Authors: Beryl Coverdale
Tags: #Historical Fiction
SEQUEL TO THE LAZARUS QUARTET
The Lazarus Secrets
Published by Classic Author and Publishing Services Pty Ltd.
Imprint of JoJo Publishing.
First published 2015
2203/80 Lorimer Street
Docklands VIC 3008
Â© Beryl Coverdale
All rights reserved. No part of this printed or video publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electrical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher and copyright owner.
JoJo Publishing Imprint
Designer / typesetter: Working Type Studio (
Printed in Singapore by KHL Printing.
National Library of Australia
Creator: Coverdale, Beryl, author.
Title: The lazarus secrets / Beryl Coverdale ; Julie Athanasiou.
ISBN: 9780987144805 (eBook)
Subjects: Australian fiction.
Contributors: Athanasiou, Julie, editor.
Dewey Number: A823.4
Digital edition distributed by
Port Campbell Press
eBook Conversion by
was born in 1945 in Darlington, a town in the north east of England in the County of Durham. After marrying she spent many years moving between towns in Scotland and England with her husband who was a submariner in the Royal Navy. In 1983 they moved to Australia living in Sydney for seven years then in Safety Bay, Western Australia where they still live.
Beryl was always a scribbler and when she retired from her job as a secretary, became a member of a local writers group held at the Warnbro Community Library achieving some moderate success in national writing competitions with her short stories. What was to be her first published novel, “The Lazarus Quartet”, had been a work in progress for several years but with the encouragement of her friends in the writers group she eventually completed the manuscript and successfully submitted it for publication in 2014.
“I have regrets that I did not have the courage to submit my work for publication earlier in my life but as my second book is released as I turn 70, I would like to think it might encourage others to believe that it's never too late to achieve ambitions.”
Beryl's second book,
The Lazarus Secrets
, published in 2015 is the sequel to
The Lazarus Quartet
and catches up with the same family in 1967.
For Dennis, my husband and best friend for more
than fifty years, with thanks for his love and support.
If you want to keep a secret,
you must also hide it from yourself
29 SEPTEMBER 1940
Jenny Doig winked at the young soldier as he approached. For a moment, he seemed to hesitate then he blushed and continued on through the heavy wood and glass doors of the corner pub and disappeared. Jenny sighed, she'd felt sure he was a prospective customer, she knew the look and thought he would respond when she gave him the âcome on'. She pulled her coat closer around her. She hated winter and standing around in the rain or cold, she glanced up and down the street, there weren't many people around. She supposed it was a bit early. The recent air-raids were playing havoc with trade, there was no doubt about that.
Suddenly the pub doors opened again and the young soldier she had winked at came out. He stared at her and looked positively frightened, but Jenny moved closer so that he could get a good look at her in the darkness of the blackout. She smiled and let her coat fall open to show off her trim young figure. “Gosh it's a cold night,” she said pleasantly, “are you all on your own, a good looking boy like you, I'm surprised you haven't a girlfriend with you.” He smiled nervously and moved closer.
“I'm on my own too,” she said innocently. “Perhaps we should go somewhere spend some time together. Would you like that?”
The soldier looked around making sure no-one was listening or watching and nodded. “How much?” he asked softly. Jenny pulled him close and whispered in his ear. He took out his wallet and while he stared intently at her low-cut blouse, she surreptitiously checked the contents before naming a price.
“I always think it best to get these things out of the way first,” said Jenny pushing the money deep into her pocket. He had paid a good deal more than the going rate and seemed pleased to do so. In fact, he was quite eager so hopefully she would soon be able to get off home and get warm. She flashed him a big smile, took him by the hand and shining her dimly lit torch onto the pavement directly in front of their feet, led him towards the waste ground at the end of the street just as the siren sounded.
The soldier hesitated and looked up at the sky, “Perhaps we should find a shelter,” he said nervously.
Jenny squeezed his hand and shook her head, “There's no need to worry darling, she had already forgotten the name he had given her, and we'll be all right. I'm a very lucky person. I always have been, just think how lucky I was to meet you tonight, nothing's going to happen to me and if you're with me nothing's going to happen to you,” she giggled.
The soldier looked so young and innocent, but Jenny thought he was probably the same age as her. “Come on now sweetheart,” she chided pulling him along with her, “you were really keen a few minutes ago, we're not going to let Adolf Hitler spoil our fun are we?”
The man following them was close enough to hear their conversation but invisible in the intense darkness. He stopped walking and stepped into a doorway from where he watched as they picked their way across the waste ground. The dim spot of the girl's torch was the only light visible in the dark waste ground.
