Bring Out Your Dead - Part 8
Continued from Part 7
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the sea, Mr. O.” Archibald confided, excitedly, “When I was a kid, and we went on our holidays, we used to see who could see the sea first”
“I regret, Archibald, that a glimpse of the sea is about all our visit will afford” Josiah replied, gloomily. His companion with the chicken had left the bus at one of the innumerable villages they had passed through and Archibald had come to join him ‘to stop him getting lonely’. “I have arranged for the remains of Sir Lewisham to be transferred to an Alicante mortuary in order to save time. On arrival, we will need to collect our hired van, go swiftly to the mortuary, complete all of the necessary documentation and then repair to the airport with all speed in the hope that they will permit us, and our cargo, to fly home tonight.”
“Won’t there be chance for a paddle?” Archibald whined, plaintively.
“I fear not” Josiah responded with some relief, “our outbound delays mean that we must waste no further time”
“Oh, that’s not fair!” Archibald sulked.
“”We are professional people, Archibald, with a solemn duty to perform on behalf of Sir Lewisham, and his family. You would do well to remember that.” Josiah returned to his improving book. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a very dejected Archibald Thurble, slumped down in his chair, with his arms folded and a determinedly ‘put upon’ expression on his face.
∆ ∆ ∆ ∆
At the back of the coach, Lawrence Hamble was bringing a rather disjointed mobile phone call to an end.
“I see, but…ok no, fine, well thank you for your help” He said, weakly.
Amber surfaced from her fitful sleep among the coats.
“What?” she asked, irritably.
“I was just talking to our hotel, dear.” Lawrence explained.
“Well, there’s good news…and some not so good news”
“Don’t tell me, it’s burnt to the ground!”
“No, nothing like that sweetheart!” Lawrence reassured.
“Typhoid? Ebola? Bubonic Plague?”
“Of course not, darling. I was just ringing to see if they could arrange our transfer from Alicante to Benidorm, as we’ve obviously missed the inclusive transfer from the airport”
“Well, yes, they could have done…” Lawrence began.
“Oh joy, more time on a bus!” Amber exclaimed, sarcastically.
“Not really, sweetness.” Lawrence replied, tentatively, “ You see, as we didn’t turn up when they were expecting us” He took a deep breath and launched into it, “they’ve sold our room.”
Lawrence shrank back in his seat and awaited the inevitable storm.
“They’ve what?” Amber rose from her pile of coats like a particularly bad-tempered Demon King.
“It’s not as bad as it sounds, sweetheart”
“Have they found us another room?” Amber boomed.
“Not exactly. Well, not in Benidorm, anyway. Very popular this year,” Lawrence hurried on, “Apparently, there’s nowhere to be had on that stretch of coast.”
“So, what have you arranged?” Amber asked with an accusatory tone.
“They’ve found us a room for tonight in Alicante itself. Nice sea-front hotel.” Lawrence said, desperately, “at least we won’t have far to go when they drop us off.”
“And then what?”
“Well, I’ll have to get on to the Tourist Information Office first thing tomorrow and see what ‘s available elsewhere.”
“And what about the holiday we’ve already booked and paid for?”
“We’ll have to take it up with the travel insurance people, apparently. I’ll do that tomorrow, too.” Lawrence replied miserably.
“Give me strength!” Amber subsided into her coats again, as much a picture of misery as Archibald some rows in front.