Kids Club

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about children growing up on the Medway in Kent during the war years in the early 1940's.
It takes the reader on a nostalgic trip back to the innocent but dangerous times when the common enemy were the Luftwaffe who were bombing England's main cities.
Throughout the story it will focus on an adventure which is played out by a group of school children who witness strange goings on at a local Manor House and find a mysterious bounty of Roman treasure which they discover near to an old derelict factory.
The Nazi agents have infiltrated British security and have sent a cell of secret agents in order to spy on the local population.
At one point the children fear for their lives as they are kidnapped by a sinister gamekeeper who locks them up in a smelly outhouse,will they escape to tell their tale?, as the net closes in on this group of German spies.
Who are the mysterious group of people who occupy the Manor House and who are they hiding in their body bag?.

Submitted: September 23, 2019

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Submitted: September 23, 2019

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Kidz Club
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It was in the summer of 1944,during the war years that I realised that I was really growing up much faster than I would have liked.

In my opinion every recollective child viewed these times as the innocent years,these were the times without pressure,expectation or fear.

Childhood was all part of ones own development and you never get a second one,therefore it should be cherished and the quality time remembered in later years.

It was at the beginning of my summer school holidays when I arranged with some of my school mates and a few local scallywags to meet up in our secret club.

This was a tradition we had established for a number of years in our local neighbourhood.

Our holiday club was something we all looked forward to being part of throughout the long Summer months.

Positioned at the end of my family's garden,hidden partly by the long shadows of the poplar trees was my fathers old shed.

He didn't much care for it now,but in the early years he would sometimes go down there to listen in to reports of activities during the start of the second world war,by tuning in to the home guard radio service.

It was quite a large shed and contained lots of memorabilia such as old 78 records, a wind up record player, various gardening tools and a lawn mower.

I lived in the south east corner of Kent on the Medway just north of Chatham,from the bottom of our garden I could see the Medway with all of the sandbanks when the tide had gone out.

There was an old disused factory behind our garden which used to make a coffee product.

Also there were ditches which surrounded the back of the garden where we used to hide during our various games such as "Blocky 123 and hide and seek".

Occasionally one could hear the air raid sirens going off in the distance and the odd aircraft was spotted on one it's reconnaissance bombing raids from the fatherland.

Some of these bombs would bring terror and destruction to the people of our community and further a field in the city of London.

It was now late morning on the first full day of our holidays and I was just about to get up from what seemed a very long sleep,my mother was up and shouting me down for breakfast.

"Mike it's time for breakfast it's gone well past 9 'o'clock",she screamed.

My sister had by now already got up and was on her way to visit her friends Rosie and Lynn who both lived in Nearby Rochester.

She would spend the morning with them no doubt catching up on girl's talk and discussing who was seeing who.

"Hi mum sorry I'm late getting up did you sleep ok?",I enquired,"yes love I always sleep well,that is until your dads alarm clock goes off and it makes a sound like a air raid siren",she said amusingly.

Dad worked in London he had just started a new job as an account clerk at a local bank.

He was enjoying the change from a printing career which he had done since leaving school on his father's instruction,who was my grandad.

The conversation went quiet as mum had to nip out to the shops and I was left all alone to plan my day ahead with my friends who would be arriving in a short while.

We had agreed to meet up at 10.30am at the garden shed, there was easy access to the garden and I would meet up with them in due course.

My mother of course knew nothing of my impending plans for the day,she just expected me to be out somewhere playing with my friends but never knew where I was.

Just then there was a knock at the door,it was Stephen he was my best friend as we both went to the same school and shared the same teachers, he lived a couple of miles away from me and had travelled down by bike.

"Hi Stephen how's things? are you up for a day of adventure today?",I enquired,he smiled at me and then told me that the other members of our club were making their way to the shed.

We chatted for 5 minutes and then both made the short walk to the said venue, it was a lovely day and both of us were wearing matching white shorts and T-shirts.

We quickly approached the shed and then knocked 3 times before entering,"Hello" a voice greeted us,"who goes there?",the voice exclaimed.

"It's Stephen and Mike from the honourable kingdom's club establishment requesting permission to enter sir", I exclaimed in a sharp but polite military voice.

