The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure Chapter One


OK we we’re having a bit of a party at World of Blyton this week, having reached 200 posts and all, and as blog post 203, I’m going to treat you to the first chapter of my completed fan fiction The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure. If you like it, I shall post some more for you, maybe the whole thing will go up eventually if people wish!

So here you are, please enjoy and leave any feedback below.

Note: Spoilers

Disclaimer: I have slightly altered the dates of the actual end of  The Famous Five to allow this story to go ahead. It does not inflict on the actual story.

I own do not own anything related to Malory Towers or The Famous Five which were put onto paper by the wonderful Ms Enid Blyton. I also do not own, anything in connection to David Morton who has been taken from another favourite series of mine, The Lone Pine stories by Malcolm Saville. I just own the story line.


THE JOURNEY TO ST ANDREWS

Julian Kirrin made his way through the big, noisy station at Kings Cross, looking for the platform where the train for St Andrews University would leave from. It was all incredibly exciting.

When he had found the train Julian settled himself into a seat in the corner of one of the carriages that had been specially marked for all the students of St Andrews University. He was on his own and sat, watching, as the last of the trunks on the platform were loaded into the guard’s van. His satchel and overnight case were resting on the rack above his head. On the seat next to him sat his book and the morning paper. He could just about hear people moving about in the train’s corridor through the shut door.

Julian was still staring out of the window when the door of his compartment was opened. He turned his head to look at the new comer and smiled at a boy of about his own age with brown hair, who was looking into the compartment warily.

“Do you mind?” he asked, motioning to one of the empty seats opposite Julian and shifting his satchel higher up his shoulder.

“Of course not,” Julian said.

He smiled again at the boy, who looked relieved and dumped his stuff on a seat on the other side of the compartment.

Julian turned to look back out of the window, not wanting to stare awkwardly at the new comer. As he looked out onto the platform, another boy caught his attention. This one was tall and wiry with a mop of dark hair that curled slightly and was as long as his collar. His face was deathly pale and he wore a slight frown.

As Julian watched the young man on the platform he turned and his eyes met Julian’s. Julian held the stare until the other boy broke it and walked off, further up the platform. Julian had to repress a shiver; the boy’s eyes had been so cold, emotionless. Julian bit the inside of his lip and then shook his head, trying to pull his mind away from the boy with the cold eyes.

He forced himself to consider the events of that morning, from saying goodbye to his parents before he had reached the platform and considering the people on the platform. He couldn’t help but feel excited by this new experience. He was finally off to university.

Usually boys of his age would be heading off for their two years compulsory National Service after finishing their higher certificate, but Julian had been excused from National Service for the time it would take him to complete his degree course on the understanding that he was to complete it when he had finished. He knew that many of the boys his own age that were starting St Andrews today would be in the same boat as him, such as the boy sitting in the compartment with him.

Julian looked at his companion properly now that he had settled. He was reading a copy of the same paper Julian had with him. The boy must have realised that he was being studied and looked up from his paper and smiled nervously at Julian.

“Are you a first year?” Julian asked him, attempting to make conversation.

He didn’t like the idea of making the six-hour journey to Leuchars, where they would change for St Andrews in uncomfortable silence with the other boy in the compartment.

“Yes, I am. What about you?” the boy asked, closing his paper.

“First year as well,” Julian said, with a grin.

“I would never have believed it.”

“Why ever not?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but you come across all calm and collected, just like you’ve done all this before,” said the other boy with a laugh.

Julian had to laugh as well.

“I guess I’m more excited than nervous,” he said. “It’s just something completely different to school.”

“I hope so. School seems so far away now,” his companion said. “I’m David Morton by the way,” he added, leaning forward to introduce himself, hand extended for Julian to shake.

“Julian Kirrin,” Julian said, shaking David’s hand warmly. “Nice to meet you, David.”

“Likewise,” David said with a grin, and settling back in his seat. “What are you studying at St Andrew’s?”

“Physics,” Julian said, as David moved over a seat to sit in front of him.

“Same as me,” David said, with a small smile.

“Well in that case I guess I’ll see you in class,” Julian said, with a friendly smile.

He quite liked David already and was pleased to already know someone on his course.

