Il sito per chi ama le Daisy Stories.




Come usare il quadrato magico di Babylon



The Search for Lorna
The Surprise
Daisy Macbeth
The Oak
A Nice Little Trip
The Bookworm
The Mystery of Greenlodge

A Matter of Justice
The Wedding

The Auction
The River Mist


by Crystal Jones © 1995-2008 

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 She had an inexpressive face and wore out-of-date beige glasses.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 asked.

“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 your fate!”

“Inspector – please tell me!” insisted the now sweating Harry.

“I want… Coffee Anderson!” revealed Inspector Quashie.

“Ccc…,” Harry spluttered. “Coffee Anderson! You must be joking!”

“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 killed…”

“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 something.

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 convincingly.

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!” she protested.


“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 work?”

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 phone me.”

“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 woman.

“Er….yes. But just for a while. I’m staying with Miss Hamilton.”

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 with Alina!


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 irresistible.”

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 kissed Daisy.

“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!”


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