The Cowley Avenue Apaches, Part Four.
I don’t know who started it first. but the ‘Cowley Avenue Apache’s ‘ are now running helter-skelter through the bramble’s and bracken of St Anne’s Hill. Down Chestnut wood and into The Old Coach Road then through ‘Monk’s Walk’ and finally into the open top field, still barely lit by the evening Sun.
We threw ourselves into the long grass gasping for breath, Siki is the first to speak.
“Did you hear that scream, who do you think it was”?
Wadie, looked over and said.
“No, I only heard that gurgling sound that was bad enough, but I did get a strong smell of cough mixture, it was very sickly, what about you Wegsy, did you hear anything”?
“I just felt that I was being pushed along by some-one, and I just couldn’t stop myself”, I said.
Bruno stood up and looking around said.
“Where’s Johnny? oh no he must still be in the woods we’ll have to go and find him he will be so scared on his own “.
I looked at the darkening woods with a fearful feeling, we will have to go back in to look for him. Then out of the corner of my eye I see a faint glow near the big pile of stones they call “The Monks Grave’, it seems to be moving slowly toward us through the brambles. We are frozen to the spot and before any of us could move, out of the woods walked Johnny, as cool as a cucumber.
Pointing over his shoulder he says. “I got a bit lost, but this kind lady showed me the way out”.
I felt from the way my flesh was creeping that I must not look over to where Johnny was pointing.
But I just knew there would be no lady.
Our gang is named after the fearless Red Indian’s that we see on the Saturday Morning Pictures. We are known to be the bravest gang in Chertsey—apart from The Barker Road gang of course.
But bravery is just a word, and at this moment the word seems to have deserted us. It is almost a mile back to Wadies house, a mere moment in time when the mood takes you, like it does tonight!
As soon as I am home and walk into the kitchen, my Mum gives me a clip around the ear. It happens all the time and it is almost like a greeting, except that it really stings.
“What was that for” I ask.
“Just in case” she says.
I tell her my story, but I can see she doesn’t believe me, she never does. Probably with good reason, I am a bit of a story-teller.
Laughing, my sister Chrissy, says. “Did you see the headless horseman or the man with the staring eyes”?
They are always teasing me, but this time I’m telling the truth. My brother Don is listening very intently, I think I may have given away our secret, now I’ll be in trouble with the others.