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A NICE LITTLE TRIP
DAISY STORIES by Crystal Jones
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Put the translated title here A nice little trip
  "Daisy, it’s me - Ted," Detective-Inspector Singleton was telephoning his favourite private detective.
  They had met on a case and ever since they had been going out together, when work permitted.
  "How are you fixed for the next few days?"
  Daisy had been drinking a boiling hot mug of Ovaltine as it was still a bit chilly in the office.
  The first flowers were hesitating at coming out but there was a bright sun in the sky.
  "Well, Mr. Floodbridge is coming in tonight to start whitewashing the office, so I’m free whenever you like. What’s on, Ted?"
  "I’m taking you to France this very evening - to Boulogne, to see the sights. All right to come back next Tuesday?"
  "That’s fine by me." Daisy was already going through her wardrobe mentally.
  "I believe it’s a bit warmer in Boulogne than here in East Anglia."
  "Yes, I believe it is" replied Ted "What if I pick you up at half past seven? We’re catching the night ferry - the Dovercraft - and we can have a nice meal on the boat."
  Ted paused a moment as he always did when he felt guilty.
  "Oh, by the way, I haven’t got my moustache any more.
  "This morning I was in such a hurry that I cut too much off on one side and decided I’d better start again from scratch."
  "Oh no, Ted! I can’t imagine you without it! Anyway, I must go now, because I’ve got some throwing-away to do here."
  Daisy looked at the posters she had put up on the walls - of Egypt and Israel - and sighed.
  "I’ll have to make do without them now. They’re so torn and dirty.
  "But maybe I can get some more from the travel agency. Anyway I’ll have a nice clean office to come back to."
  She made a few phone calls to clients and one to Mr. Floodbridge, the whitewasher, to make sure he had the office keys.
  Then she made her way home to pack her bottle of Opium perfume, some mid-season clothes and a warm wool-lined raincoat.
  Daisy had been over to the Continent several times, but never with Ted.
  As she felt very peckish, she fixed herself a bumper tomato and corned beef sandwich.
  Detective-Inspector Morris Singleton arrived perfectly on time for their appointment at 7.30.
  Daisy stared at Ted: "You know, you look quite nice without your moustache, but I think I prefer you with it."
  "All right," promised Ted, "I won’t shave it off again."
  As they made their way to Dover by car it started to rain quite heavily.
  "Hope it’s not going to be windy as well," remarked Ted.
  Once on board they had a look round the Dovercraft.
  The duty-free shop was full of tourists buying last-minute presents.
  In a colourful room, small childen were wide awake being entertained by a magician dressed as a clown, and their grateful parents were having a ‘quick one’ in the nearby lounge.
  There was also a restaurant which had the air of being very expensive and a much cheaper one full of starving travellers.
  The lounge looked pleasant with big comfortable armchairs, and at the end of it there was a lively bar clinking glasses continuously.
  "Ted, I’m starving, can we go for that wonderful meal you promised me?" Daisy pleaded.
  Just then the boat rocked sideways and nearly made Daisy fall over.
  "Oh Ted, it’s a bit rough, isn’it."
  But Ted couldn’t reply. He was deathly pale and gasping for fresh air.
  "Ted, whatever’s wrong? You’re not seasick, are you?"
  Daisy had never been seasick, or even airsick and it had never entered her mind anybody else could be, or even what it was like.
  "Ted, let’s go outside for a bit."
  Daisy helped him outside the lounge into the fresh air.
  Unfortunately a very strong wind was blowing and they had to go back in again.
  "Don’t worry about me Daisy," Ted was breathing heavily.
  "You go ahead and have something. I’ll just sit here by myself in the lounge."
  "No, Ted, I’ll stay with you," insisted Daisy.
  "No Daisy, really, I’d prefer just to sit here quietly and not talk to anybody."
  "All right, if that’s what you want...I won’t be long."
  Daisy made her way to the self-service restaurant hoping to get back to Ted as soon as possible, but there was an incredible queue.
  However, the staff were efficient and in ten minutes Daisy was having her cod, chips and peas, followed by Spotted Dick and custard and a cup of black coffee.
  Daisy returned to Ted who was now facing the window and had the collar of his waterproof jacket turned up.
  "Feeling better, Ted?" Ted didn’t turn round.
  "It’s rather hot in here now, isn’t it?" continued Daisy taking off her warm mac.
  "Ted, what’s the matter?"
  Daisy touched his shoulder, noticing he hadn’t answered.
  "Daisy," hissed Ted still facing the window, "come and sit next to me! I can’t turn round." Once Daisy was seated, Ted explained: "William Rowles is sitting at the end of the lounge having a beer!"
  Daisy breathed in rapidly.
  She whispered, "You mean William Rowles, the violent Soho gangster! But I thought he was in prison."
