Footprints in the Sea Vol 4/Chap 74

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Footprints in the Sea Vol 4
Chapter 74


Frances Penwiddy

Copyright © Frances Penwiddy 2017
The characters in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental

Chapter 74

When I woke up in the morning the bedroom was filled by a greenish/yellow glow of the Sun reflecting back from the dew on Devonshire Hill. It was still early and the house silent. Outside there were two or three birds singing and a pair were squabbling over something and I listened. One of the singing bird’s sounded a little like a robin and the squabbles sounded like magpies but I didn’t know they existed down here. I knew most of the birds we found in England, I had been feeding and watching them in the garden of the house since I was a child and we had loads and whilst growing up I had learned the noises and songs they made. I won first prize in a school competition when I was about eight for being able to make drawings of ‘Birds in my Garden’ and I had drawn about fifteen. I had also recorded a tape of some of their songs and remembered when I was fourteen and had my first computer I had transferred it to a disc, the drawing too was in the house somewhere, the attic probably, Mum had framed it and for a few years it had hung in her bedroom. I must try and sort them out and copy both and bring them back here.

Will was still asleep so I slipped out of bed, collected my clothes from the floor and dumped them into a chair and went into the shower. When I returned to the bedroom Will was still fast asleep so I turned on the percolator and got dressed. I had just about run out of jeans and slacks so I had to wear a just above the knee, dark blue skirt and white cotton blouse with white ankle socks and blue Nikes. Whilst I was sitting on the end of the bed tying my laces the percolator announced that hot, strong coffee was waiting but the noise of the water bubbling and hissing woke the ogre.

“What time is it?”

“About six thirty.”

“Why are you dressed and ready to go out?”

“I’m dressed and ready to get the breakfasts cooked. I told you yesterday that I had an early start.”

“Not this early, it’s still the middle of the night, come back to bed.”

“After last night! After having you tie my hands above my head. After being thrown onto the bed and having you throw yourself on me and rape me whilst I was blindfolded and helpless. I’m never, ever, ever going to sleep in the same room as you again and my first job when I get down to the lagoon is report you to the Master-at-Arms and have you arrested.”

“I don’t care. I’ll file counter charges that you kidnapped me and made me fly dangerously low, crashed me into the sea. You then endangered wildlife by speeding through the sea and making me catch fire and explode above a residential area.”

“Do you think we’ll be sent to the same prison?”

“It wouldn’t make any difference, you’d get Undine and some of her magical mates to dissolve the bars and escape.”
He started to reach for me but I jumped up. “Go and have a shower, I’ve got work to do and so have you. I suppose you want two full English breakfasts as usual.”

“Yes,” and he made a another lunge towards me but I was wearing light clothes and skipped back out of range. He grinned, “I’ll get you later.”

“You’ll be too tired. Now hurry up I want to be up at the cave before the men turn up so I can get everything sorted out and ready for them to load onto the buggy.”

As I left our rooms, Auntie Kate came out of hers and waited for me. “Good morning Auntie Kate,” I greeted and kissed her on the cheek. “Did you enjoy yourself last night?”

“Yes, it was a very pleasant evening and I caught up on all the news.”

“I didn’t mean the early part, I was enquiring about after we went to bed.”

“You just mind your own business. You’re much too young to be asking questions like that.”

I grinned, “Auntie Kate, I’m a married woman now and am able to enquire about the wellbeing of my nearest and dearest. I asked because your hair is more curly than usual and your eyes have a twinkle in them.”

“Your backside will twinkle if you’re not careful.”

“So you did have a good night?”

“Just you get on with cooking the two eggs, two sausages and two bacons for Will and whilst you’re at it, you can do the same for Ted.”

I grinned, “Okay and thanks for being frank.”

She chuckled, “What are you having?”

“Muesli, half a grapefruit if you want to share and coffee, please.”

After breakfast I opened my knapsack, took a torch from a drawer and exchanged the binoculars for my mobile, stopped to have a think and assured I had everything I needed I asked Will, “Are there any crowbars up at the cave, I’ll need to open one or two cases to make sure I have the correct ones?”

“There’s a couple of empty packing cases that have been pushed together and there are tools, hurricane lanterns, spare batteries and a couple of two-way radios on them. The crew are moving the remainder of the clothing and shop goods into their portacabin later so there will be people to help if you need them.”

“Ta. Auntie Kate, I’ll be finished before lunch I hope, are we having it here or on the ship? If it’s here I’ll try and get back early to help.”

