Bud McNasty walked through the door. His name isn't really Bud McNasty but we'd been calling him that since he was five years old and we weren't stopping any time soon. Bud McNasty walked through the door, his jutting chin making him look like the truculent ape that he is. He ordered a coffee and a piece of seed cake and sat at the table near the window.
I looked at him.
Time and nature hadn't dealt him a kind hand. The shabby hems of his raincoat reflected the shabby hems of his face and his eyelids had disappointed the flies of four counties. He sat there, near the window, a picture of The Ascent Of Man.
"How's it going, Bud?" I asked him.
"Bog off fart face," he replied.
Bud only ever on his best manners when he had something big doing. This must be some quite considerable venture, then. I wasn't sure how interested I was, either scarcely bothered or not at all, so I returned to my crossword. The answer to nine across was "macaque" and I unconsciously glanced over to the window. Bud McNasty was keenly staring out of the window like a cat watching after a spider.
I returned to my crossword.
Five or ten minutes later, I'll never know which, I was conscious of a sudden increase in the nervous energy of the room. I looked up. Bud McNasty was waving. Bud McNasty was waving out of the window like some kid on the summer holiday ferry. I'll admit to have been unnerved by it.
And then she walked through the door. And Bud McNasty turned to her and smiled like a lovesick puppy.
Just when the world could hold no more fresh horrors, Bud McNasty was in love.
The answer to fourteen down was "bewildering."