From: Aussie John, Ninfield Road, Bexhill
The afternoon sun settled low in the sky as Doug and Dave crossed the deserted common.
The furtive figures fought to contain their rising fear as they approached the church door.
“It’s all clear, there’s no one about,” said Dave, looking over his shoulder. Doug forced open the door, and walked inside.
The sudden sound woke Whiskers the Cheshire cat, snoozing in the shade of the Sycamore tree.
“Hurry up!” said Dave, “Before someone comes.”
The boys had bet each other a full week’s pocket money, plus an endless supply of hard, cured, conkers, in prime condition; that they could steal an item of interest from the local church, and present it to the Peter Palmer gang as an entrance fee.
Fleeing with the stolen artefact, the young villains entered the gang’s hidden inner sanctum, under a bramble-bush, on the edge of the over-grown football field.
Peter Palmer was pleased as punch as he passed around the Cardinals Cap.
The high-pointed mitre hat, made a tempting target as Peter placed it on the penalty spot.
A direct hit between the posts, but without a net, it gained height and disappeared behind the bramble-bush.
Two policemen arrived dressed in blue.
“Who are you, and who are you?” they asked with mounting menace.
A trembling Dave, shaking with fear, felt the tangible silence.
He wished he was dead.
The grinning Cheshire cat appeared from the undergrowth holding something in its mouth, and broke the building tension.
It placed the missing Cardinals Cap, at Dave’s feet, purred contently, and looked up at the police constable.
Dave blurted out in a moment of panic, “It wasn’t me mister, I didn’t steal it from the church. It must have been a cat burglar.”
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