Submission Details

A Time for Adventure
A Time for Adventure
Mel RJ Smith
Yes - full manuscript is available

Gerry MacNeil had always craved adventure but it didn't come easy in the Twenty First Century, whilst working a forty hour week in a Home for the elderly. That was until that day when Gerry decided on a leisurely game of Golf in Surrey. He didn't expect a knock on the head that would send him back into the 1920's, where he would find romance, danger ,thrills, laughs and of course ADVENTURE. Could Gerry MacNeil change the course of history and stop the bad guys from making the world different to how we know it today. Find out in A Time for Adventure.

Chapter One
Chapter 1 ~ Sunday 23rd September, 8am I say, I'm so awfully sorry.” A female voice said. Gerry tried to focus on the voice but his vision was blurred as he lay there, stunned. ”Daddy's going to be so angry with me.” The voice said. The image behind the voice became gradually clearer as Gerry lifted himself onto one elbow. She was an attractive young lady in her mid to late twenties with serene blue eyes, soft skin and brunette curls that fell beneath her cloche hat, that's the next thing Gerry noticed. Her attire. The one piece pale green frock, stockinged legs and golf shoes gave her not only an elegant, classy look but also reminded Gerry of a 1920's flapper. She looked down at him, laying helpless on the damp, late April grass. ”I I didn't see you.” She said. ”You seemed to appear from nowhere, I did shout but it was too late.” Gerry winced as he probed the bump that was forming, a reminder of where her ball had hit. ”It's fine.” He said. ”Could you help me up? He extended his arm towards her. ”Oh of course, I'm so sorry, how rude of me.” She replied, helping Gerry to his feet. ”Daddy is going to be so angry.” She repeated once again. ”Why?” He asked, ”I'm Gerry by the way.” Gerry stared at her as she replied. She seemed familiar to him but couldn't place from where. ”Eloise, Eloise Ponsonby.” She replied. ”Daddy doesn't like it when I play, that's why I started early, before any of the gentlemen arrived, the other gentlemen I mean.” ”Oookay.” Gerry said, bemused with her concern. ”So why are you dressed like that, is it a fancy dress competition?” ”I beg your pardon?” She replied looking Gerry up and down. ”One may just say the same about you, I must say.” She turned her head to one side, disappointed by his comment then added ”Mr Bumble bee.” ”Bumble bee? He said sharply. I think my knock was a little more than a sting.” ”Of course, but you do look rather bright.” She replied with a smile. Gerry looked down as his own attire and was shocked by what he saw. A two tone pair of oxfords, yellow and black argyle socks, checked plus fours and to top it off a yellow and black striped pull over vest. His brand new Tailor-made golf clubs had also been replaced. Now laying at his feet was a canvas bag containing a set of well used hickory clubs. ”What the heck!” He said. The numbers, 3 and 10, he remembered the numbers, but that's all and now he's here, not only was he dressed as a nineteen twenties golfer. It seemed he was in the 1920's. Gerry couldn't believe it, he loved this era. The roaring twenties with its flappers and gangsters, and the Great Depression with bootlegging and money laundering. He had watched so many films and read book after book on the subject, often dreaming he was born in that era. ”Come on.” Eloise said, disturbing his thoughts, ”Let's go and sort that bump of yours out.” Gerry picked up the clubs and followed her as she headed in the direction of the clubhouse, he felt apprehensive as to what else might occur. As they approached the building, Gerry recognized it immediately and was surprised how little it had changed, whereas the surrounding landscape had altered substantially. The putting green was gone, to be replaced with a stone staircase that rose up from an ornate fountain. These lead up to what should have been the patio area, where Gerry enjoyed a pint or three after a hard days golfing. This area was now, or once was a gravel driveway, now filled with an assortment of vintage cars that were parked in front of the grand structure itself. Kelsey Hall golf club was a large three story structure, constructed from brick and flint-rock. It had two wings that sat adjacent to the core which itself boasted six ornate columns leading to the main entrance. ”Welcome to my home.” Eloise said, leading Gerry past the columns and through the great oak door. ”Your home?” Gerry questioned. ”Don't you mean golf