A Good Runner: Part Twelve

This is the twelfth part of a fiction serial, in 765 words.

Trevor worked hard for the rest of the year, even going in on Saturdays for extra pay. By the time he was celebrating the new year of 1965 with his granny, he had managed to save almost five hundred pounds. He gave the old lady fifty of that, which seemed like a fortune to her, but that was to soften the blow when he told her he was thinking of moving out.

Shirley had left the local tea rooms long before. Valerie the owner had told him she was living in Oxford, with a travelling salesman who was a regular at the tea rooms. He had just shrugged at the news. Trevor was a man who accepted bad luck as his lot in life.

With spring coming, Nigel White was determined to get rid of his daughter’s car. There had not been a single enquiry from the newspaper advertisement, so he resolved to put up some postcards in local shops and post offices. They were a lot cheaper, and more likely to be seen by people in Witney. He took the canvas cover off the car, removed the battery, and charged it up. Sure it would start and run for any potential buyer, he wrote out some cards and paid for them to be in the windows with all the others.

After helping his gran get some shopping one Saturday morning, Trevor noticed a newly-refurbished shop front. What had once been a dusty old ironmongers was set to become a new taxi office. They had a sign outside, stating ‘Drivers Wanted. Apply Within’. When he had dropped off the shopping at home, he walked back and stood outside the shop. Working as a taxi driver appealed to him as being a lot more comfortable than hauling roof tiles day in, day out. So he went inside.

“No, we don’t have taxis for you to drive mate. This is a private hire company. You supply your own car and insurance, we get the work for you, and take a percentage. You need a decent car with four doors, it must be undamaged, and nice and clean. Come back and see me when you have one, show me the taxi insurance papers, and you can start the same day”. Despite his disappointment at the company not supplying cars for him to use, he couldn’t get the idea out of his head as he ate dinner that night with his gran.

It wasn’t until Tuesday when he spotted the postcard in the window of the corner shop. ‘1963 Consul Cortina. 4-doors. Very low mileage. £400’. He asked the shopkeeper to write the phone number down on a piece of paper for him, then walked to the phone box on the corner. The man at the other end gave him the address, and he agreed to go there and see the car late on Saturday afternoon when he had finished work. It was in a very posh part of town where Trevor had once cleaned windows.

The house was suitably impressive, and the doors of the double garage were already open when Trevor arrived. The shiny green Cortina was in one half, and a grey Rover P5 dominated the other half. He didn’t have to knock, as the elderly man came out as soon as he stopped to look at the car.

“She’s a good runner you know, and such low mileage for a sixty-three car too. Have a look, the door is open. Only six thousand miles on the clock, you won’t find a better one. The spare wheel has never been used, no MOT required until next year, and I have charged the battery for you. There is still a few gallons of petrol in the tank too”.

Remembering he was supposed to haggle, Trevor really couldn’t be bothered. Everything the man was saying was true, and compared to the cost of the newly revamped Cortina model, this one was a real bargain. He hadn’t said much, and the man took that as hesitation. “If you like, I can get the keys and give you a drive around. I am insured to drive it on my policy”. He was back in two minutes, and invited Trevor to jump into the passenger seat. They headed away from the town centre, driving on the country road in the direction of Poffley End. After ten minutes, he pulled into the space next to a farm gate.

“Well young man, what say you?” Trevor smiled.

“I’ll take it. I can bring the money on Monday evening, after I have sorted out the insurance”.

33 thoughts on “A Good Runner: Part Twelve

      1. Oh I did not know that. Thanks for the information, Pete! Seems to be related to the fact that you pay your taxes well. 😉 xx Who else show pay the politicans? I had already searched the whole Bible to see if anything could be found. But it only says that the birds of the sky neither sow nor reap, but are nourished anyway. Are Politicians Birds of Heaven? Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pete, my wife’s first car ended up being driven by my daughter through high school and college – then the same for my son. After that, my daughter gave it to a co-worker who couldn’t afford a car for her son, and they just let us know that this 1993 Toyota Paseo, with 240,000 miles on it, has now gone to another member of the family! It is, indeed “a good runner!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure this is going to end well, everybody likes Trevor and you seem to have a positive outlook in your comments. Enjoy it whilst it lasts Trevor, a sticky end is in store for you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) Overheard:
    Trevor, his foot on the accelerator: “Can I test the engine?”
    Nigel, smiling: “Rev it, Trev!”
    (2) Shirley will eventually tire of traveling salesman jokes.
    (3) It wasn’t until Tuesday that Trevor learned that a 1963 Ford Consul Cortina was in the cards.
    (4) Bad citation: “You need a green car with four doors, it must be undamaged, and nice and clean. It must have round headlights with a chrome trim, and the grille must feature a squared mesh. Rectangular ancillary lights and oval corner lamps are mandatory. The bumper must be a solid piece of polished metal, and I highly recommend a raised strip on the hood to give it a sporty look. The roof line must angle a bit towards the boot, and the fenders must hide the top of the tires. The rear end tail lights must be divided into three chromed sections, and the rear bumper must resemble the one in front. That’s the car you need. Come back and see me when you’ve found one.”
    (5) Since Shirley has run off with a traveling salesman, it’s time for Trevor to court Tina.
    (6) Nigel: “No MOT required until next year. But you should get started now anyway. So go ahead and take along a Mug Of Tea. That way, you won’t fall asleep at the wheel.”
    (7) After Nigel had driven past Poffley End, he raced to Crawley, cautiously Ford-ed the River Windrush, and kicked up some dust in the Tower Hill Cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Trevor just fine. He is industrious in his own way, saving his money, making plans and following through. Perhaps he will make a go of this taxi thing and own his own fleet on day…
    Good story, Pete.
    –Pam

    Liked by 1 person

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