Monday, February 6, 2012

Nobby

One of the better things with being one kind of worldly person - as Susan had been for the years between restoring Caspian X and the railway accident - is that you get good at doing pleasant things, for other people as well as for yourself.

The loneliness did not stop her from cooking well. The evening she had made a beef stew with carrots, she had also had ground horseradish to go with it. And she had saved half the Lavazza of coffee for the morning.

Which came much earlier than she had reckoned with. The doorbell rang, it was dark, and a few voices were discussing with some heat outside.

"She's not awake, guv'nor!" it was a voice she knew - yes, the milkman. "Either you leave, or I'll have to call the cops"

"Just another try, it's just this morning and she might be in a good mood about it."

"She yes, me no. If it is not funny with a man in a sleepingbag lying outside a young lady's rooms ..."

"Jumping Jiminy, how was I to know ..." the voice was a bit plaintive, but not unkind.

"And how do I know you did not know, for all I know ..."

Here Susan shouted out: "Oh stop it!"

She ran out of bed, to the window, and while both men were looking up - the milkman as blonde and tall as usual, the other one swarty, like some of the pikeys, she added:

"If you will wait till I am dressed, I will make you some coffee. You can have the jug through the window."

"Sure about it, Miss Pevensie?" said the milkman.

"As sure as I am sure I am alive. I will not ruin this chance to be kind to a poor man."

"Well, if you want me to call the police, it's now. I have my round to do."

"Do go on, I'll manage." Then she turned to the pikey, young as well:

"You want coffee or tea this morning?"

"Oh either will do. I like coffee." - The milkman was watching him, but started walking away, as he saw he was a rather peaceful fellow, once he talked to the ladies.

"Can you take some warmed up from yesterday?"

"Might do."

"Hand me the milk bottle then, it's the only decent way of warming coffee to add hot milk to it."

"Coo. Now you are talking. You know coffee better than most English!" And the milk bottle went up to her, as she had taken on the sleeping gown.

"I was in Italy this last Christmas."

And less than one minute later - she had a gas stove - the steams of hot milk and coffee reached his nostrils, so he scrambled up from the sleeping bag a second time.

"Here you are. Sorry I have only biscuits to go with it - unless you would like some of yesterday's food."

"Coo. Not saying no to that."

She went in again, reached him horseradish to grind, and a few minutes later came out dressed in sweaters and a woollen dress with two plates of beef stew, one in each hand, and the forks in the right hand. Lots of potatoes and carrots to go with the boiled beef. He took the one she held in the left hand, then she sat down.

"Ah, that is a relief, it is." He handed her the plate with the grater and the horseradish. She had a spoon among the two forks, and she divided the horseradish on the two plates.

"What is your name? I am Susan and the milkman already told you it is Pevensie."

"Nobby."

"Wait, I had a friend - George told me about a Nobby."

"Wait, the George you talk about - is it a girl?"

"You are Nobby! Come in, let us talk!"

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