club?” ”I was born here Bumble, you are such a strange creature.” She replied. ”Surely you know daddy only invites his most influential friends to play here. You won't tell him what happened, promise you won't.” ”My lips are sealed.” He said. ”Oh Bumble you are a dear.” She leaned in, kissing Gerry on the cheek. Gerry hadn't noticed it before, but her aroma gave him a sense of dj vu. The smell and warmth of cigar tobacco infused with lush flowers filled his nasal senses, reminding Gerry of sunshine and good times. ”Your perfume, what is it?” He asked. ”I've smelt it before.” ”It's Molinard Habantia, daddy bought it back from one of his trips aboard.” ”Havana to be precise, my darling.” ”Daddy, youre up! Let me introduce Bumble, I mean Gerry.” The man before them stood tall with certitude, dressed in an ivory Brooks Brothers suit, blue silk pocket square and a highly polished pair of brown and white wingtips, it was immediately obvious to Gerry that Eloise's daddy was a man of wealth and distinction. Eloise was certainly her fathers daughter, the resemblance was uncanny, especially his same blue eyes, high cheeks bones and prominent chin. He took hold of Gerry's hand with a firm grip and shook it vigorously. ”We've met before.” He said. ”You have?” Eloise asked. ”We have?” Gerry thought. ”McNeil? If I'm not mistaken, PD introduced us, briefly.” PD, Gerry thought, there's only one PD he knew and that was his boss Peter Dann, surly not. Peter? Mr Ponsonby, Gerry questioned, the rotund looking Yorkshire man? ”That's the fellow, but please call me Georgie. He replied, now tell me, how you two came to meet?” ”I was ummmm, gol....” Eloise started to say before Gerry interrupted. ”Your daughter came to my rescue sir.” ”Oh prey tell.” ”I was searching for my lost ball amongst the trees, he lied Something startled me and getting up too quickly, I clumsily knocked my head on a low branch. Eloise was passing and invited me back to dress the wound.” ”Is that right? He said, raising his eyebrows at his daughter. Eloise looked down at her feet, trying in vain to hide her lie. Yes daddy, she said, that's what happened. Georgie could read his daughter like a book, but he let it go. Very well. He said. Now I must dash, I have an important meeting to attend.” With that, Georgie brushed past them. Pausing briefly, he laid his hand on Gerry's shoulder. ”Nice story Bumble” He whispered. ”Nice to meet you again, McNeil, I'm sure my daughter will take good care of you.” He said, before disappearing out the door. ”Oh and Eloise, next time put your clubs away.” He added. *** Gerry sat at the large Victorian table, easily able to seat ten staff. The pine now worn after years of service. Laying his hand in the wood, he felt its texture and imagined the many lavish meals that would have been prepared here over the years, the smell of freshly baked bread fuelling his imagination. He gazed around the warm kitchen, taking in its features, many of which still remained Victorian in style. Across the table; set back in a recess, stood a blackened cast iron range. Still hot from the baking, the rising heat gently stirred the copper cooking utensils that hung on chain and hook from the high ceiling. To its left, set against the wall, stood a dresser, every shelf filled with an assortment of pots and pans that had seen many a year of hard labour. The scullery was next, which may have once been lit by a solitary candle was now ablaze with light from an overhead lamp, illuminating a figure that was bent over the sink. Eloise felt guilty for what had happened, running the cold water over the cloth, hoping it would help. She was certain no one was there when the ball was struck. I won't keep you a moment Bumble. She told him. It's fine, take your time, I'm just admiring your house, has it been in your family long? Yes, my great grandfather, Sir Reginald Ponsonby acquired it in the late 1800s. I bet it could tell a tale or two, he said. What the butler saw and all that. Eloise laughed. Old Archie? He wouldnt see much at all, bless him. Hes been in daddy's employ since long before I was born. No, I mean. Gerry started to say, but thought better of it. He didn't want to have to explain the images of twentieth century postcards to the lady of the house. Eloise placed the damp cloth on Gerry head, the coolness easing the bump almost immediately. Now just hold that there, while I arrange some refreshments. She said and disappeared from the kitchen, leaving Gerry alone or so he thought. Hello little fella. He said to a mouse that caught his