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04.02.2012

The Adventure of the Venetian Pearls (part 5)

View of "Garrison Hill", Hugh Town, from accross the bay

"Get away there!"

The man grabbed Nicky's wrist and tore her away with such force that she fell. His wife
dragged her collie back and hissed something at her husband the children couldn't
understand. In a much lower voice and an attempt to seem friendly the man explained, 

"Duke bites."

Nicky, massaging her wrist, looked in disbelief at the collie. It was wagging its tail and looked
anything but dangerous.

Just then, an old London cab came rushing up the hill and stopped hard.
A young driver hopped out and hurriedly began unloading luggage. His passengers, an
elderly, harassed looking couple, were hastening towards the departure lounge.

"I'll be with you in a minute," the driver tossed over his shoulder while juggling several
suitcases and bags.

Soon afterwards, he returned with a broad smile on his face. "Welcome to the Isles of Scilly!"

"A nice welcome indeed," the man in the suit attacked him. "You should have been here at
ten. It's twenty past! We will certainly report you to your boss!"

"Yes, sir," the driver answered calmly. "You must be Mr and Mrs Nuzzolo then. Make
yourselves comfortable in the car. I'll stow your things and we'll be off in a minute."

Mr Nuzzolo gave a sour grunt but obeyed. When the driver had put the luggage in the car
boot, he turned to the children.

"And you must be Chris. I'm Mike. Nice to meet you. Give me your backpack and hop in."
And with a wink he added, "Nice guy this Nuzzolo. If this is his holiday mood, I wonder what
he's like under stress."

Nicky and Chris giggled but then sat in the rear with the two adults and the dog as quietly as
mice. Nobody spoke a word during the drive to Hugh Town. In the middle of the square Mike
came to a halt and got Chris's backpack out.

"Give my regards to your Granny, will you?" He waved goodbye and drove uphill towards the
Garrison and the bigger hotels.

Chris's grandmother owned a little guesthouse near the Quay. His mother and uncle had
grown up in the house with the beautiful view of the harbour. When her children had left, it
had already become quieter than Granny liked. Then, after her husband's death, she decided
she wanted to have people around.

So she waited a suitable time to satisfy the neighbours, moved to the top floor and opened the
other two to 'summer guests'. Over the years, she had made many interesting acquaintances
and one wall in the dining room was plastered with postcards from ecstatic guests.

When the cousins entered the comfortable living room, Chris was astonished to find the
elderly gentleman who had been sitting opposite him in the helicopter.
(To be continued)

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