IT’S IN THE BLOOD
Sheila had been surprised when her unassuming new boyfriend admitted to being a police officer. On the smallish side and thin, he didn’t look the type. However, she was proud of his dedication to putting the wrong ‘uns behind bars, as he put it.
However, she wasn’t quite as in tune with Adam’s career when they married a few years later.
He worked unsocial hours, and was often called out, which made a mockery of her plans. She’d lost count of the times she’d sat at home alone, all dressed up in going out finery, waiting for him to show.
It was on one of the it’s-too-late-to-go-out-now nights that they watched the reality TV show Who Do You Think You Are?
“Honestly!” Adam said tetchily. “Why do they always trace a celebrity’s ancestors? Folks who can afford to pay the cost of gallivanting here there and everywhere themselves. Should be ordinary folk like me and you.”
“You can trace your family tree online,” Shelia said. “You don’t have to move from your chair.”
“Not half as much fun, though. I fancy travelling, meeting long-lost cousins and such I didn’t know I had.”
Later, she wished she’d never made the suggestion. He said he was honing his detective skills and spent most of his free time hunched over the computer, jabbing at the keys, working his way back through time.
Occasionally she coaxed him away from his obsession for a night on the town, but he was poor company. He never stopped talking about the ancestors he had found, and how many had been in the police force. He proudly told anyone who listen that policing was in his genes, in his blood.
Sheila couldn’t help wishing that Adam would uncover an ancestor who was a villain. There would still be the link to the police if he had been arrested and shipped to Australia as a convict.
Maybe that would damp down his annoying enthusiasm, especially if she told him about her friend’s friend, who had almost died of shame when she unearthed a serial killer in her family tree.
Sheila finally cracked the day that Adam discovered he was a direct descendent of one of the original Bow Street Runners. He couldn’t wait to have a night out and share his exciting news.
“They were the first professional Police Force,” he proudly told his audience in the local pub. “Founded way back in 1742. Just six men and, guess what? My great-great-something uncle was one of them.”
He accepted the ‘well, I never’ comments as his due, and beamed round at his listeners.
“Policing is in my blood, like I’ve always said. Let me tell you about my Great-Uncle Edwin… but first, drinks all round. Barman? Set ‘em up, please.”
Sheila winced. Who did he think he was? Throwing their hard-earned cash away. She nudged him, about to hiss that famous ancestors didn’t make him a celebrity, when she had a better idea.
“What, darling?” he asked in response to her elbow-jab in his ribs.
“I never told you that I was tracing my own family tree, did I? W—ell, guess what?” She paused a moment then added her gold-plated-million-dollar lie. “Nell Gwnne is, or should I say was, my many-great-great-grandmother. You must all know that she was the mistress of Charles II, so…humble me has royal blood running through my veins.”
The silence was absolute.
Adam was gaping at her, open-mouthed with shock.
She lowered her eyes modestly and sipped her Pimms cocktail.
She’d managed to shut him up, at last.
Copyright © 2015 Betty Woodcock
Photo by courtesy of greekgod rgbstock.com
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