attention as it scurried across the kitchen floor. The mouse stopped dead in its tracks and looked up at Gerry, as if listening to him. What is all this? Gerry asked the mouse, Do you know why I am here why? Why am I here my little friend? Before the mouse; who in fact reminded Gerry of his neighbour Sid, moved on, a bell started to chime. The mouse looked from Gerry to the bell before continuing on its journey. Gerry watched with interest as it squeezed behind the dresser, stopping briefly to give him one last glance. Gerry hadn't noticed the servants bells earlier when he was surveying the room. They were in a row of five and fixed to the wall just above the dumb waiter, each labelled with brass plaques, indicating their source. The one labelled Front Door chimed once again. Who were you talking too? Eloise asked as she returned. She handed Gerry a bottle of ginger beer. Thanks, just what the doctor ordered. He said, I was just muttering to myself. He continued. Maybe that bump is worse than it looks. She replied, jokingly, before removing the cloth and studying the injury. Looks like you have eager visitors. Gerry said, pointing to the bell that now had an impatient ring to it. That's ok, Archie will answer it. You sure he'll be able to see who it is? Gerry asked. Oh Bumble you are a card. Come on then let's go find out for ourselves, shall we? He barely managed to take a large gulp of the ginger beer and place the bottle awkwardly on the table before being pulled with a rush from the kitchen, up a spiral stairwell and back into the entrance hall. Still holding his hand; which in truth Gerry liked, they almost came to an abrupt halt, well they would have if Gerry wasn't shoeless. Having removed his oxfords earlier he started to slide. The freshly polished dark oak floorboards held no grip or friction on his stockinged feet, he careered passed Eloise, who had no choice but to release her grip and watch as Gerry slid on, towards the door and the unsuspecting butler. Archie look out! Eloise hollered. But practically blind, obviously deaf too and unaware of what was happening behind him Archie continued to dutifully open the door. Gerry, now trying his best to stay upright sped on towards the gaping hole and crashed full force into the surprised visitor. They both toppled backwards, landing in a heap on the dusty ground. Bumble are you ok? Eloise's asked as she helped Gerry to his feet for the second time that day. David, nice of you to drop in. She added. Getting to his feet, David dusted himself down. He looked at Gerry with a disdainful look in his eyes. Literally, wouldn't you say? He replied. Gerry took an instant dislike to this tall, well-built blonde haired man but put his hand out to shake none the less. Sorry, he said, I couldn't stop in time, it's the floor, its a bit slippery. David reluctantly offered his own hand in return. Thats how it's supposed to be in a well-run house, isn't it? He said. That's what staff get paid to do. Gerry couldn't be sure, but he could have sworn David added Dummkoff under his breath. Never trust a man with a weak grip or eyes that are too close together, Gerry's father had once told him and David had both. He knew from that moment this man was defiantly not to be trusted. David was the first to lead the way back into the house, ignoring Archie completely as he did. Eloise held back, grabbing Gerry by the arm. I'm sorry, she said, about David I mean, his manners are not one of his best qualities. Does he have any? Gerry replied. Eloise let out a giggle. Who is he anyway? Gerry asked. David Steinberg, he's daddy's business partner, he's more than likely here to see him. Gerry nodded at Archie as they followed David back inside. He had the same feeling about the butler as he did earlier about Eloise. He seemed familiar but he couldn't place it. Gerry looked back over his shoulder for a second glimpse. Archie was heading out the door, he smiled, gave Gerry a sneaky wink and closed the door behind him. To help with the guilt of two accidents in the same morning, Eloise invited Gerry to stay for dinner and the night. She instructed that the guest bedroom and a pair of shoes be made ready. Gerry accepted the offer for two reasons, one he wanted to get to know Eloise better and two, where else was he going to go? His house probably wouldn't have even been built yet. Y, 4:Ι{I܏sNXp
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Chapter Two
