4. I iv
At breakfast the next morning, the hotel owner sheepishly approached Jack and his family, her arms held perfectly straight at her side. Jack’s father had just taken a huge bite of toast when she spoke.
‘I understand my Elizabeth may have gotten your boy into some bother yesterday,’ she began, in – to Jack’s great surprise – a thick Scottish accent. ‘I can only apologise. She so rarely gets a chance to meet people around her age, you see.’ Evidently she had overheard the telling off Jack had received.
Before she could continue, Jack’s father forced down the toast and assured her it wasn’t a problem.
‘It was no bother at all,’ he lied. ‘We were just glad he found something to do whilst we sorted things out with the mechanic. The poor lad would’ve been bored out of his skull otherwise.’ With that, he tousled Jack’s brown hair.
‘Well if that’s the case,’ she said with a smile, ‘then you could always leave him here for a bit when you go and get your car sorted out. Elizabeth would be delighted!’
Jack’s father felt backed into a corner, and couldn’t but agree to this suggestion.
‘That sound good to you, Jack?’
Jack nodded his consent, gulped down his orange juice, and said he’d love to. Jack’s mother didn’t speak a word, and was – as ever – focused primarily on her tea.