Thursday 10 May 2018

Thirsty Work

Roger Noons


A Pint of Seventy Shillings

‘You’re late tonight?’ the Landlord said, as the door banged shut behind David McLean.
    ‘Had a bit of excitement Sandy, that’s for sure.’
    There was silence as Macdonald filled the pint tankard; Davy licking his lips in anticipation.
    ‘Well?’ he said placing the glass on the counter, but he had to wait until the ploughman had swallowed half the contents.
    ‘Ah, that’s better!’
    ‘So what happened, sow get out again?’
    ‘Plane come down in a field at the Farm.’
    ‘Floors Farm?’
    He nodded, took another drink, and appreciated he had the attention of all the assembled patrons.
    ‘German, Messerschmitt, it was.’
    ‘What’s a Gerry plane doing up here?’
    Davy shrugged. ‘Helped the pilot out of his parachute, hurt his leg when he landed.’ He swallowed the rest of his pale ale and offered the glass to the Landlord.
    ‘You sure, you’ve not been at Elspeth’s parsnip wine?’
    He shook his head. ‘That was the first today, so I’m ready for another.’
    Sandy made no move to refill the tankard. ‘Where is he then, this German pilot?’
    ‘Home Guard took him off to Busby.’
    Shaking his head, the Landlord said, ‘You’ll have half o’ light and then you’re finished for tonight.’
    There was murmuring and the half dozen drinkers resumed their games of crib.
    ‘It’s true, honest,’ Davy appealed.
    Macdonald placed the half pint glass on the bar. ‘Drink that and then you’re away home.’
    ‘The pilot was asking to see the Duke of Hamilton.’
    The Landlord’s expression darkened and he retrieved the glass. ‘Get off home, Davy, now.’

A plane carrying Rudolph Hess landed in a field 10 miles south of Glasgow on 10 May 1941.

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