“Here I thought but it will be a light lunch and I was going to do salmon for dinner tonight. Shall I cook all of it in case we have guests?”

“I think so, David and Gwyneth at least and I expect Penny will be back and possibly Claire.”

“Penny asked if she could mover her stuff up from the ship today, shall I tell her yes?”

I nodded, “Of course, I’ll be off now, I’ll phone if I have to leave the cave and go somewhere.” I kissed each of them and went off to work.

When I arrived at the cave, there was a reasonable amount of light inside but I noticed that four brackets for hurricane or Tilley lamps had been fixed to the walls so I lit four hurricanes, hung them up and went over to the workbench and took an extra hurricane lamp and a crowbar to the passage where I had the house packing cases stored and started checking them. There were ten in all and contained the pictures and framed photos I had stolen from the house in Beaconsfield, my sound system and about half my discs. There were extra storage jars and pots and pans for the kitchen, cutlery and a good quality 12 settings dining set, a desktop computer, printer and a load of pens and notebooks. There was one missing though, most of its contents were diaries, A4 printer paper and ink cartridges. I curse quietly and shone the torch down the passage thinking that perhaps it may have been left further down. I couldn’t see it and it was a nuisance because the one thing we were definitely going to need were the telephone directories. I lit the hurricane lamp and walked down the passage towards the bend with no luck but as I had come this far I went slowly around the bend half expecting to see a dragon curled up and fast asleep.

The packing case wasn’t to be seen and I know I had labelled it when I first checked the cases so I walked a little further and began to get nervous and when I thought I had reached about as far as my voice would still carry up to the entrance if I had to scream for help, I stopped and switched on the torch and shone it around but there was still no sign of the missing case. I was sure nobody would have brought it down this far anyway and was about to turn round and go back when my movement made the beam of the torch flick back and forth and there right at the end of its range I caught a glimpse of something white. I walked forward and as the light grew brighter I saw stack upon stack of paper, it was as far as I could tell packs of A4 printer paper and for a moment I thought I had discovered the nineteenth century diaries but it couldn’t have been them. The diaries would have been bound and anyway, in those days Britain used the Imperial rather than Din paper sizes and there would certainly not have been computer printer paper. Book or newspaper stock perhaps but hardly in A4 and unless somebody was going to set up a printing works, which was extremely unlikely, this was something from the twentieth or twenty-first centuries.

I walked on and when I was about five metres from the stacks I realized it wasn’t paper. They contained something white packed in neat polythene wrappers and as I reached them I prodded one and it dented slightly and revealed that the contents were powder, white powder and definitely not flour or lime wash. My blood started to chill and I felt the hairs on the back of my head stiffen. I’d seen pictures of packages like this and they had contained heroin or cocaine. I switched off the torch and looked around using the light from the hurricane lamp half expecting to see a leering drug smuggler with a machine gun but there was nobody nor were there any cries of alarm. Feeling a little bolder I started to count them but gave up after counting ten high. There was a lot, an enormous amount and if they all contained heroin or whatever, millions of pounds worth if the tabloids were to be believed. Then I noticed that behind them were more packages, this time longer and a little thicker. I walked around the drugs and shone the torch on one of these and saw the $ sign and nearly dropped the torch.

I moved closer and looked at the rows of packages, there were US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars, Sterling, Euros, Rupees, Yen and assorted South American currencies. Some of the notes were new, others obviously used and the two types seemed to be stacked in separate plastic wrappers with the unused notes marked with a black cross on the surface. I stepped back and took a deep breath and then another. There were more of these bundles than there were of the drugs and a large number of the notes were high value bills. Two that I recognized were one hundred dollar bills and fifty pound notes, there must have been millions of pounds sitting there.
I looked around again and then crept away and giggled to myself after about four paces, I was walking on tip toe on a packed sand and earth surface. I could have run and nobody would have heard me and for a moment I felt panic rising. I stopped, took a few deep breaths and looked back at the piles. I was doing something I hoped never to do again for as long as I lived, I was walking away from millions, possibly billions of pounds worth of banknotes and hard drugs and I hadn’t even opened a packet of fivers and helped myself. I trotted back to the corner and then slowed to a walk as I reached the packing cases, the mystery of my missing crate shelved for future investigation, after all, if need be, I could steal fifty quid and buy fresh paper. Then it occurred to me that those piles had been covered in cobwebs and dust that had fallen down from the roof of the cave and had been there a long time. If I factored in that the drugs and money put together pointed at a highly illegal operation, then no owner was ever going to come forward and claim them and I was not only the only person present or engaged in searching and add that to my being the joint owner of the land it was discovered on, then I was very rich. I would share with Will of course because I loved him on second thoughts, if I stashed it all in a bank, it would finance the island’s development for a good few years. I turned the hurricane lamp out and left it with the torch on the packing cases and went up to the cave where the men had just turned up and were getting their gear ready. “Is the phone signal okay outside the cave?” I asked a seaman.

