The still summer day’s sluggish temperature was broken intermittently by the chirping of birds. Not even the wind could bring itself to muster a gentle breeze in the heat. Soft creaks emanated from the canopy that a single figure sat beneath.
The figure remained motionless, his gaze fixed on a crow in the distance, across the train tracks and far away in the fields ahead. Its head turned, as if curious. It studied the ground under it, occasionally ruffling its feathers to dispel itself of the clinging heat, and the assorted insects that accompanied it. A shadow,
as dark as the crow itself, glided across the figure of the crow. Seeing this, the crow suddenly jerked its head towards the sky, exuded a cry and presently flapped into the air and flew frantically from danger.
The shadow, in the shape of some hawk or other large raptor, seeing its prey flee, let out a noise of frustration and made its way slowly elsewhere.
Observing this, Sir Gregory was broken from his reverie. Taking from his jacket pocket a spotted handkerchief, he lifted his cumbersome bowler hat and wiped away the moisture that had accumulated beneath the heavy fabric. Having done so, he produced a silver pocket watch from another pocket. Its case, upon catching the strong sunlight, revealed heavy scratches, and numerous dents and bumps of varying size and severity. Sir Gregory flicked it open, observing the two miniature hands within, relentlessly turning despite the sun beating down.
Sir Gregory did not read what the clock face said however, it was not of importance at the moment. Facing the fact that the train itself would tell him the time when it decided to appear at the little railway station in the middle of nowhere. Totally alone, and rather worn down by boredom and the time of day, he saw it appropriate to take from an inside pocket of his jacket a perfectly polished flask of what, from the strong smell issuing forth, must have been some form of alcohol.
It was only under these circumstances, of course, with there being no-one around that he was drinking at this time and in such an unusual place, he told himself. His thirst quenched, he returned to his lonely vigil for the locomotive, which had not yet appeared.