Mrs Hammond narrowed her eyes. “No. I don't think I do. Just throw it away, Mr. Waterman. It can't be of any use to you, surely?”
“I'm quite certain it is, I just can't remember why.” He continued to stare at it as he was dragged forcible along.
“Ah, Here's Lentil.” Mrs Hammond stopped in front of a large, sullen boy. “Say hello to Mr Waterman, Lentil.”
The boy said nothing, so Mrs Hammond turned to Harold. “Lentil is one of out best and strongest pupils but he's in desperate need of mentorship. We try to encourage members of the parent-teacher board to take on such duties. Would you be up to the task? Could you find room in your heart for a desperate youth?”
“What does it entail, exactly?” Harold looked doubtfully at the boy. If there was ever a born hoodlum it was this lad here. He was twice the size of Lucy and could probably have swallowed her whole if he tried. He shook the mental image away. “I'm quite a busy man, as I think I mentioned earlier...”
“It's an easy enough task, Mr Waterman. Just reach out and take his hand. Let him know how much you welcome him into your life.”
“Welcome him?” Harold stared at the boy's grubby paws. They were as black as Winston's after a hard day's graft fiddling with car engines at the garage he owned. His own were...well, not white exactly. More of a red-tinged ochre and built for handling books and tomes of esoteric knowledge. There were calluses, too, from his bouts of martial arts and fencing practice. “I'd rather not, if you don't mind. At least not until he washes his hands.”