STORIE DI DAISY - VERSIONE INGLESE
A MATTER OF JUSTICE
by Crystal Jones
A rather unattractive woman entered the office. She had an
inexpressive face and wore out-of-date beige glasses. Her felt hat looked as
though it had been pulled on aggressively and her loose-styled brown winter
coat made her look fatter than she probably was.
“Are you Mr. Victors?” she asked bluntly, plonking down her
large handbag on his office table.
Mr. Victors, who was a rather short but attractive man in his
late forties, tried his charm out on the woman. “Yes, madam. You must be the
lady who telephoned yesterday for an appointment…er…” The man searched
through some papers on his desk, “Ah yes, Miss Abbot, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I’ve come about that housing estate investment. Where
exactly will it be built?”
“In Greece on the Island of Circe. As you probably read in
the ad, they’ll all be luxury flats with every mod con.”
“So you can assure me it’s a good investment?” The woman
“Look, let’s put it this way. I’ve got just this one left. A
married couple said they were interested on the phone this morning but
haven’t been in yet, so if you want it you’d better make a quick decision!”
The woman seemed to soften a little. “Well, I’ve always
wanted to spend my holidays in Greece. If you tell me the exact amount of
the down payment I can write you out a cheque for it.”
“Splendid, Miss Abbot. Will you sign this form first of all
so we can get all the paperwork over all in one go?”
“Certainly. Let me just have a look at it…” said Miss Abbot
peering through her large beige glasses at the sheet of paper.
Just then the office door opened suddenly and a man and a
woman came in. The woman, who was robust and clearly of African extraction,
produced her police identification. “OK Harry, up to the old game again, are
we? What’s your name this time?”
Miss Abbot stared through her thick glasses.
“Inspector Quashie!” said Harry getting up from his chair and
looking very scared. “Not again! I haven’t done anything. I was just
discussing a business matter with this lady… er… Miss Abbot!”
“Sorry Miss Abbot, we’ll be needing your statement down at
the station!” Inspector Quashie smiled at the woman. “It seems we got here
just in time!”
Mr. Victors or Harry looked horrified. “I see. I’ve
been stitched up!”
Inspector Quashie nodded. “It’s useless protesting, Harry,
you’ve been nicked. Let’s all get down to the station!”
Miss Abbot waited for Harry to be handcuffed and sent off in
a police car and then removed the “wire” inside her coat the police had put
on her earlier that day.
After that, she took off her ugly glasses, her hat, and the huge brown coat
to reveal that she was wearing a smart black jacket and skirt.
“Honestly Daisy, when we opened the office door I didn’t
recognise you at all! You looked terrible in that brown coat!” said
Inspector Quashie. Daisy grinned.
At the police station Daisy was invited to watch Harry being
questioned from behind a special glass window.
“Look Harry, as sure as my name is Amelia Quashie,” the
inspector said with a friendly smile, “you’ll be going down for another four
or five years!” Inspector Quashie had a way of saying the most dreadful
things in a seemingly pleasant way.
“Inspector, you’re always trying to nail me but I haven’t
done anything!” protested Harry. “I admit I was having a conversation
with that lady about a flat but…”
“Yes,” Inspector Quashie nodded, “about a flat that doesn’t
exist and will never exist. But you did take money from a poor old
man who didn’t understand what he was letting himself in for. Remember that
gentle senior citizen, Mr. Duncan Thornton you conned into giving you five
thousand pounds?” The smiling police-woman said quite charmingly.
Harry looked tense but didn’t reply.
“On the other hand, if you helped us with a little
information about a friend of yours… we might be able to convince the
judge that as you are giving all the money back to Mr. Thornton, you
have realised that your old evil ways are to be considered a thing of
the past. Of course, there remains the question of Miss Abbot’s complaint,
the lady you were trying to con when we arrived. If I can persuade
her not to go ahead…”
Harry interrupted, “Oh, alright, Inspector. Just tell me what
it is you want from me!”
“Harry, I’ll be honest with you,” Inspector Quashie
continued in her beautifully modulated deep voice, “I’ll put all my cards on
the table and if you don’t want to help us I’ll just have to leave you to
“Inspector – please tell me!” insisted the now
“I want… Coffee Anderson!” revealed Inspector Quashie.
