The shop was down a gloomy, beat-up
lane, in an obscure part of town. William
was with me. I pushed open the battered
door, and we moved inside. A curious
toad-like man was sitting at the counter.
He looked up. His fishy eyes, behind huge
bottle-top glasses, expressed only mild
interest. How can I help you? he asked,
in a bland, slippery way. He showed
absolutely no curiosity about our ages.
I placed Mother’s watch on the counter.
So, what have we here? he asked, his
eyebrows beetling with professional
excitement. I want a fair deal, I said
firmly. The negotiating had begun.