Linda Bentley was thirty-three, years old and she was goodlooking. She was used to getting what she wanted. She had made an important decision very early in her life - since there was no one to look after her, she would make sure that she looked after herself.
Linda had been born in Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. She had no brothers or sisters and she didn't know who her father was. Until she was twelve, Linda had lived with her mother in a damp, dark flat. The flat had a bedroom - which was the living-room too - a small kitchen, and a bathroom. Linda's mother usually went out in the evenings, leaving her alone. Sometimes her mother brought men home with her, and then she told Linda to sleep on the floor in the kitchen.
When she was twelve, Linda's mother disappeared and, after that, Linda never saw her again. She didn't know where her mother had gone, or what had happened to her, and she didn't care. An aunt and uncle took Linda into their home and they tried to love her and care for her. But the girl no longer understood what love was. As soon as she was eighteen years old, she left Glasgow and went south to London.
She found a job in a pub called the Red Lion in Ilford, in east London. That was where she met John Bentley. John was a likeable young man and a good-looking one. He was an orphan, so he and Linda had something in common4. But Linda had learnt to look after herself and John had not. So Linda tried to look after him. He was working as a lorry driver at that time, and he always seemed to have plenty of money. He spent a lot
Of it on presents for Linda. She enjoyed getting the presents and she didn’t ask where the money came from. A year after their first meeting, John and Linda got married.
When – a few months later - John was sent to prison, Linda found out where his money had been coming from. Now she was alone in London, but there was no point in going back to Glasgow. Her aunt and uncle had moved to Spain. So Linda decided to stay in London and wait for John. But she needed a change, so she started looking for a new job. She soon found one in a large jewellery shop in a fashionable part of London. The shop was called Sandwell's. Linda's job there was much better paid than the work in the pub, and it was much more pleasant too.