Saturday 24th March 2012
The author’s blushes
“WELL, here it is.”
Brendan gestured for me to lead the way into the moving chamber, but it was not my intention to accompany him to the building’s entrance, for I wished to return quickly to Emily’s room.
I remained where I was, while he regarded me with a puzzled expression. The metal door politely closed again, as if to cover my embarrassment.
“Would you be wanting a different lift? I’m sure another will come along soon.”
He pressed the button on the wall, whereupon the door slid open a second time.
“Ah! here we are. I’ll be taking my leave. Good day to you now.”
Relieved to see him walking away, I set off towards Emily’s room… only to remember that I had not handed him the expected payment.
Having rushed to the end of the corridor, however, I had no idea through which of the many doors he might have passed, necessitating a return to the moving chamber, which I summoned and entered, only to have no knowledge of which button to press: 1, G or the picture of the bell?
The first journey in the chamber had ended with a pinging sound. I had decided, therefore, the correct button was the bell… but an impulse told me the G represented GO and it was better to go somewhere than nowhere.
The door closed, the floor juddered and the chamber started to descend.
Fortunately, the minstrel was still in the building, conversing with the man at the desk.
“Jenny gives you this. Thank you for playing music at the party.”
He took the papers, folded them and placed them back in my hand.
“I can’t take it. I came for the child. Put it away now.”
He picked up his instrument case and left. Intrigued by his manner and drawn, unexpectedly, to the nape of his neck, I watched him go.
“Don’t worry, madam,” said the clerk. “Brendan’s his own man. Fine musician too. You should hear him on the fiddle.”
On the fiddle? But did not that mean he was a crook? Tom had told me of people he knew were on the fiddle.
And yet this Brendan had refused payment for the music. It made no sense.