Make your own free website on Tripod.com
| Home | 2nd chapter | 3rd chapter | 4th Chapter | 5th Chapter | 6th chapter | 7th chapter | 8th Chapter | 9th Chapter | 10th chapter | 11th chapter | 12th chapter
7th chapter

A Novel Idea - a Soap

This is a 1-column page.

Enter subhead content here

Chapter 7

 

 

Joelle and Mildred had a light dinner, and Joelle offered to stay with Mildred for the night, and then go to the funeral in the morning with her.

 

Mildred accepted this offer, the last thing she needed now was to be alone.  She told Joelle all about her last visit with her mother and the puzzle of what her mother said about the white box in the garage..  It was such a big mystery.  Oh well she and Errol were going the following week to clear out the garage and the house.  Mildred had decided to sell the place, so they had to make sure everything was dealt with.  She would contact an agent once her parents belongings were cleared out or sold.

 

The following morning the funeral was just a blur to Mildred, it had not been that long since the funeral for her father.  They had arranged for her mothers ashes to be placed with her fathers.

 

****

 

Errol had contacted the adoption agency, and informed them that his birth mother and he had met.  He thanked them for their help, and told them that his mother had informed him that he had a twin sister.  They said they would look into the records.  Several days later a letter arrived, informing him that apparently his sister had been placed through another agency.  The contact details of the agency was enclosed and he immediately wrote to them for any information they may have.

 

 

***

 

Mildred and Errol headed over to Mildred parents place.  Mixed emotions ran through her as they pulled up outside her childhood home.  They decided to tackle the house first and leave the garage til later.  They carefully went through various rooms looking for the items Mildred wanted to keep.  She had a list of things that her mother and father had requested go to certain people.  It was going to be a time consuming process.

 

“So have you heard anymore about the twin sister you were told about”  Mildred asked as they were going through he kitchen items.

 

“No I’m still for the other agency to get back to me.”  Errol commented.

 

“Say look at this, I had almost forgotten about it.”  Mildred held up a box with some serviette holders that she had made in Kindergarten.  “You know my parents still use these when they have a family dinner.

 

“Very colourful, and creative.”  Errol gave her one of his, all knowing smiles.  “they really have lasted well over the years.”

 

Most of the kitchen was nearly sorted out, what family and friends did not want from each of the rooms they boxed and were going to get the Salvation Army to come and collect it for their people. 

 

They both spent 2 days at this task, labelling packing and so forth.  Monday Errol had to return to work, so Mildred continued on alone for a few days until Joelle had some time off work and came to finish up with the last of the house.  The following Saturday they tackled the Garage.

 

“Good grief what a mess” exclaimed Joelle.  There is dust everywhere and I’m sure there must be a family of spiders somewhere in here”

“You can say that again,” Said Mildred, as she brushed aside some cobwebs from her arms and hair.  She had not expected them and walked straight into the garage. And into the web.  “My parents were such pack rats.”

 

After grabbing the broom from the front veranda she started to clear some of the webs away so they could get in. 

Mildred’s fathers car was covered in a sheet to keep it clean.  It was a classic 1949 Riley 100HP 2.5L Roadster only 500 of this model were ever made.  Its chrome shone in the sunlight, and the leather looked quite new.

Mildred had always loved this car.  Her father had bequeathed it to her in his will, She would always remember him when she drove around in it.

 

Just then her mobile rang.  It was Errol with very exciting news.

 

“They have tracked down the agency through who my sister was adopted.”  He said excitedly down the phone to her.

 

“Oh Errol, that is such exciting news.”  Mildred was thrilled for him.

 

“Yes they are in another state, and are going to fax me some details.” 

 

They chatted for a while and then Mildred and Joelle continued on with the clearing of the garage.

A lot of the things in the garage would be thrown out they were half way through when Joelle commented “Hey Mil, Didn’t your mother mention something about a white box in the garage.”

 

“Oh that’s right, I had forgotten about that.  So much has been going on in the last few weeks.”

 

Joelle pulled out a large white wooden box, that had a very heavy lock on it.  It was painted with flowers that had faded over the years.

 

“I’ll look at it later, when I have more time.”  Mildred said, feeling a little uneasy about what to do. 

 

Joelle helped her move the box into the boot of Mildred’s car. 

