The rest of the week passed slowly for Grindal. The days were long with not much to do and nowhere to go. He tried not to spend too much time in his room it made him feel lonely. At least with his heater he was now a lot warmer. He read two different newspapers, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon just to try and create a routine, some kind of belonging to something.
When Saturday came around he was glad to spend a few hours in the hotel with Taff. Apart from his complaints about Paddy, he was good company and above all made Grindal laugh.
When they arrived back at the boarding house for dinner, everyone around the table seemed to be in good humour. Even Paddy was more agreeable than usual. Grindal looked at his watch. It was six twenty and still no soup.
‘I wonder what’s happened to the food. Not like Mrs. Fromp to be late,’ said Dave.
‘I wish she’d hurry up, I’m fucken starving,’ said Paddy.
Suddenly there was a loud scream which came from the direction of the kitchen. This was followed by lots of shouting and swearing.
‘Sounds like Meredith and her mum are at it again,’ said Taff.
‘So much for the house rule about swearing’, replied Grindal.
The shouting began to get louder. There was the sound of heavy footsteps running down the hallway.
Suddenly, the door to the dining room burst open. The heavily pregnant Meredith ran through the door with Mrs. Fromp in hot pursuit. Meredith ran to the end of the table and wrapped her arms tightly around the Ferret. He stood up quickly, a look of shock and disbelief on his face. A glass of water he had been drinking tipped down the front of his trousers and smashed as it hit the floor.
‘James, James, I’ve told her everything. I told her we love each other and we’re going to get married. Stop her James before she hurts our baby.’
Meredith was frantic. Standing behind the Ferret she clung onto him tightly, pinning his arms to his sides. Mrs. Fromp now stood inches away from Ferrets face.
‘You two timing dirty little bastard,’ she screamed at him.
He just stared into the angry face of Edith Fromp. His mouth open wide, but nothing came out. For one of the few times in his life the love machine was speechless.
Mrs. Fromp’s face was bright red and contorted with anger. Purple veins bulged in her neck. Without warning, she suddenly brought up her knee and crashed it hard into the Ferret’s crotch. He let out a sharp gasp of air. Unfortunately for the Ferret, Meredith was still holding him up with arms pinned to his sides. Grindal watched as Mrs. Fromp clenched her fist and slowly pulled her arm back. There was a dull thud as the angry blow caught the Ferret square on the end of his nose. The force of the blow sent both him and Meredith careering across the room. Luckily for Meredith she fell back into an arm chair in the corner. The Ferret was not so lucky; he spun off to one side and hit the wall before falling to the ground like a wet sandbag. His body was limp. He was out cold. Mrs. Fromp was still not satisfied. She vented the rest of her anger on the inert torso.
‘Bastard, bastard, bastard,’ she screamed as she kicked the lifeless form with all the strength she could muster. Fortunately for the Ferret she was only wearing a pair of soft shoes and was no football player.
The whole scenario had only taken a few seconds. Grindal along with the rest of the boarders was still in shock. Dave was the first one to move. He grabbed Mrs Fromp from behind and tried to restrain her.
‘That’s enough now, you’ll kill him,’ he shouted.
‘I’ll kill the bastard alright,’ she shouted back.
Dave lifted Mrs. Fromp’s feet off the ground and physically carried her, still screaming, out of the room. Meanwhile Meredith was now straddled across the Ferret trying to revive him. His nose was bleeding profusely but there were low groaning noises coming from his mouth. The fact that he was alive seemed to take some of the tension out of the situation. Paddy lifted him into the armchair. He pulled a hip flask out of his back pocket and tried to pour the contents down the Ferret’s throat. Grindal grabbed all the paper serviettes from the table to try and stem the bleeding.
The Ferret was reviving quickly and beginning to feel the pain in his groin. The tears were rolling down his face as he doubled up in the chair. Every man in the room felt for him. They did not have to guess the pain he was now suffering.
Meredith sobbed as she stroked the Ferret’s brow. The eye makeup she had been wearing ran down her cheeks leaving a wavy black line. Her hair was ruffled. She looked a mess.
Grindal looked at Meredith and felt both pity and sadness. She did not have much going for her. He hoped the Ferret would do the right thing by her. His instincts told him he wouldn’t. A mother like Edith Fromp made things even worse.
‘Out you bastard.’
