"It was a promise, no in fact it was more than that. It was put forward as a statement. Something of certainty, not so?" The old beshrivelled man held his audience's attention with beady squinting eyes that glared out from under the wisened wrinkles that wreathed them in the centre of his old face. He was not a large person. His black, thick-soled soles barely touched the floor as he sat at the table and the long coat that swatched him seemed to suffocate him.
"One would have thought that in a small village such as this where everyone knows everyone down to the names of the geese that swim in the park's pond, you would have remembered a man as marvellous as I."
Looking at him no-one in the village's bar thought that the old man looked anything near marvellous. On closer inspection his teeth were tinged brown, his eye whites yellow and his skin and clothes covered in grime. In fact, close inspection was hardly necessary as even in a passing glance the unkeptness of the old man jumped out, mugged and left one feeling dazed.
It was the village speaker who first responded, "Aye, that is how it is, it is, so we would know you; if we should we would. An' seeing as 'ow nobody 'ere knows you, you never did live 'ere you didn't!"
"Right so Mr Speaker, truly spoken and well at that!" proclaimed Mrs Baker, who baked cakes and buns in Mr Baker's bakery, turning on the old man. "You, old dear, are either an atrocious liar or quite mad and most definitely a semblance of appearance is not one of your marvellous qualities I'm afraid. Quite rude as well I might add, not even supplying a name."
"Well spoken? Madam, I beg to differ! Mr Speaker, pardon me for saying so but, the fact of the matter is that you cannot speak." Mr Speaker stood up indignantly, his face red and eyes bulging.
His words came through gritted teeth, "We Speakers have been speaking since me father's father's father's father. It 'ent easy what I do, you think you could do a better job?"
"Well that goes without saying, but say it I shall! My mastery of the spoken word can hardly be compared to the primitive grunts of your rasping voice!"
The man stood up to his rather unimpressive height, "Mr Saul Bester!" he declared, turning back to Mrs Baker, "And best you remember it!"