Fidelia placed Samuel Johnson on the chair – a hard but utilitarian way to augment her height to desk level – plucked a sheet of parchment from the heavy desk drawer, struck a match to light the candle and loaded the pen with ink from the well. She had had the A, B, C, F and H sayings in her head most of the day and was eager to get them down on paper.
She knew how to help the flustered man in Billings Bookstore. During the afternoon, while she sat on the rise of Parliament House, she had gazed down Bourke-street. While eating an apple she had surreptitiously pilfered from the basket of a passer-by, she recalled what Mr Moustache had said to her Quandary Man. Just fourteen days we have until the opening, mind. A fortnight.
A year has twenty-six fortnights and the alphabet has twenty-six letters. Co-incidental? Serendipitous. Propitious. One letter for each fortnight. Each letter the inspiration for a window display. A new window display every fortnight. It would become the spectacle of Bourke-street, if not of all Melbourne. That would keep Mr Cole on his toes! Show him how it should be done.
Fin J Ross: I chose this excerpt from my latest novel Billings Better Bookstore & Brasserie, to show that wisdom sometimes comes from the naivety of a child.
Fidelia Knight, in this moment, solves the problem of her “Quandary Man” and sets in motion a unique marketing plan for the fledgling Billings Better Bookstore and Brasserie.