27: Working Towards The Same Goal

Bob knows he must Keep His Cool if any of them are going to survive this. He catches Linda on her way past and helps himself to the gin she’s carrying, taking a big swig before handing it back with a wink. He breathes out through his nose. He is In Control again.

Where are my men?! he shouts. Where is my pigging team?

Linda and Katerina turn to face him. John and Garry are still AWOL. The girls will have to do.

The borrower who writes all the letters of complaint ambles over to join them. For once he is not complaining. The music seems to have subdued him. He offers himself as a willing helper. Bob gives him the once-over, and, satisfied that he is (a) male and (b) has decent biceps, he slaps him on the back and puts him to work with Linda and Katerina on Manning The Defences.

Linda is still thinking about the instructions from The Boss. She can’t quite figure out who’s meant to escape, but she carries on stacking the books on the chairs anyway. She is certain that it isn’t any of them, otherwise, surely they would have just Exited The Library In An Orderly Fashion when the noise started. She hopes she hasn’t got it wrong. As the Health And Safety Warden, it would have been her job to make sure that happened. But then Bob took charge. She couldn’t stop him. And her job is to Keep Everyone Safe, and that seems to be what Bob is trying to do. She takes a gulp of the gin and picks up some more books, satisfied that they are all Working Towards The Same Goal.

Bob stops to take stock of the situation. The barricade is more than adequate, he thinks. No one is getting in or out. Not on my watch. The noise doesn’t show any signs of abating, but this doesn’t trouble Bob. He is at his peak, after all. This couldn’t have come at a better time. He puffs out his chest and listens to the music, he listens hard. He is invincible, he thinks, he is God.

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