you mean, Sharon would say the
same about me at times."

Joan smiled and left the room, Paul gestured me to sit down. "I could
feel a kindred soul in you Mike, remember sometimes it's better to slowly
coax people along, other times they need a kick in the pants - I think
that's what you need."

I nodded, and then said. "As I said before I don't want to force Sharon
into a marriage that she might regret later, I want to be sure that she's
able to stand on her own feet first."

Paul asked, "And when might that be? 5 years time? 10? Would you wait
that long?"

I shook my head, "No I wouldn't, and I wouldn't ask her to either, but
she should be financially secure in about a months time, when she gets the
insurance money following her husband's death. I'm planning to ask her to
marry me after she gets it."

Paul nodded. "So you're going to wait for what? Six weeks?" I nodded,
Paul continued, "Since she's going to get the money anyway. Why do you
need to wait?" I opened my mouth, but he stopped me. "No, don't answer. I
want you to think about that! Only you can decide! Now I think Joan has
tea ready."

He got up and pointed the way to the kitchen, Maria, Becky and Joan were
already seated and were talking to one another, as we entered Maria held up
a small cloth doll. "I didn't know you still had Michelle, she was still
in the hiding space I found."

Paul laughed, "That hole's been there since we got the house, I think
you were the third one to find it!" He turned to me and said "I keep an eye
on that just in case the mice find it. I think there's a diary and a toy
car in there as well."

Maria looked indignant "Uncle Paul! I thought it was secret."

He shook his head, "Towel head, you should know there's no secrets

Becky giggled. "TOWEL HEAD! Why did you call her that?"

Maria started to shake her head, but Paul ignored her, "Because she kept
on washing her hair, it was a rare night when she didn't have a towel
around her head, I just started to call her that."

Maria looked darkly at Becky, "You've been let into a state secret, and
you're not allowed to tell anyone."

Becky smiled. "That's okay Maria, your secret is safe with me, honest.
I mean would I lie to you - 'towel head'?" Which set everyone off laughing
- well Maria did join in afterwards.

Becky then looked at Paul. "Why did you start looking after children?
Was it for the money?"

I covered my eyes - the mercenary side of Becky was back, maybe that was
a good sign. Paul laughed, "Do you know how much we're paid per child?"
Becky shook her head, Paul said. "a pittance." At her enquiring look he
explained, "A very small amount, just enough for food and clothing, luckily
we have a private fund that we use when we need it. But as to why we do
it?" He pulled Joan closer to himself. "Just after we were married we
found out that we couldn't have children, that nearly destroyed us, but it
was suggested to us that we could act as foster parents."

He hugged Joan as he remembered, "Jackie was the first child we looked
after. He was a handful, but we learnt a lot from him, and I hope he
learnt from us. Since then we've accepted children and hopefully gave them
a solid ground to build from. We still hear from them at times, all seem
happy and now have children of their own, we're sort of adopted
grandparents to them."

Maria nodded. "Yes, I realised later that if Paul and Joan hadn't taken
me on, I'd never be where I am now." She went behind them and hugged their
shoulders. "I owe them a great deal."

Becky smiled and said. "Yeah, so you send them people like me to pester

Paul smiled. "We enjoy being pestered, it keeps us young, Maria knows
that and so sends her 'problems' to us." He looked at Becky, "We try to
comfort them when they need it, which is why we seem distant to you, as you
have Mr. Mike here to fall back on."

I had to speak. "Yes, but while she's here Becky will have to rely on
you two, I might not be able to drop everything at a moment's notice,
although I'd like to think I would, I'm sorry to say that Becky, but you
have to know this."

She nodded. "That's okay Mr. Mike, Maria's explained it all to me, and
I'll behave myself, I promise."

Paul smiled, "Hey, you don't have to do that, sometimes we like kids
that cause a fuss, it gives us old folk a bit of exercise you know!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We stayed with the McGruder's for another hour, in that time Becky
became more relaxed and contented to remain with them, she did manage to
start calling them Aunt Joan and Uncle Paul - I was still Mr. Mike!

Paul asked her why? She replied "Well, he's Kylie's Uncle Mike, I
thought he'd get confused if we both called him Uncle, so I call him Mr.
Mike, and I always think of him like that."

