Read The Stranger Came Online

Authors: Frederic Lindsay

The Stranger Came

 

 

The
Stranger
Came

 

Frederic Lindsay

© Frederic Lindsay 2013

Frederic Lindsay has asserted his rights under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.

First published in 1992 Andre Deutsch Ltd

This edition published in 2013 by Endeavour Press Ltd.

 

For
Alison

 

It
was
the
back
end
of
the
year
when
the
stranger
met
me
on
the
hill
called
Scad
Law,
thanked
me
for
putting
him
on
the
path
and
went
down
to
the
village.
Though
I
didn't
spare
him
a
glance
as
he
went,
a
man
like
any
other,
our
great-grandfathers
would
have
found
a
name
for
him.
Not
that
I
believe
in
the
Devil
any
more
than
you
do;
that
thought
came
to
me
only
because
of
what
happened
later.
All
any
of
us
can
say
for
certain
is
that
everything
was
all
right
before.

There
was
no
trouble
until
after
the
stranger
came.

 

Gibson's
Twentieth Century Folklore

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

Minding

 

'Why are you doing this
?
I won't listen to this.’

'Well,
you
watch
then,'
he
said,
and
took
the
nipple
of
the
girl's
left
breast
between
his
finger
and
thumb.
As
he
twisted
and
wrenched
it,
an
expression
of
disturbance
rather
than
pain
altered
her
features.

'You're
all
right,'
he
told
her,
and
at
once
the
look passed
from
her
face.

'I've
seen
that
before,'
one
of
the
other
men
said.
'It's
his
parlour
bleeding
trick.’

There
were
two
of
them.
As
far
as
he
allowed
himself the
idea
of
friendship,
the
Garage
Owner
was
a
friend,
the
closest
one
he
had.
The
Minder
though
was
a
stranger,
brought
along
without
a
by
your
leave,
which
showed
the
limitations
and
dangers
of
friendship.
Not
much
more
than
twenty,
uninvited,
he
had
stepped
in
with
a
shrug
of
the
shoulders
as
if
conferring
a
favour.
In
his
own
eyes,
it
seemed,
he
had
East
End
prestige

his
connections
being
good
to
the
families
that
mattered;
he
hinted
at
a
death presently
rumoured
to
his
account.
Watching
the
girl
naked
from
the
waist
up,
however,
sweat
gleamed
now
on
his
forehead
and
marked
the
line
of
the
scar
that
ran
from
his
upper
lip.

Sweat,
you
cocky
young
bastard!

'Have
you
seen
this
before?'
he
asked
the
Garage
Owner.
'Seeing
as
you
know
all
my
tricks.’
He
spoke
to
the
girl
firmly,
but
not
loudly,
in
the
tone
of
ordinary
conversation.
'Open
your
eyes,
Sleeping
Beauty.
Have
a
look
at
your
tit

the
other
one,
stupid!'
Obediently,
her
gaze
shifted
to
the
one
he
held
by
the
tip.
As
he
worked
on
it,
she
watched
without
any
sign
of
response.

'Jesus
Christ!'
the
Minder
said.
'It's
not
natural.
She must
be
fucking
mental.’

'Not
her,'
he
said,
sly,
triumphant,
almost
offended.

'You'd
rate
her;
meet
her
in
her
gear
out
on
the
street.
Smart
girl,
got
class.
She
wouldn't
give
you
the
time
of
day.’

But
he
had
gone
too
far.
His
stomach
tightened
with
apprehension
as
the
Minder
touched
the
scar's
disfigurement,
scowling
with
a
dark
immediate
anger.
He
hurried
on.
'What
I'm
saying,
all
I'm
saying
is,
she's
not
stupid.
But
she
believes
what
I
tell
her.’
What
I'm
saying,
all
I'm
saying
is,
you
bastard,
I've
got
power.
'That's
all
there
is
to
it.
I
mean
there's
no
magic
to
it.’
But
could
not
resist
adding,
'If
you
know
how.’

'Could
you
show
me?'
the
young
man
asked.
The
scar on
his
cheek
shone
white
against
the
flush
of
his
skin.

'How
to –
how
to
put
somebody
under
like
that?'

Instead
of
answering,
he
said
to
the
girl,
'Let's
play
dogs.
Down
you
go.’
With
eyes
still
open
but
unfocused,
she
went
down
on
hands
and
knees
.
'Wag
your
tail.’

The
Garage
Owner
burst
into
laughter.
With
some
difficulty
because
of
his
bulk,
he
bent
over
her
and
curved
his
fingers
into
her
buttocks.
At
the
touch,
she
winced
forward
until
the
only
voice
she
could
hear
ordered,
'Stay!
The
nice
man
wants
to
pat
you.
Good
dog.’
At
that
she
was
still,
supporting
herself
on
hands
and
spread
knees, her
head
hanging
down
as
if
in
shame
as
the
fat
man
pumped
his
hand
against
her.
Only
since
he
was
the
one
who
decided,
how
could
she
feel
shame?
A
puppet
having
its
strings
pulled.
He
had
some
funny
ideas
come
into
his
head.
In
the
stillness,
the
fat
man's
hand
made
faint
rasping
noises
against
the
material
of
her
jeans.

The
Minder
dropped
to
his
knees
beside
the
fat
man.
On
his
feet
looking
down
on
the
two
of
them
crowded
against
her,
as
much
as
her
they
appeared
to
him
as
animals.

His
expression
altered
as
the
young
man
looked
up.
'Can
I
touch
her?'
he
asked.
'She
isn't
going
to
come
round?'
At
his
shake
of
the
head,
the
young
man
put
out
his
hand
and
tentatively
took
a
grip
on
the
breast
that
hung
nearer
him.
He
took
it
gently,
cupping
its
softness
in
his
hand.

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