SHOT OF RYTHM AND BLUES
It was a warm night and the air had a smell of summer about it. GR and Eileen were walking home from the Joyburger. Eileen was in a bubbly mood, GR however was in deep thought. He wasn't happy about the Joyburger, it wasn't a bike kaff. There were Mods there and of course the Henry Prince Estate Mob. Already that lot had brought the Police with their fighting and thieving. Still it was handy having a base within walking distance of home when you'd dropped your bike and it was off the road. GR looked sideways at Eileen, who was trying to blow smoke rings and laughing at her own efforts, and wondered how much longer he would have her company with his machine off the road for at least a week, maybe two. Perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't been on the back when it had happened. Oh well, having a girl who went fifty/fifty with the petrol wasn't everything. The sound of a bike caught their attention and they both looked round to watch.
"Totter and Viv" GR studied the line Totter took for the S bend. "He's going far too fast, he'll never make it".
Totter came up to the first road island and really cranked it over round the tight right hander sending up a stream of sparks from the silencer of the venerable Bantam. Going far too fast he took the bend too wide and didn't leave himself enough space for the left hander. He twitched the bike right over. The back wheel slid away, the centre stand dug into the tarmac and the bike jerked upright. Viv stepped off. The right side of the bike hit the second road island causing it to jump, the bike did a somersault and landed on its opposite side, skidding across the other side of the road, dragging Totter with it.
GR and Eileen ran across to Viv who was sitting in the middle of the road none the worse for wear. "Why didn't he get off?" GR yelled. Viv shrugged and joined the other two and they rushed to where Totter was lying beside his bike.
"Evening GR" Totter looked up and surveyed the scene. "Have I done anything to the bike?" The two girls pulled Totter onto the pavement.
GR uprighted the battered bike and pushed it down an alley. He came over to Totter and gave a noncommittal grunt. "So so. How are you?" Totter looked down at his right knee where blood was welling through his torn jeans. The sodium lighting made the blood look a dirty brown and almost unreal.
"Oh" Totter tried to get up. His head swam as shock started to set in. He tried to get up and almost passed out. He waited for the world to stop going round. The blood oozed thickly from his leg and onto the paving stones. Totter looked up and smiled wanly. "Looks like the old stitches have burst again. I always did do things in style."
GR turned to Eileen who was looking the other way and still trying to blow smoke rings "Oi, Puff the magic dragon." She looked over, being careful to keep her eyes off of Totter's leg. "Get back to Joyburger, fast. Get Lew to bring the sidecar and tell him to leave the back off. Totter will have to keep his legs straight." Eileen ran off, glad to be gone. GR and Viv tried to do what they could to stop the blood.
It was a long five minutes before the bikes arrived. Carefully Lew and Foxy helped Totter to hobble across to the sidecar. Lew had removed the back and Totter sat in it facing backwards with Viv behind him to give him support. The lads inspected the damage whilst the loading operation went on and removed the broken glass from the road.
"Shouldn't we have a red cross on the chair or summat?" asked Gurn.
"At least it won't cost me fourteen bob for an ambulance" Totter called across to Lew who was performing acrobatics on the kick start.
"That's what you think Isaac." The old bike coughed into life, Lew put it into first gear and pulled off, his motorcycle outriders forming up around him.
"Surely Lew won't charge him?" asked an incredulous Eileen.
"No, the hospital will though, ambulance or no ambulance. I once got done on an emergency run for a hospital delivering blood samples they wanted urgently. They still charged me, the Shylocks." GR pulled Totter's bike up from the wall it was propped up against. "Oh well, better take this home and put it in the front garden."
Eileen lit another fag and inhaled deeply. "Yes, let's go. I've had enough of crashes to last me."
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