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Illingworth House: Chance Child - Part One: 17 Harry Clemence To The Rescue

..."Oh, another one of them," she said acidly. "He has taste in everything but women. Why does he fall for such trashy girls? A pretty little secretary bird to sit on his knee and play footsie, eh?"...

Harry Clemence predicts that John Illingworth's interest in a secretary will soon fade - but is he making one of his rare mi8stakes?

To read earlier chapters of John Waddington-Feather's family saga please click on

Kingham-Jones was a little man, but his voice was out of proportion to the rest of him. You could hear his bark a mile off, and Sir Abe looked desperately round for someone to steer Kingham-Joes away before his friend Isaac Goldstein heard him. Harry Clemence caught his eye and Sir Abe signalled him over. "For God's sake, Clemence, get that fool Kingham-Jones inside and out of the way," he growled. "And when my sister's finished speaking to Lady Rimington, tell her to take him home. He's had too much to drink and God knows what he'll say next."

Clemence smiled and inclined his head. He was pleased the supremo trusted him enough to handle such a delicate matter. Sir Abe had started giving him more and more responsibility, and it didn't go unnoticed by Rosemary. She was with her mother listening to Lady Rimington and her daughter. She couldn't escape and had to stay and listen to their inane chatter. Harry Clemence came to her rescue. He had summed up the state of play on his way inside with Major Kingham-Jones, whom he anchored to the bar. Then he returned to save Rosemary. It was definitely his day.

He sidled up to her, doffing his boater to the others before whispering something in her ear. She smiled broadly and excused herself saying her car was blocking someone in and she would have to go and move it. Harry raised his boater again and followed her in the direction of the car park, but once they'd turned the corner, they veered into the house.

"Another minute with those Rimingtons and I'd have screamed!" said Rosemary.

"I saw you'd got stuck with them," he said smugly; then more intimately, "You know, you and me begin to think more and more alike, Rosie. I could read your face a mile off an' I certainly wouldn't have given you a penny for your thoughts back there. You looked murderous!"

She laughed lightly and gave him a peck on the cheek. "You're an absolute darling at times, Harry," she said. "Be one now and get me a drink, a long G and T."

When he returned she sipped her drink and frowned, saying that if ever John Illingworth took up with that Rimington bitch, she would never speak to him again.

"In that case," said Harry, "you'll be on speaking terms for a long time to come. He's no interest in Eleanor Rimington at all." He smiled slyly before adding, "He's got his sights fixed somewhere else. He never stops talking about the brand new light that's lighting up his life."

Rosemary stopped sipping her drink and looked across at him quickly, all ears. "Oh?" she said. "Tell me more." But Clemence only gave his sly smile again and said she'd have to wait and see. He knew exactly how to play her. She wheedled him more than ever to tell her about John's new flame, slipping her arm through his. Harry tightened his grip and walked her back to the gardens.

"You know what John's like," he answered. "When he's smitten he goes in over the head, but it won't last. Sir Abe'll see to that. It's another office girl he's fallen for.

"Oh, another one of them," she said acidly. "He has taste in everything but women. Why does he fall for such trashy girls? A pretty little secretary bird to sit on his knee and play footsie, eh?"

Harry nodded and said it would soon die the death. Once his father found out she would get the push like the last one. But he was wrong, about as wrong as he could be, which was unusual for Clemence.


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