Having just deposited their cash in the bank, Lennie was swinging an empty briefcase and humming happily to himself, as they strolled along in the morning sunshine.
‘I say, Lennie, perhaps I shouldn't have had all those ice creams yesterday.’
‘Why? Don't tell me you've got a bad tummy, too, like that would-be client of ours?’
‘No, no! My tummy's fine; it's just that I feel bad about spending so much money on ice creams.’
Lennie laughed. ‘Don’t worry about it! Beagle and Husky did well enough to buy an ice cream shop, not just a few ice creams!’
‘Really? Shall we?
‘No, silly! I was only joking. We did make lots of money, but not enough for that; nor even quite enough for our ticket to St Petersburg.’
Creamy's face fell.
‘Cheer up, friend of my youth,’ said Lennie trying to jolly him along. ‘I've thought of something interesting for us to do to make more money. It came to me when I was calculating our takings on the computer. You'll enjoy it, Creamy, being so fond of gadgets.’
Creamy brightened up. ‘Really? What is it then?’
‘Well, you know my friend, the Monk?’
‘The Monk? Never heard of him.’
‘Of course, you have. You even met him! He is a monkey I met at Oxford; walks about clutching his certificate in his hand.’
‘Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember somebody like that…’
‘Well, the Monk used to work very hard at Oxford.’
Creamy shot an anxious glance at Lennie; hearing the word work always made him a little anxious. ‘Is there a point to this story? I hope it's not what I think it is.’
‘There is always a point to my stories,’ said Lennie, ‘and the point of this one is that we've got to work again.’
‘I knew it,’ muttered Creamy in a resigned sort of way. ‘Oh, look! There's a bus shelter over there, with a nice little bench inside. Let's sit down. I always listen better when I'm sitting down.’
‘Right-o, let's sit,’ said Lennie. ‘So, as I was saying, Monk worked very hard and …Creamy! Are you listening or not?’
Creamy, who had draped his feet over the side of the bench and closed his eyes, sat up with a jerk. ‘Of course, I'm listening. Been resting my eyes a bit, that's all.’
‘Well, don't! Anyway, after Oxford the Monk worked as a trader on the stock exchange for a while. At the click of a mouse, he would buy or sell …’
Creamy shuddered. ‘A mouse! You won't get me going anywhere near a mouse.’
‘Not that sort of mouse. The computer mouse.’
Creamy yawned, but catching Lennie's stern eye, managed to change his yawn quickly to a cough. ‘Something in my throat,’ he mumbled.
‘Right. The point I'm making is that these days you can trade using a computer.
‘Ah! But we haven't got a computer,’ pointed out Creamy, just to prove he was awake, though his eyes were beginning to glaze over ever so slightly – as they usually did at any mention of work.
‘Doesn't matter,’ said Lennie. ‘What you do is you go to a café – they are called internet cafés – and you can use a computer there all day long.’
‘No, really? How interesting,’ murmured Creamy, suppressing another yawn.