Car 4

Mr Nicholas Paganos

Outward appearance

A gangster from a 1930s movie. Plump, groomed, handsome, with slick wavy hair, and a suit and a tie. Curve of his mouth gives a permanently satisfied look.

Inside information

Owner-manager of gentleman's hairdressers on Lower Marsh. Came from Cyprus just after the troubles in the sixties, when he was just a child. Happily married, one son in university, one daughter taking A levels.

What he is doing or thinking

His third child, 12-year old Angelica, has the potential to be a professional tennis player. Her teachers spotted it first. She began to train an hour every day after school, and win weekend tournaments. On Saturdays, the family would watch Angelica play. She looked so small and frail with the huge racket. But her very smallness, hardness was a kind of strength.

They've been told that now she needs professional, individual coaching. This is different from lessons. This means someone who devotes himself to training her. They are talking Olympics. They talking prize money. They are talking fees that he can't afford.

Nicholas remembers driving out of Cyprus. There was a terrible smell, and the car crept cautiously into a village. A man in khaki trousers lay in the dust, and suddenly, his mother's hands covered his eyes. Your life is upended, you change countries, you cut hair, and suddenly you have a chance for your daughter to really achieve something. And she wants it. She works so hard, so small, so serious, her face like a little hazelnut. What wouldn't he do?

Nicholas decides. He'll remortgage his house.

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