Sunday, June 15, 2014

Grange Hill For Sale by Robert Leeson (Fontana Lions 1981)

'Listen, Benson, you . . .'

'Oh, what are we going to do about it then?' Benson took Alan's jacket in his hand and fingered it. 'Maybe my mate can have you. I want Jenkins.' He turned back to Tucker. 'I bet you can still feel it in your ribs, where I gave it to you last time. You're going to wish I'd finished it off then.'

Tucker's stomach chilled. Then he braced himself. Whatever happened he was not going to let Benson work him over again. But what he'd do and how, his mind wouldn't tell him. It had seized up.

Suddenly there were more footsteps from below. Three more figures appeared on the landing. The torch swung round. Now it was Alan's turn to go cold in his innards. The first figure was Eddie Carver. He heard Susi draw a quick breath behind him. This was the night of the long knives all right. If Benson owed Tucker for blowing the whistle on him over smashing up the school, then Carver owed Susi and him for that fight in the woods at school camp. Carver still had the mark on his skull where Susi had felled him with a half brick.

The small landing was crowded. Carver's two friends stood a pace or two behind him on the stairs. They couldn't even make a break for it, thought Alan desperately.

Carver spoke. His voice was calm, easy.

'Which flat are you using, Jenkins?'

'The - top one.'

'That's all right then. I thought we'd been screwed for a minute. We're somewhere else.' He came closer. 'You stick to your place, we'll stick to ours. You haven't seen us, we haven't seen you. O.K.?'

His eyes rested for a moment on Susi, then on Alan. But he said nothing more, but turned to Benson and jerked his head towards the upper stairway.

Benson hesitated.

'Come on.'

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