Car 3

Mr James Bartlett

Outward appearance

Young Transport Policeman, skinny, red-cheeked. Gets on at Waterloo. Blocks one doorway as his colleague blocks the other.

Inside information

Still in his first month. James's whole family are in the police, even his mother, who monitors surveillance videos. James's first job was with a merchant bank. It bored him. The computers, the columns of figures. It was also a trade for wide boys. He believed he could help people through police work. But he wanted out from under his family, so went into transport security.

What he is doing or thinking

Has he made a mistake? James's partner seems to have come out of an episode of On the Buses. Prejudiced, unschooled. He leers at the people, who are obviously a group of tourists. What is the point of trying to scare them?

They get out. Bert glowers at the leader. "I wasn't aware that London Underground is a theatre. Are you charging money for this?" The American girl tries to explain. Bert fancies her, so he keeps her talking.

It goes on and on. The radio squawks, Bert eyebrows James to answer it.

Did he hear that right? A train has just gone through the barriers at the Elephant. James hunches over the radio and asks, "Which train, repeat, which train?"

James knows how to stop Bert now. "Excuse me everyone, sorry. We've all been very lucky." James looks at them all. "The train we were on has just crashed."

Even Bert falls silent. They stare down the long black tunnel, curving into darkness. A mouse flees along the track.

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