Winds of Chance by Dale Collins

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Dale Collins
Forgotten Books
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Excerpt from Winds of Chance

When Martin Trevellion - the Martin Trevellion - opened his eyes and found himself lying inside his mother's tea-caddy, he was surprised and puzzled, for his mother had been dead these many years and the brown box belonged to the far-off, hidden days when they were poor and he was the widow-woman's son. Also, although he'd been very small, even then he'd been much too big to climb into the caddy, and it wouldn't have swayed and creaked. What was he doing in the little old caddy if he was worried about being late for dinner at the Berkeley with Mercia? She was Lady Mercia in her own right, and like a white orchid as he told her at moments - precious moments. His mother had never even heard of Lady Mercia, yet he had to get out of the caddy and send Lady Mercia a clever and ironic and loving marconigram washing out the dinner. The wording would have to be good. She would demand this in the circumstances, especially from him.

The whole trouble was the fog. And now it had percolated into his aching head. All very bewildering. He did the wise thing, and fell asleep.

A long time later he had sorted matters out - almost. He was in his cabin on the cross-Channel packet - why had he ever thought it was a tea-caddy? - but owing to the dense fog God only knew when they would dock, and he had to warn Mercia, or she would be at the Berkeley and he in the Straits of Dover and then there would be all hell to pay, though it would be smooth and cold as ice, and too freezingly polite.

The funny thing was, the perplexing thing, that he should not have been in his cabin at all, but out on the dripping, shrouded deck talking to a funny little commonplace girl in a worn tweed coat with a cheap scarf wrapped round her head.

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Winds of Chance

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