“It’s okay in here as well, we’ve connected up a hub just outside the cave.”

“I’ll go outside, I’ve been working on my house stuff down in the passage and need a breath of air, it’s stale down there.”

He nodded and carried on with whatever he was going with an adjustable spanner. I went outside and dialled; “Will, it’s Charlie are you alone?”

“With Geoff Roman.”

“Excuse yourself and move out of whisper range.” I waited and then, “Okay, what’s wrong?” whispered Will.

“Nothing wrong yet but I’ve found something. Can you come up to the cave as rapidly as possible!”

“Are you okay, not hurt or anything?”

“I’m fine but need you as quickly as you can get here.” I heard him call to Geoff, “Geoff, I have to see Charlotte urgently, are we finished for the moment. Fine, I’ll be up at the cave.”

He took six minutes and as he ran up to me I held my finger to my lips and took his hand, “Don’t say anything yet, just come with me.”

I led him through the cave and down the tunnel and stopped at our packing cases, “Light the hurricane lamp, we’ll need it,” I asked and switched on the torch and started off again.

“Where are we going, have you found a way up to the cave we found in the inlet.”

“No, it’s not that far, just a bit round the bend, now hush, we can still be heard in the cave.”

We walked a little further and then I switched the torch on and seconds later the beam fell on the packets of drugs, “What’s that, paper?”

“No, I think it’s cocaine or heroin but it’s not that which is important, it’s what’s behind it.” I took his arm and led him past the piles of drugs and then stopped and shone the torch on the stacks of currency. “That!” I pointed, “Go and have a closer look, here, take the torch and you can count it.”

I walked with him and when he was close enough to recognise the contents of the packets his mouth dropped open. “Good Lord!”

“One hundred US dollar bills, thousand Euros, Fifty pound notes, Indian, Mexican, Yen, you name it, it’s there. Most of it seems brand new but a lot is used. How much?” I took my phone out and pushed the calculator app, “Here, go on count it.”

He took the phone and started moving packets, lifting them, turning them over and repeating himself on another stack and went through several before giving up and started counting the number of packets in each pile, the numbers of piles and entered the figures and he opened one packet of hundred dollar bills, slit the band off and looked at the notes, held one up to the hurricane lamp then checked the numbers through the packet and did the same with a second bundle and again with a package containing British twenty pound notes and then entered those figures and stared, “Charlie there’s nearly sixty million pounds worth assuming the packages all contain notes of the same denomination and that’s only the new notes. I can’t count the used notes because I can’t be sure they contain notes of the same currency or denomination but allowing for averages the whole lot is about a hundred million.”

I nodded, trying to stay calm, “Is that enough to finish the building works on the island?”

“Which island, Charlotte, Great Britain, Long Island?” He laughed, “Yes and have a fair bit of change.”

“We’ll have to burn the drugs, we can’t bury it or tip it in the sea because it’ll contaminate everything and I know it has very little value for use as a legal pain killer.”

“We can’t burn it, the smoke will send everybody crazy. We’ll hand it to the Kiwi authorities, they’ll have a method.”

I nodded. “Good but the money is ours right? It’s on our land, in our own sovereign state and it’s obviously the work of the ungodly.”

“Laundering I expect. The unused notes are changed in small amounts so the numbers are spread about, it’s probably done in several countries hence the variety of nationalities and converted into used currency notes. That’s the basics, it’s a little more sophisticated than that but if the new notes are the result of a bank raid or similar crime, then we can’t claim it or use it because you can be sure the numbers are recorded at the banks it was stolen from but we will get a reward.” He looked at it again and shook his head, “If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was drug money that was moved out of the various countries for laundering and hidden here so it should all come to us.”

“But why was it left here? What other drug traffickers know about our island?”

“None, I would guess it was the same mob who tried to get hold of Pacific Wanderer. Come to think of it, it does fit and would explain why Pacific Wanderer was so far south of the course she should have been taking when she was hit by the storm.”