I said, "And I like being called that by you." I looked at Paul and
Joan. "I don't suppose I'll be able to borrow Becky tomorrow afternoon,
I've got to thank the Brownies and I'd like to take Becky with me."

Paul nodded, "That's fine by us, unless Maria has any official word on

Maria shook her head. "No Uncle Paul, I think Becky will be safe with
Mike, in fact I know she'll be safe."

"Then in that case," Paul said, "there's no problem."

We left them and as Maria drove away I could see Becky waving to us, on
each side of her was Paul and Joan, then they all turned round and entered
the house, in a way I was sad for she seemed to fit with them now.

Maria noticed for she said. "Its hard isn't it, giving Becky to another

I nodded, "Yes, and some of the things Paul said. . . I'm not sure if
I'll be allowed to have her back."

Maria was silent for a short while, then said. "Don't worry Mike, I'm
sure you'll know what to say when the time comes."

I kept quiet, but I really wondered if I would?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I returned to a silent house, I phoned up Sharon and let her know about
Becky, she asked. "So do you think she's going to run away again?"

I said. "No. she understands now, I told her that I was going to adopt
her, and Nichols confirmed it for her, she's promised to stay with the
McGruder's, she's learnt that they're not so bad after all."

Sharon sounded concerned. "Was it wise for you to tell her, I mean we
were warned about that!"

"I know we were," I said, then carried on with, "but I had to let her
know that I was trying, that I hadn't given up. But there is one thing
that I was asked, by Paul."

I paused at this point, and Sharon asked, "Paul? Paul who?"

I grinned, "Paul McGruder the foster parent, he's okay, actually he's a
lot like me I found out. Anyway he asked me what would I do if I was

Sharon asked cautiously, "and what was your answer?" I waited for a
moment, trying to gather my thoughts, Sharon got concerned, she said.
"Mike, Mike are you still there? Come on Mike answer me!"

I spoke into the mouthpiece. "I don't know, for the first time I just
don't know what I'd do. Sharon when the time comes for the judges decision
promise me that you'll be in the courtroom, I may need some moral support."

I heard the tone of her voice, patience I think it was. "Of course
Mike, I'll be there for both you and Becky." I thanked her, and then asked
if she wanted to come over and spend the night, as Becky already knew about
the adoption, she said. "I'd better not Mike, I promised the judge that I
wouldn't reveal any thing until after you'd spoken to them, I'm going to
keep my word."

I understood, and somehow I was relieved that she would honour such an
agreement, I did however manage to get an invitation to lunch on Sunday,
which I accepted.

After I hung up, I made a drink and tried to watch television, finally I
dragged myself upstairs and went to bed, alone again.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I turned up at Sharon's the next day (Sunday), washed, shaved and
looking respectable - Kylie was dressed in her Brownies uniform. She came
up to me and hugged me. "I'm sorry Uncle Mike, I should have told you, but
I was scared that Becky would stop talking to me."

I wrapped my arms around her. "That's okay Kylie, this time nothing bad
happened." I then looked into her eyes, "But that's not to say that it
won't happen again, but with different results, okay?"

She nodded, "Okay Uncle Mike, am I forgiven?"

I hugged her tightly. "Pumpkin, there's nothing to be forgiven about,
you were trying to keep a friend, and friendships are the major things to
keep alive, alright"

She smiled up at me. "Yes Uncle Mike, everything's fine now."

The rest of the dinner went without problems, although there were some
times when Kylie would start to say something about the adjudicator and be
interrupted by her mother.

I offered to take Kylie to Brownies when I picked up Becky but Sharon
said that she wanted to walk Kylie there, much to Kylie's annoyance "But
Mum, I wanted to see where Becky was staying."

But Sharon was adamant. "I'm sorry Kylie, but until Uncle Mike has
spoken to the adjudicator I'm not giving you the chance to spoil things."
She looked at me apologetically. "I'm really am sorry Mike, but you know
how I feel."

I nodded, "I do, but there's nothing stopping you and Kylie coming to
pick up Becky."

Again Kylie's hopeful face dropped as Sharon said, "I'd better not, I
may start crying over there and I don't want Becky to see that!"

