The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure, chapter 2

Determined not to keep you waiting a long time between chapters, I’m letting all of you lovely readers have a look at chapter two of The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure.

Chapter one can be found here

I do hope you enjoy!

Chapter 2

The next morning Julian woke up with the feeling that there was something different about the placement of his bed in his room. It took him a moment to remember that he wasn’t in his bed at home but in his new room at university and today was the first day of the year.  He lay there in his new bed for a moment, the sun streaming in through the window because he had neglected to pull the curtains shut last night. He turned in his bed and picked up his wrist watch to check the time.  It was half six in the morning.

Turning back on to his back, Julian rested his hands behind his head and just looked blankly up at the ceiling, trying to remember what the schedule had been for the day. He didn’t want to find out that he’d got his timings wrong.  He closed his eyes briefly, before his natural curiosity got the better of him. He smiled to himself and flung the covers back and swung himself out of bed to get dressed.

Julian wanted to explore and there was no better time to do that then when the rest of the university was still asleep and the sun was gently warming the world.  He pulled an old jumper over his shirt before slipping his shoes on, picking up his room keys and heading off through the corridors of his halls, outside into the sun shine.

He stood for a moment and let the sun warm him up before he looked around him and decided to follow the pathway around to the right. He walked slowly enjoying his new surroundings and taking it all in. He walked around the old buildings and kept an eye out for any signs of secret passages. He smiled to himself, aware that this was going to be something that he wouldn’t be able to curb throughout his life.

Julian walked slowly along the winding streets of St Andrews noting the signs for the castle and cathedral ruins. Picking up his pace, Julian decided to pace out his route from St Salvator’s halls to the university campus.

When he reached the campus and having consulted a handy map, Julian made sure that he knew where he was going for his first lecture of the day. He wandered under the big arches of the university buildings, his hands in his pockets, enjoying being one of the few people up and about.  He wondered aimlessly towards the grassy court yard where he stopped in the shadow of the arch and lent on the pillar, just looking at the building surrounding the grass and taking it all in, when he heard someone approaching him from his right. He stood up properly and looked around a small frown on his face as he waited for the person heading towards him to appear, he disliked that he had been interrupted in his contemplation time.

Darrell had woken up early, unable to stay asleep due to her excitement and the fact that she was in a new place with new adventures in front of her. She leapt quietly out of bed, so as not to disturb her friend, pulled her clothes towards her and dressed before picking up her shoes and her keys to slip out of the room and out into the grounds.  She found her way into the small court yard in the middle of the big grey building.

As she walked along the corridor to the other side of the courtyard, Darrell noticed that there was a silhouette of someone in the shadow of one of the pillars. She frowned a little and wondered who else apart from herself was up and about at this time in the morning. She wondered over to the silhouette slowly, unsure of what kind of reception she was going to get from this other person.

Julian was wondering how to treat this newcomer as well, unsure whether he was going to just simply nod to this new person, or to actually make some form of comment. He had been able to see enough in the gloom to work out that the person approaching him was a woman. Julian hadn’t had much chance to interact with women outside his family, so he was a little unsure of whether the approaching female would have any more of a clue how to interact with him.

Darrell wasn’t deterred by the fact that the person she was approaching was male. She smiled in a friendly way at him as she reached the place where he was standing.  She took a chance as she spoke to this new person, wanting to start her university life by trying to make friends.

“Morning,” she said happily, “it’s a lovely old building isn’t it? It reminds me of my boarding school down in Cornwall,” she said keeping an eye on the young man in front of her.

Julian was rather taken aback by the sudden conversation he appeared to have found himself in the middle or, and managed a rather natural smile before politely saying;

“Yes it’s a fine old building isn’t it? I’m Julian Kirrin by the way,” he said holding out a hand politely; rather unsure of the way he was supposed to act around young women.

Darrell took the outstretched hand and shook it. “Nice to meet you Julian, I’m Darrell Rivers,” she said smiling a little.

She stood back trying to get a decent look at him in the muted sunlight. She wasn’t sure what to say next, but Julian solved his problem for her. He was unsure himself if he should get himself into what could be an awkward conversation with a young lady.

“Pleasure to meet you Darrell,” he said smiling in a friendly way, “What are you here to study?” he asked politely.

“English,” Darrell replied in the same polite tone, smiling a little, “How about yourself? What are you here to study?”

As she was talking, Darrell stood back a little more so she could get a better look at the boy standing in front of her.

Julian smiled a little more. “Good choice. I used to quite enjoy English,” he said keeping his voice polite. He smiled nervously before answering her question about his chosen subject of study.

“I’m here to study physics,” he said, his mouth twisting into an uneasy grin. Darrell’s mind was working quickly, putting two and two together.