The boys sat in silence for a moment, before they heard the shriek of the train engine and the train shunted forward. There was a last-minute of slamming of doors and people leaning out of windows waving before the train glided out of the station, on its long journey up to Scotland.

An hour or so later, the door to the boys train compartment opened and a tall expensively dressed young man entered. Julian and David, who had been discussing the books they had brought for their course, looked up at him, their conversation having faltered at his entrance.

There was something about the young man who made a shiver crawl down Julian’s spine. There was a suggestion that not everything was quite as it seemed with him, despite his clear, well-tailored appearance.

“Just thought I’d drop in and introduce myself,” the young man said, in a posh accent. “I’m Thomas Ainsworth, second year at St A’s, part of the student committee. I just thought I’d check that you two chaps are quite alright at the moment.”

“Perfectly, thank you,” David said, after sharing a look with Julian.

Both boys knew that this chap didn’t impress the other.

“What are you studying?” Ainsworth asked, appearing friendly but there was no real interest in his voice towards the two boys, and nothing in his manner made the boys inclined to like Ainsworth.

“Physics,” both boys said together. They grinned at each other when they realised what they had done.

“Good good, I do physics myself, very tough but rewarding. I’ll leave you chaps be now, but if you need me, I’ll be in the first carriage,” Ainsworth said, his eyes scanning the compartment, before turning on his heel and leaving the boys on their own.

“What a strange chap,” Julian remarked when the door had been closed and they had seen Ainsworth walk off.

“Completely loopy,” David agreed. “I hope that we won’t see much of him.”

Julian nodded in agreement. He had met some strange characters in his time, and Thomas Ainsworth seemed just like the type Julian had often found on his adventures, who turned out to be more dangerous than he had suspected at first. However Ainsworth also reminded Julian of some of the older boys he had come across in his boarding school; completely harmless but a bit strange.

“Well at least if he’s a second he won’t be any of our classes,” Julian said after a moment of thought. David smiled.

“Very true,” David said, settling back down in his seat and peering out of the train window. “Only another five hours to go,” he said checking his watch.

Around midday the boys left their compartment to go to the buffet car. They walked through the St Andrew’s carriages, taking in the sights of some of their fellow students, wondering which ones they would be studying alongside. As they neared the buffet car, the train seemed to curve along the track, throwing David and Julian off-balance as they passed a carriage with only one occupant in it. The boys hit the door as the train kept on moving.

“Sorry!” Julian called as the boy inside the carriage looked up at them. There was a strange look on his face when he focused on the two boys. The look was a mixture between surprise and annoyance at being disturbed. Julian was shocked when he realised that it was the boy he had seen on the platform earlier. Julian pushed David in-between the shoulder blades to get him moving again. David responded all too eagerly, appearing as keen as Julian to get away from this strange character. David gave Julian a puzzled look and shrugged when Julian looked at David for an answer.

As the boys walked on, David said to Julian;

“It was almost like he recognised you!”

“Why would you think that?” Julian asked David.

“There was just something in the look that he gave you that made it pop into my head. You don’t know him I take it?” David asked as they walked into the buffet car.

“Never seen him in my life,” Julian said honestly. “Except for that I noticed him earlier, on the platform at Kings Cross.”

David shrugged at him a little. “Well then, put it down to my over-active imagination and let’s eat!” he said with a smile.

Julian laughed. “I’ll second that,” he said, and motioned David forward.

Darrell Rivers was watching the scenery flash by in her father’s big car. She caught his eye in the rear view mirror and smiled as he winked at her.

“Is everything alright back there girls?” he asked.

“Smashing Daddy,” Darrell said happily.

“Quite perfect Mr Rivers,” Sally Hope, Darrell’s best friend, said with her charming smile.

Darrell caught her friend’s eye and the girls grinned at each other happily. They had stopped chatting a short while ago, once again feeling tired after their long car journey up north.

Mr and Mrs Rivers, Darrell’s parents, were driving both girls up to their new university at St Andrew’s in Scotland and having a short holiday in Edinburgh before returning home. They had planned the holiday to co-inside with the university start date, and had offered to take Sally with them. Sally and her parents had been grateful for the offer and accepted it promptly, with Mr and Mrs Hope offering to collect the girls at Christmas in exchange.