Grindal was launched back into the present by the angry cry of Edith Fromp as she stood in the doorway. She was carrying a suitcase and an armful of clothing. She marched down the passage, opened the front door and flung the suitcase and clothing out onto the verandah. She then went back to the Ferret’s room and proceeded to collect everything he owned. All of it was dumped unceremoniously through the door.
‘Come on, you filthy pig,’ she shouted from the front door.
Grindal assessed the situation as being potentially dangerous. It was none of his business, but he decided to take control before things got out of hand. The way Mrs. Fromp was carrying on she might decide to arm herself with a blunt instrument and do some real damage.
Dave, used the phone in the kitchen to call an ambulance.
‘Better to get him out of here before she kills him.’
Grindal walked down the passage towards the front door.
‘Get that fucking animal out of my house or I’ll cut his balls off.’
Mrs. Fromp was still steaming and in Grindal’s opinion, potentially explosive. He moved past her and went outside. The ferret’s clothes were strewn all over the verandah. Grindal picked up the empty suitcase and proceeded to collect the clothing and place it inside. By the time he had collected everything Grindal heard the shrill sound of the siren as the ambulance came down the street.
As the driver jumped out, Joe and Dave appeared at the doorway carrying the Ferret between them. Mrs Fromp was still trying to get at him and the two men tried desperately to fend off the blows she was aiming at the Ferret’s head. The two men in the Ambulance assessed the situation correctly as some kind of ‘domestic’, and quickly bundled the Ferret into the back of the van.
Meredith staggered out of the house helped by a violent push from her mother.
‘You can go too, you filthy slut, and good riddance.’ screamed her mother.
Grindal helped her into the back of the Ambulance. Meredith was still crying as she seated herself on the bench next to the groaning Ferret.
As the ambulance sped away Mrs. Fromp gave a last defiant cry.
‘Bastard.’ She then turned and disappeared into the house.
Grindal walked slowly back into the house. His shoes were covered in mud from the flower garden. They left a trail of brown footprints down the hallway. Joe, Dave, and Paddy were talking together in the dining room. Taff was sitting in the armchair looking very white in the face. Mrs. Fromp was nowhere to be seen.
‘I knew his dick would get him into real trouble one day,’ said Dave.
‘Serves him fucken right. He should have thought about that before he started fucken about with young Meredith,’ replied Paddy.
‘A standing prick has no conscience,’ Dave interjected.
Taff stood up from the chair. ‘Fuck him anyway, serves him right.’
‘And I’m fucken starving,’ said Paddy.
You’ll get no fucken dinner here tonight,’ said Dave dryly.
‘What’s the point? Let’s go to the pub and get something to eat,’ said Joe.
They trouped in single file out of the door leaving Grindal standing alone in the dining room. The house was now quiet. He looked at the broken glass under the table and shook his head. He didn’t know where to find the brush and pan anyway.
Instead of going to the hotel, Grindal went to the local delicatessen. It was run by an old Greek and doubled as a café for simple meals. He ordered bacon and eggs eating them slowly, he watched the locals as they came in to buy their bread and milk. He thought about the events of the evening. Grindal was no prude but felt an inner loathing for the Ferret. He had destroyed two people’s lives just to appease his own selfish sexual appetite. Grindal was certain he felt nothing for either Mrs Fromp or her daughter. He sympathized with both of them but was glad he was not directly involved in the situation. Grindal had problems of his own. Boucher, the person whom he shared his room with would be back within the next couple of days. He knew without even meeting the man that he didn’t want to share with anyone. This left him with two options. He could move into the Ferrets room and stay on. That would definitely be vacant. Or, he could move out. Neither proposition appealed to him. It was not that he liked the boarding house and its inhabitants, it was more the fact that he didn’t want the hassle of moving again so quickly. He decided to sleep on it and make his decision the following day. When he returned to the boarding house, everything was quiet. He presumed the rest of the boarders were still at the hotel. It was freezing cold in his room so Grindal decided to leave the electric radiator on while he slept.
The following day was Sunday. Breakfast was served in the dining room as usual. Mrs. Fromp gave no indication whatsoever that anything unusual had happened the previous night. Grindal was astonished she could look so unperturbed after the violent episode with the Ferret. But then what choice did she have? Taff had telephoned the hospital to enquire after the Ferret. He found out from the ward Sister that he had a broken nose and his testicles were the size of two soccer balls. Apart from that, he was feeling awful.
