Never Judge a Book
No, sir, we don’t hold property any more. Not since 1 October. Yes, you did just miss out. Yes, if it was a gold bar we probably would look after it and if you ever find one of those on a park bench then don’t hesitate to come straight here. But this is a book. Well, look after it but leave us the details and we’ll contact you if anybody asks after it. Twenty eight days. It’s yours after twenty eight days, but if the owner turns up they might try to claim it back in court. Well, no, it’s a bit tatty so probably not. Yes, sir, it does look quite old. I’m no expert but I’d guess nineteenth century. No, not a thousand years old. Well, first because it doesn’t look a thousand years old, second because the earliest printing press was invented less than six hundred years ago. No, sir, I’ve already said I’m not an expert, I just paid attention at school. Well, sir, I’m still a sergeant because I made certain career choices; choices I sometimes wonder about.
Look, do you want to report this found item or not? No, you can’t just dump it in the bin. Because we can’t have people walking into a police station just to bin stuff. What do you think you can do with it? Read it maybe? French? It’s not written in French – that’s Latin. Yes, I’m sure. Because I can recognise Latin even if I can’t understand it. Give it here. Praemium lege vestra – something to do with premium: the best of something or a price? No idea, sir, maybe it’s a Victorian self-improvement book. No, you won’t be able to improve yourself much.
Right then, if you’d just like to complete one of these, er, one of these… I’m sorry, I had a pile of forms right here this morning. Stay right there, sir, and I’ll just get a couple more, I won’t be a second.
Right, now where did I put those forms? God, what is that smell? Is somebody burning a cat out there?
Oh great, he’s gone, what a surprise. And we’ve gained a tatty old book written in Latin. Funny, it looks bigger than I remember – much bigger. Oh, this can’t be the same book. Bloody little chancer taking the Micky out of me. Title’s in English: Read your Reward.
398 words excl title