Saturday, 31 January 2009

Noble Gestures 1

Mr Basham was not a rich man to start with and his policy on healthcare bit deep into the family budget. He made little sacrifices and so did they. One of his sacrifices was to do without a mobile phone. Accordingly when he was referred to the Cromwell Hospital for exploratory ex-rays of an agonising left knee and he wished to tell his wife the results had proved sadly inconclusive, he was sent down to the basement in search of a public phone.

A clutch of Arab women in burkas surrounded the phone. One held out a scrap of paper with a local number on it and a handful of pound coins. They stared silently at him until he took the scrap, dialled the number and inadvertently fed in his last twenty pence piece.
Somebody barked at the other end and he handed the receiver across. The woman jabbed her handful of money at him so insistently that he made an embarrassed gesture, turned away and left the hospital.

He took the train home with a modest sense of moral wellbeing until his knee produced a twinge so violent that he grimaced with pain to the consternation of some children sitting opposite.


dodo said...

Beautifully written and illustrated story, i'm glad i read it. Thanks to both of you.

Oscar Grillo said...

You're more than welcome, Dodoulis!

Anonymous said...

do ye good and do not ask for whom.

(sorry if that's confusing, i know it in spanish)