“Ccc…,” Harry spluttered. “Coffee Anderson! You must be
“No, I’m not! As you know, he is
nicknamed Coffee owing to his coffee addiction but his real forte is giving
other people an addiction, a white-powdered one!”
Harry became even more tense and shook his head violently.
Inspector Quashie smiled at him again. “Don’t worry, Harry. If you won’t
help me, I’ll just need a little longer to nail that gentleman, but I
will. Pity about you, though,” said the seemingly sympathetic Inspector
getting up ready to leave the room.
Harry heaved a big breath as though it were his last. “You’ve
got me exactly where you want me, Inspector. You do know he’ll have me
“Police-protection-twenty-four-hours-a-day.” She rattled off
having already prepared what she was going to say. “You’ll be taken to a
place where he would never think of looking for you. And after that…”
“If there’s an after for me, I would want to be set up
somewhere far away…”
As Daisy heard the conversation through the special glass
mirror she smiled to herself in satisfaction, this was because her client
Mr. Thornton had confided in her when he lost his savings to Harry, and now
he would be getting all his money back and could live in peace without
worrying about his future.
A few days later Daisy was sipping a cup of instant coffee in
her office. Someone rang the bell and Daisy called out, “Come in!” Inspector
Quashie appeared in the doorway.
“Am I disturbing you Daisy?” she asked.
Daisy was surprised and pleased to see the police woman.
“Amelia, please come in and tell me everything.”
“Daisy, I feel very uneasy.”
“Well, let’s have a cup of Earl Grey and a few biscuits and
see what we can work out.”
The inspector nodded as Daisy put the water on to boil in her
electric kettle. “As you know, Harry is in a safe house but as I was trying
to put my earrings on this morning I kept dropping them, and I said to
myself, ‘Amelia, something’s up!’ The same thing used to happen to my
grandmother when something was about to go wrong.”
“But what could possibly go wrong? I read that Coffee
Anderson has been arrested, hasn’t he? Isn’t he due for trial soon?”
“Yes, the trial starts tomorrow! But apparently one of his
most dangerous henchmen, a Charles Empoli, who was in the same prison as
him, got out yesterday, I mean – he was released from prison on probation
and has to report to the police station every evening. This worries me.”
Just at this moment the police inspector’s mobile rang.
“Hello, Inspector Quashie here. Whaaat!” Her already big eyes became bigger
and bigger and there was an expression of alarm in them. “Why in the hell
didn’t someone inform me about this before!”
The Inspector continued listening getting more and more
agitated all the time. Daisy hoped Amelia wouldn’t have a stroke or
Inspector Quashie barked out, “Listen. Get the surveillance
team on to the problem immediately. Organise a twenty-four hour watch – I’ll
get back as soon as possible!”
The policewoman put her mobile back into her pocket. “I’m
afraid I’ll have to go, Daisy – something has come up that changes the
perspective completely. Unless...” Inspector Quashie observed Daisy for a
moment, hesitating, as a plan was forming in her mind. She spoke very softly
and slowly, “unless you wouldn’t mind having a teenage girl to stay
with you for a while…?”
Daisy put a tin of shortbread biscuits on her desk. “What
teenage girl are you talking about? I don’t understand…”
Amelia tried to explain, “It seems that our chief witness,
Harry, has a daughter of nearly fourteen, Alina, who I never even knew
existed, and her mother reported to the police this morning that her house
was being watched by Charles Empoli, Coffee Anderson’s henchman! The mother
is a social worker and knows the man as she had already had dealings with
him in the past over selling drugs to youngsters!”
Daisy interrupted, “And you think they could blackmail Harry,
threatening to hurt his wife or daughter if he gives evidence in court
against Coffee Anderson?”
“Well, the lady’s not his wife any more but apparently Harry
is very fond of his daughter even though he hasn’t seen much of her in the
past few years owing to the fact he’s been detained at Her Majesty’s
pleasure several times!”
Daisy sat down to munch a biscuit. “Wouldn’t Harry’s ex-wife
and daughter be better off at a safe house as well?”
Amelia shook her head, “There’s more. It never rains but it
pours. The mother is going into hospital tomorrow morning to have an
operation. Something she must have done but it shouldn’t be
life-threatening. Of course, we can have a watch put on her in the hospital
twenty-four hours a day, but the child! How on earth can we ensure her
safety if she goes and stays with an aunt or something!”