After breakfast, everyone drifted out of the dining room. Grindal was the last to leave. As he left the room, something caught his eye at the top of the hallway. He turned just in time to catch a glimpse of Meredith peeking through the kitchen doorway. She closed the door quickly. Grindal smiled to himself. He was glad she had come back. He reasoned she was a lot better off with her mother than she was with the Ferret, even though she was a miserable old bag. Anyway, it was none of his business, thank Christ.
The weather was mild and Grindal took a slow walk to the local newsagent. The Sunday paper was something he enjoyed. On his return he decided to sit on the verandah and read the paper. There was a small table and a few chairs overlooking the street. He made himself comfortable and was soon engrossed in his newspaper.
After about an hour his attention was attracted by movement in the street. People were arriving at the hall across the road. It looked like they were going to a church service. Grindal watched them. They were all dressed in their Sunday best. All smiling and gushing, pretending they were glad to see each other. He had no time for religion or the people that pushed it.
‘Bunch of wankers,’ he said to himself.
As he observed them, his mind drifted back to the argument that had caused the rift between his daughter and himself. She had become obsessed with some religious group to the point where it had caused her marriage to break up. Her husband Frank had a similar opinion as himself towards religion. Clare was determined not to let go of her new found Heavenly Father. She was stubborn just like her earthly father. Grindal had taken the side of Frank who he liked a great deal. This he had later regretted, but the damage was done. He had not spoken to his daughter for more than three years. Even at Jessie’s funeral they had ignored each other.
Grindal was tired, he had not slept well lately. He closed his eyes and, in a few moments, he was sound asleep.
The next thing he heard was the sound of a vaguely familiar voice.
‘Dad......Dad, are you all right?’
Grindal blinked his eyes trying to focus on the face before him. He was taken totally by surprise when he recognised the face.
‘Clare, is that you’?
‘What are you doing here? How did you know where I was staying’?
‘I didn’t, I was coming out of the church after the service and saw you sitting here. You looked a bit strange, so I thought I . . .’ Clare was confused. This unplanned meeting with her father had surprised her as much as it had surprised him. She knew that one wrong question or pronouncement might end the chance meeting almost before it had begun.
‘There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m fine.’ Grindal was abrupt with his reply. He saw the reaction it had in his daughter’s face, and immediately regretted being so abrasive.
‘Look, Clare, I’m fine. You don’t have to worry about me.’ He spoke much softer this time but did not look her in the eye.
She sat next to him at the table. ‘I tried to telephone you last week, but the phone was disconnected. I went to the house and saw what had happened and I thought . . .’ Her voice trailed away. Finding the right words seemed to be impossible. She wanted so much for it to go well. For a few long seconds neither of them spoke.
‘What do you want Clare?’ said Grindal finally.
She took an audible deep breath. ‘I want us to be a family again. I want you to come and see the kids. You’re their Grandfather. They don’t have any other family, and I don’t want them to miss out on an important part of their life just because of our argument.’ Some of the tension left her. At least now she had told him what she had been feeling for such a long time.
Grindal could detect the intensity in her voice even though she was trying not to be emotional. It was another chance. Something he needed probably as much as his daughter. And yet still he hesitated. His pride already surfacing.
‘If you’d listened to me in the first-place things could have been different.’
‘But dad, all I want is a new start. Not a re-run of the past.’
Grindal looked at his daughter. She was staring vacantly at the newspaper on the table. Her eyes were red, and her bottom lip was quivering. The morning sun went behind a cloud and cast a shadow on her face. In those few seconds, he saw her as she was all those years ago when, as a child she used to sit beside him and share her problems. His pride dissolved in an instantaneous realization of his own selfishness and stupidity.
He took her hand in his and squeezed it tightly. She turned to him, looked into his eyes, and knew immediately it was going to be all right. Suddenly they were embracing. The tears were streaming down her face. Grindal held his daughter as he had not done so for many years. He too wept silently.
Soon they were both smiling. They had so much to say to each other yet in the aftermath of the reconciliation neither knew where to start. Clare did not want to engage her father in any questioning that might open up old wounds. She was happy that they were now reconciled and silently thanked God for the divine intervention she had prayed for.
‘How long have you been here?’ She asked him.
‘About two weeks.’
‘Do you like it?’
‘Not really. The woman who runs the place is a bit of a dragon and there are a few strange people here.’