The voice then asked me for my password and allowed me to enter my own domain, how thoughtful I amused.

There was always a password used to enter our club as we didn't want any adults knowing about our activities.

We were a little secret group of kids who met up at our club who nobody knew about and we wanted it to stay that way.

Even my kid sister Karen knew nothing about the meetings and was not privy to our discussions and activities.

In all there were 4 of us plus Kilty our little west highland white terrier who kept guard in the doorway,she would alert us if anyone approached the shed.

The meeting began with a lovely drink of "Dragon's blood", which was a powdered substance bought at our local newsagent,water was added to make a delicious drink which was red in colour and strawberry in flavour.

"Ok can we have a roll call so we know who is present", I exclaimed as chairman of the group", there was Stephen myself,Richard and Paul present.

After the introductions there was the business agenda of the day to discuss.

It has come to my attention that the old factory at the top of our field beyond the local forest is being earmarked for a new hotel,I was wondering if the premises needed further inspection," I exclaimed.

Also on the agenda was the new sewage pumping plant which was going to be built near to the local neighbourhood,there were growing fears that this could be harmful to the local residents.

The debate went on for most of the morning until it was lunch time,we would return home then meet up again at 2pm to discuss tactics on how best to resolve our issues.

Most of us were no older than 12 or 13 years of age,but we still had ideas and were conscious of making decisions which would affect all of our community not just the children in our neighbourhood.

During lunch time I asked my mother about the new family who had moved in to the local Manor House just off our land at the edge of the local forest.

Apparently they were some very well established Kent family with big connections in the local community.
Apparently rumour has it that they are planning to finance local initiatives in the area such as turning the local derelict factory in to a giant hotel.

My mother had seen an article in the local paper about their plans for expansion and that they had applied for a licence to build.

The Manor House where they had just moved in to had been unoccupied for a long time, as the previous resident Mrs.Lake had died a number of years ago having lived there for over 60 years.

She had been a widow for the past 20 years,her husband having died during world war 1 on the front line.

It is reputed that the old Manor House is haunted but not with the ghost of the dear old lady's passing,but of a sinister crook who stole money off the rich and poor alike he was a tax inspector could Jude.

He had lived in the Manor House  for the best part of 30 years during the beginning of the 19th century.

His notoriety was legendary in these parts, apparently he had met his death one night when some locals had become tired of him abusing their good nature and trust,they decided to take him forcibly to the woods where they hung him.

His body laid undiscovered for 3 days, nobody who knew about his death wanted to talk about it.

Those responsible simply went in to hiding, the 6 men and women who committed the crime were also hung as punishment for their crime.

After lunch we reconvened and decided to head out to the old factory.

We would also call in at the old manor house but security was very tight within the building,they liked to keep the premises locked up with an iron wrought gate so entering the grounds might prove difficult.

In our view now was the old factory, it was dilapidated building and there were rats running through the exposed front entrance.

The grass and weeds had become vastly over grown and there was still evidence that coffee had been processed in the old building,as there were still granules of the product on the floor.

"Stephen,Paul, Richard come over here look what I've found",I exclaimed,the others rushed to inspect what looked like an old pot buried in the ground, inside it there was a small cloth.

I noticed the scriptures on the outside of the broken pot,it was of Roman origin and then there was a shriek of excitement.

"Look at this !!!!!! Roman coins" we had discovered a hoard of coins probably 100 in quantity or more they must be worth an absolute fortune",I said in an excited voice.

It did seem strange that they should have laid undiscovered here for such a long time.

There was evidence that there had been some digging activity which had taken place nearby and that someone else or other people had been living within the confines of the old factory.

Just then I heard a voice and a figure appeared from outside of some bushes, it was an old man dressed in a scruffy coat like a tramp.

He immediately spotted us and then started to shout in an aggressive voice, "what are doing here kids get off my land", he snarled,before attempting to chase us.

We suddenly realised that we had left the pot containing the coins behind,in our haste for freedom.

Suddenly he slipped from our view and his voice went silent, on closer inspection it would appear that he had fallen in to a water hole which were common in this part of Kent.

I ran over to where I think he had disappeared to and sure enough there was this huge gaping hole in the field and I could just barely make out the moaning sound of a man in distress.

