It was a Friday afternoon in the early thirties. I was sharing one of those two-kid desks for the lesson - reading of Children's Newspapers.
The kid next to me had been a classmate since we started in the infant's class at the church school, St. Paul's up on the moor. Every now and then he'd pull his "Uncles Watch" by its chain from his top pocket and meddle with it rather then look at the time. He'd spring open the front cover and then with a penknife, open the back and the hinged glass.
He nudged me trying to avoid the attention of "Old Pinslatt" All the teachers were "Old" Ma or Daddy someone or other.
"I've broken the finger of me uncles watch."
I saw it lying across the bottom of the glass, broken off at the thin point on the fixed end. "Me uncle 'll kill me."
Colin's "Uncle" was known to everyone in the district; he was tall, very tall, wore a flat cap and raincoat, and hurried along with shoulders hunched, and his hands thrust in the slit-pockets. When he'd called Colin in at night, I felt frightened. He worked regular nights leaving the house at nine-thirty prompt. But once he'd passed our house I knew no more of his work routine, except that he must have arrived home again at some time in the morning, and that before he went to bed he hung up his silver pocket watch, by the chain, on the nail beside the mantle piece.
Colin was allowed to use the watch all day on the strict understanding that it must be back on the nail by nine thirty p.m. An arrangement, which has since led me to think that the watch had originally belonged either to Colin, or his Dad, who had been drown at sea.
In the schoolyard at four thirty p.m. Col was waiting as I left the cloakroom - he never had a coat.
"How much 've you got, p'haps we c'n get it fixed?"
I didn't want to part with the three half pence I had, feeling that it would certainly be going to a lost cause.
"I've got tuppence."
"An' I know where I can get more.
At this glint of hope I admitted my three halfpence and followed Col as he related his plan.
We hurried up the hill on the opposite side of the valley to the old school and though I was increasingly despairing at the sound of Col's plan I knew that I had committed myself.
"It'll work," Col' said, "I've done it before for me mam's bus fare."
"One and nine," said the watch maker, " 'n' 't'll be ready for arf seven, I shut at eight."
I thought: - Two miles back home to call home, then a mile across the fields and up the hill past the old school to the church on the moor. "We'll hardly time," I told Colin," hoping to deter him.
"Just call in, don't stop," he said, " 'n I'll see you in the fields by the golf course."
We arrived on the moor by the edge of the churchyard and Colin scrambled up the wall beside the gent's urinal. He lay among the bushes on the bank, overlooking both the graveyard on one side and the open topped urinal on the other. Peering through the long grass he nodded me to follow..END OF 514 WORD SAMPLE OF 1,249 WORDS.