‘Will you stay?’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘Where will you go?’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll find somewhere.’
There was a short pause as they were interrupted by an agitated Mrs. Fromp.
‘Can I speak to you when your guest has left Mr. Falcon.’ Grindal nodded in assent.
Clare looked at him and rolled her eyes. ‘I see what you mean.’
She waited until Mrs. Fromp had left. ‘What happened to the house?’
‘Just a stupid accident. My own fault. I was lucky I wasn’t killed in the fire.’
‘Oh dad, I’m so sorry. I know how much it meant to you and mum.’
Grindal grimaced. ‘Ah well, that’s the way it is. Nothing to be done about it now’. He then changed the subject displaying the fact that he did not want to discuss the fire. ‘How are the kids?’
‘Really good. Josh will be leaving school at the end of this term. Says it’s a waste of time. He wants to do a computer course at the local Tafe college.
‘Never was much of a one for school, was he?’ Grindal smiled.
‘Kate’s in year three now. She’s a real bundle of energy. And full of mischief too.’
‘They probably don’t remember much about me?’
Before Clare could reply, they were interrupted by a man on the pavement. He nodded to Grindal and smiled at Clare.
‘Be there in a minute Gerry.’ The man wandered off down the street.
‘That’s my friend Gerry?’ Said Clare in explanation. ‘He brought me to the service this morning.’
Grindal nodded and smiled. Although he was interested who this Gerry character was, he was determined not to be nosy or interfering.
Clare took a deep breath. ‘Why don’t you come and stay with us next weekend? We can catch up on what’s been happening to each other for the past three years.’ Clare smiled but underneath she was extremely nervous.
Grindal was surprised by the offer. ‘I couldn’t do that Clare. I don’t want to cause any more problems between us.’
‘Don’t be silly dad, it’s just for a couple of days. Josh and Kate will really enjoy it.’
‘Anyway, your place is too small,’ said Grindal.
‘There’s a spare bed in Josh’s room. You can share with him. I’m sure he won’t mind.’
Grindal could see that Clare was determined and enthusiastic about the idea. He decided not to spoil the day by directly refusing her offer.
‘Alright Clare, I’ll think about it.’
Clare beamed. ‘Here’s our telephone number, just in case you’ve lost it. Give me a ring and tell me when you’re coming.’ She hesitated realizing she had been carried away by her own eagerness. ‘Anyway, besides that, what about coming for dinner on Wednesday night?’
Grindal smiled. ‘What time?’
‘Is six thirty all right?’
‘Six thirty is fine.’
Gerry was again hovering in the vicinity looking hopefully at Clare. She acknowledged him and stood up.
Grindal and Clare gave each other a big hug before they parted.
‘I’m really happy dad.’ She smiled as she walked away.
‘So am I Clare.’ He waved goodbye as he watched his daughter climb into a car which was parked opposite the boarding house.
‘Happier than I have been for three years,’ he said to himself.
As he walked back into the house he was accosted by Mrs. Fromp. ‘Mr. Falcon, when I was doing your room this morning I found an electric heater. Are you aware of the house rule regarding electric heaters?’
‘No,’ he lied.
‘The rule is quite clear. No electric heaters are allowed. Apart from the untold amount of extra electricity you are using, they are also a fire hazard.’
‘Normally you would be asked to leave immediately. However, because of recent upsets, on this one occasion I’m willing to let the matter drop. But be warned, if I find you using it again, you’ll be out.’
‘What you really mean is, you don’t want to lose two paying guests in as many days. If you were less miserable and heated the place there’d be no need for electric heaters. Apart from that, the way this place is going you’re lucky to have anyone here to break your idiotic rules anyway.’ Grindal walked away without waiting for a reply. ‘Stupid woman.’ He made sure the remark was loud enough for her to hear. Mrs. Fromp looked very angry. Her mouth was wide open, but no sound was coming out.
Grindal went straight to his room and slammed the door. Although it was quite warm, he immediately turned on the heater. His annoyance increased when he realised he had left his unfinished newspaper outside.
‘I bet she fucking steals it,’ he said to himself.
Sure enough, when he went outside a few minutes later, the newspaper had disappeared.
To calm himself down he went for a long walk. It gave him time to think about the unexpected meeting with his daughter. By the time he reached the park some two kilometers from the boarding house, he was feeling much better. The prospect of a new beginning with Clare and contact with his grandchildren was something he had not previously contemplated. Now it was a reality. He was determined that miserable Mrs. Fromp would not spoil his day.