 

***

 

T.J. Had returned to work, and was going through the mountains of papers that were in his in tray.  On top of it was the Urgent memo from Mr Bigell in relation to the abduction of Tiffany Hills.  T.J. Glanced at it then put it in the bin.  As he walked from his desk to get a coffee from the coffee machine all of a sudden it hit him,  that van looked very familiar.  He raced back to the desk and grabbed the paper out of the bin.  He studied the van carefully. 

 

The picture was not very clear, but there was a distinctive floral pattern on the passenger side door, which had caught his attention as the van passed him.  He contacted security immediately.

 

***

 

Dickson had been left on his own to run the Special collection unit for several weeks due to the abduction of Tiffany and Mildred being off on Compassionate leave.  He had made great leeway with the Manuscripts and had over half of them sorted and the ones that needed copying he had the night staff and weekend staff to do.

 

Mildred had popped in occasionally to see how things were, she was very shocked when she found out the Tiffany had been abducted.  They had out of respect for her morning not told her.  Any problems that Dickson had he left until Mildred’s next visit or contacted Mr Bigell and got his permission or advice.  Which Mr Bigell seemed to take great pride in doing.  Mildred for long had been very self sufficient and had things running smoothly.  Any reference queries he had handed over to Joelle or one of the other reference librarians.  He really was not a people person, and was more a back room person. 

 

More shelving had arrived, the general assistance in the library had been organised to have it put up, which was a dreadfully noisy job.  But hey had it up in half a day, so it did not disrupt thing too much.  The first of the books and art pieces that came with the Wallford-Millington collection had arrived back from the catalogue section, they were now listed on the libraries computer.  Dickson had them shelved in neat order fairly quickly.  He was very happy that there were no clients allowed in the area, as they tended to make a huge mess of things.  Some of them did not even know how to use a library catalogue either.   He sometimes wondered how they made it into University in the first place.

 

It would be serval more months before everything was sorted, but they were making a good start.  Once Mildred was back then, things would bet back to some form of normal.

 

****

 

Mildred sat looking at the box on her living room floor.  She wanted to see what was inside, but had a feeling that something was wrong.  Oh well she had so much more to do sorting out the house and other stuff from her parents house.  She decided to wait for a few days.  Just then her door bell rang.

 

Errol was bouncing with excitement.  He had received a letter from the agency his sister had been adopted through.

 

“Hi Mildred, Josh said to apologise for being late but he will be by later after seeing some clients.”

 

“What are you going to do now.? “Mildred asked.

 

“They said they are still tracking to see where the parents have moved.  As they are not living in the same state anymore.”  Errol replied “It could take weeks or months, but at least I know they may be able to find them.”

 

“I know you moved here from America, But where was it that you were adopted “

 

“According to Hattie, my sister and I were born in New Zealand, I was adopted there, and from what the agency told me my sister was bought here to Australia to be adopted by some Australian Parents.”

 

“That’s strange, I would have thought that the adoption of your sister would have taken place in the same country at least.” 

 

Ill have to find out more details later, Hey guess what, Hattie came here early for her fathers funeral.  You will never guess who my birth grandfather was!”  Errol was rather excited.

 

“Who?” queried Mildred.

 

Dr Albert T. Wallford-Millington” said Errol with great pride in his voice.

 

“Your kidding, I saw some of her art work in the his house when we went to clear out the things that

his family donated to us.”  Mildred shook her head in amazement.  “So your related to the famous Dr Wallford-Millington, Wow!”

 

They chatted on for a while until Josh arrived.  They were going to have dinner together.  Josh noticed the white box in the living room. He enquired as to what it was, and that it looked faded and dusty, as well as a good place for spiders to gather. Mildred explained about the mystery message from her mother, and said she did not feel like opening it now, but would do it a little later.  They understood her reasons so left it at that.

 

Dinner was pleasant as always with Josh and Errol, they always knew how to brighten her day when she was feeling a little down.

 

***

 

Later that evening in the office of Captain Martin Yates, after he had received the information from T.J. on the sighting of the van.  He had gathered his team of officers together and along with Professor Hills was going over the plan to check out the adjoining property to the one T.J. had bought.  It sounded very possible that that was where Walter had taken Tiffany. 

 

“Now we are going to have to take this very quietly, as we don’t want to frighten Walter.  That may cause him to become violent and he may harm Tiffany.  So are we all clear on what is to be done.”  Captain Yates stated.