“But why would they risk having passengers on board when they were on a drug run?”

“The cave was probably a store house and exchange. Pacific Wanderer could put in using the excuse they had lost fresh water and needed to replace it or something like that and then those members of the crew who were employed by the gang would come ashore to lay on the water supply and at the same time drop of used currency and take a supply of drugs and then continue on the journey. Nothing much would have been thought of it because you can be sure they would have concocted a good story and if they restricted their activities to once or twice every year, it wouldn’t really show up on the radar. She was known by the authorities in the ports she used and as long as she made sure the drugs and money were hidden well away from the cargo the chances of discovery were slim. Again, if they only used a ship about four times and were never discovered they would switch to another ship, shipping line and different ports and routes. Their only limitation would be having to make calls at our island. They were a relatively small outfit, that the authorities did know so the massive amounts the big cartels had to shift wasn’t in their sphere. They were apparently satisfied with moving smaller amounts about. Still, just looking at this pile of money gives you an idea of what they were making and the profits gained by the big drug cartels makes this look like petty cash.”

I sighed, “And how many people would that pile of white powder kill? How many lives would be destroyed? How many promising, bright eyed university students would end their lives in misery and degradation?” I had to wipe my eyes and my mind pictured Penny and what she might have become if she hadn’t made that decision to knock on my door those months ago. “Will.”

He came to me immediately and wrapped his strong arms around me and caressed my hair, “Let it out, Charlie, let it out and go on living that dream you have for a perfect world. Go on trying and even if you have only saved ten lives by finding those drugs, when we go to New Zealand again, you can look at ten young teenagers and feel proud that you may be looking at the ten lives you saved.”

Tears ran down my cheeks and I looked up at him, looked into his lovely eyes and smiled, “We’ll adopt them.”

I pulled myself together and looked back at the drugs and shuddered, “What are we going to
do with it Will, we can’t just leave it here?”

“Come on, let’s go back or the men in the cave will come looking for us. I’ll speak to Andy on the radio.”

We went back to the cave and Will had a quick word with the petty officer in charge who nodded, called the two men with the forklift and took them down to my crates and we went outside with a walkie-talkie. Will switched it to Aurora’s channel and called her bridge; “Is Captain Bryant about, it’s Commander Devonshire?” There was a pause and then Will spoke again, “Andy, this is Will. Charlotte has discovered a whole stash of what is either heroin or cocaine in the tunnel leading off the cave…No, it was past the bend and nobody has been down that far before and by the amount of dust on the packages it’s been there for a good few months, a year or two possibly…We’ll wait outside the cave entrance…Fine.” He switched off, he’s coming straight over with a petty officer and two men from the shore patrol. Ten minutes he promised.”

We had to jump out of the way as the buggy truck went past and I heard my crates being loaded and then it came out, “Ten crates, and a hurricane lamp Mrs. Devonshire, is that the lot?”

I took the hurricane lamp, “This belongs to the cave but the rest is for my house. Will you tell Kate that I said to leave it on the porch for now and I’ll unpack later.”

“Get back here as fast as you can, there will probably be another urgent load,” instructed Will and with a nod the driver and men went off for their short trip, coffee and gingerbread men.

I sat down on a grassy bank, “Let’s rest a bit.”

“You sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine Will honestly. Today’s find hasn’t unsettled me like the treasure did, I was just upset by seeing that pile of drugs and what they would have done if they’d reached their intended destination.” My phone rang, it was Auntie Kate, “I’ve asked the men to take the cases round to the back and put them outside the kitchen door. If you unpack them in the sitting room we’ll have dust, sand and packing all over the place.”

“Okay, whatever suits you, a lot of the stuff is for the kitchen anyway. I don’t think I’ll be back in time to help you with the lunch though.”
“That’s okay, the girls and their boys have invited themselves so I will need help with dinner.”

“Okay, I’ll take the rest of the day off and I should be back with Will for a quick lunch.” I barely had time to end the call when it buzzed again and this time it was Byron. “Will you have time to speak to Tamati later? He’s requested a private interview with you.”

“Yes, is there something wrong?”

“No, I don’t think so. When I said I needed to know why he had made the request because you were a busy woman, he simply said he’d met a girl from the labs on the south side who knows you and he needed to speak to you about her because he hasn’t seen her on the island before.”

“A girl from the labs?”

“He said she helped on the dig.”

