Ruth grabbed John by one of his protruding ears.
“Move your violin case to the luggage compartment,” she demanded. “I’m sitting in the front seat.”
John grumbled but unstrapped the case and Ruth carried round to the back of the car and put it in with the other cases. That’s funny, she thought, why does he have two violin cases? Has he bought a new violin? She reached to open the case but John stopped her.
“Don’t touch that,” he said.
“Why how rude,” protested Ruth, “Why ever not?”
John was clearly floundering, “Eh well, em. Well let’s get going shall we?”
“Aye lassie,” shouted Aggie from the back seat of the car, “We best get going noo while the bairns are sleep?”
“The twins are sleeping,” declared Ruth, “how did you get them to sleep so quickly?”
“Aye, it’s a wonder whit a wee drap o’ whiskey can dae,” replied Aggie.
Ruth made a mental note, one not to let Aggie give the twins any more whiskey; she didn’t what them getting any bad habits. And two, she would make sure she found out what was in the second violin case. Hopefully not whiskey.
Still there would be plenty of time for that on the tour.
Ruth climbed into the car and of John drove heading off to France and the continent.
The car made good progress though the relatively smooth streets of London. Out they drove out past Rye Common, skirting round Blackheath and out into the countryside.
“Don’t your parents live oot here?” asked Aggie.
“Oh, yes,” said Ruth uncertainly. Somehow she wasn’t sure she would be able to cope with her family today. “I don’t think we have time to drop in if we are going to meet the ferry. Besides, they won’t know we’re coming, I’d rather let them know in advance so they can be ready.” And so that I can be ready for them, Ruth thought.
“Well, now we’re out in the country let’s see what this baby can do,” said John and pushed his foot down hard on the accelerator.
“Slow down John,” said Ruth, clutching her hat. “The roads are too bumpy to go racing.”
“Nonsense,” said John, and pushed on regardless.
The road was indeed bumpy. Ruth felt a little ill as the car lurched around like a ship in a storm as it speed through the country lanes.
“Slow doon John, before-” said Aggie.
But it was too late. Spirit, who had been sitting behind Ruth, began to retch and suddenly a mass of green flying vomit covered Ruth from top to bottom.
“Stop the car,” screamed Ruth with horror.
John pulled over at a conveniently located public house where Ruth was able to rushing and clean herself.
“Those lavatories are for customers only,” shouted the Barman. But when Ruth turned and glared at him, he quietened down quickly.
“This is all your fault John,” said Ruth when she got back to the car.
“Dinnae worry, lassie,” said Aggie, “I’ve swapped places wi’ the dug. Me and the wains will sit behind you and Spirit will sit behind John.”
“That should be alright,” said Ruth, “thank you Aggie, that’s a good idea.”
They were now somewhere outside of Maidstone and set off again.
“I’ll need to be quick if we’re to catch that ferry,” said John.
“On your head be it,” said Ruth and pictured a whole load of dog vomit on John’s head. Part of her hoped Spirit would be sick again. That was only fair. Ruth felt much cheerier.
John got the old gal going like a rocket. They whizzed along the country lanes and bumped up and down. Ruth’s teeth rattled together as the car went over one particularly deep pothole. And that’s when it happened.
“Watch oot,” called Aggie, and one of the twins, Clementine Ruth thought it was, gave out a loud burping noise. And then, a smelly yellow liquid sprayed all over the back of Ruth’s head.
“Not again,” screamed Ruth. “Stop the car.
This time there was no convenient Public House for Ruth to wash herself down in, but there was a horse trough. A horse trough, grumbled Ruth to herself, how undignified. But there was nothing else for it but stick her head into the trough and wash the baby vomit from her hair.
“Are you done, Dearie?” asked Aggie.
“I suppose so,” said Ruth.
“Why don’t I sit in the front with the twins,” said Aggie.
Aggie was standing out on the road holding the twins. She had thoughtfully build a barricade down the middle of the back seat with suitcases, so that Spirit would not be able to snap and bite at Ruth when she sat next to him.
“That’s very kind of you,” agreed Ruth. She certainly did not want any more baby or dog vomit in her hair. “I think that would be best after all.” And clambered into the back seat.
Off they went again. Actually, in some ways it was nicer in the back. Ruth began to relax and lie back. She should be safe enough here. Spirit was growling and trying to bite her through Aggie’s barricade, but it was too well made for him. She was quite safe. This is the life, thought Ruth, but then disaster.
Charlotte’s head swivelled one hundred and eighty degrees, so that she was staring right at Ruth. Her eerie golden eyes stared at her. Was there a hint of malice in them, just for a moment? Then without warning Charlotte opened her mouth. Out spewed the foulest smelling green liquid sprayed all over Ruth’s face and frock.
“No,” screamed Ruth. “No, not again.”
Charlotte smiled at Ruth. The devious little-, thought Ruth, she did that on purpose.
“I’m sorry,” said John, “I can’t stop and anyway, we’re almost there.”
“Aye, look girls, I can see the big boat,” said Aggie. “Here,” she continued, “Wipe yourself with this,” and handed Ruth a towel.
Next Ruth, John, Aggie, Spirit and the girls head over to Calais. But wait, can witches cross water? We’ll need to find out.