So it was that I made a lonely drive to the McGruder's to pick up Becky,
when I got there she was looking out of a window, she saw me and ran from
it, to reappear at the front door with Joan beside her, I waved to them
both and after parking the car, got out and said. "So she stayed with you
this time Joan?"

Joan smiled, "Yes, we've just taken the shackles off of her as you drove

Becky smiled. "It was awful Mr. Mike, they fed me on bread and water."

I nodded, "Good! Tell me they didn't waste the good bread on you, I
mean stale is good enough"

Joan laughed. "No, we ran out of stale, she had to made do with fresh.
You couldn't get some for tonight could you?"

I joined the laugher. "I'll see what I can do. Now Becky are you ready
to meet the Brownies."

She held my hand, "Yes please Mr. Mike, they don't bite do they?"

I left the question unanswered, opened the passenger door for Becky,
making sure she tied the belt up securely. As we drove off she waved
goodbye to Joan.

I asked her. "How do you feel about them now?"

She smiled, "I like them, I mean not as much as you or Aunt Sharon, but
they're not as bad as I thought!"

I nodded, "So no more running away?"

She smiled. "Only if I have to." She saw the look on my face, "Hey, I'm
only kidding, I'll stay with them don't worry!"

I shook my head. "Please don't do that again, you put 10 years on me!"

She giggled - "Don't worry Mr. Mike, I'll look after you when you're
old and grey."

I smiled, "You mean next week?" she burst into laughter.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We approached the Church Hall, I notice that Becky started to hold back
- I turned to her. "What's wrong?"

She looked at me apprehensively. "I don't really want go Mr. Mike,
what if they moan about me?"

I stopped and held her. "Becky if they do then I'll take you back! I
know you were just frighten and they know it as well, so don't worry, I'll
be with you until you're happy okay?" She nodded, I said, "Good, now come
on - last one in is a rotten pig." And we ran to the Church Hall

I was in the lead when Becky said, "Mr. Mike you've dropped something."
I stopped to see what it was, letting Becky run past me shouting, "Fooled
you!" as she got to the door of the Hall.

I turned to her giggling form and said. "That wasn't nice, I would have
beaten you!"

She kept giggling and said. "I didn't want to be a rotten pig." And she
poked her tongue at me.

What could I say, except "Oink".

I brought Becky into the Church Hall, the Brownies were in their groups
(sorry sixes), Margaret was busy with her sixers but looked up as I

"Hello Mike," she said. "And who is this? A new member?"

I smiled. "Well, she can be if she wants to be, however at this moment
she is a very apprehensive young lady called Becky"

Margaret stood up and held out her arms. "Hello Becky, I hope
everything is okay now?"

Becky was overwhelmed by this gesture, she thought that most adults in
uniform were ogres, and here was this unknown person trying to comfort her,
she ran into Margaret's arms. "I'm sorry I cause all that fuss yesterday."
She said.

Margaret hugged her. "Oh my dear, don't worry - we were dying to use
the radios for an important reason, you gave us the opportunity to do so. I
must admit it shows the girls how useful the radios can be to them, not
just Kylie. They now have first hand knowledge, also they know that the
police will listen to them, you'd be amazed how many of the girls distrust
the police - you were able to bring the pack closer." Margaret looked at
me. "You know Mike, we even have an invitation to visit the station next
week - The chief constable was most impressed with our work."

Margaret then turned to Becky. "I'll tell you what why don't you spend
some time with the pack, see what we're doing and join in, okay." At
Becky's nod, she continued. "Why don't you go over to Tawny Owl's group I
know Kylie is anxious to see you." She pointed to Paula who was watching.

Becky started to say "Thank you. . ." one of the girls mouthed 'Brown
Owl!' at her so she continued, "Brown Owl" and scampered off.

Margaret laughed, "Oh Mike what a delightful young girl, why did she run
away though?"

I shook my head then said, "Because she was scare of losing something
she loved I think"

Margaret looked at me. "You?" I nodded, "Don't worry," She continued,
"I'm sure you won't let her down! Now do you want to join us? As a friend
of the pack you are able to you know."

