2.2 : London Nights

He took a bed that night, lumpy and bitten, but a bed. The London Society for Promotion of Christianity among the Jews, (Barbican Mission), was run by Reverend Lypshytz. Sixty-five years old, he was a convert, not unsympathetic to those in his care.

“Master Trebitsch as I explained your stay here was only temporary, I’m sorry,” he adjusted his spectacles. “You must leave us.”

“But where? Where? Don’t you see? If I am to follow the Lord’s path, he must let me rest on the way.”

“Yes. The mission in Bristol has beds free. I checked with Reverend Epstein though is a journey.”

“Yes, but yes. Most suitable.”

“You would have to leave on Thursday.”

Ignacz jumped and took Lypshytz’s hand. “Thank you, thank you, Reverend…Ah, but the travel. I fear the generous stipend may not cover the travel and as it is not due for a while, would it be agreeable if I asked for a small advance?”

Lypshytz found it “manageable”. So he rode the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company horse-bus, passed factory smoke-stacks and fields of English beauty. He divided his time with the Times, the Mail, the Acts of the Apostles and a Pensford girl who didn’t further his advances.

The London Jews’ Society was easy to find.  Cold sea air glided underneath the doors. Its cracked and damp walls held ghosts. John Moses Epstein, the proprietor, was older than the old building. He had a dropped face, tired eyes too, and greasy white sideburns coloured as done logs from a long spent fire. Epstein gathered the new residents in the seminary. They took seats in tight school room desks. Ignacz crossed the vacuous critters to a desk at the window.  Before Epstein began, he was already agitated.

 

Image attribution: A.P. Wolf, JTR Forums 

Ignacz The Watch Thief is serialised five days a week. To donate go to patreon.com/andyluke and access four advance chapters, commentaries and bonus art.

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