Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Homeless Heiress

Here is a small excerpt for you.

Captain Richard Hernshaw paused, glanced back into the menacing darkness of the narrow alley behind him and frowned. He was being followed. The instinct he had acquired over several years working for the British government as a secret agent, was on full alert. He knew that he was taking a risk by agreeing to meet his contact here in the rookery of these terrible slum streets, but the man would not dare to show his face elsewhere for he was a rogue and perhaps worse. The meeting had gone well and Richard had what he'd come for, but since leaving his contact, he had picked up a shadow. The question was – who was following him and why?

He needed to know the answer to that question, because of the papers he was carrying, which were important and could be the answer to a mystery that he and other colleagues had been searching for in recent times. It was feared that an attempt on the lives of several prominent men in the government and, even that of the Regent himself, was being prepared, and Richard believed that the names of the ringleaders were in the documents he carried inside his coat pocket. If the person following him knew that he had them, he might be in danger – of losing both the papers and his life.

Better to attack than be attacked! Richard turned the corner, and pressed his back against the wall, waiting for whomever it was to catch up with him. His suspicions were proved correct for an instant later a small, dark shadow came hurtling round the corner. He stepped out, and grabbed the rascal's arm, gripping it tightly.

'Let me go!' A voice cried in a tone halfway between anger and fear. 'Watcha think yer doin'?'

'That is exactly what I was about to ask you,' Richard said, his gaze narrowing at he looked down at the rather grubby face of a street urchin. He smiled as he saw the indignant look in the youth's eyes. 'You have been following me for a while now, lad. I don't like being followed unless I know why.'

The youth rubbed his hand under his nose and sniffed hard. 'Weren't doin' no 'arm, sir,' he said defiantly. 'Let me go or I'll kick yer!'

'You would be sorry if you did,' Richard replied. He hesitated, his hold slackening a little as he considered. A lad like this might be after his purse but he was far from the sinister enemy he had imagined. A smile was beginning to tug at the corners of his mouth when the youth lunged at him, kicked him in the shins and wrenched free, setting off at a run back the way he had come. 'Damn you!'
Richard realised instantly that he had been robbed. The boy's hand had gone inside his jacket, removing the package he was carrying seconds before the toe of his boot connected with Richard's leg and caused him to loosen his hold enough for the lad to break free. He felt a surge of annoyance - how could he have fallen for a trick like that?

If you would like to win a copy of this book please go to my website and enter the competition there - at the bottom extreme right.
Love to you all Anne Herries

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