 

Everyone nodded their understanding.  Mitchell asked “So T.J. is going to just casually go over and introduce himself as their next door neighbour.”

 

“Yes, he will make it appear that he had noticed that someone had bought the property and was paying a neighbourly call.  Offer any assistance they may need etc.” clarified the Sergeant.  “But from what he tells me about the description of the van, sounds very much like the one in the pictures from the security tapes.”

 

Everything was set in place, the police would wait in plain vehicles on T.J. s’ property and then as T.J. was going to be wired they could hear what was going on.  The trees between both properties would give a very good cover so they could approach the house without being seen.  But all caution would still need to be taken.

 

***

 

 

Joelle had been having one of those nights.  She was rostered on the evening service, and at night time you never knew what was going on around you.  One of the junior assistants had come into her office after shelving to report that she had seen a couple partially undressed and  getting amorous in the stacks.  The girl was on just out of high school and this was her first job. 

 

Joelle had phoned security to deal with it and the red faced couple were escorted out of the building, after having their details taken.

 

A knock came on Joelles door  “Excuse me Joelle.”  Joelle looked up to see Dr Denver Anvers at the door.

 

“Hello Denver, do come in.”

 

Dr Anvers was a very interesting person.  He was head of the Medical faculty, he stood around 6 feet

5 inches.  Black hair, the most incredible Blue eyes Joelle had ever seen.  He worked out at the gym, which gave him a very muscular appearance.  His voice was deep, but quiet.  And when he smiled, it made all the girls hearts miss a beat.  He had come to the University Several years ago from Toronto, where he had been in semi retirement.  But the opportunity to work with the medical faculty at the Wattle Grange University was too much for him to refuse.  He was only fairly young still.  He had only just turned 48 a few months back, and was loving every minute of working with the team of very dedicated Medical Researchers.

 

“I was wondering if you had time to help me with some research?”  He questioned.

 

“Sure take a seat, and I’ll see what I can do.”

 

He sat down on the seat next to Joelle and told her of the research he was doing.  The smell of his aftershave was enough to make her heart miss a beat. 

 

“Now it will take me a few days to get all this information for you, ill send you an email when I’ve found it.”  Joelle said at the end 2 hours.  “Its going to be a good challenge for me, I think we may have some of this information in our special collections.  Ill get Dickson, who is the only one there at the moment,  to do a search of the collection once I’ve gone and sorted out what it is we are looking for..”

 

“Thanks Joelle you’re a peach.” He said as he got up to leave.  “Oh by the way, are you free next Friday evening, I was hoping to talk you into coming to a departmental function as my date.”  He blushed a little, he had, had a liking for Joelle for a long time, and always tried to get some excuse to call or come over to see her.

 

“Why that would be lovely,” Joelle said, blushing almost as much as Denver was “I would like that very much.  Thank you for asking.”

 

She gave him her details as to where to pick her up.

 

Denver walked out of the library a very happy man, Joelle was just as happy.  She had sensed that they had a special bond, her heart always skipped a beat when he was around.

 

 

***

 

Tiffany heard a vehicle pull up out side.  She race to the window seeing a black van pull up, and Walter getting out.  She felt panicked.  What was she going to do, she had tried all the doors and windows but there was no escape.  She did not know what to do, or where to turn.  “Ok” she thought to herself.  “If I stay calm and go along with him, I may find a way to get out.”

 

Just then the door opened and in came Walter with a bag of Groceries.

 

“Hi Honey I’m home I’m sorry I was so long, there was so much to get done before we go on our holiday.”  He sounded bright and cheerful as though they were married and had a life together.

 

She wandered what she should do or say, she quickly offered to help put the groceries away and bide her time.  She had heard of people like Walter turning nasty if they felt they were not in control.  She offered to make a cup of tea for him. 

 

As she took the bags, he turned and locked the door.  Nausea filled her mind and stomach, this was not going to be easy.

 

She chatted to him pleasantly, they talked about ‘their’ holiday, and what he was planning on.  He was obviously very delusional.  She thought by now they would have already started the search for her, but did not know how long it would be, she thought she had only been in the house for 2 or 3 days, but was a little confused.  He had obviously been planning this for ages, and the place was set up beautifully.  She made a point of commenting on how lovely this place was and how much she liked the décor.

