‘Hey, T’, beamed Alfie, as the train pulled out of Canterbury, ‘Can’t you read English?’
T had just jumped off the train, said ‘Hi’ to Will Turnstone, grabbed the dogs’ travelling bag and scooped up the pseudo-chihuahuas’ leads and leapt back on board, all in 30 seconds flat. No wonder he did not notice he had trespassed into the First Class compartment.
‘Oh, Come on Alf,’ he beamed back. ‘I’ve been away for three days: what kind of a greeting is that?’
‘Just warning you, T. Here comes the guard to check tickets. Look at that little white antimacassar.’
‘What Alfie’s trying to say,’ interrupted Ajax, ‘is that we are in First Class and I bet you have a standard class ticket.’
‘Sure I do’, T was saying as the guard came by.
‘Hello again sir,’ she said. ‘And who are these fine creatures? Do they mind being petted?’
‘No, go ahead, they’ll take any amount of fuss.’ So for the rest of the ride, in between her duties of platform watching, whistle-blowing and flag-waving; ticket inspection and sales, the guard spent her time in First Class, chatting to T and stroking Alfie and Ajax.
Back home, T said, ‘Will told me how all the old ladies and teenage girls homed in on you two. A babe magnet, he said.’
‘It’s just a chihuahua thing,’ Ajax replied. ‘But you sitting in the wrong seat reminds me of something that happened.’ (to be continued)