“Did you say your last name was Kirrin?” she asked, brushing her fringe back from her face, “As in the scientist, Quentin Kirrin?” she asked her eyes widening as she made the connection.

Julian gave her a weak smile.

“He’s my uncle,” he said looking a little embarrassed. He wasn’t really used to being linked to his uncle. People usually didn’t make the connection between them.

“He’s your uncle?” Darrell asked amazed. “Wow. You must be extremely clever, especially if you’re studying physics,” she added in wonder.

Julian shrugged a little, still smiling bashfully.“I’m not too bad when it comes to science. I’m no where as near as good as my uncle is, I assure you,” he said as people started appearing around them and hurrying up and down the corridor.

“Well it was nice meeting you,” he said giving a little shrug, and holding out his hand for her to shake.

“Maybe I’ll see you around sometime. On some more early morning walks,” he said, allowing himself a small smile.

Darrell shook the hand that was in front of her and smiled a little.“Yes I’m sure I will see you around,” she said simply, allowing herself to smile as she let go of his hand and began to walk away, heading back the way she came to her dorm room.  She smiled to herself as she pushed open the door, to find Sally in the middle of dressing.

“Oh there you are!” Sally said turning as she pulled her blouse on, “I wondered where you’d gone! Although it didn’t take much to figure out that you’d gone off exploring,” she said smiling as she shook her hair back from her face.

“You might have woken me up though,” she added reproachfully, fixing Darrell with a meaningful stare.

Darrell laughed a little as she moved to her side of the room to sort her belongings out, and pack her bag with the things she would need for the day.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to wake you,” Darrell said smiling at her friend over her shoulder as Sally bent down to tie her shoes.

Sally look up at Darrell as she sat on her bed, pulling her own bag towards her, she smiled back at her friend and shrugged.

“I might forgive you,” Sally said teasing, as she reached for her hair brush and a hair band to pull her hair back from her face.

“Just remember to wake me up next time you decide to go exploring, understood?” Sally said smiling. “I know what you’re like for leaving me out of things Darrell Rivers,” she teased her friend, as Darrell ran a brush through her own hair, before standing up and straightening out her clothes.

Sally smiled at her friend as she did the same, smoothing out her skirt and blouse, and picking up a cardigan and her bag before she turned to face her room mate.

“Shall we head down to breakfast?” she asked Darrell.

Darrell picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder.

“Breakfast sounds like a very good idea,” she said smiling at her friend and heading out of the door, Sally following her.

Julian sat down in his first lecture at St Andrews and carefully chose a seat somewhere in the middle of the room. He got out his writing pad and pen before wrestling his large textbook out of his bag. Luckily he didn’t have too much difficultly and the book was soon lying on the desk in front of him.

Julian wondered if he should have should have waited for David and asked him if he wanted to go to their first lecture together, however Julian didn’t want to monopolize David’s time and stop him being friendly with anyone else.

The two boys had spoken a little on their way to St Salvator’s hall and at supper, but this morning, Julian had wanted to explore St Andrew’s on his own and had decided that he would see what happened in the lecture with David instead of forcing his friendship on him. Julian did consider asking David to be his lab partner, as it would be nice to be paired with someone he already knew.

Julian was deep in thought when he caught a movement out of the corner of his eye and looked up. David was standing a little hesitantly.

“Would you mind if I…?” David asked, motioning to the empty seat next to Julian on the bench.

“Of course I don’t,” Julian said, secretly grateful and relieved that David seemed to like him.

David smiled happily and put his bag down on the work bench and pulled the stool towards him. “Great! I was hoping that you wouldn’t,” he said, smiling a little awkwardly.

Julian smiled and gave him a slap on the back.

“As long as you’re happy to be my lab partner for the semester,” Julian teased.

David laughed. “I hope I’m up to your standard,” he joked.

Julian smirked at David. “I just hope I’m up to yours,” he said as the professor came into the lecture room, pushing a trolley full of complex electrical equipment and beakers. The boys exchanged looks of amusement as the professor stopped and as he stood up from his stooped position from pushing the trolley, a late boy rushed into the classroom and almost ran straight into the professor. The little man jumped and put his hands out to stop the boy.

“Steady, lad, steady. I’ve not even started yet and this is some pretty serious equipment here,” the old man quavered.

The boy, who was tall and dark, nodded simply and moved to sit down, his pale skin flushed with humiliation. Julian recognised him as the one who had made him shiver when he had been on the train yesterday.  The other boys in the class were all smirking to themselves or to their newly made friends as the tall boy made his way over to one of the only spare seats left in the room. Julian lowered his gaze to the page of his book as the boy walked past, not wanting him to see the amusement on his face. David did the same. The boys all seemed to calm down when the professor pulled a list of names towards him and slowly and surely called them out, marking down the boy’s presence very steadily as he went along.