He was calling for help,I immediately ran to collect the coins and the old pot and asked Richard to go and get help the other two would go back with me to the shed.

The scene of this old man laying in the well brought it all back to me when last year we lost a dear friend Howard.

He had fallen in to a swamp in the woodlands and he quickly became trapped in the sinking sand which could kill a person in seconds,he was sucked under and his body was never recovered.

Eventually help arrived and a medic began to ask a few questions to the injured tramp.

He had evidently broken his leg and shoulder blade and would need a hoist to lift him out,a rope would not be enough if further injury was to be avoided.

He was carried out and thanked the medic for rescuing him before he was taken away to an awaiting ambulance.

Once the afternoons drama had passed we decided that we would visit the manor house in the evening if our parents aloud us out,it was still light at 9pm  so it should not present too many problems.

We would reconvene at 7pm and in between this time would contemplate the events of the day,before returning to our respective families where we would have to remain tight lipped about our activities.

Dinner was served at 6pm  and my father began to ask us all about our day and what we had got up to.

I went a little silent but mentioned playing out with my friends and picking a few summer fruits which mum had turned in to a nice pie.

My sister had gone to a hockey match during the afternoon in a local field, she had also picked a few flowers and wild herbs and had crushed them to create a nice fragrance.

The meal consisted of minute portions of lamb chops,carrots and mash potato, vegetables and fruit were in short supply nationally but we grew our own so it wasn't a problem.

I was becoming restless with anticipated excitement of the next part of the day and the impending visit to the manor.

However before then I would have to wait a while and ask for my parents permission to be out after dinner which was something that wasn't always allowed.

If my parents got wind of my involvement in this afternoons events and the subsequent accident involving the tramp,then maybe they would not be so agreeable in their decision to allow me to go out.

In any case the roman coins were now safely tucked up in the secure location of our shed which was locked and bolted with a padlock.

The time was now 6.45 pm and I still hadn't asked my parents, it was getting late as my friends would have expected me to arrive early at our designated location.

I plucked up the courage and came out with my request, "mum, dad can I go out for a while?",I enquired.

My dad dropped his paper somewhat surprised at the request before looking at my mum" where are you going son is it with your friends?" he queried".

"Yes dad it will only be for a short while",I said,mum then shook her head and replied.

"Well as long as you stay within the confines of the local street and just play Tig or one of those games you enjoy so much, then I don't see any harm can come from that"

Dad agreed and off I went but not in the location they had thought,I arrived at the Manor House with 3 very exasperated looking faces staring at me with disbelief "what took you so long Mike ?" Richard enquired "we've been here ages",he said.

They were observing the house,there had been no sign of life in the time they had been keeping watch.

However curiously there was a small light emanating from the garage, it was evident that a gas lamp was burning,which created a tiny silhouette on the outer building.

We had decided to stay out until 9pm then go home as time keeping was very important to parents.

They needed to know where their kids were and for how long to ensure their safety.

The time was now 8.30 pm and still there was no action,the iron wrought gate was 12 feet high and 8 feet wide in diameter and would take some negotiating,we decide not t go down that route tonight but just observe for now.

We were just about to leave the location when suddenly from nowhere a car pulled up and we quickly took cover in the nearby bushes.

The car was dark in colour and one could not identify the make or model on first inspection or how many people were aboard it.

After entering the driveway and locking the gate the driver parked it just in front of the main entrance to the Manor House.

Two adults got out of the vehicle along with one child and a small dog.

The first adult seemed to be carrying a large sack but it was impossible to say how big the sack was,safe to say there was something which seemed to wriggle about in the sack.

The three people then disappeared from our view and the door to the house was firmly shut.

"What do you make of that?",I exclaimed to the others, maybe they had kidnapped someone perhaps a child or maybe it was a very large fish which they had caught that evening in the local river.

Whatever it or who that person was we would have to wait until the following morning to investigate further.

We needed to return home to our respective families and get some sleep on the first day of our summer holidays.

it had been a day of incident and adventure and we would have to wait for the next exciting adventure to unfold in the days to come.

The following morning we all arranged to meet up at the previous nights location outside the old Manor House.

Before then we had to meet and greet our respective families, not to mention undertaking a few home chores.