Chapter 2 ~ Sunday 23rd September, 11:30am The two of them sat opposite each other, in a quiet corner of the Just Inn Time public house. What they had to say was for their ears only. Good choice of name for a place to meet, what's so important?” He's here. What? Where? Back at Kelsey hall, he arrived this morning. Is he safe? I would say he's in good hands, yes. Eloise? Yes, Eloise. Good.that's very good. I best get back. Ok, keep me informed and keep him safe. Don't worry, no harm will come to him. It was meant to be. Peter picked up the tankard and savoured the hops as he watched his partner leave. Well, Mr McNeil my dear fellow, youre here at last. He said to himself. *** The bedroom was large and smelt of fresh lining, a bay window was at one end with the curtains drawn back allowing the natural light to filter in and fill the room. Gerry sat on the windows ledge and looked out over the estate. This time he was alone and could think clearly about the days events. Everything happens for a reason, he knew that from past experiences, he also felt that he was here for a reason, but what? That was the burning question. Why the similarities with the people from his future time? It was also clear that Georgie had met him before, but when? Surly he would know if they had. There were so many unanswered questions. As he sat there contemplating, a lone figure walked across the courtyard below. Eloise. Gerry released the widows catch and lifted it above his head. He held it in place, just in case. Hi. He said. Oh Bumble. She replied, looking up at him. Hows your room? I know it isn't much. It's fine, just dandy. He said. Where you off too? Im just about to take bouncer for a walk, would you care to join? I'll be right down. He said. Gerry secured the window and stood watching a moment as Eloise played, teasing the German Shepard with a stick, before throwing it for him to fetch. Could she be the reason? He hoped she was. *** Tell me about you, Gerry. She said, Why are you here? Gerry thought for a moment as they walked arm in arm, following bouncer as he ran on ahead. To save the world, rescue the girl, fall in love. He replied. She laughed. No really, Why? Are you here to help daddy with his new business? Bouncer returned, jumping up to show his affection. I'm a time traveller, Gerry replied, I came here from the future to save you from a ferocious, beast of a dog. Bumble, you such a tease. They walked for a good two hours, covering most of the grounds. Bouncer and Gerry bonded well together and the three of them enjoyed each other company. Finally emerging from a small copse, they came to clearing. Before them, set up on an embankment and overlooking the estate stood a small timber framed orangery. Eloise loved this place, she recalled all the happy times she had spent here as child, with her late mother. This was mummy's favourite place. She said I come here to be close to her. Gerry could see why, the view over the estate was astounding, especially now, with the back drop of the setting sun. What was her name? He asked. Hoping it wouldn't upset her. Sylvia, she was lovely Gerry, I do miss her so. I'm sure she misses you just as much. he replied, taking her hand in his. They sat in silence for a moment, enjoying the view. Bouncer settled at their feet yawning and together they watched as the sun set lower on the horizon. Beautiful. He said. Yes it is she agreed, smiling. She turned to face him, the smile didn't hide the sadness in her eyes as they reflected the early evening sky, now ablaze and adorning itself with hues of oranges and reds. As he looked into them a tightness started to grow in the depths of his stomach, he knew that feeling well but hadn't felt in a very long time. He was falling for her. He wanted to pull her into his arms, to share in her sadness. To kiss her. To love her. But now wasn't the time and maybe Eloise knew that too. We had best be getting back? She said. Doris will be awfully upset if we are late for dinner. Of course. He replied, I'll race you. Bounding from the orangery, Gerry took the lead, with bouncer hot on his heels, yelping excitedly. Bumble, you cheat, she shouted after him. That's very unsporting of you. And as for you bouncer, youre a traitor. As Gerry reached the top of the steps by the fountain, he saw a van parked outside the entrance to the house with the words Ponsonby Import and Export stencilled on the side. A burly, bald headed, bulk of a man dressed in a fine suit was loading boxes in the back. Gerry, not being one to let a lady lose, and also intrigued with the van, feigned an injury, allowing Eloise to race pass in laughter. Come on slow coach, she shouted back