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“The inwardness of despair is a constant struggle within the realms of one’s soul. The heart and mind is in continual conflict, driven by indecision, hesitation and diffidence of character; the confidence lacking to pursue what one wants, instead of what is expected of you.”
Her father had given her an ultimatum; and though his voice had been quiet, it contained a sense of finality behind his words which could not be mistaken. His tone had been true to his intention, and his intention true to his meaning: She was to marry Mr. Williamson, or be estranged from her family.
As she shuffled along the road to the factories, trying, in vain, to stop the cold slush of snow seeping through to the holes in her boots, the wind howling furiously and the threadbare branches of the tree shivered wildly up ahead. She could barely see her surroundings; only seven years worth of familiarity with the road enabled her to maneuver through the foggy mist of the early hours of dawn without the aid of clear and unhindered vision.
She came to a stop here, looking around at her surroundings. It did not seem different in any way to the naked eye, though it had a certain warmth to it, a warmth which she cannot even begin to describe. Here she had met Richard Wellington, the young man she was most sure she was in love with. She had not come to elope, to throw herself into his embrace (though that was most certainly what she wanted to do). She had come to say a simple good-bye.
This is the intro to the whole novel:
In the year 1965, the city of London truly was ‘Swinging’. Just about everywhere you looked, people were doing something they probably shouldn’t have been doing. But this was accepted. It was exciting to do something you probably shouldn’t have been doing. To hell with morals! Who needed them? The English certainly didn’t. There were affairs, murders, love triangles—the whole damn country had turned into one hell of a West Side Story.
For a bloke like Richard Wellington, being intelligent, smooth, cockney, and drunk in Swingin’ London worked like a charm. Getting paid a rather fair amount a day to do ‘odd jobs’ for criminals was a dream come true for an old man raised on blood, sweat, and tears; all derived, of course, from his mother. Richard Wellington wasn’t used to working for the things he had. No, he had the nasty habit of simply taking the things he wanted. Ever the scholar, he had a rather intelligent yet somewhat biased philosophy: ‘Steal from the rich, Cause they can live without a thousand pounds off their bloody millions.’ Perhaps he was right.
Wellington used his looks, charm and wit to knit his way into the lives of London’s wealthiest—a con man through and through—finding a way to cleverly extort money from them, all the while fooling them with some outlandish plea: such as the old ‘The Wife and Children are out cold with pneumonia’ or the clever declare of false love to a unknowing social-climbing heiress, who was, quite coincidentally, from New York.
Yet there was one bloke Wellington never could seem to fool. That particular man was a billionaire. That man’s name was Francois LaPlant.
Francois LaPlant owned the Bennett Museum in downtown London, where he housed one of his dearest possessions: A big, fat fifty-carat diamond just screaming Wellington’s name. Wellington had walked past that diamond every day of every week of every month of every year for the last thirty years. It was only around this time that old fox began plotting to steal it—one of the biggest heists in history.
It was also around this time that he took notice of one particular woman named Dotty Kline. Dotty Kline certainly was an Irish beauty, two years younger than Wellington. He had observed her from afar; and, just as he had suspected, she was not ‘just’ a pretty face. In fact, Dotty Kline was one of the cleverest criminals in all of London. You know what that bird did? She stole art without the actual piece ever leaving its home. Dotty painted and sculpted exact replicas of the valuables, switching them so she had the real deal and the owner had the phony. That’s what attracted Wellington to her—this was pratically his female counterpart.
And this, lads and lasses, is where our story begins. In central London, the frosty air biting at your nose.
Critique, please, and does it interest you?