The Standalones

Chapter Thirty-Six

Ken Preston

3 July 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

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Chapter Thirty-Six

“Calm down, will you? You’re attracting attention, people are looking at us!”

Danny Lamb froze. He had been dancing a little jig along the pavement and whooping with delight.

“I can’t help it,” he hissed in Fred’s ear. “I never thought we’d get the money back, and now we have.”

Fred shifted the holdall from his right to his left hand. “That’s right, we have, and I’m the one left carrying it around town. Isn’t it about time you had a turn?”

“Oh, but I told you I can’t carry anything, not with my bad back.” Danny placed both hands in the small of his back and grimaced, just to make sure Fred realised he was being serious.

Fred rolled his eyes. “Of course you can’t.”

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They’d found the holdall of money exactly where Lexi had told them it would be, in a left luggage locker at Euston Station. It hadn’t taken long for Lexi to admit she had taken the holdall. She had started off all tough and hard, but it was all an act and she couldn’t keep it up with two men threatening her. Fred was glad they had the money again, and Lexi shouldn’t have stolen it, but he’d had to turn his back when Danny started using his fists. And he still felt a little queasy at all the things Danny had threatened her with if she didn’t tell them where the money was, but it had worked.

Now all they had to do was get back to Danny’s place and wait for Frankie Henderson’s hard men to arrive.

Danny planted a hand on Fred’s shoulder. “Anyway, I’ve got a plan for when those two gorillas turn up wanting Frankie’s money back.”

Fred stopped walking and stared at Danny. “I do hope that your plan is, we just give them the money.”

“Nah mate, listen, we can do better than that.” Danny squeezed Fred’s shoulder. “I say we hide the money and tell the twins that those stupid kids took it.”

“Which stupid kids?”

“You know, the ones in that band, the Handouts, or whatever they’re called.”

“The Standalones.” Fred thought for a moment. “You think that will work?”

“Of course it will.” Danny spread his arms out wide. “Fred, when have I ever let you down?”

Fred snorted.

“The thing is Fred, you stole it from them but you didn’t realise it was Frankie Henderson’s money, did you?”

“Nah, I thought it was the rent money they owed you.”

 “That’s right. I mean, if you’d known it was Frankie’s money, you’d have taken it straight round and put it in his hands, right?”

“Right.”

“But you didn’t know, did you? So now we just tell the twins that the kids came and stole it back off us. Simple!”

Fred grinned. “And we keep the money.”

“You’ve got it, pal!” Danny looked at the pub across the road, his eyes shining with happiness. “What do you say we have a drink to celebrate our good fortune?”

Fred thought about this for a moment. “Well, maybe just the one. We don’t want a repeat of last night, do we?”

Danny clapped Fred on the back. “That’s right, Fred, just one or two, and then we’ll head back.”

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