Otherwise pocket money might be in short supply for personal treats during our long summer holidays.

I drew back my bedroom curtains and was greeted by another gorgeous day.

The sunshine seemed brighter and warmer than ever as it made it's way across my bedroom.

So I opened a small window and breathed in a little morning air and with it the fresh smell of natures finest fragrances.

I was interrupted by my mother who was now no doubt wondering why I was not up and about.

"Mike are you up?, your friends are here",she exclaimed,that's funny I thought I didn't hear the sound of the doorbell,I thought to myself,oh well I had just better get myself ready.

As I made my way down the stairs after getting dressed my mother informed me that my friends had gone to the prearranged venue.

However they decided to remain tight lipped about the exact location as we had our little secrets to keep from prying ears.

We didn't want our nosey peers knowing what we got up to during our free time, otherwise we might end up doing hard labour at home and being denied the right to earn our pocket money.

I quickly grabbed a couple of slices of toast and marmalade and kissed my mum before making a sharp exit.

She seemed surprised but accepted that I was at an age where I just wanted to go out explore and to have a sense of adventure.

Karen meanwhile was still in bed and comforting a rather large bruise to her lower shin after being hit by an opponent in a game of hockey with her two friends the previous day.

She would need extra sleep and recovery time before showing her face this morning, she was due a visit from another friend Vivian who was our neighbour.

They had planned to go in to Chatham today as it was market day and Vivian's mother had given her a shopping list as well as a bit of money,to afford both girls the luxury of a coffee and a cake not to mention their bus fare what a treat!!!!.

My friends Richard,Paul And Stephen were all in position outside the giant iron wrought gates and greeted me on my arrival.

"Hello you three has there been any action so far?",I enquired,Richard replied, "it's been fairly quiet here,but it's only just gone 10 am.

Maybe they are all having a long lie in like we should have had",he replied.

Then he began to yawn and we started to get organised like rookie reporters.

I had brought notepaper,pens,crayons and pencils to draw pictures of our location,these might might prove useful in our pursuit of this adventure.

Nothing much happened for the next couple of hours and we just sat there gripped by anticipation.

Would the car return?, if it had been out,or maybe they would leave after lunch,what about the body or thing that had wriggled in the bag?.

All these questions would know doubt be answered at a later stage I thought to myself.

Eventually we were in luck there was movement at the front of the house as the door opened.

A small cocker spaniel dog seemed to have been released from the house and was now sniffing it's way along the front of the driveway.

Then a lady appeared wearing a large red dress and a bow hat with a pink ribbon, she appeared to be taking the dog for a walk and was making her way to where we were located.

Then shortly afterwards a man appeared, he was short and stocky and had a large moustache, his greasy hair was swept back,he quickly opened up the garage and got in to the awaiting car.

He had only just parked the vehicle on the driveway when he shouted out to the lady.

"Do you want a lift Alysha?", she carried on walking but then turned her head slightly in his direction, her red hair was flowing beneath her hat.

She immediately stopped in her tracks as she got nearer to us,but it would seem we were ok for now and we hadn't been spotted by the approaching lady.

The two adults began to engage in conversation, I just detected that arrangements were being put in place to visit the Medway by boat in a half an hour whatever this meant.

She decided that perhaps it was a little too muddy for a walk and her time might be better served getting organised for the departure with the others.

It was all too confusing, I made a few notes on my small pad and did a rough sketch of the two strangers.

I would fill in the colours to the drawing when I got home as these people were only in my view for a short time before they both returned to the house.

It was now midday and I had promised to return home for lunch at noon,my mum would be getting concerned if I didn't return.

After discussing our findings with my friends we agreed the best course of action was to make our way home and return at 2 pm  in the afternoon.

As we walked through the soft meadow and long tracks by the estuary we noticed a small boat tied up to it's moorings.

There was one paddle attached to it,then I noticed a set of footprints which lead up to the small boat.

We would investigate this further on our way back,but it would seem apparent that someone was planning or has planned a boat trip in the last 24 hours as the prints were fresh.

After waving goodbye to my pals I made my way up the driveway to where I lived only to find that I had been locked out of the house.

