Monday 16th January 2012
Calls for assistance made from Rose’s van
ROSE was – is – like many other people I have met here: genial, generous and gentle. The tea in her flask, however, was not the most palatable, having been brewed according to a recipe known as ‘wet and warm’.
“So watcher doon in this necker the woods?”
“Please, Rose, will you help me go a long way from here. I have escaped from a big house near the woods.”
“The Guvver Munt guest house? Isobel’s? We’re not aloud in there. Queer goings on. Our Colin got scared off by er dogs when he got in through a gap in the fence. Years ago.”
“Please. They will come soon.”
“Don’t worry, lass. I won’t let them catch you. Tell you what, I’ll ring Colin now. Get im to come and pick you up. Take you to his flat. They won’t think a looking there! And E’s got that much junk. You could eyed in one of is cupboards. Take im a week to find you, let alone anyone else!”
Her laughter rocked the van. She reached for the mobile telephone on the front shelf and pressed buttons.
“Colin! Got a job for you. Right up your street. Rescuing a damson in distress. Now listen carefully…”
And she gave him rapid instructions about meeting her in twenty minutes time by an oak tree of some nobility.
“You’d best get in the back. Just in case. If needs be, get under some of them sacks. I’ve got me job to do, but I’ll go slow. We’ll be there before Colin, even if he drives like he normally does. Like a maniac.”
“Please, can I speak to my friend with the mobile telephone?”
“Ear. Know the number?”
I nodded, having repeated it to myself several time a day for several weeks.
A woman answered, which surprised me, but then I recalled the process of leaving a message.
“Hello, Tom. I have flown away from the pen of the giants. Please tell Jenny and Emily that I will come home. And say to your newspapers that I am not ill. Thank you from Virgulle.”
“Don’t worry,” Rose smiled. “You’ll see them again sooner or later. Now go on, climb over into the back and make sure nobody sees you.”