The penny dropped and I had to think on the run, “Yes, yes, I know who he means. Yes I’ll speak to him but if it’s the security you’re worried about Byron, I can vouch for her.”

“That’s good enough. He’s in his cabin having a rest at the moment, he was on duty until six am and hasn’t had a lot of sleep, I’ll tell him when he surfaces for his lunch.”

I closed the phone and stood up, “I won’t be a second, I want to see if Undine’s in her pool, I need to have a few words with her.”

“Tamati?” he asked grinning.

“Yes and don’t say a word to anybody, not even Auntie Kate.”

“My lips are sealed and I’ll leave you to sort out Undine and go down and sort out the petty officer and men who are protecting the lower end of the tunnel before the bend, I told him nobody was to be allowed past him until he’s had a word with Andy.”

Will went back to the cave and I heard him call out to the leading seaman in charge, “Captain Bryant is coming up with a few shore patrol men, tell him he’ll find me at the lower end of the tunnel with your Petty Officer, please.”

I found the path to the waterfall and stood on the banks of Undine’s Pool. For a short while I remained silent as I remembered that first day Will and I had landed on the island and gone exploring and found this waterfall and the pool and then only a few days ago when we had made love and Undine had taken us deep into the pool and swam with us. I think the five most important places on Charlotte Island were here, Pacific Wanderer, the Butterfly Glade, Revelation Bay and of course my new house. Between them they could tell the story of these most recent months of my life. The image in the ships boutique mirror of the real Charlie Broughton, the footprints in the sea and now, the real Mrs Charlie Devonshire; “Undine,” I called softly, “Stop hiding, I want a word with you, now!”

There was a ripple a metre from where I was standing and I saw the tiny figure of Undine clinging to a rock, “Hullo, Charlotte.”

“I’ll give you hullo, Just what did you get up to last night? There was a silence and I saw frowns, smiles and expressions of uncertainty chase each other across her face. “I am in trouble with the captain of the ship and have been told to act as councillor to a senior member of the crew and will be severely disciplined if I fail. I have a mind to send a request to Artemis, a request demanding the banishment of you from my island. Banished for life which in your case probably means for ever!”

“No! No! Oh please Charlotte, don’t do that, please, please.” She swam a few strokes to where there was a sand and pebble beach, stood and waded out of the pool and the little cow was wearing an ankle length silk gown that the water had turned nearly transparent and clung to her body. I never realised how beautiful she was, a classically beautiful face framed by long raven hair above a near perfect body showing clearly though the transparency of the gown. Even the dark hue of her areola on two pert breasts and nipples that clearly showed the cool temperature of the pool’s water and the small dark triangle of her pubic hair could be seen as she walked up the pebbles and grass to stand at my feet.

“Please, Charlotte,” and as she spoke, she started to grow and I watched astonished as she rapidly matched my height perfectly and took my hands in hers, “Please.”

She was stunning and there wasn’t a man in the world who would be able to resist her, take her in his arms and hold her tight, caress her and keep her close to him for ever. “Did you go to Tamati like that last night!”

“No, no, of course not. I brushed my hair and took this old gown off and…and…well I…”

“Undine? Tell me, and I hope that ‘the old gown’ was replaced by something else?”

She looked guilty now and I felt her squeeze my hands, “Please forgive me, please say it’s okay…”

“Undine stop running around the rocks, tell me!”

“Well I borrowed your pretty pink skirt and blouse, and I wore the white fluffy petticoat that you dance in and the long heeled white shoes, not your best dancing shoes, the others that you wear in your office and house,” she added hurriedly, “These ones,” and in front of me, the clingy, wet gown vanished and the clothes she had ‘borrowed’ appeared and there was no question, they were definitely mine. The only difference to the way she was wearing them was that the top two buttons of the blouse weren’t fastened, where as I only left one undone. She waited nervously, “I wanted to look as beautiful as you when you are dressing to make Will want to hold you in his arms.”

“And they fitted?”

“Not at first, I am thinner than you so I peeked at you when you bathed or changed and altered myself to your measurements. I had to keep checking but I practised every night until I got it exactly right. I’m not allowed to change my face so I couldn’t look like you but…Oh Charlotte I hope you don’t mind, I borrowed your face paints and lip colour sticks but kept my own hair. Look,” and quite brazenly she lifted the hem of my skirt and then my soft white petticoat and half turned, lifted them a little higher and revealed that she was wearing my knickers and she pointed at the little half-moon birthmark I had on my left buttock just below my hip. I copied this as well.” She let the skirt and petticoat drop and stood looking at me waiting for the anger to break.