And for the rest of the meeting I was in the unusual place of being the
only male in a Brownie pack!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I stayed with the pack until it was time to finish, Margaret (sorry
Brown Owl) led the girls through the pledge which Becky tried hard to
follow, then the girls were dismissed to the care of their parents, Becky
and Kylie running to Sharon, who hugged them both.

Margaret looked at them and then turned to me, "Yes, she is happier now,
so what's the story with her?"

I gave her the bare bones of the facts, recently orphaned, currently not
sure of what was happening, and how I tried to help her, Margaret rubbed my
arm, "You know I said some time ago that there are many people who sound as
if they want to help and only a few who do. I think you are one of the
few. Thank you Mike!" And with that she left me to help Paula and Joyce
tidy up.

Sharon smiled at me, "Are we allowed to take Becky home for tea?" I had
to admit I wasn't sure, but Becky came to my rescue.

"Here Mr. Mike, Joan gave me a letter." She handed it to me.

'Dear Mr. Moore,

I don't know how long the Brownies meeting will take; Paul and I want to
do some shopping and won't be back before 7, can you look after Becky until

Thanking you in advance,


Sharon read the letter and then said. "Good, then if we return home, I
can start serving."

I said "Serving? You make it sound like a meal,"

Sharon blushed, "Well I thought we could have a celebration." I thought
this was a bit premature, but decided to keep quiet.

Kylie asked, "Could I invite some friends along."

Sharon said, "Of course," then in an aside to me, "I think I made too
much anyway!"

Kylie stopped some of the girls and asked their parents if they could
come along so we were left with a troop of Brownies all laughing and
giggling away, with Kylie and Becky laughing with them.

I won't dwell on the chaotic scene that ensued in Sharon's house for
that party, I'm just glad that they didn't decide to have a food fight.
Afterwards I drove some of the girls to their homes and then took Becky
back to the McGruder's, arriving there just as they were getting out of
their car.

Becky and I helped them unload their shopping into the kitchen for Joan
to sort out into freezer, fridge or pantry.

Reluctantly I said goodnight to them all, and drove back home, Sharon
again having asked me not to stay until after Monday.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The alarm woke me to another day, I washed and shaved, dressed smartly,
butterflies had settled in my stomach, and were giving an occasional

My appointment was for half ten, and it was only 9 o'clock, I didn't
realise how nervous I was about this. By half nine I was pacing the floor
like an expectant father, which seem ironic, I couldn't stand it anymore I
went to my car and drove to the courthouse.

I manage to park the car in an empty space and fed the meter hoping that
I'd used enough coins for the time I was going to take.

I went to the reception to be told that I was early - I agreed, the
receptionist directed me to an office, when I arrived there the secretary
logged my name, and asked me to sit down. Unlike a doctors or dentist
surgery there were no magazines to occupy myself with, and only a muffled
suggestion of words from behind the doors to the adjudicator's office.

Half Ten came and went - Eleven o'clock flew past. At a quarter past
eleven the door was opened and Morgan left the room, he looked at me, gave
a self-satisfied smile, nodded to me and left.

The secretary went into the room, to emerge a few minutes later, "The
adjudicator will see you now Mr. Moore!" he said and ushered me into the

The Adjudicator was sitting down reading a file, the secretary showed me
to the seat in front of the desk, and then left, I sat down and waited.

Finally he stopped reading and looked up, he smiled. "We meet again Mr.
Moore." Said John Mortimer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- Normal disclaimers apply, apart from frayed nerves there were no
injuries incurred. If you're not allowed to read this type of story either
due to age or legal reasons - why are you here? - if theological reasons?
Then why are we here?

- My thanks to Joe (programmer) for his suggestion of using the Brownies
to help in the search for Becky - suggested back in October (although
mainly in search when Darren kidnapped Becky!) BTW Joe, I've managed to
find 17 chapters of Savant I think that's where it ended unfortunately! :{

- Well I've manage to get this far, and still have at least two chapters
to go (again), I seem to be stuck in a time loop!

- I welcome comments from my readers, I will try to answer all those
sent, my email address is - - as you can see from
above I do listen to suggestions and try to include those that help the
story along. Please note any viruses received will be reported to the
originators ISP for action.

Wandering Lanes - 10th December 2001.


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