There was no sign of my mother and all the windows were locked,it was then that I noticed a small note which has been attached to a flower pot adjacent to the door handle it read.

"Dear Mike I have had to go out to the local hospital with Karen as her leg seems to be badly bruised and swollen,she might need some tests doing on it.

I don't want to take any risks, the house key is beneath this flower pot, help yourself to some lunch.

I have made you and your friends some corned beef sandwiches with your favourite pickle and left them in the pantry, see you later all my love mum".

I was in one way a little disappointed that I could have stayed out longer with my friends, but I guess they had their families too and would have had a lot of explaining to do if we had stayed out all day.

I decided to pack the sandwiches and take a small bottle of lemonade with a piece of country fruit cake,an apple and make a sort of picnic out it.

There was no time to waste, I would have to be the chief observer today until my buddies met up in an hour or so.

It didn't take me long to reach the old house and I was soon to discover that there had been movement on the driveway.

There was evidence that a large vehicle had passed through and there were a set of heavy footprints near the gate.

I was a little concerned that they had made their way out of the house in our absence and we had missed all of the action on our return home.

I was about to tuck in to one of my sandwiches when I noticed a gentleman approach the front door,he was dressed like gamekeeper and possessed a large rifle.

He was looking around the house and didn't make any inclination to enter the building,it seemed more likely that he was looking for something or somebody.

Perhaps we had left our own clues behind and he had been employed by the family to track us down.

After he left and disappeared from view I decided to finish off my picnic and take in some of the warm summer sunshine.

At first I thought of just laying on the warm soft meadow but then I had a more exciting idea.

Why don't I take that little boat out on to the river which connects with the Medway, yes that sounded a capital idea, I thought to myself.

I was in luck the boat was still tied up as I quickly made my way in to the seating area before paddling full pace toward the open expansive river.

 I only hoped that I would remember my position so as to make it back safely but the house was nearby  and easily recognisable.

I had only been gone for no more than 10 minutes when I suddenly heard angry voices shouting at me from the nearby river bank, I then looked up in horror when I recognised who they were.

It was the gent and the lady whom I had seen earlier in the morning, they were waving at me franticly but I chose to ignore them.

Then the gamekeeper appeared and was aiming his gun at the boat, he pulled away but fired a shot in to the afternoon air.

It was enough to disturb most of the wild life in the woodland area as several larks and wood pigeons departed from their positions perched in the nearby woods.

As I got further downstream the echoes and calls became fainter until I could hear them no more.

It seemed I had spent an eternity on the river and I felt like I was being pulled towards the large sand dunes and estuary.

 I then had a horrifying thought what about my friends would I get back in time, would those people be waiting for me and my friends when I got back or on their arrival?,I pondered.

My main problem was that I needed to paddle back and I had decided that this was a sensible course of action to take.

There was precious little time for sunbathing as time was short and it was now only 10 minutes before I was due to meet up with my friends again.

Luckily for me the waters seemed calm today and I was able to reach the safe location with a minute to spare.

This time there were no people shouting at me as they seemed to have disappeared, the old house seemed deserted, certainly there was no car parked in front of the driveway which I had half expected.

After leaving the small boat to bobble on it's own I made my way to the look out point unaware that my friends had already arrived.

They were waiting for me in some nearby bushes and had been spooked by someone or something.

"Pssss!!!!!!! Mike over here",one voice whispered, I then noticed Richard and made my way across to where he was hiding.

"What is it Rich?",I asked, he explained to me that he had seen the stocky man place a large sack in to the back of the awaiting vehicle before I had arrived only 10 minutes since.

The chap then drove the vehicle passed our position and just up the dirt track but had stopped after only a short while.

Then one of the party had noticed that the boat was missing and decided to wait, but you were in the boat and they saw you and right now I think that we might be under close observation.

This startled me and I began to feel apprehensive, maybe we had put ourselves in danger, it was at this point that I heard the sound of a car engine being fired up.

Sure enough the car was making it's way back to the house,but this time it was parked up at the riverside near to where the boat was positioned .

The stocky man began to lift a large sack containing something incredibly heavy, he then pleaded for help from his female accomplice,she was not too forthcoming with any assistance in view of her wearing large high healed shoes.

