John Creasey

Holiday for Inspector West

Stanley Paul 1946
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JANET WEST tried to do three things at once, with varying success. She kept an eye on her elder son, who was Martin called Scoopy, she amused Richard called Richard, who was sitting on a travelling rug spread over the sands, and she looked for her husband, who had been away for half an hour on a quest for ice-cream. Martin called Scoopy, who was just two years old, stood watching a tiny girl whose fair, curly hair was half-hidden by a white linen hat. A warm, slanting sun beat down upon the sands and the rippling sea, which trickled in and out, round the elder children's feet. In Scoopy's hand was a small bucket of water. Suddenly, he raised it determinedly, and Janet called quickly: "Scoopy, no!" He sent her a sidelong glance and then allowed a few drops of water to fall on the little girl's feet. "Scoopy/" He gave Janet a broad grin in response to that cry, turned away from the child and caught sight of a piece of bright green seaweed which had been washed up by the last gentle ripple. While he examined it, Richard let forth a sound between a crow of delight and a cry of pain. Janet looked towards the promenade, caught a glimpse of Roger, her husband, and out of the corner of her eye saw a yellow thing hovering about Richard's curly head. This yellow visitor greatly intrigued one-year-old Richard.

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