Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2007

O’Malley’s Reprisal

“Is this us?” she said. “Are you a guessing person?” he replied. There is not much to guess to be truthful. It is North Station, Boston, 06:51:38 PM. There are nine empty platforms and only one that entertains a train: Track 8. Some of those that are waiting have made the obvious assumption and have started to board the train already. The others, including O’Malley, stand swapping glances from the train to the departure board. Their train is top of the list, the 06:55 PM to Haverhill, but the track has yet to be announced and they remain unconvinced. It seems an obvious choice, as already suggested, but O’Malley doesn’t go for it. He did once, and that time he had the luxury of an almost empty train, half a car to himself: a risk taken, reward given, and he who does not take risks does not drink champagne. On that occasion, as he sat in the half empty train, he looked out the window to see a train arriving at the last minute and his suspicions were confirmed: the one arriving was the on…