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NIGHT WATCH
DAISY STORIES by Crystal Jones
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  Night Watch  
  Daisy had got up early that spring morning because she was working on a case in the nearby town.
  She arrived at her office with a paper bag in her hand containing fresh cream buns at a quarter to eight and was dying for a cup of coffee.
  As she put the key in the lock, a woman’s voice called out, "It’s open, Daisy."
  It was Pam, the cleaner.
  "How about some breakfast, Pam?" said Daisy with a smile and then noticed Pam had obviously been crying.
  "Pam, whatever has happened?
  Come on sit down and have some breakfast with me.
  Please tell me what’s bothering you."
  Pam was a hard-working woman with two children to bring up.
  She did the cleaning for the whole building which meant seven offices.
  "Jim has been on to me again about the children.
  You know he has no legal right to see them and he really couldn’t care less about them, and never has."
  "Let’s put the kettle on."
  Daisy began preparing the instant coffee and offered Pam a bun,
  "Now, why don’t you start from the beginning?"
  Pam looked extremely troubled and went on:
  "You see, when we got divorced he didn’t even ask to see his children.
  Now he’s got no money, he’s trying to torture me into giving him some with the threat that otherwise he’ll get the children away from me."
  "I don’t think he can do that easily, Pam," Daisy reasoned.
  Pam accepted another bun.
  "No Daisy, not easily, but he’s very vindictive and he’s threatened to make my life a hell."
  "Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
  Look, if he gets violent all you have to do is call the police."
  "I know Jim, if I don’t give him money he’ll be as good as his word."
  Three days later Daisy got a telephone call.
  "Daisy, it’s Pam. I’m going round the bend.
  Jim’s been coming round to my house every night after the pubs close trying to see through my bedroom window and making strange noises.
  He’s trying to get on my nerves so that I’ll give in and hand over all the money he asks for.
  I haven’t slept for three days."
  " Have you informed the police about it?"
  "Jim telephoned me just now and said that if I call the police in, he’ll tell them I’m imagining things and hysterical and mentally ill and shouldn’t have his children in my custody.
  What am I going to do Daisy? I feel desperate."
  "All right Pam, tell me your address and I’ll see what I can do."
  Daisy went round to Trends, her local television, radio and computer shop, and asked to speak to Mr. Ranjee, the owner of the shop.
  "Mr. Ranjee, do you think you could lend me a camcorder for a couple of days?"
  Daisy had found the thief who was stealing from the shop a few months’ ago
  and Mr. Ranjee had always said that if ever she needed something, please to come and ask for it.
  "Of course, Miss Hamilton. You say you want one that works in the dark.
  Mm - take this. Do you know how to use it? Let me show you."
  Mr. Ranjee spent the next half hour teaching Daisy some elementary camcorder tricks.
  Daisy decided to go around to Pam’s house at about ten that evening armed with the camcorder and its rain-proof covering.
  She also had a whistle in her pocket and a Mars bar to while away the time.
  "Oh no! It’s beginning to rain," Daisy exclaimed to herself.
  Whenever she had a job on at night it invariably rained.
  Fortunately, this time, she had brought a plastic mac and hood with her.
  At that time of night there were few people around.
  Pam had explained that she lived in an old cottage, and that her bedroom was round the back facing the garden.
  When Daisy arrived, she went to the back of the cottage, climbed over the low fence
  and saw there was a tumble-down tool shed at the bottom of the garden.
  "That’s where I’ll hide and wait for that monster.
  How dare he try to hurt dear Pam," thought Daisy.
  Once inside the shed Daisy heard something like a flower-pot fall to the ground outside
  and crouched down so that she couldn’t be seen through the small dirty window.
  Apparently it was a meeting-place for cats, for she heard miaowing.
  "Certainly if Pam’s ex-husband wants to repeat his previous performance, I’d better get rid of those cats so he’s not scared off."
  She opened the shed door warily and threw an old shoe she had found inside at the cats, who hastily vanished.
  Now everything was quiet again.
  Two hours later Daisy, very stiff from the damp and cold, got up from the ancient wicker chair she had been sitting on.
  "I can’t stand it much longer" she moaned to herself.
  Then she thought she heard the noise of Wellington boots sloshing through the damp foliage.
  Someone was creeping towards the house.
  Daisy’s arms ached because of the enforced inaction and she nearly dropped the camcorder.
  She stepped out of her shoes and slipped out of the partially-open shed door.
  At that very moment a car passed by with its lights fully on and Daisy could see quite clearly:
  Pam’s husband was spying into her bedroom window.
  Daisy managed to act quickly and turned the camcorder on.
  It was only drizzling now.
  Pam’s husband began shouting through the window at his ex-wife and threatening her.
  Daisy was filming the scene and recording all the menacing words.
  Suddenly the camcorder made a strange whirring sound.
  "Maybe the tape’s blocked!" panicked Daisy.
  She tried to turn it off but pushed the wrong button and the whirring sound increased.
  At this point Pam’s ex-husband became aware of it and turned round furiously.
  He realized someone was watching him and swore profusely.
  Then he made towards Daisy as though to hit her.
  Daisy’s first thought was to protect the camcorder with her body, she turned her back on him and started yelling.
  It seemed to her that her yelling lasted an eternity.
  Suddenly a strong torch light shone on both of them.
  "What’s going on here?"
  It was a police-woman, looking very determined.
  "I saw you climbing over the fence," indicating the man with the light of her torch
  "Come quietly, both of you.
  I'm arresting you for trespassing and ..."
  Just at this moment Pam appeared at her bedroom window, opened it and looked out.
  "Officer, officer. That man is certainly trespassing, but the young lady is my friend."
  Pam’s ex-husband was taken away as soon as the constable’s colleague appeared and Daisy was invited inside the cottage to clean up and have a hot cup of cocoa.
  "Well, that was a bit of luck." said Daisy.
  "To be able to film him looking in your window at night and have the whole scene witnessed by the police.
  I don’t think you’ll be having any more trouble from Jim!"
  Next morning at about eleven Daisy arrived in her office to find a fresh bunch of flowers in a vase, on her desk.
  Nearby was a little note written in pencil.
  "Thanks Daisy, thanks again. Pam.
  P.S. I’ve put a pot of homemade greengage jam in your fridge."