Do Bermuda shorts ever vanish?

Section 131 is bending the truth

Vernon parked the cabriolet outside his mother’s bungalow, having resisted the temptation to stop for a paper in Dereham for the sake of time. She came to the door and greeted him cheerfully, returning his kiss and saying, “Liz is here you know”.

Vernon’s elder sister Liz was warm, sensible and kind to a fault. He frequently worried that people took advantage of her good nature and more than once he and his brother had found it necessary to be the firewall around her that she failed to build for herself.

“Hi Liz. How’re things?”

Vernon knew if he did not get to Thailand he was going to have to disappear like Emile to  avoid the loss of face.

Vernon knew if he did not get to Thailand he was going to have to disappear like Emile to avoid the loss of face.

They embraced with genuine affection and gathered in the cramped kitchen as his mother put the kettle on for tea.

“How are your plans for Thailand?” Liz asked smiling. “Been buying Bermuda shorts?”

Considering the worries Vernon carried concerning Tarkey, the Nonsense Filter and the police, he felt his reply was convincingly upbeat and carefree.

“You don’t sound too sure?” Vernon’s astute mother responded to his assurances as she placed the steaming cups on the side-table. “Are you running into difficulties? It’s not that woman again… stirring up trouble?”

At first Vernon thought it was Mrs McGuin his mother was referring to but suddenly remembered she would be anticipating Jenny’s involvement and probable ire at him being so far from the children.

“No Jenny’s kept her distance thank goodness, though she’ll no doubt be fashioning a spanner out of plutonium to throw in the works at some point, no its just getting visas and all that malarkey.” Vernon didn’t like bending the truth but the Nonsense Filter was a jolly complicated saga.

They went out for a meal at a local café and chatted over family matters. Liz and his mother agreed to liaise with his letting agency and he gave his mother power of attorney to manage his mortgage account if necessary. Something suddenly occurred to Vernon which he had overlooked in view of his complicated troubles. “Mum” he ventured uncertainly, “would you look after Chucky while I’m gone?”

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