“I wonder what it will be like,” Darrell sighed.

Sally smiled at her friend fondly.

“That has to be the fifth time you have wondered that since we left the hotel two hours ago, Darrell!” Sally said.

Darrell laughed and patted her friend on the arm.

“I know it is, but I can’t help wondering!”

Both girls laughed, and Mr and Mrs Rivers chuckled a little from the front of the car.

“I think it’s about time we found a nice spot for lunch,” Mrs Rivers said, a moment later.

“Why don’t we wait a little longer, Mother? It only just feels like we’ve left the hotel!” Darrell said.

“Well if you wish dear, but I thought we could all do with something to eat and a stretch of our legs. It is almost one o’clock after all, and I’m sure your father could do with a rest,” Mrs Rivers said with a smile.

“I shouldn’t mind a rest and some lunch,” Mr Rivers said. “We’ll still get there in plenty of time Darrell, don’t fret; I shan’t make you late!” he teased.

Darrell had to laugh and with that they started to look for a nice spot to pull over in to have lunch.

The hotel they had stayed in the night before had supplied them with a large lunch and it had been very neatly packed into Mrs River’s best hamper. They spread out the picnic blanket in a field just a little way away from the road, and dug eagerly into the hamper. There were enough sandwiches to have for supper as well, should they want.

The girls dug in, discussing their plans for when they arrived at St Andrews.

“We’ll have to follow the signs as to where to go, they may need to check us in,” Sally said as she finished her second sandwich. “There was a bit of paper that they sent us that had all the details on, I’m sure.”

“I think I remember seeing something like that,” Darrell said, picking up her bottle of lemonade to wash down her sandwich.

“You’ll have to dig out your papers before we set off again and have a look at them in the car. So we know what we’re doing when we get there!” Mr Rivers said as he picked up another sandwich.

“We will certainly do that, Mr Rivers,” Sally said, with a smile, nudging Darrell in the ribs. “Won’t we Darrell dear?”

Darrell smiled at her parents and Sally.

“Of course we will, Sally dear,” Darrell said lightly, as she reached across the blanket and picked up a plum.

She bit into it and smiled.

Today was certainly making Darrell feel excited about her new start. The adventure was about to begin.

David and Julian were back in their train compartment after their lunch, quieter now the long journey beginning to take its toll on them. Both boys seemed to realise that they didn’t need to make conversation for the entire journey and were happy to sit in comfortable silence, reading their papers. Occasionally they made a remark on something they had spotted in the paper, and looked up to see where they were.

“We’re only at Newcastle,” Julian remarked, with little enthusiasm three hours later. “I feel like we’ve been on the train long enough for us to be in Scotland by now!”

“I agree,” David said, slapping his paper down on the seat next to him. He got up and stretched as the train lurched into the platform at Newcastle. “I feel like taking a long walk somewhere just to pass the time.”

“Well the train’ll stop here for a short while, we can get out on the platform and stretch our legs,” Julian said as the train drew to a close. “We might be able to get hold of the afternoon paper.”

“I shouldn’t have thought that anything major has changed since this morning,” David said as he opened the compartment door onto the platform and jumped down.

“I wouldn’t mind a quick glance at the front page though,” Julian said, as he clambered down on to the platform after David. David stuffed his hands in the pockets of his trousers and craned his neck around to try to locate a newspaper seller.

“Over there,” Julian said, pointing to the opposite end of the platform to where David was looking.

“I would have got there,” David grumbled good-naturedly at Julian as he turned on his heel and headed towards the newspaper seller.

Julian laughed and followed his new friend.

When they reached the newspaper stand and saw the newspaper board, the laughter left them. The board read;

“Top Secret Sahara Project Under Threat!”

“I know about that project,” David said. “It’s been in practically all the papers for the last few months. It’s that big physics project about providing us with heat and power for almost nothing, and little impact on the earth as well. Sounds fascinating. I wonder how it could be under threat though?”

“Well pick up a paper and we’ll see,” Julian said, saying nothing directly about the Sahara project itself.

Julian knew that it was more than his life was worth to tell someone he had just met that he was related to one of the scientists who was working on the project.

David picked up two papers and put the money down, just as the train’s engines hissed.

