As I am passing the Lone Gelding I hear loud retorts and the thunder of rolling metal. Stokes, the landlord, is out at the back again with his shotgun and Jack Russell, blasting at foxes.
He rarely empties the large catering bins, which attract them in numbers from the fields around. Probably this neglect is deliberate as, witnessing him aiming and firing in silhouette, anyone can see he revels in his sport. He also takes the odd potshot at Brunt’s yard in the hope of taking out Russell, who is now crowing at dusk and supper time as well as before dawn.
I ponder the complete lack of attractive personalities in the village. Stokes’ personality, for instance, has hardly a positive trait and nor has his appearance. Think of how he leers at revellers from the shadows behind the bar: yellow dome circled by straggling hair, a seedy Dickensian miser in a holey cardigan.
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