A quick look at your model railway please

Two-minute story

A quick look at your model railway please

There was a knock at the door. I didn’t know the man, but there was something familiar about him.

“Hello.” he said, I’m Henry.”

“How can I help?” He might have heard that we sometimes sell honey at the door up here, but we had sold out and I had put the sign back in the garage.

“I was just passing and thought I would pop in to make sure that I had got the right place. It was your friend Ron, said you wouldn’t mind.”

I waited.

“He said if I wanted to see a really good model railway on the island I ought to come and take a look at yours.”

This was promising. He continued. “I’ve only got a few minutes and I don’t want to trouble you.”

Over his shoulder I could see a car parked on the drive.

“Oh, it’s all right. I’ve told my wife I won’t be more than five minutes.”

The key was in its usual place and we walked round the back of the house to the train shed. I explained how the shed came to be built, switched on the controllers and put some of my trains through their paces while we talked.

Forty-five minutes later my wife appeared at the train shed door. “This poor lady,” she began, “she’s been wondering where her husband had disappeared to.” I turned off the controllers and we stepped outside and I locked the door.

Two years on, we’re still friends.

For how long did the visitor want to look at the model railway? For how long did the two men watch the trains?

Why do you think the writer remembers this incident?

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