Diane Waumsley parked her bike outside the Cricketers Arms on Winham Road. Famished, she secured the bike with the combination lock and entered the pub.
She wore a woolen sweater with a slight roll at the neck and flared pants. One pant leg had been tied off to prevent it from becoming ensnared in the bicycle chain. A bob of her long hair was enclosed in a loosely knitted snood which held it close to her nape.
It took a few moments for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior. There were booths on both sides and tables in front of her. The smell of spilt beer and fish and chips made her stomach gurgle. It was busier than she expected.
Someone at one of the tables called out, “Don’t be shy lass, come in and sit with me.” He patted his lap.
“Put a sock in it, Gordie. Leave the girl alone,” the bartender bellowed from the bar. “Or you’ll be out on your duff.”
The straight bar counter was painted brown with thick yellow imitation graining on the front panels. Four yellowish white china handles with shiny brass atop stood up from its counter. Behind the bar, rows of bottles and glasses reflected from shelves along a large mirror.
The bartender-proprietor leaned on the counter. “What can I do for you young lady?” he asked, watching her approach.
“Have you got a menu?”
A broad smile filled his face. “Nothing fancy here. That’s it…” He thumbed toward the sign be...