The Night Watchman: Nov. 25th
In all countries good help is hard to find. We have temporarily lost one of our security guards, Ramesh, and have had a substitute named Picoranu. Picoranu is a recently retired "serviceman". He introduced himself to us, told us he would guard the place well, that he was in the army, and knew how to overpower a burglar. Our friends tell us that we are a lucrative target, because the neighborhood now knows that wealthy foreigners are living here. This advice, and the fact that the house was robbed four years ago, makes us very sensitive to good guardsmanship. Picoranu started things off on the wrong foot right away by asking the other security guard where the cot was. A small lecture was given about how the boss is up late at night, and checks on the guard, and how sleeping on the job was not a good idea. Picoranu is a long-term smoker, and I could locate him by his unique hacking cough. A few nights ago at 12:30, I realized I hadn’t heard the cough in a while. I went outside and sure enough no Picoranu could be found. I wandered about the house, and still couldn’t find him. So since it was dark, and there was no moonlight, I rattled the front gate. Loudly. Still no Picoranu. I went to grab his nightstick, and turning around, discovered a large 2-foot by 4-foot bundle in between the car and some plants. Was this Picoranu under a cloth blanket? I took the nightstick and gently tapped on the end of the bundle. Nothing. How about a heavier tap? Still nothing. How about a really hard tap? The corpse suddenly awoke. I shook my finger parentally and said "Guarding, not sleeping!" Like a child Picoranu replied, "Not sleeping, sir, not sleeping." He stayed up the rest of the night, his cough sending out a hesitant warning to all would be burglars in the area.
We told the story to Graham. Graham found his guard asleep and gave him a warning. Then next night, he couldn’t find the guard. Apparently the guard had heard about Picoranu, and wasn’t taking any chances in having a good snooze ruined by his client. He had gone to sleep in the garage, and had carefully locked the door, from the inside.