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Tales of a London Poacher

Cleve Edmonston

Book Excerpts

Worms I hated with a passion and I had quite a phobia of them ever since my younger brother, Jeff, used to throw them over the top of the toilet door of the outside loo at Camden Road. Mind you, I was very young then, so when Roy asked me one day if I wanted to go fishing with him, I replied (as I always did), "Yes!"


They were a motley bunch of various ages, backgrounds and attire, but I thought them the greatest guys to be with.


There was a kind of whooshing sound immediately followed by a thump that literally shook the ground around me! Something had come out of the cold clear blue sky, and with a sudden white flash, it passed me at terrific speed; just missed a shed, and almost completely buried itself in the frozen ground no more than ten paces from where I stood!


I slowly, very slowly slid my gun into position, eased off the safety, took aim and fired! 'Crack!' went the gun and 'Daylight!' went the scene as lights came on in three different positions. 'Police!' Whether it was just a fluke, a coincidence, or whether I had become too much a creature of habit and had gone over there too often on the same night of the week I will never know, but what I did know was that these coppers' meant business and had been in wait for me and the chase was now on!


He came up right on the cross hairs and whack! I fired and saw him waver and go down. Roy was out of the van like a whippet, running across the stubble. I saw him pick up the bird and stuff it beneath his jacket and then return casually to the vehicle.


It was fun to start with and we killed bird after bird, shot after shot, and watched as they dropped fifty feet or more to the mezzanine floor or sometimes to the concrete floor, kicking up clouds of dust as they did so.


With the gun reloaded, and me kneeling in front of this bush, a man suddenly stepped out in front of me, grabbed the barrel of my shotgun and pulling it out of my hands said, "I'll take that son!" At the very same moment, another guy appeared behind me saying that they were police and that I was under arrest.


"Alpha Foxtrot to Charlie Echo."
"Charlie Echo send."
"Alpha Foxtrot". "Have just shot the strangest looking deer. Not seen anything like it before!"
"Charlie Echo." "Wait one am coming to your location."


The mansion was spooky at night and during the daylight hours it stayed cold inside, even during the summer months. The wind coming through an open window or door played havoc with one`s nerves and the alarm systems.


Besides such strange sights as a windmill and a lighthouse being seen in Walthamstow, the famous Avro engine for aircraft was developed in Walthamstow and bi-planes could be seen on the marshes in the early 20th century.

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