 

Just then a knock came on the door, Walter looked annoyed, Tiffany felt a glimmer of hope arise.

 

“Stay there!” he commanded as he went to the door to see who it was.  He was not happy that someone had intruded on his time with his beloved Tiffany.

 

He opened the door, putting a pleasant look on his face.  “Yes can I help you”  He said politely.

 

“Good morning,  I’m T.J. Zedka I have the cabin next door.  I noticed that this place had new occupants so I thought I would pop in to introduce myself and offer any help you may need.”  All the while he was talking he was looking past the door to see if he could see any sight of Tiffany.

 

“Good morning, its nice to meet you. Yes my wife and I bought this place not long ago.  We have only recently been married.  She is a little unwell and is laying down at the moment.  Otherwise I would have invited you in.”  Walter felt agitated but tried to keep a calm persona.

 

“You sure have done wonders to this place, last I saw it, it was a real shambles.” T.J. was trying to keep things light and unthreatening.  Just then he saw Tiffany step cautiously out from behind the door at the far end.  He made a quick mental note that is was her.  And used the prearranged code of “Say is that a Georgian side board.”  To indicate that he had seen Tiffany.

 

Tiffany quickly ducked back into the kitchen,  Walter glanced around,  “Oh no its Edwardian, so many people get the two periods mixed up.”  He was very impressed that someone would take an interest in the furniture. 

 

“I would love to have a look at some of the other furniture you have.  I am a collector, and know of someone who is selling several pieces you may be interested in.”  T.J. offered.  “After you wife is feeling a little better of course.”

 

“That would be great, we are always looking for new pieces.  But we are going off next week on our honeymoon.  And won’t be back for several weeks.  So Ill drop over and arrange something when we get back.”  Walter was sounding very confident that he had things under control.

 

“Well Give my regards to your wife, I look forward to meeting her, and you when you get back.”  With that T.J. left, “Did you get that?” he said into the microphone he had concealed. He then made some general comments on what he had seen.  “Bars on windows, heavy locks on doors and windows.  Stairs are on the right of the front door.”  By the time he had got back to the command post they had all the information they needed.

 

“Right,” Captain Yeats stated “We are going to need to take action quickly.  Hanson, I want you to turn off the electricity.  Morgan your team is to keep observation on all sides of the house.  Any sign of Tiffany coming outside grab her.  But don’t put her or yourself in danger, we don’t know if he is packing a gun.  Andress have your men tap the phone lines so that if he makes a call about the power outage we can trap the call and act as the power company and send in some of our men in their place.  Has someone got the uniforms from the power company… good now lets keep our eyes open get this finished safely and quickly.  Mitch I want you to stay with me.”  With the instructions given, everyone flew into action. 

 

The power was cut off, Officer Morgan had 20 men stationed around the perimeter of the house.  As predicted within 10 minutes of the power being cut off, Walter came outside to the fuse box.  and could not get the power on.  He looked frustrated. One of the officers on the perimeter gave a running report as to what he was doing.  The team on the phone tap kept alert.  Sure enough someone from inside the house phoned.  

 

The Phone team had a monitor to indicate the number being called so they could instantly know who was being contacted.  Luckily it was the number for the phone company.  One of the female officers got on the line and initiated contact.

 

“Electricity Plus, Merrill speaking how can I help you.”  She felt a little uneasy but kept her voice as light and friendly as possible.

 

“Yes this is Walter Milling of Lot 776 Mine Hill Rise, We seem to have a power outage at our place, can you let me know if there is a problem in the area.” 

“One moment sir and ill check for you”.  The officer put him on hold with the usual phone music.  Several moments later she came back to him. “Mr Milling,”

 

“Yes.”  Replied Walter.

 

“There does not appear to be any problem in the general area.”

 

Walter thought for a moment.  “Would you be able to send someone to check our supply.  I only recently bought the house.  The place was in a bit of a shambles, so there could be something with our lines.”

 

“I can arrange that, just one moment and Ill see if there is a crew van near you.”  She placed him on hold and queried if they had been able to borrow one of the electric companies vans. 

 

“Yes, Mr Milling there is a van not more than 30 minutes away from you.  But they are in the middle of another job.  Would 4pm this afternoon be convenient.”

 

“Yes that would be good,”  He commented, he then gave her directions to the house.

