Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour 2 (Pages 133 – 156)

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SPOILERS!!!

Archie asks Timothy to be with him the next day when he shows the yacht to some prospective clients.  These clients are Mr and Mrs Ballantyne, who have made their fortune in selling second-hand cars. Mr Ballantyne is a big man, and the woman is some years his senior. As Archie shows the boat, Timothy notices that the woman falls back, checking wardrobes. Once when he turns to check on her, he catches her pinching two silver salt cellars and then a statuette. Timothy doesn’t know what to do as  he knows that if he confronts the Ballantynes, he will put Archie in a difficult position and will lose a sale.

So when Mr Ballantine is busy with Archie, Timothy insists on the woman trying the hot-tub. He is so insistent that Archie looks at him in alarm. The woman eventually accepts, and as she gets into the hot-tub, Timothy offers to bring him some canapé. On doing so, he pretends to stumble with the woman’s handbag, and the contents of it get scattered, showing the salt cellars and the statuette. Mrs Ballantynes jumps out of the hot-tub and runs away, and her husband follows suit, but Timothy is fast enough to stop the man. The two men struggle and as a consequence, Timothy gets a black eye.

The following day Archie and Timothy get a hired car, which Archie’s company will pay for because of what Timothy did. Archie takes him near Nice where a friend of his family lives. Rosamund is a lady in her eighties or seventies, and it is then that Timothy explains that the Ballantynes turned out to be imposters and intended to pick up things from the boat, which they didn’t intend to buy. The real Ballantynes were blissfully unaware in their home in Aberdeen.

This trip is proving to be full of surprises for Timothy. He will have plenty to say in his letters to his daughter.

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