BRIAN, watched by his mother, stood in the paddling-pool without becoming part of the fray. His vacant blue eyes were caught by the broad elbow of the river, though he couldn't be entirely captivated by its movement, and he clutched a mouth-organ as knuckle-duster in case the flying bolts of screamed-up kids should on purpose or accidentally jolt him face down into the gritty water.
Thinking he needed fresh air from the bug-eaten back-to-backs of Albion Yard, Vera had put on their coats and led him up Wilford Road, meaning to save threeha'pence by walking in order to buy him an ice-cream cornet on the way. Maybe she'd even get a free ride back on a tram by saying Brian was under five and winking at the conductor. Harold would paste her if he knew, but then, what the eye don't see the heart don't grieve, and that was the end of that by the time they'd reached the railway bridge and Brian clamoured to see a train drive underneath. Satisfied only when coughing smoke back at the loco-funnel, they walked as far as a boat on the Trent and cows by the far bank chewing