Jennospot 38 Telephoning
We seem ter be inter telephones this week. Cripes, there aren't many in Widdlington 'cept fer the one in front o' the Post Office. Only Mrs Jackson, the postmistress, listens in on the calls; leastways, that's wot everyone says. Any'ow, we worked out a little diversion ter take care o' that. Still an all, we 'ad ter get the money from somewhere. This is 'ow it went:
‘Now about telephoning Bish’ said
. ‘We need to do it as soon as we can on Monday morning.’ Roy
‘If we can get his number,’ said Dismal.
‘Shut up Dismal,’ said Jenno. ‘We'll get 'is number all roight. An' if'n we don't, Oi'll be gettin' yer number, an' no mistake— don't yew worry none.’
‘You know all about telephones I suppose,’ said Dismal.
‘More'n wot yew do.’
‘How many times have you telephoned then?’
‘As many times as yew 'ave, Oi'll bet.’
‘I've never telephoned.’
‘There yew are then. Oi telephoned twice from moi aunt's place. So there!’’
‘I meant from a public telephone.’
‘Shut up, Dismal,’ I said. ‘You're getting us nowhere. I know how to telephone. Besides, the instructions are written up in the kiosk.’
‘Why don't you tell juggins Jenno to shut up?’ complained Dismal.
‘Shut up, Dismal,’ said everyone.
‘We'll need some money,’ said Tommy.
‘Jenno said it was free,’ objected Katy.
‘That's for directory enquiries,’ I said. ‘We'll have to pay to talk to Bish.’
‘How does she know it's free, if she's never used a public 'phone?’ said Dismal.
‘She happens to be right,’ I said.
‘If you can't say something helpful, Dismal; just keep quiet,’ said Brian.
‘Oooh, listen to Brian,’ said Dismal. ‘Thinks he's the big boss now. Just because he's ten feet tall with a nose to match.’
‘Shut up Dismal,’ said
. ‘This is an important meeting, not a political free-for-all. How much money will we need Tommy?’’ Roy
‘Better ask Peter that; he's the expert.’
I lifted my shoulders and rolled my eyes towards the sky. ‘It'll cost tuppence to make the call and start speaking. After that, it depends on the time and distance. I don't really know how much it might cost; we don't know where Bish lives.’
‘It can't be too far away,’ said Tommy. ‘Widdlington is in his diocese.’
‘D'you think sixpence would be enough?’ asked
I shrugged. ‘Better have at least eight pence. In pennies— so that we don't have to put in more than is necessary.’
‘Where are we goin' ter get the money? asked Jenno. ‘I 'aven't a bean: it's moi bruvver's turn fer the pocket money this week.’
‘I've got thruppence,’ I said.
‘I can put in tuppence,’ said
. ‘What about you Brian?’ Roy
Brian shook his head.
‘I'll put in a penny.’
‘Me too,’ said Katy.
‘My mum hasn't given me anything yet this week, but she usually gives me four pence. I'll put in a penny when I get it.’
‘That makes our eight pence,’ said
with satisfaction. Roy
‘I just hope it's enough,’ I murmured but nobody heard me.
"Gang Petition" Chapter 9