“Good morning miss,” said the shopkeeper with a warm friendly smile as the young dark haired girl entered the shop.
“Morning Bob,” said the girl. “How are we today?”
“Well I’m ok,” answered Bob as he topped up a jar with assorted colours of win gums. “I am not too sure the others.”
“I beg your pardon,” said Sevenpenny.
“You asked how we are,” replied Bob. “There is only one person here.”
“I take it you must be Arthur’s brother,” said Sevenpenny with a light sneer.
“Oh most certainly not,” Bob answered. “And a word to the wise, I wouldn’t make any quips about brothers to Arthur. You’ll end up seeing his ugly side.”
“Bob he got me to rub suntan lotion onto his back during the bank holiday, I’ve seen his ugly side.”
Bob stifled a laugh, “you too eh? He gets all his partners to do that at one point or something similar. Just be thankful he hasn’t got you to pumice his calloused feet.”
Sevenpenny gave Bob a silent look which spoke a million words.
“I see,” said Bob slowly, “he must really like you.”
“What does he do with partners he doesn’t like?” asked Sevenpenny somewhat alarmed.
“No idea,” answered Bob. “So are you in the mood for lollipops today or are we going back to sherbet dips?” Bob began as two teenage schoolboys entered the shop.
“I was thinking of Vanilla fudge actually,” smiled Sevenpenny. “But serve Tom Brown and Billy Bunter first.”
Bob smiled and served the boys who purchased a bag of Jelly Babies and a some Spearmints with a Hole. “You’re lucky boys, I have a regular customer who buys ridiculous amounts of Jelly Babies. Quite a bohemian chap, always wears a scarf. Hasn’t been in for a while.” The boys nodded nonchalantly and muttered something to themselves as they left which clearly was the school equivalent of Wilde or Molière judging by the guffaws it produced.
“I’ll have a quarter of the usual I think,” Sevenpenny said, “And a strawberry and lime lollipop.”
“Very good miss,” said Bob as he rang in the magic combination on the till and the back of the shop clicked and opened slightly.
“I wonder what mission I’m on today,” muttered Sevenpenny as he made her way to the hidden room.