5 Harry Hogan – Found, Not Lost

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“See for yourself.” He handed her the paper.

Bertie took it and scanned the contents thoughtfully. “Harry, I think I know who this belongs to.”

Harry raised his eyebrows. “Really? How can you tell?”

“While I was still working, Mrs. Evans would often come and borrow books for her grandmother who had a keen interest in history and biographies.”

“You mean those tell-all books written by celebrities, things like that?”

Bertie shook her head. “No. She read biographies of historical figures, adventurers, scientists, people like that. This lady was not into what we would call ‘light’ reading.”

“Okay. But what makes you think this belonged to her?”

“Because,” Bertie said with a smile, “Mrs. Evans’s grandmother’s name was Emma Riley. It must be nearly twenty years since she died.”

Harry rubbed the back of his neck. “Is this Mrs. Evans still alive?”

Bertie nodded. “Yes, she most certainly is. You may very well have eaten some of her baked goods over the years. Her first name is Janet.”

“Janet Evans… do you mean Janet’s Bakery, that Mrs. Evans? Her molasses-raisin buns are the best I’ve ever eaten.”

“The same,” Bertie said. “Her father, who started the bakery and named it after his only daughter, was Emma’s son Bert Riley. Janet worked alongside her father and took over when he retired.”

“Okay, it’s time to pay a visit to the bakery. I’m pretty sure I’m getting low on buns.”

The young girl working the front counter was all smiles as they approached. “What can I get for you?” she asked.

“Some… ” Harry began, his eyes on the contents of the showcase, but Bertie interrupted him.

“We’d like to see Mrs. Evans, if she’s in.”

“Yes, of course. I’ll get her.” The girl disappeared into the kitchen and returned a minute later. “She’ll be out in a minute.”

Janet Evans appeared as the girl finished speaking. “Thank you, Dulcie.” She looked at Harry and Bertie. “Ms. Blackett, nice to see you. Are you enjoying retirement so far?”

“Never a dull moment,” Bertie said.

“That’s nice to hear. What can I do for you?”

Bertie began by introducing Harry. “Mr. Hogan has something which we think might belong to you.”

“Hogan’s Investigations, yes I’m familiar with the name,” Janet said. “Something that belongs to me? I can’t imagine what.”

Harry handed the piece of paper to her. “Do you recognize this?”

Janet looked at it. “This is my grandmother’s writing,” she said as she unfolded the paper. “Oh dear Lord! It’s her prize-winning recipe for molasses bread. She promised to give it to me just before she died but I thought she hadn’t got around to writing it down. And I never found it among her things. Where did you find this?”

MORE pages to follow: click the page numbers below!
Now retired, after 39 years as a Librarian, Fay Herridge is a voracious reader, avid family historian, and a love of writing. She also enjoys walking, gardening, knitting, crocheting and photography; and is active in church and community events. Her poems and stories have been published in newspapers and magazines. “Satisfaction comes when others enjoy my work while inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere.”
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