“He will, I hope it’s not Snippy Watson, because he’s a good friend of the mater’s family in Sussex, and has a delicate disposition, as they say, so he might faint with shock. Anyway, how much do I owe you?”

“Three hundred for the manual labour of we six pushing the car and two hundred for cleaning it and making sure it had none of your fingerprints on it.”

“Sounds a good deal, Vasek, do you have the keys?”

Vasek handed them over. Tompkins picked up the Meissen Vase standing in the porch and felt underneath it. He pulled out out a small plastic bag containing five 100 pound notes and handed it to Vasek.

“We always keep loose change hanging around, just in case the cat food supplier needs paying or the milkman wants to settle the weekly bill.”

Vasek smiled and accepted the money with a slight nod of the head.

“I will see you soon, Mr Tompkins. Oh there is one thing. My unfortunate, unemployed friends from East European are disappearing from the streets here in England, only to turn up in their home towns a few days later, wearing cartoon masks of the Bonfire Man…”

“Guy Fawkes?”

“Yes, that person, the Catholic – do you know anything about this repatriation of my friends?”

“I am sorry, Vasek, I don’t understand why that’s happening – do you think they’re just going on a coach tour, drinking too much, and then forgetting to get back on the coach to come back to jolly Old Blighty?”

“I don’t believe so, as they are looking for work all the time and wouldn’t go on a free coach trip. They wake up and find themselves back in their own country, where they don’t want to be.”

“Well, I’m not sure what to say, other than people should try and make the most of these opportunities to travel and see foreign climes, especially if they’re not having to pay.”

“I thank you for your information,” replied Vasek, “and now I must leave you to your fish and porridge breakfast.”

“Thank you and have a splendid lunch yourself,” replied Tompkins and strode back into his house thinking Vasek was a good man to know.

“Cripes,” said Tompkins to himself, when he got back into the kitchen, “are my cooking skills so bad that Vasek could smell my breakfast from out there? That’s an awful thing to have said to you, y’know, bish and bosh, Tomcat get a grip on things.”