Samuel sat with his tutor, who, by a stroke of good fortune, had decided to forgo his ten day caravanning holiday in the Norfolk Broads when the call came from Samuel's progenitor (that is to say: his father) that young Samuel was at a loose end and would he mind awfully resuming his son's studies in order to occupy the young man's mind during the summer months.
Samuel heaved a sigh.
'Samuel,' Mr Fazakerly (for this was the name of the peripatetic educator) said. 'I cannot help but notice your depressed countenance. Let us put aside our text, for it would be remiss of me, as your teacher, to neglect to discuss your emotional wellbeing, which has a bearing on your ability to learn effectively.'
'But sir,' Samuel replied. 'Will not my father be displeased if I neglect my differential calculus studies?'
'Differential calculus can wait, young fellow. Tell me what ails you, for I too, was young once, and I may be in a position to advise you on your woes.'
'Well, sir, you see, I was in the fortunate position, during my visit to Spain, to make the acquaintance of a most pleasing young lady.'
'Ah! The fairer sex! I thought as much. Well, the best thing you can do, young chap, is to forget her.'
'I cannot, sir. She occupies my thoughts both day and night.'
'And are your intentions toward this young woman honourable, sir?'
'I should say so, Mr Fazakerly,' Samuel said, his hand on his heart and a look of determination, yet longing, in his eyes.
'In that case, Samuel, I will risk my career and my reputation in order to help you. Wait one moment while I use the telephone.'
Samuel waited while his tutor left the room, his thoughts in disarray. The teacher returned in a trice, a look of determination, yet triumph on his face. 'It is arranged. I have left your father an IOU for he cost of my telephone call. Come along.'
'But, whom did you telephone? Where are we going?'
'All in good time, Samuel, all in good time. Please be so kind as to gather such belongings as you would require for a week's sojourn in warm climes, and I will meet you at the railway station in twenty seven minutes precisely. Hurry along now. Tempus Fugit.'
Meanwhile, a few counties away, Sarah was seated at her mother's knee, winding wool and exchanging pleasantries about the weather and the way the begonias were blooming, when the telephone rang.
Sarah picked up the receiver, listened carefully, and let out a suitably restrained squeal of delight. After listening for a minute or two, she ran to her mother, and related to her the content of the conversation.
'Oh, Mother. How fortunate we are, that our names have been selected in a Prize Draw, and we have won a week's holiday in Spain. All that is required is that we impart our bank account details in order to pay for the flights - though we shail be reimbursed within 28 days, and we are to look forward to luxury accommodation upon our arrival.'
'How wonderful, daughter. I will telephone my husband, your father, and ask him to arrange two airline seats this minute.
Three hours later, unbeknownst to either of them, Samuel and Sarah were on a flight to Spain, though in different parts of the aeroplane: Sarah's mother having booked Club Class seats for herself and her daughter, while Mr Fazakerly had purchased economy seats for Samuel and himself.
Alas, when they arrived, Sarah was told, at the information desk, that the luxury accommodation, and indeed, the place where it was situated, did not, in fact, exist. and Mr Fazakerly was arrested by the airport police, his face having been identified from a 'wanted' poster, due to 'false imprisonment' charges brought against him in Spain several years previously.
Thus, Samuel was put back on the very next flight to England, and, in tears, both Sarah and her mother returned on the very same flight, all three of them remaining oblivious to the extraordinary coincidences which had, once again, brought them so near, and yet, so far.