Following on from reading Roberta’s Story it reminded me of a train journey coming north to Glasgow with my two girls then aged about 5 and 7 yrs old.
The train was busy and we were seated at a table with Abbey one one side and myself and Jenny across from her.
About two hours from Glasgow the train was quieter but on came a rather disheveled looking man in his 40’s clutching a briefcase to his chest. Out of breath. He looked at all the seats available , seemed to study those seated then thrust himself into the seat beside Abbey, opposite me.
My heart sank! He looked rather wild eyed and on edge. He sat with his coat on and his briefcase still clutched to his chest.
I smiled and of course that must have been enough because he leaned over and whispered that he was on the run!!!!
Oh dear, my heart sank!
He then went on to tell his story of how he had invented the first ever car that could become a submarine and an aeroplane!!!
I have the drawings he said and without ado he opened up his briefcase and removed sheaves of paper on which were drawn a very elaborate James Bond type car. It was like draughtsman plans , showing great detail.
He pointed to all the different parts of the car and explained how they would work.
I looked on , trying to look wise.
He was still talking quite quietly but fervently and his voice began to rise.
I nervously glanced about the carriage.
Surely someone close by could hear the ravings of this guy and would be ready to respond if he went over the top.
No. Everyone looked absorbed in their books, magazines, unperturbed.
Everyone wants my plans, the man continued.
They even had me put in a Mental Hospital but this morning I managed to escape. There is nothing they wouldn’t do to get my drawings, he said nervously looking about him.
He said he had to be careful. Someone could have followed him onto the train. His life was in danger.
At this point I would have dearly loved to go to the loo but didn’t want to leave Abbey sitting next to this stranger. He was intent, rather frazzled - as you would be if his story was genuine - and Abbey had fallen asleep, head against the window.
I enjoy reading thrillers and knew that there could be a vestige of truth in his story or he could be a nutter!
On he went explaining how the car worked and how it was the first of its kind.
Suddenly, he scooped up the drawings, put them in his briefcase, got up and got off the train as it came into a station.
The coach erupted!!!! All those men and women sitting so intently reading their books and magazines got up and said ‘well done, you did a grand job. Could’ve have done it. Incredible story. He must be mad’.
I was stunned! So I was not alone. They would have been there to help or at least told his story if anything happened to me.
We arrived in Glasgow a short time later and I felt mentally shattered from my journey.