The stocky man then snapped "anybody would think that you were going to a ball tonight Alysha",he chuckled and then eventually the two of them got in to the boat with the large brown sack.

We didn't know what to do and decided to follow closely from the embankment until they were out of sight.

A few seconds later I heard the sound of a small twig being cracked or stood upon nearby and realised to my horror that the game keeper had discovered our position.

He was now bearing down on all of us,our goose was cooked and he was looking rather menacing as he pointed his large rifle in our direction.

"Now what have we hear 4 little kiddies?, shouldn't you be in a playground somewhere?" he sniggered in his country accent.

He then looked at me alarmingly "you were the one who took the boat down stream weren't you?
I'll teach you a lesson for ignoring me now come with me",he said in an angry voice.

He pointed towards the house and we were forced to make our way to the entrance before he started pushing us along to a small entrance to the outer building.

We were shown an area just behind the back garden which led underneath the building towards the cellar.

It was dark and dank in there and there were so many cobwebs and spiders everywhere.

In a short few minutes we had been locked up and the door bolted behind us,we were now imprisoned and at this evil man's mercy.

Being a practical child I had brought some matches and had saved most of my picnic stuffed in to my coat pockets.

So we would have some food for a little while, we had to get out of there and needed to plan our escape sooner rather than later.

Obviously we became concerned about the time elapse and our parents being worried about our whereabouts  but more important than this was our survival.

I lit a small oil lamp and began to look for any kind of structural weakness in the cellar which could be disturbed or broken that might aid our release.

After an exhaustive search I found nothing, there were a few items of gardening equipment in this place like a fork and pick but nothing substantial.

Then I noticed a small window in the roof it had been muddied so no light was afforded,maybe this could be penetrated it was worth a go, I thought to myself.

The sound of breaking glass was a relief for everyone,soon enough I managed to make a sizeable enough hole for one of us to squeeze through.

It would be a messy escape and our clothes would probably be ruined but we had to get out of this horrid hole.

It was now early evening and only 15 minutes before I was due back home for tea.

Richard was the smallest of us and he made a vain attempt to wriggle through the dangerous hole containing the sharp pieces of glass.

After sustaining a few cuts and bruises  he announced that he had made it and was now removing the tiles off the roof in order to make further progress.

There was a concern that the gamekeeper might be keeping watch and his escape might be ill advised at this stage.

We waited with baited breath until eventually he shouted out loud, "I'm out",we were incredibly relieved now he could raise the alarm and maybe soon we would all be free.

"What do you want me to do Mike"? he shouted excitedly,I offered him advice and informed him to use extreme caution.

If he was caught by the gamekeeper maybe next time we might be placed in an impossible area to make our escape.

He began to crawl down the building which wasn't difficult to negotiate as it was  level with the outer doorway.

He quickly made his way to the nearby bushes, so far so good looking both ways with every step until eventually he had left the main driveway.

He only had the gates to negotiate now, then he thought there might be a problem here.

The large iron wrought gates were closed and padlocked,it was a heck of a descent to climb and reach the other side but he would give it a go.

He made it half way to the top of the gate only to be forced back by the vast amount of energy it took to scale it.

He had two choices to get over the gate or face entrapment,he decided to wait a while in case the car should return, that would make it easy but he would have to make sure he wasn't spotted.

After a short while he was in luck as the black car came speeding up to the gates,now was his big chance to escape.

He quickly hid behind the boot of the car and followed the running vehicle as it made it's way toward the house, this would prove tricky.

Lucky for him he had managed to get through the gate without being spotted,the driver quickly placed the padlock back on to the chain before returning to his vehicle.

He then made his way home to alert the authorities and fingers crossed his pals would all be released by nightfall.

Meanwhile we were still held captive in our smelly dungeon and by now becoming tired and weary.

Just then the door opened up and the stocky driver looked in on us.

"Where is the other boy"?, he exclaimed,he started to become angry and before too long we were being pushed around for answers.

He slapped me across the face,I'm talking to you son where is your mate?",he shouted.

I looked up to my friends and then replied,he had to nip out and do a spot of shopping sir,I'm terribly sorry".


My friends began to laugh hysterically, it certainly broke the ice but this nasty looking man was having none of it.