A couple of hours later, the boys were allowed to leave their lecture hall. Julian found himself sticking with David as they walked, discovering that he really quite liked this other boy.

“Did you know that Professor Doaty is supposed to be working for the Ministry of Research?” David asked in a low voice as the boys entered the dining hall.

Julian looked up quizzically from trying to put his heavy books in his rucksack as he walked. “No, I didn’t,” he said carefully. “How interesting, though I’m not really surprised. He reminds me of my uncle,” he said mildly, as he pushed open the door to the dining hall.

“Your uncle?” David asked confused. “I suppose he does look like that kind of a person…” David mused as the boys sort out somewhere to sit. They spotted some spare seats and made their way through the crowd towards them.

“Not in that sense. My uncle’s a scientist you see,” Julian said absentmindedly, as he sat down in one of the free spots they’d found in the dining room. “He’s very scatter brained. Leaves things all over the place, doesn’t even know if its breakfast or dinner time a large amount of the time,” he said managing finally to get his book in his bag.

“Still, jolly amusing when he loses something like his scientific research and it turns out he’s been sitting on it the whole time,” he said grinning widely, putting his bag on the floor and looking around the big dining hall.

“So where are you from?” David asked conversationally, after a moment of silence. Julian looked back at David from admiring the wood work of the ceiling.

“London, well just outside it originally,” Julian said shrugging. “Then we moved away from London, down by Kirrin bay, do you know it?” he asked.

“No, I don’t think I know it,” David said honestly. “Though it’s strange that you moved near a place that shares a name with you.”

“It’s not all that strange, if I’m honest,” Julian said shrugging. “My family are from around there, we’ve still got some family down there, actually living in Kirrin, whereas we’re just a little way away [1],” he smiled mildly.   “What about you? Where are you from?” he asked.

David smiled a little, “Shropshire by way of Hereford and London,” he answered. “Nothing really as exciting as yours,” he grinned.

Julian laughed a little. “It’s not really as exciting as it sounds, although the adventures were jolly exciting,” he said his eyes twinkling.

David chuckled a little. “What sort of adventures?” he asked leaning forward to talk to Julian as more people surged into the dining hall to eat.

Julian smiled a little, “what do you mean what sort of adventures?” he asked laughing. “There is usually only one type of adventure.”

He grinned a little as his eyes darted to the dining hall door as the tall boy from physics this morning slipped into the room. David’s eyes followed his gaze and he chuckled under his breath.

“I don’t think he’ll live that episode with the equipment trolley down,” David said shaking his head. Julian allowed himself a smirk.

“Do you know what his name is?” Julian asked turning back to David taking his eyes off the boy. He looked at him carefully.

“I’m not entirely sure,” David said carefully, “I don’t think he’s from Britain though,” He added meaningfully. “I think he’s Russian or something,” David shrugged. “There’s a lot of anti-foreigner feeling going on right now,” he said shaking his head. Julian nodded in agreement.

“Have you got any other lectures today?” Julian asked David looking at his watch.

David shook his head. “Not today, next lecture’s tomorrow afternoon, but I was thinking of checking out the debate club this evening, if you’d like to tag along,” he shrugged.

Julian smiled and nodded. “Thank you, that sounds like it should be some good fun,” he said smiling and looking down at the table. “I was thinking of walking into the town to pick up a paper, just wondered if you’d like to come with me?”

“I was thinking of doing the exact same thing if I’m honest,” David said smiling. “If you don’t mind me tagging along,” he added for good measure, he didn’t want to upset his new friend.

Julian chuckled a little. “Of course I don’t mind. I wouldn’t have asked if I wanted to go on my own,” he said grinning a little. “Shall we head out now?” he added. “If we’re not actually going to get some lunch while we’re here.”

David smirked and nodded. “Yes, this is true,” he said standing up and gathering his things together.

Julian smiled and stood up, swinging his rucksack on to his shoulders. “Let’s get going then,” he said happily, pushing his chair in and waiting for David. “I want to see what the outside world’s been up to.”

[1] See Five have a Mystery to Solve by Enid Blyton

The back of St Salvator's Halls in St Andrews. Photo by Stephanie Woods 2012

The back of St Salvator’s Halls in St Andrews. Photo by Stephanie Woods 2012

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4 Responses to The Missing Papers: A St Andrews Adventure, chapter 2

  1. Ilsa says:

    Thanks Stef – I’ve enjoyed reading the second chapter and am looking forward to more..


  2. Loving this series, can’t wait to read more 🙂


  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m loving this series!


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