“Come on!” Julian called as the boys sprinted back to their compartment and dived on board.

David slammed the door shut just as the train lurched forward, out of the station.

“Phew! Good thing we’re back on the train. I wouldn’t have liked to miss it,” David said, collapsing in his seat.

Julian laughed as he caught his breath.

“Now let’s have a look at that paper,” Julian said, reaching out for the paper in David’s hand. David handed him one of the papers and he shook it out to read the front page.

Julian scanned the words on the front page, frowning as he read what was going on with the Sahara project.

“It says here,” David said, rustling his paper over to the story inside the paper. “That there are concerns that the plans may have been leaked to the Russians by someone related with the project.”

“That is a pretty serious allegation,” Julian said as he opened his paper to the same page as David and continued to read.

“Can they afford to take chances do you think?” David asked. “Or is it just trying to drum up anti-Russian feeling?”

“Hard to say,” Julian said, after a moment of consideration. “Perhaps it’s a little of both.”

“Could be,” David said, closing the paper and laying on the seat beside him. “I suppose as long as no one actually steals the project then it’s all good surely? And a project of this magnitude is sure to have major security precautions.”

Julian nodded as he discarded the paper in much the same way as David’s.

“I suspect that it will be fine,” Julian said eventually.

“I suppose so,” David agreed. “It’s nothing to get excited about.”

Julian smiled wryly. “Oh I wouldn’t say that,” he said mysteriously.

By the time the boys reached Leuchars for the change over to the train to St Andrews, they were stiff and exhausted. It was getting on for the middle of the afternoon and there was still a lot to do. Luckily the boys didn’t have to deal with moving their heavy trunks from one train to the other. Porters were running about the small station at Leuchars with trolleys full of students’ heavy cases.

Julian and David found themselves an empty compartment on the university train and settled down for the last leg of their journey.

When the train was moving the compartment door was opened, and a tall woman with her hair scraped back into a severe bun at the base of her neck entered with a clip board in her hands.

“Identity cards, and approval letters for St Andrew’s please,” she said briskly, in a clipped Scottish accent.

David and Julian handed over their papers without a comment to the woman and waited for her to speak again. She handed them back a moment later with an envelope she had taken from a bag over her shoulder.

“Morton, David, you’re in St Salvator’s halls, second floor, this contains your keys, do not lose it! Kirrin, Julian, St Salvator’s for you as well, fourth floor, again, don’t lose the envelope. Look for the boy holding a sign for St Salvator’s when you get off the train and he’ll take you back to your halls where you will be directed as to the rest of the day. Welcome to St Andrew’s,” she added with a sudden smile, before leaving the boys alone.

“Well, this is a turn out for the books, us being in the same halls,” David said with a smile, settling back on his seat and putting the envelope with his key in his pocket.

“Just as well that we’ve been getting on fine then isn’t it?” Julian asked with a chuckle.

“That is true,” David said with a grin.

They both then settled down to watch the scenery flash by as the train trundled along its track towards St Andrews.

Sally and Darrell looked up at the big building in the middle of the St Andrew’s campus that was to be their home for the next three years. The newly built and modern University Halls certainly looked top of the range. Sally linked her arm through Darrell’s as they stared up at the building and gave her arm a squeeze.

A porter walked over with a trolley for their trunks to be loaded on to, Mr Rivers got out of the car to give the man a hand.

“Better get out-of-the-way girls,” Mrs Rivers said, getting out of the car and watching the two men load the trunks onto the trolley. “You’ll get run over if you don’t.”

Sally pulled Darrell out-of-the-way as the trolley was pushed forward.

“What floor are we on again?” Darrell asked Sally.

“Third floor,” Sally said, with a smile. “Have you got your key?”

“Yes, it’s in my pocket,” Darrell said with a smile. “Shall we go up?”

“Yes, lets! But let’s take our night cases and everything else we can manage with us, I don’t think my legs could manage too many trips up and down three flights of stairs tonight!” Sally said, with a grin.

“Good idea,” Darrell said with a smile, and turned back to the car to collect her other bags.

Soon the girls were up in their twin room with their bags and their trunks.

“Which bed do you want?” Darrell asked Sally as they surveyed the room.