"Silence the lot of you, if he isn't back here by nightfall I'm going to move you to another den and this one will be the last one your precious eyes will ever see ha ha ",he sniggered.

The door slammed shut and he was gone, the next thing we knew it was nightfall and we all began to fall asleep.

Would we awake to another nightmare scenario tomorrow and would we make it through the night?,I thought to myself.

We only hoped that angels would keep us guard tonight and that the three of us would see the sunlight again.

I awoke the following morning to find that I was all alone but not in the nights previous location.

When I viewed my immediate surroundings I noticed not only that I was tied up to a chair but the smelly dungeon had been replaced by an even more odious looking place.

It was almost dark in this small chamber where I was being held captive, but I noticed that there was a small chink of light emanating from a crack in the wall.

I was aware of dust particles in the air as the bright Sun rays appeared to creep through tiny cracks in the wall on the other side of this primitive location.

I tried in vain to free myself but alas the rope was just to thick,I had no idea what had become of my friends and was now fretting about my own fate.

There was a bruise on my right forearm yet I wasn't sure how I had sustained it,then shortly after I had examined it,I heard footsteps.

It was evident that there were people outside who were about to reach my location,I distinctly heard two voices, both of them seem to be arguing about some point in conversation.

All of a sudden the door to this horrid place sprung open and I immediately realised to my immense relief that the two men in front of me were indeed police officers.

They had come to rescue me, the relief on my face must have said it all as I was overjoyed to see them.

"Mike is that you?, we've come to get you out of here and take you home, dear me what have they done to you?, let me take a look at that bruise.

I've brought a first aid kit with me somewhere, ah yes here it is", he exclaimed,as he took a small tin out of his breast pocket, it was no bigger than that of a bicycle tyre repair kit.

He began to dress my wound after untying me and I asked about the fate of my friends on the way from the location to the awaiting police car.

"I'm sorry to report Mike that we don't know what has happened to the other two lads but Richard is safe of course, he told me all about your unfortunate run in with these villains.

He's back home now after making a full statement and I am sure there will be lots too catch up with when you two meet up in the morning, if you haven't exhausted yourself with all that you have been through.",he said.

They took me to their police station and I gave a full account of the days events which pretty much tied in what Rich had told them, I am led to believe although this wasn't completely confirmed.

I arrived home to a hero's welcome all three of my family were stood outside waiting for my arrival.

My mother gave me a huge hug before I entered the family home and before to long we were all having a family meal and a chat as if nothing much had gone on.

The time was fast approaching early evening and I was becoming anxious about my friends, the police had gone to the "Manor House",but they had found that we had been moved to another location.

One officer believed we had been taken to separate locations to make it difficult for the police to find us.

Luckily they had spotted me being lifted from the house and awaited the criminals next move before they spotted my new location.

Apparently the two men and a female accomplice had made their escape by boat which was located near to where they had found me.

The police were unable to continue their pursuit of the three people as it was over water and they simply didn't have the resources.

A detailed description had been recorded and an artists impression of the kidnappers had been made.

All ports were put on high alert incase these people should try to escape to France tonight,this would seem a logical choice, although in view of the war going on in central Europe that might  prove not a wise move.

The day was drawing to an end and I sat up with my mum for a while enjoying a nice cup of my favourite drink of cocoa before heading off to bed.

The following morning I got up bright and early and promised mum and dad to stay local and that I might spend time with Richard if he was up for it.

We eventually met up by chance as I was about to cycle to his house by bike, it was only after a few minutes when I left my driveway that I saw him approaching me.

"Hiya Rich what's new any word from the police about Paul and Stephen?",I enquired.

"No not a dicky bird it would seem everything's gone cold I guess all we can do is wait.

I think the police will be putting photo impressions out of those villains via their public resources.

There is going to be a broadcast on the local radio network tonight for an information appeal or something along those lines.",he said.

We decided to head for our meeting place,namely the garden shed to discuss our next move and how we could help the police to find our two friends.

The dragons blood was running short so I nipped out to the local newsagents to replenish stocks.

I bought a few black jacks,fruit salads,sherbet dips,drumsticks along with a few other children's treats as we would be cooked up in the shed for a while.

