He had grown up on the railways: on this particular line, anyway. He was still young but already could open the carriage doors without any help. I suppose you could say that he was a bit of a vagabond, although he did keep himself clean and tidy. Regular commuters talked to him, and often, somehow, found themselves sharing their food with him: the ticket inspectors merely took one look into his innocent eyes, and didn’t bother to ask. They all knew him, and accepted that he was a seasoned, if slightly unconventional, traveller.
The station was fairly typical of a country village stop. The buildings and flower-boxes were neatly kept, even if the signs, doors, and other woodwork could do with a fresh coat of paint, but that hardly mattered. He knew where he was long before the ‘Spirit of Dunkirk’ Class 4-6-2 locomotive, tender, and rake of six carriages, had wheezed and clunked to a complete stop. He shuffled off the seat, and was soon sitting on the platform at Corwen Halt, watching the train move noisily off on the next leg of its journey, towards the larger towns, and the end of the line.
He momentarily scratched an imaginary itch at the back of his head, and then strolled casually past the railway guard: on towards the end of the station building. Old George didn’t say anything: just nodded, and grinned at him. He knew what that meant. The guard’s room would be empty; the stove would be on, and the battered old armchair was still comfy enough that he could doze there through most of the afternoon, without anyone interrupting him.
He did sleep, and therefore missed her arrival.