Learn from the Travel Experiences of Others
The driver of the old banger that stopped already had a woman in the car; presumably his wife, and four little children.
The hoot of his horn was the cue for lift number two. Both rucksacks were crammed into the boot by the lady in the front, while Andrew and Danny squeezed themselves in amongst the brood.
With his elbow somehow controlling the steering-wheel, the driver opened bottles of beer on the ashtray and passed them to his guests. His wife smiled as he drained his second bottle and burped up a 'Salut'. Heaven forbid a similar driver on the Alps!
To the children, the strangers were an enigma who were not adults, but partook in the ritual of "saluting" the little green bottles, and although the language was different, laughed with their mother.
Darkness fell as they arrived in Horsens, but the two newcomers to the road had nowhere to go but on it. Perhaps there was still time for another lift to somewhere else?
The boys met a fellow traveller, a French youth sitting on a skateboard and being towed by two black Labradors. he thought the world of his dogs, and since the night that they had befriended him, he swore allegiance to them, and vowed that if someone would not take the dogs, then they would not have his company either.
Besides, the dogs scavenged for food, and were willing to share. Strange what life on the road can do to a man.
With Frenchie gone, the night looked slim. then the sound of an air-horn pierced the silence, and a car slowed down, only to speed up again once the boys picked up their bags and gave chase. A Norwegian lad leant out of the window and blasted on the hand-held air-horn once more, screaming with laughter as the driver stepped on the accelerator.
"Ah, you are English boys?" Air-horn enquired, with a glee in his eye.
They nodded, and noticed that there were three in the car, all in their early twenties, blond, and drinking beer. The boot was full, so Andrew sat with both rucksacks in the backseat, while Danny sat in the front passenger seat alongside the Hornblower. Horatio found it amusing to lean out of the window and blast some air at every passer by; the older the better. The driver also thought it was all a hoot, and swerved towards the victims to increase the impact of the stunt.
They were returning to Norway after a festival in Germany. Denmark was too quiet for them; their spirits high on alcohol. Besides which, they had a new toy from south of the border.
"So is dis," Horatio pressed a little button in the palm of his hand, and out flipped a five-inch, polished blade of steel. Danny had a sheath knife in his bag, but it was never intended to be used on someone else. Had Andrew seen the prank? The driver glanced over his shoulder for any reaction. There was none, and Horatio snapped back the blade and concealed it in his boot.
While the Norwegians planned to sail to Oslo from Frederikshaven, Andrew and Danny opted to sail to Sweden from Grenaa, and were dropped off at the ticket-office. There were no sailings until the following morning, but the waiting area was warm enough for the night.
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