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Chapter 1

I asked for a twin room! Three twin rooms - that was the booking! Do you hear me? Twin rooms, not doubles. Now sort it out!”

The desk clerk looked at the finger that was prodding at the counter before him, and then his eyes wandered up to the towering figure of Tam Calder who was the owner of the offending digit. It was an intimidating sight that was confronting the young man. The broadly built, six foot Glaswegian did not look a happy man - a three hour delay at the airport, and perhaps one too many drams at the bar whilst waiting for the call to board the flight, had put Big Tam in a tetchy mood. And now this news about the room allocation was turning that tetchiness into full blown grizzliness, and that wasn’t good news for anyone. A bear with a sore head was how many people described him - and that was his normal state. Big Tam in a bad mood with a few whiskies inside him was not something to be easily tackled.

The desk clerk however looked totally unimpressed and returned his eyes to the computer screen before him. “I’m sorry, sir. That was not the request made. There were no twin rooms available when we took the call. That was explained when the booking was made – we only have doubles.”

Tam Calder turned round and glared at one of his fellow travels. “John, is that right?”

John Taggart looked a little bit flustered. “Err, well... aye, I suppose it’s possible. The guy was speaking French at the time. I could have got it mixed up. It’s been ten years since I sat my O’ Level for fucks sake, and I haven’t spoke a word of it since.”

Could you not have spoke to him in English then? He’s speaking it fine now! Could you not have mustered a wee, Parlez-vous Anglais?”

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