The Governor Quotes in Evans Tries an O-Level
“There’s no record of violence. Quite a pleasant sort of chap, they tell me. Bit of a card, really. One of the stars at the Christmas concert. Imitations, you know the sort of thing: Mike Yarwood stuff. No, he’s just a congenital kleptomaniac, that’s all.”
Was this the sort of thing the Governor had feared? Was the phone call a fake? Some signal? Some secret message…? But he could check on that immediately. He dialed the number of the Examinations Board, but heard only the staccato bleeps of a line engaged. But then the line was engaged, wasn’t it? Yes. Not very intelligent, that…
“And which one of you two morons was it who took Evans for a nice little walk to the main gates and waved him bye-bye?”
“It was me, sir,” stammered Stephens. “Just like you told me, sir. I could have sworn—”
“What? Just like I told you, you say? What the hell—?”
“When you rang, sir, and told me to—”
“When was that?” The Governor’s voice was a whiplash now.
“You know, sir. About twenty past eleven just before—”
“You blithering idiot, man! It wasn’t me who rang you. Don’t you realise—” But what was the use? He had used the telephone at that time, but only to try (unsuccessfully, once more) to get through to the Examinations Board.
“Tell me, Evans. How did you manage to plan all this business? You’ve had no visitors—I’ve seen to that. You’ve had no letters—”
“I’ve got lots of friends, though.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Me German teacher, for a start.”
“You mean—? But he was from the Technical College.”
“Was ‘e?” Evans was almost enjoying it all now. “Ever check up on ‘im, sir?”
“God Almighty! There’s far more going on than I—”
“Always will be, sir.”
“See you soon, Evans.” It was almost as if the Governor were saying farewell to an old friend after a cocktail party.
“Cheerio, sir. I, er, I was just wonderin’. I know your German’s pretty good, sir, but do you know any more o’ these modern languages?”
“Not very well. Why?”
Evans settled himself comfortably on the back seat, and grinned happily. “Nothin’, really. I just ‘appened to notice that you’ve got some O-level Italian classes comin’ up next September, that’s all.”
“Perhaps you won’t be with us next September, Evans.”
James Roderick Evans appeared to ponder the Governor’s words deeply. “No. P’r’aps I won’t,” he said.