Lizzie, now a teenager, faces new challenges and makes new friends.
(Book 2 in the "Lizzie Series")
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The Lizzie Series
Lizzie Short's intriguing story continues as this precocious, yet enterprising young woman, faces an unsuspecting enemy and gains new allies in the sequel to "Lizzie: Lethal Innocence".
In "Lizzie's Secret Angels", mysterious circumstances and a well-hidden secret create a rumble of resentment among factions of the British establishment and exciting challenges surface amidst the harsh realities of 1806 London, England. Never one to disregard a challenge, Lizzie proves to be both a fierce opponent and a compassionate ally.
There are four books in this series: Book 3 - "Streets of Hope", Book 4 - "Lizzie's Legacy"
It was fast approaching noon when the youngsters turned into Water Lane and made their way to the tailor’s shop for their appointment with Nathan. As they stepped inside, they noticed Abe in the corner at his worktable staring at a heap of paper.
"What, no Nathan, Mister Kratze?" Lizzie asked sharply, as she walked toward the old man.
"My relative had a need to visit the outhouse, m’dears," he said, with a smile, as the back door banged and in walked the effervescent Nathan.
"My, it’s grand to see you again!" his voice boomed as he rushed over to vigorously shake their hands, although his face betrayed little joy.
Lizzie turned on her most winsome smile and said brashly, "Aye, cos you know there will be money ta be made, don’t yer?"
Nathan displayed his hurt look and sat down.
"You mistake me, madam, I have but your welfare at heart."
Both the youngsters began to laugh. Even old Abe had to smile and Nathan’s big, sad eyes soon lit up again and he, too, joined in the fun.
"Oh, yer a good act, Nathan Goldman!" the girl managed through her laughter. But when they had settled down, Lizzie’s mood changed abruptly. "Well, are you prepared, Mister Nathan, because we have a mountain of goods to dispose of this time. If you come with us now, we will get you a list."
She slid from her chair and made for the door, motioning him to follow. Out on the street, she kept the pace just fast enough to keep the overweight little trader out of breath.
Upon reaching the cottage, he leaned heavily against the fence as Quon opened the gate. His now red face was perspiring profusely and he gasped for air. He was unable to go another step so she directed Quon to stay with him while she went for the list.
Ada was standing at the window just as the three came up the road and stopped at the gate. She witnessed the puzzling scene and came to the door as Lizzie opened it.
"The list is ready but what have you done to the little man? You’re going to kill him!"
The girl grinned wickedly at the bookkeeper, took her by the arm and led her back inside the cottage.
"You two are at it again, aren’t you?" Ada asked.
"Yes . . . we are!" the girl admitted with a giggle. "Had ta keep him quiet and intimidate him . . . just a little. And gettin him into that state accomplished both, real quick. Won’t be many questions outa our Nathan today, I bet ya!"
Lizzie held out her hand for Ada’s list of sale goods and glanced over it with dancing eyes.
"Won’t be sellin any of this liquor," she said, pointing a finger to an item on the list.
"It’s a list of what came from the raid . . . not what we have for sale, you decide that!" Ada replied sharply, still concerned with Lizzie’s treatment of the trader.
With nothing further to discuss, Lizzie went back outside. The bookkeeper noticed Martha had been carefully watching the scene that had passed with her and the girl.
"Sometimes Martha, I just don’t understand what she’s up to or why she does certain things!" she said, returning to her desk.
Martha was silent for awhile and when she spoke, the words from this homely woman came gently, but firmly.
"You know lass, that girl thinks faster than all of us, an I’ve yet ter see her do sumat without a reason for it. Happen her reason wor just what she said it wor—to stop him askin awkward questions when she didn’t want ta be answerin ‘em!"
Ada had picked up her pen to begin writing but it remained poised over her book until the housekeeper finished speaking. A smile now crept across her face. She voiced no further opinion on the matter, simply nodded and returned to her accounts.
Nathan had recovered a little and was sitting on the steps by the time Lizzie reappeared and handed him the sheet of paper. Thoughtfully and without a word, he began to study the list.
Lizzie quickly interceded into his thoughts with a curt, "Not the liquor though, Mister Goldman!" Then as an afterthought, she added, "And you and I need to sit down and talk about the insurance business."
Nathan’s head jerked upward fully aware of the business she was referring to. Does this girl never forget anything, he thought, his eyes now wide with disbelief and anticipation. Lizzie’s hand flashed into her pocket and a golden guinea flew through the air and toward the Jewish trader. Nathan tried to move out of the way as if it was a hot potato but the coin found its mark, landing squarely in his lap.
"That’s four you have now!" the girl said cheerfully.
The little man unhappily climbed to his feet holding the list in one hand and the golden guinea in the other.
"B-b-but I protest, Miss L-Lizzie," he stammered, "this jest has gone far enough!"
His voice sounded far from convincing and his eyes were pleading for help, but the youngsters were already out of the gate and moving off down the lane. Lizzie’s wicked laugh could just be heard in the distance, if one was to listen very carefully.
Several days later as dawn broke shooting shades of red and gold into the late October sky, the Falcon pulled away from the dock, watched carefully by several of the TLS men arriving for work. Charley Mason sat on his high perch in the old armchair on top of his cart, quietly directing his men.
Grey Grim ran up to the cart and announced, "Captain Davis says he’ll be back in about a week."
The engineer nodded, then told his informant to find Lizzie or Joe and tell them, too.
Grey found Lizzie and Quon a few blocks away sitting on the steps of the tailor’s shop halfway up Dock Street. He imparted his message from Captain Davis, received a nod of understanding, and turned to go.
"Wait a tick, lad," Lizzie said abruptly, rising to her feet. "I want you and yer brother to look after Charley real well and learn from him how to think that engineer stuff," she said, with a stern, yet kind, tone of voice while Quon nodded in agreement.
Grey spluttered with embarrassment but managed to assure the girl of his desire to please the young engineer and of his total loyalty to the company, then he scurried off as fast as his legs could take him.
A creaking sound behind them forewarned that Abe Kratze was about to open his door. More creaking and squeaking was heard as the door partially opened.
"We’ve brought ya some fruit bread from Martha," Lizzie said.
The door opened a bit wider and a long-fingered bony hand appeared. Lizzie put the package into his hand and the door was quickly closed.
"Right, me lad," Lizzie giggled, pushing her best pal off the step with a bump. "Breakfast time! Cum on, dumplin, race ya home!" she shouted over her shoulder as she gathered speed.
Joe Todd heard the familiar sounds of his happy young charges approaching from the lane and hesitated at the cottage doorway, his hand on the latch. Very soon they came into sight and seeing him waiting for them, they pushed open the gate and raced toward him.
It was always such a pleasure to watch these children—for in his eyes Lizzie and Quon were still children. Despite their playful ways, he knew they were growing up and had a very good future ahead of them. It did not seem possible that it was only two short years ago when they had come into his life—nursing him back to health and saving him from a terrible loneliness. He knew he must face the fact that it would become necessary one day for them to leave—to find their own fortunes and no doubt, to start their own families.
As they flung themselves into his waiting arms, he let out a big sigh and hoped with all his heart that day was still a long way off. Then he joined them as they laughingly entered the cottage—brushing all depressing thoughts from his mind as he smelled the wonderful aroma of Martha’s cooking.