This is the next part of my story about Peggy who is staying with her grandma who lives near a lighthouse. Peggy has been taken on a boat trip by Mr Benbow, a friend of her grandma. Ben, who is a lighthouse keeper has asked Peggy to look after a secret present he has for Mr Benbow and she puts it in her knapsack.
When I got off the Puffin my legs were all wobbly but when Mr. Benbow asked if I was alright I said yes, because I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t a good sailor. He said I was a stout lass. I think stout must mean something different than fat, because I’m not fat. I’m learning a lot of new words and different words. My teacher will think my writing is very varied when I go back to school.
Mr Benbow said he thought he could do with a pint of pigs and maybe I’d like some pop. I was trying to think what he might mean by a pint of pigs but I thought some pop would be jolly fine. We don’t often have pop, mummy says it’s not good for us but I think it is lovely, all fizzy and very refreshing.
There were quite a few people about on the quay and lots of them knew Mr. Benbow, and some of them asked him if I was his granddaughter. He laughed and said no, I was his shipmate – he said I was Mabel’s granddaughter down for my jollies. He does say some really funny things, I laughed because being here for my jollies sounded very humorous.
He had hold of my hand, he didn’t want to lose me, he said, and I thought it would be very nice if he was my grandpa. I don’t have a grandpa. I would like to ask Grandma where my grandpa is, but it might sound rude. I also thought to myself that I’ve not been rude hardly at all since I have been here, perhaps it’s the sea air.
There was a big square white building, and written in black on the wall above the door it said The Olde Ship Inn. My Benson was taking us into the Olde Ship Inn! I’ve not been in an inn before, but I know all about them because I’ve read about them. There was one story where some children were travelling in disguise with someone, I can’t remember who, and they went into an inn in a forest. The most famous inn I know is in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and it’s called the Admiral Benbow – oh gosh, do you think Mr. Benbow is related to Admiral Benbow? I don’t know who he was, but he must be famous to have an Inn named after him.
My mind had wandered because Mr. Benbow was saying did I want a Vimto, I hope I hadn’t been rude and not paid attention to him – I quickly said yes please that would be very nice, even though I don’t know what Vimto is.
“I have never been in an Inn before, Mr. Benbow,” I said to explain.
“Well this is a very fine inn, Peg, and maybe we should have some crisps to celebrate.”
I said yes please that would be very kind, and I wondered what crisps are. I was just thinking this when suddenly I was in the air and then sitting by the counter on a very high stool and Ben was laughing at me.
“There you go Peg, propping up the bar!” he said. “Here’s your bag, you left it on the Puffin,” and he put it on my knee and gave me a big wink with his green eyes.
I remembered he had the secret present in my bag, when would he want me to give it to him? He must be a mind reader because he patted the bag and winked again. I clutched my bag – clutch is an expressive word to use, and I could feel it was nearly empty except for my pad and my book and my sandwiches. Good! He had taken the secret present!
“Here’s your Vimto, Miss Peg!” said Mr. Benbow and put a bottle of a reddy-purple drink in front of me, with a straw.
It was a very nice colour, I had never seen a child’s drink this colour before and I asked if it was wine like Mummy drinks.
Mr. Benbow laughed at this and said I was priceless, and to have a slurp and see if I liked it. Mummy says it’s rude to slurp, but I don’t think Mr. Benbow was being rude, and I took a big slurp through the straw and it was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!
“Just off to see a man about a dog!” I heard Ben say and when I looked he was leaving the inn.
I took another big slurp. “Thank you very much, Mr. Benbow, this is indeed the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!”