His uncle Mick asked Benedict if he would mow the lawn of the old lady at the cottage, which he did, then clean out the cowsheds at the farm, which he did, then take some eggs to the local shop, which he did. It was a hot day, he felt a thirst so went to pub called the Battleaxe and ordered a pint and sat and drank it slow outside in the sun. He thought of the clarinet he'd brought with him, the jazz he played in the front lounge, which his aunt Eileen said was very good. Do you still have and play your accordion? he asked her. No, she said not now; I've not played for years. He remembered her playing and singing Goodnight Irene on it when he had stayed as a kid. Long ago now, he thought, finishing his pint. He also mused on his recent visited to see the MJQ in the City and afterwards he met the band on the coach at the back. Asked questions, got autographs. Then another visit to the City with his two cousins to watch them do their martial arts and afterwards showed them judo moves he and his friends had done a few years before. He took his empty glass to the counter of the pub and walked out in the sunshine wondering what his uncle Mick would have lined up for him next. There was talk of digging trenches in the churchyard some evening to lay pipes to the church and there was that mowing of the grass he'd been shown the other day. Yes, he'd do that now, he thought, while the sun was out, the grass dry. The mower was in a shed at the back, one

of those modern jobs, less work, less elbow grease, less sweat. But also, those peas to pick and schuck for his aunt. He wasn't done with his chores for his keep, for six weeks, least not yet.