at him. Right behind you. He said. You carry on. With bouncer still at his side, Gerry rubbed his pretend injury and watched as the man attempted to pick up a large crate. Need a hand? He called, that looks heavy. The man looked surprised and nervous with the offer of help, he shook his head and turned to talk to someone out of Gerry's view. Are you sure? Gerry asked, as he drew nearer. McNeil isn't it? A voice asked. Bouncer snarled and let out a low growl as David, who was hidden from view, slipped out from behind the van. Yes that's right. Gerry replied. Well were fine. He said, You run along, or slide. As I know youre good at that. Just trying to help. Gerry said. And like I said, were fine. Ignoring him, Gerry bent down to examine the box. Sure looks heavy. He said. The bald man slipped his hand inside his jacket, gripping a Colt M/1914, David touched his arm and mouthed Nien, nicht jetzt. Well, I'll leave you to it then. Gerry said. Will you be at dinner? I wouldn't miss it for the world, dear fellow. David replied. I just hope your dress sense has improved by then. Archie timed his appearance perfectly, as he stood in the doorway and addressed the trio. Sorry to interrupt sir, He said, But I took the liberty of retrieving your belongings from your automobile. My automobile? Gerry asked. Yes sir, He said that is yours? The red one if I'm not mistaken. Gerry looked in awe at the car, a Kissel White Eagle. The Speedster body gleamed, the red paintwork and silver trim immaculate and its torpedo-shaped body and semi-boat tail perfectly streamlined. The only thing missing was a set of golf clubs that would normally sit on the foot-plate. That's the beauty. Gerry said. Thank you Archie, It seems I will be dressed accordingly gentleman. He said, I too will be looking forward to dinner David, see you there. Eloise was sitting at the foot of the stairs when Gerry finally caught up with her, bouncer rushed forward, slobbering all over her, maybe by way of an apology for switching sides. What kept you? She asked. I stopped to give David a hand. How awfully sweet of you, she said, especially with your latest injury, but you do realise I would have won. Is that so? He said. Then let's see who gets ready for dinner first. Eloise couldn't help but laugh as Gerry took the stair two at a time, leaving mistress and her faithful companion behind. See you at 8o clock sharp. She called after him. Y, 4:Ι{I܏sNXp
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Chapter Three
Chapter 3 ~ Sunday 22nd September, 6pm Gerry lay on the bed, closed his eyes and listened as the clock on the mantle chimed, each ring sending him further into rem state and dreams of another time. One.. Good morning Doris.” He said, as his elderly neighbor collected her milk from the doorstep. ”Chilly one today, make sure you wrap up warm.” ”Aye lad, used to this weather where I come from, noticing it more as I get older mind.” She said in her deep northern accent. ”Why aye man, so I see.” Gerry said, unable to not notice her protruding nipples. He followed with a wink and a wolf whistle. ”Youre a cheeky fella, Gerry McNeil.” Doris said, still laughing as she pushed her door too, shutting out the frosty morning. Two..”Morning, Arch, still awake then?” He said teasingly to the night porter. Archie was about 5' 8” tall, with receding hair, due to the fact he always arrived to work wearing the same bedraggled baseball cap, and a fluorescent coat to match. ”Only just mate, been a long night.” He yawned, putting down his book and giving a long stretch as he leant back in the office swivel chair. ”Yes so I can see with sweat you've built up there.” Gerry replied, referring to Archie's underarms. ”Bollocks.” Archie replied. ”Yes no doubt they are too. Gerry said. Archie laughed, giving Gerry a cheeky wink. Three. ”Sorry I'm late, I overslept.” Ella the slim, brunette receptionist said, slipping off her coat, revealing a pair of ample breasts that were trying to force their way out from beneath her cotton blouse. Gerry couldn't help but notice the patterned outline of her white bra as she settled into the chair. The scent from her perfume filled the air, completely vanquishing the unpleasantness of poor Archie's odour. Gerry liked Ella, some would say, even bordering a crush. He turned his attention to his newly purchased, indigo blue fossil watch to check the time, ”Three Ten, that can't be right?” He thought tapping its face, wondering why it had stopped. Four..”Gerry, you want a drink?” George asked. ”Thanks George, make it a double.” He