The police had offered a reward for information leading to the capture of these criminals of £100 and we were in the running to receive this reward as we had so much contact with them.

Lunchtime was not far away now and my sister was looking for me I could clearly hear her voice approaching our secret location.

We couldn't have her knowing what we were up to and revealing our secret hideaway could we?,both of us laughed before sneaking out via a back window.

"I'm here Karen,lunch is it?,I exclaimed,she looked rather startled and in a slight state of shock before announcing some unexpected news.

It's the police they just phoned and said that two young children's bodies have been washed up on the sandbanks of the "Medway".

They want you to identify them once they have transported their bodies to the morgue.",she said.

I was in shock as was Rich,"you don't think it's our friends do you Rich",I enquired.

Then we quickly made our way to our respective homes and awaited a police car which would take us to the said location.

It was mid afternoon and I was becoming slightly parched not to mention a tad hungry but my mind was distracted with all these new worrying developments

I now had the awful task of identification, not only that but both parents of our two friends would be present too.

We were collected by police car soon after and taken to the dreaded place, a small man in a white coat escorted us in to a room and explained a few facts about the identification process.

We didn't have to feel obliged to enter the room but it would be appreciated if we did and he promised to support us in the act of identification where at all possible.

At last we would finally find out the terrible truth as the small man pulled back the sheets from the two slabs.

Relief must have been etched across all of our faces because although these two lads had met with their unfortunate and premature demise they were not our two friends.

We had a wasted trip and the search would go on for now this was a trying experience for all of us.

There would be one significant discovery before the end of the day as the police made a statement on Radio Kent.

A body had been discovered in a bag dumped in the river where I had taken the boat out earlier in the week indeed that mystery had been solved.

The body was of an RAF pilot who's plane had been shot down over enemy territory in Calais and he had been interrogated by a group of German Nazi's.

They wanted information about allied positions, it would seem apparent that our kidnappers were indeed working for the German government and had been sent over here as spies.

The intelligence grew every day and eventually the Mod took full control of the case, the military police would handle it from this point on.

One week after our abduction news came through,that finally our two friends had been located at an old farm house just north of Beckenham in Kent.

They appeared to be dehydrated and suffering from starvation but other that they were in a reasonable state of health.

A local farmer had spotted a suspicious character on his farmland and had contacted the police,who in turn gave him the description of the three wanted criminals.

They were overjoyed to be free again and spent a considerable amount of time away from the club to be with their families.

We all got together towards the end of our summer holidays in late August to discuss the adventure, but we couldn't believe we were going to miss out on the reward.

Then I remembered the Roman coins in all the excitement of the events which had come and passed.

I brought it to the attention of our parents and my uncle who knew a decent antique dealer, who lived locally and he would assess the horde of coins.

They might go up for auction in the late summer although firstly it would have to be established whether they were crown property.

In view of the UK being at war the money raised from these valuable coins may be used as a contribution towards the war effort.

No more was heard of the three villains and it was anticipated that they had indeed made their way back across the channel.

The gamekeeper however was arrested after he voluntarily handed himself in at a local police station.

The war was now intensifying and our police and home guard would have their work cut out with other pressing matters which included home defence.

The coins were finally valued at 500 guineas and were made treasure trove.

Which meant that so long as they were sold to a reputable source such a national art museum,all the proceeds would go to the finder.

This was unbelievable and we rejoiced with this news, suddenly we had become the most famous and wealthiest kids club in the whole wide world.

We could afford more luxurious surroundings and would make a huge donation from our new found wealth.

First of all we would make a donation to the charity associated with victims of the war effort to help their families in their hour of need.

Our club went on for many years until we moved home in 1946, a year after the war had ended.

The new residents wouldn't allow their kids to play with Rich,Stephen and Paul but by then we were all in our teens any way and living in different parts of the country.

My father had been promoted to chief cashier and we were now living in "Hamble en le rice" in a  suburb of Southampton which was a very well to do area.

We never much talked about our days at the club but kept in contact by letter until I finally lost contact with my friends in my mid 20's.

I decided instead to write a book about those exciting days of my past childhood.
Eventually I took a job in my grand father's printing company  which was based in Southampton and I became head printer in my late 50's. 

THE END


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