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It's A Living
by Sam Mosley

Charles P Danby slowed his purposeful stride and checked out his reflection in the shop window. "Fine figure of a man," he mused. "Snap."

He glided into the narrow alleyway, almost crashing into a desperate Stefan.

"Be careful," barked Charles whilst negotiating a swerve to the right. The ill clad young man countered  his swerve, pointed his jacket pocket towards Charles and announced, "STICK EM UP!"

"Stick em up?" quizzed Charles.

"Stick em up," echoed  an edgy Stefan. "Are you ignorant?"

"An immigrant? Dash it man, the Danbys can be traced back to Herewood The Wake. No, I am most certainly not."

"Give me money," menaced Stefan.

"I say, so you are an actual immigrant," bawled Charles. "Well I never. Do you know, you're the first that I've actually spoken to. How quaint. Tell me..."

"Excuse," interrupted Stefan. "Just remember I can shoot you," and demonstrating, waved his jacket pocket menacingly.

"Hang on," offered Charles, "I was only about to enquire as to how you were settling in?"

Stefan shook his head. "Well  I like country." He shrugged his shoulders. "But some of the people, they are, what you say..."

"Stuck up?" offered Charles.

Stefan sighed. "Okay I'm sorry, this is not the kind of job I choose to do. I am educated. I sing God Save The Queens. I try to be good citizen, but presently I'm waiting for other jobs."

Danby was pleased to hear it, but offered that armed robbery wasn't a very British calling.

Stefan was shocked. "You mean this is not a trade? But I was never informed  was wrong. Thought robbery was very British thing. You sure or, how you say, you pulling my plonker?"

"Quite sure," confirmed Danby. "Moreover if we can prove that no one ever informed you armed robbery was against the law," he produced his business card, "we can sue someone dizzy."

Stefan backed off. "I have no gun. Don't want sue, just want to be good British citizen."

Danby was having none of it, pushing his card, "Of course you do, it's exceptionally British!"

Stefan was insistent. "No. I stop right now. Sorry and appreciate you help. Just leave."

"If you insist," sulked Danby. "Terrible shame. Nice meeting you. Cheery bye."

"Yes, cheery bye... But wait," called Stefan, waving a wad of money. "What shall I do with all my takings?  After your advice, don't want and can't give back."

"Of course I actually furnished advice," panted Dalby, "so one can help you out. So, my fees for advice being 400.00 per hour or part of, plus delays, travel. Sooo how much is there?"

"Oh, 600.00," guessed Stefan.

"All righty," smiled Danby, "my fee is 600.00."

"Actually, it's more like 700.00," corrected Stefan.

"Plus VAT," completed Danby. "Near enough. Thank you. Byes"

"No, it's thanks to you," hollered Stefan, giving Danby the thumbs up. "Have a nice day."

Danby turned, returning the call, "And you... And, hey, don't be a stranger."