The family went inside and sat down at the table. Marcus noticed that his mum couldn’t help smiling at his sister. She was so proud of her daughter and her successful, good-looking boyfriend. Marcus looked across the table at Jonathan. He was smiling at his mum and praising all the lovely food she had prepared.

I must be wrong about him, Marcus thought. I’m not going to think about it again.

After the dessert was served, Mum stood up and said over her shoulder, “The bank in town was robbed this morning. Marcus saw the thief.”

Marcus’s heart started to pound again. He wished Mum hadn’t said anything. He just wanted to forget about the robbery. He could feel Jonathan’s eyes on him. After they had drunk their tea, Marcus stood up. He wanted to be alone.

“I’m just going out to play with my new football.” He felt that if he didn’t get out of the house that he would scream.

Jonathan stood up as well. “I’ll come with you. Gertrude and her mum will have lots to talk about.”

Mum smiled at him. Marcus knew she liked him. Jonathan had good manners and Mum liked that.

They were barely out the door when Jonathan turned to Marcus and said, “Did you get a good look at the bank robber’s face?”

“Nah,” Marcus tried to play it cool. “I wouldn’t be able to recognise him again if I saw him.”

“That’s good,” Jonathan smiled. “I’m going to marry your sister. We are going to be family now so we must be friends.”

“Yes, of course,” Marcus said, tossing his football from one hand to the other. There was just no way he was going to let on to Jonathan how scared he really was.

“I have a good job in the city. I’ll be able to buy you and your mother lots of nice things.”

Marcus nodded his head. He felt sure that Jonathan was threatening him.

“Do you understand what I’m saying, Marcus?”

“Yes,” he said, feeling miserable and terribly afraid.

* * * * *

It was Monday morning. Everybody at school was talking about the robbery. The teenagers asked Marcus lots of questions, but he just wanted to forget about it.

In the afternoon Marcus walked home from school alone. He saw a police car on the road outside his house. He was terrified and his heart began to pound. He wondered if he was too young to have a heart attack. Thoughts raced around his head. The police had found out that he knew the identity of the robber. And now they had come to arrest him for withholding vital information.

What am I going to do? he asked himself. He felt very alone and very afraid.

Maybe I’ll run away until all this business dies down, he thought. Mum will be sad and worried. But surely it’s better than going to jail?

He was just about to turn around and walk quickly away when the door opened and the police officer who had interviewed him on Saturday came out.

“Hello Marcus. We have been waiting for you.”

* * *

Tell us what you think: Why have the police come?