He did not return to the boarding house until late in the afternoon. When he walked into his room, he was totally startled to find a naked man looking under the spare bed. The huge backside and hairy scrotum in full view looked grotesque. The man stood up when he realised someone had come into the room.
‘Hello, I’m Sid Boucher.’ He offered Grindal his outstretched hand. ‘You must be Grindal my new roommate.’
Grindal shook the man’s hand and nodded. He was still coming to terms with the meeting. Boucher was not very tall, but he had an enormous stomach that hung like a bag of wheat attached to his waist. He wore glasses with thick lenses. His smile displayed large yellow teeth which protruded from his open mouth. Grindal perceived him to be about forty years old but with a figure and face like a sunken blancmange it was difficult to tell.
‘I’ll come back in a minute when you find your clothes,’ offered Grindal.
‘Don’t mind me,’ said Boucher. ‘I’m always fairly casual when it comes to wearing clothes. You’ll soon get used to it.’
Grindal nodded his head. ‘Oh yes, I’m sure I will.’ But only until I move out, he thought. He decided the time had come to start looking for a new place immediately. Grindal assessed Boucher as the type of person who lived in a world of his own, someone who did not give a stuff what other people might think of him.
He went over to the wardrobe to change his shirt. Sid was sitting on his bed picking his nose with his right hand and scratching his balls with his left.
‘I see your ambidextrous too,’ said Grindal under his breath.
‘Beg yours,’ said Sid.
‘I see it’s going to rain tomorrow,’ said Grindal.
‘Yes, terrible isn’t it. Not like Queensland. I was on the beach every day. Chatting up the girls, going for a swim. Terrific it was.’
‘Did you win any hearts,’ asked Grindal.
‘As a matter of fact, no,’ said Sid. ‘I can’t understand it. I even bought some new bathers for the trip. He stared inquisitively at something he had just retrieved from his nose.
‘Yes, that’s really strange.’ Grindal walked out of the room leaving Sid still sitting on the edge of his bed. I wouldn’t share a room with him for free, thought Grindal as he left the bedroom. He looked at his watch and decided there was just enough time to walk to the newsagent before dinner. He decided to start searching the papers immediately for somewhere else to stay.
After dinner Grindal joined Taff at the hotel for a couple of hours. When he returned to the boarding house, Sid was already in bed. Or to be more accurate on the bed. Still, with no clothes on.
‘Hello,’ he said cheerfully. ‘Do you mind if I read for a while?’
‘No, go ahead.’
Grindal went to the bathroom. When he came back to the bedroom, Sid was reading what looked like a pornographic magazine. He had an erection and was looking very excited.
‘For fucks sake,’ said Grindal.
Sid appeared not to hear the comment, he was totally engrossed in his magazine. Grindal jumped into bed and faced the wall. He was not tired and the thought of someone else in the room made him feel uncomfortable. He tried to analyse this emotion. Was it because Sid was ugly and uncouth? Or, was it because he had not shared the same room with another person for so long?
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of grunting noises. He turned around to see Sid masturbating frantically in the bed opposite. Holding the magazine in one hand and his dick in the other, he was arching his head back trying to stop his glasses from slipping off the end of his nose. It seemed the picture he was looking at was a very important part of the activity.
Grindal watched the performance. ‘What a wanker,’ he said. Then started laughing at his own joke. The whole situation was just too ridiculous for words. He was laughing so much he had to sit up. Sid was oblivious to the hilarity coming from the other side of the room. His grunting became more impassioned as he reached his climax.
Suddenly it was all over. A last grunt followed by a long sigh, and then complete silence. Grindal too stopped his laughing at the same time as Sid reached his orgasm. It was as if the laughing and the masturbating were somehow connected. Sid now lay silent and motionless on the bed like a beached whale. Grindal stared at him for a moment. He was filled with a feeling of disgust. The emotion confused him. After all, why should he be worried about someone masturbating? He had done it often enough himself. Perhaps it was Sid’s total lack of discretion. He shook his head. ‘Definitely, time I moved on,’ he said softly to himself.
The next two days passed in relative boredom compared with the previous week. Grindal could not get used to seeing Sid wandering naked around the bedroom. He suggested to him that he might find some satisfaction in joining a nudist club. Sid agreed but explained that he was frightened he might be walking around with a hard on all the time. Whilst that didn’t bother him, maybe the other members might not find it acceptable. Grindal couldn’t argue with that and decided to stay right out of Sid’s social life.