After a few minutes wait, he moved silently across the waste ground to where he had last seen the torchlight. He could hear the girl talking, it was the usual lies rattled off by tarts since time in memoriam, “Well, you were wonderful sweetheart,” she said coyly, “in fact, if that was your first time, you should be very pleased with yourself.” The patter fell so easily from her lips, “not that I do this sort of thing often, but you are such a handsome chap, I'm afraid you led me into temptation.”
The muffled noise of the air-raid rumbled in the distance and the soldier stood up adjusting his uniform. Suddenly he was lit up in the beam of a powerful flashlight and without a thought of the girl he turned and sped off across the waste ground. He wasn't certain, but he thought it was a policeman behind the torch and he couldn't risk getting arrested. His parents would find out, his mates in the barracks would probably congratulate him but what about his girlfriend Sandra, she might leave him. He suddenly realised how much he loved her and how much he hated the tart he'd just had sex with and ran as fast and as far as he could.
Still sitting on the ground, her clothes in disarray Jenny watched him disappear into the darkness then turned her face back into the beam of the flashlight shielding her eyes with her hand. She was stunned and frightened, “Who is it?” she demanded trying to sound brave. “What do you want?”
He didn't answer but took a step forward and stared at her. A flash of red light lit up the sky as the bombing moved closer and Jenny could see his face. She didn't like the look of him, but she couldn't afford to be arrested again, she would go down for sure if she appeared in court so soon after the last time. She stood up and moved towards him. He was older than the boy and probably wiser, she wouldn't be able to get so much money out him, if any at all, but he might let her go.
“Can't you and I come to some arrangement?” she asked sweetly.
As dawn broke an air-raid warden and a two policemen pulled away the debris and rubble resting on the lifeless body leaving only the lower legs showing. They were a woman's legs and a pair of red high-heeled shoes stood pathetically together on the ground near to her feet. The men had been working constantly since the all-clear had sounded hours ago and were exhausted. They had believed they were finished in the area until the warden noticed that a disused warehouse had been hit and collapsed onto the waste ground and they went to investigate. They assumed the warehouse would be empty but checked the area anyway and found the horribly mutilated body of what appeared to be a young girl.
“She's only a kid,” the warden said sadly.
“How can you possibly tell?” the policemen answered putting his hand over his mouth and turning away, “there's hardly anything left of her face.”
The warden nodded, “She looks pretty young to me. I wonder what she was doing out in the raid? Perhaps she was on her way home and took a short cut across the waste ground. If that's the case the poor girl was really unlucky. The streets around here didn't get much damage at all, only this warehouse took a hit and it fell onto the waste ground. If she'd stuck to the streets she would probably have been all right.”
30 OCTOBER 1940
Paula James ran her fingers gently over the broad naked back of the man sleeping soundly beside her. She loved him so very much; he said he loved her and she believed him, but it had to end tonight and she had to be the one to end it.
She hadn't set out to be unfaithful to her husband. In fact, before the war she couldn't have imagined herself doing such a thing. She and Jimmy had met while still at school and there had never been anyone else for either of them. They had married and rented a small house in London not far from where they were both born and had expected to have a family and go on living there. They were happy and contented. Paula was disappointed when she didn't manage to get pregnant, but they were young and both worked hard hoping to save enough to perhaps buy a place of their own and then the war had started. Paula couldn't believe it when Jimmy was called up before Christmas and sent to Scotland for training and since then he had only had one week's leave and that was embarkation leave. She had no idea where he was going and Jimmy assured her he didn't know himself, but she thought he must have had some idea.
She had met Stefan at a garden party given by Mr and Mrs Selby the wealthy people she worked for as a cook. The Selbys had invited lots of servicemen to their huge house and Paula and the other staff had spent a whole week preparing the food and setting up tables and flowers for the event which was to be held in the glass summer house at the back of the property. Once the guests had arrived and the food was served on the long trestle tables, Mrs Selby had encouraged the staff to join the party and make sure everyone had a good time.
Paula had introduced herself to Stefan and his friend who were Polish pilots serving with the RAF because they were standing alone and looking a bit lost. Stefan spoke very good English, but the other chap could only say a few words and embarrassed her by continually saying, “How beautiful you are Miss Paula,” and “I am so lucky to meet you.” Paula couldn't think of anything to say other than âthank you' and eventually he had wandered off to try out his English on another girl. As they watched him approaching a young woman standing by the table of food and repeating the same sentences, she and Stefan laughed. He confided to her that these were the only English words his friend knew but he was hoping to seduce an English girl with them.