There never appeared to be a break in our household from problems, this morning I received a telephone call from the people who had Outlaw on loan, the father said that Outlaw had kicked Sharon in the stomach and they had decided that they wanted to return him. I found this very hard to believe as we had had Outlaw a long time and we had never seen any sign of nastiness he had always been a true gentleman. I asked how it had happened and he said it was when Sharon was grooming him. I was puzzled and was thinking maybe they just didnt want him anymore. I knew that they had given up the shop but didnt know why. I said when Sheila came home I would talk to her and if it was definitely what they wanted we could arrange things and left it like that.
Sheila was shocked and rang Sharon to find out more details. Sharon told Sheila that she really didnt want to part with Outlaw but her parents were in financial difficulties and they couldnt afford to keep him. Sheila said what was it about the kicking and she said a couple of her friends were mucking about and had thrown an apple core at his rear and he kicked out, unfortunately Sharon was at that time grooming his tail and got kicked. She said she hadnt told her Dad about the apple core incident only that Outlaw had kicked her without cause.
When I got home from work I rang him and said that if he was sure, I could arrange the horsebox to collect him and he could send me a cheque to cover it, as per the agreement, he agreed. I rang Trina and she agreed to collect Outlaw the following sunday and gave me a price. I passed this on to Sharons Dad and he said he would send a cheque payable to me straight away.
Sheila and I had to find stabling for Outlaw so we asked at Little Heath where he was before and luckily there was room. There was food and hay to buy my wages were going to be stretched. How we were going to manage I didnt know.
Sheila said she would look for a part-time job and I think it was lesley who suggested `The Pavilion `where Lesley used to work as a waitress, it was good money and tips, Sheila seemed quite keen and it would certainly go towards paying for Outlaws costs.
The cheque arrived for the horsebox on friday but I didnt have time to put it in the bank but had no reason to think it wouldnt be ok.
Sheila got a job at the Pavilion and her first stint was the following friday night, she had told them that she was a silver service waitress but she hadnt any experience at all, she was going to bluff it. I said she should ask Lesley for some help but they were such enemies.
Sunday came and Trina picked Sheila up and off they went to get Outlaw I had already paid Trina. it was quite a trek to Colchester so I didnt expect them back for about 4 or 5 hours. They were going to ring me when they got close to Hemel and I would meet them at the stables.
Sheila had been quite a lot better and I was hoping that having Outlaw back might improve things even more.
What had helped was I had bought a CB Radio which was all the rage with kids and adults,it was a bit like the internet of today but no way near as sophisicated but I must admit it was good fun. Treasure hunts were arranged and we would get in our cars and be given clues the CB`s were invaluable . There was a downside as you didnt know who you were talking to and the fear of most parents was who there children were sometimes arranging to meet. Just like the internet.
They arrived back with Outlaw and he looked fine . Sheila said Sharon was really upset at parting with him. Trina said that her Dad said he should really be sueing us for the kick in Sharons stomach but Trina stepped in and said throwing apple cores at a horse was not the thing to do anyway and he shut up.
I deposited the cheque for Outlaws trip home on the monday and a few days later was informed by the bank that the cheque had been stopped tby the account holder, the day after it was written. I was fuming .
I rang them and he said did I really think he was that stupid as to pay for Outlaw being returned and slammed the phone down. I tried on loads of occasions to ring him back but they wouldnt answer it. I was so angry that I rang my solicitor and asked his advice. He said it was illegal to stop a cheque as after it had been sent it formed a contract between him and me. He suggested I go to the small claims court and they would tell me how to go about it.
I went to the court and set things in motion. Time passed I received a letter saying they couldnt find him , he no longer lived at that address. I knew he worked as a nurse at the local hospital and had done for years, so I contacted the hospital and asked to speak to him , they said it was his day off but if I rang the next day I would be able to get him. I thanked them and immediately got back to the court and told them what I had found out.
Weeks went by and I was beginning to despair when I received a letter from the court saying they had found him and his wages were going to be garnished and I would receive £3 per week until the debt was repaid. Evidently he had pleaded poverty and this was the best they could do. I wasnt happy but at least he would have to pay. I think he thought he could put one over on me but I showed him.