inally old man Cratchett finished closing the heavy garage doors, got back into the car and lowered himself gingerly back into the driver seat; as he did so, Edward wondered if it was the leather that creaked or the old man’s bones. The car wheezed and coughed as the throttle was thrust back and forth, and then with another cough and splutter the vehicle finally dragged itself off the driveway and onto the road.
“So” said Cratchett genially as his hands, clad in leather gauntlets, twitched the steering wheel left and right, “what kind of condition is this robot in that you’ve found?”
Edward thought for a moment. “Well, I didn’t see all of it, just its head really.”
“Well it’s still a find isn’t it Mr Cratchett? The head’s the important part after all; that’s what you said.”
Cratchett kept his eyes on the road, but smiled. “Yes that’s right, the head does the thinking so it’s the most important part. Still, it would be useful if it came with a body, or some parts at least.”
“So that you don’t have to work as hard to put it back together again.”
“That’s right. Besides, even if I can’t put it back together perhaps we can still get some value out of it.”
It wasn’t long before they arrived at the junk yard. Edward jumped out of the car and ran ahead, then stopped and turned around to see if his hoary old friend was following. To his dismay, Cratchett was only just opening the car door and hadn’t even swung out one leg. “Come on Mr Cratchett! We might lose it!”
Cratchett chuckled. “No rush boy, the junk yard doesn’t close for another few hours.”
“Somebody might find the robot and take it!”
“Must be a pretty valuable robot then” said the old man with a smile.
Edward pursed his lips as he bobbed up and down and scuffed his feet. “Come on!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming.”
Before long, although only after what seemed like an eternity to the boy, the pair made their way along the main path between the towering hills of scrap. The hulking shells of cars and husks of stoves peered down at them midst the forest of rusted pipes, sheets and panels of corroding metal.