Article Index


Chapter 26


"Sir, I don't really like to repeat my question, but what about the bin lorry?"
"McClown, I told you they are going to Glasgow."
"So you said, Sir."
"And we now go to Corran, McClown."
"I know this, Sir."
"We have to take a ferry to get there."
"I know this as well, Sir."
"There is no other way to Glasgow."
"I didn't know that, Sir."
"You see, McClown, that is the fine difference between lord and butler. At the latest on the ferry we will meet the bin lorry and you can get back the suitcases."
"Why me, Sir? I'm feeling sick with the smell of garbage."
"Because of the fine difference, McClown. Fact is, you are only a butler, so it is you who will rummage the rubbish."

With a sour face the butler looked out of the window. Even the beautiful landscape along Glen Tarbert could not divert him. They reached Inversanda and the view over the bay was overwhelming. The butler, however, impatiently waited for the bus to be off again because up to now the bin lorry had not come into sight. With every halt we loose precious time, he thought. Every 20 minutes a ferry crossed Loch Linnhe, that much was certain. What if the bin lorry with the suitcases was already on the ferry and they would only get the next one? McClown started to sweat when he imagined that his darling hamster-friends should end in the incinerator. They reached Gearradh and to his horror the bus stopped for several minutes. But then they followed the loch in a timely manner and the butler took heart again. Another stop at a sign post which had written 'Sallachan' on it and he became aware of the fact that he was trembling all over. At last they were on the road again, but at the last stop in Clovullin he lost his nerves. In his mind he saw pictures of flames and hamsters.

"Nooo!" he yelled and dropped to the bus floor.

The driver turned round, horrified, and looked at the desperate butler and so did all other passengers. The driver said: "Are you ill, Sir? Do you need a doctor?"
"Drive on", McCown groaned. "Get to the ferry, it's a matter of life or death!"

Disbelievingly, driver and passengers goggled at him big-eyed.
"He needs the fresh air at the sea", Lord McShredder now crowed. "Then he'll feel much better."

The driver nodded and sped up.
"Thank you, Sir, fresh air at the sea is a good idea."

"You're welcome, McClown. Would you like to think the people that my butler is a complete fool?"
"No, Sir, certainly not."

McClown got up and was down again with a shriek for the driver had reached his goal and braked sharply. "Here we are, Sir!" he shouted and jumped up to help the two of them with the wheelchair. Then the butler pushed on the wheelchair with running speed until he saw a sign which had 'Ardgour Ferry' written on it. The ferry was moored at a long pier and the butler doubled his efforts but it was too late. The small ferry already set moving.

"Nooo!" the butler yelled, threw himself on the wooden planks of the peer and drummed with his fists.
"We had this situation before, McClown. You are a quite cranky. You have to learn to control yourself, McClown."
"But, Sir, the hamsters, the hamsters…"
"So what, McClown? They are in the bin lorry and the bin lorry is on the ferry. Do I make a fuss because of that, McClown?"

"Nooo!" he yelled again and once more threw himself to the planks of the peer with a sob. "McClown, this is boring, you're repeating yourself. Get up and control yourself, the next ferry is here!" At this spot the transfer took no more than a few minutes. The small ferry landed, a ramp was lowered and they boarded. While the butler mournfully stared into the water, Lord McShredder argued about the fare with one of the officials. Only after milord had threatened to buy the ferry and turn out everybody, they were left in peace. After leaving the ferry they sat down on a bench beside the sign 'Corran Ferry'. But His Lordship had not calmed down. "He wanted money, McClown, do you hear? This cutthroat! Pedestrians and bikes go free, I know that. And what does this pirate say? A wheelchair has got four wheels and is no bike, he said, McClown! I told him something!" "You are quite cranky, you must learn to control yourself, Sir", McClown mumbled. "I am - manky, McClown?! That is most impertinent, and you know it!" "By no means I said so, Sir, I only thought of the hamsters." Frido McClown ignored His Lordship's look of distrust and mournfully watched the landscape. Suddenly his face cleared. He jumped up. "Which day is it, Sir?" "McClown, I know you are down and need a holiday, but…" "Saturday, Sir, it is Saturday!" McShredder gave his butler a bewildered look but then the meaning of this dawned to him. "You are right, McClown. So the hamsters won't go into the fire before Monday for everything is closed on weekends."

"You put that nicely, Sir", the butler gnarled and continued: "So the bin lorry will certainly take a break on his way. Sir, we have to go on towards Glasgow!" He gripped the wheelchair and pushed as fast as possible. Suddenly he heard a far off and well known voice: "McClown! You forgot me!"