“Are you saying that your body is an exact replica of mine? That my body is as beautiful as the one you have?”

I saw the look of relief on her face and she undid the third and fourth button of my blouse, pulled it open and lifted my bra, “Exactly I think, see,” and she pointed at her nipples, exactly the same as yours when you are cold or when Will kisses them and look here at the darker circle of the aureole around them, the same colour but I did have a little trouble with getting the irregular shape exactly right. At first I tried to make them into perfect circles but it didn’t work, they didn’t look natural and when I made them the same as mine, that didn’t look so good so I copied yours and it was perfect. I don’t know why you use these bra things, they seem quite unnecessary really and terrible things to put on, so fiddly.”

“They stop things bouncing about when you’re being active and help to support them,” I answered without thinking. “Make the clothes disappear again and show me all of your body.”

She did as I asked and there wasn’t a hint of embarrassment at my somewhat unusual request and slowly turned around, “Did I get it right?”

I studied her closely even down to the pubic hair and the shape and size of the tummy button, feet and toes and the small dimples behind the knees. I was a little surprised, I knew I looked good but this good! Not a little surprised I felt vanity grow in my brain, I began to understand why the sailors cheered me when I danced or the wind caught my loose skirts and lifted them or when I lost my clothes when swimming and then suspicion replaced vanity; “Did you, Penelopeia or Artemis influence my body when I began changing from male to female?”

“No, that is not allowed and it’s outside Artemis’s skills but I can’t be sure. Penelopeia did let something slip, she told me that Artemis had spoken to Hermaphrodite when the strange things began happening to you and she believed that Hermaphrodite spoke to Aphrodite.”

“That explains why a male body could be made to look so totally female and a beautiful female at that.”

“Not really because there are limits to what even gods and goddesses can do. We cannot add things once an infant is birthed, all that Aphrodite would have influenced was what was already there. She could only work on the one ovary but couldn’t make a second or make a womb but was able to influence the formation of your places that are needed for loving a man and I believe she made slight changes to your face, but only small ones, you were already pretty, even when you were a man.”

I nodded, “Put the clothes back on in case somebody comes by.” She made a light stroke down her body and the clothes reappeared. “It wouldn’t matter if somebody appeared, they wouldn’t be able to see me.”

“I’m not prepared to take that chance. When are you going to return my clothes?”

“Oh these are only images. The real clothes are back in your house. I can’t magic clothes when I appear before another human, I can only wear my own clothes or borrow some real clothes or wear none at all. I can only magic clothes when I appear before you.”

“Now explain why you copied my body when you went to see Tamati.” I should have berated her, torn her off the longest strip possible, threatened her with the anger of Artemis but how can you vent anger on somebody who has just demonstrated how beautiful you are and flattered you by making a duplicate of your body to make herself beautiful?

She wiped away any remaining anger with her answer. “I wanted to look as beautiful to Tamati as you do to Will. I have listened to what other men have said to Will about you and to his replies, he is so deeply in love with you. He tells the other men that you are as beautiful inside as you are outside and are so exciting to live with. I want to be like that.”

I saw tears forming in her eyes, “Undine, I didn’t know sprites could feel human emotions?”

“Not often but when we fall in love with a human we develop human emotions and when he has loved me, I will gain a soul and be a human and that, more than anything in the heavens, is what I want.”

“You will lose your immortality and only live a human life spam if you allow that to happen.”

She sighed and gave me such a lovely smile, “Oh Charlotte isn’t it better to live a human lifespan with love than to live forever without it!”

I couldn’t argue against her philosophy so I got back to the business in hand. “Now tell me what happened, how did you manage to appear in front of Tamati on the bridge of the ship without raising the alarm?”

She was about to speak but a look of alarm came on her face, “Somebody is coming, they won’t be able to see me but will think it strange that you are speaking without another being present. Call me to you again and I will tell you.” She shrank down to her tiny imp size and ran softly over the grass and dived into the pool.

Is that the end of discoveries in the tunnel or did Charlotte find something else? The next chapter may reveal all or perhaps not if something else crops up to distract everybody.
Footprints in the Sea Volume 4 is available on Amazon Kindle and may be ordered through the Top Hat link in the right hand column of this page. Which earns a small commission for the site.

Happy New Year everybody with health, happiness and prosperity.

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