A Question Of Honour: A Harry Royle Thriller

Free A Question Of Honour: A Harry Royle Thriller by PR Hilton

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Authors: PR Hilton
reminded Royle of a Jazz musician he had seen a few months earlier. He had seen a number of coloureds on stage and even in films, but he had never spoken to one himself before. He stood frozen for the shortest moment and then couldn't help smiling himself. The man was instantly likable, Royle thought. He addressed Harry.
    "You staying with Ruth? She is a perfect lady, you're a very lucky man. So am I, I have a bride of just three months, we are so smitten, I'm surprised she's not trailing me to the bathroom."
    With this, he laughed loudly and disappeared into the bathroom. Harry, rejoined Ruth, who indicated that she had washed much earlier and was now very hungry. Over a cafe breakfast, Ruth explained that she had no sob story to tell. She was one of 14 children born in Limehouse and her lifestyle was a choice and not one for which she wanted pity for. Royle discovered over the leisurely eaten meal that Ruth Marker was a strong independent woman.
    "I ain't got no Johnson neither."
    Harry had looked puzzled at this, so she had continued.
    "You know a ponce, man who works me, you know? Look I'm not bleeding well gonna spell it out for ya."
    Royle had at last grasped her meaning and had felt embarrassed, considering how long it had taken for the penny to drop. He glanced down at his plate.
    "Well good for you, a woman of means. I have to be straight with you, I haven't a penny to my name right now. I can't offer you anything."
    "After last night you are two things, one me guest, and two, me friend. You ain't nothing else, believe me, I do what I want, any man tries running me and he'll feel a blade and I carry one, look? Last night those two were too quick and had me before I had a chance."
    Royle followed the woman's eyes below the tabletop and as she lifted the edge of her dark maroon skirt, he caught a glimpse of a small black handle sticking out of a leather upside down sheath. The skirt dropped and the man met her eyes once more. She continued to speak.
    "So you see I'm a big girl and I know who I am and where I am. I owe nothing to nobody and you and me, well we're just us, ain't we?"
    They both had smiled genuinely, and a feeling of warmth, previously missing had come into their relationship. A few minutes later, he was half-way through eating a slice of toast, with his mouth full, when the Ruth addressed him in a serious tone.
    "Listen, there is one thing I do expect from you and I don't think it unfair, honesty. You be truthful to me and I'm ya girl, but lie and the door's over there. Get me? I won't be lied to, not again."
    Royle took advantage of the moment, needing to chew and swallow his food before answering. He took in the humourless expression on the young woman's face and weighed the odds up of lies versus truth. He took a breath and decided on a gamble. He leaned in closer and lowered his voice, as he answered her.
    "Truth, well okay. First I'll tell you, then either you'll run, or I will and you might shop me or you might not, but our little friendship is going to be over. I won't lie to you. I owe you that much and a lot more besides. My name is Harry Royle, I'm wanted for murder and robbery. I didn't kill anyone, but the robbery I did do."
    Harry, paused and glanced at Ruth's face, a face which was expressionless, as she listened. She indicated that he was to carry on.
    "Why aren't you leaving or at least shouting for help? Why aren't you scared of me?"
    Ruth Marker spoke very quietly.
    "Harry Royle, nice to have a real name by the way. To be honest, you look scared enough for the both of us. You ain't no killer, besides killers always start explaining how it was an accident, they don't come out with it, the way you did. Then there's that face of yours, me feelings and, of course, me stars. So tell me how you come to be here on my patch Mr Harry Royle?"
    Harry talked, he shared his miserable existence during the last months and she listened. Not once did she look disapprovingly or even interrupt, just

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