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Old Christmas by Washington Irving

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I used to be a gardener and one day I was at an old guy's house trimming and cutting back and maintaining his garden as usual and at some stage stopped for a drink. He told me that he was sorting out his books as he needed to get rid of a lot of them because they were taking up too much room. I didn't know until then that he had a load of books so I told him that if he had any by Washington Irving that I would be interested in buying them from him. He said he would keep it in mind as he continued to sort out the hundreds and hundreds that he had.Next time I went, he produced Old Christmas and also Christmas at Bracebridge Hall both by Washington Irving. When we finished tidying the garden and were clearing away out tools, I intended speaking to him about the books, but before I could do so he gave them to me and would not have anything in return for them. He might have had other books that I would have been interested in but by giving them to me he made it impossble for me to ask him about any others as I then felt I could be seen to be taking advantage. I had a similar experience whilst serving as a Police Officer. I went to a fish and chip shop to get my tea and the chip shop owner wrapped them up and then handed them to me saying words to the effect of 'We don't charge you lads'. I never did use that chip shop again. If it was a ploy to keep me away it worked, but I know there were others who did go in most weeks, and I presume they didn't pay. I still have the books and I still wonder what others he might have had?


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