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39

the poor man and grip the bottom of his long coat and he would swing his coat around lifting the dog up in die air, all the while cursing and swearing. My brother and I would run away and split our sides laughing until the tears ran down our cheeks. Our dog was really a gentle creature and he was only playing, although Ginger never knew this. Each time he called after that, he would have a half brick in his barrow, which he always picked up and threatened to hit our dog with, so we kept our distance.
Our local police sergeant was Cossar Brown and this was a man to respect and fear. If we were playing innocently in the street at tig and saw Cossar and one of his constables with him approaching us, we would all suddenly become very polite and sit down on the kerb quietly until he had passed. Even the threat of the police was enough to send us all packing. We would play Chap Door Run, which was best played in blocks of houses where there were no front gardens or gates to hamper your escape, so we played in the Ponderosa or Inchview, as we would run down the vennels and chap three doors at a time then hide in another vennel. This was smashing fun for us* but not for the occupants of the houses. Sometimes one of the wifies would phone the police arid that was the game finished.
I would often supplement my daily threepenny bit by asking favourite neighbours if I could go for messages for them after school. This was a profitable business for me. I also went to a certain house from which I was strictly banned because the man of the house, according to the neighbourhood gossips, was a drunk. He did enjoy a drink, I knew that. Indeed the reason I visited and asked his wife if she wanted any messages or errands run, was that I knew I would be offered the empty beer bottles in repayment instead of cash there was always at least six empties and at tuppence for each one, I made a tidy sum. The only risk I took was returning die empties, as they were to be returned to the Forth Tavern known locally as The Goth. You had to go in the front doors to the Jug Bar with empties, so you were on public view to all the regulars and my next door neighbour was always there. I was frightened he would mention to my dad that I had been in the Jug returning empties, so I would crouch down and put the bottles on the counter and hide until the barman had time to serve me and give me my money. After this transaction took place, I would cross the road to Johnny's Antonelli's chip shop and purchase chips and ice cream, safe until another day.
Tuesdays were the days I had to go up the hill to the sub post office, which was known as Mrs Beith's after the lady who served in the shop and I believed at the time owned it. This shop has changed many hands
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