money in the stock exchange. Sometimes they have crashes and over-takers. And they all have points and Daddy takes a special pink newspaper every day to see who’s won. Sometimes he gets very cross. Like bingo really.”

Chapter 10: Lost and Found Bear

    I forgot about being a travelling bear for a few days while Annette was looking after me, but one morning I woke up and remembered Toots and Diddy and Amanda and felt very sad. They would never see me again, I supposed. I was beginning to cry stuffed-bear tears when Annette came in sobbing and picked me up and hugged me.
    â€œMummy says you can’t come to school next week and I did want them all to see you. And I shan’t be coming home till Christmas. You’ll have to stay all on your own.” My nose was getting quite wet. “But never mind,” she said. “Grandma’s knitting you a new cardigan and you can sit on the window seat till I come back.” She dried her eyes and said, “I’d better wash your jersey and trousers and give you a good brushing before I go,” and went off with my special jersey that Auntie Vi had embroidered.
    I was beginning to feel a bit self-conscious of my furless tummy when Annette came rushing in, all arms and legs, and skidded to a stop.
    â€œSebastian, you are lost bear after all.” She waved a piece of paper and I recognised my picture. “It was in your pocket,” she said.
    Luigi must have put it there.
    She ran off, all bright with excitement. I heard her Daddy grumbling and protesting, but at last he gave in and I heard him pick up the telephone and ask for the Paris police. Just like a film!
    Annette came and fetched me down to listen.
    â€œPlumstead here,” he said. “Can I speak to Sergeant Pigeau? It’s about - er - a bear. No, not a real bear, a teddy bear ... Edward ...Teddy ... yes ... no, not lost - found.”
    He drummed his fingers on the table while clicking noises came out of the telephone.
    â€œAh, Sergeant Pigeau? Plumstead here, of Hampstead, England ... Hampstead, yes. No, Mr Plumstead of Hampstead. It’s about your bear, the one you lost. Pardon? No, in the paper. Yes. Yes, that’s right. Really?”
    Annette and I were fizzing with excitement.
    â€œNot far away at all, actually. I’ll write it down.” Annette passed him an old envelope and a pencil. “Twenty-seven, Church Lane. Yes, I’ve got that. Thank you, Sergeant and good-bye.”
    He finished writing down my address and said: “Well, it seems that this bear belongs to a little girl called Amanda who lives in a village in Surrey. And Sergeant Pigeau’s daughter is staying there for a week’s holiday at the moment.”
    â€œCouldn’t we take him back today, Daddy?” pleaded Annette.
    â€œWell, actually I’m due at the Golf Club but I suppose - well - all right. Perhaps after lunch?”
    So it was settled.
    â€œI don’t really want to lose you,” said Annette as her Daddy was driving us along, “but I expect Amanda is missing you terribly.” She straightened my jersey and adjusted my tie but I could see she was feeling sad now that I was going away.
    We turned into Church Lane and I could recognise the houses with their different coloured front doors and painted stonework.
    Mr Plumstead knocked loudly and I heard Amanda’s Mummy calling “It’s the insurance man, dear. Will you let him in?”
    Amanda came to the door and Mr Plumstead, who seemed to be enjoying himself, said, “Are you the young lady that lost a bear? Well, how would he do?” And held me up.
    Amanda’s expression was more surprised than any of the Great Zingo’s models. “Mummy, Mummy, quickly!” she shouted. “It’s Sebastian, he’s come home.”
    Everyone came running. First Géraldine who burst into tears as soon as she saw me, then Amanda’s Mummy, and Auntie Vi and Uncle Alec and

Similar Books

Through a Dark Mist

Marsha Canham

No Man's Land

Pete Ayrton

A Minor Indiscretion

Carole Matthews

Kansas City Noir

Steve Paul


Stanislaw Lem