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Chapter 4 - The Lost Sound

We were worried that we had heard the last of our Cricket Pop heroes, but we open a new chapter: It's The Further Adventures Of Duckworth And Lewis!

I had been travelling for some two and a half months now. Criss-crossing the old world like a child lost in a dark forest. Chasing after a half-forgotten dream. A lost sound. A nebulous notion. I grasped for it amidst the chirruping of Andalusian cicadas. Called for it from the snow covered peaks of the Highlands. Yearned for it by the moonlit waters of the Dniper.

But, like the name of someone I’d known a very long time ago, I could never quite bring it into the conscious part of my mind.

Lewis had been waiting for a long time. Lewis had been waiting for a long time.

Occasionally I believed I’d heard it. Once, while trying to keep my footing in the tiny swaying bathroom of an overnight train from Linz to Trieste. The syncopation of the rattling rails brought back a distant heady feeling. Once again while checking in at a dowdy auberge near Maastricht.
Something in the throaty alto of the stern receptionist gave me pause. But, like the name of someone I’d known a very long time ago, I could never quite bring it into the conscious part of my mind.

‘Damnation…’, I murmured under my breath in annoyance.
‘I beg your pardon’? A kindly looking cleric was gazing at me with mild concern in his eyes.
‘Nothing Reverend, I was merely wondering if this queue would ever start moving’, I lied.
‘I am of the same mind, my boy. I do hope they’re isn’t a problem with the vessel. She looks like she may have seen action in Suez! Ah well, patience and faith… patience and faith.’
‘Amen to that, Reverend’. I mopped my brow and allowed my mind to gradually drift away from the sweltering heat of the Peloponnese.

I became dully aware of someone whistling a familiar tune. But of course, just as my weary mind began to process this information the whistler ceased their merry diversion leaving me grasping for the name of this air that I had once known so well. I let out a small howl of frustration.
There was movement ahead. At least I may get off this god forsaken dock, I said to myself. But I soon realised the queue was not moving forward. If anything it was moving back and outward into chaos and untidiness.

The great figure of bon amis and merriment took my sweaty hand, roll up the fingers into a fist and thrust it amiably into his ribs.

Could it be the long lost Mr Duckworth? Could it be the long lost Mr Duckworth?

‘Good heavens’, cried the parson!
A large form was barrelling back towards us, sending Greeks and Turks, men and women of all nations, colours and creeds hither and thither about the jetty; in much the manner of a cow with a great hatred of porcelain.
‘Sorry, apologies, gangway everyone’!
My jaw fell to the oaken beams beneath us like a cartoon anvil.
‘DUCKWORTH! But… but… my dear fellow, you’re alive!!’
The great figure of bon amis and merriment took my sweaty hand, roll up the fingers into a fist and thrust it amiably into his ribs. ‘Ouch’, he declaimed in mock anguish, ‘why yes, it appears I am. Good. How about a swifty? I’m parched’.

To be continued.