This delicious half of bitter that I enjoyed at a pub in Kings Langley put me in mind of the verger in An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity:
I wandered through cobbled yards and across muddy playgrounds, replaying the ghastly scenes, and rehearsing what I should tell Thea. After an hour I found myself back near the shop and on the doorstep of the Bear and Fox. I slipped in, ordered a double Scotch, and found a seat half hidden behind a timber beam. My meditation was broken by the verger, who had his half of bitter at the bar each evening before going home.
“Not poorly are we?” he asked in social workerish tones.
“Just a little overwrought.”
” I say. Don’t think I’m being pushy, but you know that even if you aren’t a friend of Jesus, the cathedral is a splendid place to just sit and reflect …”
I could have kissed the verger. The certainty of his faith shone from his little currant bun face, and I saw at once that I had to go home and tell Thea everything. Well, almost everything. I swigged off the Scotch, thanked him and went home.
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An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity