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Chapter 18

‘Right, get on with it, then, said the man, and making himself comfortable on the chair opened his newspaper.

Creamy made a face at him. Then he stuck the man's trouser leg inside his sock, and set about slapping black polish all over his shoe. And not only his shoe: the sock and half the trouser leg were smudged black.

Oh, no!’ he whispered, and clutched his head, as he wondered feverishly what to do.

The man tapped his foot impatiently, ‘Get on! Get on!’

Creamy got on. ‘Ah, well,’ he muttered to himself, ‘perhaps if I put some more polish on, it'll all blend in nicely.’ He took a big dollop of the black polish and spread it thickly over the smudges.

The newspaper above his head shook suddenly as the man spoke: ‘Enough! The other shoe now! And be quick,’ he added, glancing at his watch, ‘or I'll be late for my interview!’

Creamy shrugged his shoulders, picked up the pot of polish and started on the other shoe. Intent on getting the same all-over effect, he did not notice when the man folded the newspaper shut, and saw his shoe.

‘What on earth have you done!’ he yelled jumping to his feet.

Creamy cleared his throat. ‘Er, your shoes are done, sir. That'll be three eurodollars, please’ he stammered.’

‘Three eurodollars!’ the man almost screeched, ‘you want three eurodollars for ruining my clothes! Do you have any idea how much this suit cost,’ he shouted, plucking at his trouser leg. The trouser leg refused to budge. It seemed glued to the sock, which in turn seemed glued to the shoe.

‘No, I don't. I don't buy suits,’ said Creamy, glad to get off the subject of shoes. ‘Not that I'd ever buy a suit like yours,’ he added. ‘I know a thing or two about fashion, and frankly…’

‘You… you….’ The man was almost choking. Then he suddenly pulled up his sleeve and looked at his watch. ‘There goes my interview!’ he shouted at Creamy, tugging at his polish-encrusted trouser legs. ‘See what you've done!’

Creamy muttered something under his breath.

‘This is outrageous,’ fumed the man. Suddenly, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a pen, and scribbled something furiously on a piece of paper. ‘You'll be hearing from my solicitors shortly,’ he snapped and stomped off, tossing his newspaper angrily at Creamy.

Creamy ducked, and turned to look at Lennie. But Lennie was nowhere to be seen.

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