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A Shout From The Attic: The Esmé Years - 8

Continuing his autobiogrpahy, Ronnie Bray tells a tale to confirm that one should always get up on time.

I Stand by My Window

My friend, John Leonard, worked for Menzies the newspaper and magazine distributor once upon a time. That meant an early start six days a week so that the orders could be organised for all the newsagents and bookshops when they opened their doors for business. Like many a young man, John had an aversion to waking up early in the morning and getting out in the cold dark night when his bed insisted it hadn’t finished with him.

Therefore, it was not surprising that John didn’t always get to his job in good time, which caused some disturbance because his work had to be done by men who were already working hard. One morning when John had not turned in for work, a one-man delegation was despatched to raise him from slumber. John and Blanche lived in a back house up Deighton Road that was in a yard through a wide archway. Arriving there, the delegate saw the house in darkness, and John’s car parked in the cobbled yard.

He was not even awake! It took several handfuls of pebbles before a tousled-haired John appeared at the bedroom window in his nightshirt (a funny place to have a window!).

He yawned as he opened the window and looked out. The envoy called to John telling him that he was very late and if he didn’t get to work right away, his job was in jeopardy. John understood the urgency. He leaned out of the window and pointing at the emissary with his right hand he said, “I’ll be right there!” Satisfied that he had succeeded in his errand, the man returned to work, where he told his mates that John would be with them in a matter of minutes. But, John did not arrive.

It is told that when Blanche woke up at eight o’clock she found John fast asleep, leaning out of the window, his hand still pointing at the place where the long-departed envoy had stood.


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