When Wednesday came around Grindal was excited. The prospect of visiting his daughter and meeting his grandchildren after such a long time was quite daunting. He had pictured the event in his mind many times over in the past few days. He decided it would be appropriate to purchase a small gift for each of his grandchildren and perhaps some flowers for Clare.
He set out just before lunch and headed for the local shopping centre. He had no idea what to buy for either of his grandchildren and agonized for hours trying to find something suitable. In the end, he decided to buy a bunch of flowers and a large box of chocolates to share between everyone.
When he returned to the boarding house, he was hot and tired. It was early afternoon and the other boarders were still at work. Grindal decided to take a shower. As he stood under the steaming hot water, he tried to relax. He was annoyed with himself for being so up-tight. After all he was only visiting his daughter. But still he worried. The nagging thought he might say or do something to upset everyone.
He breathed deeply and tried to clear the negative thoughts from his head.
Suddenly the steaming hot shower turned into a cascade of ice water. The shock of the change in temperature made him shout as he leaped from the shower cubicle.
There was a hammering on the bathroom door as Grindal wrapped the towel around his shoulders.
‘No more than seven minutes under the shower. Read the rules.’ An angry Mrs. Fromp shouted through the door.
‘You fucking bitch.’ Grindal was suddenly incensed as he realised that it was Mrs. Fromp who had turned off the hot water. Not worrying about the fact that he was naked he wrenched open the door and came face to face with a very sour looking Edith Fromp.
‘What the fuck do you think you’re doing?’
‘Don’t you swear at me, you stupid old bastard. That’s against the house rules too. Can’t you read?’
Grindal was seething, he was so angry. He placed his hands on Mrs. Fromp’s shoulders and shouted into her face.
‘House rules.... I’m sick of you... and your house... and as far as I’m concerned you can stick your house and your rules up your big fat arse.’
‘How dare you speak to me like that? You’re not even dressed. Take your hands off me, you filthy pervert.’
Grindal looked down and was suddenly aware of his nakedness. He turned and went back into the bathroom. ‘Get fucked, you old bag.’ He slammed the door in her face.
‘Get out of my house. Get out of my house immediately or I’ll call the police,’ screamed Mrs. Fromp.
‘Gladly,’ shouted Grindal through the door. ‘And don’t you dare touch any of my stuff.’ Grindal had visions of his clothes being thrown out into the front garden.
He was still furious and dried himself quickly. When he left the bathroom, Mrs. Fromp was nowhere to be seen. He stormed into his room and threw all of his belongings onto the bed. ‘Fucking bitch, fucking bitch,’ he repeated over and over to himself as he stuffed the clothing into his suitcase.
Within five minutes he had everything together. With his suitcase, the bunch of flowers he had bought for Clare, and the electric heater, his hands were full. He dropped the electric heater as he tried to open the door. ‘Fuck it,’ he said. Grindal placed his belongings on the bed whilst he plugged in the heater and left it turned on full.
As he walked out of the front door, he bumped into Sid coming the other way. ‘Hello,’ said Sid. ‘Going somewhere?’
‘Fuck off wanker,’ replied Grindal. He pushed past Sid and stormed up the street suitcase in one hand and the bunch of flowers in the other.
Feeling totally frustrated and still unable to control his anger he held the flowers out in front of him. It was as if the outburst had somehow soiled them. In a fit of total exasperation, he thrust them into the litter bin as he passed the local delicatessen.
As Grindal walked further, his anger began to abate. He breathed deeply and tried to clear his mind. Not far from the boarding house there was a small park. More by reflex rather than intention, he made his way to one of the empty benches. There he sat quietly for a few minutes and assessed his situation.
It was too late in the day to look for anywhere else to stay. He decided he would ask Clare if he could stay at her place. It would only be for one night, two at the most, he reasoned. Hopefully he would find somewhere suitable to live the following day.
He decided it was only fair that he should telephone her and tell her about his situation. That way, if there was a problem with him staying, he would find out over the telephone rather than on her front door step.
It was late in the afternoon when he contacted Clare. She seemed to be quite pleased that he would be staying the night. This made Grindal feel more relaxed about the situation. Luckily, he had worked out the day before how to get to his daughter’s house.