 

“Thank you sir, Mike and Fred will be there as promptly as possible.” She hung up and informed them that the operation was on.

 

***

 

Mary Emmerson had worked in the library for well over 45 years, she had.  She had worked in several sections of the library.  From the loans and enquiry desk.  To the reference section, and even was in charge of the special collections for some time.  She had been Associate Librarian of library services for 15 of those years.  She loved her job, and always made a point of keeping in touch with the staff and what was going on with each section under her charge.  After so long Mary thought it was time to hand in her retirement notice, after all she had been there since she was 16.  And 45 years of working in one place, as much as she loved it, was a little trying.

 

She had the letter already typed up on her computer and all she needed to do was to print the letter out and send it off to Mr Bigell.  It would be a happy day when she saw the last of that man.  She thought he was not very nice to the lower level staff.  As he felt it was beneath him to speak to them. 

 

After printing off the letter and signing it, Mary put it in the out going mail for her secretary, Amy to send off the following morning.

 

Mary had very fond memories of most of the time she worked in the library.  She was very fond of most of the staff, and had come to know them very well.  Always pleasant and taking the time to stop and chat, catch up with what was going on in every ones life.  When Mary had heard of the death of Mildred Mansaw’s parents she had organised a collection to be taken from the entire library staff.  She had personally delivered it, telling Mildred to take as much time off as she liked.

 

“You know, Mildred”  she said to her several weeks back, “I’m thinking of retiring soon, and I hope that you will put in an application for the job.  You would be wonderful at it.”

 

Mildred had not been too thrilled with that idea, but had been giving it some thought.

 

After organising a few last minute details for Amy to attend to she decided to leave early and catch up on some of her reading and cross stitch, which seems to take forever if you don’t get the time to do it.

 

***

 

Mildred had sat for days with the white box from her parents garage, staring at her.  She knew she would have to open it sooner or later.  So she decided to take a deep breath and sat down to open the last remaining item that was to connect her to her parents.

 

The hinge was a little rusty as was the lock, it took a good dose of WD40 to get it loose enough to open.  The lid creaked open, the smell of dust and mould hit her.  Reaching in the first thing she pulled out was a small box which had her name written on it.  She opened the box and found a set of baby clothes.  She smiled to herself and examined each of the 8 tiny garments that were inside.  Fortunately they were still in good condition, so she would, see her friend Mrs Banning and ask her for advice on how to keep them in good condition.  Mrs Banning had worked for the historical society for a number of years in the Childhood museum and had several lovely clothes that were dating back to 1845. 

 

Next out of the box she pulled a pair of bronzed booties, also with her name on it and her birthday date.

 

“Were my feet ever that small” She chuckled to herself.

 

She was momentarily distracted by a knock at the door.  She opened it to find Errol, Josh and Joelle standing there, They had got some Chinese take away and bought it over for the evening.

 

“Oh Mil Darling, I see you have taken a leap and decided to open that lovely little box.”  Josh gushed  “so what goodies have we discovered so far.”

 

Mildred showed them into the living room, then went into the kitchen to get some plates and cutlery.  On returning she showed them the lovely little clothes and booties.

 

Reaching in again she found some old papers, Sorting through them, she found her baby passport,  “Hmmm I must have done some travelling when we were young,  shame I don’t remember it.”  Next she found letters written by people she knew as a child but who had passed away now, they all seem to be character references for her parents.  There was one from Nice Professor Martin who her father worked for.  One from the Police commissioner,  one from the minister of the church Reverend Obadiah Jacobs, and one from the mayor of the city, who was a personal friend of her mothers.  This confused everyone.  Why would they need character references.  Further shuffling of the papers she came across a carefully preserved envelope that had the name of a New Zealand Hospital. 

 

“Gosh this is getting exciting” exclaimed Errol, who had who had suddenly turned pail on seeing the name of the hospital, and recognising it was the same hospital his mother had told him he was born at.  Hattie had told him that at birth she had named him Austen Manning Wallford-Millington after her grand father.

 

But the name on the Certificate inside was Amanda Emma Wallford-Millington.  There was a gasp from all in the room.  Errol and Mildred just looked at each other. Behind this piece of paper was an adoption certificate and a change of name authorisation to change the Childs name from Amanda Emma Wallford-Millington to Mildred Agnes Mansaw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Colleen Hunter 2004

Enter supporting content here