pulled a high stool over and sat at the bar, watching as gorgeous expertly made his espresso, not spilling a bit as he gave himself the occasional glance in the mirror set behind the optics. George was a good looking lad aged about twenty and loved by the ladies, he was quiet the charmer and would do anything for anybody. ”I see enormous Ella was late again.” George said as he handed Gerry the coffee. ”Just a few minutes, no great shakes.” ”Oh she's got great milk shakes that one, make mine a double too Georgie boy.” Pete said in his Yorkshire accent, resting his hand on Gerry's shoulder. ”Mr McNeil, how the devil are you this morning?” Pete also pulled up a stool and sat next to Gerry. With his robust frame, Ruddy complexion and exuberant Mannerism he was often liken to Santa clause. ”Morning boss, youre up early today?” Gerry said handing Pete his own coffee. ”Oh yes, got one of those god awful directors meetings at three ten today, and a shit load of paper work to do.” Pete replied. ”Three Ten? That's weird.” Gerry thought, remembering his watch face. ”That's a strange time.” He said. ”Yes I know. Just about when I would enjoy my afternoon tea.” Pete replied. ”Tough at the top.” George interrupted. Gerry and Pete stared at him, not saying anything. George turned back to admire his own reflection once again. Five.”Hi Danny.” He said as he entered the Araldite infused pro shop. Danny, the club professional looked up, removed his peeked cap revealing his tight curls of dark hair and smiled a wide smile. ”Hey Gerry, how are you today?” He replied. ”Won't keep you a mo.” Gerry waited, watching Danny slide a new grip firmly over another golfers shaft, fitting it snuggly in place. ”You do know its ladies day don't you?” Danny said, wiping the excess glue from his hands. ”Yes that's cool, I'll follow on behind and see if I can get a hole in one.” Gerry replied. ”You might need these then.” Danny suggested, tossing a small package in the air. ”Three for a tenner.” He added. Gerry nearly dropped that pack, there it was again, three and ten. ”What?..... What do you mean?” He asked. ”Three balls for ten pounds.” Danny replied. ”Enjoy your game.” Six He swung the club in a wide arc, it felt good. The swing followed through, smashing into the ball. He knew what it would sound like if it hit the sweet spot and this was music to his ears. His eyes followed the ball as it flew into the air, hurtling down the centre of the fairway before touching down and rolling forwards along the grass. ”Perfect, bloody perfect.” He said, smiling within. That's how the rest of the game went, he was buzzing, he was on a high and the numbers were put deep into the back of his mind. Well they were until he approached the next hole. Gerry pulled a scorecard and pencil from his back pocket, his hand hovered over it but he couldn't write. What he saw made him stop in his tracks. The numbers seemed to fly from the card, like they were taunting him. He couldn't take his eyes away, he just focused on them, mesmerised, oblivious of what was going on around him. ”Ten, Three, Ten, Three........the Tenth hole, par Three.” He wondered why this felt so familiar, like he had done it all before. That the numbers meant something, something important. It was that that another number entered his thoughts, as if from far away, with a feminine ring to it. ”FORE.” Then it hit him. Gerry awoke with a start. He sat bolt upright on the bed and looked around the room, adjusting to his surroundings.. The clock on the mantle was still chiming, the hands telling him it was now 7o clock. Only an hour had passed, yet it seemed like a decade. It was the deepest sleep, he felt invigorated. They say dreams that you remember never come true, he thought. Not for me, it seems my dreams already have. Not bad McNeil, very dapper. Gerry said, admiring himself in the mirror 30 minutes later. The slim fitting, pin strip, Ritz suit fitted him perfectly, the grey bringing out the colour of his eyes. It was tailored and made to measure, unlike his work uniform, which was at least one size to big. Cautious of the bump, that had now started to bruise, Gerry ran his fingers through his strawberry blonde hair, longing for some gel to keep it in place. Making do with water, he brushed it to one side, hoping the greying edges would give him a distinguished appearance. First the car, now the clothes. He wondered if he had been here before after all or was he at least expected. One person, may know the answer. Y, 4:Ι{I܏sNXp
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