Amelia stopped to drink some of her tea. “She lives in
Cardiff and no-one would know her here in East Anglia, would they?” she said
Daisy put the biscuit she was eating down, “So you want me
to look after a teenager I’ve never seen before, and who’s never seen me!”
“Don’t worry, honey, I’ll find another solution – at least I
hope I will,” replied the sly police woman knowing that she was making Daisy
feel guilty about leaving a young girl in danger.
“The thing is, Coffee Anderson has nothing to lose. If he’s
proved guilty he could be in the dungeons for the next twenty years easily,
so mother and daughter are really in great danger, – but don’t worry, Daisy.
It’s not your responsibility. I can’t think of anyone else I would trust to
look after this unfortunate child at the moment but something will turn up…”
Daisy gave way even though she knew Inspector Quashie was
pressurising her, “Okay then, when will she be arriving?”
“I’ll have the girl, Alina, brought to your home during the
night. All right?”
Daisy nodded. “I’ll prepare the spare room. But what about my
Amelia smiled her usual smile when she knew she was getting
her own way. “I’m sure you’ll manage, Daisy!”
In the early hours of the morning a car arrived with Alina
and her suitcase and Daisy discreetly beckoned Alina to come inside whilst
the driver of the car handed Daisy the suitcase and drove off immediately.
The fourteen-year-old seemed very shy and just stood and stared at Daisy.
“Come in, Alina. Would you like something to eat or drink?”
Daisy asked the bespectacled child.
“No, thank you. I never eat anything after my evening meal.
It’s not good for me!” replied Alina rather pompously.
“That’s fine, but come into the kitchen just to get to know
each other a bit while I have a cup of cocoa!” Daisy suggested.
“I’d prefer to go to bed straight away as I’ve a lot of
studying to do, Miss Hamilton!” Alina replied in her Welsh accent.
“All right. But please call me Daisy! Look, I’ll take you up
to your room and you tell me if you need anything. Right?”
The next morning Daisy went downstairs to the kitchen to find
Alina already sitting at the table over a history book.
“What do you usually have for breakfast? Alina – look! There
are several different packets of cereal for you to choose from. Then there
are eggs and things in the fridge. Just help yourself!”
Daisy did her best but didn’t seem to make much headway with
Alina. The girl put up a barrier which seemed impossible to break down.
“Look, Alina, I know you’re worried about your mother’s
operation today, but as soon as Inspector Quashie has any news she will
“Miss Hamilton… Daisy, don’t worry about me. I know about my
father and the mess he has put us in. Inspector Quashie explained everything
to us. I also know that my mother is going into a good hospital and will
have excellent treatment there.”
“All right, but you do realise that you’ll have to keep me
company in my office and that you can’t tell anyone any personal details or
go out alone?”
“Yes, I do really understand that I can’t telephone my mother
at the hospital or anything. I haven’t even got my mobile with me. It might
put her in danger!”
Daisy thought to herself that this seemingly self-sufficient
teenager was determined not to have any relationship with her and felt
useless and disappointed. Then she thought of a strategy.
She would ask for her help. The problem was, what the
goodness could she ask the girl to help her with? She didn’t seem interested
in anything except her school books. Could she cook? Did she shine at
anything except, maybe, scholastic subjects?
Daisy felt very worried – then she remembered something…
Daisy noticed that Alina had had practically nothing for
breakfast but thought it wiser not to comment on the fact. Later that
morning Daisy asked Alina to accompany her to the baker’s.
When they were queing up in the baker’s, Daisy said, “Alina,
please choose something for a snack for later on. The lady behind the
counter, Mrs. Placey, is a friend of mine. She’s very nice!” Alina nodded.
“I’d like a buttered tea bun, please, in a bag!” Alina
blushed as she spoke.
“Hey, do you come from Wales too?” asked Mrs. Placey.
“Yes, why, are you…?”
“Yes, I’m Welsh too. My name was Hughes before I got married
and I was born in Cardiff!”
Alina smiled at Mrs. Placey and they began chatting.
“So are you staying here for a bit?” asked the kind Welsh
“Er….yes. But just for a while. I’m staying with Miss
Gwen Placey, a good friend of Daisy’s had enough common sense
to realise that she shouldn’t ask too many questions. “Well, I’ve got a girl
of fourteen and if you’re looking for a spot of company we can all have
Welsh rabbit for tea!”