“I think I would like the one on the right,” Sally said, pointing to the bed furthest from the door. She looked at Darrell as she spoke and grinned at her. “We can swap over at some point if you like.”

Darrell laughed. “You’re right, go on then.”

Sally laughed and sat down on her new bed and bounced experimentally.

“Are you comfy, dears?” Mrs Rivers asked, as she popped her head around the door. “I must say it’s all very lovely and modern!”

“We shall be comfortable I suspect,” Darrell said with a smile, slipping her arm through her mother’s.

“Once we’ve had chance to settle in and unpack, and set out the little ornaments we have, it’ll be all comfy and cosy,” Sally said with a smile.

“Just like our study[1] at Malory Towers!” Darrell said, with a note of fondness in her voice as she spoke of their old school.

“Now don’t you go and get weepy, Darrell Rivers,” Sally said, wagging a finger at her best friend. “Young Felicity would say it, and so do I; we had a good time at Malory Towers and we’ll have an even better one here!”

Darrell laughed at her friend. How sensible Sally was! She always seemed to know what Darrell was thinking and feeling before she put it into words. She reached out to Sally and took her hand, giving it a squeeze.

“Right as always Sally,” Darrell said with a laugh.

She looked at her mother, and now her father who was standing in the doorway.

They were smiling fondly at the two girls who seemed so grown-up from the first time they had been put on the train to Malory Towers down in Cornwall.

“We had better be getting back to Edinburgh,” Mr Rivers said, looking at his watch. He stepped forward to give Darrell a hug as Mrs Rivers kissed Sally on the cheek.

“Now, you’ve got the number for the hotel if you need us to bring you anything,” Mrs Rivers said as she hugged Darrell and her husband kissed Sally’s cheek as well.

“Take care dears! Write when you can!” she called as her husband headed out of the door.

“We will Mother and Daddy! Thank you for driving us up here!” Darrell called after them.

“Thank you!” Sally called as well.

The door closed behind them and the girls went to the window to wave at the Rivers’ big black car as Darrell’s parents got inside and her father started the engine. Soon the car had left the big drive and the girls were left, hanging outside the window.

Darrell sighed contentedly.

“It’s going to fun, Sally. I can taste it in the air!”

Sally laughed and pulled her friend back inside and shut the window.

“That’ll be the salt,” She said rudely. “You know Darrell, I think the sea air has gone to your head! Come on, let’s unpack!”


[1] See In the Sixth at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

Leuchars Train Station from http://www.leuchars.org.uk/

Leuchars Train Station from http://www.leuchars.org.uk/

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7 Responses to The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure Chapter One

  1. Nigel says:

    I have been privileged to have read the beta version of this novel, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Stef is to be congratulated on producing an excellent story. I couldn’t put the book down until I had finished it. It contains characters from two completely different series, cleverly interwoven. I hope you don’t keep people waiting too long between installments!

    Like

    • pippastef says:

      Thank you for your kind words Nigel. They are much treasured and appreciated. 🙂
      Fiona and I did wonder about a post a month, but if that gets too long every two weeks would be appropriate. Your thoughts on this are greatly welcomed of course!

      Like

  2. chrissie777 says:

    Can’t wait for Chapter 2 and hope that the underground passage from St. Andrew’s Castle will be included in the story.

    Like

  3. Pete says:

    Very good Stef,I especially enjoyed the lines…”There was something about the young man who made a shiver crawl down Julian’s spine. There was a suggestion that not everything was quite as it seemed with him, despite his clear, well-tailored appearance.”

    Nice writing style,flows well and leaves you wanting more!
    Well done.

    Pete

    Like

  4. Francis says:

    Like Nigel, I was priviledged to get an early view of this fascinating story. It won’t stop me reading the finished article, however. As Pete says the writing style flows beautifully and Julian is a very
    believable older version of the Enid Blyton original – not an easy thing to do. Like Chrissie I will be eagerly awaiting the following installments – well done Stef!
    Francis

    Like

  5. Ilsa says:

    I enjoyed that Stef and look forward to more.

    Like

  6. Julie says:

    Good start to the fanfic, Stef. I seem to recall reading it somewhere, but can’t remember where?

    Like

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