  "Yes he was, I put him in prison myself for fourteen years." Ted was speaking with difficulty and paused every few seconds.
  "They transferred him to a Scottish prison and he managed to escape last week! He’s fatter than he was, but that’s him all right."
  Daisy avoided looking towards the end of the lounge.
  Ted continued: "I don’t think he has recognised me because I haven’t got my moustache any more but if he recognises me he could cause a lot of trouble.
  "Daisy, he’s very violent and could easily be armed in some way."
  "What shall we do, Ted?" Daisy felt a little scared by now.
  "You must help me. I can’t manage the situation alone, I’m too weak.
  "You must go to the captain, tell him about all this and get Rowles arrested. I’ll sit here until the officers arrive."
  Daisy tried to move away inconspicuously and walked along the lounge to the exit.
  Just then three young men came through the door with cans of beer in their hands.
  Suddenly the ship lurched again and one of the young men fell against Daisy accidentally pouring beer down her new green silk blouse.
  "Oh no, my new blouse," Daisy thought "it must be ruined and I smell of beer now."
  Realising that she might be drawing attention to herself, Daisy quickly absolved the young man from his responsibility, hurried away along the corridor towards the officers’ room and knocked on the door.
  An officer opened the door at last and stared at Daisy and her beer-stained blouse.
  "Can I help you miss?" Daisy had clearly interrupted his evening meal as he still had a napkin in his hand.
  "We need your help, that is Detective-Inspector Singleton does.
  "There’s a dangerous criminal, an escaped convict, in the lounge having a drink - William Rowles is his name - and....."
  The officer could smell Daisy’s beery clothes and interpreted it badly.
  "Look, Miss, why don’t you go back and sit down a bit.
  "There are no dangerous criminals on this boat. You clearly fell asleep and had a bad dream."
  "Don’t you dare treat me like that." Daisy angrily reacted at his patronising tone.
  "I’m not dreaming it all up. I’m not drunk either, someone spilt their beer all over me while I was hurrying to get here."
  Daisy’s voice became even more determined.
  "There is a police officer in the lounge who is very seasick and he sent me to get help.
  "If you don’t help him, you’ll be in a lot of trouble yourself."
  Daisy pushed her way past the man into the room where four other officers were having their meal and had probably heard what she had said.
  Before they could realise what was really happening, Daisy was giving orders:
  "Come along, all of you, you have to arrest an escaped convict immediately."
  Daisy was very persuasive when she liked.
  A tall grey-haired man got up: "I’m Captain Granger, Madam, what were you saying?"
  "Captain, if you come with me to meet Detective-Inspector Singleton in the lounge he can tell you himself.
  "You must be discreet because if this Rowles sees my friend’s face he might recognise him as he was the one who arrested him years ago."
  Back in the lounge Daisy went over to Ted and sat down next to him.
  After a few seconds the Captain came by as though he were casually seeing if everything was all right on the Dovercraft.
  He bent over Ted who discreetly showed him his identification and left the lounge.
  After one minute an officer had changed his clothes and replaced the barman while three others were entering the lounge from the three exits.
  Daisy signalled to Ted that the men had arrived and he got up shakily.
  He went over with the men towards Rowles, who was by now quite merry on beer.
  Rowles didn’t recognise Singleton at all without his moustache but stared at him as though he couldn’t quite place his face.
  "I’m Detective-Inspector Singleton and I’m arresting you, William Rowles. Captain, take him away and lock him up."
  Rowles suddenly got up and threw the contents of his glass into Singleton’s face, broke the beer glass still in his hand, dashing it against a table, to use as a weapon and made towards the exit near to where Daisy was still sitting.
  Daisy had been watching everything from afar.
  Without hesitating, she picked up her mac and blocked the exit.
  As soon as Rowles realised Daisy was in his way he turned on her and tried to push the broken class into her face but Daisy ducked sideways and threw her mac over his head.
  Rowles fought to get the mac off him and free himself but in doing so cut his arm with the broken glass and screamed with pain.
  Singleton and the ship’s crew quickly arrived, managed to knock the broken glass from his hand and pinned the criminal’s arms behind him.
  Once in Calais, Rowles was handed over to the French authorities and Daisy and Ted were able to drive off on holiday at last at six o’clock in the morning.
  "You’re looking much better, Ted.
  "But have you always had trouble crossing the Channel?"
  "Yes, I have, but I’ve never crossed it in such bad weather. Oh Daisy, what an adventure.
  "I’m sorry we always get business and pleasure mixed up together.
  "The Police Force is going to be so grateful to you!"
  "Well, to start with, they can give me a new mac, as mine is completely ruined!
  "And a new silk blouse too which was stained all in the line of duty."
  Ted was so happy not to be seasick any more and hardly noticed that he hadn’t slept.
  Daisy was less used to losing a night’s sleep and drifted off into a dream where dangerous animals were escaping from an ark.