Daisy breathed a sigh of relief. Someone had made contact
In the afternoon Daisy and Alina were in the office when
Inspector Quashie phoned to say Alina’s mother’s operation had been a
success and that the patient had woken up and was feeling well!
“Shall we celebrate, Alina? How about going to my friend
Luigi’s ice-cream parlour? He has a ‘special’ which is guaranteed
Suddenly the girl burst into tears and sobbed and sobbed.
“I’m sorry, Daisy. I haven’t shown you I’m grateful for what you are doing
for me. Please forgive me…”
“Not to worry, Alina.” Daisy sat down near the girl and put
her arm round her. “You were worried about your mother and then there’s all
this cloak and dagger business. It’s all very stressing!”
“Then you forgive me?” Alina asked.
“Of course. Now shall we make our way to a super peach melba
or a chocolate dream ice-cream?”
The day went by very happily and at seven o’clock Daisy and
Alina went to Mrs. Placey’s to enjoy a meal. Alina liked Mrs. Placey and
made friends with her daughter being careful never to say exactly where she
lived or any personal details.
The next few days were extremely pleasant and Alina proved a
great help to Daisy in installing a new software on her computer and cooking
the evening meal a couple of times. As Daisy couldn’t leave Alina alone, she
left her detective work on hold and decided to get up to scratch with all
her bills and payments and other boring things that she always put off as
long as she could.
In the meantime Alina’s mother was recovering from her
operation and was able to talk to her daughter through Inspector Quashie
almost every day.
A week later Daisy and Alina were eating their sandwiches in
the park when Daisy’s mobile rang. It was the day Harry was to appear in
court as a witness for the prosecution in Coffee Anderson’s trial.
Daisy recognised Inspector
Quashie’s deep voice, “It’s me, Amelia Quashie. It’s all over, Daisy!”
Alina noticed that Daisy seemed very surprised and became
extremely agitated. “Daisy, is it my mother?” she asked anxiously.
Daisy shook her head and smiled at her reassuringly.
A dog started barking nearby. Daisy got up and moved away so
as to be able to hear what Inspector Quashie was saying. Alina followed
close behind her.
“Yes, oh really? That’s extraordinary! A heart attack…! Yes,
I’ll tell Alina immediately.” Daisy smiled at Alina still holding her
mobile. “Coffee Anderson had a double coronary in the courtroom and died on
the way to hospital. Apparently he was attacking your father verbally and
threatening him when he suddenly slumped over.” Daisy continued speaking to
Inspector Quashie, “Yes, I’ll tell Alina there’s no more danger and that she
can see her mother at last!”
As Alina got her things together to be ready for the car
which would be taking her to the hospital where her mother had been operated
on, she hesitated a moment.
“But, Daisy, didn’t my mother see Coffee Anderson’s henchman
watching our house? He could kill us in revenge.”
“You don’t have anything to worry about any more, Alina. When
the boss dies, the entire organisation crumbles. No one will come after you
– least of all this henchman – and anyway he was put back into prison
yesterday because he hadn’t reported back to the police – you remember - he
was on probation!”
As Alina picked up her suitcase to get into the car she
“Thank you, Daisy, for looking after me – later on when my
mother has completely recovered will you come to Cardiff and stay with us
for a while?
I know Mum would love you to!”
As Daisy watched Alina being driven away she realised she was
going to miss her. Suddenly her mobile rang. “Daisy, it’s me Amelia! Have
you got much on tomorrow evening?”
“Er... no. Why…” said Daisy in a mournful voice.
“You sound as if you need a bit of cheering up - look, I’ve
got three tickets for the musical of the year, Gangsters All
Around, with that gorgeous American dancer. Would you like to come with
us – that is me and my daughter, who studies acting, – and we’ll have a real
girls’ evening. And after the theatre there’s that new Italian fish
restaurant near Leicester Square! You know, pasta, fish and Italian white
wine and… it’s on me!”
Daisy accepted immediately and asked, “So I’ve got to dress
up?” Amelia replied, “Not specially, but please don’t wear that
horrible brown coat and hat you had on when we stitched Harry up!”