Gloves from the charity shop.
“They’ll do – they fit.”
“Are you sure? Why don’t you buy a decent pair, not second
hand cast offs.”
“These are good enough for me, they’ve hardly been worn.”
I sighed, knowing full well all he wanted was to get home
and watch the golf on tele.
“Well, if that’s what you want …”
I took um to the lady behind the counter, who took me money
and put the gloves in a second hand Tesco carrier bag, before passing um across
with a knowing wink. I think she must have heard us discussin’ um. I must admit
they were in good condition, hardly worn; the leather weren’t scuffed or
anythink. When we got home I put um in the cloakroom – and forgot all about
them for a few days – until he wanted to pop down the paper shop one morning.
“Where’s them gloves we bought, they’ll be just the job this
morning, its bloody cold out there today.”
Eventually I found um. They’d slipped down behind the coats,
onto the floor and got wedged in one of his welly boots. He were going to walk
up to the shop and get some fresh air he said. Fresh air! When the sun’s
shining and I suggest a walk in the park he turns up his nose – yet he’s prepared
to go out on a miserable mornin’ like this – and he knew I had to wait in to
pay the window cleaner.
After an hour or so I began to worry cause he weren’t back –
and after two hours, well, panic set in. I put on me winter coat and fur ‘at
and trundled me shopper on wheels up the road, presumably following in his
footsteps. I reached the paper shop and went inside.
“Hello George,” I said, “has Alec been in for ‘is paper?”
“No love – do you want to take it?”
“I thought he were getting’ it … Oh, OK, yes I’ll take it …
but where the ‘ell is he?”
As I came out the shop who should I bump into but her from
number 30 -‘she who knows everything’ – and just as I was about to ask her if
she’d seen Alec she laid into me.
“You should be ashamed of yourself, sendin’ him out to do
your dirty work on a day like this.”
“And so you should be – a fine man like ‘im – and fool that
he is he’d do it. Now you’ve gone and got ‘im arrested.”
“Don’t you come your high and mighty ‘what’ with me. We all
know who wears the trousers in your house – but to send him out pinchin’ – when
you’ve got money to pay for it un all.”
She sniffed, stuck her nose in the air and hurried on.
Arrested … did she say arrested?
I walked on towards the police station and went inside.
“Have you got my ‘usband locked in your cells?” I shouted.
“Never you mind what my name is – where’s my ‘usband?”
“If you don’t tell me your name madam, how do you expect me
Well, I suppose he had a point, so I told ‘im.
“Mrs Mavis Jones – wife of Mr. Alexander Jones.”
Well, that stopped ‘im in ‘is tracks – and he looked me up
“Wait here,” he said.
Then another copper appeared and told me to follow ‘im – took me into a room … with a table and two
chairs, one each side the desk
“Sit down,” he says. So I did … because he looked … angry..
He then started asking questions. I didn’t know what was goin’
on and he wouldn’t tell me. I said I wanted to see my ‘usband but he said he was
‘busy helping them with their enquires’.
Then he started asking about jewellery – if I’d had anything
new lately – if Alec had been giving me gifts – was it me birthday? Well, I
told ‘im the last gift I got from ‘im was a set of saucepans in 1988.
They kept me there for three hours.
Apparently they’d caught ‘im in the jewellers stuffin’ a
ruby necklace into ‘is pocket. Well, you could ‘ave knocked me down with a
feather. It certainly wasn’t my birthday – so who the heck was he buyin’ rubies
They kept ‘im in cells overnight – while his clothes was
tested for DNA. When I went back this morning they said the tests had ‘revealed
some interesting facts’ – there were ‘fibres’ on his clothes from a man who’d
been murdered three years before. Well, I told them my Alec just didn’t have it
in him to murder! He were useless – he’d have botched it! But they didn’t
They’ve just called to ask about the gloves. Alec had told
um we’d got them from charity shop and they wanted to know if it were true. I
said ‘go and ask the shop lady, she’ll remember us’ … they said they already
had … and she was still checkin’ who the gloves had come in from.
It’s been a week now and they’ve still got ‘im.
I were asked down the station this mornin’ – the same
constable saw me as I met t’other day. He seemed a bit friendlier. He told me
they’d tracked down the gloves to a woman. She’d taken them to charity shop
with a lot of other stuff … said they belonged to her ex-lover, who was now in
Winson Green for burglary and GBH. Apparently the gloves were ‘is and the DNA on
them was from a chap murdered in Castle Brom.
But that didn’t account for Alec havin’ rubies stuffed in
his anorak pocket.
Silly sod, I should ‘ave known it. Trust ‘im to get it
wrong! That mornin’ he said he were goin’ out to buy ‘is paper was a lie. He’d
gone to jewellers for a 40th wedding anniversary present for me. Well,
we’d never given anniversary presents before – what was he thinkin’?
Well, seems like he were just lookin’ at the necklaces and
‘she who knows everything’ comes in the shop … and he, silly sod, not wanting
her big mouth to give the game away stuffs the rubies in ‘is pocket. Then the
alarm goes off! The shop assistant thinks he’s pinchin’ … and the cops come and
handcuff ‘im and throw ‘im in the cells.
I wouldn’t mind … but he couldn’t even get that right … it’s
not our 40th weddin’ anniversary for another three years! I don’t
think he can have known they were real rubies anyway – well he’s never been
that generous before – bet he thought they was bits of coloured glass. But I’m
not lettin’ ‘im off the hook, not that easily – after all he can’t come up with
anything less than real rubies now can he – or I’ll think he really has got a
bit on the side – eh.
So it all ended well – until Betty Smith called over the
“Cooee, how are you Mavis,” she said. “I heard all about
your little mishap from that nosy cow at number 30, you know Ruby Robotham …..”
RUBY Robotham – ‘she who knows everything’ – well I tell you
straight … she better not know too much about my husband!