Her Mother’s Sins

 (It is unlikely that indentation and other formatting of the original will be preserved) Excerpt taken from Chapter 25 of HER MOTHER’S SINS(Era 1910) 

It was almost seven o’clock when Bernard 

Pomfrey made an appearance. Sybil darted out

into the hall when she heard his steps.

    ‘Bernard, I must speak with you.’

    He looked angry. ‘I told you to stay out of my sight, woman.’

    ‘Don’t you speak to me like that,’ Sybil flared. ‘I have my rights.’

    His lips twisted in scorn. ‘You’re nothing but a cheap swindler.’

    ‘Better that than a thief and…..a

murderer.’ She hadn’t meant to say that, and

quailed at the look of pure hatred that appeared on his face.

    ‘What did you say?

    She began to tremble to see the vicious

light that sprang into his eyes, but now she had spoken she had to go on.

    ‘You must know Dolly Mathias is dead.’

Sybil put a hand on the hall table to steady

herself. ‘Her secrets died with her. So convenient for you.’

    He was silent for a moment, glancing

furtively up the staircase towards his rooms.

Minnie Dart was there, and Sybil realised he

would not want her as a witness to what was said next.

    ‘What are you implying?’ His tone was low.

    ‘Isn’t it obvious?’ Sybil pressed on,

although quaking inside. ‘Someone had that fifty thousand, and it wasn’t me.’

    He stepped forward suddenly and, grasping

her arm, dragged her roughly into her own

sitting room. Sybil suppressed a scream of

fright. She did not want Elvi to hear and make an appearance.

    ‘Let go of me!’

    ‘Listen to me, you dim-witted jade,’ he

rasped, still gripping her arm. ‘People who

stick their noses in my business get them bitten off. You wouldn’t want me to mark that face of yours, would you?’

    Sybil shook her head, terrified.

    He smiled scornfully. ‘I thought not. Mrs

Lamar regrets the error of her ways, too. It’ll

be some time before she can show her face anywhere.’

    Sybil was appalled. ‘You touch me and I’ll

have the police on you,’ she said, breathless

with fear. She was only too aware that it was a feeble threat.

    ‘Who’d believe you, a fraud and a suspected

thief?’ he mocked. ‘You’d be wise to keep your accusations to yourself.’

    ‘I’m giving you notice,’ she said shakily.

‘Elvi and I are moving to new lodgings. The quicker we get away from you the better.’

    A fresh gleam came into his eyes, and he

released her arm, pushing her away. ‘Where is she?’

    ‘That’s none of your business.’

    ‘Well, I’m making it my business,’ he snarled wrathfully. ‘You can bugger off as quick as you like but the girl stays here. She’s mine! I’ve waited long enough to have her and, by God, I will!’

    ‘What are you saying?’ Sybil shrieked. ‘You

leave my daughter alone. She’s an innocent

child. How dare you even look at her in that way?’

    Without warning he reached forward and

struck her forcefully across the face with his

open palm. Sybil staggered back, to fall on to a nearby chair.

    ‘I’ve got plans for young Elvi,’ he said

ruthlessly. ‘She’ll entertain me for a while

until I tire of her and then she can earn for

me on her back.’

                        *

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