‘You shouldn’t be in here Toby. You’ll be costing me my licence.’
Toby sat on a stool, his short legs dangling and counted pennies into piles of ten. The collection jar had sat on the bar forever. Punters dumped their spare change into it. No one ever asked what happened to the money but from time to time I would bag it up and drop it in at Oxfam.
‘We’re lucky aren’t we Daddy?’
‘Yes Toby. We are very lucky.’
It’s not luck I thought. It’s hard graft but I held my tongue.
‘Danny’s not lucky,’ Toby said and then he slid down from the stool and ran into the back.
I served a couple of regulars and then I set about bagging up the coins.Toby’s bags were all short by 10p. That made 70p.
‘Tobes? Did you take some of the jar money?’ I asked at teatime. Toby looked me straight in the eye and lied. I gave him the lecture about honesty, integrity, trust. ‘People put money in that jar for charity Toby. You mustn’t take it for yourself.’
Toby didn’t speak for a long time.
“Danny had toast at break today. From the tuck shop,’ he said.