by The Lone Ranger
Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka
Return with me now to the thrilling day of last Friday ....
Drizzle. Caravan weather. I sit at my normal bench and adjust my mask. No sunshine to paint the wooden slats today. I pick up my hat and walk away leaving the book to its fate like an Indian left to die on wooden railway sleepers.
10 minutes later ...
A man in a yellow jacket picks up litter and circles the arena. He passes close to the bench.
21 minutes ...
The drizzle has stopped. A middle-aged man in a brown coat picks the book up. He looks at it then sets it down on the other side of the bench. He sits down. After a moment he reaches over and picks the book up again. He flicks through, then hurls the book back towards the far corner of the bench.
32 minutes ...
An old couple sit down right next to the book. Nothing. Another 5 minutes with them sat there.The book appears to be invisible. They get up, the old man adjusts his white baseball cap, and they wander off on their way.
53 minutes 22 seconds ...
An oldish grey haired woman picks up the book and walks of with it. She turns her head back to the bench as she heads towards the library. Two Caravans drop into her bag. She looks back again, climbs the steps and enters into the lobby.
Is she going to hand it in? I jump to my feet and whistle for Silver. She appears on the skyline and runs to me. Her mane flows in the wind. I pat her side, leap up and with a cry of "Hi Ho Silver Away!" gallup after the book nabber. ( Well actually I ran, but it sounds better with the horse.)
I enter the library and grab a book to hide behind as I sit down. I glance over the top of the spine. She is at the return counter. Will she? I get up and move closer. No. She walks towards me. My hand slips to my gun. She checks her bag, glances at me, then walks upstairs.
I return to Silver and slip her a sugar lump, happy that another book has flown.
Next week: We Are Now Beginning Our Descent by James Meek.
For last weeks account click here.